These are disturbing times during the Covid-19 pandemic, frightening and uncertain. While some of us want comfort, some find comfort in the uncomfortable. Perhaps the shocking and gut-churning elements of the horror genre are just what we need to take us away from the reality of things. There are plenty of comics with a slightly grizzly edge however we're interested in the strange and the terrifying. So let's take a look.
A Trail Of Blood / Blood On The Tracks
Prepare to be terrified. Forget Covid, this really will make you check behind the door. One man and his mentally ill mother provide the backdrop for some seriously upsetting and nerve bending drama. Dare you read this alone? Will you want to call for your mother after reading this? See what you think.
Scott Snyder's Severed
Scott Snyder made a name for himself through his work on Batman yet real fans know him for his original and intelligent horror fiction. Severed is an exploration of human darkness through the guise of family settings in everyday but awkward life. While travelling the rails as a hobo, the star searches for his missing father. It seems all is lost when he finds someone who claims to know him. Alas, this stranger bearing gifts is a cannibal who has other plans for the character.
Bela Lugosi's Tales From The Grave
This spooky comic book story narrator gets knee deep in the sinister and obscure with this selection of horror tales. Prepare to be scared witless as we meet ghosts and ghouls that come back from the afterlife to haunt unfortunate souls.
Vincent Price Presents
So, Vincent Price is a narrator/character who introduces the reader to an anthology of horror and gruesome stories. The indie publishing house responsible kept a trick up their sleeve which we can let you in on, Vincent Price is none other than Lucifer himself in a dapper human form.
Monster hunting at its most brutal. The story stars Cassie Hack who takes out her aggression on reborn spirits of people who died filled with hate. These monsters, called slashers, are the source of misery for people all over the land and Cassie Hack is tasked with obliterating them. Why Cassie? You might ask. She's the daughter of an infamous dinner lady who put all the bullies into the next day's stew.
The Wrath Of The Spectre
This side-plot character from many DC stories and a once-upon-a-time hero in the epic “bronze age of comics” returns for a fully fledged and modern(ish) adventure. The claws are resharpened and the child-friendly baddie element has been replaced with his original brutal personality. Check it out.
So we've heard of Hellboy but Girl? What's this then? Getting in touch with a demonic entity through a website that only appears at midnight, that's what. Who contacts this demon? Innocents, people who are being abused and tormented by evil individuals. They are given the opportunity to put things to right through this dark and mysterious power.
MonsterMen (And Other Stories)
Created by Dark Horse Comics, this entertaining and inventive selection of horrible tales makes use of macabre imagery and fun plot-lines to create a Scooby-Doo spookiness that keeps readers guessing.
Sandman: 24 Hours
This well-known series has a particularly dark tale hiding in its cannon. The 24 Hours edition sees Dream lose all of his special belongings, including his Ruby. This magical item falls into the hands of a classic DC villain called Doctor Destiny. He takes the weapon to a 24 hour diner where he proceeds to send all the visitors insane.
All American and all horror, this combination of culture and style clashes in the genre of the gruesome. Relive disturbing and horrific tales that send chills and shivers through your spine. Each issue looks at various horror tinged ideas then makes them as traumatic as possible. Lovely.
Lovecraftian crime drama set in period dress? Yes please! Here we get to see battles between classical good and evil in which the lines are rarely blurred... or are they? A woman with magical powers of seduction travels the land while being hunted down by an odd and terrifying cult.
Afterlife With Archie
So you want flesh eating zombies? You've got them. Horror fans probably already know of the Riverdale Gang, and their beloved Archie leads them on an undead slaying adventure filled to the brim with terror, blood, and narrow escapes that don't always work.
Locke And Key
Locke And Key wants to take everything from the horror spectrum and mix it up to make one bright light. Reversing the rainbow and focussing the scare into one complete adventure through everything that makes our skin creep, this horror seems to have it all. You've got slasher stories from the present day with costumes and devilry mixed with atmospheric hauntings.
Take a trip to Dixie town where we get to sample some truly macabre and sinister southern happenings with a religious twist. They love their church in the Cajun states and the cloth is shown to be much more than hymns and communion in Preacher.
You read the title correctly, another great in the Black American community who put his name to fame with vivid and emotional paintings is now online. It's about time you may ask? Basquiat always adopted an up-close and personal edge that perhaps lent opinion to galleries in the flesh. However, there comes a time when a name becomes so synonymous with its cause that another layer of interest is created.
And indeed, it was possible to witness the exhibition in person as well. Those with the lucky location were able to visit the Brant Foundation and see the exhibit. Now fully online, the culture of virtual art is setting deep roots. There is virtue in virtual after-all, when it makes the world a more accessible and open place to live in.
With help from Dr Dieter Buchhart and Fondation Louis Vuitton, a collection of Basquiat's most iconic and moving specimens were displayed and then adapted for online viewing. As a pivotal player n the communication of Black Struggle in America, the feelings and sensations brought about by his striking and raw depictions of life, it's a perfect moment to highlight this great artist. Even now, 30 years after his death, the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat resonates and preaches across a complete spectrum of culture.
You can witness the exhibition yourself here.
Choose Love on Alternative Fruit has been in hiatus mode since the international quarantine saw many nations closing to the public. Stay safe, stay home has been the key phrase in English speaking countries the world over. Now that we understand how covid19 is transmitted and who is the most at risk, it's possible to begin opening essential peripherals to society with safety in mind. Art exhibits are one of those things that have been pushed to the side while people's lives are in the balance however in Illinois, at least, the creative flag is unravelling.
Balance is a showing of work from four unique artists. Using a mixed media selection of creators, the dimensions of each work lend their vectors to the others, creating a once-in-a-lifetime set of co-ordinates that offer resolution on the universe. What does balance mean? What does it symbolise? These were the questions posed to the artists when planning their projects.
From July 5th to August 16th, works by Mark Witzling, abstract painter; Garry McMichael, realist painter; Diane Tessman, fiber artist; and Jerry C. Williams, ceramics artist are on offer for viewing and cerebral exploration.
Witzling and McMichael have worked together before. The abstract and realist images seem to offer a complimentary aspect which serve to balance one another. Perhaps this is why their names appear once again on a bill of talent. Is this the art world's version of a double act being born, like two stars in a binary system, or is this passing flyby of two independent satellites? Witzling's oil and wax creations leap from their dreamscapes while McMichael's truisms and detail draw us right in.
Diane Tessman has been exhibiting her textiles in the St. Louis area for decades. Her dab-hand and evocative mind have been an awesome team and still have much more to offer. She often creates unique yet functioning objects and garments however she is always willing to let go of all practical reasoning when asked. Tessman's work has been designed to show the comparable longevity between wood and weave, both natural ingredients with different qualities.
In the case of Jerry Williams, his ceramics are a full-time occupation with many functional pieces with artistic soul finding their way into people's homes. For this exhibit, Williams has created pieces that complement the work of the other artists. The almost crazy designs that vividly decorate the pottery sit in equilibrium with the functional and practical objects.
That's the Jacoby Arts Center, Broadway, Alton, IL. From July 5th to August 16th, works by Mark Witzling, abstract painter; Garry McMichael, realist painter; Diane Tessman, fiber artist; and Jerry C. Williams, ceramics artist are on offer for viewing and cerebral exploration.
What about you, how could you explore the concept of balance with your work?
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