Sunday, February 24, 2013

VHS...It's Still The Best (for '80's movies)

Nobody knows what evil lurks in The Closet of Shame...

Sometimes I feel like my friend over at the Bedroom in the Basement is one of the few people who I've actually known for so long that we share a lot of the same thoughts, hobbies and various interests...often at the same time. For example, when I had the idea to start making a denim thrash metal jacket to wear to concerts (its something I've wanted to do for years, because I'm metal), I discovered that he was already in the process of making himself one as well.

It shall be an epic competition...

When I discovered Judas Priest much too late in life and thought that my Bedroom-dwelling friend would enjoy the hell out of their early albums, he was already a recent fan himself. 

Judas Priest
"Victim of Changes" 
(the song that hooked me)
from Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)

When I moved to Atlanta and was regretting how I had gotten rid of some VHS movies at a moving/yard sale, I decided to pick some of them back up again (watching Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray just isn't the same). Of course, soon after I discover that the Bedroom Dweller had also begun to collect VHS tapes from the 1980's, and also shared the opinion that certain movies can only be enjoyed on VHS.

Seriously? You don't own 'The Goonies?'

The next time I get the chance to visit the cold North, I shall be hanging out in the Bedroom in the Basement where we will be found talking for hours about comics, watching the latest VHS acquisitions and rocking out to thrash metal and shotgunning Pabst Blue Ribbon. I declare that this must be done at least once a decade for the sake of sanity.

Surprisingly voted for Obama...


I picked up some awesome VHS flicks lately. Allow me to grab them from the Closet of Shame and show you the greatness of 80's classics on VHS...the way they were meant to be seen.

TRON
(1982)

For the life of me, I cannot convince my woman of the past decade to sit down and watch TRON with me. She absolutely refuses to believe that it's an excellent and creative movie about the world that exists within computers. TRON is filled with scenes that are almost Star Wars-esque in their delivery, such as the overt religious undertones and similarities between The Emperor and Master Control. Being the first movie to truly utilize CGI as the basis for a film, TRON was definitely a movie that was way ahead of its time. In my mind, what makes TRON stand out above other overblown CGI movies is that the CGI in TRON is a big part of the story, rather than just attempting to be the "shock and awe" that movies provide today. There is a reason why the CGI looks the way it does, and why things happen the way they do. TRON is one of the most creative movies ever made. Check out this scene below, where underlying sarcasm is prominent:


While perusing a local thrift store, I spotted TRON on VHS for a couple bucks. Sold.


Parents
(1989)

Parents is creepy as hell. That's the only way to put it. I'm not sure why it's not more widely known, because it's definitely one of the better horror flicks I've seen. I first watched this movie on Youtube a few years back (its not up anymore, sorry folks), and I remember being really creeped out by Randy Quaid's performance. It's almost like he was born to play the role of a dysfunctional and canibalistic 1950's father figure. The weird lighting and dark backdrops really add to the psychological terror that Quaid's son experiences throughout the entire film. Check out this Siskel & Ebert review about it:


Sitting up late one night and drunkenly perusing items on Amazon, I spotted a used copy of Parents on VHS for $2 plus shipping. Sold.



KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
(1978)

While technically not a '80's film, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park is close enough. Its a movie that's so bad, I don't even think it's product that KISS even have available for sale anymore. This movie is notoriously bad, as the script, acting, special effect and editing are all horrible. This terrible film is one of the best examples of what can go wrong when something is haphazardly put together solely for the sake of capitalism. Take a look at the clip below to see what I mean:


I found Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park on VHS at the same thrift store where I found TRON. I bought it for $2. Bargain.


In closing, here's a picture of what I've got put together so far for my metal jacket. I don't have a lot yet, but I'm on my way:


I've had that Slayer pin since high school. Some habits die hard.

Take us out, boys...
Slayer
"Metal Storm/Face the Slayer"
Show No Mercy
Metal Blade Records (1983)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Honest Matt's Comic Shop Emporium - Come One, Come All

Here's how it works in Honest Matt's Comic Shop Emporium:

Of course, Honest Matt kept all the good stuff for himself. Everything listed below is either stuff that wasn't liked, or things that will never be read again. If these books are taken to a local comic book store to sell, I will get MAYBE 15 cents per book. Its not because the books are "worthless," but rather because there's thousands of these things printed and most comic book stores already have an abundance of comic books on hand.

So to avoid an annoying hassle, to my friends I offer this deal:

Since shoppers/readers of this store/blog will more than likely be friends of mine, all I ask is if you want any of the books listed below, just pay the shipping cost and the insurance (if you feel you need it) and that's it.

"Keep your 15 cents. Just cover the freight. What a bargain." - Official Slogan for Honest Matt's Comic Shop Emporium

All books are in mint condition. Bag and board included if you want them (however you will save on shipping if you don't).

DC:
Amazons Attack #1-6 (Will Pheifer & Pete Woods)
Ambush Bug: Year None #1, 2, 7 (Keith Giffen)
Animal Man: Last Days of Animal Man #1 (Gerry Conway & Chris Batista)
Aquaman #1, 2 (1991)
Aquaman #1 (2003)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #40 (by Kurt Busiek)
Azrael #1 (2009) (Fabian Nicieza)
Batgirl (2008) #1-3 (Cassandra Cain as Batgirl)
Batlash #1 (by Sergio Aragones)
Batman #552 (Doug Moench), 593-594 (Ed Brubaker), 12-Cent Adventure (Devin Grayson), 659-662 (John Ostrander)
Batman Beyond (2010) #1-6 (Adam Beechen, Ryan Benjamin)
Batman: Cacophony #1-3 (by Kevin Smith & Walt Flanagan)
Batman Confidential #1-7 (Andy Diggle, Whilce Portacio)
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (2011, pre-reboot) (by David Finch)
Batman: Detective Comics #745-746 (Greg Rucka)
Batman/Grendel: Devils Masque Book 2 (by Matt Wagner)
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #35-36, 39-41, 71-73 (by James Robinson), Annual #7
Batman Odyssey #1 (2010) by Neal Adams
Birds of Prey vol. 2 #1-6 (2010) by Gail Simone & Ed Benes
Blackest Night (tie-ins) (2010): The Flash #1-3 (Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins), JSA #1-3 (James Robinson, Tony Bedard, Eddy Barrows), Atom & Hawkman (Geoff Johns, Ryan Sook), Catwoman (Tony Bedard), Phantom Stranger (Peter Tomasi), The Question (Dennis O'Neil & Greg Rucka), Starman (James Robinson), Suicide Squad (Gail Simone & John Ostrander)
Brave and the Bold (1991 miniseries) #1-4 (Mike Grell)
Brave New World (Infinite Crisis tie-in) one-shot
Challenge! #11 (Marv Wolfman)
Connor Hawke: Dragon's Blood #1-6 (issue #1 SIGNED BY CHUCK DIXON)
DC Universe: Decisions # 1-2 (Bill Willingham & Judd Winick)
Dead Romeo #1-6 (vampire miniseries by Jesse Blaze Snyder, son of Twisted Sister's Dee Snyder)
Final Crisis: Revelations #1-5 (by Greg Rucka and Philip Tan)
Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1-3 (by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins)
Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #1
First Wave #1 (by Brian Azzarello)
Flash (1988) #8-9
Flash #1 (2010) by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul
Flashpoint tie-ins: Abin Sur - The Green Lantern #1-3, Project Superman #1-3 (by Scott Snyder), World of Flashpoint #1, Green Arrow Industries #1
Green Arrow and Black Canary #15-29 (by Andrew Kreisberg and Mike Norton)
Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1 (2005) by Geoff Johns an Dave Gibbons
Impulse #78
Infinite Holiday Special #1 (2007)
JLA: Amazing Adventures of the JLA (2005)
Justice League of America (2009) #30-34 (by Dwayne McDuffie), 80 Page Giant #1, #44, 50, 54 (all by James Robinson)
Justice League International (2011, New 52) #1-6 (by Dan Jurgens)
Justice Society of America (1993) #10
JSA (2000) #6, 73-75 (by Geoff Johns)
Justice Society of America (2009) #29-34 (by Bill Willingham), 80-Page Giant #1
JSA All-Stars (2010) #1-2
Manhunter (1989) #17
Manhunter (2007) #27
Midnighter #1-3, 6 (Garth Ennis), 7, 9 (2007, Wildstorm Universe)
Mister Miracle (Seven Soldiers) (2005) #1-3 by Grant Morrison
Nightwing #152-153
OMAC Project # 6 (2005)
OMAC #1 (2006)
Oracle: The Cure (Battle for the Cowl tie-in) #1-3
Outsiders (2006) #34 (Judd Winick)
Outsiders (2010) # 26 (Dan DiDio and Philip Tan)
Red Circle miniseries: The Hangman #1, The Web #1 (by J. Michael Straczynski)
Richard Dragon #1 (2004) by Chuck Dixon
Secret Six (2008) #1-2 (Gail Simone and Nicola Scott)
The Shield #1 (Red Circle) 2009
Sovereign Seven #1 (1995) by Chris Claremont
Stormwatch (2011, New 52) #2-4 (Paul Cornell)
Supergirl (2006) #6 (Greg Rucka)
Superman #190-199, #701-714 (by J. Michael Straczynski)
Superman: Action Comics #692-696, 698, 733-734, 736-739, 744, 749, 777, 786-788, 799-810 (Joe Kelly run), 876-878, 883-889 (Greg Rucka), 901-904 (Paul Cornell) - Superman: Reign of Doomsday (2011 tie-in story to 901-904): Steel #1, Outsiders #37, Justice League of America #55, Superman/Batman Annual #5, Superboy #6
Superman: Adventures of Superman #532-533, 546, 551-552, 554, 571, 619-623 (Joe Casey run)
Superman/Aliens II: God War #1-4 (by Chuck Dixon)
Superman/Batman #27-36 & Annual #1, 68
Superman: Man of Steel (1993) #27-30, 33, 57, Annual #6
Superman's Nemesis: Lex Luthor #1-4 (1999)
Superman Returns Prequel #1, 3-4 (2006)
Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder #1 (2005) (Judd Winick)
Superman 80-Page Giant 2010 #1
Superman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1
Teen Titans (2007) #48-49, 59-60, 69-71, Annual #1 (Deathtrap storyline)
Thunder Agents (2011) #1-2 (by Nick Spencer)
Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 (Booster Gold tie-in) (2010)
Two Thousand (2000) #1 & 2
The Web (Red Circle) #1-4 (2009)
Wonder Woman (2007) #7-12 (by Jodi Picoult)

Independent:
The Astounding Wolfman #1 (by Robert Kirkman) - Free Comic Book Day edition
Conan the Barbarian #1 (2012) by Brian Wood & Becky Cloonan
Doctor Solar/Magnus Robot Fighter 2010 Free Comic Book Day edition
Image United #1-2 (by Robert Kirkman)
Irredeemable/Incorruptible #1 (2010 Free Comic Book Day edition)
Project Superpowers #0, # 1/2 (2008)
Savage Dragon # 148 (2009 Free Comic Book Day edition)
The Shield (Red Circle) #4 (1984 Archie Comics series)

Marvel:
Avengers (2010) #1-3, #12.1(by Brian Bendis)
Mighty Avengers (2009) #21-36 (the Dan Slott run)
New Avengers (2005) #6 (by Brian Bendis)
New Avengers (2010) #1-3 (by Brian Bendis)
Avengers Prime #1 (2010) (by Brian Bendis)
Captain America: Theater of War one-shot (2008)
Captain America - Steve Rogers; Super-Soldier #1-4 (2010) by Ed Brubaker
Dark Wolverine # 75 (2009) (Wolverine's son, Daken)
Deadpool Team-Up # 899 (SIGNED BY FRED VAN LENTE)
Fear Itself #1-7 and Prologue issue (by Matt Fraction) (2011)
House of M: The Day After one-shot (2006)
House of M: Son of M #1 (2006)
Hulk: Fall of the Hulks Alpha and Gamma one-shots (2009), Hulk #19-21, World War Hulks Classified one-shot, King-Size Hulk 2008 one-shot, Skaar: King of the Savage Land #1 (2011)
Immortal Iron Fist 2008 one-shot
Iron Man/Nova 2010 Free Comic Book Day edition
Marvelman: Family's Finest (2010)
Marvel: Point One one-shot 2012
Marvel Zombies: Dead Days one-shot (2007) by Robert Kirkman
Marvel Zombies 3 #1-2 (#1 SIGNED BY FRED VAN LENTE)
Marvel Zombies 5 #1-2 SIGNED BY FRED VAN LENTE
Namor Annual #1 (1991)
Punisher MAX Annual #1 (2007), Little Black Book one-shot (2008)
Punisher (2009) #1-2 (by Rick Remender)
Secret Avengers #1-4 by Ed Brubaker (2010)
Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1-3, Who Do You Trust one-shot, Front Line #1, Inhumans #1, Thor #1-3 (2010)
The Sentry vs. The Void (2001 one-shot)
The Sentry (2005 series) #1-8
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-3 (2010 by Jonathan Hickman)
Sif one-shot (2010)
Spiderman: Amazing Spiderman #362, 390
Spiderman 2099 #3
Ultimate Spiderman # 47 (2003) by Brian Bendis
Amazing Spiderman Family #2 (2008)
Amazing Spiderman Extra! #1-2 (2008)
Web of Spiderman #1 (2009)
Amazing Spiderman 2011 Free Comic Book Day edition
Spider-Woman: Origin # 1-3 (by Brian Bendis)
S.W.O.R.D. #1-2 (2009)
Tales of Asgard #1 (1983)
Thor: The Truth of History one-shot (2008), Man of War one-shot (2008), God-Size one-shot (2008), Annual #1 (2009)
The Twelve #0-1 (by J. Michael Straczynski) (2008)
Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #1-3 (by Warren Ellis)
Venom: The Hunger (1996)
War of Kings Saga (one-shot 2009)
What If... (2008) Annihilation one-shot
Winter Soldier (2012) # 1-2 by Ed Brubaker
Wolverine & The Punisher #1 (1993)
Wolverine 2009 Free Comic Book Day edition


And there you have it!

Please take some. Honest Matt's is open 24/7.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Zombie Ritual - A Decrepit Assault on Your Senses

With The Walking Dead on AMC having just started back up this past weekend, I've been in the mood to watch some classic zombie movies and listen to "zombie metal." I'm one of the seemingly few people who could never get burnt out on the awesomeness that is zombies and zombie culture. Unlike vampire lore, zombie lore never gets old to me. There's just something inherently more dark and terrifying about zombies than there is with vampires. I would fuck a vampire, but never a zombie. so, bearing that in mind...

Behold my Zombie Ritual.

First I'll give you a soundtrack to listen to while you read. Then I'll throw you some cool trailers and scenes from some of my favorite cult zombie films. I may even share some non-Walking Dead zombie reading material for your enjoyment.


ZOMBIE RITUAL PART 1: ZOMBIE METAL


Tankard
"Zombie Attack"
Zombie Attack
Noise Records (1986)

Tankard is quickly becoming one of my favorite thrash metal bands, as there's nothing better to listen to when you're full of alcohol and want some metal. Tankard has been around for nearly 30 years, and every single album of theirs is dedicated to beer and alcohol. It's become their running theme, and in my opinion grows old after their first few albums. Their first album, Zombie Attack, is somewhat of an enigma in the Tankard discography, as its clearly more influenced by slasher films and booze rather than booze alone. While there are certainly tracks dedicated to Tankard's favorite vice, Zombie Attack starts off with one of the best intro tracks about horror movies, and in particular...zombie attacks.


Necrophagia
"Mental Decay"
Season of the Dead
New Renaissance Records (1987)

Necrophagia hails from Ohio, and sometimes claim to be the world's first death metal band. I highly disagree with this assertion, as having graveled vocals over thrash metal riffs doesn't count as "death metal" in my opinion. Regardless, Necrophagia is often grouped in the early death metal scene and I suppose its somewhat accurate. But to call them innovators? Hardly. The one thing that does stand out about Necrophagia's debut Season on the Dead is that vocalist Killjoy seems to talk in a graveled voice more than "sing" in one. It's an interesting way of delivering horror-themed lyrics that I don't think I've heard anywhere else. I'm not the biggest fan of Necrophagia, but Season of the Dead does have some good guitar riffs peppered throughout an album that sounds like it was recorded in your neighbor's basement.


Repulsion
"Eaten Alive"
Horrified
Necrosis/Earache Records (1989)

Hailing from Flint, Michigan and considered to be one of the groundbreaking bands in the grindcore scene, Repulsion was a band that gains more and more popularity as time goes on. Having a demo compilation distributed by grindcore legends Carcass at their early UK shows, the demand for a Repulsion album came after the band had already broken up. Horrified was a collection of their demos and was put out by Necrosis Records, a demo label partly owned by Carcass and Earache Records. Repulsion's one and only album, Horrified, has been re-released by several record labels over the years and stands as "the most influential grindcore album of all time," according to critics of such things. I'll leave you to debate that all you want. All I know is that Repulsion was awesome and Horrified is worth owning by any metalhead.


Faith No More
"Zombie Eaters"
The Real Thing
Slash Records (1989)

The undisputed greatest rock and roll band of all time did a song about zombies because even they know that zombies rule. Faith No More is a band that never grows old and gets better with every listen, no matter how many times I listen to them. While The Real Thing was their most commercially successful release, this is actually my least favorite album. However, The Real Thing is full of post-'80's proto-metal that was way ahead of its time when it came out. Sometimes regarded as "godfathers of nu-metal" (a tag that vocalist Mike Patton despises), Faith No More's The Real Thing perfectly captures the feel of the early 1990's, a year before the style of the decade was known.


Baphomet
"Valley of the Dead"
The Dead Shall Inherit
Peaceville Records (1992)

Baphomet...the little death metal band that couldn't. Being one of the bands in New York's burgeoning death metal scene (which formed in response to the scene in FL), Baphomet often gets overlooked. Bands like Suffocation, Internal Bleeding and Pyrexia took the spotlight as far as the NY scene went, and Baphomet was sometimes lost in the shuffle. While their album The Dead Shall Inherit may not be groundbreaking or necessarily memorable, there are some badass tracks on this album worth listening to. I recommend you listen to this album on Youtube or Spotify or whatever the next time you're in a death metal mood, instead of listening to a band you already know inside and out. You may find something enjoyable here.

ZOMBIE RITUAL PART II: CULT FILMS

Since I'm a person who has honestly sat through and watched movies such as Flight of the Living Dead and Zombie Strippers, I can honestly say that it's possible to make a really bad zombie film. There are far more bad zombie movies than there are good ones. However, with The Walking Dead being such a smash on TV and movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland maintaining strong cult followings, it's fair to say that there's nothing better than a well-made zombie movie. 

Here's a few of my favorite clips from some cult zombie movies. I'm sure all of my friends have seen these movies. Perhaps the random google-searcher or extended family member will find something fun below.


Return of the Living Dead 
(1985)

Everybody's favorite zombie, Tarman! Return of the Living Dead is one of the best zombie films ever made. It might even be my favorite of all time, even above the Romero films. This was one of the first zombie movies I ever saw, so that's most likely the reason. Regardless, Return of the Living Dead was one of the first "zombie comedies." Films like Zombieland have followed the same formula that Return of the Living Dead started in 1985. You've got zombies as the backdrop, check. Teenagers with angst issues, check. Lots of gore and violence while hilarity ensues, check. If you haven't seen this movie, for the love of god remedy that right now. It's a classic!


Re-Animator 
(1985)

The cat seen in the clip above that is unceremoniously killed off in a hilarious fashion is none other than Rufus, the Zombie Cat from Re-AnimatorRe-Animator is weird and creepy as hell. It also happens to be one of the best zombie films that the 1980's produced. Starring B-movie extraordinaire Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott (the ex-husband of Linda Hamilton, or Sarah Connor from Terminator to you), Re-Animator is the tale of Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs), an eccentric and creepy student at Miskatonic University who is fascinated with reviving the dead. After bringing Rufus the Zombie Cat back to life, Herbert's thirst for giving life to death knows no bounds! I'm sure this movie can be found cheap on Amazon. Do yourself a favor and enjoy some Re-Animator.

If you've never seen Re-Animator but the name rings a bell, you might be recalling the introduction of the Ricky Fitts character in the excellent 1999 film American Beauty:

Ricky Fitts, you creepy kid....


Night of the Living Dead 
(1990 remake)

I've always enjoyed the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead much more than the original. It stars Tony Todd (of Candyman fame)! His performance in this movie is worth the rental price alone. The remake follows the script of the original very closely, but changes a few things here and there. Most notably would be Barbara's character, who goes from a wimpy textbook waif in the original to a strong-willed and capable hero in the remake. Directed by horror make-up and special effects legend Tom Savini, Night of the Living Dead is full of surprisingly well-acted scenes. You'd think a movie like this would get shitty actors, but everyone plays their part very well. You can tell that the actors involved were dedicated to making a good zombie movie. They succeeded. 


Dead Alive (1992)
known internationally as Braindead

Before Peter Jackson made his millions on those Lord of the Rings movies he directed, he was busy making weird independent horror films like Bad Taste and Dead Alive. Dead Alive was known for years as "the goriest movie of all time," however I'm sure that title has been claimed by others since 1992. Dead Alive is another entry in the "zombie comedy" genre, and is one that still holds up well today. Dead Alive is the story of Lionel (basically the Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory of New Zealand circa 1992), a man who lives with his dominating and smothering mother. After she's bitten by a Sumatran Rat Monkey, insanity ensues in the small New Zealand town as zombies take over. Dead Alive features many classic moments, such as the zombie baby's stroll through the park, the priest who "kicks ass for the lord," and even the mother's ear falling off into her custard. Peter Jackson really needs to get back to doing stuff like this!

Cemetery Man (1994)
known internationally as Dellamorte Dellamore

Cemetery Man rules! This cult classic grows in popularity each and every year in the horror movie circles, so it's mind-boggling to me that there isn't a Blu-Ray release for it in the US yet. Starring Rupert Everett and better known internationally as Dellamorte Dellamore, this Italian zombie movie jumps back and forth from being "a serious zombie movie" to "a comedic zombie movie" to "trying to make you think"-zombie movie. Usually flicks with this much going on have the tendency to lose a lot of plot points in the shuffle. Cemetery Man is lucky in that it finds that decent balance without getting bogged down. The story revolves around the caretakers of a cemetery, who put down the zombies that rise each night. The town at large has no idea what happens in the cemetery, yet rumors abound. The soundtrack for this movie is pretty good too.

Noggie gets his brain back. Awww....


ZOMBIE RITUAL PART III: ZOMBIE STORIES

I've given you zombie music. I've given you zombie movie scenes of utmost worth. And now it's time for the finale, as I share with you zombie stories to read. I'm not going to recommend The Walking Dead, as you no doubt are already familiar with it. Nope, I'm going to share a couple of stories that might have flown under your radar, yet are worth tracking down.

iZombie
by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred
DC/Vertigo Comics 
2010-2012

As with many Vertigo books these days, iZombie was unfortunately canceled prematurely and was forced to wrap things up in the fourth and final volume of the series. iZombie was lucky in that even though the ending had to be rushed, it was still an extremely satisfying read and the conclusion felt right. Written by Chris Roberson and art by the cult favorite Mike Allred (of Madman fame), iZombie was the story of Gwen, a zombie who has to eat one brain a month to prevent herself from becoming a shambling, rotting zombie. Throughout the story, you find out that there's an existential threat to the universe, and only Gwen can stop it. The book also features monster hunters, were-terriers, ghosts, mummies and even a talking monkey. iZombie looks and reads like a 1950's horror comedy, in the vein of The Addams Family or The Munsters. Mike Allred's art style really helps bring that feeling out of Roberson's writing. There are 4 volumes total for this book. Highly recommended.
Mike Allred's art style never changes. Who cares.


Though I Walk Through the Valley
Short Story By S.P. Somtow
originally featured in The Ultimate Zombie collection
(1993)

This was a story that I loved when I was 13 years old. Though I Walk Through the Valley is a 25-page short story in The Ultimate Zombie that's about voodoo zombies. Voodoo zombies are different than the modern interpretation, as voodoo zombies are docile and mindless yet don't eat people. Believe it or not, "voodoo zombies" are a real thing. People are given a tribal concoction that basically gives them permanent brain damage and leaves them in "a zombie state." Though I Walk Through the Valley plays around with this theme a bit. Taking place in a Los Angeles ghetto, the story revolves around Oz, a teenager who is favored by his uncle. While the uncle parties and hangs out with his nephew Oz, he also has his own son whom is neglected and mistreated. After awhile Oz notices that there is something wrong with his cousin, and that his uncle is involved in some black juju. It's a fun little story to read while you're in bed or on the john. Unfortunately, I can't find a pdf of the story online to link in for you to read here. Even though The Ultimate Zombie is out of print, you can get it used on Amazon for around $5 (shipping included). You might even be able to torrent it somewhere. The Ultimate Zombie also features stories by Anne Rice, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg and more, so you'll likely enjoy more than just this story alone if you feel like checking it out.

So there you have it. My zombie ritual is complete and if you listened to all that music, watched all those clips and read those stories...you are now a mindless shambling zombie yourself. Even though I've posted this song on other blogs, its the only one that's appropriate to bow us out. Catch ya next time. Uggghhhhnnnn......

Death
"Zombie Ritual"
Scream Bloody Gore
Combat Records (1987)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Convention?!

So its Superbowl Sunday. Ehhhh.....don't care. I'll see the commercials when I see 'em.

What is it that I'm missing? Seriously, I don't get it.

I went to the Atlanta Comic Convention this morning, which is billed as "the best one-day comic show in the South!"

If that's true, then the South really sucks.

Just kidding, it's not a bad show at all. Fairly small and located at the same Marriot hotel every year, the Atlanta Comic Convention is mostly host to vintage comic dealers who travel the country and practically live in small convention halls. There were a couple of Atlanta shops there as well, doing the usual dump of unwanted back-issues and previously unsold trade paperbacks at 50% off. Really, that's all you can expect from small comic conventions such as these.

Oh yeah, the guy who played the zombie who ate Lori's corpse on AMC's The Walking Dead was the guest of honor. I thought that was pretty funny. If by chance you don't watch the show, the Lori character was universally hated by fandom from the very beginning of the show. In the 3rd episode of the 3rd season, Lori was eviscerated during child-birth during a zombie raid in a prison. Long-time Lori-haters rejoiced the world over.

Rick is quietly thanking this man for eating his stupid wife.

I also met up with local comic book writer Robert Jeffrey II at the show, whose book Route 3 is out now from Atlanta-based media company Terminus Media. I just may be pitching a comic book or two in the near future to Terminus Media (one I'm writing with my woman, which will blow minds). Perhaps I will share a detail or two about those projects when they're closer to the scripting stage.


Anyway, if you've got $2 that you don't mind spending, I recommend that you download the free ComicsPlus app and get a copy of Route 3. Not only will you be reading a story that practically happens in my backyard (it takes place in Stone Mountain, GA. of all places), but you'll be supporting a good writer and the independent press. Come on, do it. DO IT.

I didn't really get much at this convention. I got the New X-Men by Grant Morrison trades (3 in all) at half off, and the first volume of Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka (two of the best crime/noir writers in the business). I look forward to reading them within time.

Grant Morrison is my shit.

In other comic book related news, my comic book series OUTLAWS is coming along very nicely. We've got 16 pages that are 99% ready to be inked. I look forward to showing you all pieces of this book soon. Its been a labor of love, and I think the story will hook you with each and every issue. At least, that's my hope.

Speaking of OUTLAWS, I need some help in locking down a logo. Here's a few that have been designed so far. I'd appreciate an outside view of them and some feedback. There's a few different influences and techniques that my artist P. Emerson Williams is working with, and we're still trying to find the best one. Any comments are appreciated.

A crosshairs logo. One of the front-runners thus far.

The "hardcore" logo.

More of a "graffiti"-styled logo.

A more simplistic logo. Has potential.

The "thrash metal" logo. One of my personal favorites. 
I think with a tweak or two this might be a good one.

Obviously inspired by Obituary's logo. 
Not a serious one to be considered, but fuck it I like it.


Well, I've got Eddie Murphy's Raw on the DVR calling my name. Have fun with your pigskin envy, America!

Eddie Murphy
Raw
(1986)