Tag Archives: lee loughridge

Review: Hotell #1

Hotell #1

When it comes to noir movies, I think many new filmmakers tend to try too hard. Take, for instance, Knives Out, where it wins much on the story and the execution, as well as the performances by some great actors. Where it lacks is how it lacked many of the tropes that make the genre so effective, and even the foil, at times, was underwhelming. This is in great contrast, to his noir masterpiece, Brick, which continues to stun years after its debut.

It is within the subtleties which makes a noir thriller great. One of my favorite movies within the genre of recent was Bad Times at the El Royale. All taking place in a hotel right on the border of two states. In the debut issue of Hotell, we find such a place like the El Royale, both bizarre and intended.

We are taken to the Pierre Courts Hotel, hidden on Route 66, where we meet Jack Lynch, the hotel check-in clerk, who seems to be more than a weird old man. We meet a pregnant young lady, Alice, seeming desperate and possibly on the run, and needing a place to find respite. We soon find out that she is on the run from an abusive boyfriend, who practically haunts her dreams. We find out it is not the baby’s father who controls her dreams, it’s actually her Baby. By issue’s end, Ted eventually catches up to Alice but not without being scathed and what their baby is, is wholly disturbing.

Overall, an excellent story that blends horror and noir into a satisfying dish that will more than have readers intrigued. The story by John Lees is eerie and well developed. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that will have readers on the edge of their seat.

Story: John Lees Art: Dalabor Talajic, Lee Loughridge, and Karen Andrews
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Old Haunts #1

Old Haunts #1

I’m a big fan of mob films. I can watch films like The Godfather, Goodfellas, New Jack City, and Casino, over and over. What you rarely is that genre mashed up with others. There have been attempts at comedy or romance but most films are pretty siloed in style. Old Haunts #1 is an interesting spin on the mob story as it attempts to deliver something new, a mob story with a horror twist.

Written by Ollie Masters and Rob Williams, Old Haunts #1 introduces us to three mobsters who have a literal pile of bodies underneath them. They have decided to get out of the business and move on. But, their past crime doesn’t want them to. It’s a take on the concept of one’s past coming back to haunt you.

The result is pretty decent, enough that I really want to see where it goes.

The story delivers a few cliches from the genre and Old Haunts #1 is mostly set up but there’s enough there to want to see more. The issue is, our three main characters are generally forgettable. They each have some minor things to set them apart but they generally blend away after reading. Not long after I’ve read the first issue and each character’s name is already forgotten.

It’s the character types that really stand out and that plays into the horror aspect. Instead of the “slut” we have one character who pays for sex. We still have the tough guy who’s surely going to die. Then there’s the nice guy who’s probably supposed to be the protagonist that we cheer for in hopes they survive and are happy. It’s not bad but you can see there’s a bit plug and play going on. Still, it works as a start setting up what’s to come.

The art by Laurence Campbell is pretty solid. With color by Lee Loughridge and lettering by Sal Cipriano, it relies heavily on shadows delivering a style that fits the noir/crime genre. Blues, reds, yellows, and purples, with a heavy dose of black pepper the panels giving the comic a very interesting look that befits the story. The characters are definitely different in their look and style, but run into that issue that they also don’t stand out. It’s not bad but also a comic that you’ll remember liking but nothing specific you can really pinpoint. The horror aspects though absolutely deliver a creepy vibe and go in a solid direction I want to see more of.

As an introduction, Old Haunts #1 is interesting and entertaining. It brings together two genres you don’t see mashed up often. It’s a good introduction that as a piece of the bigger story will be fine but on its own falls a little short. It lacks that little bit something special that really puts it over the top. But, like a horror film, that’s also not the point. This is the lull before the storm and we really want to see the scares from here. As a set up to that, it works quite well.

Story: Ollie Masters, Rob Williams Art: Laurence Campbell
Color: Lee Loughridge Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

AWA Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Year Zero #1

Year Zero #1

A zombie tale in today’s world is an interesting read. It’s hard to not read the story and think the pandemic happening around us. Year Zero #1 releases as comics returns from their break due to COVID-19 and it’s a slow roll of a zombie tale, which might have helped it in some ways.

Written by Benjamin Percy, Year Zero #1 introduces us to individuals around the world in what seems like the initial outbreak of zombies. We’re not quite sure as most of what’s happening is off-camera. We see the aftermath such as bodies or the smoke and fire but the zombie reveal doesn’t really happen until the very end.

In a way, this approach saves the comic in that the reader is distracted by focusing on each individual’s story but also left pondering what exactly is going on. The concept of the infection spreading isn’t present and in your face so that it’s not quite as reflective as to the real world. The mystery acts as a distraction in this case instead of being distracted by the real world news.

But, things not happening clearly also works against the first issue as well. It’s a slow start juggling numerous characters across the world as they deal with what’s going on. There’s some action but there’s a lack of shocks and wildly different situations which makes the tone and pacing uneven at times. There might have been more success by focusing on fewer characters with more story in the first couple of issues but as is things feel a bit dragged out. The characters too never quite stand out as interesting, instead, they all fall into stereotypes we’ve seen before.

The art by Ramon Rosanas is interesting. With color by Lee Loughridge and lettering by Sal Cipriano, there’s a challenge of featuring so many different parts of the world. There’s some fantastic art such as a Day of the Dead celebration with lots of costumes and interesting design. But, then that’s compared to an assassin in Japan where the detail is a bit more sparse but what’s shown sets up what’s to come and tells us a bit more about the character. The bouncing around of the settings creates an interesting comparison of how each comes off compared to each other.

The issue is a bit of an uneven start. It’s a very slow start and there might be too many different characters introduced. Possibly a quicker pacing may have helped but as is, Year Zero #1 is a bit boring. I want to check out the second issue but the first is a bit of a slog. Zombie fans may dig it but “the meat” isn’t gotten to and instead the issue is all character setup. That’s needed but as done it doesn’t quite work.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Ramon Rosanas
Color: Lee Loughridge Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

AWA Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Year Zero #1

Year Zero #1

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Sal Cipriano

Ben Percy (Wolverine) and Ramon Rosanas (Star Wars: Age of Resistance) team up to present an epic tale that offers a global look at the Zombie Apocalypse. A Japanese hitman, a Mexican street urchin, an Afghan military aide, a Polar research scientist, a midwestern American survivalist – five survivors of a horrific global epidemic who must draw upon their unique skills and deepest instincts to navigate a world of shambling dead. Year Zero wrestles with the weighty moral and theological questions posed by the pandemic and investigates its cause and possible cure.

Year Zero #1

AWA Studios Releases a Trailer for Old Haunts

AWA Studios has released the official trailer for the supernatural crime thriller, Old Haunts, written by Ollie Masters and Rob Williams, art by Laurence Campbell, colors by Lee Loughridge, and lettering by Sal Cipriano. Old Haunts has an updated release date of June 10, 2020.

Three Made Men, standing at the brink of retirement, find their unbreakable bond put to the ultimate test when they are suddenly assaulted by the ghosts of their past. Confronted by decades of buried secrets – resentments, affairs, double-crosses, and murders – the three friends have no choice but to unearth the deepest, darkest sin from their past and pray they don’t find an empty grave.

Preview: Year Zero #1

Year Zero #1

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Sal Cipriano

Ben Percy (Wolverine) and Ramon Rosanas (Star Wars: Age of Resistance) team up to present an epic tale that offers a global look at the Zombie Apocalypse. A Japanese hitman, a Mexican street urchin, an Afghan military aide, a Polar research scientist, a midwestern American survivalist – five survivors of a horrific global epidemic who must draw upon their unique skills and deepest instincts to navigate a world of shambling dead. Year Zero wrestles with the weighty moral and theological questions posed by the pandemic and investigates its cause and possible cure.

Year Zero #1

Read AWA Studios’ Year Zero #1 for FREE!

Writer Ben Percy and artist Ramon Rosanas team up to present an epic tale that offers a global look at the Zombie Apocalypse. A Japanese hitman, a Mexican street urchin, an Afghan military aide, a Polar research scientist, a midwestern American survivalist – five survivors of a horrific global epidemic who must draw upon their unique skills and deepest instincts to navigate a world of shambling dead. Year Zero wrestles with the weighty moral and theological questions posed by the pandemic and investigates its cause and possible cure.

Year Zero #1 features colors from Lee Loughridge and lettering by Sal Cipriano. You can read the first issue below for free!

Review: Josie and the Pussycats in Space

Josie and the Pussycats in Space

In the digital comic series Josie and the Pussycats in Space, Alex de Campi, Devaki Neogi, and Lee Loughridge riff on the 1972 animated series Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. However, with the exception of the first issue, there isn’t a lot of pop music being played in space. Instead, there’s lots of cosmic body horror and applications of Murphy’s Law as the Pussycats go from their next tour stop to eluding a gooey alien parasite. As the five issue miniseries progresses, the setting shifts from United States Space Force ship to rescue pods and finally the vacuum of space.

Although there are definite elements of space horror films like Alien in Josie in Space, de Campi and Neogi do a fantastic job putting their own spin on the genre through suspenseful storytelling and the out-sized personalities of the Pussycats and their supporting cast members Alan M (Who is now a hunky starship captain), Socks, and of course, the Cabot siblings. They use most of the comic’s first issue to establish the friendships and also tension between the band as they’re tired of touring non-stop and living in such close quarters and want to hang out with other people and try other musical endeavors. As well as creating chemistry between the band, it also allows for a classic, slow burn horror setup that succeeds thanks to de Campi’s tight plotting and Neogi’s clear storytelling.

Speaking of Devaki Neogi’s storytelling, she and colorist extraordinaire Lee Loughridge create tension and generally keep things interesting in Josie in Space thanks to varied layouts and color palettes. The comic starts out with a lot of nine panel grids as it seems like it’s just another week in the life of spaceship-setting pop stars. However, then, Neogi uses Dutch angle panels to create a feeling of unease as the ship loses power, time is a little wonky, and the alien parasite starts to pick off the redshirts. Loughridge matches this energy with color palette using flat reds like alarms blaring. I love how depicts the parasite as an all-consuming blackness that matches the tone he uses for some of the space sequences.

Even though this is a series featuring heightened characters in a (sometimes literally) bone-chilling genre, Alex de Campi peppers her script with human moments. For example, Valerie practices grounding exercises with Melody when she has panic attacks a couple times throughout the series. This validates Melody’s emotions and reactions and reinforces her bond with Valerie. In that moment, they aren’t pop culture ciphers, but people reacting to stress. Devaki Neogi reinforces this with her artwork that features a lot of close-up/medium panels so that readers can empathize with the Pussycats and the supporting cast instead of seeing them as monster bait.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space can definitely be read as enjoyable transposition of Americana icons into a science fiction horror setting with a suspenseful plot. However, the inclusion of the actual United States Space Force (Albeit with interplanetary travel capacities) hints at the layered satire of parasitic American imperialism. The inclusion of the Cabots, whose approach is basically to solve problems through money, explosions, and asking questions later is basically American foreign policy since JFK was shot. Also, it’s only hinted at in the first and final chapters because this is more of a comic about scary things than pop music, but Josie and the Pussycats themselves are just another cog in promoting the military industrial, I guess, space complex instead of being countercultural. Maybe, that’s the real reason why Valerie wants to work on solo material.

After that political interlude, Josie and the Pussycats in Space channels this cartoon band’s strangest era into a riveting thriller. Alex de Campi, Devaki Neogi, and Lee Loughridge masterfully transform a cool tour vehicle into an interstellar charnel house and definitely answer the question of “Could Josie and the Pussycats survive Alien?” This comic is worth a download for fans of all-girl pop bands, horror movies, or just exciting, well-crafted stories.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Devaki Neogi
Colors: Lee Loughridge Letters: Jack Morelli
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Josie & The Pussycats in Space Vol. 1

JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE VOL. 1

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Devaki Neogi, Lee Loughridge, Jack Morelli
Cover: Devaki Neogi
On Sale Date: 2/26/20
110 pages
$6.99 U.S.
ComiXology Original
Purchase

Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE VOL. 1

Exclusive: Get Immersed with the Graphic Novel Nicnevin & The Bloody Queen Soundtrack

This week sees the release of Nicnevin & The Bloody Queen, the debut graphic novel writer Helen Mullane, acclaimed artists Dom Reardon and Matthew Dow Smith, and celebrated colorist Lee Loughridge. It’s a haunting and unsettling coming-of-age horror story for our times and Helen Mullane has created a Spotify playlist of what the main character–NicNiven AKA Nissy, is listening to throughout the story.

In the story, London teen “Nissy” Oswald is stuck in the countryside for the entire summer with only her mother and little brother for company, but things start to look up when she meets Reggie, an attractive and mysterious older man to whom she feels inexorably drawn. As Nissy divides her time between feuding with her mother and lusting for Reggie, the small town is rocked by a grisly murder and everything changes.

Helen writes:

This is a playlist of what Nissy is listening to throughout the story.At first she’s very pissed off that she has to go to Northumberland, listening to a lot of quite aggressive, angry sounds. Later the is intrigued by and then falls for reggie so it gets more romantic and self affirming as she needs to big herself up. Then her heart is broken and finally she comes through a period of trauma and realisation.

Published by Humanoids the book features a stunning cover by Jock and is out now.

Check out the soundtrack and some of the art from the graphic novel below.

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