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Review: TKO Presents: Tales of Terror

TKO Presents: Tales of Terror brings together the series of one-shots release by TKO Studios in one entertaining graphic novel.

Story: Liana Kangas, Joe Corallo, Sebastian Girner, Steve Foxe, Alex Paknadel, Kelly Williams, Rob Pilkington, Michael Moreci, Erick C. Freitas
Art: Paul Azaceta, Baldemar Rivas, Lisandro Estherren, Ian MacEwan, Kelly Williams, Kit Mills, Jesús Hervás, Jelena Dordević-Maksimović, Jen Hickman
Color: Patricio Delpeche
Letterer: Jeff Powell, Steve Wands, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Chas! Pangburn, Ariana Maher, Simon Bowland

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

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TKO Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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TKO Presents: Tales of Terror – A Harrowing Comic Shorts Anthology

TKO Studios has announced a collected anthology of their bestselling harrowing comic shorts by a cadre of top creators. Customer and vendor pre-orders for TKO Presents: Tales of Terror are now open at the TKO website.

Tales of Terror collects all nine titles released to-date across the publisher’s TKO Shorts catalog and debuts digitally October 20th, in time for Halloween, and in-print via trade channels on November 30th.

Tales of Terror will chill the bones and curdle the blood of readers. Witness a soldier face a horror worse than death, a space pioneer’s false Eden, and a little boy’s insomnia that ends in tragedy, just to name a few.

SEEDS OF EDEN: When a space pioneer attempts to create a self-sustaining colony Jupiter, her visit takes an unsuspecting and deadly turn. From Liana Kangas and Joe Corallo (She Said Destroy) and Paul Azaceta (OUTKAST, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Punisher Noir).

THE FATHER OF ALL THINGS: The year is 1914 and Europe is at war. Idealistic 14-year-old Georg is ready to defend his country, but nothing cold prepare him for the supernatural horrors that await beneath the trenches. From Sebastian Girner (Shirtless Bear-Fighter!, Scales & Scoundrels) and Baldemar Rivas (Unearth).

NIGHT TRAIN: When Neal’s new baby brother begins to drive him insane with sleepless nights, Neal starts seeing a spectral tarin with a ghostly conductor offering to solve his problems by taking his baby brother far away. From Steve Foxe (Razorblades: The Horror Magazine) and Lisandro Estherren (Redneck: The Last Contract).

DAME FROM THE DARK: Magic isn’t always glitz and glam, and sometimes there are darker secrets lurking behind the trap doors and red velvet curtains. Private detective Tommy, and his spirit comrade Eve, have come to teach magician ‘Le Samson Fantastique’ that some acts aren’t always illusions. From writer Rob Pilkington and artist Kit Mills.

HAND ME DOWN: Reuben and Lyra are on the brink of a failing marriage when they are invited to a risqué soiree hosted by wealthy neighbors in their glitzy new suburb. But things take a demonic turn when they realize they will be taking home a lot more than a party favor. From Alex Paknadel and Jen Hickman.

KILLIAMSBURG: The snowstorm of the century is barreling down on Brooklyn, but that doesn’t stop a group of hipsters from throwing an ironic 90s themed party. The snow is different though… it speaks, it moves, it craves human flesh! Ca our flannel-wearing, craft-beer drinking group unironically survive the night? From Erick Freitas and Jelena Dordevic.

RIVER OF SIN: Children are being found dead and mutilated in the woods. Alonso fears this might be the fate of his daughter. In a desperate hunt for answers, he and the other grieving parents must take matters into their own hands. Could it be the suspected Bruja, hungry for young blood, or is there a bigger secret among the townsfolk? Discover the truth in RIVER OF SIN by Kelly Williams and Chas! Pangburn.

ROOFSTOMPERS: Far away from the pressures of being a surgeon in New York City, Cassie decides to take a solo hunting trip to Wyoming. There she is attacked and luckily rescued by a middle-aged couple living in an isolated cabin with their son. After weeks, she isn’t getting any better and she begins to question the couple’s motives and the strange nightly visits that they dismiss as the “Roofstompers.” From Alex Paknadel and Ian MacEwan.

THE WALK: Alice and her team of aquatic explorers are eager to study what lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Stationed at the Midnight Zone, 2000 meters below the surface; their supplies start to run out. In a dangerous expedition to survive, they must push through but soon realize that the ocean is more vast, dark, and mysterious than they could have ever imagined. From Michael Moreci and Jesus Hervas.

TKO Presents: Tales of Terror

TKO Studios Debuts Three New TKO Shorts for June

A grieving father joins the parents of other murdered and missing children in their small town to hunt for the mysterious and potentially supernatural force that is responsible and uncovers an even more grisly conspiracy in River of Sin; a lone female game hunter gets more than she bargained for after she is rescued by a mysterious couple who receive sinister nighttime visitors known as the Roofstompers; a visceral battle for survival more than a mile under the ocean ensues in The Walk.

TKO Studios has three new TKO Shorts out this June. They can be ordered directly from TKO and comic retailers.

RIVER OF SIN

Children are being found dead and mutilated in the woods. Alonso fears this might be the fate of his daughter. In a desperate hunt for answers, he and the other grieving parents must take matters into their own hands. Could it be the suspected Bruja, hungry for young blood, or is there a bigger secret among the townsfolk? Discover the truth in RIVER OF SIN by Kelly Williams and Chas! Pangburn.

RIVER OF SIN

ROOFSTOMPERS

Far away from the pressures of being a surgeon in New York City, Cassie decides to take a solo hunting trip to Wyoming. There she is attacked and luckily rescued by a middle-aged couple living in an isolated cabin with their son. After weeks, she isn’t getting any better and she begins to question the couple’s motives and the strange nightly visits that they dismiss as the “Roofstompers.” Roofstompers is by Alex Paknadel, Ian Macewan, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

ROOFSTOMPERS

THE WALK

Alice and her team of aquatic explorers are eager to study what lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Stationed at the Midnight Zone, 2000 meters below the surface; their supplies start to run out. In a dangerous expedition to survive, they must push through but soon realize that the ocean is more vast, dark, and mysterious than they could have ever imagined. The Walk is by Michael Moreci, Jesús Hervás, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

THE WALK

Review: Metalshark Bro: What the Fin

Metalshark Bro: What the Fin

Bob Frantz, Kevin Cuffe, and Walter Ostlie’s Metalshark Bro: What the Fin is a little over 90 pages of cartoonish violence, fun one-liners, and a battle between Heaven and Hell with an anthropomorphic shark and a floating, hat-wearing magic eyeball named Ira caught in between. The premise is that a heavy metal band is lost at sea, and its members are devoured by an ordinary shark. However, Beelzebra, Satan’s “douchebag nephew”, held claim to one of their souls so he merged the soul of the band members with the shark to create “Metalshark Bro”. Now, Metalshark Bro must travel the land and collect the souls on Beelzebra’s to-do list so he can return to swimming in the ocean and having rows of teeth. However, as with any story featuring a Faustian bargain, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Metalshark Bro is definitely a comic you read for the over the top mayhem paired with its protagonist’s easygoing, and at times, cheesy quips as he cuts all his opponents down a peg. However, there are some sweet moments too like when Metalshark Bro takes a break to pet a cat (Who ends up biting his hand) or leading a resistance movement. Bob Frantz and Kevin Cuffe set up some basic world-building with different realms, magic, a hierarchy of devils looking for souls, and a militant church trying to end the apocalypse that is straight out of the late-1990s Top Cow comic, but more tongue in cheek than sleazy. However, this world (and plot) exists just to take Metalshark Bro and Ira from wacky situation to situation as he tries to become himself again.

However, these situations that Frantz, Cuffe, and Walter Ostlie conjure up are creative and fun and make Metal Shark Bro a breezy read. For example, there’s an extended fight with a wizard that transforms into a goat whose heart Metal Shark Bro ends up eating, or later on, he and Ira end up fighting a horde of donut shaped demons. The comic also has pop culture homages too, including Star Wars, Fight Club, and mecha anime in general. Bob Frantz and Kevin Cuffe really write Metalshark Bro as a classic, wisecracking action protagonist, which is very much a coping mechanism as much as it’s his personality, especially when he ends up a little bit over his head later tin the comic. Metalshark Bro really has a unique personality: an incredibly human blend of anger and politeness like when he slaughters all the diners at a chicken and waffle restaurant, but still leaves a tip. He definitely reacts how someone would if you were put in another species’ body with a completely different set of rules and purpose for living.

On the art side of things, Walter Ostlie creates his share of big, dynamic moments in Metalshark Bro like the initial transformation sequence, or even Metalshark Bro and his fellow prisoners fake fighting to start a riot and escape. However, he doesn’t sacrifice storytelling coherence or smoothness for cool metal moments using grids for rapid fire conversations like when Satan and his nephew have a little chat and opening up the page and intensifying the color palette during the various fights against wizards, monsters, demons, or ninja nuns. All kinds of fluids are flying throughout this book, and it gives Metalshark Bro a knowing B-movie charm to go with its deadpan humor meets eviscerated body parts Adult Swim tone. However, the emotional side of the story comes from little jaw and eye movements from Metalshark Bro as he genuinely wants to back in the ocean even though it looks like he’s having a good time tearing through damned souls.

Metalshark Bro: What the Fin has a likable protagonist, a good sense of humor, and epic art from Walter Ostlie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bob Frantz and Kevin Cuffe have combined two classic story archetypes (Hero’s Journey, Deal with the Devil) and replaced the usual white bread protagonist with an anthropomorphic shark and a floating eye with some laugh out loud funny results and loads of violence. This is definitely a book you want to check out if you want to take a break from the “real world” for a bit.

Story: Bob Frantz and Kevin Cuffe Art: Walter Ostlie Letters: Chas! Pangburn
Story: 8.8 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Scout ComicsTFAW

Review: Wretches Vol. 1

WRETCHES TP VOL 01

Wretches is a high octane science-fiction adventure published by Scout Comics. The first six issues of the series are now available in trade paperback. The plot of Wretches is like a cross between Blade Runner and Taken, but with a badass female protagonist. The storylines also reminded me of the novel that inspired Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s seminal “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Some of the same themes are examined in the comic as in that novel, but with a backdrop of nearly non-stop action.

Created and written by James E. Roche, Wretches features complex storytelling. There are a lot of characters in play, but the main storyline focuses on sibling bounty hunters Sean and Shea. Even though Shea is a fictional character, I couldn’t help envying her abs and admiring her tenacity. I was very impressed with the interconnected storylines in this first arc. Roche’s narrative is full of shifting alliances and the resulting triumphs and betrayals. Roche also achieves an impressive amount of world-building in a limited number of pages. The scale of the setting is grand while the character interactions are satisfyingly intimate.

Salo Farias‘ artwork caught my attention within the first dozen pages. The comic opens with a chase scene that is superimposed over flashback images of Shea and Sean’s past. These overlapping images also blend well with the narration text boxes. There’s another well-plotted sequence in the third chapter where two scenes are depicted simultaneously. The panels on the left side of the page show one scene while the panels on the right show the other. These are just two examples of the synchronicity between Roches’ script and Farias’ artwork. However, there was one minor disconnect in their collaboration. There were times that I had difficulty telling a few of the robot characters apart.

I also really liked the architecture of the buildings. The structures look futuristic while still being obviously functional. The buildings aren’t bright and shiny either. Through Farias’ detail work the reader can see that the buildings have become worn by the planet’s elements and in places have fallen into disrepair. The robot’s encampment, an arrangement of decommissioned and interconnected spaceships was visually and architecturally interesting as well. Having finished the first volume of Wretches, I hope the series continues on from here. Roche has created a world rich with potential for more tales of sci-fi adventure. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of Sean and Shea.

Story: James E. Roche Art: Salo Farias
Colorist: Chunlin Zhao Letterer/Editor: Chas! Pangburn
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Scout Comics

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