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    “DEAD BOY DETECTIVES VOL. 1: SCHOOLBOY TERRORS” (Comic Review)

    Now over twenty years old, Vertigo has changed the comic industry in many ways. DC’S longest running imprint introduced serious takes on magic and horror, the bizarre and mysterious, and have gone on to influence future generations of dreamers, movers and shakers. And with such fan-favorite titles as HELLBLAZER, SANDMAN and FABLES, there’s bound to be numerous spin-offs of oft-mentioned yet unexplored characters that lurk in the underbelly of larger works. One such story is DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. First introduced in SANDMAN #25, the mini-gumshoes saw brief appearances in various publications, along with a couple of limited-series of their own over the years. It wasn’t until this past year did they finally get their own monthly series however, one that’s arrived in cumulated graphic novel, SHOOLBOY TERRORS.

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    “THE FRENZY WOLVES” (Book Review)

    It’s hard to keep up with Buffalo-based lunatic, Greg Lamberson. Writer. Director. Producer. Author. Film Festival director. Father. The man is prolific (see FANGORIA #316 for our extensive feature), tireless and attacks all his interests with vigor. He’s also a great storyteller as well as a fine mythmaker, and his latest novel, THE FRENZY WOLVES, is yet another solid chapter in his vibrant, eccentric body of work.

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    “LUMBERJANES” #3 (Comic Review)

    One of the most profitable and entertaining endeavors currently on television are  cartoons. Shows like ADVENTURE TIME and REGULAR SHOW are pushing the envelope of animation and storytelling, making themselves a mainstay for both children and adults. By understanding that both demographics essentially want the same thing (consistent, smart writing grounded in the human experience), animation has been blowing up. It’s thanks to these trendsetters that we’re seeing a growing interest in the same type of distinctive narrative in comic books, leading to a boundless, new array of works from companies such as IDW and BOOM! Studios. Enter LUMBERJANES, a group of rough-and-tough girls who are looking to take comics by storm. Blending grimy monsters with hilarious hi-jinks, BOOM!’s latest tile  is already making headway in this new frontier.

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    “BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA” (Comic Review)

    Undervalued upon release in 1986, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA has gathered a rock solid cult following in the intervening years. One of John Carpenter’s less serious-minded films, the over-the-top kung-fu and lightning fantasy action-comedy is continuously adored by old fans and new generations. It’s thanks to these admirers that BOOM! Studios recently announced a comic addition to the BIG TROUBLE story. Featuring everyone’s favorite highway man, Jack Burton, on a brand new adventure of bizarre proportions, it’s sure to feed that insatiable need for quick one-liners and moccasin-clad high kicks.

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    “AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE” #5 (Comic Review)

    During the past year, there are few things this writer anticipates more than opening my mailbox to reveal a lovely bubble envelope shipped from the Archie Comics Group, its vibrant address sticker displaying the iconic Riverdale gang grinning with perma-1950s “gosh-golly” cheer. Of course, inside that shipping slipcase lies something far more malevolent; in fact, what waits within is one of the scariest, most affecting horror comics I’ve ever read.

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    “COURTNEY CRUMRIN: THE WITCH NEXT DOOR” (Comic Review)

    Despite the current success of young reader titles such as ITTY BITTY HELLBOY and KISS KIDS, it felt for a long time there were very few comics not aimed at adult audiences. Even fewer of those were horror. Fortunately, there were works such as COURTNEY CRUMRIN to help pick up the slack. Since first hitting shelves in 2002, the once “limited” series has expanded to four volumes, with a fifth collection, COURTNEY CRUMRIN: THE WITCH NEXT DOOR now hitting shelves (and a sixth on the way). Centered on a grumpy teen who finds herself imbued with magic thanks to her eccentric uncle, the series is a delightfully gothic work that dives deep into dark folklore and explores the hidden depths of the unseen world.

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    Sidesplitters: “WORKAHOLICS” actor Anders Holm on “ECHO ISLAND” and “CANNIBAL FEROX”

    Horror and Comedy go together like masks and murderers, as both set out to evoke reactions from even the most immovable of audiences. Therefore, it’s no surprise that so many funnymen are ardent fright fans. In our new column, Sidesplitters, FANGORIA chats with comedians who love horror as much as they love humor.

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    “AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE” (Comic Review)

    Launching careers, AMERICAN VAMPIRE started as a simple vampire comic in 2010 and has since become one of the most well-received horror series in years. Utilizing clever play on the creatures’ long-held mythos, while telling a compelling story that spanned a solid seventy years of American history and five volumes of graphic novel, AMERICAN VAMPIRE is new again. After a yearlong break, AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE sees original creators Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque return to finish what they started, claiming that this new creation is “the beginning of the huge machinations of the whole series, from here forward, toward the finale.”

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    “THE SUMMER JOB” / “THE FIRST ONE YOU EXPECT” (Book Review)

    True horror disciples have secret codes and sacred texts that we trade back and forth, with great passion and faith. We may not have read all the books, or seen all the films – TOO MANY, TOO MANY for mortal mind to contain! – but we explore, we excavate, we follow the trail to the next golden jolt. Digging up treasures, to share with our tribe.

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