Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought we could spend this edition of the Roundup looking at some of the creepier books you can find on the stands of your local comic shop. So in that vein (pardon the pun) we have a headless horseman in Sleepy Hollow, blood-sucking vampires in Shinku and hordes of zombies in The Walking Dead.
Sound like fun? I thought so.
Sleepy Hollow #1 (of 4)
By Dan Wickline and AC Osorio
I don’t think anyone is really that surprised to see Zenescope giving Sleepy Hollow the Grimm Fairy Tales treatment, maybe only that it took them this long to do it. It’s a story that is tailor made for a company that has prided itself on taking fairy tales we all know so well and turning them on their head. Sleepy Hollow has love, betrayal, revenge, sex, blood and a guy on a horse with no head. What’s not to like?
Wickline, who has recently become one of Zenescope’s regular group of writers, turns in a story that feels entirely modern, yet classic Sleepy Hollow in every way. Questionable morals, good and evil, people being pushed into making bad decisions, Wickline does a great job of keeping the reader on edge and not 100% sure what’s going on. The artwork by Osorio matches the tone and feeling set by Wickline and is filled with dark shadowing and a general sense of foreboding that is tough to ignore. The two creators compliment each other very well and have all the makings of a great team.
Sleepy Hollow is just what you want in a comic book this time of year. It’ll scare you, make you feel uncomfortable and might just freak you out. What more could you ask for at Halloween?
By Ron Marz and Lee Moder
After a long absence from comic shops, Marz and Moder return with the 5th issue of their vampire/cyberpunk epic Shinku. Unfortunately, such a long gap between issues is usually a death knell for a new creator owned series like this, and that would be a real shame. Because Shinku is easily one of the better series currently coming out from Image and some of Ron Marz’s best work to date.
Picking up where issue 4 left off, Shinku and her allies take the battle to Asano and the rest of the vampire Yagyu clan. From there it’s all action and blood and Shinku does what she does best. Marz keeps the plot tight and the dialogue to a minimum since Moder’s art does way more to get the story across than any words could. But what I really like about Shinku is that in a time when most vampire stories have no teeth (get it? teeth?), just lots of Twilight fluff and leftover Vampire Lestat imagery, along comes a book where it’s balls to the wall and buckets of blood and guts. Just the way a good vampire story should be.
Take my advice and check Shinku out as soon as you can. The book needs the support and you’ll go for a hell of a ride to boot.
The Walking Dead Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire
By Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
Okay, I’ll admit. I’m really late to the party when it comes to The Walking Dead. I read the first trade a few years ago, remember being very unimpressed and thought that was that. But with Halloween coming up I thought I would give the series another shot (and hopefully shut up my sister who kept nagging me that I had to give the book another shot). Now it’s three trades later and I can’t stop reading.
Of the books I’ve read, volume 4 is the one that did it to me and made me a hardcore fan. I mean, there’s a zombie apocalypse right outside, the world has pretty much gone to hell, and these characters are still dealing with all the small bits and pieces that make up all of our lives. That’s the stuff that makes The Walking Dead stand so far above all the other zombie books out there. Kirkman and Adlard have created a world within a world, where the human race goes on, even though it won’t. And Rick’s speech at the end just had my lying awake in bed for nights on end. I can’t remember the last time a comic book made me think this much.
I know I’m probably already preaching to the choir here but if you are one of the few people who have not read The Walking Dead yet, please go out and rectify that. It ranks up there with Rachel Rising and Saga in terms of being comic books at their best.