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AfterShock Delivers 4 Tales of Terror in AfterDark

AfterShock has announced a new horror anthology called AfterDark. The comic features Cullen Bunn, Joe Pruett, Frank Tieri, and Jim Starlin and on art Cliff Richards, Nikkol Jelenic, Joe Eisma, and Szymon Kudrankski. Also contributing is Guy Major on colors and it features a cover by Tony Harris and an incentive cover by Szymon Kudranski.

Tales from the Crypt meets The Twilight Zone—four tales of horror, lost souls and things that go bump in the night.

A prestige format “One-Shock” featuring top creative talent just in time for the most horrific month of the calendar year, AfterDark is a collection of tales you’ll want to read with the lights on! A disparate tale from a possible future; a chance encounter with a mythical Black-Eyed Kid, a children’s fable gone awry; and a gut-wrenching last meal at the local diner.

Darby Pop Announces the Winners of their 2nd Breaking Into Comics Contest

Darby Pop Publishing has announced the winners of its second “Breaking Into Comics” contest.  After hundreds of submissions were reviewed, and the top writers and artists were selected, Darby Pop created “teams” — with selected Artists bringing the winning Writers’ scripts to life for the ultimate anthology book, The Women of Darby Pop #1. Featuring 11 all-new stories, The Women of Darby Pop #1 comes to comic book shop shelves on September 28, 2016.

Winners Grid

The winners of Darby Pop’s “Breaking Into Comics” contest are writers and artists with reservoirs of passion, and varying degrees of experience.  Last year, with her young-adult mystery comic, Ma Douce Rose, 17-year-old Kate Davis was a winner of the “Future of Comics Contest” held at the Baltimore Comic-Con Kids Love Comics Pavilion.  Austin Bridges has a background in playwriting and is co-creator of an episodic radio adventure series Mermaid in Manhattan.  Matthew Cody is a professional novelist with published works in historical adventure (for kids), science fiction (for teens), and retro-pulp (for adults); his credits include the book Powerless.  Among his various creative endeavors, scriptwriter Adrian Reynolds is co-creator and writer of the science fiction web comic Dadtown.  Forrest C. Helvie is co-creator and writer of a children’s graphic novel, The Adventures of Whiz Bang: The Boy Robot.  Jeff Burns is creator, writer, and director of the Super Knocked Up web series.  Brent Hibbard has been working on 2-page kids’ comics for Kids Prize Pack, a monthly subscription box service. And the list goes on and on.

The two things the majority of the aforementioned Creatives have in common: a lifelong passion for comic books, and the dream of earning a living in the comic book industry.

Back in April, Darby Pop Publishing put out a call for the best short scripts (4 pgs. maximum) and sample art featuring (at least) one female character from Darby Pop’s lineup including heroes and villains such as: Stingray, Princess Power, and Gaia from Indestructible; Chloe from City: The Mind in the Machine; Superfecta 5 and Kathleen from The 7th Sword; Angela Garcia from Doberman; Vargas, Ayala Tal, and Dr. Nash from Dead Squad; Atalanta from Side-Kicked; Cynara Veil from Dead Man’s Party; Charli, Lucy, and Jill from Fake Empire, etc. etc.

And the call was answered.  In spades.

Women of Darby Pop_image_3

Review: A Taste For Killing #3

atok 003Creator driven comics by those trying to break into the industry are not exactly remiss by those that enjoy the medium, but neither do they necessarily always get the exposure which they sometimes deserve.  After all most creators had to start somewhere, and usually that place is not as prestigious as may seem.  To be fair though a lot of the material from these newcomers is full of the many traps of most early entrants into their fields, and while some of it is good, a lot of it is not very readable.  It is therefore a nice surprise to discover a comic such as A Taste For Killing, a title ostensibly geared towards horror, but which tends to be something a little bit more.

The story here follows that of a mermaid, or it might be a demon, though by the end the difference is not so pronounced.  It is written by Nikkol Jelenic, who also doubles as one of the artists.  The writing is lyrical at times, almost sounding more like a poetic fairy tale as opposed to the usual content that one expects from horror.  As the story progresses, there is a notable atmosphere built up around the role of man and the sea, and while it doesn’t reference any specific work from literature, it maintains this same theme, going more for a spooky appreciation of the abyss as opposed to having monsters jump out at the reader at all times.

The end result is still not quite as refined as what most readers will expect from the majority of their titles, but there is also a little bit more here in terms of both intermittent quality and overall potential.  There are some things which evidently don’t fit in here thematically and contextually, but there is also a lot that does work.  None of the creators here are household names for comic fans, but it seems that if they keep at it that at least a few of them will be.

Story: Nikkol Jelenic Art: Nikkol Jelenic. Leo Cherry, Jeff Bonesteel, Josh Shockley, James Duffendach, Mark McKenna, and Brian Spicer
Story: 7.6 Art: 7.6  Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Acid I Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.  

Baltimore Comic Con 2013: Review: PLB Comics 2013 Halloween Special

plb halloween special 2013Debuting this weekend at Baltimore Comic Con, independent comic book publisher PLB Comics have released their second annual Halloween Special. The hefty thirty-six page book is jam packed with tales of terror, suspense and revenge. The anthology overall is entertaining with some stories standing out more so than others, but the entire package is worth picking up.

Featuring a multitude of differing styles, this book features five self-contained stories with writing and artwork from such notable indie creators as Josh Shockley, Nikkol Jelenic, Cheltsey Vann, Ryan Thompson, Brandon Spicer, Brian Spicer, Miranda and James Dufendach, as well as a pin up by Buz Hasson and Ken Haeser creators of The Living Corpse.

While this Halloween Special has a higher page count than most comics, PLB has decided to keep it at the three-dollar price point, a great value for an independent comic. And overall a great jumping on point for anyone interested in checking out what PLB has to offer.

Overall the stories are pretty entertaining with the majority standing out in the good category. The art too is really good for an independent comic produced by a small publisher. Overall, it’s a solid entry.

The only knock I have at all is not all the stories fit a “Halloween” vibe. A greater focus on that would have made this a stronger release. Though overall, the stories are still good, so it’s not all bad.

PLB continues to show off their strengths. Their releases are consistently entertaining and the company deserves a dedicated following, one I hope they’re getting. Overall, the company is doing everything right as a micro-publisher. Finding interesting stories to tell with interesting characters and talented individuals to make that all happen.

If you’re at the convention this weekend are looking for a fun independent comic to grab, do yourself a favor and swing by their booth to check this one out.

Story: Josh Shockley, Brian Spicer, Miranda Dufendach, James Dufendach, Cheltsey Vann Art: Josh Shockley, Brandon Spicer, Ryan Thompson, Nikkol Jelenic, Cheltsey Vann
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

PLB Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

PLB Comics Announces Exclusive Cover for Baltimore Comic-Con

PLB 2012 BCC ExclusivePLB Comics will have an exclusive variant cover of Gideon & Sebastian: Predators and Prey #2 just for Baltimore Comic-Con. Gideon & Sebastian: Predators and Prey follows the exploits of Father Gideon West, a grizzled Vampire-hunting priest who is haunted by a horrific past, and Sebastian, a happy-go-lucky Vampire bitten in his prime who has volunteered to help the Vatican exterminate the Vampire menace. This odd couple rip through vamps while constantly taking jabs at one another, all the while harboring a grudging respect for each other.

The book is presented in an anthology style, with a collection of indie artists all giving their own unique perspective to the characters. Josh and Mathew Shockley, Nikkol Jelenic, Nathan Milliner, and James Dufendach have all lent their creative talents to this issue.

Priced at only $3, Gideon & Sebastian: Predators and Prey #2 promises to be one of Baltimore Comic-Con’s most inexpensive exclusives. Supplies are extremely limited so be sure to pick up your copy early.

PLB Comics on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/plb.comics

Website:  http://www.plbcomics.com/

I'll See You In Baltimore 2012This year’s confirmed guests for the show including: Guest of Honor, Stan “The Man” Lee (Saturday only!); Ken Bald (Golden Age Timely/Marvel artist); Marty Baumann (Pixar artist); Brian Bolland (Dial H, Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland); Mark Buckingham (Fables, Doctor Who); Greg Capullo (Batman, Spawn); Tommy Castillo (Grimm Fairy Tales); Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman); Frank Cho (Avengers vs. X-Men, Liberty Meadows); Steve Conley (Bloop webcomic www.bloopstree.com); Amanda Conner (Before Watchmen:  Silk Spectre); Lar deSouza (Looking For Group, Least I Could Do); Dan Didio (O.M.A.C.); Garth Ennis (The Shadow, Hellblazer, Preacher, The Boys); Rich Faber (Roboy Red); David Finch (Batman:  The Dark Knight); John Gallagher (Buzzboy); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman); Keith Giffen (Superman, O.M.A.C., Green Arrow); Gene Ha (Justice League); Larry Hama (G.I. Joe, Wolverine, The ‘Nam); Cully Hamner (Action Comics); Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, ACT-I-VATE, Trip City); Jamal Igle (KISS, Supergirl, The Ray); J.G. Jones (Wanted, Doc Savage); Barry Kitson (Captain America, Iron Man, Fantastic Four); Joe Kubert (Before Watchmen: Nightowl); Scott Kurtz (PvPonline.com); David Mack (Kabuki); Ron Marz (Artifacts, Voodoo); Bob McLeod (DC Comics Presents: Wonder Woman); Mark Morales (Avengers vs. X-Men); Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Brian Pulido (Lady Death); Frank Quitely (All Star Superman, Batman & Robin); John Romita, Jr. (Avengers Vs. X-Men); Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge); Stuart Sayger (Infestation 2: 30 Days of Night One-Shot); Walter Simonson (Thor, Legion of Super-Heroes, Avengers); Ryan Sohmer (Looking For Group, Least I Could Do); Scott Snyder (Batman, Severed, Swamp Thing); Brian Stelfreeze (ICE); Karl Story (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9); Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin); Billy Tucci (A Child Is Born, Shi); Matt Wagner (Tower Chronicles, Mage, Grendel); Mark Waid (Daredevil, Incorruptible, Irredeemable); Bernie Wrightson (Frankenstein).

This year’s Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 8-9, 2012. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, September 8th.

Review: The Fall: Vengeance & Justice #2

The Fall: Veangeance & Justice #2 CoverThe Fall: Vengeance & Justice #2 by PLB Comics is one of those series that’s easy to write off and overlook as its main character is so familiar.  But, by doing so, you’d be making a mistake.  Much like the first issue, the second shows off the talents of quite a few individuals.  The comic series is a series of shot stories centered on one character with this issue comprising of five parts.

Point of View is told from the perspective of The Fall as he goes on a mission of revenge against a racist who has committed murder.  The perspective is interesting and pretty well done.  It’s a twist that makes the story way more creative than the fairly straightforward revenge tale.

Running on Fumes just shows how much dedication The Fall puts into his mission.  The story goes on about all the physical issues he’s having as he forces himself to continue his fighting against crime.  Again, a pretty decent narrative twist.

Fatal Fortune involves a psychic reading for a criminal and an over the top description of The Fall.  This shows off the art more, which is a bit like Spawn, as if drawn by a fanboy.  Still, again it switches up what we see and adds another unique take to what could be monotonous stories.

Made to Kill has The Fall chasing down a murder and deciding to take justice into his own hands.

Drinking Tales involves various folks drinking telling tales of the mysterious hero.  Again, a different take on the character and storytelling that mixes it up.

The second issue is a solid continuation of the series that’s definitely worth picking up.  There’s some really great work here as far as story and art, well worth the purchase.

Story: Nathan Thomas Milliner, Josh Shockley Art: Nathan Thomas Milliner, Larry Crew, Nikkol Jelenic, Josh Shockley, Jim McMunn Publisher: PLB Comics

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

PLB Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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