Published by: Futurequake Press annually in November
Creator owned material
Dave Evans &
Cover: Jon Taylor
Genre – Horror
An anthology of horror stories from the Editors that run 2000AD fanzines Zarjaz & Dogbreath. Ten stories with very varied themes, most but not all have a twist in the end.
Balancing an anthology of this kind isn’t always going to be easy. The same themes or similar twists in the endings need to be avoided. Similarly the art needs to be varied and suit the story. Also, and this is important to me in a small press anthology, I like to see different story lengths. 2000AD has stories that are between 4 and 6 pages long most commonly.
I skim anthologies before I read them, I’ve read antholgies for forty years so I’m adept at not spoiling the stories when I do it. I’m reviewing this from a paper copy, I much prefer paper, skimming through I could easily see the variety in lengths of story and art styles. On skimming I saw that one art style was on only two pages.
So I knew that these stories varied in length and art styles and had the Editors delivered on all counts?
It isn’t particularly easy to give individual comments on stories of this nature without spoilers, so my comments on each are necessarily brief. My opinion on whether the Editors delivered on all counts is at the end.
Script: Derek Hamill
Art: Jon Taylor
A stage magician makes people disappear and reappear using a unique method – magic. No trap doors, no twin stand-in, actual magic. But what is the secret behind the magic?
The script is well timed and the art tells the story well with some nice energy in the action scenes.
A Jagged Piece of a Broken Heart
Script: Robert Lefebvre
Art: Justin Wood
A betrayed husband seeks revenge and he has made a deal with Death himself.
The lighting used in some of the panels is particularly well done, particularly the first panel on page 3 of the story. The ending felt inevitable yet not predictable, something that really drew me in to the story.
Script: Richard Pearce
Art: Jack Davies
A killer who seeks out his victims with patience he learnt while fishing with his father. He’s now a big fish but how big is the pond?
I won’t apologise but I’ve said this before in my reviews. This story is very much the kind you could have seen in Twilight Zone or similar TV show. Really well delivered.
Script: Chris Tresson
Art: Darren Stephens
A two-pager about a romantic dinner for two.
I recently saw praise for art by Darren Stephens online. I pointed the reader towards this publication but hadn’t finished the review yet… The online comment was regarding a single picture. In this story Darren had to translate Chris Tresson’s story in two pages. I had spotted that they were on facing pages so I knew to ignore page two (skimming skills ftw). Other comics would have done this story over more pages, nicely done.
Script: Mike Lynch
Art: Johnny McMonagle
A down on its luck London tavern has one solitary visitor but he isn’t there to buy anything. The stranger comes with a promise to fill the place with customers, by giving the Innkeep a bar game, The Copper Trap.
The art is marvelous and the writer delivers a couple of twists in this one.
Script: Lee Robson
Art: Bryan Coyle
A young woman in a relationship with a man who makes all her decisions… she has memories of a dead body on the floor…
The art tells all the emotions without needing the words. A very powerful story from Lee Robson translated so perfectly by Bryan Coyle. Brilliant.
Script: David McCluskey
Art: Sam Weller
A string of murders in a graveyard cause have the police baffled. All the witnesses have seen an old woman who vanishes soon after.
The twist in the tale isn’t too obvious at all and would leave this story open to sequels.
So Your Spouse Has Become A Zombie
Script: Umar Ditta
Art: Adam Caudill
A bereaved husband goes to extreme means to be re-united with his beloved bride.
How could anything go wrong with this??? The first image looks like it is photo referenced but the rest of the story is illustrated in a very pleasing, slightly other-worldly, style.
The Fifty Yard Fox
Script: David McCluskey
Art: Scott Twells
A cheating husband is looking for company in a bar, he finds it.
A slightly cartoony style full of character.
Script: Jimmy Furlong
Art: Andrew Hartman
Someone is hiding out during a zombie apoccalypse. Maybe trying to help other survivors hide might have been an idea.
Great zombie art. Most of the dialogue comes from the off-page hidden survivors. Brilliant turn of events.
The editors have delivered on all counts. This is a very varied and well judged anthology. Some really well structured stories and some outstanding pairings of writer and artist.