A highlight of my young comic book reporting career thus far was talking with horror master Richard Corben on adapting Edgar Allan Poe with Dark Horse!


“Corben Combines Poe’s ‘Raven’ with ‘Masque of the Red Death'” — Click to read entire article

“When horror master Richard Corben revisits ‘The Raven’ this fall, he breaks away from the traditional telling of the tale and joins it with the Poe short ‘The Masque of the Red Death,’ an amalgamation similar to his latest ‘Usher’ adaptation, which seamlessly combined ‘Usher’ with Poe’s ‘The Oval Portrait.’ CBR News spoke with Corben about his latest Poe adaptations with Dark Horse, with the creator illuminating his process and reaffirming his undying reverence for the historic writer.

CBR News: In your latest ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ adaptation, you combined this well-known story with Poe’s ‘Oval Portrait’ poem. Unexpectedly, the first issue of ‘Usher’ tells ‘Oval Portrait’ in its entirety — your adaptation, however, plants ‘Portrait’s’ leading woman into the confines of the Usher estate. Why take the tale in this direction?

Richard Corben: I have done adaptations of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ several times before, including a few non-comic illustrations. This time, I wanted to make the story different from the versions I had done earlier. There are similar elements in the two stories, such as a painter, his lover/model in a remote setting and especially their obsessions about inanimate objects that are living (the house in Usher, the painting in Portrait). In 1928 a French film maker, Jean Epstein, did ‘La Chute de la Maison Usher’ which combined both stories.

In my new comic version, the ‘Oval Portrait’ part seems to be over, but the painting of Madeline still is an important element in the second part, as you probably know by now.

Coming up with Dark Horse, you’ve blended Poe’s short story ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ and the poem ‘The Raven’ into one tale. Poe described The Red Death itself as spanning the course of 30 minutes and inciting ‘sharp pains and sudden dizziness, followed by profuse bleeding at the pores with dissolution.’ Do descriptions like this make you want to start drawing on the spot as a horror artist?

Poe’s description of the Red Death plague is pretty nasty, but if you research the real plagues that ravage the world from time to time, it might even seem to be comparatively merciful. After all, what’s worse? Suffering for 30 minutes, then dying, or suffering for several days, then dying. I think Poe had some special fear and distaste for the symptoms he described because they are similar to the effects of tuberculosis which killed several members of his family.”

Here are images of 5 affordable Kickstarter campaigns I’m currently backing, and you should too! Click the link below the image to check ’em out.


“5 Kickstarter Campaigns to Back Right NOW!” — Click to read entire article

“Kickstarter is a strange animal; it’s equal parts fascinating, unpredictable and incredulous. At its best, the crowdsourcing site allows you to have a hand in making somebody’s dream come true, being handsomely rewarded in the process. I’ve backed a small number of projects over time, some made their goal and others didn’t. Below are 5 active campaigns I’m on board with right now, so give these fresh projects a look and remember — when you pledge to a campaign not only does it help the creators reach their goal, but it encourages stretch goals and additional rewards!”

This series fills a void for many horror fans with potential to disturb everyone else.

REVIEW: “Ferals” #9 — Click to read entire article

“David Lapham and artist Gabriel Andrade’s ‘Ferals’ #9 delves deeper into the unique brand of lycanthropic horror presented in the series and is an issue anyone can pick up to read. Amidst violence and sexually charged confrontations, secret origins of the Feral bloodline are revealed with a seemingly more complex political structure of the werewolf community.

Throughout this series Lapham has dropped information expanding the mythos of his werewolves, known as Ferals. Displaying traits more commonly associated with vampires, the Ferals are conniving and manipulative but even more primal and savage. Lapham has never shied away from violence or sex, particularly in his Avatar work. Whereas vampires make their killings a seductive dance, the Ferals grab their prey with a hunters instinct and act like the last surviving animal of their species, leaving a bloody mess in their wake.”

If you listened to our podcast with Asylum Press creator Steve Mannion (The BombFearless Dawn) and publisher/creator Frank Forte (Warlash: Dark NoirD-TOX, Undead Evil), then you know that AP has a plethora of awesome comics out there for you to read. With the successful release of the new Fearless Dawn series, Asylum Press is forging ahead with fresh material for you horror fans to sink your teeth into. Check out these recent press releases sent out by the company which announce the arrival of horror great, Tim Vigil, Detective Comics scribe, Royal McGraw, and some updates on Asylum’s presence at San Diego Comic Con!


Asylum of Horrors #2 features new Tim Vigil work!

Asylum Press announces that Asylum of Horrors #2 will contain a new story from iconic horror artist/writer Tim Vigil.  Vigil brings his highly stylized voice to a post apocalyptic wasteland in “Survival Extinction Z”.  Asylum of Horrors #2 (DIAMOND: JUL090699) can be previewed at http://www.asylumpress.com/AOH02_HOME.html. Vigil’s story will be a 3 part series that will be continued in subsequent issues of Asylum of Horrors. The second issue of Asylum of Horrors will also include stories from Frank Forte, Szymon Kudranski, Billy George, Darren Sellars, Patrick Shanahan, Nenad Gucunja,and Marcin Ponomarew.

Tim Vigil burst into the comic book scene with co creator David Quinn in the early nineties with the creation of the horror comic Faust.  Detailed artwork and Vigil’s over the top story line captured comics fans interest and held it tight for the better part of a decade. Vigil has gone on to work with Avatar Press, Glenn Danzig and many others.   “Nominated for awards, works published all over the world, Tim is a god,” explained Asylum Press Publisher Frank Forte.  “You say the word Faust to any comic horror fan and they smile.”

Intended Audience: mature readers
Retail Price: $4.95
Pages: SC, 64 pgs, FC with B&W. Perfect bound
Ship Date: SEPT 2009
Genre: Horror
Frequency of Publication: Quarterly
ISBN: 978-0-9818230-4-1


asylum2Warlash:Dark Noir #3
 is not available through Diamond, but is available direct from Asylum Press, through Haven Distributors and Tony Shenton. Asylum Press announced today that Warlash:Dark Noir #3 (of 3) will feature a short story written by Royal McGraw (Detective ComicsBatman: Battle for The Cowl:Commissioner Gordon) and illustrated by Frank Forte.  “Rocket’s Red Scare” pits Warlash against a biogenetically engineered villain who goes by the name of Trotsky De Sade, the crazed leader of the Gene Communist Militia. De Sade is a Neo-Cold War menace who has taken the form of Joseph Stalin to try to wreak havoc upon the capitalist pigs of Pittsburgh.  Can Warlash and his new ally Vigil stop him? Or will De Sade be allowed to unleash his stalinococcus virus on an unsuspecting populace? In “A Touch of Deadly”, a neo-noir tale, Warlash is deceived by a sexy D.A. to uncover a murder of an old Black Ops buddy. The plot thickens Warlash uncovers a Russian cyborg smuggling ring.  Written by Frank Forte and illustrated by Szymon Kudranski. This issue concludes the “Phlegm Fatale” storyline wherein Warlash battles a biogenic beast in the sewers below Pittsburgh, but the battle is not over even after the beast has been destroyed; written and illustrated Frank Forte.  Cover by Aly Fell.

Warlash:Dark Noir #3 preview can be seen here: http://www.asylumpress.com/warlash_DN03_Home.html.


Asylum Press and Girls and Corpses Magazine team up to bring you more horror and chaos than you can imagine. Asylum Press announces it will brings several inmates and some special goodies to Comicon International July 22-26, 2009.  Asylum Press Booth will be #1534 near Spike and Mike’s Sick and twisted Animation Festival and Publisher NBM.   New books will be debuting, animation screenings, poster giveaways and sneak peaks will all be part of the madhouse at the Asylum Press booth!   Come by the booth to check the schedule for signings from the following persons:

*Frank Forte (Warlash, Asylum of HorrorsVampire Verses)
*Robert S. Rhine (Girls and CorpsesSatan’s 3-Ring Circus of Hell)
*Royal McGraw (Detective ComicsBatman: Battle for the Cowl: Commissioner Gordon #1)
*Elizabeth J, Musgrave (Farmhouse)

*Dwayne Harris (Warhammer: Crown of Destruction and the upcoming Black Powder)

Of the new books making their debut at CCI will be Steve Mannion’s Fearless Dawn #1.  After being cancelled by Diamond’s new Threshold initiative this book is headed out of the gat with a smash.  Picked up by Indy distributors Haven Distro and Tony Shenton Distribution, this book is determined to make it going the indy distribution route.  Haven’t seen the hottest in retro pin up action? Visithttp://www.asylumpress.com/index2.html.  Another issue to be featured  at CCI is Warlash:Dark Noir #3–  The third and final issue of this dark superhero series concludes  Featuring the talents of Frank Forte,  Royal McGraw, Szymon Kudranski and J.C. Wong. You can see more about Warlash atwww.asylumpress.com.


Robert Steven Rhine-
Robert Steven Rhine is the Founder/Publisher and Deaditor-In-Chief of 
Girls and Corpses Magazine.  R.S. Rhine began working in comic books as a contributing staff writer forCracked Magazine and Insidious Tales.  The success of three “humorr-ific” comic books led to Rhine’s 278 page, color graphic novel Satan’s 3-Ring Circus of Hell. Forty-three of the top horror artists in the world (such as William Stout and Tim Vigil, Hilary Barta and Alan M. Clark) contributed to the book, illustrating over forty twisted Rhine tales.  Rhine has sold fiction to over one hundred magazines and the published anthologies: Bram Stoker Winner: Dark Delicacies (Carroll & Graf) alongside Ray Bradbury and Clive Barker.

Royal McGraw-
Royal McGraw is an award winning writer of feature film, television, and graphic novels. Royal is best known for his work on the DC Comics’ flagship title Detective Comics(Batman) and the Batman: Battle for the Cowl tie-in, Commissioner Gordon #1. Royal is currently penning several projects, including an upcoming arc of Batman Confidential for DC Comics, Batman: Brave and the Bold for DC Kids, and several creator-owned projects.

To order comics from Asylum Press, head on over to their website at AsylumPress.com. I highly recommend Fearless Dawn andWarlash: Dark Noir!

dsc03935_22In this edition of The One Hitter we will be taking a look at two comics from Asylum Press: DTOX and Undead Evil. Frank Forte is the publisher and founder of AP, as well as an illustrator and the companies main scribe. Forte says that Asylum Press is “dedicated to cutting edge comics, trade paperbacks, and art.” This was my first experience reading anything published by Asylum, and the stories I experienced were original and disturbing! Forte writes both comics and Nenad Gucunja provides the illustrations.

DTOX #0dsc039341

While this over-sized issue is short in quantity,  it’s an in-your-face story jam packed with quality action. The setting is Detroit in a post-nuclear world where police and hospitals are nonexistent, and the “rape and consumption of women and children has become common place.” Due to radiation and chemical filled air, many people have mutated into sex hungry, flesh eating mutants. Enter DTOX: a tank driving, camo/bio hazard suit wearing, blow up doll loving bad ass whose mission is to detoxify the Earth’s monstrous mutations. DTOX’s ammunition is laced with an acid that eats away at the freakish mutants, melting their bodies into a sterilized bubbling green goo. Like DTOX says, “You can never be too clean.”

What this issue lacks in length (11 ad free pages of story) it makes up for in spectacle. The art is colorful and energetic, the characters unique, weird, and detailed. The action is gruesome and intense. I was left longing for a full page shot of DTOX’s kick ass tank, but a hilarious shot of a giant hand/dog mutation flipping him the bird made up for it.

This issue is magazine size, so the panels are larger than usual, and nine pages of concept art and character sketches give the reader a special look behind the scenes of DTOX. Since being published in July 2007, no subsequent DTOX issues have been released, so pick this issue up for a fun and gruesome read!

3/5 stars

Undead Evil #0 dsc039391


This is a tale of an awkward young man’s quest to forge the gap between the living and the dead in order to save his bloodline from an evil magic. The story is told as a narrative that eerily reeks of Poe and Lovecraft, presenting a dark take on one of America’s most tragic natural disasters…

When Alfred Carter’s mother died, he was left alone, shutting himself inside his old house. Forced to rummage through his late mothers belongings, he finds a skeleton key. This key is Alfred’s ticket to a place forbidden to him his entire life; the dsc039411attic. What have his parents been hiding from him all these years? Now, for the first time, Alfred holds the power to reveal his family history and learn the answers to his darkest questions.

The writing and art of this issue is vivid, assaulting the (six) senses, allowing the reader’s imagination to run wild. Forte does a great job scripting a dark, twisted tale that is filled with surprises. He questions the power of prayer (and the beings who listen to them), claiming that taking matters into one’s own hands is sometimes the best action, if not the only action… Gucunja’s black and white images take the time to detail the horror and stress that Alfred experiences on his journey. The inking is fantastic, showcasing intense close ups and chilling full page shots. One such shot depicts the remnants of a place that has suffered through Mother Nature’s wrath. Alfred reflects on the scene, “It was only a matter of time.”

dsc039423Undead Evil #0 has a creepy feel from the first page to it’s abrupt, cliffhanger ending. The comic will leave you pondering the dark secrets of your own family history, so be sure to look for it in comic shops come December 2009.

4/5 stars

 DTOX and Undead Evil aren’t comics to give to the kids, as these titles are loaded with gratuitous violence, nudity, and (gasp!) cursing. Forte’s style of dropping the reader into the thick of the action is conductive to these two tales. The stories are to the point, with minimal exposition, providing an experience that allows the reader to enjoy what is presented. What’s even better is that you can kick back and read these comics from cover to cover without ever having to take a commercial break; ads never interrupt the story!

Keep coming back to Mint Condition for upcoming Asylum Press reviews! For more info on Asylum Press, please visit AsylumPress.com. Click on the following AP links to theUndead Evil Blog and the DTOX Blog.