Friday, November 11, 2016

"They Hunt Butterflies, Don't They?"

It's been awhile.

Quite honestly, this will likely be my last post on this blog. I've covered what I want to cover, posted what I wanted to post. Highlighted what I felt were some of the greatest horror comics from my youth and spread the love...

Except for one story, that is.

Everyone has those certain horror tales which take root in the fertile unconsciousness of childhood to become dark flowers as they grow older, and one of those nasty little seeds for me was the titular story to House of Mystery's issue 220, entitled "They Hunt Butterflies, Don't They?".

The twist at the end of this one is particularly unsettling and I love it! Keep buying those old comics everyone.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Is The Diary of Danny Drake

This Is The Diary of Danny Drake

Truly, it should come as no surprise that I am a fan of "Hellblazer"...

And since this series survived to Issue 300 in tough, comic-book times meant that lots of other people enjoyed the trials and tribulations of John Constantine as well. And why not? This series has some of the best written comic scripts in the past 20 years. To me, Hellblazer validated the comic medium into an adult medium. It was 'For Mature Readers Only' from the very beginning, and not just because of naughty pictures.

While I've enjoyed certain issues immensely, my favorite Hellblazer of all time has to be issue 56 "This Is The Diary of Danny Drake". There have been some amazing story arcs over this remarkable run, but this particular issue always struck a deep chord with me. A simple, done-in-one story of the lengths someone is willing to go to. I liked this frightening story because it reminded me of all those 'tragic twist of irony' tales from the comics of old. You make a deal with the Devil, and the Devil bends the rules...

Garth Ennis takes us to a pretty familiar place... After all, men have been bartering their souls in fiction with the Infernal Realms since the days of Faust. But then he throws in John Constantine... a man who once sold his soul in a very calculated fashion to three Devils just to get out of lung cancer... Cheeky bugger.

While John Constantine is no hero... he's a saint compared to Danny Drake. In true horrific fashion, Danny Drake shows us how far fear and desperation will take a man. Good stuff, Mr. Ennis. A nice retelling of a classic with a familiar end.

I'm not a huge fan of David Lloyd's art. Yes, he did "V for Vendetta" and that worked well. But his Chiaroscuro style never seemed right for newsprint and a 4-colour press to me. It's distinctive to be sure, but would be better suited for covers than interiors. To each his own, I suppose. Nonetheless, the story certainly works even if it has more stippling than I'm used to.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Papa Don

Click image to open link.

Over three years ago, way back on April 25, 2010, I had posted that I had located an old comic story I fondly remembered from my youth entitled "Papa Don". So, in the spirit of Hallowe'en, I've decided to (finally) upload that story for your enjoyment. Sure, it's no horror classic, but apart from picking up a rare old back-issue copy of SoHH #17, where the heck else would you find it?

This story was originally printed in October 1979. At that point, the mystery titles from DC had enjoyed a good 10-year run, but the Fall of the House of Mystery was beginning to show as 1980 approached. The DC mystery comics seemed stuck in the past... even trite. The Comics Code was suited for certain plot archetypes - and that shallow well had run dry. Even worse, those comic-buying kids were now looking up at the stars... and buying 'Star Wars' and 'Superman' comics!

Oh the power of movies... 

But horror comics never truly die... OK, they do, but then they rise from their inky graves and reinvent themselves! So let's hear it for zombies everyone! But let's remember where they came from...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Consumed By My FanFiction

Sorry I haven't been posting. I've been writing a massive Bruce Wayne FanFic entitled "Elsewhere". 

FanFic's give comics a lot of love. They're sort of like those old Marvel "What If?" comics without the pictures. And Jean Grey would burn you to a crisp, Logan... 

Anyways, it's interesting to see different takes and situations on characters we know and love, even if there are no pictures.

If there are any FanFic readers out there, feel free to check mine out. No slash, honest!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Made You Pie

A Christmas Greeting that I'm a little late on...

This is an Adobe Flash file that I was experimenting with for "scrolling panels". I think comic panels when made dynamic have a lot of potential. This is a simple one panel story that pans downward to the conclusion. Click on the image to jump to the link on then use Click On Image to start.

I'm lazy and Photoshop-filtered the background. The rest of the amateur artwork and colour-job is mine.

Warning: There is a little adult humor and blood.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

...And All Through The House...

Merry Christmas Johnny Craig...
Wherever you may be.

Vault of Horror, issue 35

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Karen Berger Leaves The House of Mystery

Another of the seven signs of the comic book apocalypse...

My favorite editor of all time is leaving DC comics. For those of you who do not know Karen Berger (and you should), she is/was the executive editor and senior vice president of DC's Vertigo imprint. She also brought Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman to DC and was editor on "The House of Mystery" back in the 'I...Vampire!' days until the end. She has three Eisner awards.

The very fact that Vertigo is folding is very sad. These were among the best comics available over the past 20 years. With tiny print runs. A lot of printed literature has small print runs these days, replaced by the pixel. That's evolution.

Whatever her future endeavors, I wish Karen Berger all the best and thank her for her stewardship of the many works which impacted my life.

How cool is Karen Berger?

The above page of Karen Berger, Len Wein and Paul Levitz in the House of Mystery's dungeon would have Women's Rights advocates... on edge... as we see a young lady (Karen Berger) in chains with throwing axes embedded into the walls around her. Obviously some sick, fanboy, bondage fantasy...

Karen Berger scripted that page.

Looking at it artistically (as you should), it can be interpreted as the editor saying "I live and die by my work." That's Karen Berger everyone.