VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, expands its catalog of horror manga (graphic novel) titles with the acquisition of Junji Ito’s FRAGMENTS OF HORROR.
The title marks the creator’s return to horror following an eight-year break from the genre, and it will receive a deluxe hardcover treatment for the North American release. FRAGMENTS OF HORROR will debut in the summer of 2015 under the company’s VIZ Signature imprint and is rated ‘T+.’
FRAGMENTS OF HORROR is a brand-new collection of delightfully macabre tales from the celebrated master of Japanese horror. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Ito’s long-awaited return to the world of horror.
“A long anticipated new offering of bizarre and disturbing short stories from the unique mind of Junji Ito awaits readers next summer,” says Leyla Aker, Senior Vice President, Publishing. “Ito adeptly creates scenarios that are at once surreal, unsettling, and often terrifying; and FRAGMENTS OF HORROR is sure to become a must-read for true horror aficionados and manga fans familiar with his prior works like GYO and UZUMAKI. We look forward to new as well as existing manga fans and readers discovering this potent forthcoming release!”
Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional debut in 1987 and since then has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino as well as authors Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.
Heart and Fire Productions today announced the launch of their official movie website for the upcoming horror/comedy feature film titled Hans Crippleton: Talk to the Hans (www.hanscrippletonmovie.com). With the film’s first screening selling out two theaters at the Alamo Draft House, audiences were roaring with laughter at this outrageous zombie comedy. As the film continues to gain momentum, you can visit the new website to follow the movie’s progress and join their mailing list for exclusive content, updates, information on upcoming festival screenings and more.
“The website will complement the zany humor of our film,” said Jimmy Lee Combs, director of Hans Crippleton: Talk to the Hans. “We want to entertain our audience beyond the film, so in the coming months, not only will you be able to purchase the film digitally through our site but we’ll also be expanding the film’s universe through comic strips, videos and more to keep our fans satisfied. Plus, we’ll be offering fan exclusive content to those who sign up for our newsletter.”
With an eccentric cast of characters, amazing SFX and outrageous story, Hans Crippleton: Talk to the Hans introduces us to a backwoods family plagued by a mysterious zombie curse. Enter Barnaby Hunt, host of Horror Hunts, a show dedicated to bringing you the story behind horror legends, supernatural occurrences and the macabre. We find Barnaby on Sukkin Booz farm which is inhabited by Hans Crippleton and his inbred family members.
Barnaby and his camera crew are swept into the backwoods ways of this disturbing family and are along for the ride as they uncover the mystery behind the Crippleton family zombie curse. Hans Crippleton (the leader of the pack) is the star of the show as we witness his rise and fall from fame. And let’s just say he gets into a lot mischief with his little hand and proud hump. Some may fear for their life when encountering the Crippleton’s because…well let’s be honest, they look like they would eat the flesh right off your bones, but for those who get to know them, you may just find out you’d like to stick around for the boozin’ and floozin’.
Recently, the Fall 2014 issue of Dark Discoveries concentrated much of its attention—in both fiction and non-fiction—on the possibilities inherent in secret societies in horror. It is a bit of a shame that I did not receive the ARC of David Morrell’s newest thriller, Inspector of the Dead, sooner, since had I done so, my contribution to DD might have taken a distinctly different turn.
Not that Inspector of the Dead is explicitly linked to horror. Indeed, as might be expected from a sequel to Morrell’s earlier Murder as a Fine Art (see http://michaelrcollings.blogspot.com/2013/03/david-morrell-murder-as-fine-art-well.html for my review), none of the traditional monsters of horror appear in this intricate tale of murder, madness, and revenge in mid-Victorian England. Darkness there is aplenty, and blood and gore, some tastefully insinuated, some described in intimate detail. But the story emphasizes the intellectual (and occasionally physical) exertions required for Thomas De Quincey, the notorious “Opium Eater”; his brilliant and resilient daughter, Emily; and their two stalwart detective friends from the London Police to solve a series of gruesome, upper-class murders that have a single point in common—clues left at each scene point to previous attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, suggesting a network of dangerous, unknown malcontents.
And the clues are moving irrevocably closer…presumably, to another attempt on the monarch’s life.
As did the earlier story, Inspector of the Dead encapsulates history, sociology, psychology (both current and nineteenth-century understandings), criminology, and literature in a complex web leading to devastating discoveries and—as promised—a cataclysmic confrontation in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace itself.
All of these elements are intriguing, of course, but what makes the novel of particular interest for me is that at its most fundamental levels, it is about monsters, the most devastating kind: human beings. There are allusions to other sorts, as when customers at a pub, having drunk doctored beer and gin, hallucinate creatures and break out into a deadly public brawl. But throughout, the story concentrates on what transforms humans into monsters.
For some, monstrousness is an almost unavoidable response to rigid Victorian morals, standards, and values. Churchgoers in the finer parts of town see nothing wrong with turning away starving children, often condemning the children to a lingering death by starvation…or worse. In their world, social status determines individual worth, and, in spite of twenty-first-century attitudes, many of Morrell’s characters merely act the way they believe they are supposed to act. The main characters constantly confront this kind of unthinking evil as they move from the highest levels of society to the lowest and reveal to readers how tragically locked into assumption every stratum is.
Unfortunately, too many powerful and influential people turned their backs on a particularly egregious social injustice that resulted in the horrifying deaths of four Irish immigrants and set the surviving child on a course of revenge that would take dozens more lives in horrendous, meticulously planned murders.
Acting in the name of a secret society, “Young England,” a criminal mastermind manipulates private and public confidence in the government, the nation, the monarchy itself nearly to the point of revolution, so convincingly that everything the police attempt to track down the villain results in strengthening the hold the society exerts.
The substrata of political and social commentary ultimately merge with the plotline to provide a single sentence, quoted from the historical De Quincey, that illuminates the entire volume: “The horrors that madden the grief that gnaws at the heart.”
From such horrors come madness and desperation, obsessions with revenge and retribution…and human monsters.
Lest I have made Inspector of the Dead sound too much like a sociological treatise, readers can rest assured that Morrell provides not only opportunities for thought and consideration but also moments of high adventure, ranging from the battlefields of the Crimean War to the shadowed back streets of London’s worst districts. The book is a brilliant amalgam of history and fiction, of reflection and speculation, of possibility and probability. And a thoroughly enjoyable read from beginning to end.
Storm King productions web store is officially open for the gift giving season. Storm King’s premiere title John Carpenter’s Asylum has great gift ideas from t-shirts to posters including their web store only limited edition art book style hardcover graphic novel. Want your gift giving to help someone in need? Numerous John Carpenter related Hero Initiative prints are available as well. Order cut off for guaranteed Christmas delivery is December 14th using standard shipping and December 19th if you choose to ship FedEx. If you place an order by December 15th for the limited edition John Carpenter’s Asylum Hardcover you will receive an exclusive Asylum crucifix flash drive with a copy of the animated trailer! Go to www.stormkingproductionsstore.com today!
The hardcover trade release is a full 200 pages which contain the 144 comic pages from the first six issues as well as a sketchbook from Leo Manco that shows pages in the three different stages of development (pencils, inks, colors), a “how to”guide covering the creation of the John Carpenter’s Asylum animated trailer, and three new demons never before seen in the comic! The limited edition artbook style hardcover will have the same interior with no new demon information but does include book plates that have been hand numbered with signatures by Sandy King Carpenter, John Carpenter, Leo Manco, Bruce Jones, Trent Olsen, Janice Chiang and Thomas Ian Griffith. The run will be strictly limited to 500 and is available ONLY in the webstore.
About John Carpenter’s Asylum:
There’s a war coming to the City of Angels. In tunnels beneath the city, in the dark alleys among the homeless, demons lurk and Lucifer bides his time. One man knows. One man sees. One man walks those dark streets. Father Daniel Beckett’s seen demons and he’s spoken to the Devil, but he’s never seen an angel and he’s never spoken to God. Obsessed and driven as much by betrayal as righteousness and anger as redemption, he walks the smoke-filled encampments of lost souls like Dante’s nine rings of the Inferno. He is God’s warrior at war with God.
With this step into the comic book world, John Carpenter brings it all to the serial world he’s loved since childhood. Supernatural horror with that twist of fate that only flawed mankind can provide.
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In his introduction to Inflictions, Christopher Golden describes John McIlveen as an author who “pull[s] no punches.” The short stories in this collection prove that sentiment accurate. McIlveen’s writing wraps around you like tentacles from a fog, and drags you into the ferocious mists kicking and screaming.
The stories in Inflictions are all loosely tied together under the broad theme of dark secrets. The tales examine the sinister secrets we lock away from the public. McIlveen tears away the façade of “normal” to expose the raw terror lurking within. Abuse, lies, transgressions, and fear haunt these pages. The title story highlights addiction, a topic threatening into the cliché, but in this case skillfully drawn in both sympathy and horror as we follow protagonist down an endless spiral into nothingness. In “Make a Choice,” we see a “typical” family trying to connect in a disconnected, modern world. Their attempt at “normal” turns into a terrifying nightmare (no spoilers here) that will chill the blood. McIlveen’s work reflects the ever-increasing isolation between individuals, and the monstrous results of that disconnect. His protagonists lose because they fail to see truth, reality, or their mistakes in time. Isn’t this the darkest, most terrifying fear we have? We will be the cause of our own downfall? McIlveen has found that glowing coal of fear in our hearts, and he’s ignited a firestorm.
The collection slows a little in the middle with “Jerks.” The idea is clever, but it’s long and doesn’t entirely fit with the pacing of the shorter stories. Overall, this is an outstanding collection. McIlveen even manages to sneak in a bit of humor amidst the horror to keep his readers from sinking into the abyss entirely. Very well done and highly recommended.
“I’m delighted to be included with so many filmmakers I respect and admire,” said Mckee. “The anthology format shows how pliable the horror genre is. Each artist on this project is stretching the possibilities to their limits. For die-hard horror fans and general audiences, this is sure to be an evergreen title for many Halloweens to come.”
McKee and ten directors have joined forces with Epic Pictures under the name The October Society to create a series of interconnected stories, each with a unique Halloween theme. They include Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III & IV), Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate), Adam Gierasch (Night of the Demons), Andrew Kasch (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!), Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red), Ryan Schifrin (Abominable), John Skipp (Stay at Home Dad), and Paul Solet (Grace). Directors Kasch and Skipp are to co-direct one of the short films together.
Currently in production in Los Angeles, the concept was created by Carolyn, who brought the filmmakers together for this unique production. Tales of Halloween is being produced by Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson of Epic Pictures Group along with Mendez and Carolyn.
“We are more than thrilled to have Lucky round out our team of talented directors for Tales of Halloween,” said Epic Pictures Group CEO Patrick Ewald. “Lucky will share his unique point-of-view to the project that will be exciting to audiences of the horror genre.”
Ten stories will be woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens, and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.
The directors have created a manifesto with rules to create their films based on the values of Halloween night. The antithesis of the Dogme 95 manifesto, the directors will not be frugal with special effects, props, and musical score and have already attracted notable talent in the horror genre such as composers Frank Ilfman (Big Bad Wolves) and Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring).