Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Catacombs Presents: "The Invaders" (Standard; 1952)

Here’s a slightly seasonal classic to warm you up for better scares tonight! Aliens from Mercury (of all places) attempt to take over an Earth colonized planet named Pax in "The Invaders" a fun sci-fi thriller from Fantastic Worlds #5 (Sept.1952); originally published by Standard and illustrated by the great Alex Toth & Mike Peppe. This was a very short run title for Standard lasting a mere three issues, but this one  issue alone featured some real talent within its pages. In addition to Toth, John Celardo, George Roussos, Jerome Bixby and Murphy Anderson contributed work. Happy Halloween! The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Horror Festival [Results]!!

I usually do something in and around Halloween, but as I've scaled back my regular posts here in the Catacombs, all you're really gonna get this year is a few brief words about some excellent films of recent vintage that I hadn't seen prior to this month. I highly recommend each of these three fright flicks.

Triangle [released 2009] and starring Melissa George, is far different from most movies that dance around the subject of the Bermuda Triangle and its mysteries. First of all, I can't recall a specific mention of the Triangle of the title, and the movie just gets right down to showing what happens to
Jess (George) as she sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, even as she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when their yacht hits an unusual storm and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety, a ship Jess is convinced she's been on before. The ship appears deserted, the clock on board has stopped, but they are not alone... someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one. And Jess unknowingly holds the key to end the terror. There are twists and turns that keep the tension high from start to finish and you simply will not see how the film ends.

Midnight Son [released 2011] and starring Zak Kilberg and Maya Parish is the story of a young man called Jacob who is confined to a life of isolation, due to a very rare skin disorder. This has him working night shift as a security guard and sleeping away his daylight hours. His world changes when he meets a local bartender and falls in love. Unfortunately, Jacob's condition worsens and forces him to drink human blood for sustenance - leading to law enforcement suspecting him in a series of grizzly murders. This is a slower paced but dynamic take on old school vampire films, that still manages to chart an entirely different course than what has been seen on screen in recent years. It is made all the more effective by a relatively unknown cast who knock it out of the park.
Cold Prey [originally released in 2006 as "Fritt vilt," aka Open Season] is a Norwegian slasher film, captioned for English speaking audiences. Jannicke, Morten, Eirik, Mikael and Ingunn are on a snowboarding vacation in remote Jotunheimen. They are forced to take shelter in an abandoned hotel when Morten breaks his leg and their car is too far away for them to reach within nightfall. They quickly discover that the hotel was closed down back in the seventies due to the disappearance of the original managers' son. Unknown to them, someone is still living in the hotel, and surviving their unexpected stay, isn't going to be as easy as they believe. Despite the subtitles, the film is riveting to watch. The body count rises and you just don't know whom may or may not survive the terrors of the slopes. The movie. took two years to film due to the remote location and another nine months of production.

Give them a view and see what you think; and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Gal" Friday! The Black Tape Project

Black electrical tape is probably the least sexy thing in the world, right? Well, The Black Tape Project isn't going to have to try very hard to change your mind about that. Prepare to be mesmerized as the barriers of creative artistic design meets sensual art literally in a scintillating visual extravaganza that has captivated audiences around the globe.
This new artistic movement/fashion experiment (now in it's fourth year) attempts to creatively display the sensual nature of the human form as it vacillates between the realms of innovation and seduction. By taking one of the most common household items creator Joel Alvarez has made a real name for himself. The Catacombs highly recommends that you surf the web for even more smoking hot young ladies decked out in nothing more but basic black .... electrical tape. For now the concept itself gets the nod as this weeks official "gal" Friday+ selection.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rayboy's Review: Afterlife with Archie (Archie Comics)!

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is a playwright and screenwriter whose work has been featured on popular TV series such as Glee and Big Love.  Having previously written for Marvel Comics, he has just launched a new ongoing monthly series for Archie Comics that takes the classic Riverdale gang down some decidedly darker pathways. “Afterlife with Archie” features some outstanding artwork by co-creator Francesco Francavilla (he also handles the coloring), who has previously drawn Zorro, Detective Comics, The Black Panther and his own self-created title, The Black Beetle.

Be prepared for a different kind of Archie reading experience with this book as the supernatural holds sway at Riverdale High, and a number of well-known supporting cast members pay the price in the first issue alone. One alternate cover even teases a dire fate for Hot Dog, the beloved pet of Jughead Jones. How and why the poor canine falls victim to calamity is less important than how that tragic event transfigures the lives of the entire cast.
It is a more mature take on Archie and company for sure, and it wouldn’t be too far off of the mark to say that the success of The Walking Dead (both in comics and on television) certainly helped inspire this new series. Archie Comics may not get the perpetual headlines among the normal media outlets for comics-oriented news that are dominated by Marvel, DC and a few others, but the publisher has not let things stand static with their product over the past twenty years. They adapted their stable of characters to attract manga fans during that 1990s fad, then moved to release versions of the Riverdale gang in a more realistic art style, and recently issued top-selling runs that featured “what if” scenarios involving Archie marrying both Betty & Veronica. There was also the introduction of gay character Kevin Keller that attracted much media attention and wide acclaim; so kudos to publisher Jon Goldwater and Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick for stepping outside of the box and continuing to make Archie and his pals a relevant party of today’s comics industry.

Afterlife with Archie” is highly recommended by the Catacombs, and it arrives just in time for Halloween. Give it a read ….. if you dare!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ka'a'nga in "The Red Witch of Ubangi-Shan" (Fiction House; 1948)

My impromptu Ka’a’nga week continues with an earlier tale than yesterdays’ golden age adventure circa Jungle Comics #105 (Sept. 1948); originally published by Fiction House. The title for “The Red Witch of Ubangi-Shan” comes from the issues cover, written by [‘Frank Riddell’] and illustrated by John Celardo. The Catacombs is grateful to Don “Zu-Gogo” Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ka'a'nga in "The Treasure of Tembo Wanculu" (Fiction House; 1952)

Ka'a'nga stars today in "The Treasure of Tembo Wanculu" from Jungle Comics #147 (Mar. 1952); originally published by Fiction House and illustrated by Maurice Whitman. The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

"Gal" Friday! Brenda Starr

In lieue of a traditional "gal" Friday this week, I'm recommending that everyone give this book a read:

Before Fredric Wertham and The Seduction of the Innocent (SOTI), before the Kefauver Hearings, and before the infamous Comics Code, the comic book racks at local drug stores and newsstands boasted a plethora of delights highlighted by the good girl adventures of the comic book version of Brenda Starr. These four-color wonders displayed all the finer things loved by comic books buyers: good girls, bondage, a little torture, and other exciting things, which adults thought would corrupt the morals of young and impressionable readers (Brenda Starr cover art was even used as an example in SOTI). Now for the first time in over fifty years comics fans can read and own these rare comics from another era, digitally restored to perfection and presented in an archival hardcover. In addition to presenting all of the Brenda Starr stories, this reprint also boasts all of the scintillating back-up features found in these books as well. WARNING! These stories are not for the faint of heart! This volume collects the first eight issues of the Superior Comics Brenda Starr Pre-Code comics with lovely art by Jack Kamen and Matt Baker, complete with a historical essay and other documentary material.

Brenda Starr: the Complete Pre-Code Comics Volume One: Good Girls, Bondage, and Other Fine Things from Hermes Press, retails for a measly $60.