Shadowland, Forbidden Planet International and Starburst issue 390
My obscene horror anthology comic BLACKOUT was recently reviewed by Dustin LaValley (Spinner, Lowlife Underdogs) in Shadowland Magazine #8. He says that “Comic books have taken a hit in the horror genre. They’ve become what the publishers have found makes money: plain, safe and trendy. Luckily, there are creators out there who recognize what really is thrilling, creepy, terrible and horrible. There is nothing safe about BLACKOUT.”
“This full-colour, 32-page horror comic book is nothing less than a sick, twisted and totally fun read for any depraved soul out there looking for a companion in this sanitary world of ours.”
Over on the Forbidden Planet International blog, Richard Bruton reviewed the first issue of my four-part gothic-horror series La Belle Dame Sans Merci: “This comics adaptation delivers PM Buchan’s take (on the poem by John Keats), a different, inventive relocation, a dark and bloody affair, and most importantly La Belle Dame here is both seductress and victim, her bloodstained hands a defense against all manner of demons following her.”
“La Belle Dame is no innocent here, but neither is she a simple evil predator either, something that plays well into the fascinating essay at the end of this issue on Keats and feminism by Miranda Brennan.”
“La Belle Dame Sans Merci is an intriguing comic, skillful, nuanced horror, starting as a mundane urban tale, switching to a dramatic betrayal and finally ending on a gut-wrenching twist that disturbs.”
The best part about being reviewed by Richard Bruton is that he reads EVERY comic published in the UK, the good and the bad, (or at least gives that appearance!), and his contribution to the UK comic-book community is immeasurable.
Starburst Magazine issue 390 is now on sale, featuring my column about comic-books Adventures On Alternative Earths and my latest Starburst comic strip. In my column this month I recommend The Last Tape in Hell, by Sarah Gordon, Drowntown: Book One, by Robbie Morrison and Jim Murray, and The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins. This month’s Starburst Strip, The Frog King, is illustrated by Trystan Mitchell, a Cornwall-based artist with a keen interest in folklore and a clean style that reminds me of classic animation cells. Trystan has been a pleasure to work with and it would be no exaggeration to say that we have big plans for working together again in the future.
Next month’s Starburst strip will be illustrated by Stephanie Scott, a recent graduate of Duncan Of Jordanstone University, who specializes in comics and childrens illustration:
Finally, in Starburst issue 390 I also interviewed Judge Dredd co-creator Alan Grant, Dan Dare illustrator Jon Haward and All Star Superman colourist Jamie Grant about their newly collected Tales of the Buddha (before he got enlightened), published by Renegade Arts Entertainment. I’ve recommended Tales of the Buddha before and will again, because it’s brilliant fun, so make sure that you take a look at this new printed edition if you spot it in your local comic shop.