In the final special 31 Days of Horror edition for 2017 of Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres and companies. Meet me after the jump for my reviews of The Lump, Doris Danger, and other work by Chris Wisnia, Grimm Fairy Tales 2017 Halloween Special, WWE #10, and much much more… be warned, there may be spoilers…
Up front, I have known writer/artist/creator Chris Wisnia for over fifteen years, but our being friends doesn’t make me any less objective in talking about the man’s talent nor his ability in the horror genre. He is a master, and his spin is wonderful. I first ran across Chris when he was publishing his Tabloia comic, an homage to paranormal magazines of the past, both debunking and verifying the oddities of the world. It was also home to some terrific comics by Wisnia, including Doris Danger, Dr. DeBunko, and The Lump among other fun stuff. When Tabloia sadly vanished from the shelves, Chris continued making comics online and in print, with features like The Spider Twins and Dick Hammer. Chris Wisnia has never stopped producing.
Two of his features are especially appropriate for the 31 Days of Horror season. First there’s The Lump. Originally serialized in Tabloia, this tale of body parts found on the highway, and the people who get involved with them is a classic modern horror with a punk film noir vibe. I love it, and re-reading it after a few years honestly made me appreciate Chris’ work even more, he’s like fine wine, getting better with time. The Lump is highly recommended.
While The Lump is legitimately scary at points, Chris’ other major work, Doris Danger, is on the other end of the horror spectrum. Designed as an homage to the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko monsters of the Atlas Comics era, Doris Danger moves through a Kirby-esque landscape of monsters and mad scientists as a tabloid photographer trying to prove the existence of such creatures. You can both read some of this strips for free at Chris’ Patreon, help support further Giant Monster Adventures, or even buy some of Doris’ tales here at Chris’ Amazon page. Also, Follow Chris at YouTube and Twitter. You will not regret it, all of Chris’ work is fantastic, check it out.
In last week’s column I chastised Zenescope for their lack of background for the reader to understand, and I still stand by that, but almost as if in answer to my plea for sanity, this week we have their 2017 Halloween Special, a wonder done-in-one comic featuring Mystere. Hoping for a night off from the Order of the Tarot and all that continuity I was talking about, Mystere takes one of those haunted tours of New Orleans. Unfortunately these spooks aren’t just for the tourists, they are all too real. This one is a Halloween winner, folks, highly recommended.
I am not a wrestling fan. As folks who regularly listen to The GAR! Podcast and Nerdfect Strangers know all too well, when the subject turns to wrestling, I am either napping or playing Candy Crush (just kidding, guys, maybe). But that said, I do really like the WWE comic from BOOM! Studios. As I said before, even though I don’t really know who these characters are, this book has a very cool noir feel and I like it. Dennis Hopeless continues the great storytelling in issue #10 that drew me in originally. And did I mention the Dark Knight Returns homage cover? Haven’t seen one of those in a few months… Recommended.
Tricks …and Treats
There are a lot of comics out this week so I’m going to move through several with just a buy, borrow, or pass grade. Old Man Jack, the official Big Trouble in Little China sequel that John Carpenter had a hand in continues to be surreal and cartoony, while I am loyal and excited by this project, I’m really not digging it on the same level as the movie, so with its second issue, I would borrow. Robyn Hood continues to be hunted with its fourth issue, and continues to be great, buy. Spawn #279 is on the shelves this week, and after two previous issues, the first of which caught my interest, I am done with this. Violent, with multiple writers as if being rewritten several times, this is definitely a pass.
Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson Cadwell’s Mr. Higgins Comes Home is positively a Halloween delight, and a definite buy. The final issue of Kurt Sutter’s Sisters of Sorrow has a quiet but intense ending, borrow. Buffy season eleven #12 gets a borrow mostly because I’ve never really ever been a Buffy person, but it’s good. Michael David Nelson’s Supernaut from 215 Ink is a massive 146-page volume that gives cosmic a whole new meaning as an astronaut tries to stop God from destroying reality. This one has to be seen and read to be believed, definite buy.
This Halloween week also sees the release of Jughead: The Hunger, where the titular character is a werewolf with Reggie in his thrall, so it’s up to Betty Cooper, Werewolf Hunter and her companion Archie to save the day, sounds like spoopy fun. At DC Comics, the Silver Age Atom battles the modern version in this week’s Justice League of America, Howard Chaykin transforms Hanna-Barbera favorites Ruff and Ready, and the Hasbro crossover from IDW featuring GI Joe, Transformers, Rom, M.A.S.K., and the Micronauts concludes in First Strike #6. And of course probably among the best books on the shelves this week are the conclusion of the horrific Victor LaValle’s Destroyer and the third issue of Hi Fi Fight Club, check them out!