Review by Holly Interlandi at Famous Monsters of Filmland
Asylum Press is a company that, you could say, is well acquainted with classic horror imagery. Its comics and anthologies feature everything from zombies to the Necronomicon. ZOMBIE TERRORS boasts anything you ever wanted in an undead anthology: humor, irony, futuristic nihilism, rewritten history, and even culinary horror. (Who knew zombie meat was considered a delicacy among dangerous men?) And Jason Paulos’s EEEK! is a devoted love letter to classic horror magazines like CREEPY and EERIE—complete with cat-eared, vixenly narrators and cranky old men with pointy beards.
Two new additions to Asylum’s catalogue take the brand in a slightly different direction. The first is CHOPPER, written by Martin Shapiro and penciled by Juan Ferreyra, which features a headless biker ghost on the hunt for drug-addled teenagers. The first issue focuses on a cheerleader, Christina, who peddles the drug. And boy, am I hooked.
CHOPPER could so easily be a typical teen slasher story – innocent girl, horrible headless man, blah blah blah. But it’s not, because the Christina is not so innocent. She has things to say, drugs to take, booze to drink… and you LIKE her, somehow. I have a natural bias against cheerleaders, so I count it towards the comic’s sophistication that I wasn’t rooting for Chopper to, well, chop off her head.
Best of all, there’s a webseries in development starring Tyler Mane of X-MEN and ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN fame. Check it out: www.chopperlives.com
The other upcoming title is FARMHOUSE by Elizabeth J. Musgrave and Szymon Kudranski. What’s interesting about FARMHOUSE is that unlike Asylum’s other comics, this one doesn’t come close to tackling traditional monsters. It does exude a certain creepiness and plants its story into a rather depressing setting: a man with a mysterious past returns to the town of his birth to attend his mother’s funeral, then ends up getting a job at a psychiatric hospital where patients take art therapy to the extreme in a barn called the ‘farmhouse’.
Kudrankski’s art uses grainy, dark green tones that give the story a disturbing edge despite the lack of typical violence, and Musgrave’s dialogue cuts as sharp as any slasher blade. The effect is slightly hampered by obvious symbolism (Paintsville? Really?) but the concept is so original and the artwork so wonderfully moody that it begs to be read–even by traditional horror fans.
Click here to read the full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland or click here to learn more about Chopper.