EXCL. PREVIEW: Superman Escapes a Black Universe in "Dark Knight III" #5
This quietly sinister webcomic has been tearing up the comics Internet over the past few Halloween-dominated days, and for good reason. Presenting “His Face All Red” by Emily Carroll — a beautifully colored little nightmare with an ending as black as the background. When I finished it, I actually muttered “whooo” out loud, I was so impressed. Enjoy, if that’s the word for it.
(Via Tom Spurgeon)
News & Previews
Marvel Zombies Supreme coming in March 2011
The Littlest Pirate King
Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and The Great Puppet Theater
A first look at the Mignolaverse titles for next February
Dracula: The Company of Monsters #3 preview
Comics & Stories
Parasomnia, by Greg Hinkle, STORM, Jason McNamara and Matt Silady (introduction, part one, part two, part three, part four)
S.H.O.O.T. First: “The House That Ate Halloween” by Justin and Jesse Aclin
Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee,” illustrated by Greg Hinkle
Gone Fishin’ by Cullen Bunn
“The Silent Auction” by Cullen Bunn
“Friedly’s Treats” by Cullen Bunn
“The Best Costumes Are Homemade” by Cullen Bunn
“I Remember When the Monsters Started Coming for the Cars” by Sean T. Collins and Isaac Moylan
To wrap up our Halloween treats today, our own Sean T. Collins and artist Isaac Moylan share a comic called “I Remember When the Monsters Started Coming for the Cars.” Check out the complete story after the jump.
It’s Halloween, which means Robot 666 Week will soon draw to a close. But before we put the skeletons back in the closet and the bats back in the belfry, we’re pleased to bring you the debut of Cullen Bunn‘s latest short story, ‘The Best Costumes Are Homemade,’ starring, once again, Mrs. Friedly.
Bunn’s previous Mrs. Friedly tales:
The Best Costumes Are Homemade
By Cullen Bunn
Mrs. Friedly had been feeling quite festive, but the children were raising such a fuss that she was growing cross. She took a deep breath, though, and reminded herself that it was, after all, her favorite holiday. She refused to let it be spoiled. She picked a piece of candy from the bowl on the kitchen table and plopped it into her mouth. She instantly felt better.
But the children still whined and mewled.
“Now, now, my sweet ones,” Mrs. Friedly said, “I’m afraid this really is a necessity. I know you love the costumes we’ve made, but it is simply too cold out, and you must wear your jackets.”
The children moaned and sighed, whimpered and cried. Mrs. Friedly clucked her tongue as she gathered their jackets.
Editor’s note: As a part of Robot 666 Week, we welcome guest contributors Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, writers of Black Cherry Bombshells, Carnivale De Robotique, Moon Girl and the upcoming D.O.G.S. of Mars.
by Johnny Zito and Tony Trov
Zombies are kind of our thing. So, in honor of Halloween we conducted an informal survey on Twitter to determine what the most effective zombie killing weapon might be.
We received some pretty unique answers including katana swords, monster trucks, bear traps and “kindness.” Taking the top five suggested methods of murder, death and mayhem, we then looked to pop culture for help ranking them by body count.
The results are reflected in the graph below:
The same rigorous, scientific research also proves that while just about anything can kill a zombie, only one thing makes them hilarious:
To participate in more horror related polls that’ll be transcribed into grossly inaccurate infographs, please check out SOUTH fellini.
Also, David and Steve are giving away a bag of High Moon swag to anyone who changes their icon to something High Moon related on Facebook or Twitter. Find all the details on their blog.
All this month, the creative team of High Moon has been celebrating its third anniversary of entertaining folks. Robot 666 is joining in the celebratory fun today by interviewing artist Steve Ellis. In this email info exchange we delve into the series moving away from ZUDA and growing its audiences through different digital platforms. While he was unable to go into details, I think fans of High Moon will be happy to learn there will some more Western horror in the High Moon creative team’s future.
If you’ve not read High Moon, at their blog the creators posted where to find High Moon: “The first three chapters of High Moon were collected last October by DC Comics. You can order the print collection through your local area comic book shop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.
The entire series is also available digitally through Comixology’ Comics or DC Comics apps for the iPhone and iPad Operating System. You can also download the issues from here – and read them on your computer or import them them into your ipad or iphone. The first issue is free — and every additional issue is just 99 cents!
And finally, for those of you savvy comic reading gamers our there — HIGH MOON is also available through the DIGITAL COMICS store on the Playstation Network for your PSP.”
Added bonus at the end of this interview, instead of answering a question, Ellis asks the readers a question.
Tim O’Shea: This month marks the third anniversary of High Moon. Looking back at the past three years, what have been some of the high points for you?
Steve Ellis: The first high point was meeting David at NYCC and starting the whole process of collaboration and building the working friendship that we’ve built. The rewards of working in comics come in different forms, but the collaborative process is one of the greatest parts of it.
My Distinguished (and Ghoulish) Colleague said Thursday that “there is a fundamental tension between the horror and superhero genres.” Or, as I see it, when Superheroes and Horror room together, one of them winds up taking up the living room. Mania.com went further and compared the horror comics of Marvel to those of their Distinguished Competitors. They came to the conclusion that DC has a stronger horror line, mostly because of the Vertigo imprint. “We don’t normally associate Marvel with horror comics”, said Chad Derdowski . “When you hear the words ‘Marvel horror,’ you probably have to scratch your head and think about it for a bit and nearly everything you come up with is ultimately going to fall into the superhero category.”
Which is probably the best argument for Marvel having just as strong of a horror element in their titles as DC. Because let’s face it: what scares you? The idea of ghosts and goblins, or that drunk driver swerving uncomfortably on the road in front of you? What terrifies you more, the dark thoughts of a killer or the threat of unemployment? There’s horror, and there’s personal horror, and both are frightful.
Last year for Robot 666 Week we had a lot of fun putting together our list of six comics that scared the $#!@% out of us. So this year, we thought we’d broaden our scope and ask a few comic creators what comics scared them. Here’s the first batch; check back tomorrow and on Halloween for more!
That’s an easy one.
In 1973, I read a short story in the black and white Monsters Unleashed magazine by Thomas Disch, adapted and illustrated by Ralph Reese called “The Roaches,” about a bug-infested apartment and the woman in it…all I remember was it was illustrated in such a creepy style and all those bugs…
At the time I was living in a basement of a house that had some of the little critters from time to time, and the story freaked me out to the point I couldn’t sleep, knowing the bugs were out there ready for me to fall asleep and crawl into my ears, mouth and nose. Now that I’m talking about it, it’s creeping me out all over again.
Jimmy Palmiotti is the co-writer, with Justin Gray, of a ton of comics — Jonah Hex, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, Time Bomb and many more. If you’re looking for a comic to read this Halloween, The Last Resort is a fun, over-the-top zombie comic.
Continuing our run of Halloween short stories by Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun), we’re pleased to present “Friedly’s Treats.” You can see the previous two stories here and here, and be sure to come back on Halloween for a brand-new story!
By Cullen Bunn
Joshua hated Halloween. He once loved costumes and jack o’lanterns and candy. But now he dreaded the holiday.
Outside, trick-or-treaters giggled and climbed Mrs. Friedly’s porch steps. The shuddering knock sent shivers down Joshua’s spine. He squeezed his eyes shut.
The door creaked open. Cool air swept the foyer.
Guttural voices cried, “Trick or treat!”
“Aren’t you fearsome!” Mrs. Friedly beamed at the anxious little monsters. “I’ve something extra special for you.”
Horror comics fans have plenty of material to choose from when looking for a good, scary read this Halloween. Even if we just confine ourselves to manga (since, as we all know, the Japanese cartoonists excel at scaring the pants off their readers), there are plenty of options, from grand guginol pieces like MDP-Psycho or Ultra Gash Inferno, to more traditional, semi-bloody, spooky fare like Presents or Mail. Still, there are plenty of great, terrifying, mind-blowing manga that would delight the hardcore American horrorist if only some enterprising publisher would make an attempt at publishing them. Here are just six titles that I’d like to see translated and released in book form some time in the near future:
(Note: A potentially NSFW image lurks beneath the jump)
“Here’s my illustrated version of Edgar Allan Poe’s short poem, Annabel Lee. I thought this was a wonderfully creepy little poem, and perfect for Halloween. The first three panels are a Robot 6 exclusive, and have never been seen by anyone, anywhere, ever before. They’re just for you and your lovely readers.”
Thanks again to Greg (and Storm, Jason, Matt and Josh) for sharing Parasomnia with us this week. You can find the complete poem after the jump.
Earlier this year writer Justin Aclin and artist Ben Bates took MySpace Dark Horse Presents by storm with the story of the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce — S.H.O.O.T. First or, as Sean called them, the Super-Atheists.
Now we’re really excited to present an original prose story that Justin wrote for Robot 666 Week — S.H.O.O.T. First: “The House That Ate Halloween.” And Justin even invited his brother, Jesse, to contribute illustrations for it!
So a big thank you to the Bros. Aclin for spending part of their Halloween with us … check out the story below!
S.H.O.O.T. First: “The House That Ate Halloween”
By Justin Aclin. Illustrations by Jesse Aclin
S.H.O.O.T. First created by Justin Aclin and Ben Bates
“We have a Craigslist ad?”
The man who currently called himself Codename: Infidel took off his baseball cap and shook his head in amazement. An average day with the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce was strange—S.H.O.O.T. had the very important job of protecting humanity from seemingly supernatural creatures who were trying to manipulate and harm us for their own reasons, so things tended to get weird pretty frequently. Maybe it was the fact that he had never celebrated Halloween in his native Afghanistan, maybe it was the fact that he was currently dressed up as a member of the Boston Red Sox—complete with cleats and a large, awkward practice duffel. But for whatever reason, S.H.O.O.T. having a Craigslist ad struck Infidel as just about the weirdest thing that he’d heard in the few months since he’d joined up.
Lovecraft is a hard act to follow, and an even harder one to adapt. “Oh you mean HP Lovecraft, the guy who came up with Cthulhu and all those cute little plush toys.” Yeah, the guy who launched a thousand little cottage industries pumping out VOTE FOR CTHULHU: THE STARS ARE RIGHT bumper stickers and Mythos Hunting Guides and all that stuff. Yeah, him. I do wonder if he’d be tickled or appalled at his legacy and all the eldritch dust-catchers and t-shirts and radio plays.
Well, he’d probably like the radio plays. He’d probably have even approved of the silent film adaptation of THE CALL OF CTHULHU, arguably his single most famous piece of fiction, certainly the one that’s lodged most deeply in the collective consciousness, for good or for ill. The film adaptation ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478988/ for the IMDB page, and it’s streaming on Netflix) gets a solid recommendation from me, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m pretty hard to please as this stuff goes. Not because I think Lovecraft’s every word is sacred and perfect. I don’t. My relationship with HPL’s work is problematic, mostly in terms of the execution. I like characters. I like it when characters drive the plot. HPL couldn’t be bothered with that by and large, except when it was an incessant curiosity on the part of the players that made the eldritch secrets of the plot unfurl to their almost unerringly messy conclusions.
So I find HPL’s conceptual work rightly celebrated even if I find his prose nigh-unimpenetrable at times. Which is why I’m often attracted to adaptations of his work, where creators have a desire to stick to the template that HPL laid out, and often there’s some sense of respect for the source material, but it’s filtered through a different sense of aesthetics. HPL-inspired stuff that stars HPL himself? Not so much. Though there was that beautifully-illustrated LOVECRAFT OGN with art by Enrique Breccia that was so wonderful that I simply didn’t care about the story. Though I suppose there’s an interesting vein to mine when talking about Lovecraft as fictional construct rather than historical figure, but that’s for someone else to do.
This has to be the book title of the year: The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read! The good folks at Abrams ComicArts have put together a pretty swell little trailer for this collection of pre-Comics Code horror and crime comics from the ’50s, edited and contextualized by Jim Trombetta with an introduction by Mr. Goosebumps himself, R.L. Stine. You can gather a couple of salient points from the video: 1) These things really were almost unbelievably lurid and gross, especially when you consider the relentlessly wholesome state of pop culture in general at the time; 2) Based on the video’s snippets from an anti-comic book TV report called Confidential File, which is included in its entirety on a DVD that comes with the book, men in suits took this stuff way too seriously back in the day.