Hack and Slash = Blood and Hottie
I Can Smell Your Ink Vol 1
Comics, Artists, and Graphic Novels that rule!
Atomic Matt - Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Welcome to the first installment of I Can Smell Your Ink. To briefly introduce myself to you, I am Atomic Matt. Horror and comics have pretty much been in my life since I was a toddler and I wouldn't have it any other way. I use to run and manage the flagship store for Atomic Comics in Mesa working there for about 5 years and just recently resuming my employment. So, if you like what I have to say or want to say what's up you can usually find me at the Mesa or Chandler Atomic Comics locations.
With that out of the way, I have some pretty legit books to bring to the table and make sure you guys are checking this stuff out. Far too much in the world of comics goes unnoticed, a lot of good and great stuff never gets the attention it deserves. That's where I come in, every month I will put the spotlight on three new books, a graphic novel, and a comic creator. I'm sure you will find them worth checking out. So, why don't we get started?
Hack/Slash #1: My First Maniac Written By: Tim Seeley Art By: Daniel Leister
Hack/Slash has been around for awhile now, but this is the debut issue of Hack/Slash moving to Image Comics. The concept of Hack/Slash has always been very appealing to me, especially since I love the cliché rules of most horror movies. Every classic horror movie has that one girl who manages to either kill or escape the killer and survive till the end credits. The Hack/Slash story picks up after the end credits with Cassie Hack. She survived her own mother, the Lunch Lady, coming back from the dead and tormenting her high school and now she's vowed to hunt down and kill all the slashers she can manage to find. My First Maniac jumps back to Cassie's teen years and is somewhat of an Origin story for Cassie. It all predates her partnering up with the hulking Vlad and before Hack/Slash Inc was created with other survivors she discovered.
The book also marks the return of Daniel Leister, which is refreshing, as he was the series artist when the book wrapped at Devil's Due Publishing. There's no time like an origin story to hop on a series and give it a shot, and if you end up enjoying the book the on-going series will continue in the near future and you will be able to catch up on all the old mini-series and on-going shortly as Image is reprinting the graphic novels.
iZombie #1 Written By: Chris Roberson Art By: Michael Allred
I will admit that I only picked this book up because of the title. I am a zombie freak, so to speak, and was drawn to it. I am glad I was, because this book was not anything like I expected at all and it has some serious potential to be one of the best books on the shelf shortly. The story follows Gwen, a grave digger. It doesn't take long before we're introduced to the off nature of the book as she meets up with her friend, Ellie, who is a ghost from the 1950s. Shortly there after we meet their friend, Scott, who is apparently a wereterrier. You know, like a werewolf but a terrier dog instead. Also among the bizarre cast of characters is a group of vampires that seem to run a paint ball range.
Back to the point though, Gwen is a zombie and has to eat a human brain once a month to, as she describes it, not go all "night of the living dead". Hence her job as a gravedigger, east access to freshly dead brains. The problem is Gwen inherits all of memories from the person whose brain she eats and sometimes they have final requests that she now feels obligated to carry out. Over all, I haven't been this psyched by a book in a long time.
Chris Roberson is seemingly new to the comic scene but he's doing a great job so far and as always Michael Allred's art is fun to look at. Did I mention that the first issue is currently only $1.00? Don't miss out. Go pick it up.
SHIELD #1 Written By: Jonathan Hickman Art By: Dustin Weaver
I didn't discover this book on my own, I actually had a co-worker point this one out for me and to be honest, I am amazed I had no knowledge of it. The concept is pretty genius. It answers the question, if you ever wondered, why Earth was never under attack by aliens and other threats in the Marvel universe prior to super heroes rise during World War II. Turns out that answer is it was, and historical figures like Imhotep, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Galileo spent a chunk of their lives stopping known and unknown threats from destroying the world centuries before the Avengers or X-Men ever existed.
It also shows that the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization is just as old dating back to a shield Imhotep used while defending the world and how they adopted his use of it as their symbol and name. The writing is just as good as the concept, as Hickman is notorious for his outside the box thinking and fantastic writing. The art is very well done, I foresee Weaver getting a lot more work thanks to this series and I wouldn't have a problem with that at all. At the time of this writing, two issues are out and I recommend picking it up before it becomes hard to find and you have to wait months for the graphic novel.
Featured Graphic Novel Fragile Written By: Stefano Raffaele Art By: Stefano Raffaele
This book is a few years old but I can pretty much assure you that it doesn't get the attention it deserves. Too shortly sum it up, it's a zombie love story. That in itself was appealing enough for me to give it a try, but the other details and ideas of the book are really what hooked me into actually purchasing Fragile. The story takes place in a world where the zombie apocalypse has already come. Here, if you die, you become a zombie no matter how you died. Presumably it's an airborne contagion that once you breathe it you're destined to be part of the living dead. However, the real catch is when you reanimate you are your normal self, just dead, at least for a while. The more time you spend as a zombie the more you decompose and rot. The more your decay the more you become a traditional zombie, losing memories, motion functions and well, you get the idea.
So, the story follows a pair of zombie lovers who met after they died and they are on the run from zombie hunters and trying to find a cure for their curse. There is rumor there is a drug that could and would halt the decomposition of the dead giving them eternal life together.
This book was an original graphic novel, meaning it never hit the shelves as single issues so don't bother trying to find them because they don't exist. This was was solely created by Stefano Raffaele, which is amazing to me that someone could be so talented writing and drawing. So, if you get a chance, hit up your local comic store and pick up a copy of this book. If they don't have it, ask them to order a copy for you. It's worth it.
Featured Creator Ben Templesmith
If you frequent a comic book store odds are you're familiar with Ben Templesmith. Love or hate his work, he's helped redefine modern horror comics. He virtually came out of no where with the smash hit 30 Days of Night and have been on a rampage ever since. He has a very unique style of art that you, honestly, have to be in the mood for. Not only that, but in order for his art to be fully effective, I believe it has to be put to a dark, gritty, or noir style of story.
His art doesn't exactly scream happy go lucky, and for me that's the best part of it. It didn't take Ben long to branch out and get a few of his own projects entirely. Singularity 7 was a couple years after 30 Days of Night and he both wrote and drew that 3 issue mini-series. However, I think Ben reached his current height of stardom in the comic universe with Wormwood Gentlemen Corpse, another book he fully creates.
Since, he hasn't had many misses with books like Fell, Welcome to Hoxford, Groomlake, and Choker to name a few, he has remained one of the more prominent creators and is certainly worthwhile of your attention if you haven't given it yet. If you have no interest in his work, I may add that Ben is by far the most genuine of all creators I've met and each time I've met him has been a great experience. He's very accessible to his fans through Facebook and Twitter and truly seems to love what he does and who he does it for.
Little preview of Hack/Slash