The second set of comics I want to talk about in the Horror Renaissance are from the camp of artists and writers that are not necessarily the ones that are trying to keep you up at night, afraid for you life or as my daughter so wonderfully put it “not really a before bed book” (parental note: I did not have her read any of these books… her quote was in reference to The Spiderwick Chronicles), but they are trying to entertain first, and then shock and possibly frighten second. These are stories and plots that are set in the horror genre… not necessarily horror concepts fleshed out into a storyline. Once again: Not for the kids!!!
Nocturnal Essence (Rogue Wolf – Scott / Divine / Fowler) – This was a great, fun read. As of the writing of this review I have only read Blood, Fate and Silver: books #1 and 2… but looking for more. Nocturnal Essence takes place in Chicago and has the feel of Underworld meets Vampire: the Masquerade meets the Sopranos. A drama in the supernatural underworld that draws in a slew of characters ranging from gritty and hard to sexy and over the top, and a plot that varies from melodramatic archetypes and plot hooks to giving a fresh feel to some standard mythology. If you reading this has hardcore horror, you might be disappointed… but if you wanted a good story revolving around underworld crime, vampires, werewolves and the gods of yore… you might want to check out Rogue wolf… here Story: A Art: B
Melby Comics (Melby – Hodson / Daughterty / Reese) – Okay, this comic is more cheese and less horror. Melby comics has put out what I assumed was meant as a humor spoof comic based around zombies and monsters. Let it be known if you are looking for any sort of real horror or story, this is not your book. But, if you take it as for what it was written, a horror spoof… well… you still might be disappointed because Shaun of the Dead it ain’t. The tongue in cheek humor has it’s moments, but not enough to support the sketchy notepad art and the montage of used gags. Check it out for yourself though… here. Story: C Art:D
Queen of Sin (Legion Studios – Guffey / Bottom / Kruse) The best intro to this very raw book comes from Legion studios themselves… “Meet Lilith…the first woman created – Through centuries of time, Lilith has been invoking her reign of unseen terror in the examples of all types, through Lucretia Borgia, Elizabeth Bathory, Marie de Brinvilliers, Mary Ann Colton, Lizzie Bordon, or Anne Bonney. Regardless, Evil femininity has existed for hundreds and hundreds of years and still exists today. Legend tells us that she is alive and lurks within the darkest thoughts of all women… I think its time we tell her story.” The book is set up into two stories… The first showing Lilith getting thrown out of the garden and the second being Lilith in her modern day setting, The Hellfire Club, naturally. While the art is not meant to be realistic, it’s not goofy or cartoony either. Roc Bottom (not making it up) does a good job of keeping the art fun and entertaining, he gives the reader massive eye candy while still letting us know he’s an hardcore artist. For the plot, definitely not for everyone… but if the condensed storyline blurb “vengeful hot demon woman plots against humanity” peaks your interest, you have to check out Legion Studios here. Please do remember, this is one of those Mature Reader only books… not for the kids. Plot: B Art: B+
Trailer Park of Terror (Imperium – Dracoules / various) – Trailer Park was written as a send up to the classic horror anthology book. Sort of a Tales from the Crypt type book, TPoT is hosted by Norma (Elvira meets NASCAR). This book is what Melby was trying to do and failed. TPoT is made up of several short entertaining stories (some of them only a few pages) that follow the dark and demonfolk who live in the park. Some of them focus on the gore, some focus on the wit… but I think there’s enough of both to keep everyone happy. If campy horror fun is your ticket, then Trailer Park of Terror should be in your sites… here . Plot: B+ Art: A