Review: John Carpenter’s Night Terrors: Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke and Jason Felix

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Sour CandyJohn Carpenter’s Night Terrors: Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke and Jason Felix
Storm King Productions (March 2022)
104 pages; $17.99 paperback
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Back in 2015, I had the pleasure of reviewing Kealan Patrick Burke’s then-new novella, Sour Candy. You can see the full review here, but I’ll include the plot summary from that review below:Continue Reading

Review: Shadowman by Jamie Delano and Charlie Adlard

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of ShadowmanShadowman by Jamie Delano & Charlie Adlard
Valiant Entertainment (April 5, 2022)
272 pages; $24.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

When the first writer of the Hellblazer series (Jamie Delano) and one of the major artists of The Walking Dead series (Charlie Adlard) team up, readers know that something exciting is going to happen. Taking Valiant’s character Shadowman, these two artists were able to create a solid graphic novel of voodoo and horror in New Orleans that is sure to entertain any horror aficionado.Continue Reading

Review: The Book of Maggor Thoom by James Turner

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of The Book of Maggor Thoom by James TurnerThe Book of Maggor Thoom by James Turner
SLG Publishing (September 2021)
164 pages; $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Beware, Mortal! You hold the forbidden book of Maggor Thoom, a text from beyond sanity! Read further and your puny ape-brain will boil inside your skull and your eyeballs melt into a steaming ooze. For I am a being of impossible thoughts, who dwells on the surface of Azathoth, the living black hole, the cosmic chaos!

Continue Reading

Review: WereWoofs by Joelle Sellner and Val Wise

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Werewoofs

WereWoofs by Joelle Sellner and Val Wise
New Paradigm Studios (December 21, 2021)
160 pages; $7.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Joelle began her writing career as an advertising copywriter, creating award-winning campaigns for brands like In-N-Out Burger, Kleenex and Lexus. Since making the jump to screenwriting, she’s written several romantic comedy and family telefilms including Hallmark Channel’s Paris, Wine and Romance. Joelle has also written comics for Blizzard, DC, Marvel, and Dynamite Entertainment. Graphic novels for IDW/Lion Forge Comics include reboots of the NBC classic shows Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster. Her newest graphic novel is the YA horror book, WereWoofs.

The small, Midwest town of Howlett was established, long ago, by werewolves. When ordinary humans came in, they drove the werewolves underground, but all that’s going to change when the pack alpha disappears and his nephew takes over. Working at the Paw Paw dog food mill gives him certain advantages, including corrupting the donated food at local animal shelters with the virus that creates werewolves.

In the meantime, the baby of the pack, Mara, is struggling in high school. She’s been branded the freak of the class and has no friends. When a pack of dogs from the shelter break free and attack her classmates, however, she instantly gains some friends, especially when they begin shifting into dogs themselves. Her knowledge of werewolves and werewolf training helps them bond, but that still doesn’t solve the mystery of the missing alpha nor what caused the dogs in the shelter to go crazy. 

WereWoofs is a great YA graphic novel. There are horror elements, to be sure, but nothing too scary that a middle-grade or YA reader will be completely put off. Furthermore, the scenes of bullying and teasing in high school, as well as the problems with teachers, grades, crushes, etc. will connect well with a YA audience, as well as many adult readers. Val Wise’s cartoon style fits the narrative and the audience well, too. The characters are detailed enough to be realistic and not too cartoony, but they’re soft enough to not be overly realistic or scary; there’s an excellent balance that Wise has achieved with her art which only serves to propel the narrative further.

Overall, WereWoofs is a fun story about lycanthropy and high school. It’s not too graphic or over-the-top, but it’s also not too cheesy as to upset or put off any of its target readers. It’s a solid mystery, open-ended mystery tale combined with high school drama that makes for a fun read.

Review: Stars, Hide Your Fire by Kel McDonald and Jose Pimienta

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Stars, Hide Your Fire by Kel McDonald and Jose Pimienta

Stars, Hide Your Fire by Kel McDonald and Jose Pimienta
Iron Circus Comics (October 5, 2021)
162 pages; paperback $15; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Andrea and Darra live in a dead-end Massachusetts town, making their way through high school with hopeful (but slim) dreams of escape. Everything’s going according to plan until a chance encounter with an otherworldly spirit named Carmen changes everything! Carmen promises Andrea eternal life, but a mysterious young boy named Liam shows up claiming he had also made a deal with Carmen, and it didn’t go well . . . 100 years ago. Liam must convince his new friends of Carmen’s evil nature before Andrea is tricked into a supernatural bargain that will upend her new life before it even starts in Stars, Hide Your Fire written by Kel McDonald and illustrated by Joe Pimienta.Continue Reading

Review: Daphne Byrne by Laura Marks, Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of the graphic novel Daphne ByrneDaphne Byrne by Laura Marks, Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen
DC Comics (November 2020)
160 pages; $24.99 hardcover
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

14-year-old Daphne Byrne lives in a world where she doesn’t belong. Her father was the only person who understood her, but he died in a disgraceful way, a way that gives gossips plenty to talk about. This is 1886 in New York, and Daphne’s morbid, literate, precocious personality doesn’t fit well in a time and place where women are expected to be docile and obedient. The other girls at school all make fun of her, so she doesn’t fit in anywhere.Continue Reading

Review: The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard

The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard
Iron Circus Comics (February 2021)
320 pages; $18 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Abby Howard is a cartoonist whose interests include dinosaurs, horror, and Spoons, her beautiful cat. She’s been drawing comics since she first discovered there was such thing, eventually putting them online and gaining a following of over 30,000 fans. Her newest collection is The Crossroads at Midnight, a teen horror collection of five short comic stories.Continue Reading

Review: You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife edited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife

You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife edited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell
Iron Circus Comics (March 31, 2021)
260 pages, $20 Paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

In her introduction to You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife, Caitlin Dougherty compares the anthology to a medieval memento mori. This is a fitting comparison. This book is both a reminder, to the reader, that they will die, but also about the equanimity of death. Everyone will die, and once they’re dead, there’s nothing in this world that they can do about it. This anthology confronts these facts head on, and in a way, helps the reader confront their own deaths as well as the deaths of those they love.Continue Reading

Review: Shiver by Junji Ito

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of shiver by junji ito

Shiver by Junji Ito
VIZ Media (December 2017)
400 pages; $22.99 hardcover, $15.99 ebook
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Junji Ito is one of Japan’s top horror manga creators. His short story collection Shiver — which at almost 400 pages of length is longer than average for manga — gives a glimpses into what makes him so popular.Continue Reading

Review: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Blood 1Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1
Ahoy! Comics (October 2020)
32 pages; $4.99
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Following their Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror line of comics, Ahoy Comics is releasing Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood. These are all anthology comics, so people can start reading them anywhere in the series.

The first issue of Snifter of Blood contains the stories “The Black Dog,” “Atlas Shrugged,” “Werewolf Hangover,” “Finally,” and “Deep Cover.” The first two are comics with sequential art, and the last three are flash fiction with an introductory illustration. While each story has something of its own tone, they all similarly have twist endings and moments of humor in the midst of horror. Edgar Allan Poe, like the Crypt Keeper for Tales from the Crypt, gives some commentary and introductions to stories.Continue Reading

Review: Last Dance by Hanna Schroy

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Last Dance by Hanna Schroy

Last Dance by Hanna Schroy
Iron Circus Comics (January 2021)
200 pages; $11.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Hanna Schroy is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Austin. She has participated in a multitude of self-published anthologies including Girls! Girls! Girls! curated by Alex Perkins and Thicker Than Blood curated by Mengmeng Liu. She is a long-time dance enthusiast and recent amateur gardener. Her newest endeavor is the middle-grade graphic novel Last Dance.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Hap and Leonard: Savage Season’ adapted by Jussi Piironen

Hap and Leonard: Savage Season adapted and illustrated by Jussi Piironen
Short, Scary Tales Publications/IDW (October 2017)
124 pages; £39.95 signed, numbered hardcover; $17.99 paperback; $7.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Joe R. Lansdale’s “Hap and Leonard” series isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind when considering what books would benefit from being adapted in graphic novel form. Lansdale’s series, about a couple of blue collar buddies whose keen sense of right and wrong gets them into escalating amounts of trouble with bad guys and good guys alike, is elevated by the author’s sharp dialogue and natural storytelling ability—two things which could easily be lost in translation when moving to the more visual medium of comics.Continue Reading

Christopher Golden on Hellboy and his Assortment of Horrors

Obviously, there’s no name more synonymous with the character of Hellboy than that of creator Mike Mignola. However, Christopher Golden runs a close second. Golden, a prolific best-selling author of original novels, media tie-in books and countless short stories, helped pioneer the line of Hellboy prose novels and anthologies, beginning with 1997’s The Lost Army and continuing this month with Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors. He’s also a screenwriter (along with Mignola and Andrew Cosby) of the upcoming Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, the Neil Marshall-directed reboot of the Hellboy film franchise. Golden was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk with Cemetery Dance Online about his long history in the world of Hellboy.
Continue Reading

‘Creepshow’ Makes a Comeback

Creepshow CoverIt’s unusual for a Stephen King book to be out of print, but that’s been the case with Creepshow, the 1982 adaptation of the George Romero-directed, King-scripted move of the same name. The original edition published by Plume has only been available on the collector’s market—usually at a cost well above its original $6.95 price tag.

If you’ve been holding out, your luck’s about to change. In honor of the 35th (!) anniversary of the book and movie, Gallery 13 is releasing a brand new edition of Creepshow. It arrives May 9 full intact and nearly identical to the original edition, albeit with a slightly higher cover price ($18) and some minor cosmetic differences.Continue Reading