Book Report: Damnation Game & The Reaping

As anyone who was paying attention to UM in the fall will know, I plunged deeply into the world of horror for most of September and October. By the time I finished up the epic undertaking of It’s All Connected 2020, I took a break from watching a lot of horror movies throughout most of November, but kept on making my way through my daunting To Read boxes. To that end, I pulled out an old paperback I scored from the library’s free table several years ago as well as the next Paperbacks From Hell reprint from my favorite publisher Valancourt!

Read on!

Trade Post: Hellblazer & The Goon

I really can’t understate how influential Wizard was to me as a budding comics fan. I’d been going to the comic shop for a few years by the time I discovered the mag at a mall book store. I started out reading Superman and Batman comics and added other DC comics because I knew about them from the house ads, but it wasn’t until Wizard that I really began to learn more about comics as a whole. I’ve always been pretty risk-averse and budget conscious, so it took an extra push to spend my limited funds on something new. With Wizard, I found a group of writers who opened up my world to all sorts of new books I’d never heard of including, but not limited to Hellblazer and The Goon, both of which I’m writing about here today!

Read on!

Halloween Scene: A 70s Marvel 5-Pack!

Back in the day, I used to do recurring posts here on UM called The Box wherein I would grab some random comics from a huge box my inlaws gave me and give them a read. I thought it would be fun to do something similar, but with a somewhat narrower focus on horror comics from those same boxes (though now they have a special place on my comic shelves). As it turned out, I had a bunch of 70s Marvel horror comics, so I jumped right in with those! Horror had a nice resurgence at this time because the Comics Code loosened some of its restrictions. In these five comics I’ve got Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Son of Satan and all sorts of anthology tales!

Enter, if you dare…

It’s All Connected: Frogs (1972) & Food Of The Gods (1976)

Hey, it turns out we’re getting pretty close to the Big Day, so I’m going to bunch a few of these films up for a variety of reasons. I’ve teased this film a few times, but Frogs was actually one of the films I’ve been wanting to do for It’s All Connected since close to the beginning. I’m not sure, maybe it was watching Swamp Thing and its sequel that spawned the idea, but I’ve been craving some awesome Sam Elliott goodness and figured out a way to get to Frogs by way of his co-star Ray Milland, which is why I watched Terror In The Wax Museum. I fully intended to go a different direction from there, but then I blew the whole plan up and went with Food Of The Gods, continuing the “animals run amok” theme!

Enter, If you dare…

Halloween Scene Trade Post: A Mike Mignola Trio

I’ve spilled a lot of digital ink this season talking about how much I love Kelley Jones’ work, especially on Batman (in posts here and here), but there’s another artist whose work is synonymous with horror in my mind: Mike Mignola. The genius behind Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. has done all sorts of work in the comics world and this post will give some love to a few of his other works that are lots of spooky fun! Here are some interesting comics you might want to check out if you don’t want to dive too deeply into those sprawling epics.

Enter, if you dare…

Halloween Scene Trade Poster: The Darkness

I can’t really understate how important Wizard magazine was to me during my formative comic-buying years in the 90s. I’d already become a die-hard DC fan before I discovered the magazine, but it became this window into a much larger comic landscape of companies ranging from Marvel and Dark Horse to those guys doing crazy things at Image (though this was admittedly a year or two after the initial boom). I still remember how much they hyped certain books, though, and The Darkness from Top Cow is one such example! I recently borrowed the first and second volumes of the Darkness Origins trades from Hoopla and had a fun time with them!

enter, if you dare…

It’s All Connected: Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park (1978)

After really hating Gordon Hessler’s Cry Of The Banshee, I was worried that the other two movies of his I planned on watching would fall flat. Luckily, I’ve had a much better It’s All Connected experience with his 1978 TV movie KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park. Less of a horror movie and more of a live action Scooby-Doo episode with a costume-loving rock band filling in for the kids and a talking dog, this is still a super enjoyable movie…if you don’t mind the title characters being VERY bad actors.

Enter, if you dare…

Halloween Scene: Batman By Doug Moench & Kelley Jones Part 2

I’ve been having a great time watching connected films and a variety of horror books this season, but it’s very possible that re-visiting the Batman run by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones has been one of my favorite experiences so far. As I mentioned in the first part, these post-KnightFall books were bedrock-forming for my knowledge of not just the Dark Knight, but also the imagery of horror as put through Jones’ incredibly capable lens. As good as the Batman developments are in these issues as he regains his life after the Bane and Azrael incidents, it’s equally exciting to see these two creators work their magic on a variety of villains and co-stars.

Enter, if you dare…

It’s All Connected: Theater Of Blood (1973)

After making my way through a few less-Vincent Pricey-than-I-hoped movies like Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare and Escapes, I wanted to get back to a full-blown performance for It’s All Connected, and, as it turned out, 1973’s Theater Of Blood was exactly what I wanted!

Enter, If you dare…

It’s All Connected: Blow Out (1981)

Even though I found my previous Brian De Palma film, Dressed To Kill, wildly problematic, I decided to watch one more of his flicks as part of It’s All Connected 2020: Blow Out. Of all the De Palma films from this era, this was the one that I’d been wanting to see the longest. I even tried giving it a look one time, but the volume was weird and loud, so I had to turn it off, not wanting to wake up my wife and kids. I’m glad I finally got around to it on Amazon Video because Blow Out became my favorite of this particular bunch!

Continue reading It’s All Connected: Blow Out (1981)