Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books

By Michael J. Miller

Locke & Key 1
Photo Credit – IDW Publishing

This is a special post for a few reasons.  First, as someone who’s loved reading comic books and delighting to the adventures of superheroes since 1986; Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, and Jay Fotos’ Locke & Key is THE FIRST REAL HORROR COMIC I’ve ever read.  I broke brand new genre ground here and it was…an experience.  Second, this series came highly recommended by Nancy (half of the awesome twosome Nancy & Kathleen who run the wonderfully geektastic comic blog Graphic Novelty²).  Locke & Key is one of Nancy’s all-time favorites and she’s been urging me to read it for ages.  I made a lot of excuses because, well I can be a baby with horror stuff sometimes :).  But I did it!  Lastly, this is special because regular readers will notice Kalie’s been super busy with her PhD work of late so, sadly, that means less time for her to write new content.  I decided to write this guest post for her today in celebration of our three year anniversary.  Yep, three years ago today was the day we first met!  Awwww…let’s mark this special occasion by talking about the gruesome, macabre, and haunting tale of the Locke family shall we?? Continue reading “Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books”

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Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books

“The Screaming Citadel” Screams Star Wars at its Scariest — Issues 1 & 2

screaming citadel 1
Dr. Aphra – The Screaming Citadel

It’s finally happened: I’m writing about Star Wars on my horror blog.  Given the alarmingly high degree of my boyfriend’s nerdiness, this installment was inevitable for some time, but the possibility has finally come to fruition two and a half years after I first met Michael.  Now, don’t get me wrong: Michael has given Star Wars a horror twist on this blog before with his examination of horror tropes in the popular animated series The Clone WarsBut I guess because I prefer to be nestled safely in the typical renditions of my favorite genre, I’ve never branched out the same way.  And then, it happened, one fateful night (which was really last night).  Michael mentioned that a comic series bent toward the horror genre had been released. The Screaming Citadel series is a five-issue exploration of what happens when you merge Star Wars with the disturbing and the macabre.  Michael generously purchased the first two series installments for me earlier this evening, which I have proceeded to read with considerable enjoyment.  Continue reading ““The Screaming Citadel” Screams Star Wars at its Scariest — Issues 1 & 2″

“The Screaming Citadel” Screams Star Wars at its Scariest — Issues 1 & 2

DEADPOOL (and horror and zombies and social critique)

Guest Writer:  Michael J. Miller

Deadpool 3
Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Horror fans, you are in luck!  You know how Deadpool’s captivated the country and broken allllll sorts of box office records with his new movie??  Well, it turns out the Merc with a Mouth is no stranger to the horror genre either.  That’s right!  Everyone’s favorite box office darlin’ the Sassin’ Assassin has starred in several solid horror comics too.  SO, if you like your Deadpool served a la Ryan Reynolds (and who doesn’t?!) then head to the theatre this weekend (along with the rest of America).  BUT, if you like your Deadpool filtered through the lens of a horror tale, then this amazing story needs to be included in your reading list.  Before he was a big time movie star, Deadpool walked the world of horror.  Just like on film, Deadpool delivers.  And there’s a lot more to this story than you might expect. Continue reading “DEADPOOL (and horror and zombies and social critique)”

DEADPOOL (and horror and zombies and social critique)

Deadpool and a Zombie Tale of Surprising Depth

 

Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller

Deadpool 2
Photo Credit – Marvel C0mics

Cullen Bunn and Ramon Rosanas, the author and illustrator on Marvel’s 2014 graphic novel Night Of The Living Deadpool, taught me two very important lessons with their book. First, I learned they know the genre. The whole book is filled with references, direct and subtle, to all manner of zombie dystopias from Night Of The Living Dead to The Walking Dead to I Am Legend to Zombieland. Second, and much more importantly, I learned if the zombie apocalypse ever does occur I think I want to go through it with Deadpool! Sorry Rick. Sorry Darrell. Sorry Glenn and Maggie (our zombie apocalypse version of Jim and Pam). Sorry Carol. I love you all. And you kick ass. But Deadpool’s the one I want getting me through the apocalypse because he’s the one joking about it the whole time. With Deadpool by your side you might even enjoy yourself. That’s the attitude you’d need! Who wants bleak and depressing reflections on humanity and death when you can own your last-man-on-earth status and walk through the apocalypse singing Tiffany??

Continue reading “Deadpool and a Zombie Tale of Surprising Depth”

Deadpool and a Zombie Tale of Surprising Depth

The Killing Joke: The Horror Genre’s Greatest Unclaimed Masterpiece

Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller

Killing Joke 1
Photo Credit – DC C0mics The Killing Joke

In 1988, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland gave the world Batman: The Killing Joke, a graphic novel unique in both its depiction of depravity and the emotional toll it takes on the reader.  At first glance, a Batman comic may seem an odd choice for an article on a horror blog.  Yet, I’d argue no other piece of literature (comic book or otherwise) delves into the sadistic depths of darkness and evil quite like The Killing Joke.  In all I’ve explored of the horror genre proper, there are few works that make me cringe like this and even fewer that leave me as disturbed.  In The Killing Joke, the reader encounters an unflinching portrayal of evil.  And you can’t remain unchanged after reading it.

Continue reading “The Killing Joke: The Horror Genre’s Greatest Unclaimed Masterpiece”

The Killing Joke: The Horror Genre’s Greatest Unclaimed Masterpiece

That MARVEL-ous Zombie Trend

Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller

Marvel Zombies 2
Photo Credit – Marvel Zombies

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has casually peered into the world of popular culture over the last few years but zombies are in.  The success of AMC’s The Walking Dead – based on the hugely successful in-its-own-right comic series – has ushered in a new era of zombie fervor.  We are in love with zombies and we want more of them.  This has lead to some odd cross pollination of genres (the Star Wars novels Death Troopers and Red Harvest anyone? It’s literally Star Wars and zombies!!  What?!?).  Crazy unexpected combinations aside, many of these stories are not without merit or depth.  And they do give us a weirdly different vision of horror.  One of the more unexpected (and disturbing) entries into this horror sub-genre came in 2005 with Marvel Zombies. Continue reading “That MARVEL-ous Zombie Trend”

That MARVEL-ous Zombie Trend