Category Archives: horror webcomic
So there was this one time — in the Before Times — I reviewed horror anthology Split Lip on this very website. (4 stars!) Well, creator/writer Sam Costello is now kicking off a Kickstarter on the webcomics’ 10th anniversary. Here’s the press release:
2016 is the 10th anniversary of Split Lip, my award-winning horror comics anthology. Over those 10 years, we’ve published 45 stories, 6 books, 8 comics, and over 550 pages. To celebrate the anniversary, I’m releasing a deluxe, limited edition hardcover via Kickstarter. The Kickstarter is live now at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samcostello/split-lip-horror-comics-anthology-10th-anniversary
The anniversary book—called What Lies Inside—is a 350-page hardcover packed with 13 of the best Split Lip stories, featuring work by artists including Kyle Strahm (Spread, Image), Sami Makkonen (Deadworld, IDW), and John Bivens (Dark Engine, Image). It’s also got over 50 pages of new material, such as commentary on every story by me, art excerpts, interviews with artists, and essays by Sean T. Collins and Lauren Davis. Only 500 copies will ever be printed. Rewards include extra books and PDFs, sketches, and original art.
Well, boys and ghouls, Halloween is coming up. Why not put a Split Lip anthology in the bag of one of your trick or treaters? Why not three?
That creepy clown lurking in the woods outside your house sure could use some reading material, don’t you think?
Split Lip… it’s the reason for the season!
I remember it vividly as if it were yesterday. The skies were clear this morning, but the temperatures were below zero. I had a scarf wrapped around my mouth and nose because it almost felt like ice crystals were forming. I was walking from my the parking lot to the building I work at. It was about a quarter mile walk since city restrictions prevented a parking garage from being built, so the company compensated by making the parking lot very, very large.
Fortunately the walkway was covered. However, as I walked down the path, I noticed something weird. There were lumps on the ground covered in frost. At first, I thought they were leaves. As I looked a little closer though, I discovered to my horror that they were birds. About a hundred birds, all littering the ground, dead and frosted. They’d taken shelter under the roof in an attempt to escape the cold snap. It was in vain. The frost had killed them.
Ryan Andrews, the writer of the Eisner-nominated Our Bloodstained Roof, taps into the same chilling realization that death is senseless, and how guilt has an unforgiving way of making our lives miserable for the rest of our lives.
You can say many things about webcomic veteran Kris Straub. Maybe you can say that for some reason he has an almost pathological fear of nostrils. Or that he replace the first letter of his name to a “Ch” to avoid gender confusion. Or that his beard is weird. Like I said, many things.
One thing that you cannot say, though, is that he has no ideas. Kris Straub is the sort of man where any fool thought pops into his head, and he has to go and make a webcomic about it. A webcomic space opera? Sure. Done. Got it. A comic about a struggling band? On it, buddy. A suit made out of chainsaws?
When you think about it, by the way, chainsawsuit (reviewed here) provides the perfect outlet for an ideas man. A thought pops up, and a hastily drawn comic later — BAM!!! — it’s the latest hit on Reddit, garnering tens of upvotes. In one of the Webcomic Weekly podcasts, Straub marvels how the comic was sort of done as a lark, but it turned out to be the one picking up the most views. I suspect, more than anything, that the format fit him like a glove … much like blogging about webcomics, for me, has given me a wide-ranging platform for my racist polemics.
The latest joint by the bearded man with an aversion for the olfactory senses comes in the form of Broodhollow. This time, Straub invites you to enter his particular vision of horror! Only it’s set around the turn of the 20th Century. And it’s still nominally a comedy. And people still don’t have noses.
Seriously, noses are for ethnic people.
There’s something about horror that’s perfect for anthology series. After all, the entire format almost entirely depends on some sort of ironic and sudden conclusion. The mystery and the shocks sometimes contain more impact the shorter you keep the story. Make it longer — like, say, what the movie The Box did to a compact story written by Richard Matheson — and it can get a little too convoluted for its own good.
The most infamous example in comics is a publishing firm called Entertaining Comics … or, as everyone knows them by, EC Comics. The publisher worked on several anthology comics — from crime fiction to military fiction to science fiction. Its most enduring title, though, was its horror anthology: Tales From The Crypt. It was a magazine borne from the fires of World War II. Boys who were forced to endure the horrors of war just weren’t happy with the kiddie superhero stuff anymore. They were men now, daggumit! They wanted to see blood and gore, sex and violence.
Tales From The Crypt, though, would eventually run afoul of special interest groups and, eventually, the United States Congress. The anthology format lives on, though, especially in horror-themed webcomics. A couple of years ago, I took a look at Split Lip, which hopped from one macabre story to another. It was highly effective in compactly telling each horror story.
It’s not the only horror anthology out there, though. Today, we look at Mike Walton’s False Positive.
Hello, boys and ghoouuullls! It’s October. The time when we put pumpkins with grinning faces out on the porch. When we dress up in fancy costumes like “clown” and “sexy clown“. And when webcomic reading becomes webcomic bleeding. Welcome to the Webcomic Overlook October Spooktacular!
I’m your reviewer, Hell Santo. This week, we’ll be looking at several webcomics that are to die for! Creepy tales of witches, ghouls, spirits, and creatures that go bump in the night. Will they delight, or will they fright? There’s only one way to know if a comic stood a ghost of a chance!
We begin with a story of a young woman growing up in the Pacific Northwest. She’s a very quiet girl. Gloomy. Shy. Frightened. But deep down inside, there’s something wild just aching to emerge. You might say that this woman has … hex appeal!
Tonight, let’s take a look at Aaron Alexovich’s Heart Shaped Skull, which is also known as Serenity Rose. I have no idea witch one is correct. I’ll go with Heart Shaped Skull just to keep things simple.
I mean … sin-ple.
No wait. That one was a bit of a stretch. I apologize for that one.
Some time ago, I was helping some folks clean up an old building downtown. I was there with my wife and a fellow helper. It was getting late… and our companion did the one thing you should not be doing when it starts getting dark: she started telling stories. Namely, that she had seen ghosts here.
She told us of two occurrences. She said she once saw a young girl playing near the pulpit. She seemed like a little girl who was just playing around, laughing and giggling and the like. The girl ran off to the back room. The lady went to check on the girl, but, as you might guess, the girl disappeared. The other ghost she saw was a soldier. The lady had done some research, and she found out the building next door was once an infirmary at the turn of the 20th century. She said that these ghosts weren’t dangerous. They were, in fat, rather friendly. She wouldn’t have thought them to be ghosts except that when she’d run after them, they’d disappeared.
Now, maybe I’m not the type of person who believes in ghosts. Maybe I had nothing to be afraid of, since it was made clear that the ghosts were harmless. Friendly or not, though, you best believe we shut off the lights, locked the doors, and got out of that building as fast as we could. The very otherness of a non-corporeal being is enough to get your hairs standing on end.
Zack Morrison knows this. There are many ghosts in his webcomic Paranatural. Some are dangerous. Some are not. But even the friendly ones possess the sort of innate creepiness that makes you want to lock the doors and get out as fast as possible.
Ethan Nicolle made his mark on webcomics with Axe Cop. This much celebrated comic proved that if you added stellar illustrations to a six-year-old kid’s rambling storytelling, you come up with something that’s pretty magical. We all knew though, that it was destined to end. Little Malachai would soon become self aware or tired, and you can only hang on the adventures spouted by a kid for so long vefore it no longer becomes cute.
Fortunately, Ethan decided to follow up his initial effort with a story from his own creation: Bearmageddon. Now, I know what your thinking: between the title and the webcomic’s header image of bears with different animal forms (which looks like a kickin’ rad album cover for a 70’s metal band). You’re saying, “Man, El Santo, not another webcomic with random humor!”
This webcomic does rely on goofy nonsequiturs like an octopus bear. But, thus far, you know what this comic reminds me of? Animal attack movies like Anaconda or Lake Placid. And that is not a bad thing.
While checking my email during my break from reviewing webcomics, I recieved a profound feeling of deja vu. I got a request from an avid reader of this site to review a webcomic that, to put it politely, looked rather sketchy. It featured a world with humans and furries who would often mutilate each other. There were long scenes of characters having their skin and limbs peeled off and of gratuitous murder porn. The hero, if you could call him that, was often in contact with an anthropomorphic grim reaper character who lived in hell.
Yes, this reader asked me to review Jack.
But not THAT Jack.
This is the other Jack, written and illustrated by Norweigan webcomic creator Catya Alvheim. The comic is a little hard to find on Google, given the prominence of David Hopkins’ Jack, but if you type “drunk duck jack” in the search field it pops right up like a mischievous imp trying to educate you on the importance of springs. I felt a little guilty doing this, since Jack, and the art of Jack, specifically, strikes me as the sort of terrible comic that you’d make up in high school. So, yeah, I did my due diligence and, not for the first time, looked up the author’s age, hoping against all hopes that perhaps this was just a screwed up teen who didn’t know any better.
To my dismay… yes, this author is probably old enough to take it. Hopefully, if she comes across this review, she’ll take things in stride. (Heaven knows there are fairly cruel reviews of this Jack populating the internet.) It is also true that Jack was ,at some point, the product of some screwed up teen. But the author is no longer a teen, it’s still updating, and to my further dismay, it has apparently just celebrated its six year anniversary. That’s … that’s a whole lot of Jack.
(Incidentally, many links in this review are going to NSFW due to mutilation, nudity, cannibalism, excessive gore, and juggalos. Viewer discretion is advised.)