Press release follows:
Category Archives: Horror
Dan Dougherty is an accomplished cartoonist and illustrator who can handle anything from humor to horror and, believe it or not, a mashup of the two. His latest project takes a decidedly dramatic and intriguing tone, a tale about a woman with a most disturbing version of the Midas Touch, now available at Beardocomics.com.
In his own words, Dan provides the details:
I’m proud to announce an exciting new project: Touching Evil. It’s the first comic book I’ve fully written since Cyclone Bill and the Tall Tales. It’s also the first time that I’ve had my illustrations colored by a professional. Wesley Wong has done color work for years, most notably on the Marvel Masterworks series. He inked and colored Touching Evil, and has really taken my work to a new level that I couldn’t reach on my own.
So what is Touching Evil? The quick pitch is this: “An unsuspecting single mother stumbles upon an ancient curse. As the bearer of the curse, she can kill anyone simply with the touch of her hand – provided that the person is evil.”
If that piques your interest, that’s only the beginning! For not only does she have the dilemma of being a defense attorney, she is also completely unprepared to carry something so powerful. And power has a funny way of attracting those who want it. And those who want it tend to do whatever it takes to get it.
The first story arc of Touching Evil will be five to six issues in length, and – if it is successful – will be the basis for an ongoing series. As you can imagine, this idea is ripe with possibilities.
But before I get too carried away with it, I need to begin at the beginning. And I’m hoping you’ll join me for the ride. Issue one of Touching Evil is now available on my website, http://www.beardocomics.com/store . It’s only $5 plus shipping, and if you order it, I’ll throw in a copy of issue one of Cyclone Bill and the Tall Tales, which is long since out of print.
If you DO order it, follow the prompts on the order form. Once you see the screen that gives you your order number and says, “Your order has been correctly sent and will be processed as soon as possible,” then just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the “Buy Now” button that will take you to Paypal. You don’t need a Paypal account to pay, it will take a credit card.
I’ve attached the cover image (done by Stephen Bryant) for issue one to show you the kind of quality that went into this book.
Visit our friends at Beardocomics.com.
I love Kickstarter. The ride has been exhilarating. You learn so much when you do a Kickstarter campaign. It really does come down to basics. You learn about yourself, what you’re trying to communicate, how you communicate. This video is interesting to me. I like it. And I know it could be improved upon, believe me. But, overall, I like it. I even love it. And I love my campaign that you can view HERE.
I like myself. Wait, check that, I lOVE myself. That’s important because you have to have a thick skin and accept whatever happens during a campaign. You need to keep perspective. You need to be able to step back and ask yourself if you’ve reached as many people as you’re going to reach during a campaign. I’m still gauging that. Maybe there are some people that I reached but wasn’t able to get them to that last step, the actual pledge. Maybe I missed a whole lot of people somehow. Well, so it goes. That’s the healthy approach. But, yes, there’s plenty of people still to reach. Big hint here to WordPress to make this a Freshly Pressed post! I will state here, without a doubt, I also love WordPress!
And I love all my readers: Hey, go for it! Support this campaign as best you can! Repost this. Give it an official LIKE. Spread the word in any which way you can. Maybe I just had to ask.
You learn, in a pretty significant way, what really matters in goal setting. You set out to achieve a compelling goal that is within your grasp and is in need of funds. Sounds pretty simple. And it can be. For me, my project came naturally to me. And, with only hours left in this campaign, I am so glad I did it, even if I don’t reach my goal. However, who wouldn’t like to reach their goal, especially one that has been carefully thought out and nurtured as mine has? Well, you’re right, I do dearly want to see my comics project make it.
This is a work years in the making and something that will attract readers from many directions: horror, sci-fi, humor, even romance. It will attract readers who love good quirky and offbeat stories. You know who you are! It will attract readers of good solid alternative comics with attention to slice-of-life details. If you love the more artful and literary comics, then this is for you. Each of the short works is an unusual story of self-discovery. One involves a man who must come to grips with killing a bear. Another, the title work, is about a luxury hotel with charming ghosts who are disturbed my a couple of guests with way too much emotional baggage. This story, set in the Sorrento Hotel, refers back to a lot of Seattle history and has a steampunk quality to it. There are a total of four short works that originated from 24-Hour Comics Day experiments. The long story is a coming-of-age piece about a young man’s first adventure in New York City. You can interpret that story in more than one way. So, I’ll keep fighting the good fight. I will. Because it’s so worth it.
You need to carry yourself like you’ve already won, even if it seems like there’s a certain level of indifference. You do this because you trust in yourself the most.
And I’ll definitely keep you posted after this campaign comes to a close on May 6. I’d love to read your feedback and share more of what I’ve learned. But, for now, there’s a campaign still under way! How bad do I want this thing? Pretty bad! You’ve got all the rest of this weekend and all the way through Monday. After that, we’ll talk and see how it goes. Just go to Kickstarter, A NIGHT AT THE SORRENTO AND OTHER STORIES on Kickstarter thru May 6, and head over HERE.
With this new arc, “What You Want, Not What You Need,” the scope of this saga hits you. A story has been allowed to breathe freely and unfold luxuriously. It feels well lived in and we don’t want it to stop. You don’t care, on some level, if Rupert Giles ever comes back to life. Part of you knows it’s just wrong. And part of you knows that some things just need to happen. And that’s okay. It’s not like the characters are totally in agreement on what should happen next! That’s okay too. We want conflict. And, you read it here at Comics Grinder first, there’s a lot to be said for taking this whole thing and turning it into an animated movie! That says a lot for the comic, is what I’m saying, really. It does engage you in such a way that you get lost in the characters. Now, the fact is, stories should get to breathe and follow one thought to the next. That is what supposedly happens when you have an event comic but, in reality, that is too often an opportunity to just string along a fan base. Not so here. Dark Horse Comics cares about its readers and “Angel and Faith” is an excellent case in point.
We love Christos Gage in charge of the script. We love Rebekah Isaacs in charge of the art. The whole look and feel is outstanding. And where did Faith’s tattoo come from? I’m sorry, maybe that’s from the original television series. Well, I’m sure it is but I have only seen a few episodes. Not a true believer, huh? I have to do some marathon viewing someday. Is anyone rocking a Faith tattoo? You’re probably out there. Ah, those little details. Then there’s Angel’s nipple ring! We know, for sure, what that’s all about. It is a little relic that helped in the hunt for remnants of the soul of Ruper Giles. And here we are, all the elements to the Giles soul have been safely gathered into a magic bowl and the body of Ruper Giles has been carefully preserved and sits nearby on an operating table. The question is, What to do next? Proceed? Or run like hell? Well, there’s always that tricky question of getting enough super magic juice to jump start this project. That sticky issue comes to a head here because where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Is that Pearl we see reflected in Faith’s sword on the cover art above? Why, I believe it is. And why would that be, do you think? Well, Pearl and Nash are the baddies feverishly looking for any bits of magic still around. And you’ve also got Whistler, Angel’s former mentor, now arch-nemesis, in on the hunt too. Since Angel needs magic like nobody’s business, there’s a strong likelihood of there being a clash and so it is in this issue. It is a wonderful clash, interlaced with the action involved in attempting to bring Giles back from the dead! When you think of all the explanations out there for time travel, some tend to be more poetic and some try to sound as authentic as possible. We’ve got a little of both going on with the Giles resurrection project. Alasdair Coames, in all his fuddy-duddy wizardy, leads the operation in a brilliant fashion. But, as the title for this final arc suggests, is it all for naught? Or worse yet, should one really give pause and ask if they should be careful for what they wish for? At such a late date, should this still be a question? Well, read and find out.
“Angel and Faith #21″ is available as of April 24. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics here.
Dark Horse Comics offers up another musical crossover in comics, a story to accompany Stone Sour’s double album, “House of Gold & Bones.” It is written by the group’s lead vocalist and lyricist, Corey Taylor. Art is by Richard Clark. Colors are by Dan Jackson. The cover art is by Jason Shawn Alexander. If you enjoy the gritty world of hard rock, and even if you haven’t tried it all that much, this story is appealing. Think of it as a hard rock fantasy about a dude and ghosts and hell. Everything is screwed up. The dude is lost. The dude has to find his way home. It’s that basic and that cool.
This four-parter, begins with “The Overture,” and sees our hero trying to make sense of where he is and what’s happened to him. It sure looks and feels weird, wherever he is. The artwork and coloring are working really well with the script and the hard rock vibe. You could almost do away with any words. But the added details from the script are essential. There’s a lot going on. The dude is not just a dude. He’s called “the human” by some devilish character named, “Allen.” These two have met before, for sure. They’re twins. But it’s not clear yet how that came about.
For added enjoyment, of course, read this comic along with Stone Sour’s double album. Check them out here.
As a bonus, at the end of this comic there’s an excerpt from Corey Taylor’s new book, “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven,” due out this July by Da Capo Press, and which is far from heavenly. The excerpt shares the start of a frightful childhood memory about the local haunted house. Check that out here.
“House of Gold & Bones #1″ is available as of April 17. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics here.
“Antiviral” is a film that spreads like a virus. We see our main character, Sid March (Caleb Landry Jones) on his long downward spiral, doing his dance with death, almost all at first glance. We know he’s sick. We even know he’s doomed. All from our first view of him, up there on a rooftop, the billboard staring down at him, promising the impossible.
That is what Sid March peddles, the impossible. In a society that has nosedived into complete and total obsession with celebrity, Sid’s employer, the Lucas Clinic, offers its clients an opportunity to be closer to their obscure object of desire. For a fee, anyone can literally own a piece of a superstar. They can own the same virus inhabiting the body of that superstar. They can experience the same sweet pain: the fever, the convulsions, the bleeding. This is what turns society on in the future and Sid March is at the forefront. The only problem is that perhaps the dealer has gotten too close to the poison he sells.
Caleb Landry Jones knows how to command the screen with just a stare or a sigh. He reminds one of Tilda Swinton when she first came onto the scene. He has those same arresting features and attitude. “Antiviral,” to some degree, even brings to mind Swinton’s breakout role in 2002′s “Teknolust,” which revolves around human folly with human genetic modification. In the case of “Antiviral,” the comedic breaks are in the service of an even darker and juicier satire. You even have Malcolm McDowell in this, for crying out loud! Oh, yes, the tension runs through like a high fever. It is a very consistent vision that writer and director, Brandon Cronenberg, maintains to great effect.
As Cronenberg points out, this obsession with celebrity is not new. Just consider the worship of a finger bone from a saint. That doesn’t make it any healthier, of course. Today it’s not saints. It’s the products from the entertainment industry. Cronenberg’s theme is about “the mania that drives that industry.” In an interesting scene early on in the movie, the director of the Lucas Clinic, Dorian (Nicholas Campbell), is asked by a reporter to answer allegations that he is contributing to a mental sickness by providing a means for clients to contract a celebrity’s sickness. He states what Cronenberg has said himself, “Celebrities are not people. They’re a group hallucination.”
The mania is totally out of control. People’s desire of celebrity knows no limits. Prime cuts of human beef grown from celebrity cells are the norm. Given an insatiable desire, a black market is sure to follow. Syd sealed his fate long ago when he decided to traffic in celebrity product stolen from his employer. Couple that with his own celebrity obsession, and it is clear that Syd’s future is far from bright. And you just can’t continue to transport human viruses inside your own body without some really weird and tragic consequences.
The fact that celebrities are not real people, but an impossible ideal, is the real topic up for discussion in this film. It’s about humans entrenched in a belief beyond human. And we see this played out on an often stark, clinical white, backdrop, only relieved by the close-up of the goddess. In this case, it is one Hannah Geist (Sarah Gadon) who is described over and over again as perfectly beautiful beyond human terms. We see the real flesh and blood Hannah Geist for brief intervals. She is human, vulnerable, all too human. But even when confronted with the real live Hannah Geist, all some can see is the ideal. Like Marilyn Monroe, the celebrity will endure and can fully manifest itself once it’s done away with its human shell.
“Antiviral” is an engaging mix of horror, thriller, and sci-fi, sharing a sensibility with the filmmaker’s father’s work, David Cronenberg. It is fortunate for us and a sign of great works to come from this young filmmaker.
IFC Midnight will release ANTIVIRAL theatrically at The IFC Center and on VOD April 12th 2013.
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES: Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download 5/21 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group
“Beautiful Creatures” is the first installment of the new kid on the block of young adult budding franchises. This time around, it’s all about witches, or “casters,” thank you very much.
You can get “Beautiful Creatures” on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download starting on May 21, 2013.
Press release follows:
“Mac & Cheese” is grab-you-by-the-throat intense but it’s not without its sense of style. This horror short is teeming with style from its rather peculiar food motif to its tweaking of horror movie tropes. The roles of sadist and victim fall to mother and daughter and roll right through at a fever pitch to the very end in this little gem, all of fifteen minutes long.
The mom, played to the hilt by Amanda Brooke Lerner, is a classsic monster. The daughter, played by Julia Garner, doesn’t get much of a chance to speak but conveys emotion hauntingly. And Stacey, the potential source of help from the outside world, has a lively presence. She gives us a female version of that nuanced performance by Martin Balsam in “Psycho.”
Written and directed by Lutfu Emre Cicek, this short shows us a new talent willing to take risks. Cicek turns macaroni and cheese into a very compelling visual. He finds a number of ways of turning one of the most innocuous things into anything but innocuous. And he has a healthy taste for blood.
“Mac & Cheese” will be showing as part of the NewFilmmakers NY Series on March 6 at Anthology Film Archives on the Lower East Side at 32 Second Avenue & 2nd Street. Tickets for Winter Screening Series 2013 are only $6 and are good for the whole night’s screenings and receptions. They are available at the Anthology Box Office the night of screening. For more information go to the NewFilmmakers NY website here.
A full schedule for the March 6 program follows:
“Angel and Faith #19″ closes out the story arc, “Death and Consequences” to set the stage for what’s got to be one of the most anticipated finales in comics. Think about how much comics goodness A&F provide and they aren’t being hyped as some big comics event. No, it’s just really good stuff. You see it in how carefully the fight scenes are choreographed. And you certainly see it, even feel it, in all that quintessential Whedon banter going on.
OK, SPOILERS FOLLOW…
Try as I might to simply comment and keep to what has already been made known, one can never be too sure so I tread lightly and give you a full warning before I say anything that might be considered spoiler dirt. I’m not going to go over the whole story anyway but, still, we want to be respectful and allow everyone a safe and enjoyable A&F reading experience.
That said, what I wish to share with you mostly is the continued joy in reading the words of Christos Gage and “reading” the art of Rebekah Isaacs. Funny, but there actually is a lot of reading of the art in A&F. All you have to do is consider the multitude of attitude we get from slayer Nadira. Fun to watch. You get plenty of dynamic body language throughout whether it’s Angel and Spike exchanging zingers about Buffy or Faith having to hold her own in various encounters and confrontations. Even such a huge mess as that colossal demon, Eyghon, comes to life under the adroit fingers of Ms. Issacs.
Basic info is handled with grace too. It is not some heavy burden to dole out. The things we need to know, or be reminded of, are referred to very naturally. Yeah, the comic rests on a solid foundation of Buffy canon, dedicated fans, and dedicated Dark Horse comics talent. This comic embraces what it’s all about and you end up with a clear and clean artistic expression. Ultimately, you get the pay offs to the build up. Angel is looking at his worst, and at his best, right now. The stage is set, my friend, and we salute Dark Horse for the effort.
“Angel and Faith #19″ is out now. Grab yourself a copy. Visit our friends at Dark Horse.
With distinctive wit, writer/producers Steve Kriozere (“NCIS”) and Mark A. Altman (“Castle”) present “Elvis Van Helsing.” This was intended to be a TV show so that provides added interest to the graphic novel that resulted in 2010. In this case, the graphic novel stands alone very nicely as offbeat horror.
Elvis Yang is a 20-something who would be quite content to have no goals for the rest of his life, just be a whirling dervish. However, during his six years (and counting) as an undergrad, he has demonstrated flashes of sheer brilliance. It has attracted the likes of Bob Woodward and Stephen King. If Elvis needs something, these guys have his back.
Kriozere and Altman have faithfully captured that wating, that unfocused yearning, for greatness experienced by an endless array of “losers” quietly aging on a multitude of campuses. But Elvis is supposed to be different, right? He’s the slacker that makes it, right? Kriozere and Altman leave you guessing.
The artwork by Jason Baroody and the production by Zach Matheny are sympathetic to this kind of deadpan goofy humor. Even after Elvis discovers his true calling as Elvis Van Helsing, heir to a distinguished traditon of killing off vampires, demons, and various ghoulies, the action remains disconnected and low-key. Kinda cool, huh? That said, the art is not dull. It’s dynamic in its own way, in an ironic cool way. I’d call it a “sarcastic flatness.” Or maybe it’s an endearing flatness. Either way, it works.
Why do I like “Elvis Van Helsing”? Well, because it’s the sort of thing I would be proud to say I had written. It runs the risk of being misunderstood but it is a risk worth taking. If you’re going to take an offbeat path, then embrace it, baby. And that’s what this creative team does with this graphic novel.
It’s also important to point out that this story, while unconventional, it not just random. You’ve got a well crafted plot with characters that have key roles to play. The whole dynamic between Elvis and the couple who adopted him is intriguing. He’s an Anglo surfer dude and his parents are a traditional Korean couple. Their idea of letting loose is singing karaoke after dinner, especially Elvis songs. Evis’s best friend, Randy, is a perfect foil as an even less focused version of Elvis, if that’s even possible. And then you’ve got two beauties competing for the mind and soul, if not heart, of Elvis: Vanessa, a Vamparella type; and Ariel a seductive and mysterious blonde who will only meet after midnight.
The payoff to this graphic novel is that you have a journey worth taking. Ultimately, you get a story about a dude way over his head, on some excellent adventures that leave you wanting more. Along the way, Elvis Yang becomes Elvis Van Helsing, the heir to the greatness he’d been searching for but was clueless about. Has he grown wiser? Was he wise all along? That is the enigma worth exploring.
“Elvis Van Helsing” is an offbeat horror graphic novel that provides twists and turns to an overall engaging story.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Comics Grinder will publish an exclusive interview this Wednesday with Steve Kriozere, the co-creator with Mark A. Altman, of the hit show, “Femme Fatales.”