Marvel’s Star Police Academy

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. It really is hard to believe that this little blog of mine is 10 years old; what started out as just a silly way to feel nostalgic for things that I grew up loving has now turned into a way for many of you readers as well to take trips down memory lane about the topics covered. With that said, today’s update is no exception as growing up my brother and I loved the Police Academy films and we would watch them all the time, but in 1988 they also made an animated series…that was not watched all the time and this update is about that animated series and the Marvel Comics under the Star Comics branch comic series based on it. Who would have ever thought that Police Academy would get a cartoon and comic book series? I know growing up it seemed like Marvel and DC Comics did more oddball releases like this, and now they play it way too safe. So if you are ready let’s head to the station and see what is going on with Mahoney and his friends.

Police Academy Animated 1

The Police Academy Cartoon series started airing on September 10,1988 and was a syndicated show that was based on the movie series that was being released by Warner Brothers at the same time. The cartoon would follow Mahoney and his fellow Cadet friends as they bust crime and try to take down the evil Kingpin who is a member of the Council Of Crime and other baddies include Mr. Sleaze, Claw, Numbskull and Big Burger. The cartoon was made by Rudy-Spears and was released by Warner Bros. Television and would last for two seasons and a total of 65 episodes, as it would end on September 2, 1989. None of the movies cast would voice their cartoon counterparts and names like Dan Hennessey, Ron Rubin, Greg Morton and Frank Welker would lend their voices to help make the characters come alive. Growing up very few of my friends at school watched this cartoon as it really was not popular at all and to be honest while I did watch it from time to time it was not must see TV for me, and looking back this is a little odd as I was a big fan of the movies. I will say that the animation for the cartoon was good and that classic 80’s style but I do always remember not being a fan of the voices of the characters, as they sounded nothing like they should and even the kid friendly humor fell flat. The series would get some home media releases with select episodes making it to VHS and part of the series would get a DVD release. Now keep in mind while I was not a major fan of the cartoon I will say I enjoyed if even with all its flaws.

Police Academy Animated 2Police Academy Animated 3Police Academy Animated 4

While I was not a mega fan of the cartoon series, I was a fan of the action figures based on it that was released by Kenner that started in 1988 and ended in 1989 and only lasted three series. The first wave of figures featured Mahoney with Samson the dog, Tackleberry, Hightower, Jones and Zed for the heroes and for the baddies you could get Cat with Mouser Cat, Numbskull and Mr. Sleaze with FooFoo Dog. Wave one also had some cool play sets like the Precinct Police Station that was really just the Real Ghostbusters fire station re-done. Wave 2 had new versions of Tackleberry and Jones and then added baddies Flung Hi and Kingpin to the mix, and a mail away figure was Captain Harris that is very rare. The third and final wave that is called “Special Assignment Rookies” the cops added was House, Sweetchuck with new versions of Zed and Mahoney and no new baddies were added. They also had vehicles released that included Crazy Cruiser and Crash Cycle. And growing up I had several of these figures like Jones, Tackleberry, Mr. Sleaze and Cat and got them from of course Big Bear and Hearts. The one I always wanted was Hightower as he was at the top of my favorite characters in the films series as well as the animated one. Its weird as very few of the kids I grew up with had the Police Academy figures and I knew no kid who watched the cartoon, I do however knew a few classmates who had the Marvel Comics based on it. And to be honest I do not even remember Harts stocking them for very long and can not even remember them being at Hills Department Store, though I am sure they were as Hills was the place for Toys!

Police Academy Animated 5Police Academy Animated 6Police Academy Animated 7

And when I became a teenager I got ride of my Police Academy figures and regretted it later in life, so I did what any nerdy adult would do and I bought many of them back plus the ones I didn’t have when I was a youngster! And below is a group shot of the figures I have in my collection and I wanted to share it with you readers. No as you can see I do not have the full set as some figures are way over priced like House, Sweetchuck and Captain Harris as they are rare and while I had a chance to buy Sweetchuck at a local store I decided not to pay the price they were asking. But as you can see I do have a good amount of them with my two favorites being Hightower and Tackleberry as I do think they are good figures and are two of my favorite characters from the whole Police Academy series. But check below to see the figures I have, and yes over time I do hope to get more and complete the set, and when looking at them I really need to get more of the bad guys as I need Claw and Mr. Sleeze back.

Police Academy Cartoon Toys Mine

The Police Academy film series started in 1984 and followed Mahoney who is a cadet at the Police Academy who is a prankster and a ladies man who is hated by Lt. Harris, and worse his fellow cadets would follow his lead and they would become good cops who worked well with the people they are protecting. The series would spawn five sequels a cartoon and even a short-lived live action TV Show. The film series would star names like Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, Bubba Smith as Hightower, Michael Winslow as Larvell Jones, David Graf as Tackleberry, Marion Ramsey as Laverne Hooks, Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed McGlunk to name a few. The first film in the series was the biggest success bringing in $81,198,894.00 at the Domestic Box Office but with each sequel the profits dropped hard as the sixth film in the series “Police Academy 6: City Under Siege” only did $11,567,217.00 showing that the series did not have much legs behind it in the end, but to be fair to the later sequels they did do great on home media and the rental market and did their job of keeping the series alive. I have worked for several used media stores over the years and have had many of customers ask if we had Police Academy films in stock, and mostly they are looking for the sequels so that’s a sign at least that they do have a fan following. I think that if I had to choose my top three films in the series I would say that for me “Police Academy”, “Police Academy 4: Citizen’s On Patrol” and “Police Academy 3: Back In Training” make up that list with my least favorite film in the series being “Police Academy 7: Mission Moscow” a barely in the theater film that had hardly none of the original cast and had many jokes that just fell flat, but to be fair the film did star Christopher Lee and Ron Perlman as Russians. Rumors of an eighth film have been floating around for years and Steve Guttenberg has also fueled those rumors in 2018 by claiming talks are taking place, but I think sadly this sequel will never happen and if anything a remake will be made that will go direct to streaming. Say what you will but Police Academy in the 80’s was a big comedy franchise that sparked so much other media and helped make Warner Brothers some money and brought laughs to movie watchers around the globe.

Police Academy Animated 8Police Academy Animated 9Police Academy Animated 10

I want to also take a moment before we take a look at the score for the first Police Academy film that was done by Robert Folk who is also know for his music work on such films as “Toy Soldiers (1991)”, “Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time (1991)”, “Rock-A-Doodle (1991)”, “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)”, “Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996)” and “Beethoven’s Big Break (2008)” to name a few. But while all the above mentioned and even the none mentioned scores are good it really is his work on the Police Academy film series that is his crown jewel as the Main Title for the series is so iconic and when it starts to play almost everyone knows that its from the film and still even more will hum along to the catchy tune, and funny enough I still even hum this song at random from time to time. And my niece plays in a marching band and my brother use to try and get her to ask her teacher if they would play the Police Academy Theme at football games, he of course said no but it was worth a try. The soundtrack was released for a limited time on CD and I was lucky enough to nab a copy before it went out of print and to be honest the whole score by Folk is really good and if you can find it cheap enough and enjoy movie score soundtracks give it a listen.

Police Academy Animated 11

And yet still before we review these comics we should talk about my three favorite characters in this series with my first being Hightower who was played by Bubba Smith in the films and voiced by Greg Morton in the cartoon, and the reason he is my favorite is he is as strong as a bull, is fair when busting crime, is as big as a pro wrestler and just is a very cool character. Next would have to be Tackleberry who is Rambo with a badge and carries a massive handgun and is really unstable who comes from a family of cops who all act just as intense as he is, Tackleberry is played by actor David Graf in the films and was voiced by Dan Hennessey. And my third favorite is Zed who was a one time criminal who turns a new leaf and joins the Police Force, but he is just as crazy as he was when he was a bad guy he is played by the awesome Bobcat Goldthwait in the films and voiced by Dan Hennessey in the cartoon. And now that you know who my top three favorite characters are I want you to take a few moments to think who yours are as I think every fan of this series has their most as well as least favorites.

Police Academy Animated 12Police Academy Animated 13Police Academy Animated 14

Well as you can see we have somehow found ourselves in Comic Book Jail all because we said we enjoy old Marvel Comics over old DC Comics in a Warner Brothers part of town and now we have to wait for Mahoney to get here to straighten this mess all out, but while we wait lets take a look at the comic book series from Marvel Comics in connection to the Star Comics brand that of course is based on the super kid friendly animated series of Police Academy. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic as well as Lonestar Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I also want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that let’s find a bunk and see what this comic series has in store for us. And on a side note I do remember reading the first issue as a kid and the rest will be first time reads for me.

Police Academy Animated Comic 1

Police Academy # 1  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel    # 1 of 6

Mahoney and Jones are acting as a two man parade for all of the higher officers at the academy, and this is bad news as they the higher ups showed up a day to early and this annoys many of them and worse when Hooks, Zed and Sweetchuck have made a float head that looks like criminal computer and tech mastermind Mad Byter! This gets Mahoney and his friends in hot water and they are sent on duty in a terrible part of town and while directing traffic Mad Byter and his henchmen drive by and the cops give chase, but the criminal makes it to his base that is a massive movie sound studio! Mahoney gets an idea and as he and the rest hide inside of the Mad Byter float head that they will have Sweetchuck drop off as a gift to the criminal and this will allow them to be inside the hideout…and it works! Once inside Mahoney and his fellow officers find that Byter is using props from movies against them and when he makes his escape Mahoney uses one of the props to capture him and get back into the graces of the higher ups. “Little Boy Blue” is the second story and is about Buster a kid who won a contest to be a police officer for a day, the downside is that he is a brat and Mahoney and Jones are the ones who end up having to take him out for the day. Buster is running wild and Mahoney comes up with a plan for him and Jones to wear ski masks and fake kidnap Dusty to teach him a lesson about manors, but a pair of real kidnappers beat them to it and this causes Mahoney and Jones to save the day and in the end they do teach Buster a life lesson on how to act.

This first issue of Police Academy is pure silly stuff and has one longer story as well as a small back up and both pack the same silly humor and jokes and while it is entertaining it does have lots of flaws including characters being in spots they should not be and jokes that are eye rolling bad, you know the type like a bad dad jokes. The first story has Mahoney and company screwing up a parade and being forced on a terrible part of town that they end up saving the city from a very bad man who is a computer hacker that robs places. And that baddie is Mad Byter and he does rob a place and even uses movie props to stall and keep the cops at bay as he and his goons try to escape, they do fail but at least he tried. The second story is shorter and has Mahoney and Jones having to watch the Mayors nephew and have to save him from kidnappers, and the odd part of this plot is that Mahoney himself has a plan to kidnap the kid to calm him down…very odd coming from a cop. Mahoney is clearly the leader of the cadets and is as snarky as ever and while he saves the day often he still is a joker who does so by falling backwards into being the hero as really in this comic he is very bad at his work! Jones is kind of the sidekick to Mahoney and because they are friends he seems to be roped into helping, even when the idea is a bad one. The rest of the characters like Sweetchuck, Zed, Hooks and so on are around they do very little in the stories and play background to Mahoney and Jones. So far this comic held up to what I remember it being as a kid and while the jokes are bad and I cannot stress that enough it was a very entertaining read and while the characters act nothing like they do in the film series they do act like their cartoon counterparts. The cover is eye catching and features the whole cast and the art by Howard Post is good kid friendly art, I do have to say that his Mahoney in some panels looks like an old woman. With that lets see what issue two has in store for us.

Police Academy Animated Comic 2

Police Academy # 2  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 2 of 6

While on a date at the beach Mahoney sees a sea monster and rushes back to the station to warn his coworkers of this danger, and unlucky for him and his normal bank of fellow officers they get sent to the beach to stakeout and capture the creature! But when the sea monster eats Zed while he was surfing, it’s Mahoney and Jones that have to go after him in a tiny submarine that looks like a goldfish. They soon find themselves out of the sub and diving toward a sunken ship that is being robbed by diver, and Mahoney and Jones get caught in a net and captured by a Captain who is holding them and Zed prisoner as the sea monster is really a submarine that he and his crew are using to scare people away as they steal the safe from the boat! And when the criminals get the safe and try to escape, its Mahoney and Jones that escape the net and use the gold fish sub to attach onto the creature sub and crash them onshore! As the Captain and his men make a run for it with the safe to get to a van our officers go to work as Hightower makes one faint and Callahan uses her martial arts to take down another. As the Captain and one of his goons make it to the van it’s Tackleberry armed with an ice cream bazooka and Sweetchuck that brings the Captain down. The second story is “The Cookoo Commandant” and has Mahoney and his fellow officers being yelled at and sent on strange missions by Commandant Lassard who is acting very different and this has lead to The Chief to force the now missing Lassard to step down and Harris to take his place, but Mahoney thinks something is going on and after seeing an old year book he thinks he might have figured it out. Mahoney along with Jones, House and Sweetchuck head to a live taping of a kids show and soon find that the host was a former cadet at the academy at the same time as Lassard and was jealous of him because he got promoted and while the real Lassard was on vacation he wanted to show up and ruin his reputation. In the end all goes back to normal as Lassard returns from vacation and is just as laidback and silly as before.

The second issue in the Police Academy comic is slightly better than the first issue as the two stories just flow better and had less flaws in the art and character placement. The first story has Mahoney at the beach with his fellow officers and they put a stop to a sneaky Captain who is using a fake sea creature in order to rob a safe from a ship that had sunk, and in this story we see that Mahoney is a jerk as he is one a date trying to be smooth with the woman that he keeps forgetting her name. And the Captain is kind of a goofy bad guy for the story as his goal is to get the safe off the ship and he runs around like a goof on the beach with a stolen safe to get into a van! And I love how Mahoney and Jones leave Zed tied up on the ship so that Mahoney can be hero again, man Mahoney is really a jerk! The second and shorty story has a kids show host who went to the academy with Lassard being mad at him and using his master of quick change into characters to try and ruin his reputation at the academy and of course Mahoney is to smart to fall for that. Over all both stories are good fun natured stuff and Mahoney is always the hero of the day, the comedy is slightly less bad but still very goofy in nature. And like before this does a great job of capturing the feel of the cartoon series and does justice to the characters even if some are not getting the time to shine of these pages. I must also say that Tackleberry and his ice cream bazooka is amazing and I wish they would do more with him as well as Hightower as both officers are pushed back into just almost cameo roles. The cover is good and eye catching and has the officers along with the sea creature as sea and as before the talented kids comics artist Howard Post does a great job on the interior art and I like the way he draws Tackleberry! Over all a good solid kids comic that was a fun read and while the plots are simple and silly that is kind of the point with kids comics.

Police Academy Animated Comic 3

Police Academy # 3  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 3 of 6

House has eaten way to many pizzas and hamburgers and has landed himself in the hospital and Mahoney and his fellow officers go to visit him on a stormy night, and when they are asked to leave the room so the doctor can look at him they learn that the doctor was a fake and now House is missing! Mahoney comes up with an idea that has them all act as staff at the hospital to find him as well as the crazed doctor. They soon find a trail of jellybeans and when they follow it they find a hidden lab and House is tied up and meet Doctor Jockensteen and his assistant Clarence who have an idea to take part of Houses brain to put into a robot monster that will be the biggest sports jock the world has ever seen. And when Doctor Jockensteen is mad cause Mahoney frees house the Jock Robot Monster goes on the attack and as the officers run off Mahoney, Jones and House jump into an ambulance and drives off only to be chased down by the robot monster, that they end up getting addicted to jellybeans and have him reprogramed to play on the youth policed baseball team. “The Singing Smash!” has Hightower being charge of a singing group that is he and his fellow officers singing, and because Zed is a fan of pro wrestling he sets up a gig at a wrestling event and they get booed out of the building but they stumble on a plot as a manger has a team kidnapped in order for his team to win the match and Mahoney comes up with an idea to teach them a lesson as Hightower, Zed and Callahan take the match and win the titles and Hightower even gets to sing for his victory.

The third issue is as well fun and the features two stories that have elements of some of my favorite things and that’s Horror and Pro Wrestling! The first tale takes place in the hospital and has a mad doctor on the loose that is trying to build a robot jock and wants to use an injured officers brain to keep it hungry for the win. While the second story has the officers having to enter a wrestling match to stop a con man from winning titles and also get the crowd to be on their side when it comes to singing Christmas carols. Mahoney as always is the main focus and the hero of the day when it comes to the first story but it is nice to see Hightower be the main officer in the second and his size and power comes in play as he beats three wrestlers pretty much by herself by slamming the whole ring on top of them! I also like that Zed as well as even House get a little more time to shine on the pages as they each have some stories, and while Mahoney and Jones are around they are not the full heroes of the issue. The main bad guy of this issue is the sinister Doctor Jockensteen who works for the hospital but is really working on his own experiments and all he cares about is making a robot that will be perfect at every sport, and the robot it’s self only follows orders and while it can be mean its only following orders. And I have to say I am glad Hightower got to be more showcased a little in the comic series, now if he can get them to do so for Tackleberry all would be good. The cover is good and fitting for a kid’s comic series and like before Howard Post did the interior art and is good for this kind of comic. With that let’s see what issue four has in store for us.

Police Academy Animated Comic 4

Police Academy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 4 of 6

Lassard when he was a cadet captured a mad bomber called Baby Boomer that was tormenting the city, and after being put away for 40 years he has escaped jail and he is going after Lassard to even the score. Mahoney comes up with an idea that he along with the others will really capture Baby Boomer but will once more give Commandant Lassard the credit and make him the hero of the day again. As Baby Boomer heads into an old amusement park to get his stolen loot, Lassard goes in after him as does Mahoney and his fellow officers. After many failed attempts to capture Baby Boomer it is Mahoney and Lassard that capture him on a roller coaster and are able to stop a dropped misplaced bomb from going off, and Lassard is once more the hero as Baby Boomer heads back to jail. Our second wacky story is “Jonesy’s Day Off” has Jones off duty but yet as we walks around town he keeps seeing miner crimes being committed as well as bratty kids not listening to their parents and uses his sound effects to stop it all. He even saves a street musicians tips from being stolen before finally given up and clocking in to work.

This fourth issue in the series is good but does lack a little of the charm that the last few issues have had as both stories while silly and kid friendly do lack a little bit of charm as well as even a thought out story as they kind of come off a little generic. The first story is the better of the two and has Lassard going after an old criminal who has escaped from jail, and he is the one who put him away in the first place and along with the help of Mahoney he does so again when he recaptures him. The second story is kind of bad as it just is Jones walking around town and using the sound effects he makes with his mouth to stop small crimes, and he then because of the stress of being off work and yet still working he decides to just clock in. The main villain is Baby Boomer a criminal who likes to use bombs to strike fear as well as rob places, and when he escapes he only gets the chance to blow up on thing and that’s a package bomb that he sends to Lassard. Mahoney of is the main focus in the first story with Jones being the main cop used in the second story. Over all nothing special when it comes to this issue and the stories it brings to the readers. The cover is pretty cool and has Mahoney and his fellow officers on a roller coaster and the interior art by Howard Post is as solid as ever. While not the best issue in the series this far, it still is pretty fun I guess for the most part.

Police Academy Animated Comic 5

Police Academy # 5  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 5 of 6

Sweetchuck is a big comic book reader and his favorite hero is Grasshopper and Flea Boy and he looses his mind when the movie based on the hero is shooting in their city and the cops have been asked to help keep the actors safe. But an accident on set leaves the actor playing Grasshopper believing he is the masked hero and he heads out into the city to stop crime, and this gives Sweetchuck an idea who puts on the Flea Boy costume and rushes to help keep an eye on the confused actor who ends up stopping a scam that is going on at a construction site, but as Sweetchuck makes it to the scene Grasshopper has another bump on the head and regains his memories and runs away from the scene of the crime leaving Sweetchunk to try and stop it on his own, that is until Mahoney and the others who up and help Sweetchuck become the Superhero of the city by stopping the concrete crime at the work site. “Callahan’s Big Date” is the second story and has everyone at the academy wanting Callahan to be their date at the Police Ball and Harris uses his power of being the one to select who enters the judo tournament to force a date from her, and when Mahoney and Jones tell her she should be herself on the date her power and skills scare Harris away and the date to the ball is cancelled and she still ends up being able to compete in the judo tournament.

This issue’s main story has Officer Sweetchuck being a big comic book reader who gets to live his dream of becoming a superhero as well as working on a move set that is based on his favorite comic superhero! And he gets to also along the way stop a crime that has a crooked man strong-arming a builder into having to buy a ton of concrete. And in the end Sweetchuck learns that cops are the true heroes and his new favorite hero is himself after he and his fellow officers really save the day. The second story is all about Harris being taught a lesson when he tries to bribe Callahan into being his date for a big ball, that is until he sees that she is not a Barbie doll and is a super strong woman that scares him with her fighting skills as well as weightlifting feats. While Harris is a scummy officer the issues main bad guy is the Concrete seller who is trying to force people to buy more than they need for construction work. Sweetchuck and Callahan are the two officers that get their time in the spotlight and Mahoney this time while around is not the main focus and that is a nice change of pace. The cover for this issue is fun and while not great is surly cool for a kid’s comic, and as always the interior artwork by Howard Post is good stuff for this style of comic. Over all a good issue that brings a few laughs and none threatening baddies.

Police Academy Animated Comic 6

Police Academy # 6  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 6 of 6

The police van has broken down in front of a castle and when Mahoney and his fellow officers meet the owner they soon find that they are in the middle of a war as the former owners the Von Sluggs want it back and are using all types of weapons to attack from cannons to tanks and this has became dangerous for everyone involved. But when Mahoney decides that they are going to defend that castle the officers dress like knights and find ways to stop the attack. And it’s House that ends the war when he by accident is thrown from a catapult and brings down the helicopter that King Von Slugg was in, and they family surrenders. In the end the Von Slugg family are asked to live back in the castle and to give up their acts of war and are introduced to video games to get out their aggression. The second story is “Fast Company” has Mahoney being a terrible driver as he has wrecked many police cars over the weeks as he is ogling female officers and drives wreckless. Harris takes away Mahoney’s cruiser privileges and he is forced to use a super fast skateboard and of course he uses this to stop a car thief, and in the end Mahoney understands he drives everything to fast and buys himself an old car that only goes 30mph!

This sixth issue in the Police Academy comic series is also the final issue in the series, and clearly it was not suppose to be the final issue as a seventh issue is advertised in this issue and I would guess that maybe low sales is what did this Star Comics/Marvel Comics series in. The main story of this final issue has Mahoney and the officers fighting off a family who want to take over a castle that they have sold and are war hungry to get it back. And the second issue is about Mahoney wrecking cars and using a skateboard to stop a crime, when really the story is Mahoney is a sleazebag and harasses female officers and drives like a drunk person in order to catcall them. I do like in the first story House decides to order pizza during the battle as he is hungry, and when the delivery man is attacked and drops the pizza he goes out and ends the war so that he can eat. Both stories are ok and entertaining and do a pretty good job of bring a kids comic that captures the cartoon it was based on. While Mahoney and Jones get most of the attention throughout this series House, Sweetchuck, House, Callahan, Lassard, Zed and Harris get some stories while I think Hooks, Hightower and Tackleberry are very much underused and that’s a shame. And while some of the stories are better then the others I do find that over all they are fitting and deliver fun situations for Mahoney and the officers to solve and stop and this surly entertained young readers who enjoyed the cartoon. But while the stories are good they sometimes are way to simple and even at times flaws are all over them with even skin color of characters changing from panel to panel. The interior art work by Howard Post is good while very simple captures that perfect style of art that was used at the time for so many kids comics. The cover for the final issue is ok and has the officer dressed as knights on the castle. To sum this up the Police Academy comic series that was based on the cartoon was pretty good and did a good job of bringing the comic versions of these characters to the pages of a very kid friendly series that brought the humor side of law enforcement to readers. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style of Post used in this series.

Police Academy Animated Comic Art 1Police Academy Animated Comic Art 2Police Academy Animated Comic Art 3

Who would have ever thought that the 1984 comedy film Police Academy would have spawned a cartoon that would in turn spawn toys and a comic book series. And it’s also great that while all outside branding of this series says Marvel Comics inside its clear that this was a Star Comics release and I really do wish that Marvel would have ran with the Star brand for longer then they did as so many cartoons and toys could have gotten the comic book treatment. While the Police Academy cartoon was never super popular in my friend circle it still did make it’s mark in the world of 80’s cartoons and this update was a lot of fun to do for Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary as growing up the brand Police Academy was big for me growing up. But for our next update we will be leaving the police academy and will be heading into our July 4th update that will feature the America Hero known as G.I. Zombie released by DC Comics. So until next time read a Star Comic or three, watch a classic cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for some fireworks, grilled food and of course a DC Horror undead monster.

GI Zombie Preview Logo

Another Night Of The Living Monster Bash Vacation (2019)

It’s that time of the year again when Juliet and I pack our bags and put them into the old Mazda 3 and head to Cranberry Township to enjoy yet another Monster Bash Convention and some relaxing days in Cranberry Township taking in all the local stores, sights and restaurants the area has to offer. As always, I was very much looking forward to getting some time away from work, comic book making and filming and being able to sit back and relax and spend some time with Juliet as well as all the classic monsters at Monster Bash! This year’s theme was very heavy on Hammer Horror as guests like Martine Beswicke, Veronica Carlson and Christopher Neame were all on hand while other guests included Ricou Browning, Tom Savini, John Russo and Horror Host Son Of Ghoul! So if you are ready, grab a snack pack, jump on in and let’s have some fun as we celebrate the best Horror Con in the world and all of cool wonders around it!

We started our quest on June 20th and hit the road at around 11:30am after eating a breakfast that Juliet from Dorothy Lane Market. Once on the road we chatted about wrestling, comics and goofy stuff! We also talked about our plans for the night and made a stop at our normal Ruby Tuesdays where I had a meal of Bourbon Salmon, Loaded Baked Potato and Dirty Rice and as always it was a good meal that helped give me energy for the road. At around 5:30pm, we made it to our hotel that was yet another new one for us to stay at as both of the ones we stayed at before were filled so we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and I must say that first impression was it was nice and the staff was friendly! After relaxing for a few minutes, we headed out to go to New Dimension Comics so I could pick up a few good reads for the weekend. As always I found some cool comics that included issues of Thor, Uncanny Tales From The Grave, Tower Of Shadows and Comet Man from Marvel. From DC, I got issues of Batman, The Comet and Super Friends. And finally I also got some indie comics like Ex-Mutants, The New Krofft Supershow, Escape To The Stars and Radical Dreamer. For dinner we decided to have Eat’n Park and I had a Hot Turkey Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and a Baked Potato! For the rest of the night I read some comics, watched some TV, chatted with Juliet and geared up for the first day of Monster Bash! Oh and I should note that the day was filled with lots of rain and muggy weather…making it a perfect day to hang out in the hotel and read and write.

On June 21st marked the first day of Monster Bash and sadly the convention did not open until 3pm so in the morning we got up around 9am and after eating a quick breakfast from Starbucks, we headed out and our first place to visit was The Living Dead Museum in Evans City as its been a while since we got to visit it and when in the Pittsburgh area you have to spend time with the living dead! I really like The Living Dead Museum as it celebrates the rich history of the Romero Zombie films as well as zombies in Horror Movies in general. And when we arrived, Juliet and I were happy to see our friend and Nashville Horror Host Dr. Gangrene also waiting to enter the museum and even better he was going to be at Monster Bash and the area all weekend! The Museum was as great as always and after walking around and taking some pictures, we bought a t-shirt and a pin and headed back toward the hotel to gear up for Monster Bash. And after a meal at Max & Erma’s, we headed to The Bash!

As Juliet and I made our way to Monster Bash I wondered what statues would greet us and what cool car would be parked up front…if I had to make a guess on car I would say once more the Dragula from The Munsters, and as far as statues, I would guess Hammer Horror as it seemed like the theme of this year. And as we made it to the front of the hotel we noticed no car was in place yet and the wait to get tickets was not too bad. The dealer room was packed with people, and it was great to see so many people enjoying the world of classic movie monsters, and what was nice this year was I saw some younger kids in the crowd enjoying the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. After walking around to all the dealer tables and making several purchases (more on that later) we also took time to chat with our Horror Host friends Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri about Horror Hosting and cool classic local TV! Much like last year, some of the people looking around were kind of rude and would step in front of you while you looked, would stand really close and sometimes just stand in the way of items as they looked off into space or at their phone…while annoying, I have been to Horror Conventions where this behavior is a lot worse. As we were leaving, we ran into indie filmmaker and friend David “The Rock” Nelson and we chatted for awhile about the production of his newest film Howl Of The Werewolf. It’s always a blast to see David. Over all a very cool first day of Monster Bash that once more showcases why this is my favorite show. Oh and as for the statues, this year they did have Hammer’s Frankenstein’s Monster as played by Christopher Lee many of them were based on classic Universal Monsters as well as a few Silent Horror Icons and even one of Bela Lugosi from White Zombie!

So I am sure you are wondering what the first day’s haul was like…well it was really good! I picked up a Universal Mummy bendy toy by JusToys for $8.00, Masters Of The Universe He-Man drinking glass for $10.00, Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell Wooden Plaque for $25.00, The Werewolf from Sungold Monsters for $15.00, Two Knock-Off Mini Figures of Phantom Of the Opera and Yeti from a series called “Un Mundo De Figuras” for $10.00 each, Eerie Greatest Hits Graphic Novel for $5.00, The Tomb Of Dracula # 37 comic for $5.00, The Creation Of King Kong Novel for $4.00, Predator Movie Adaptation Novel for $3.00, The Adult Version Of Jekyll & Hide DVD for $7.00, two episodes of The Son Of Ghoul Show that has him hosting The Hideous Sun Demon & Lady Frankenstein for $10.00 each and what would Monster Bash be without me buying David “The Rock” Nelson movies as I got Mummy A.D. 1993 for only $20.00 and Howl Of The Werewolf for $25.00! So as you can see, this was a pretty amazing day 1 of Monster Bash goodies!

So for the first night we wanted to have Dinner and a Movie at the hotel so we chose to eat our favorite restaurant in this area, Wing Kings where I had Garlic Wings and Cheese Fries with a Coke to drink. The night’s film was Howl Of The Werewolf, the newest no budget monster movie classic from David Nelson. The film was over 3hrs and 30min long and was pure classic Rock stuff complete with Detective Rock eating and random attacks by the film’s monster. And I will give all you readers a little info on something very cool….Sparkle Comics will be doing some comic books based on David “The Rock” Nelson films and Howl Of The Werewolf will be the first one released in 2020! The script will be written by Juliet, and the art will be done by Don Stephenson. So keep your eyes open for more news soon on this comic release. Over all a great night of good food and a super fun film and this ended the first night of Monster Bash!

On the second day of Monster Bash we woke up early and had popped into Monster Bash really quick before heading to Pig Iron for an amazing breakfast! Once done we headed back to Monster Bash and soaked in all the amazing sights of classic monsters! This year I noticed that more vendors had DVD’s and Blu-Rays and people were buying like crazy showing physical media is alive and well. Juliet and I also were able to look around a little better as while packed again people seemed to be aware of others around them and this allowed us to shop for not only ourselves but also our friends. We then chatted some more with Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri and once walking around and buying some more we headed out of the Bash and into the world of Cranberry!

The second day of Monster Bash goodies was also great pick ups as I got a Phantom Of The Paradise Wood Plaque for $25.00, Two more Un Mundo De Figuras of Dracula and Werewolf for $12.00 each. A Scary Monsters Magazine Vampire Detection Kit for FREE and lastly I got two episodes of Gunga Jim of him hosting Revenge Of Dr. X and Assignment Terror on DVD for only $5.00 each! So while this time around I did not buy as much, they still are some great finds.

After Monster Bash we headed back to New Dimension Comics as they had a massive store sale so we loaded up on some comic books as I got issues of Silver Surfer, Roger Rabbit, Ex-Mutants and G.I. Joe all for only .30 each! After that we relaxed for a few minutes and then headed back out and ended up at Barnes & Nobles and looked around at books, magazines and POP figures all before we headed to get a tasty treat at TCBY Yogurt that is always a must for Juliet when we come to Monster Bash. The traffic on this day was terrible but at least the weather was nice and sunny with a high of only 73 degrees. Once back at the hotel we watched The Mummy Returns on SyFy and later for dinner Juliet wanted to have Moe’s and as always I had a Chicken Burrito, and as always it was a good meal and made us both miss Moe’s being in Dayton.

After dinner we ended the night with a Horror Host feature as we watched Son Of Ghoul hosting Lady Frankenstein! The art of Horror Hosting to me goes hand and hand with classic monsters, and I wish Monster Bash would do a massive Horror Host gathering at one of the conventions as this year was pretty great as on hand was Janet Decay, Grimm Gorri, Drac, Countess Carita, Son Of Ghoul, Gunga Jim and even Dr. Gangrene around! Always a fun time to end a Saturday Night with a Horror Host and why not do so with one from Ohio!

June 23rd not only marked the final day of Monster Bash 2019 but also was the birthday of the late great Dr. Creep who was a great friend and a true icon in the world of Horror Hosting. For the last day we walked around for a few minutes and enjoyed the classic monster atmosphere as well as ran back into Dr. Gangrene and we chatted about classic amusement parks and roadside attractions. And after one more sweep through to pick up some last minute goodies we left Monster Bash for the last time in 2019 and looking back I truly feel that this is an event that if you love classic monsters should make the trip to as it’s a great and is filled with good times, great guests, top notch vendors and spooky monsters.

The final days Monster Bash Goodies was very small but pretty dang cool as I had to buy four more Un Mundo De Figuras figure and this time I got The Mummy, The Fly, Jack The Ripper and Swamp Creature for $10.00 each. These little things are amazing and I feel now I need to collect the whole set. And lastly I bought the double feature DVD of The Beast Within and The Bat People and the main movie I wanted on this set was Bat People and I paid $20.00 for this out of print MGM release. Another great year of pick up’s, as Monster Bash has never let me down!

After we left Monster Bash, we headed to a little amusement park called Conneaut Lake Park as they have a classic Horror Ride called “The Devil’s Den” and we heard about it thanks to Dr. Gangrene. It was around an hour away from Monster Bash, and the ride to it was nice and filled with some small towns and really beautiful landscapes, and when we arrived at the theme park it was everything we ever wanted and more! After parking in a field, we walked to the main gates and found that we had to buy the wristbands from a stand that is in the middle, and walking to the stand we saw many of the classic style rides like Tumble Bugs, Paratrooper, Music Express, Bumper Cars, Carousel and Blue Streak an amazing wooden roller coaster…and no joke people who grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area will know what I mean when I say my first feeling was “Wow, this has a Fantasy Farm and Americana Amusement Park feel”! And after a short line to get our admission wristband we headed straight to The Devil’s Den as this was the main attraction for us, and man I have lots to say so we will get to it shortly. The rides were also connected to a water park as well as a lake and all around us were families and couples having fun and this helped added to the great atmosphere of the park. Not to mention all of the park workers seemed very nice and helpful. After Juliet and I rode The Devil’s Den, she rode The Blue Streak and had a blast and from there we went and rode the train that went around Blue Streak and the park all the while we would pass wooden cutouts of famous cartoon characters. From there, Juliet rode the Tumble Bugs and after we ate some loaded fries and funnel cake from one of the food stands and just soaked in the park. After leaving Juliet and I both agreed that we will come back to Conneaut Lake Park as it was a very fun time!

The Devil’s Den was everything in a classic Horror Ride I could ever want! We got at the park right at open so the ride had no line and Juliet and I were able to walk right up. Sadly the cars were tiny and we had to ride separately and as the worker pushed my cart into the track, the spooky ride started! Now keep in mind I loved the cart and while it would have been fun to ride with Juliet, it also was an amazing ride to experience alone. And Devil’s Den was filled with creepy paintings, spooky sounds, flashing lights, darkness, a gum caked wall and the Devil and his minions. This made me flashback to the old Horror Ride that was at Fantasy Farm and I had a massive smile on my face the whole ride as each dark turn made me come face to face with another monster. The highlight for me is when I got to see The Devil that looked just one straight from a B-Horror Movie. The ride had some great old school scare moments like string hanging down to touch your face in dark rooms and had lots of twists and turns. This was a fantastic way to feel like a kid again as I enjoyed every moment of this ride and I think that if you are in the Pittsburgh area, you need to take a trip to Conneaut Lake Park and pay the $10.00 entrance fee and do yourself a favor and take a ride on The Devil’s Den and after doing so soak up all the amazing attractions of a true indie amusement park. The pictures below come from the rides official Facebook page at CLP Devils Den so make sure to check it out and give it a like. No joke, this was a perfect attraction for Juliet and I to spend a good part of our day at….and oh yeah I also bought myself a Devil’s Den T-Shirt!

After Conneaut Lake Park we headed toward The Snowman as I needed a good old Yeti Shake and to my shock and sadness, the horses were gone! While I was sad not to see the horses again, the shake was fantastic as always! Later in the day we ate dinner at a restaurant called Burgatory and it was fantastic and I made a custom chicken burger that was one of the best I have ever had! The waitress we had was super nice and the restaurant itself was very welcoming and had a cool look. We ended the evening once more watching an episode of Son Of Ghoul that had him hosting The Hideous Sun Demon as I figured what better way to end the final day of Monster Bash than with a Horror Host program.

June 24, 2019 marked the first day of after Monster Bash blues, but marked the first full day of lets go do cool stuff in Cranberry! We started out morning with a breakfast from Einstein Bros Bagels and then made our way to see the remake of Child’s Play at Cranberry Cinema, as I have said before this is a great indie ran theater that has a great feel and no joke I also really enjoyed Child’s Play! From there Juliet and I had lunch at Moe’s and just like last time the meal was really good. After lunch we headed back to Evans City and visited the Cemetery, as it’s a must every time we are in PA. The drive to the cemetery is so peaceful and once there we soaked up the sun, nature and just the over all creative vibe you get when there. The cemetery was filled with chipmunks again and besides the caretaker, no one else was around and made for a very peaceful visit. After enjoying the wonders that is Evans City Cemetery we headed back to the hotel and waited for dinner…that was Wing Kings of course and then we watched WWE Raw on the USA Network.

June 25 marked our last day in Pennsylvania and on this day we started out by going to Target to pick up some road snacks. We then headed to Mars and had some coffee from Mars Brew House and walked around the small town for a few moments. Juliet and I chatted about our time at Monster Bash as well as talked about Horror Hosting and even about Rotten Ink. We then went and filmed the UFO in downtown Mars to send to my pal Victor for a project for Rockstar Pro Wrestling. But this was just the start of our journey back to home as I wanted to make a stop that was very important to me…and that was to visit the grave of a true wrestling legend.

Before we made the long drive back to Dayton we stopped at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery in Pittsburgh so I could pay my respects to WWE Legend and Wrestling Icon Bruno Sammartino. For those who don’t know who Bruno was, I first want to say shame on you, as he is the longest WWE Champion in history and was one of the world’s most popular wrestlers in the 60s-80s and hands down is one of the best in the business. And after paying my respects Juliet and I walked around the massive cemetery and we talked about how important Bruno was and still is to the legacy of the WWE as much like Hulk Hogan he was what kept them in business for decades. And I am making a promise to all you readers that when Inverse Press finishes the comic series based on Bruno Sammartino I will cover it here on Rotten Ink and truly talk about this icon of the squared circle. Once we left the cemetery we headed back to Ohio, but not before stopping again at Ruby Tuesdays for a quick meal.

Once we ended up back home I had to deliver copies of the Sparkle Comics release of Spring Heeled Jack # 2 to local shops as well as spent some time with family and friends and even went to the theater to see Annabelle Comes Home! I also ended up filming a one off cheesy Horror Host show with my pal Damien…more on that in the future. But on June 29, 2019 we decided to have a Horror Movie Marathon that would be packed with some great Horror, Science Fiction and Thriller films. We started the marathon at 8am and started with the Universal Horror film “The Thing That Couldn’t Die!” that is about a cursed head tormenting a group of people on an isolated ranch. The second film was “Zarkorr! The Invader” about a massive space monster on a rampage to test earthlings that must be saved by a postal worker. We then watched “Golem” from 2018 that brings the silent film and classic Jewish folklore and is about a woman that brings to life a Golem to protect her village. The 1995 thriller “Mommy” starting Patty McCormack was next and was about an evil woman who will kill those who get in her young daughters way…and more so her own. Our fifth film was the Sc-Fi classic “Target Earth” about a group of strangers that wake up in a city alone during a mechanical alien invasion! “The 27 Club” is about a musician who sells her soul to the devil to get fame, but it comes with a price on her 27th birthday. The shot on video film “Masked Mutilator” was next and is about a group of kids in a halfway house that are being killed by a crazed masked pro wrestler. Indie Horror Movie “Close Calls” starring the lovely Jordan Phipps is about a young woman who is battling drug addiction being grounded as strange and deadly things are going down at her home. Our 9th film of the marathon was “Leprechaun Returns” the newest sequel in the long running series that has him coming back again to claim his gold and torments a group of sorority girls. And the final film was the 1975 fright flick starring Peter Cushing “The Ghoul” about a mansion that holds a terrible secret and a murderous thing in the attic.

This was another great Horror Movie Marathon filled with some great flicks and amazing food and snacks! After we watched the films, as always Juliet and I sat and talked about them and picked our best three as well as our Golden Turkey. For Juliet she selected Masked Mutilator as her Golden Turkey as she did not hate the film she just felt it dragged in spots, and I choose Zarkorr! The Invader as I found it to be a little to slow with a so-so hero and a lackluster final battle. My Top Films went as following # 1 went to Golem as I found this to be a very fun and bloody way to bring this classic horror icon back to modern viewers, plus it was well acted, well shot and the blood effects were really good. # 2 for me was Leprechaun Returns as I felt this was a fantastically silly and fun sequel and washed the bad taste of Leprechaun Origins out of my mouth, plus the film was way more gore in it than I expected. And my pick for # 3 was The Ghoul as I found it to be a fun spooky atmospheric classic style Horror Flick that once more showed why Peter Cushing is one of the best actors in Horror ever. And for me Close Calls was a runner up as I found myself still thinking about the film way after it ended as it left me thinking about what the ending meant. Juliet’s picks were as follows # 1 The Golem, # 2 The Ghoul and # 3 went to Target Earth, but she wanted to let you all know that the film The Thing That Wouldn’t Die almost made it on her list and was her runner up. So as you can see, another great Marathon and a great way to end my Monster Bash 2019 vacation!

This Marathon’s Golden Chainsaw Award for most kills goes to Golem as he had about 13 on screen kills and a ton of off screen! While he looked like a child this creatures was brutal and ruthless when it came to murdering those who crossed him or his creator. The Golem’s best kill for me is when he would make peoples heads explode into a mess of bloody goo filled with chunks of brains! So thanks Golem for not only being the best movie of the Marathon but for also making it a little bloodier!

It’s crazy to think that the world lost George A. Romero over two years ago. I mean the man delivered some of the most iconic zombie films of all time with titles like Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, Land Of The Dead, Diary Of The Dead and Survival Of The Dead, all amazing films in their own right. But many others love his none-zombie horror work like Season Of The Witch, The Crazies, Martin, Knightriders, Creepshow, Monkey Shines, Two Evil Eyes, The Dark Half and Bruiser all films that delivered chills and entertainment to viewers. They just don’t make filmmakers like Romero anymore who had a vision and brought a group of creative minds together like he did in the Pittsburgh area. While George might be gone and no one can make zombie films like him no matter how they try, his legacy will live on forever not only in his work but also in all those film creators who he inspired.

George A. Romero’s masterpiece of zombie horror cinema Night Of The Living Dead is truly a film that has inspired and has been imitated by so many filmmakers and media creators. I mean NOTLD is even a film that has been hosted by so many Horror Hosts around the world, and I would even bet that it’s the most hosted movie of all time! And oddly enough, beside the official sequels like Dawn of The Dead, Day Of The Dead and Land Of The Dead to name a few it has also spawned a remake from effects master Tom Savini and a ton of unofficial sequels that all branding the name Night Of The Living Dead….now I am sure your wondering how this is so, right? Well the film has fallen into the public domain and this allows creative minds to do what they want with the title and the film itself and this is how these “sequels” and “ different takes” are able to be made and viewed by Horror Movie viewers world wide. So let’s take a moment and talk about some of these films that cashed in and continued the legacy of NOTLD. And let’s talk about what we will call The Good, The Bad, The Ugly And The Turkey as I will pick what one I find to be the best, the so-so, the worst and the golden turkey! So be ready as they are coming to get you readers! They’re coming for you….look here comes the rip offs now!

The first film in these unofficial sequels is “Night Of The Living Dead 3D” that was released in 2006 and stars the likes of Sid Haig and Brianna Brown and follows Barb and college student Ben as they try and survive a zombie horde while finding shelter in the farmhouse of the Cooper family. But when the zombies arrive, things get bad for the survivors, as they cannot stop the living dead! Next up is “Night Of The Living Dead Re-Animation 3D” that was released in 2012 and is a prequel to the above mentioned film and stars Jeffrey Combs and Denice Duff and follows a mortician who foolishly exposes dead bodies to medical toxic waste that brings them back and hungry for the living. “Night Of The Living Dead Resurrection” was as well released in 2012 and stars Sule Rimi and Kathy Saxondale and is about a group of humans hiding in a farmhouse as the dead rise and they drama inside the house seems to be worse than the horrors outside. And lastly is “Night Of The Living Dead Darkest Dawn” that was released in 2015 and stars Danielle Harris and Tony Todd and is an animated fright flick that changes the location to New York as humans hide out in an apartment building as the dead try and get them! So these are the dirty undead four, and man all of them are the same and yet all so different! I would say The Good For me would be Night Of The Living Dead Darkest Dawn as it’s a weird take and the voice acting from some of the greats of the horror world was a nice addition. The Bad, who is not terrible but average, would go to Night Of The Living Dead 3D as it is cheesy and bad but Sid Haig is solid in it. The Ugly that is bad but not the worst would go to Night Of The Living Dead Re-Animation 3D, an underwhelming sequel to NOTLD 3D and is just nothing special and an average lower budget zombie film. And the Golden Turkey is Night Of The Living Dead Resurrection as it’s just very, very boring and is clearly a cash in on the namesake of NOLD. So there you have it, a quick rundown of the knock off films of Night Of The Living Dead…and if you want to see a good zombie film just watch the original or even the remake as they both are leaps and bounds better than all the films mentioned above.

While we took a look at the films that cashed in on the legacy of NOTLD, I also want to take a brief moment to talk about a cool tribute short movie called “Flowers For The DEAD” that was released in 2013 and is directed by Joe Barbarisi who clearly loved the classic work of Romero and even shot parts of the film in the Evan City Cemetery that the original film shot in. The films plot is about Linda a woman whose parents have passed away who finds herself in the cemetery during a zombie outbreak and to make things worse she is being stalked all through the massive cemetery by zombies who want to make her their dinner and she has no signs of help. Now Lisa must fight for her life and find a way to out step the dead and get back to her car! Does she make it out alive…or does she become another meal for the living dead…watch this film on YouTube and find out for yourself! This short film is well shot and making it black and white was a very nice touch as it helps make it feel right at home with NOTLD. The zombies as well are well done for an indie film with some being make-up and others wearing masks, and again this added to the vibe and feel of the film. I want to also say that I really dug the films score as it fit the film perfectly, and to be honest I would love to have it on CD! I love indie horror, and this was a fun one that someday I would love to show at an Indie Horror Showcase event that is put on by Horrorama Dayton and Blood Scream Comics! So I want to just say good work to Joe Barbarisi and his cast and crew for making such a fun and classically spooky Horror Short film.

So now that we have traveled to the land of the living dead once more and had a great time at Monsterbash, I think we should see what the second series based on Night Of The Living Dead by Fantaco has in store for us! So before we find a good crypt to hide in, I should remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I also want to thank a vendor at Cinema Wasteland many years back for having these comics in stock. So if you’re ready to once more walk with the Living Dead, let’s see what this Fantaco mini series has in store for us.

Night Of The Living Dead # 0  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $1.95     Fantaco     # 0 of 3

Actress Kate Koresh is taking a vacation in Haiti and becomes the target for a voodoo cult who wants to sacrifice her to zombies of the sea, and unlucky for her, they kidnap her and take her to the beach to do the ceremony. Meanwhile zombie hunter Randy Von Richtofen is also on a getaway in Haiti as he is staying at the hut of Papa Shaka while he is away, and Randy is lucky when he meets Amber and Bianca two beautiful women who are the trainees of Shaka. While relaxing in the hot tub, Randy hears the drums on the beach and rushes off and he and the ladies end up saving Kate from being eaten by zombies and they kill not only the undead but also the voodoo cult! In the end Randy and the ladies return to the hut as Kate returns to America never wanting to see a zombie again! We end with the government talking about a satellite in space and hope that this time around it does not start another zombie outbreak.

This quick read is an odd one as it was a fun read and really does capture the indie zombie horror comic feel of the 90’s from that time…but it also has a weird very cheesy over the top nature that is nothing like the spirit of Night Of The Living Dead as it all just seems a little off! The plot follows two people on vacation, one being an actress and the other being a zombie hunter who cross paths when a cult wants to feed and please the undead from the ocean. Our main hero is the sleazy and overly gun happy undead basher Randy Von Richtofen who is a man who has seen and done so much to rid the world of the zombies that have infested it. We know he loves the ladies, and he loves to blow away zombies. Bianca and Amber are two hot women who are loyal to their teacher the voodoo master Papa Shaka and who are very handy with guns and taking down zombies. Our would-be victim, the snooty actress Kate Koresh, is also a survivor as she as well fights for her own life and takes on cult members as well as zombies to escape. The Cult, who are the issue’s baddies, are silly and love bikinis and want to please the zombies of the ocean that are divers, swimmers and seamen and are no major threat as they are taken out with ease. The comic, while horror, also has a dash of comedy to it, as the over all feel really is cheesy as well as comic indie action moments. Thus far as well I am not 100% sold on Randy and am more cheering for Amber and Bianca who seem more like the heroes of the book and are not just into killing zombies to be macho and brag about it. I do like the nice addition of the government once more making a mistake in space and this could spark another zombie upraise and spell doom for mankind. The cover for this issue 0 is not all that eye catching and besides the name does not make one think of NOTLD! The interior art is done by Rik Rawling and is pretty standard indie horror stuff. Over all this is an average comic that offers some blood and kills but is not scary and was worth the read. Let’s see what this story arc has in store for us with issue # 1.

Night Of The Living Dead # 1  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $3.50     Fantaco     # 1 of 3

The Government’s Star Wars satellite is set to be used in a foreign land in order to test if it can do mind control when the machine decides to choose another target and hits in California and hits the set of Kate Koresh’s TV show killing many of the crew as well as infects others to become zombies! Para-gliders Phil and Phred land and find that zombies are all around and want to eat some human flesh, and as they flee the beach they come across Kate Koresh who has returned from Haiti and finds herself as well being attacked by zombies and the two dudes with attitudes try and save her! After the pair kill the zombies attacking her the trio rush off to a house in the hills to wait out the outbreak! Meanwhile the Government is in damage mode and realize that they once more have created a undead uprising again and set to come up with a plan to neutralize it. Meanwhile the safe house for Kate, Phred and Phil is being swarmed by zombies, and the guns they are using to protect themselves are running out of bullets when they remember an ad in the newspaper and call Randy Von Richtofen who shows up and kicks some undead butt! They all team up and trick the infected townspeople into entering a meat factor and fill it with gas blowing it up and containing the outbreak in California, but the satellite has fired again this time in Florida!

The first issue in the series as well lacks the true charm of Night Of The Living Dead and once more is a little too sleazy/cheesy and not so scary, making me a little puzzled why they moved away from their first style of NOTLD comics and went for more of a The Dead and the original Walking Dead mood and feel. The plot has the satellite firing in California causing a zombie outbreak that once more poor actress Kate Koresh is stuck in, but she is lucky enough that two goofy dudes are around to protect her and that once more zombie killer Randy Von Richtofen is back in town as well! This issues main heroes are Phil and Phred who are a pair of beach bums who enjoy chicks and paragliding, but while goofy when the dead start to rise and crave human flesh these two step up save a life and protect themselves and others. Kate Koresh can not win to lose as she returns from vacation were she was attacked by zombies only to once more find herself on the menu for lunch, but just like before she defends herself well and has the survival instinct. Randy Von Richtofen is still the same as the last issue and is a butt-kicking machine with no real personality. The Zombies in this issue attack in hordes and are hungry for human meat and flesh, not much else to say about them besides they are lined up to be slaughtered by our heroes in gory fashion. The real bad guys of this issue are the Government as they with their Star Wars program are what has caused all this chaos, seems they learned nothing from the outbreak they causes in 1968! The issue has some great bloody and gory kills and the pacing is good keeping my attention throughout. The cover is eye catching for fans of zombie comics and the art by Rik Rawling is ok. Over all another average and entertaining zombie book that is an odd direction for one based on such an iconic film.

Night Of The Living Dead # 2  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $3.50     Fantaco     # 2 of 3

The amusement park McKie Moose World in Florida is hit by the laser from the Star Wars Satellite next and this causing employees to turn into flesh eating zombies! Randy Von Richtofen sees the reports on the news and calls in a favor to Papa Shaka and his two trainees Amber & Bianca for help to rid the park of the undead. Meanwhile at the park, the President’s Daughter is enjoying here time when the zombies attack and she is stuck with a Secret Service who is scared and offers her no protection! Meanwhile when out zombie hunter group lead by Randy shows up they use the voodoo skill of Papa Shaka to flood the park and kill off the zombies who infested it. Meanwhile the Government tries to destroy the satellite and fail as now it begins to fire randomly all over the planet!

This second issue is a mix of horror, comedy and sleaze and comes together pretty well and is an entertaining read. The plot follows once more Randy as he takes care of a zombie outbreak that this time takes place at an amusement park. And he brings in voodoo master Papa Shaka and his lovely ladies to help! I really love the idea of a zombie outbreak taking place in an amusement park all the while the President’s daughter is stuck inside as the Government and a group of zombie hunters are the only hope for those stuck inside…and while this sounds fantastic right, the issue never offers any real moments of danger as they are easily killed and are wiped out by water! The zombies in this issue are not scary or a threat, the Government this time around come off more like fools and not major baddies leaving a void for any serious threat. Randy Von Richtofen shows slightly more of a personality when he knows that he is out numbered and needs help to take out the zombies that was eating people in Florida, a cool generic badass hero character that so far just doesn’t do much for me. Papa Shaka shows that he doesn’t need a gun as the man’s voodoo skills are great, and he wipes the floor with the zombies. Amber & Bianca are very much downplayed in this issue and are more eye candy than zombie fighters, very disappointing as they could be very cool characters. Again the setting for this issue is great, the feel and mode are off, the comedy didn’t work for me and the horror is very slight. The cover is great and eye catching for fans of 90’s Horror Comics and the interior art done by Rik Rawling is the same level as the other issues. Over all this issue was slightly better than the previous two and was worth reading, let’s see what the final issue has in store for us.

Night Of The Living Dead # 3  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $3.50     Fantaco      # 3 of 3

Outbreaks are taking place all over the world as the Star Wars Satellite has gone crazy and fired its ray all over creating zombies everywhere! The American President knows that things are bad and that under his watch this terrible thing has happened so he calls Randy Von Richtofen to help give pointers to S.C.U.D (Specialist In Cannibal Undead Destruction) a team that is government based and are ready to save the world. Randy agrees to give them some pointers and is shocked when he finds that actress Kate Koresh is one of the team’s leaders and he soon finds that he is being forced to join her group of soldiers as they head to Germany to ride the area of zombies that are breeding! The team is made up of Jane Redhawk, Jimmy Woo, Waylon Creole and Lunk. Once there they find out that the zombies are way more powerful and that this mission is going to be very hard tor pull off and survive. Kate takes Randy and Redhawk on a recon mission and they pair soon finds that they are at odds with each other as both have different ideas on how to deal with the zombies all around them, as those who are left behind at the base camp must fend off a wave of zombies. Once they make it to a massive tower made of dead humans that is acting as the base for the zombies, they find that the undead are reproducing at a fast pass and the only way to bring them down is to get into the tower and blow it up! Once back at camp Randy leaves the group behind as he thinks this is nothing more than a suicide mission, and Kate gets super mad and leads her team on the mission and to her horror one by one they are taken out by the zombies! Kate starts to lose her mind and shuts down as Redhawk is able to get them both to the center of the tower and as the zombies close in Randy appears again with his zombie bashing car and saves Kate as Redhawk sets off a bomb killing herself and also bringing down the tower and the zombie horde around it. In the end Randy and Kate stand at the graves of her fallen soldiers and pitches the idea of her and Randy becoming a team as he gives a none committed answer.

This final issue in this mini series goes out as average as it started as the story wraps up with no major impact nor does it have horror in sight. The plot of this issue has Randy joining Kate as she leads a rag tag team into the heart of a major zombie outbreak in Germany that is the worlds last defense to truly get this undead emergency under control. And I must say that the stakes in this final issue are bigger and it does feel as if the dead could truly win the final battle as they are all over and ready to kill and eat our heroes. And this is refreshing as through out this mini series I never found the zombies to be a threat nor dangerous as they were easily taken down and barely killed any one who could see. Our series main hero is Randy Von Richtofen, who is a man who enjoys killing zombies and has no real personality at all, and while I did not hate this character, I also had no real connection to him as he also just felt to dang generic. Our second main hero would be Kate Koresh as she grows as a character and goes from cheesy actress to leader of a military team! She is way more interesting of a character she just lacks the major will to kill like Randy does. The side characters in this series are pretty good and I would say my favorites would be Jane Redhawk, Amber & Bianca as they all had potential and all could have been better used in this series. As you long time readers know, I am a major Horror Comic reader and have always enjoyed a good zombie comic and love Night Of The Living Dead and its legacy and I think would have enjoyed this series a little more if it did not carry the NOTLD name as the comics holds none of the spirit of that film and again really comes off as a clone of other dark indie zombie comics that came out before it. The series does have some great moments of carnage and bloodshed, but does not get too overboard. The cover for this issue is just okay and is nothing special, the interior artwork is again is good normal indie style done by Rik Rawling. The best way to sum up this comic mini series is that it’s entertaining and also very disappointing. If you like dark horror comedy comics this might be one you will want to check out, if you’re a pure NOTLD fan you might find yourself finding this one a little of a letdown as even the zombies just feel all wrong. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Rawling used in this series.

So while this Fantaco NOTLD comic series has not the best zombie comics I have ever read, it still delivered an entertaining read for this update. It’s odd that no comic company is making comics based on Night Of The Living Dead as it just lends itself to be an amazing comic series. I want to also stress that if you love classic movie monsters, comics books and cool old toys you need to do yourself a favor and go to one of the Monster Bash Conventions as they are great events that deliver a spooky good time. So to keep up my love for classic monsters I think our next update we will be taking a look at the Marvel Horror character The Golem! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a classic monster movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update for my first Marvel Horror Showcase.

The Atlas Comics Hunter Of Demons

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, friends and readers. For this update we will be stepping away from the heroes of Marvel & DC and will be once more entering the short yet amazing world of Atlas Comics to take a look at one of their many heroes that never got a fair share in the world of comic books. I am talking about Demon Hunter who sadly only lasted one issue before the company went out of business. On this update we will also take a look at other demon themed things! So get ready to bash some demon scum as we take a journey with Atlas Comics and the warrior known as Demon Hunter.

Demon Hunter was created by David Anthony Kraft and Rich Buckler for Atlas Comics and made his first and only appearance in 1975. Now I’ll do a quick bio of the character and kind of give you a sneak peek at what he can do before we get into the comic review a little later in this update. Gideon Cross was a solider in the army who had to do some things that changed him to his very core. Once out he was lost and felt like a man out of place. One day he headed to a place that was said to be cursed by a cult called the Harvester of Night Cult who end up giving the lost solider power and turn him into a supernatural hitman for evil. Armed with his ability to cloak himself as well as his powerful axe, he is a murder for hire who is paid in blood for his services. While he starts off as a bad guy where human life is cheap, he ends up finding his way and learns that the cult he serves is not the right way. Demon Hunter would last only one issue for Atlas Comics and the character would have a rebirth of sorts at Marvel Comics when David Anthony Kraft and Rich Buckler created a very similar character named Eric Simon Payne aka Devil-Slayer for them in 1977 in an issue of Marvel Spotlight.

Demon Hunter is a character I first discovered as a teenager while shopping at local comic shop Bookie Parlor. At the time I was buying any and all Atlas Comics as they were ones that owner Hal had introduced me to. I found the first and only issue in one of his cheap bins and can remember reading it once I got home and enjoying it as I found it to be on par with Marvel Comics I had read from the same year it was published. And when planning what Atlas Comic character to cover this year, the first one that popped into my mind was Demon Hunter and I am glad to be able to chat about him a little on this update as I do feel he is a pretty great character.

Here in Ohio, we had a ride that was called Screamin’ Demon and later just The Demon at Kings Island, one of our areas longest running amusement parks. The ride was designed by Intamin AG and Anton Schwarzkopf and was known for its massive loop, and in 1977 Arrow Dynamics made a coaster with this design for Kings Island that was called The Screamin’ Demon that had riders enter a loading station and get into a cart and would be follow the track through a massive loop and then be forced to do the same loop again going backwards! Each ride would fit about twenty people and was a pretty popular coaster for its time at the park. The ride was an attraction and remained a must for park goers for many years…that was until 1987 when Kings Island decided to sell the ride to Camden Park located in West Virginia who would call the ride Thunderbolt Express. The ride run until 1999 until a massive board malfunction left it down and out, and it was scrapped in 2004 ending its reign of being a classic Amusement park ride. While it might have went to the big scrap yard in the sky, for those fans of early Kings Island the Screamin’ Demon remains a great ride memory. For those wondering if I ever got to ride the Screamin’ Demon, the sad answer is I did not.

When I was a teenager, I lived in a big house in Kettering, Ohio that had a big side yard that was complete with a weeping willow tree and a massive two-car garage that had a shed and a tool/work out room attached. One night my cousin Stephen came over, and it was getting late. We were hanging outside when we noticed a weird glowing red light coming from the yard of the neighbor who lived behind us. The glow was super bright and a weird hissing noise was filling the air. This weird light and sound caused use to creep to the fence and peer past bushes to see what this was and standing in their yard next to a blocked up boat was a weird looking man with a hood or mask on who had a very weird and eerie red glow around him. Stephen and I watched this strange figure standing in the glowing red light for a minute or so, and then his parents came outside and he left while I still stood outside for a while and my imagination was already going crazy as I was in movie mode in my brain saying it was a demon straight from Hell!! In reality it was just the homeowner welding his boat…or was it??!!! I can remember that the idea of a demon living behind my house was even an idea I toyed with when it came to films for Independent B Movie. Fun and weird times was my teenage years as the love of all things Horror always played into my everyday life.

One of my favorite current female rap/pop singers is Iggy Azalea as I find her to be the top of that game with a great voice, top-notch rhymes and seems like a person who loves what she does and is who she is! On August 3, 2018, she released an EP to the masses called “Survive The Summer” that features a total of six songs and sadly was only a digital release…but a few physical ones were made and thanks to an Ebay seller, I was able to get one and do this quick write up for this update. I want to also say that this EP was her final release for Island Records as she parted ways with them and is now signed to Empire with a new release in the works as well as a possible tour. While many of the songs on this EP are fantastic and showcase Iggy’s style, the opening track and the title of the release “Survive The Summer” is the weakest track on the release as the other five songs are really solid. My favorite track is “Kream” where Iggy raps about cash and ass and the track has a great club sound. My second favorite track on this release is “Tokyo Snow” that as well has a club sound and also seems like it should be used in a crime film. Over all this is another great release from Iggy Azalea and shows that she is for me the true queen of the rap game.

Well as you can see Demon Hunter is a character who was very short lived but was able to help spawn a Marvel Comics character so his legacy still lives on slightly. And again for you comic readers who have not ever read an Atlas Comics issue do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Demon Hunter, The Brute, Tiger-Man, Iron Jaw or any other of their short lived characters and be ready to read solid and fun classic 70’s style superhero, barbarian, war and horror adventures. It really is a shame Atlas could not survive the war for shelf space between Marvel and DC in the 70’s. Well let’s get to the review for the one and only issue of Demon Hunter that I will be grading on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s see just how bad these demons are and how well Gideon Cross hunts them…oh and I want to also thank Bell, Book and Comic for having this issue in stock and also a thank you to the Bookie Parlor who introduced me to Atlas Comics.

Demon Hunter # 1  ***
Released in 1975    Cover Price .25    Atlas Comics     # 1 of 1

Gideon Cross with his shadow cloak becomes Demon Hunter a man who fights demons on Earth and in Hell in order to keep them from taking over and works as a gun for hire via a cult …but he also finds himself working for mafia crime boss Mr. Severs who has a price on his head and right before he is to be killed by a sniper Demon Hunter takes down the would be assassin. Once back and he collects his blood payment he gets another mission and that’s to kill the wheelchair bound mobster Harvey Aldous who wants Severs dead! After going with Severs on a dug sale as his bodyguard his employer makes big money and Demon Hunter heads to the airport to travel and finish his mission on ridding the world of Aldous. While at the airport he starts to question the motives of the cult he is a part of and also learns that Mr. Severs has been reported as to have committed suicide, and the cult has send demon Hamremmiz to kill him off as they have picked up on his thoughts of questioning their motives. After a very quick fight Demon Hunter dispatches the foul creature and returns to the cults hideout and watches as they kill a man and bring a demon up from hell to possesses and take over the corpse! Demon Hunter leaves the scene of the horrific crime and tries to figure out a plan to bring down the cult and even has the idea of having his own target Harvey Aldous join him in the fight, not knowing the man killed and possessed was indeed Harvey Aldous who has set his sites on killing the Demon Hunter.

This supernatural superhero comic was a fun read when I was a youngster and still is at the age of 39! The comic does a great job of mixing in elements from multiple comic genres like Superhero, Horror, Crime and even a dash of Thriller into one issue that showcases a supernatural superhero that was a former war vet who works for the mob as well as a cult and yet still thinks he is a good person…but only after they turn on him and want him dead. Demon Hunter, as a normal man, lost it all and found a new purposes in life after given powers of the occult from a cult what want him to do jobs for people and take samples of their blood before doing it. He has a magical cape as well as a sword that he can use on his enemies and that includes both humans and demons. Demon Hunter is kind of a stone cold cocky kind of slayer who thinks he is the end all be all, but also seems to have no real common sense. Like let’s be honest, only after watching them kill a man and throw his heart into fire does he finally realize the cult is evil….come one Demon Hunter you are not that dumb. He also weirdly takes a grandstand against evil after working for the Mob and even killed for them. It’s clear that Demon Hunter is a broken person with broken views. The main villains of this issue are the members of the cult Harvesters Of The Dark who not only have black magic and demons on their side they also have money and power it seems! They seem to have no loyalty to their members if they are to question the group’s motives and while they do like the dark world they also seem to be very motivated by money. These bad guys really are bad and mess with dark forces and have learned to use them to do very bad things. Plus now that a demon is inside a mob boss like Harvey Aldous who knows just how dark and evil they will get…as sadly the world never found out as this comic never got a second issue leaving us on a major cliffhanger. And like many of Atlas titles the true potential of the character as well as their story arch never was met. The cover for this comic is fantastic and is very eye catching and rivals anything DC was releasing at the time. The interior artwork is done by Rich Buckler and is great stuff and could easily fit in at Marvel Comics at the time. While this is an incomplete story due to the companies closure this comic is still an amazing read and is worth checking out if you enjoy classic indie superheroes that are mixed with a little bit of supernatural thrills. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Rich Buckler.

Demon Hunter is for the most part a forgotten superhero from the age of Atlas, but for those of us who have read his one and only comic adventure he added his flair to the world of comics. With so many more Atlas Comic character left for me to cover, you readers and Atlas fans do have many more updates to look forward to that will showcases these great heroes. But for our next update we will be walking away from the world of Supernatural Superheroes and will be taking a look at a Biblical/Sword & Sandal hero that is known as Samson! So until next time, read a indie comic or three, watch a indie movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for an epic adventure good time.