Writer: Brian Azzarello Penciller: Eduardo Risso Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo Year: June 2000
Not all horror stories have to include monsters and creatures. The real horror is us and in this stand alone issue of 100 Bullets, writer Brian Azzarello creates a tale of a horror that is all too real. In the early issues of 100 Bullets, the mysterious Mister Graves came to someone's help in rectifying an error in someone's life. The question of people willing to act on the desire of violent revenge if given the means, opportunity, and a reasonable chance to succeed. Agent Graves gives said person an attache case of a gun and 100 bullets, all completely untraceable.
Our stories takes places in a little diner, where Lilly Roach, a middle-age waitress works. She's married to Phil, an auto mechanic. Taking Agent Graves order, Graves mysterious blurts out Lilly's name; asking if she's an acquaintance of her husband, Graves replies she knows her daughter. From there, Lilly is shocked.
Graves eventually tells Lilly, that her daughter ran away, took drugs, fell into a bad crowd...it's not a pretty picture Azzarello spins. Throughout the entire run of this series, Edaurdo Risso creates such amazing page layouts, as his use of blacks creates something more sinister in the dark and in the light as well.
Graves gives the chance of redemption to Lilly, for getting back at what happened to her daughter. He presents her the infamous attache case, gives her explanation of what happens if she goes through with this.
Azzarello, from the beginning of the series created this to be something bigger than the real world. Some theories were that Agent Graves was the Devil and gave the person the free will to make their choice. As this turned into a great and brilliant crime noir, this is by the saddest and in my opinion, scariest of the run. It's a great piece, something out of the Twilight Zone.
"From Hell" Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell Taboo #2-7, From Hell #1-11, 1989-1999
The tale of Jack the Ripper, from his childhood through his descent into madness and murder. Memorable scenes include a walk around London exploring the ritualistic symbolism woven into the architecture. This sacred geometry will help Ripper choose the spots of his murders. It is also the story of the desperate cop charged with stopping the gruesome trail of death.
I nearly picked this as my fifth spot! I love the art in this more than anything else, it straddles the line between photorealistic and stylized better than just about anything else I've ever seen.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
The Saga of the Victims is a grindhouse-styled horror story that chronicles the plight of two young girls from the Scollard Manse School for Girls in Manhattan, who get kidnapped by horrific creatures and dragged deep down into the depths of the school...miles below civilization.
Hold on tight, all hell is about to break loose!
They are taken to a hooded figure and charged with "trespassing", a sentence that involves torture and death. They are able to escape, but once they reach the ground above they see that Manhattan has been invaded by hundreds more of the mindless mutants they encountered below. They are then taken away in giant plastic bags and lifted up into a nearby building, where they find a mysterious doctor who offers medical help but will not answer many questions, only telling the girls to sit and wait for "He who is Horror".
"He who is Horror" enters the room and reveals himself as a gruesome being without flesh, all organs exposed. He tells the girls that he is their tormentor in some kind of wicked game. He speaks to them in riddles and tells the girls they are free to go before melting away.
This is the insanity that ensues:
They are then kidnapped and assaulted by vampires in a creepy castle. They survive that but are then taken by a giant Pterodactyl, who drops the girls into a nest to feed it's young. They somehow escape that and the nest crashes into the water, where they encounter a pirate ship with a crew of undead pirates. They are tied up but the ship is destroyed by a giant squid. They almost drown but are saved by a Nazi General, who ends up kidnapping them.
They escape him and wash ashore on an island inhabited by cannibals, where they are captured for an upcoming feast. They escape once again but get lost in a desert, where the ground opens up and they fall in boiling water. Then they end up in an underground cave with an army of Nazi zombies! Eventually they are transported back to Scollard Manse, and just when they think they are safe the Manse shakes violently as we see it is actually a spaceship, rocketing out into space!
It just never ends for these two! Sadly, Scream magazine was cancelled before the final chapter could be created, and for decades the story laid unfinished. That is until 2003 when Alan Hewetson and Suso Rego reunited to create the last chapter for a complete graphic novel version published by Headpress. In the Final Chapter, the girls are trapped inside the Manse which is headed into space as they are again greeted by "He who is Horror".
It is revealed that Horror is actually an alien God who had been testing the girls like guinea pigs in some sort of horrific experiment in humanity. Since they survived everything Horror threw at them, he now belives they are a threat and must be extinguished. That is not before letting them see the Earth die as he sucks all of the water out of it, leaving only a dry, lifeless rock. He then proceeds to destroy the girls in his giant hands, but their spirits continue to fight on as we see their souls among the stars, searching for the edge of the universe...
Crazy stuff, huh? The TPB Headpress released is now out of print, but I highly recommend checking it out (or even the Scream Magazine issues) if you can. Suso's artwork is fantastic, and the story is out there enough to become one of my favorite horror stories of all time.
Last Edit: Oct 23, 2014 12:57:09 GMT -5 by Deleted
Post by hondobrode on Oct 26, 2014 23:15:21 GMT -5
That's exactly what I was thinking.
Shaxper's right about those Skywald's, darn it.
This story is "Rude Awakening" by Archie Goodwin & Alex Toth from Creepy # 7 (1966).
It's a story of Mr. Asher, in the middle of a dream that he's being attacked by hooded robed men and the main protagonist with balding head and huge eyes in coke bottle glasses with a knife raised in both hands ready to stab down on Mr. Asher.
He then wakes up and realizes it was only a dream.
Off to work and the subway. Mr. Asher is daydreaming and thinks this same protagonist is across from him lunging to attack him with a knife again. He screams out and the other passengers think he's crazy.
On his way to the office, mesmerized, Mr. Asher is in a maze, and again, the Man With The Knife is there and Asher's terror brings him back to reality, and the office he works at. He screams out and startles his secretary.
Shaken, he reports to his office and lies down in his couch. Again, predictably, The Man re-appears, but in reality it's his secretary entering his office. Asher, desperate, yelling "You can't do this again !" holding his arm out to block The Man and Asher falls out the window, 3 stories. His body falls twisted on the sidewalk and a crowd is around.
Asher is strapped securely to a gurney with a mask of sedative across his face. Later, there are lights around him, and The Man now has a surgical mask and a scalpel and Mr. Asher screaming.
Toth's minimalist approach is not evident here as he adds extra detail to accentuate the terror and confusion given beautiful contrast in Warren's signature black and white.
Black and white mags are probably my favorite genre of comics and I am not as knowledgeable about them as I should be. I am always finding about new titles, new publishers. And my mag collection is actually pretty small. I have lots of issues of just a few series. But as far as my back issue buying goes from now on, if it's not self published, it will be a mag. For the foreseeable future at least.