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    “ITTY BITTY HELLBOY” (Comic Review)

    From fighting Nazi abominations to beating up witches to going to Hell itself, HELLBOY has seen and done it all. But there’s one thing even Big Red wasn’t prepared to do: protect his cardboard fortress from the villainy of Dr. Karl Kroenen! Miniaturized for tiny hands, ITTY BITTY HELLBOY shows lighter sides of the grim demon spawn as he goes on ridiculously fun adventures the whole family can get into. A solid introduction to comics for young readers, this new collection mixes together the quirky humor of the Sunday funnies with the established characters of the HELLBOY universe, making this a great read for fans across the board.

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    Are You Reading “HAUNTED HORROR”?

    As their numbers dwindle, pre-code horror comics have become a staple of the comic collectors’ market. From swarming the industry with ghoulish monsters and vengeful spirits in the late 1940s to mass comic burnings less than a decade later, the Comics Code Authority changed everything about what was acceptable to read. Thanks to their determination to protect America’s children, swarms of horror titles have been lost to modern readers, until recently. Publishers such as Dark Horse and Fantagraphics have been snatching up long forgotten titles and re-printing them in hardcover collections, beautifully recreating the original feel of the work. Following their success, IDW and partner Yoe Books! hopped aboard the terror train as well, re-publishing stories from the contraband comics in HAUNTED HORROR for easy reading. Unlike its predecessors though, these tales are being released in a single issue format, recalling that classic feeling of picking up your favorite, lurid title at the local dime store.

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    “EVIL ERNIE VOL. 1: ORIGIN OF EVIL” (Comic Review)

    When Chaos! Comics bankrupted in 2002, the fate of their most popular characters went up on the auction block to be picked over and sold. Luckily, the majority of the licenses were bought up by Devils Due Publishing and when they folded, were handed over to Dynamite Press, where they sat waiting for another chance. In 2012, Chaos’ most prolific character, Evil Ernie, finally got re-released in a brand new adventure: a six issue mini-series leading to a collected graphic novel that hit shelves last month. A re-telling of Ernie’s tragic origins, Dynamite attempts to continue what Chaos! Comics started: pure, unadulterated Armageddon. 

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    “GHOST” #1 (Comic Review)

    The multi-faceted Dark Horse Comics has had a low-flying hero universe for over twenty years. From strange, one time characters such as The Moth and The Escapist to the largely popular Hellboy (who’s even crossed paths with Batman and Robin at one point), the company has been slowly building its stable of do-gooders through solid storylines and dedicated readers. One of the most well-known characters is Ghost, a woman not quite living but not quite in the grave, whose mission it is to stop the hordes of hungry demons eager to nibble at our tender souls. Forever trapped in a semi-corporal state, she attempts to keep the gates of Hell from opening on our world while searching for answers to her own forgotten past. After making semi-regular appearances throughout the Dark Horse-verse, Ghost is once again the star of her own series, creating a launching pad for new and old readers alike.

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    “BLACK SCIENCE” #1 (Comic Review)

    If horror has taught us anything, it’s that playing with science is a good way to ruin your day. Unchecked experiments can lead to creatures, zombies, killer plants and human/fly cross-breeds of insane proportions. Unless you’re Velma, it is generally regarded that if you spend a disproportionate amount of your time messing with the fabric of the universe, you will be killed, or at least, very miserable. With BLACK SCIENCE, this is exactly what happens to a poor group of stranded dimension travelers as they desperately search for a way home. Facing alien monsters in an unknown landscape, this new title from Image Comics mixes sci-fi nostalgia with the uncertainty of “what lies beyond,” creating the perfect storm of 70s throwback and modern horror aesthetics.

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    “DRUMHELLAR” #1 (Comic Review)

    Psychic detectives are a dime a dozen. Every coma patient with a bump on his noggin has a story to tell about your dead grandmother’s will, your love life, and “do you know someone whose name starts with a B?” Even comic books are overrun with spiritual mediums, from the classic Dr. Strange, to the more modern John Constantine and Cal McDonald, and even pushing to the future with Judge Dredd’s mind-reading police associates. So why in the world would Image Comics introduce yet another trench-coat toting, cigarette-chomping, down-on-his-luck investigator of the weird into the already clogged cake-hole of entertainment? Because it’s actually pretty good. While the initial idea of DRUMHELLAR might sound like another rehash, the Alex Link and Riley Rossmo-created series manages to set itself apart with a dynamic art style and hungry passion from the latter.

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    “THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE” (Comic Review)

    Few comics have left a cultural mark like SANDMAN. One of the first works to break out of the binds of “children’s entertainment,” this epic series helped re-define the possibilities of comic books. Following in the footsteps of the Alan Moore’s fantastic run on SWAMP THING, THE Sandman was released to an audience hungry for more esoteric and explorative tales of terror. Unlike earlier horror stories of schlocky monsters and ironic twists of fate, this new addition explored the darker side of humanity, delving into the depths of philosophy, magic, and madness, creating a tale that still resonates with readers almost 25 years later. To celebrate its upcoming silver anniversary in January, DC/Vertigo is giving the Sandman the reception of a lifetime, starting with a brand new, six-issue mini-series titled THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE.  

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    “ARMY OF DARKNESS / REANIMATOR” (Comic Review)

    H.P. Lovecrafts HERBERT WEST—REANIMATOR has been adapted or referenced in a dozen different ways, from cartoons to video games to movies, and most famously being the basis for what is arguably one of the greatest horror flicks of the 80s, RE-ANIMATOR. With its shambling corpses and looming horror of the unknown, and an enigmatic, mysterious author to boot, it’s easy to understand why so many creators would be attracted to put their own spin on the classic tale. ARMY OF DARKNESS/REANMIATOR is the latest addition, this time putting EVIL DEAD’s smart-mouthed, chain-sawed leading man Ash in the shoes of the story’s anonymous narrator as he teams up with mad scientist Herbert West. Sticking close to the original Lovecraftian version, this comic is less of a re-telling and more of a garnish to the tale of terror.

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    “THE MEMORY COLLECTORS” (Comic Review)

    There are many ways to torture a person. While plenty of horror tends to focus on the physical torment, it’s the psychological scars that truly stay with the victim, threatening to resurface at the most awkward of times. MEMORY COLLECTORS takes full advantage of this unique human condition, creating a comic that is steeped in nightmares and the demons who feed off the subsequent misery. Written and illustrated by Menton3, the series has been a long time coming for fans of the artist’s distinct, fetishist goth art. Though this is the creator’s second attempt at a full comic series, he is usually found only contributing to cover art, making MEMORY COLLECTORS a unique addition to his repertoire.

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    Q&A: Denise Crosby talks “PET SEMATARY” at the Olympia Film Festival

    As horror fans around the world are in the midst of a month of ghoulish happenings and spooky treats, residents of the Pacific Northwest’s delights include the Olympia Film Festival where, on Sunday, October 20, the Capitol Theater will have a special showing of cult-favorite PET SEMATARY with special guest Denise Crosby in attendance. With proceeds going to new digital equipment for the theatre, the event will include both a Q&A and meet-and-greet with Crosby, after.  In preparation for the upcoming show, Ms. Crosby sat down with Fango to talk about the event and her plans for Seattle.

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    “THE OTHER DEAD” (Comic Review)

    Animals have often been the harbingers of new disease. The Bubonic plague was credited to arriving on the back of rats, while the Bird Flu epidemic pretty much explains itself. With THE OTHER DEAD we are introduced to a brand of animal illness previously only seen in certain type of manipulative parasite: zombies. Instead of the shambling dead hoofing it with the humans, this particular series aims to explore the possibility of a four-legged terror threatening to destroy the known world.  Thick with blood and guts as it is with political and social commentary, THE OTHER DEAD heads in a new direction as it ties together human fear and frailty and its effect on the environment through the collective revolt of the world’s lesser evolved creatures.

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    “AMERICAN VAMPIRE ANTHOLOGY” (Comic Review)

    Whether they’re seducing sweet, innocent girls or slaughtering entire towns in a blood-fueled rage, there is a certain mystique that surrounds vampires, inspiring centuries of stories, legends, and films DC/Vertigo’s AMERICAN VAMPIRE fits perfectly into the well-established mythos as it follows the lives of a brand new strain of vampires who’ve broken away from their European ancestors and have instead grown anew in the wilds of the American West. Beautifully written by DC’s hot rising star Scott Snyder and with an Eisner Award under its belt, it’s no surprise that other creative talents are biting at the chance to work on it. Enter AMERICAN VAMPIRE Anthology, a compilation of some of the industry’s best and brightest adding their own unique twists on the series while helping to fatten up the main characters’ back stories.

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