Ghastly Recommendations: August 2013 Update
This article is based on information supplied by the Ghastly Awards website . . . . .
BC Refugee Blog acknowledges the good efforts of the Ghastly Awards to recognize outstanding work in Horror Comics every year. The Ghastly Award Judges work strictly on a volunteer basis. There is no paid staff and the awards are completely funded through sponsor donations.
Prior awards were mostly based on nominations through committee readings. Beginning in 2013, the Ghastly Awards switched over to a Submission based process. Comic Creators can submit their books for nomination consideration throughout the calendar year. The top five nominees in each category will be chosen by the Judges, and will then be voted on by the Judges, Creators and Fans to decide the winners.
ATTENTION COMIC CREATORS: BC Refugee Blog encourages you to take the time to head over to www.ghastlyawards.com and submit your work for 2013 Ghastly Award nomination consideration. You can submit your Horror Comic work throughout the calendar year.
For the month of August 2013 the judges are recommending you take a look at:
The Final Plague #2 (Action Lab) – “When you put animals in a comic you get my attention. When you put animals in a comic that are rabid and eat people then you really have my attention! This comic is in the vein of 28 Days Later in terms of spreading an infection from animal to human. Issue #2 seamlessly picks up where issue #1 left off and for those that haven't had a chance to read issue #1, I say do it now! I had such a fun time reading this comic. The writing was on point, engaging and the art really fit with all the various elements that were happening in the comic to create a really great cohesive story and I for one am chomping at the bit for Issue #3!” Spaced (https://twitter.com/Spaced4SimonPeg)
Bedlam #8 (Image) – “I admit when I first read the first issue of this series I thought of it as little more than a strange pastiche of the Batman/Joker relationship. But Bedlam has proven to be much, much more. While there is definitely some influence from the Caped Crusader, Bedlam has managed to create its own world filled with complex and grotesque characters. The latest arc introduces a terrifying new villain able to seemingly control people from a distance and have them unwittingly commit acts of mass violence, such as public bombings, or more personal attacks - such as those witnessed on the genuinely disturbing final page. Along the way we peel another layer from the mystery surrounding Fillmore Press - the former serial killer Madder Red - and a surprising revelation about super hero The First.” – Pedro Cabezuelo (http://www.rue-morgue.com/)
Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #2 (IDW) – “ I love me some kaiju. So to see Godzilla get the A+ treatment in a new comic book series makes me all sorts of happy inside. Especially when lettering is so remarkably on-point -- can a drawing be onomatopoeic? Because with Shawn Lee's gorgeous work, it sure is. I'm loving the Godzilla vs. a brand new ‘Zilla (picture the T-Rex mutant from 1998’s Godzilla) face off in Honolulu. Honolulu may lose that fight, but readers win y'all! Chris Mowry and Matt Frank definitely deliver the goods here, and even with aliens in the final pages (too much of a good thing, maybe?), I'm in this series for the long haul. You should be too.”- Denise Dutton ( http://atomicfangirl.com/ )
The End Of The Fucking World [TEOTFW] (Fantagraphics) – “TEOTFW is one of those graphic novels that reminds you how simplicity (done well) can really tug at your emotions. Sometimes more so than really intricately illustrated and worded graphic novels. TEOTFW is not about a world apocalypse, but rather an apocalypse of the mind. I tend toward more esoteric horror than the type of horror that's so in-your-face. TEOTFW is just that: a kind of avant-garde, esoteric horror that lingers on your mind for days. It's really daring...it's brutally simple while remaining unexplainably complicated. It takes the most common fears that we are taught to avoid or feel icky about and adds those to simple line drawings and copious amounts of black and white space. The combination is fascinating and dreadfully terrifying. TEOTFW utilizes our innate fear of things like strangers, sexual predators, bullies, murder, loneliness, feeling lost, dying alone, feeling out of control of your own life--like you might do something that you cannot control, and the "feeling of nothingness" to evoke a sense of dread and wonder. In fact, there's a strong feeling of dread throughout the entire graphic novel. If it's the realistic, hard up nature of life that terrifies you, read this graphic novel. If it's not...read it anyway, you'll still feel the exhilarating panic.” – Bree Ogden ( http://agentbree.wordpress.com/ )
Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn Quarterly) – “Drawn & Quarterly introduces the western world to Japan's coolest, creepiest kid hero character of all time--Kitaro! Created over half a century ago by manga mastermind Shigeru Mizuki, Kitaro is a kid with an arsenal of supernatural abilities, yokai (ghost) friends, and an eyeball for a father! He assists humans and horrors alike in keeping the balance between good and evil, with clever, inventive writing and a superb illustration style that can be fun, funny, scary, and downright horrific all within the same panel. Kitaro is a pop culture phenomenon in his own country, on par with Astro Boy and Ultra Man-- do yourself a favor and check out this collection immediately!” – Steve Banes (http://www.thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com/)
Five Ghosts #5 (Image) – “Every Sunday night my Twitter feed floods with posts ejaculating over how amazing Breaking Bad is (which is warranted), but I wish the same thing happened in comics because Five Ghosts reaches the same levels of insanity. Issue #5 concludes the first arc of the series, and what an wild, bat-shit crazy ride it has been. This comic has everything from horror to mythic fantasy, and the artwork is nothing short of gorgeous. Frank J Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham are just getting started, and you'd be nuts not to embark on this journey with them.” – Lonnie Nadler (http://bloody-disgusting.com/)
Dead House #1 (Self Published) – “It's not all about the established comic book companies and their product! There are plenty of young, hungry creators out there trying to break in and show the world what they have. A great place to find these people is at Comic Cons. I ran into artist Brian Flint at the Boston Comic Con and picked up a copy of his and writer Mike Spera's Dead House #1, a horror comic whose colorful cover caught my eye. Flint is a very unassuming guy ("the artwork gets better as the story goes on") who is clearly a fan of the genre. Dead House is about a reality show (called Dead House, naturally) which is like Survivor with zombie attacks. While this idea isn't exactly brand new (aren't there at least two television shows with that premise out or in the works?), the comic gets points for a bevy of interesting characters, though most can't get fleshed out in the scant 26 pages. But this is horror and it delivers what it should... gore and zombies! The artwork is pretty solid throughout, with bold blacks and lovingly detailed zombie-rot. There are eyes poppin', flesh fallin' and zombies being mangled, exactly what we want in a zombie comic. There were a few frustrating things in the print comic I bought; some misspellings and a page getting printed twice, but Flint informs me that those errors have since been corrected. The only other thing I can pick on is the varying lettering. A silly thing for me to mention but it managed to distract me a bit. But Dead House is worth a look for zombie fans and this should whet their appetite and hold them over while Flint works on the Graphic Novel, which should flesh out those characters and bring us more horror and gore! This is available as a digital copy at Lulu.” http://www.lulu.com/shop/brian-flint-and-mike-spera/dead-house/ebook/product-21168531.html - Mike Howlett (http://eeriepublications.blogspot.com/)
(Ghosted #2 (Image) – “Ghosted #2 continues the slow burn pace of the series, established in the first issue. We are given further background information on the heist team as well as the Trask family through flashback scenes, but we still don't know much about the operation at hand, or what dangers might lay ahead. There are a few scenes of supernatural activity, but they are short lived and don't really create any tension. Just when things are starting to heat up, the team leaves the house, safe and sound. Here's hoping they're trapped after sundown within the next few issues.” - Rachel Deering (https://twitter.com/racheldeering)
Rob Sacchetto's Cape Fear OGN (Zombie Portrait Productions) – “Where on Earth has the artwork of Sacchetto been all of my life? To say that this book is GORE-Geous is seriously an understatement, because panel after panel it left my jaw on the floor. It reminded me of Dave Cooper’s style from the Aircel days, with it’s detail in a fun animated style. The werewolf in this is by far one of the most solid monsters I have ever seen on a page and man I could not get enough of it. The lettering done is what really pushed this book to get the score that it did though. The sound effects jump off the page, and add that little extra touch to make this a book not to be missed. As if the artwork was not enough to pick up this book, I have to mention the story. At first I was not sure where this one was going, but as the chapters played out, and it all came together, I was hooked. The concept of a realm where fear is something that one being controls, and that privilege is fought over is very interesting. Add into that the mix of having Earth totems and how the monsters and people interact, and you have one compelling story. Do not read this review and think this is a book you should pass on, instead read this and know this is a book you need to check out. It delivers on all levels and will not let you down for even one second. This is what we call a hidden gem, so lets all work together to make sure it is hidden no more. Pick this one up!!!.” - Decapitated Dan (http://decapitateddan.blogspot.com/)
Creators and Publishers please make sure to go over to http://ghastlys.blogspot.com/ to submit your books for 2013 Nomination consideration! More information on how the submission process works can be found here http://ghastlys.blogspot.com/2010/10/submit-your-horror-comic-to-be.html
Founded in 2011 by Decapitated Dan with the help of Steve Banes, Mike Howlett, Lonnie Nadler and Mykal Banta, the Ghastly Awards recognize outstanding achievements in Horror Comics over a range of 15 different categories. The nominees are chosen by other horror comic book professionals and winners are chosen by a panel of judges. Since the start of the awards, 4 more judges have been added into the group.
Named for acclaimed comics creator “Ghastly” Graham Ingles, the awards are in their 2nd year. Created to honor excellence in Horror Comics, every comic creator had a say in who the nominees were by nominating their favorites, throughout the year.