• Shadows On The Grave (Hardcover)



    Shadows On The Grave (Hardcover)
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: January 17th, 2018.
    Written & Illustrated by: Richard Corben
    Purchase From Amazon

    Any time we get new work from Richard Corben it’s a time to celebrate, particularly when it’s new horror material! This latest mini-series from Dark Horse Comics sees the man in a big time return to form. It’s an anthology series, with a recurring Denaeus (the ‘distant grandnephew of Den’) storyline unfolding in each issue. First up is a splash page hosted by Old Mag The Hag and Gurgy Tate that talks about some of the themes the series will deal with (“Husbands Galore” and “Swamp Trolls” to name only two!) and that explains why the series is in black and white.

    From there, we get our first story – Strung Along. Two boys, Emmit and Henry, take in a puppet show put on out of the back of an old truck way out in farm country. They and the rest of the onlookers laugh at the exploits of puppets Skeezy and Tweets but when it’s all over the boys wonder just how and why the puppets were so lifelike. They’re about to head home when they hear a weird noise come out of the back of the truck. Even though they need to get home, they can’t help but go investigate and when they do, they learn the horrible truth about the show they’ve just enjoyed.

    Roots In Hell tells the tale of married couple Betty and Jack who just wanted to get away from it all. They fly their small two seater plane towards their island destination for the vacation they’ve both been looking forward to when they run into a nasty storm. They manage to land the craft on a small island in the middle of nowhere but the plane is a wreck, they won’t by flying out of there anytime soon. They manage to set up shelter and are making the best of it. Things are going about as well as they can until Jack gets hungry and eats what he thinks is a mango. Oops.

    The third story, For Better Or Worse?, introduces us to a drunken abusive farmer named Jake Mekker and his put upon wife Zulia. They live in a remote farmhouse outside of town and it’s here that Zulia poisons her husband having finally had enough of his abuse. The sheriff from town, Beauford, comes to visit, just to check in on them, and Zulia confesses to having killed her husband… who then walks around the corner and complains about being tired. A week later, Beauford pays them another visit. Again, Zulia tells him Jake is dead, but Beauford can see Jake working away in the field on the other side of the house…

    …which brings us to Denaeus: Dreams And Portents, the story of a distant relative of one of Corben’s most famous creations. A woman, Grymora the Oracle, clad in a clock pressures her troll-like assistant, Turox, to help her traverse the Stony Trail. She insists they complete their journey before midnight. When they arrive, she can feel the ghosts coming and asks Turox for the Thanatos drugs before encouraging him to go hide lest they suck his blood. She ingests the drugs and begins to float, travelling towards a crumbling castle where she sees a murder take place. The culprit? An angry specter out to take revenge. The victim? Well the victim’s identity causes her to scream in terror. Meanwhile in the village of Knoxnia a hulking young man named Denaeus prepares to celebrate King Akrorkos’ birthday. His girlfriend Helena sends him on his way, warning him not to get into trouble with the girls. He hopes to win a position in The Knoxnia Elite Guard that will earn him enough money to buy a small farm and make Helena his wife. When Denaeus arrives and performs his feats of strength, he’s accosted by the blind oracle…

    The first issue of this eight issue run is top notch stuff – a classic horror anthology that, like a lot of Corben’s work, is clearly inspired by the classic E.C. Comics of the fifties but given the man’s own bizarre underground comix touch. The black and white artwork is excellent. There’s loads of detail in every panel and the layouts are creative, bizarre and sometimes quite humorous (particularly when Mag or Gurgy show up to intro/outro the stories). This is Corben in his element, doing what he does best by presenting darkly humorous stories of the macabre.

    Once again opening with a splash page hosted by Old Mag The Hag and Gurgy Tate, the second issue of Richard Corben’s Shadows On The Grave offers up three all new self-contained short stories as well as the second chapter of the continuing to Denaeus: Dreams And Portents follow up to his classic Den series.

    First up is A Muddy Plot. Here we head out into the wilds of a fog shrouded countryside where a man named Amos Stokes and his female companion, Bertella, drive through the night in hopes of reaching his Aunt Deanne’s place. Deanne’s rumored to have quite the stash hidden away at her place. They pass Amos’ brother’s car wrecked at the side of the road and hope he hasn’t already pilfered what there might be there to pilfer, but soon arrive at the creaky old house. They find Deanne in bad shape, recently beaten by her nephew Zack, but she wouldn’t tell him where the money was hidden. But Amos is no better than his brother, in fact he’s worse – he kills the old dame… or at least he tries to.

    The Thing In The Swamp takes place in, well, a swamp – one that men have tried time and again to cultivate without success. Weird things happen in this place. This tales tells us of one such weird occurrence involving an old man named Caleb Zeban, the only man to enter the swamp and make it back out again. In the swamp Caleb found an old cabin he thought to be abandoned. He seemed trapped there by some unseen force until his nephew Jared followed him. Caleb tells Jared to turn around, to leave- he can’t go back to that woman, to The Lamia. But Jared won’t listen…

    In Don’t Steal From The Dead we meet a young man named Martin Akers who is trying to find the grave of his dear departed distant Aunt Lititia. Martin needs money and he knows that his aunt was buried with her expensive jewelry on. The cemetery is huge and Martin has no luck finding the grave until he comes across a woman in funeral garb. Knowing that Martin is lost the woman offers to help him find the grave he’s searching for – in fact she knows just where it is. It’s then that Martin tries to steal the woman’s broach, but his theft is interrupted when the groundskeeper shows up. The woman disappears and the groundskeeper, none the wiser, offers Martin a ride out – the cemetery is closing now. But later that night, Martin returns and digs up Lititia’s grave. This won’t end well.

    In the second chapter of Denaeus: Dreams And Portents, a long nosed stranger approaches King Akrokos, interrupting important kingly business to deliver a message from Aegronia explaining how his trade routes have been crushed by a cyclops! Sure enough, a massive cyclops did indeed crush the King’s caravan as they were en route, slaughtering his troops and making off with their cargo. The blind oracle Grymora reminds him, despite how upset he is by this news, that she has foreseen his death at the hands of Denaeu. In order to deal with the problem quickly, Akrokos orders the young man to be decapitated but he is talked out of this. One of his advisor’s has a better idea – why not have one problem deal with another? And so Denaeus is sent out to kill the cyclops…

    The third issue of Richard Corben’s old school black and white horror anthology series opens with a splash page that alerts us to the story of one Beauford Scoarch and how his corpse really just didn’t want to stay buried, courtesy of Mag The Hag.

    This segues nicely into the first proper story, Bogged In The Bayou, which takes place in the remote Okeghauchee Swamp. Here we witness a lovely young woman as she drives her car across one of the swamp’s few roads. She follows the road to its end where she comes across a rotting old mansion, once beautiful but now being reclaimed by its surroundings. She knocks on the door and amazingly enough, a man answers and when she asks if this is the Davis residence, he confirms her suspicions and invites her in. This man is Sigmund and he tells her that the Davis’ no longer live here. The only reason he invited her in? His brother Basil might have turned on him had he not! Basil takes the woman behind closed doors – we fear the worst for her but a few BLAM BLAM BLAM’s later and she emerges unscathed, the barrel of her pistol smoking in a very telling way – and then she tells Sigmund who she is and why she’s here.

    The Grave Flies takes us to a remote and aged cemetery, where Lord Amesley Carnaugh, along with his brother Manfred and their servant Dedak Six, uncover the tomb of one Sir William Nomyer, famed scholar, archeologist and grave robber! They break in and find nothing but bones until the look closer and find an exotic amulet on the corpse of its inhabitant – The Abhorrent Necronik! Reported to have a link to the spirit world and also to be worth a fortune, they remove it only to see Carnaugh’s body turn into a horde of flies! They flee back to the safety of the Carnaugh Estate with the intention of adding the amulet to their substantial collection of artifacts stowed away in the basement. However, Dedak tires of living in poverty while surrounded by riches. When he decides to do something about it, things get… strange.

    Such Pretty Little Toes (this one is the only entry not written by Corben –instead it was penned by longtime collaborator Jan Strnad) shows us a couple –Dick and Donna - poking through the woods, eventually reaching their destination, a rundown old shack in the middle of the forest. The check it out and no one appears to be home, so they let themselves in and get comfortable. It’s then that a crazy old bearded man with a shotgun makes it clear that he’s none too impressed with trespassers but seeing that they appear to be lost, he lets them spend the night. When the old man starts telling stories and the youngins don’t believe him, he decides to show them some proof. When a noise outside startles the old man, Dick and Donna find out what he stores in that big old cabinet he’s told them to stay away from.

    The third installment of Denaeus: Dreams And Portents takes us to Knoxia’s secondary port where Denaeus prepares to lead many, including the Prince Of Knoxia, on a quest. They board their ship and depart before a mysterious woman named Malgia, intent on joining their quest, could get on board. She hires a local man to bring her out there but when the captain gets frisky she rightly puts the pig in his place. A second warrior woman, Lustea, shows up and attempts to kill Captain Blotos but is talked out of it – they both want to get to Aegronia and Blotos, for all his many flaws, can get them there. He agrees to take them out to sea despite the oncoming storm, but once he gets them out there his true colors show once again – but one incantation and one Monty Python reference later and the two women have washed ashore on the beaches of Aegronia, even if the men who sailed them there have died at sea. Meanwhile, Denaeus explores the area and wonders if a cyclops isn’t responsible for some recent devastation while that old oracle from the first chapter shows up to warn him of his impending demise!

    The issue closes off with a one pager where Mag The Hag tells us the macabre story of one Audrey Doubt and the money she came into when her husband disappeared.

    The fourth issue of Richard Corben’s Shadows On The Grave horror anthology series opens with a one pager where good ol’ Mag The Hag tells the quick but ominous tale of a thief named Orval Krund, a man sleazy enough to steal from the church orphan’s fund!

    From there, it’s time for The Clown, the sordid story of a small time thief named Frank Dormel. When we catch up with him he’s scouring a local carnival for a mark, unaware that he’s being watched. But with plenty of people wandering around carrying cash, distracted by all that the carnival has to offer, Frank’s chances look pretty good. He passes the rides and attractions looking for the perfect victim, but when he heads back to the trailers a strange clown tries to bounce him. It gets bad, Frank stabs him, stashes the body and steals his clown mask. With the crowd starting to thin and his chances thinning with it, he decides to check out Tasheena, a buxom and remarkably flexible exotic dancer. Afterwards, a lone carnie heads back to the trailer to count the loot from the show. Frank follows, and when the carnie and the others learn that ‘Olaf’ was killed they head out, leaving the money, to go investigate. It’s then that Tasheena talks Frank into working with her – she knows where the money is kept, but of course, this won’t end with them just taking the cash and living happily ever after, oh no…

    In Flex (co-written by long time Corben collaborator Jan Strnad) we journey to a bodybuilding competition where a man named Gunter Schwartzman wins his ninth consecutive Mr. Cosmos Championship title. That means Milton Krebs has lost nine times, and he’s none too happy about it. When he heads home through an alleyway, muttering to himself about wanting to beat that ‘grinning baboon’ a man overhears him. He offers him a vial of liquid and tells him that one drop on his tongue will give him what he needs. He takes him up on the offer and once he flexes, his muscles start to bulge and throb – the catch? This only lasts for an hour. Still, if used sparingly there’s enough in the vial to last him a lifetime, so the weird old man tells him at least. When the man tries to charge him a million dollars for the stuff, Milton decides instead to kill him and take it. Milton runs, leaving the body in the alleyway – but the man isn’t dead, he gets up, picks up something off of the ground and puts it in his pocket labelled ‘souls.’ That’s not good a good sign, and neither is the tail we see between his legs. A year later and Milton is ready to beat Gunter at the next competition, but of course, it doesn’t go as planned.

    Last but not least, the fourth chapter of Denaeus, The Black Quest! Malgia and Lustea wander through Aegronia, admiring the Malgia’s work as a sculptor until it is found out that many of them have been damaged, the work of the one-eyed Monoculus! Not only that, but he stole the black fleece as well, an object of immense magical power. On the other side of the island, Denaeus arrives at the Monoculus’ home ready for battle. When he taunts the beast and then assaults him with a stone, it sends the Monoculus into a rage at which point Denaeus and his men launch their attack. The violent and bloody battle goes in their favor thanks to Denaeus’ efforts, but the fruits of this battle, the reward for his victory, well, it isn’t at all what he had hoped for or expected.

    The fifth issue of Richard Corben’s Shadows On The Grave opens with a quick and quirky one pager entitled Reunion, wherein we learn how lover Zach and Deirdre are reunited in a graveyard after Zach killed himself when she didn’t return. It’s gross, and it’s awesome.

    From there, out hostess Mag The Hag introduces us to the horrors of The Island! It’s late at night in the middle of nowhere and a man named Ed Burney is driving through a horrible rain storm struggling to even see properly through his windshield. When he sees a light ahead and hopes it’s a hotel or somewhere to stop for a rest, he turns for it… and then it moves. Determined to find it he turns around and eventually finds it, a rundown old house inhabited by a woman who tells him to go away. He won’t take now for an answer and though she tells him he’ll regret it, he insists on staying… and then after offering him some tea, the old woman tells him of the old cemetery she used to look after, the one that the lake overtook… Ed should have listened to the old lady.

    In Mirror Image we meet Walter Hall, a man who travels to a remote estate lured by the wealth of an aging aunt Lorraine. His intentions? To get on her good side and inherit her mansion and everything in it. When he arrives, the young woman who answers the door tells him Ms. Hall is out but after he tells her of his hope to detail the family tree, she lets him in and introduces herself as Ms. Hall’s assistant, Laurel Turner and shows him to the guest room. The next morning, with his aunt nowhere to be seen, Walter talks to Laurel who tells him she has errands to run. He walks the grounds and snoops around until he winds up in a lower level of the house where he learns the truth about Laurel and about his aunt and about the only mirror in the entire massive home.

    Our third tale of terror is Blind Choice, wherein we meet a young woman named Lucida Thone, a blind woman who never gave up hope of someday regaining her sight. Her boyfriend Mark shared her optimism – when we meet them he’s upset that she’s wandered off alone in the dark. They talk of the priest who claims to have witnessed miracles whilst amongst the Nekrongo Tribe and their plan to offer them tools and guns to work their magic on poor blind Lucida so that she can once again make art – thus explaining what they’re doing in the middle of the jungle at night. It all goes to pot when a group of Nekrongo finds them first and brings them back to Chief Moraku, upset that some white men had massacred his people for gold – this after the warnings of their guide, Zikkman, which Mark ignored. The chief claims he can help her regain her sight, but that there is a price…

    Last but not least, the fifth chapter of the ongoing Deneaus saga – chapter five, Headed For Horror. Here two figures sit and observe a quarter of corpses, each the victim of a team of archers – Uncle Nekos, Deneaus’ mother, his beloved Helenia and his younger sister Hynea. Elsewhere the oracle Grymora cannot sleep. She opens her door to find Zeus, the king of the gods, and his brothers outside her front door. She tells them to go away but they persist. Zeus insists he must visit with her. He accuses her of using her powers for personal gain and insists that she must join them to make things right. Later, Grymora requests that her servant Turox help her get out of town before nightfall, but he seems more interested in the free food sure to be offered at the celebration that King Akrokos is holding for the return of Prince Moronicles. She allows him to head in to witness the celebration where the prince shows the king that the treasure stolen by the monster Monocles has been returned and that the traitor Deneaus has been killed – his severed arm is presented as proof! It’s all going quite swimmingly until Moronicles calls the six surviving members of the troop that accompanied him on this mission!

    Great stuff, Corben firing on all cylinders. You could call it a return to form if he’d ever really slipped, but he hasn’t, he’s been one of the most consistently interesting ‘underground’ and ‘horror’ artists of his generation. This series has, from the start, been a throwback of sorts – it’s clearly E.C. and Warren influenced and would have felt right at home with Pacific Comics in the eighties where Corben did quite a bit of work – but his style is so timeless and so out there that it never feels like an illustrated nostalgic act. Each one of these stories is a kick, from the opening one pager to the morality plays of The Island and The Mirror (both co-written by Corben and Beth Reed). Blind Choice is solid too, and while we can see the ending coming a mile away it’s a total kick getting there and the final reveal is so well illustrated that you can’t help but love it. As to the ongoing saga of Deneaus? If it isn’t as ‘adults only’ as some of the earlier Corben material that clearly laid the groundwork for it, it’s no less entertaining. What started off as a fairly standard sword and sorcery tale has evolved into something more, a story of treachery, nobility and gruesome horror – the kind of stuff Corben was born to draw!

    The sixth issue opening with a one pager in which Mag The Hag tells us the story of Lionel Wayne Jameson and his penchant for eating human hybrid meat in an attempt to give himself heightened senses and mental powers.

    From there, we jump into the first story proper, a tale called The Grifter (written by Mike Shields) that introduces us to Cole Jamison, a down on his luck con man who makes his way to the small town of Mt. Prospect after his car dies on the side of the road. As he contemplates his next con, he’s surprised by the locals who welcome him with open arms who address him as Mr. Parrish. They bring him in and make him a huge meal, introducing him to the mayor, the town reverend and his lovely daughter Faith. Apparently he’s the ‘brother that Jeremiah recommended’ to them. Cole is confused over all the fuss but he doesn’t complain when they put him up in the nicest house in town. Cole realizes he needs to take advantage of this before the real Parrish shows up and so he requests that Faith be his for the night. This request is granted, but then of course, there is the issue of ‘the ceremony’ that the locals keep mentioning…

    Up next, a story called Trapped that takes place in the wintery woods where Simon Orn is checking the traps he laid in hopes of a big catch like a bear in what appears to be virgin territory ripe with animals to catch. He finds his trap and in it, not a bear but some ‘vicious little bugger’ with a lot of sharp teeth. He kills it and skins it only to be interrupted by a Ranger upset that Orn has crossed the river he was told to stay south of. When the Ranger flips out after seeing the pelt, Orn panics and shoots him dead but that night he learns the horrible truth about the animal he caught and what the Ranger was so upset about.

    Birthday opens with a panel wherein a man named John is lying down on his therapist’s couch and telling him about the recurring dream that drives him crazy. It happens every year, around the time of his birthday, and in the dream he sees himself as a kid lost in a cemetery. He walks for hours but can’t find his way out, but he does find a birthday cake atop a tomb which he eats. From there he’s chased by a zombie and falls into an open grave. The shrink tells him the dreams are caused by repressed guilt caused by a horrific childhood incident he’s about to relive.

    Last but not least, the sixth installment of the book’s ongoing Denaeus storyline. King Akrokos sits in a deep depression after his wife, family and elite guards were cooked and eaten at the Royal Banquet. Clearly he’s upset about having inadvertently consumed their flesh, which is pretty understandable. His son, Prince Moronicles, has left the city following the witch Grymora assuming she knew something about the tragedy. Once he’s left alone by his servents, Akrokos sees Denaeus come out from behind the curtain where he’d been hiding to warn him that there are those who are plotting against him (though he reassures the king that the oath of loyalty he swore to him still stands despite the fact that Akrokos had Denaeus’ family killed). Denaeus urges Akrokos to come with him to the perfect hiding spot. Elsewhere, Dolokos introduces some of the other royal archers to a buxom lass named Milea. She watches them practice and all have a great time until the archers notice that the target they’d been using, presumably some hay wrapped up in cloth, is bleeding.

    The seventh issue once again opening with a one pager featuring Mag The Hag. This time she tells us the story of The Prisoner, where Wilfred and his younger sister Pearl.

    From there, the first proper story shows up in the form of Legacy Of Hate! It’s the tale of an old man named Joshua Bullard, unhappy with his butler Heywood for bringing his nephews Andrew and Victor into his room. They know the old man is not long for this world and the two younger men are running out of money. They wanted an advance on their inheritance, what they got was kicked out of the old man’s mansion. A week later, Joshua is dead and the nephews are left nothing in his will. Before they could talk to a lawyer, the old man’s uninsured mansion burned to the ground. Months later, Andrew and Victor are penniless, in debt to their landlord and their bookie, and then they get an unexpected visit from Heywood who claims to know where Bullard’s fortunes were buried and how to get them.

    In Digger we meet Jed Aukman, a simple gravedigger who gets a visit from his cousin and boss, Dr. Hardell Benrik. He’s an abusive jerk, upset that Jed buried the expensive coffin instead of switching the body out and burying the cheap one as he was instructed. We learn that Jed wasn’t always so meek, it changed when Hardell’s wife Agnes died, and that Hardell intends to check in on Jed later that night to make sure the coffins got switched after all. When he checks in on the shake where Jed lives her hears the man talking to someone, a woman…

    Up next, it’s Roadside Horror Museum, in which a motorist named Carl picks up a woman named Doreen after she had some car trouble. They see a sign for a horror museum up ahead and decide to pay the $0.25 to check it out. They arrive at the rundown building and are greeted by Madame Mauve who gladly takes their money and then show them around. Doreen is freaked out but Carl insists everything here is a fake and insists that they leave despite Doreen’s protests. When they meet one of the displays from the museum in the middle of the road on their way out, however, Carl wonders if they should get the cops involved – but of course, there’s more to this than he realizes.

    Last but not least, the latest installment of the Denaeus story, this latest chapter entitled Crushed. Prince Moronicles is now the king, his father killed by his own archers last issue, a trap set by Denaeus himself with some help from lovely Lustea and the witch Gamiola. Moronicles wants revenge, and with warriors in tow has travelled north to find those who killed his family. They track them, showing no mercy to anyone they suspect of harboring them, but Moronicles insists that the guards get them alive so that he can deal with them personally. But of course, they’re outsmarted along the way, leaving Moronicles and his trusty but dim musclebound servant Mongolox as the only survivors of the royal entourage…

    What better way to send off the final issue of Richard Corben’s eight issue underground horror throwback anthology series than with a cover piece featuring a fiend eating a baby?

    The issue proper starts off with a macabre one pager called, The Maze, where we’re introduced to Dan Newell – a man of great intellect outsmarted by a cult that worshipped a strange statue. Great stuff.

    From there? Our first story, the Antique Shop, tells the sordid tale of a man named Shifty Boldner, down on his luck and hoping to swipe something from Shoques antique store and sell it on the other side of town for some quick cash. He enters the store and talks to grumpy old Schoque who is quite certain that Boldner is looking for something to steal. Shoque kicks him out of the store but Boldner, figuring the old man has something valuable in the cabinet he was trying to keep him away from, peers through the window and sees the old man mess about with an urn that he presumes holds something valuable. When Shoque leaves late that night, Bouldner breaks into the store and learns the truth about what Shoque was really hiding.

    The Dare follows two boys, Bixby and Will, as they hop a fence to explore an old cemetery. Soon enough they come upon the crypt of Simon Groughton, a man reportedly hung for eating children! Will’s frightened by the hulking stone edifice but Bixby, he’s got an idea for some fun – he dares his friend to go inside. Will accepts but insists that Bixby go with him. He agrees, but then slams the gate shut on Will, locking him in the crypt. When the jokes over, however, neither boy can get the gate open. Will’s trapped inside, leaving Bixby to go for help. When Bixby returns later with the caretaker, the gate opens right up and Will is nowhere to be seen – nor was he seen, ever again. Years later Will’s family moved away and Bixby grew old, haunted by what happened to him. With his days numbered, he felt the need to visit the old place one last time, and when he does, he learns what really happened to his childhood friend.

    In A Hill Of Husbands, we learn how Mureena Gasgue would often visit her mother’s tomb where she talked to her dearly departed matron about her string of bad marriages. She had a tendency to marry nasty men for their money, and each of the three are buried just up the hill from her mother’s grave. From here, we see her visit their graves, talking to Addison Jasper, Ambrose Rigorman and Vitos Henckly about how she killed them using what she learned from them. Just then, the three men rise from their graves and the shambling corpses, still lusting after the lovely young woman, give chase causing her to flee and take refuge inside her mother’s crypt. Here the voice of her mother suggests she ask Wilson for help, and so she does.

    Last but not least, the final chapter of the book’s ongoing saga, Denaeus, where Mag The Hag tells us how nothing could have survived the catastrophe that ended the last chapter. However, an hour after the rocks crumbled and the bodies were covered in debris, both Denaeus and Lustea emerge from the mess alive. However, as he used his body to shelter her, Lustea is in much better shape than her beau. They both know he is dying, and so Lustea prepares, but then, there’s the matter of the witch Grymora yet to deal with.

    The issue ends with a back cover one pager, The Final Plot, in full color where two lovers, Angie and Lyle, get rid of her husband – but of course, there’s a twist.

    And so ends Shadows On The Grave, Corben’s eight issue return to his roots and to the underground ‘GORE’ comix that he made such a name for himself with early in his career. The E.C. influence is huge, but this is pure Corben through and through, his unique and still genuinely bizarre style all over every damn panel of every damn issue. This last issue is just as much fun as the seven that came before it. Each of the stories ends with a twist, a moral of sorts, proving that those who do evil will get what they deserve in the end. Like a lot of Corben’s horror shorts, the whole thing feels like a slightly more adult version of pretty much any fifties horror book you’d care to name, but that’s not a bad thing. The retro vibe has always been a big part of what he does and really, nobody does it better than Corben. The artwork is gorgeous, the black and white line work really shines and the grey scale work (done by Beth Corben Reed), adds to the book’s right atmosphere and weird tone.

    Anyone interested in Corben’s artwork and storytelling style should consider this essential. Now that the eight issues are done with new readers might want to wait for the trade we can assume is coming but those who have been with this since the start? Don’t miss it.

    This hardcover collected edition includes every single one of the black and white stories from the eight issue run as well as a new introduction written by Mike Shields, all the color back cover one pagers and full color front covers as well.
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