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

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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

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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

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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

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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: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1

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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

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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.
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‘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

Review: ‘Velvet’ by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting

Velvet Deluxe HardcoverVelvet by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting
Image Comics (April 4, 2017)
416 pages; $33.99 deluxe hardcover
Reviewed by Gef Fox

I grew up with James Bond films as my sole reference for the spy genre, and I considered him a cartoonish one at that, since he became the stuff of parody by the time the ’80s came along. It wouldn’t be until I was all grownup when I learned more of the history of the genre. And  Ed Brubaker’s and Steve Epting’s Velvet, now compiled in a delicious deluxe hardcover, reads like a love letter to the spy genre’s golden era.Continue Reading

The Mad Monk of Comics: The Life of Alan Moore

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alanmooreWith the Killing Joke movie selling like proverbial hot cakes, DC has managed to prove that what might be too risky for big screen adaption is a welcome addition to adult animation. Almost 28 years after the initial release of the graphic novel, the storyline is still considered one of the most pivotal stories in Batman history and has not only redefined the Caped Crusader but launched (with other notable works) the career of Alan Moore. But who is Alan Moore? What motivates the author to get up in the morning and what secrets does his beard keep? While we probably won’t know the answer to a lot of questions thanks in part to his propensity for being mysterious, we can at least look back at his history and make some educated guesses. Continue Reading