“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon
It’s October, and here at Biff Bam Pop! that means a month-long celebration of the macabre in pop-culture. Last time, Dale sweet-talked the incomparable Kris Woofter into guest-writing, and if you missed his look into why we love the horror genre so much – and his incredible list of must-see horror films – you should go check it out. Having to follow that is enough to spark dark visions of authorial revenge on those who put me in this position… but I diegress (yes, even when I’m not writing about comic books, I wind up channeling EC Comics!). So I thought that this week I would focus on a man who is one of the most influential creators in American horror, yet who is sometimes not quite as well-known as he should be. He’s one of my absolute favorites, and likely one of yours too, though you may not know it:
Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.
This week we once again have the pleasure of having Ensley F. Guffey share his love of War Comics, but this time focusing on the Blazing Combat series…
Hello and welcome to another installment of “Ensley F. Guffey on War Comics.” Last time, I used this space to gush about one of my favorite British contributions to the genre, but today I’ll be hopping back across the pond to examine a series that regularly places in the top five of every “Best War Comics” list I’ve ever seen: Blazing Combat. Unlike the other books I’ve written about here, Blazing Combat didn’t come into my life until I was an adult, and beginning to seriously study the genre, but when I discovered it, but it was worth the wait.
Halloween is my favourite holiday for a good reason – costumes, candy, mischief… but I think what really thrills me is the idea that all things evil could become awesome. As a kid, I adored this holiday because it flipped convention on its head – celebrating the things that would normally horrify people, Halloween definitely sparked a love for the horror genre. And Creepshow nurtured it in to a full blown obsession.
Creepshow was released in 1982, directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. With credentials like that, I probably don’t need to add that it was inspired by the classic E.C. Comics of the 1950s. Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Weird Science and even MAD magazine were the creations of this incredible publisher. No doubt these inspired horror icons like Romero and King, but I was born in the 80s and this movie was to be my first taste of their genius.
If you’ve seen this Michael Jackson video, or this Twisted Sister video, or the beginning of Tenacious D, you’ll recognize the beginning of Creepshow… A Dad who unknowingly rouses bad mojo by being mean to his kid. In this case, tossing the Creepshow comic book in the garbage, inspiring rebellious kids everywhere to lust for blood.
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I was spoiled because of my 40th birthday last year and enjoyed a week at the San Diego Comic Con. This year, however, with a reno looming, I was looking for a cheaper and closer option. Narrowing down the options, I had to choose between Chicago’s C2E2 and the Boston Comic Con. C2E2 conflicted with Toronto’s Wizard World so Boston was the choice. My buddy John and I packed up the car last Friday and headed East.