The Reading Pile #15
The Reading Pile is back in your life. Dear readers, I’ve missed you. It’s October, so I’ve intentionally included some horror type books. So let’s do this in a way that needs to be done.
Writers: Eric Powell, Steve Mannion
Artists: Steve Mannion, Kyle Holtz, Eric Powel
So I will read most anything put out by Eric Powell’s Albatross Funnybooks. Spook House is an anthology of one shot spooky (and funny) stories and they are pretty good. He started the series last year and they are published every week in October. The awesome cover is pretty indicative of the art you’ll find inside. So here’s a quick run down of the stories:
Disgusting Monsters from Planet Glogorf: a silly horror/sci-fi story with really cool art.
Christina: this one is written by Eric Powell. It’s a riff off of Stephen King’s Christine involving a go-cart.
The Crud Kid: this kid’s in love with the swamp until one day he becomes a “weed, mud, moss, gunk, mold and sludge thing.” Another funny horror sci-fi story.
Our Big Sister is the Devil: Eric Powell on art & story duties. Hmmm…my least favorite of the four stories as the humor gets a bit scatalogical, oh well.
Writers: Ken Eppstein, Matt Miner
Artists: Michael Neno, Pat Redding Scanlon, Gideon Kendall, Mark Rudolph, Matt LeJeune, Liz Valasco
So I met the author and publisher of Nix Comics, Ken Eppstein, on a bus ride to work a few years ago. I was talking comics with another rider and Ken gave me a copy of his self-published book. It made me curious enough to check out subsequent issues and I even bought a totally affordable lifetime subscription through one of his crowdfunding platforms a year or two ago.
Nix Comics Quarterly is similar to Spook House in that stories are short, self-contained affairs that usually contain elements of horror, the occult and rock and roll. It also contains curious, recurring characters like The Vicar and Bus Stop Ned.
Nix Comics Quarterly has a definite indie vibe and its share of rough edges come with that, but there are a few gems in every issue. I think issue 10 is one of the best yet. If you are feeling adventurous and looking for something a little different, check out nix-retail.com and get yourself a copy of something that looks interesting to you. I’ve also discovered 2 of my favorite artists on Instagram through Nix Comics Quarterly: Rich Trask and Mark Rudolph. 3.5/5
Writer: Daniel Warren Johnson
Artists: Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer
Not going to lie, I read the preview pages that came out in various Image books weeks ago and I thought this was stupid. However, a slow burn of enthusiasm has built around this title and had me curious enough to pick up a copy to review.
Well, I love the first 5 pages. Unique, accessible art (cover art is representative of what you will find inside the book) and the monsters and the conquering Murder Falcon are enough to make me want to pull out my sketchbook and draw. A line like, “I don’t need weapons, officer…I brought metal.” is enough to make any curmudgeon laugh out loud.
So, yeah, pick this up. Jake and the Murder Falcon even guzzle a few beers after one of their conquests in the city and I am so in. 5/5
Writer: Kevin Bergeron
Artists: Jonas Scharf, Christian DiBari, Justin Erickson
Guess I am on a self-contained indie, horror, short story kick as I pulled this out of a stack of unread books. It is October after all.
Ha, this book is cool. We get an intro from a crypt keeper type figure called the “Dierector” and both stories have accompanying movie posters that kick off the stories.
First up is Occult Slumber Party, where a family of four literally gets trapped in a board game. Silly, but fun.
Next up is Lighthouse Keeper, the better of the two stories. A lighthouse at sea keeps driving its keepers crazy. There’s a little bit more to the story and the art in this one; it made me smile. 4/5
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Stefano Martino
Wasn’t sure I would read this, I bought this for the awesome photo cover. Hmmm, this is just ok; Will in the Upside Down and flashbacks to the Netflix series. This is something I’d read with my young nephew, but not really for my personal enjoyment as it seems to be geared towards younger kids. 3/5
So that’s it for this issue, thanks for reading. See you next time and let me know what you think in the comments.
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