Last Month’s Best o’ Horror Comics from The Ghastly Awards!

Gotta love the start of a new month.  Endless possiblities.  Best-of lists from the month prior.  So let’s dig into what The Ghastly Awards dug up for the month of May, shall we?

Personally, I think Decapitated Dan is just trying to get on my good side by highlighting Avatar Press’ delightfully disgusting Crossed (and I agree; use last month’s Crossed 2014 Annual as a jump-on point if you’re behind or new to the series.)  Oh, and if you love horror comics and aren’t reading Afterlife with Archie?  You need to rectify that double-quick.

(Note: as always, I’m a staff member of the Ghastlies.  Just so you know.)

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Ghastly Awards – May 2014 Update

Don’t forget to submit your book for the 2014 Ghastly Awards!

Horror comics are becoming more and more frequent in our reading culture, and the Ghastly Awards are here to recognize those that shine the brightest. We encourage all Comic Creators to take the time to head over to www.ghastlyawards.com and submit your work for 2014 Ghastly Award Nomination consideration.

Creators please remember that you can submit your Horror Comic work throughout the entire calendar year! For the month of May 2014 the Judges are recommending you take a look at:

Mercy Sparx #1 (Devils Due) – Born in Sheol, a place between Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, Mercy Sparx is a devlin, who was sent to earth to do Heaven’s dirty work by taking out rogue Angels. Issue 5 finds Mercy and her friend Hank stuck in Nephilim, a brothel that caters to all fantasies human and supernatural. But, when Mercy is forced to be part of the brothel staff her mission of rescuing 2 rogue Angels becomes a whole lot harder. I have enjoyed Mercy since I read about her when she teamed up with Cassie Hack in HACK/SLASH. This comic is solid and I have really enjoyed all the previous issues and this one is no exception. The pace is steady and the humor keeps the story interesting and fun. The art is gorgeous and Josh Blaylock has done a great job making Mercy Sparx a hell of a fun ride. – Spaced (http://youknowyourcertifiable.blogspot.com/)

Nailbiter #1 (Image) – I like a comic book that’s going to make me think. And creep me out. Possibly make me a little sick to my stomach. Josh Williamson’s Nailbiter delivers on all fronts. In his new series about serial killers and the place that gives birth to them—an unprecedented town in Oregon called Buckaroo, which has bred sixteen of the nation’s most notorious serial killers—we get a glimpse of Williamson’s infatuation and genuine knowledge of this particular brand of horror. Nailbiter sets out to explore what makes a serial killer, which is a unique take on the genre. It’s clear that this book will be as complex and expository as it is horrific and entertaining. – Bree Ogden (agentbree.wordpress.com)

Afterlife with Archie #5 (Archie Comics) – Afterlife with Archie is one of the best comics on shelves today. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s love for horror shines through every issue, and it is only outmatched by his love for the characters in Riverdale. Issue #5 marks the concluding chapter for the first arc, and there are no punches pulled. While many would have been tempted to hold back on killing off central Archie Comics characters, Aguirre-Sacasa is merciless. However, every death holds emotional weight, for the other characters and for the audience. With every issue, he pulls Archie and the gang out of the frying pan and into the fire. I cannot wait to see where this goes in the next arc. On top of the brilliant pop-culture induced storytelling is Francesco Francavilla’s brilliant art. Clearly inspired by horror master Dario Argento, Francavilla’s coloring adds a whole new dimension to the book that few horror stories have. There’s a good reason this series took home a few Ghastly Awards in 2013.  – Lonnie Nadler (www.Bloody-Disgusting.com)

Loving Dead (Humanoids) – Stefano Raffaele’s touching and gory zombie romance story was originally published in France in 2005 as Fragile, then re-released a few times, even in an English translation as Fragile: Love Never Dies. The time is ripe for another release to cash in on America’s Zombie Craze and here it is. I had missed it before so I’m glad I get to read it and admire the extraordinary artwork but the zombie genre, like me, is getting old and worn. Had I read this 9 years ago when it first came out, I would have adored it! It was fresh and groundbreaking! Sadly, so much stuff has ripped off the concept since (the film Warm Bodies comes to mind) that it weakens my love of the book (and indeed all zombie-culture) now.

But don’t listen to an old fuck like me who complains about everything. This book collects all three volumes of Fragile in a nicely priced set that looks great. Raffaele’s story-telling and artwork is top shelf. If you haven’t read it and the Zombie Phenomena hasn’t worn out its welcome for you, dig in and enjoy! – Mike Howlett (http://eeriepublications.blogspot.com/)

Crossed 2014 Annual (Avatar Press) – Crossed is so strong right now, and it’s taking over all things Horror Survival. Spurrier and Ortiz have come together to craft one hell of a classic tale with this 2014 Annual. I loved the break down on the cast, and how it was presented through back stories that are presented as these small prose pages. Then how it all comes into play at the end, with how a boy makes the stories work to fit into his world. I was cheering for him, cheering for granny and just loving every minute of this issue. It’s a great looking stand alone tale, that could just be your jumping on point if you have been missing out on what is going on in the world of the Crossed. – Decapitated Dan (www.decapitateddan.com)

Creators and Publishers please make sure to go over to www.ghastlyawards.com to submit your books for 2014 Nomination consideration! More information on how the submission process works can be found here http://www.ghastlyawards.com/2010/10/submit-your-horror-comic-to-be.html

* Please note that none of the books reviewed are guaranteed to be nominated. These are just books that the Judges enjoyed and want you to know about.

______________________________________________________

Judges:
Decapitated Dan, Mike Howlett, Belinda “Spaced” McNeill, Lonnie Nadler, Bree Ogden
Staff:
Steve Banes, Pedro Cabezuelo, Denise Dutton, Rachel Deering

Founded in 2011 by Decapitated Dan with the help of Steve Banes, Mike Howlett, Lonnie Nadler and Mykal Banta, the Ghastly Awards recognize outstanding achievements in Horror Comics over a range of 15 different categories. The nominees are chosen by other horror comic book professionals and winners are chosen by a panel of judges.

The Awards were named for acclaimed comics creator “Ghastly” Graham Ingels.
Starting in 2013 the Ghastly Awards switched over to a Submission based process. Comic Publishers and Creators can submit their books for nomination consideration throughout the calendar year. The top five nominees in each category will be chosen by the Judges, and will then be voted on by the Judges, Creators and Fans to decide the winners.

The Ghastly Award Judges work strictly on a volunteer basis. There is no paid staff and the awards are completely funded from the generous donations of its sponsors.

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