13 Horror Comics and Graphic Novels You Need to be Reading in 2015 - Dread Central
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13 Horror Comics and Graphic Novels You Need to be Reading in 2015

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Comic books and graphic novels are arguably more popular than ever. Over the past two decades alone we’ve seen an explosion in the number publishers, and original titles are popping up like the victims of a George Romero flick.

In the last 15 years we’ve seen more comic books transferred to film than ever before. And you know what? That “nerd” moniker that any comic reader of the 1980s and 1990s was forced to carry has been entirely done away with. Not only are you not a nerd if you’ve got the latest 30 Days of Night graphic novel in your backpack, you pretty much fit in with most of the cool kids.

The times have changed.

Today digital comics sell like hotcakes. Showing up at your local comic book shop at opening time every Tuesday morning is no longer a mandatory move. Nowadays we’ve seen publishers toss their own catalogs up for sale via the good old “dot com.” And we’ve also got amazing outlets like Comixology that offer digital copies of damn near any book you’re itching to get your hands on. You don’t have to sit back and read them on a laptop or a PC. The files are fully tablet- and cellphone-compatible. You can read a comic just about anywhere you want, any way you want.

That’s another key element in the serious resurgence of the comic book.

At the end of the day, no matter how many publishers or retailers are out there, no matter how many different ways you can read your books, what’s really proven the turning point is the talent pool delivering the goods. As a kid I could name you the go-to, hands-down best authors and artists with ease. Nowadays the industry studs have multiplied in number to the point that it’s become difficult to keep up with the very best. There’s just so much talent in the field that it’s tough tracking it all down.

We’re hoping that by offering up this list of 13 amazing books we can turn you on to some killer creators you may not yet be familiar with. You’ll spot some “safe” names in this list, but you’ll notice not everyone in the lineup is on the cusp of household name status. Pick these books up and read them; you will not be disappointed in the least.

Afterlife with Archie (Archie Comics): Archie and a few friends who still remain alive attempt to thwart the oncoming rush of undead ghouls descending on Riverdale. But things won’t be easy. Tensions rise between all those with a pulse, but the focus on keeping flesh-eating monstrosities as far away as possible begins to take a toll. Can Archie keep the gang alive? For a youngster once known as pure to longtime Archie Comics fans, that seems a stretch, but the amazing Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa delivers a tale that instills hope. And as the conflict grows to fever pitch, the crafty author proves he has answers to lead this group through a nightmare once only dreamed of. Artist Francesco Francavilla brings eye-popping visuals to the book, and between the two… you just cannot go wrong with this masterpiece!

After Life With Archie

Re-Animator (Dynamite): Dynamite has been kicking serious ass this year, bringing engaging title after engaging title to the table. The new Re-Animator series isn’t one we’re sleeping on, at all. It’s not an earth-shattering tale by any means, but there are so many fantastic nods to Lovecraft (as is expected given the core concept) it’s hard not to smile at a legend being honored. A few unexpected betrayals and a well-written piece from writer Keith Davidsen with some solid artwork from Randy Valiente lie in wait. If you’ve yet to experiment with any Re-Animator graphic novels or brief comic runs, this is an excellent alpha point.

Reanimator

Southern Hospitality (Approbation Comics): A longtime sucker for all things slasher, B. Alex Thompson’s Southern Hospitality instantly won my heart over. It isn’t an overly complex story but rather a very straightforward slasher tale with a twist or two in waiting. The characters are all well fleshed out and the dialogue is handled in realistic fashion. It all boils down to a group of 20-somethings in a desolate area who find themselves being stalked by an unknown mass murderer with an awfully sharp blade. It’s bound to take you back in time to the 80s, and that seems to be the goal. Look for appealing yet grainy artwork from Kevin Richardson, who doesn’t once let down, and look to be sucked into this one quickly. It seems a lot of writers fear entering worn territory, but that trepidation has led to a dearth of books like this, which are a very welcome commodity.

Southern Hospitality


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Several Muppets Were Run Through The Walking Dead’s Zombie App and It’s Kind of Amazing

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For many people, a big part of their childhood were the Muppets from “Sesame Street”. The lessons they learned from characters such as Bert and Ernie, Count von Count, Big Bird, and more, were invaluable and set a foundation of how to live ones life. On top of educational lessons, they were taught compassion, sharing, decency, and other traits that form the basis of a civilized society. Then zombies came along and botched everything.

Using an app from “The Walking Dead”, several characters from “Sesame Street” have been zombified, resulting in images that will no doubt make some of you laugh while others might be horrified at what their childhood characters have gone through. It’s kinda hard to deny that Count von Count doesn’t look gruesome as hell with a dislocated and dangling jaw…

Below is a gallery of these images and, just for fun, underneath that is “The Walking Gingerbread”, an actual parody of “The Walking Dead” done by “Sesame Street” for Halloween!

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Josh Millican’s Best Horror Films of 2017

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It may just be that my love of horror grows every year, but it honestly feels as though 2017 has been a red-letter year for the genre. Not only are films like Andy Muschietti’s IT and Jordan Peele’s Get Out generating Oscar buzz but we’ve seen horror elements seep into mainstream movies and TV shows, from Logan to “Stranger Things”.

And this hasn’t merely been an amazing year for mainstream horror, with powerful indies emerging as some 2017’s best; it’s further proof that many of the most compelling and important genre flicks are being produced outside the traditional Hollywood system. Below, in no particular order, are my selections for the Best Horror Films of 2017. Let me know what you think in the Comments section!


Brawl in Cell Block 99

Though the subject matter is completely different, S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 has many parallels to his first film, 2015’s Bone Tomahawk. Both movies build slowly and are anchored by compelling characters and engrossing dialogue; furthermore, both films are deceptively understated until an explosive and shocking 3rd Act hits like a gut-punch.

Vince Vaughn delivers a genuinely poignant portrayal of Bradley Thomas, a down-on-his-luck drug runner willing to do anything to protect his family from disgruntled former associates. Don Johnson also deserves a shout-out for his turn as corrupt Warden Tuggs, the most unnerving fictional jailer since Cool Hand Luke.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 isn’t your typical horror movie, presenting a meandering narrative, but it’s still as entertaining as anything that follows an established formula. Horror is always most compelling when we can connect with a film’s protagonists, and this film delivers in spades.


Raw

Julia Ducournau’s Raw both benefited and suffered from reports of audience members fainting and falling ill during the film’s 2015 premiere at TIFF. Upon its limited theatrical release, The Nuart in Los Angeles passed barf bags out to moviegoers, a tactic usually reserved for the most extreme and outlandish of B-movies, films intentionally crafted to trigger the gag-reflex. While Raw does indeed contain scenes that are very difficult to stomach (pun intended!) it’s hardly a 2-dimensional gross-out.

Before classifying the film as horror, it’s a coming of age saga first and foremost. Themes of cannibalism and bodily mutilations become metaphors for sexual awakenings and transitions into adulthood. Raw is also a compelling study of sibling rivalries and the powerful influence of heredity on personal development.


The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Though released after I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is actually the debut film from Oz Perkins (son of horror icon Anthony Perkins). It combines the supernatural terrors of a possession movie with the compelling complexity of a murder mystery. The all-girls boarding school in winter provides a moody aesthetic with Gothic undertones while serving as an incubator for sexual awakenings and religious guilt.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter hinges on a powerful twist, but this doesn’t hit the audience like a ton of bricks; rather, the film’s secrets are gradually unraveled, resulting in a slow realization that’s as poignant as it is shocking. The film succeeds in no small part thanks to compelling performances by a trio of talented young thespians: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, and Lucy Boynton.


The Devil’s Candy

Sean Byrne is one of the most talented horror practitioners to emerge from Australia in the 21st Century. His debut film, The Loved Ones, is an under-seen sleeper that balances teen angst, dark comedy, and extreme violence. With his follow-up film, The Devil’s Candy, Byrne is finally getting the attention he deserves.

It’s less extreme than The Loved Ones, but The Devil’s Candy’s understated presentation, genuine drama, and slow-burn build-up delivers more palpable dread and a lasting resonance. The Devil’s Candy is a chaotic mix of heavy metal music and inner demons and can be viewed as a metaphor for how the blind pursuit of art can destroy families.

Ethan Embry deserves a shout out for his harrowing portrayal of father and artist Jesse Hellman. Who’d have thought the kid from Can’t Hardly Wait would develop into such a skilled actor?


Get OutGet Out

Historically, Q1 is a bad time for horror movies, as studios are prone to dumping films they have little faith in. Jordan Peele’s Get Out breaks the rules in many ways and, though released in February, it remains one of the most lauded and analyzed films of 2017—in any genre. The inclusion of sociopolitical elements makes Get Out both unique and timely, although even without its social agenda, Get Out is a compelling and unnerving experience, one that stokes paranoia by exacerbating primal fears related to deception and isolation.

Peele has become an exciting and refreshing figure in horror with plans for more socially-conscious thrillers in the years to come.


47 Meters Down

Nearly unceremoniously dumped directly to DVD in 2016, In the Deep was rebranded 47 Meters Down and given a theatrical release last Summer, where it became an unlikely hit. Perhaps hampered by preconceptions relating to lead actress Mandy Moore, 47 Meters Down is nonetheless immensely entertaining, eclipsing 2016’s shark-horror blockbuster The Shallows.

I do have doubts about the film’s ability to spawn a franchise (there’s currently a sequel in the works, being produced under the temporary title 48 Meters Down) considering this film hinges on a twist that can only be used once, so it’s difficult to imagine a sequel with the same impact—but who knows?

Ultimately, though, even a bad sequel won’t diminish the shine of 47 Meters Down. The film also proves there are still plenty of ways to pack legitimate terror into a PG-13 horror movie.

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Ash Vs Evil Dead Seasons 1 and 2 Are Now Streaming on Netflix

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The last word we brought you guys on the upcoming third season of Starz’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” starring Bruce Campbell was when we shared the show’s all-new teaser trailer (below).

Today we have awesome news that the first two seasons are now streaming on Netflix!

So if you’ve been putting off watching the series (for some reason) or have been waiting until the day where you could just binge-watch the series in one grand swoop, then today is your day. There isn’t a better time than now. Just make sure you’re caught up come February.

Hell, yeah.

Are you excited to watch (or rewatch) the first two seasons of “Ash vs Evil Dead” on Netflix? Let us know below!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” stars Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless. Campbell executive produces the series with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ivan Raimi, and Rick Jacobson. Season 3’s new showrunners are Mark Verheiden and Moira Grant.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season 3 hits STARZ Sunday, February 25, 2018.

Synopsis:

Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

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