|Coffin Hill #8|
In this issue, a few of Eve’s old friends resolve some grudges (against each other) and the story flashes back to Eve’s time as a rookie police officer. In the present, Eve is framed for a crime and winds up in the local jail. The authorities aren’t too sympathetic when she claims witchcraft is to blame, not her.
Writer Caitlin Kittredge crafts one creepy tale, full of character, complexity and horror. Artist Inaki Miranda is a wonder. Her pages are full of detail, her characters tell the story through body language alone, and few artists are as adept with clothing, fashion and general atmosphere. Whether it’s cops on the job or a grand costume ball, Miranda draws stunning people, monsters and costumes. A gifted creative team.
Rating: ****1/2 out of 5 stars
|Blood Queen #1|
The Blood Queen is a fun, if light, fantasy, with a story by Troy Brownfield and some incredible art by Fritz Casas. I’ll definitely be back for more.
Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 stars
|Mighty Avengers #11|
Artist Greg Land draws photo-realistic heroic men and glamorous women, as always. I don’t understand criticisms of his art. Yes, he sometimes uses photo references. So what? He’s still fantastic and one of the most underrated illustrators working.
Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 stars
|Haunted Horror #11|
- The Witches Come at Midnight (City of the Living Dead, 1952). This story is phenomenal, just for the “what the ...?!” factor. Joel Rainey is a farm boy who trains his pet rooster Peter to crow at will. Good thing, because demons of all shapes and sizes have been terrorizing his parents’ farm. After fighting them off a few times with Peter’s cock-a-doodling, the demons have had enough and bring Satan himself to attack (why they’re attacking is left a mystery. But as Hilary Clinton would say, “What difference does it make?”). The jig is up when Satan realizes Peter is a chanticleer. “A what?” you may ask? I did. But I looked it up. A chanticleer is “a name given to a rooster, especially in fairy tales.” According to the script, a chanticleer is a “servant of God” (of course he is) and therefore his crows dispatch Satan and all his demons to the underworld and all is saved. I learn so much from this job. Did they have LSD in 1952?
- Hallahan’s Head (Forbidden Worlds #25, 1954) holds its own as a straight horror story. Hallahan and Fletcher are in Africa for adventure and business. When some valuable land comes up for sale, Hallahan suggests sharing the claim. But Fletcher wants it all to himself, and dispatches native Otongo to “make it look like an accident.” I guess the language barrier leads to a miscommunication, because Otongo chops off Hallahan’s head and throws it into the brush. Back in the states, Fletcher becomes rich and powerful off his land grab. But what is that swimming the ocean with dark thoughts (or not) about revenge? Yup, that would be Hallahan’s head. Fletcher sees it everywhere—the boardroom, his closet, his writing table ... After his house blows up and his body turns up with rows of 32 indentations on his skin, it’s plain that Hallahan’s head just dropped by for a bite. Or two.
- The Locked Door (Worlds of Fear #6, 1952) is a truly twisted treat. Tom Daly is a painter who likes to dwell on the macabre, even though his hot fiancée Emily wants him to do more Saturday Evening Post-type art for the money. Hey, wedding dresses weren’t cheap in 1952 either! When Tom sees his idol, painter Peter Gynt, on the street, he follows him home for some art tips. Peter’s art looks like it’s inspired by some type of Dr. Kevorkian/Jeffrey Dahmer mix. When Tom asks the great man if he can worship at his feet, Pete says no and refuses to divulge the secret of his masterworks. But as soon as his back is turned, Tom sneaks into a locked room and discovers the secret—when Pete paints a subject, he murders them and they become little people in his paintings. And they’re kind of pissed about it! Tom’s rude room invasion gives them an opportunity to express themselves to painter Pete, and they do so through violence. Sickened because he saw Darby O’Gill and the Little People murder his hero, Tom turns into Norman Rockwell on the spot and Emily gets her white wedding. I love happy endings.
Other stories include Day of Panic from 1953 (a vampire who looks like Harry Carey Jr. terrorizes a small western town), Hand from 1951 (a hand kills a man—from inside his body!), and Candles for the Undead from 1954 (a candle maker makes bright candles from the human body fat of his victims—trapping their ghosts in the flame!).
I’m delighted these lost gems can find a modern audience. They are a treat to experience and incredibly entertaining. Nice job, Yoe & Co.!
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars