Ride The Demoncycle Straight To Hades!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, my blog that covers all types of fun stuff in the world of comic books and beyond and as well things from my past, present and future.  On this quick update I want to talk a little about bicycles! That’s right, we all have so many great memories of bike riding around the neighborhood with friends in our youth or even maybe taking our bike on a trail and seeing nature all around us! And here at Rotten Ink, we are all going for a bike ride together…a bike ride from HELL as we take a look at The Demoncycle and his promo comic that tries to scare readers into bike safety! So grab your water bottle, put on your sweatband as I am ready to head out on a ride around the comic stores and want to share the chilling tell of The Demoncycle!!!

Growing up I had a bike that was blood red and had white handlebar grips with a silver sparkle seat. On the back reflector I placed a Michael Jackson sticker and on the wheels I had some cool reflectors that I got from cereal boxes. I can remember three of the reflectors I had on the wheels: one was Garfield, one was a robot and one was Tony The Tiger. My bike was super old and if I remember, my parents got it for me from a thrift store or possibly a garage sale and while super old, it was pretty cool looking. I can remember the training wheel days and then learning to ride on two wheels….and well I really stunk at riding a bike and crashed so much and so often that it lead to lots of frustration for me. And because of that frustration I never rode the bike around and missed out on all types of cool adventures as I grew up in a small town and it would have been a great time to ride around, but I missed out doing so all cause I sucked at bike riding. The older I got, the less I even wanted to ride a bike as driving a car was more my thing. My old bike was donated to one of my dad’s friend’s kids and I never have owned a bike since, and at this point being in my very early 40’s I doubt if I ever get one. Bikes are very cool and I wished that I would have rode mine way more often as they are a great way for people to get around. Sadly I do not have any pictures of my old bike, but I did find some pics of the reflectors so check them out, and no they are not the exact ones I owned but look just like them.

While in school at Waynesville we had so many safety classes that would have us learning about Stranger Danger, Say No To Drugs, Fire Safety, Bike Safety, Halloween Safety, Tornado Safety, 911 Use and even War Time Bomb Safety! And man some of these things was so much fun to watch as who doesn’t remember “Cartoon All Stars To The Rescue” an amazing animated special that brought together so many animated characters together to warn you about the dangers of drugs…and man it has stuck with me for all these years as who don’t want to be told to Say No To Drugs from the likes of Daffy Duck, The Smurfs, Muppet Babies, Alf, Garfield, Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Bugs Bunny and Alvin And The Chipmunks to name a few! I can also remember Count Floyd and The Smoke Detectives teaching me what to do during a fire. Plus who can forget the go under your desk in case of a tornado, go single file into the hallway in case of a missile being dropped and cover our heads as well as watching episodes of Rescue 911 and being told that is what you need to do during an emergency. And of course there is the amazing Safety Pup that graced the milk cartons at lunch that gave us tips. And who can forget that promo safety comics that had heroes and comic characters like Spider-Man, Supergirl and Andy Capp teaching us a life lesson in what to do and what to avoid. In other words growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I was bombarded with safety lessons and I wonder if it’s the same today for kids in school?

Safety is very important and coming off the virus crisis of 2020 it’s super important to educate the youth of America of ways to stay safe. And speaking of being safe, that brings us to our review of this very cool promo comic that was released by “Highway Safety Division Of Virginia” as a way to try and save lives of kids by educating them on the right things to do while riding their bikes. I want to thank a seller on Etsy for having this comic in stock and making this update possible. And like always, I need 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if your ready and your blood don’t turn to cold from fright we have to take a wild ride with The Demoncycle!

Danny And The Demoncycle # 1  **1/2
Released in 1955     Cover Price FREE    Commercial Comics     # 1 of 1

Danny Skooter is a kid with a bad attitude and once he jumps on his bike he is a real terror to all those around him! While riding his bike recklessly one day, he ends up causing car wrecks as well as hurts an old man walking with a cane, and Danny doesn’t care as he just wants to be a daredevil biker rider! Well his carelessness ends up hurting him as he crashes into another bike and is thrown from it and gets a concussion and is take to the hospital, and when he wakes up he finds that his Doctor is really The Devil who gives him a new high speed bike that is also a demon! The Demoncycle makes it that Danny can not remove his feet from the peddles or his hands from the handlebars and the creatures takes off with the boy forced to take a joy ride from Hell. The Demoncycle takes Danny into many dangerous routes that includes the highway, closed roads, train tracks and bridges, all the while the Demoncycle is being wreckless and scaring Danny, and finally on the bridge the pair lose control and fall into the ice river below it. Danny once more wakes up in the hospital and the Demoncycle and The Devil Doctor were just a dream and Danny tells him parents that he learned his lesson and will follow all the rules of the road from now on, and grows up a biker rider who follows his dreams and the law.

Okay, let’s all just say it first The Demoncycle and The Devil Doctor are awesome and turn this safety promo comic almost into a Horror Comic! The plot of The Devil making a promise to an uncaring human who is selfish is true stuff of Silent Horror Cinema! The plot has a young kid who loves to ride his bike, but follows none of the rules of the road and ends up hurting others and himself and winds up in the hospital and has a nightmare about a demon possessed bike that leads him on a path to death…and of course once he wakes up he changes his life and wants to follow the rules from now on! Our youngster and rule breaker is Danny Skooter, a brat of a kid who cares nothing about others and for the most part don’t even care about his own wellbeing, but of course he has a change of heart when he has a terrible nightmare that scares him into a caring person. Danny is that kid that we all knew growing up who had everything handed to them and yet still treated everyone around them like they did not matter and somehow the world owed them. The Demoncycle is also cold and don’t care about the safety of Danny or other people and only cares about speed and being always on the go! I love the fact that when Danny is begging for it to stop the Demoncycle just keeps on going with no care of safety at all! The Devil Doctor is sneaking around the hospital and just looking to make some deals with the sick, injured and dying…somehow I could see this being used in an episode of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits or even Tales From The Darkside! Plus The Devil has so much happiness as he watches the The Demoncycle ride off with young Danny on it and having no control on where it goes! The cover for this promo comic is amazing and very eye catching and I am sure had people thinking it was a Horror Comic, really this would be such an amazing old Horror Comic and who knows maybe one day if it’s possible Blood Scream Comics will make an issue or two based on it. I am not sure who did the interior art but it’s well done and very fitting for the time. Over all Danny And The Demoncycle is a well done safety promo comic that does have a good message as well as brings in horror elements that will please fans of classic style spooky stories of The Devil, check out the artwork below to see the style.

I hope that everyone reading this has learned two very important lessons that this comic tried so hard to teach us: don’t take a gift from The Devil and never, ever get on a Demoncycle as you will have no control of your fate…oh and I guess I should say the message is be safe while riding your bike. All joking aside, if you are a bike rider be safe while on the roads and for those in cars you as well be safe and watch out for bicyclist as they have rights on the road to. But all this safety talk is driving me crazy as I am starting to feel like Smokey The Bear or Safety Pup telling you my readers all about it so for my next update we are leaving safety behind as well will travel to the station SCTV and take a stroll around the set of Monster Chiller Horror Theatre and take a look at a Horror Host Icon that howls like a werewolf but is a vampire and I am talking about Count Floyd! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you in a few weeks as this is one Horror Host that I cannot wait to chat about.

Captain D’s Fast Food Greasy Sea Adventures

When I was a youngster many fast food restaurants used to not only have kids meal with must have toys in them but they also used to give away comic books based on their mascots! The biggest and most popular fast food comic book hands down was “Adventures Of Big Boy” that was released by Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant here in the Dayton, Ohio area. But many others followed like McDonalds that I have covered here before as well as even Long John Silvers, but the ones I want to talk about for this update came from Captain D’s. To me, these comics were more iconic than the Big Boy comics and were ones that felt like must reads when waiting in the booth for food to be done while at the restaurant. While I was never a huge fan of Captain D’s and their fish, I did always love to eat one of their greasy cheeseburgers with an order of fries, and yes as I said before, I was teased about my choice by family members. But besides the oh so good burger and fries and free comic book, one other thing that I remember about the Captain D’s we ate at in Kettering, Ohio is the appearance of the restaurant. The outside was a dull grey color and the wood around the building was done up to look super old and as if it was near the ocean and got erosion from the salt water. The sign up front showed the company’s logo as well as features the one and only Captain D himself, and seeing the Captain’s grinning face was pretty cool to see. Walking to the doors to enter was roped off by thick wood pillars that had massive ropes through them acting as the railing like if you were on a peer. The inside was made up to have the feeling that you were in a ship and had nets, fish and even a porthole. Sadly while some of the inside decorations are still up, the appearance of our Captain D’s is now pretty modernized and lacks character that the old style had. Now I am craving a cheeseburger so I think its time to step aboard with Captain D’s and tell tall tales of adventures, fishing and of course fast food goodies.

On August 15, 1969 in Donelson, Tennessee, the first ever Captain D’s was opened and was founded by Raymond L. Danner Sr. and originally called “Mr. D’s Seafood and Hamburgers.” By 1974 they changed the name to “Captain D’s Seafood” and fish, shrimp and fries became their main focus. Throughout the 70’s Captain D’s expanded and grew at a fast rate and did its best to compete with companies like McDonalds and Burger King to capture the kids market by offering the Birthday Club, Kids Meals and of course comic books, and this worked for a short amount of time before the restaurant finally became a must eat place for the elderly with mountain of coupons and the classic senior discount. While Captain D’s was the king of fast food sea food restaurants for a short time, they did have a rival in Long John Silvers that was also created in 1969 and to this day has more restaurants opened and brings in more money marking them as king of the fast sea food. In 1984 Captain D’s was bought by Shoney’s and was growing in size and expanded their menu items. By 2012 they revamped their look and designs, and in 2017 they were bought by Sentinel Capital Partners who is looking at how to expand the chain and make Captain D’s the must east fast food seafood place in the world. I for one loved the more classic looks for Captain D’s and dislike the more modern designs to not only them but all of fast food as the new looks are very soulless and hollow looking. What will the future holds for Captain D’s has yet to be seen, and we can only hope that they return the hamburgers to the menu as well as bring back the FREE kids comics based on Captain D and his friend Silly Sailor.

As I have stated before, way back in 2012 while covering the toys and Star Comics based on the Inhumanoids, I never have been a major fan of the food of Captain D’s and the one menu item I did like was their super greasy cheeseburgers that sadly they have removed from their menu. Over the years I have had to eat at Captain D’s so many times due to my grandparents or friends and most of the time when having to order the fish or even chicken strips, the meal is average at best…but because of this update Juliet and I braved it and decided to eat a meal at Captain D’s at the very one that I had eaten from when I was a kid…and this time I am going to eat the fish! And of course due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we ended up having to get our meal via the Drive-Thru and ate the meal at home while we played old Captain D’s Commercials via YouTube streaming off our Apple TV. I ordered a four piece fish meal with a loaded baked potato and Mac N Cheese as my sides, it came with two hushpuppies and a small Pepsi to drink. I added an order of Fried Green Tomatoes as well as they were new to the menu, and we had this for lunch on August 19, 2020! Let’s start with the drink; it was a good size for a small and had a good fountain Pepsi taste to it! The Mac N Cheese was tasty and had a creamy texture and a great taste. The loaded Baked Potato was good and had cheese, bacon, sour cream and butter bringing a rich mixture of flavor with the potato itself being soft. The Hushpuppies were on point and packed flavor that helped add to the over all meal. The fish had crispy breading that had a good flavor and the fish was tender and fluffy a total shock as it was really good! The star of the meal was the Fried Green Tomatoes as my gosh they were the highlight of the meal and makes me want to go to Captain D’s again to order more of them!! I was shocked as this meal from Captain D’s was very good and none of the food tasted bad or had and flaws for me to point out or make the meal poor, in fact I would eat their again in the future and that’s shocking as I am never in the mood for Captain D’s and yet this meal has now put them on my radar…wait am I getting old and turning into my Grandpa?

I want to thank Mama Young, Game Swap Kettering, Ebay, Lone Star Comics, Etsy and Bell Book And Comic for making this update possible and having these issues in stock, and it’s crazy that these comics are kind of hard to get nowadays, and at times when you do find them, they hold a pretty high price tag for a comic that was a free give away, but when thinking about it I am sure many of these comics were destroyed by kids with only a few adult collectors keeping them in good shape. Looking back at it, I can remember copies of the comics in the trashcan with half eaten fish parts and coleslaw on top of them, and my brother, cousin and I confused as to why someone would throwaway a free comic book. But now I am off topic as we are talking about Captain D’s trash bins of comics so with that I can hear the Silly Sailor wanting me 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready let’s sail the fast food seas with Captain D’s and his friend Silly Sailor and see how these comics hold up after all these years. Oh and keep in mind these comics had been released and rereleased causing numbering to be odd and doubled sometimes.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 1  **
Released in 1976   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #1 of 41

This first issue has a brief life story of sea captain John Paul Jones who fought the British for America in 1776 and how he went down in history for fighting outmanned and out gunned and said the phrase “I have yet begun to fight!” to the rival captain. Then we get a few puzzles and a short about Captain D himself alongside his young shipmates going to Nashville to see the sights and then get some food at guess where? If you guessed Long John Silvers, you are wrong.

This issue, while a fun very brief history lesson about American icon John Paul Jones, is really nothing more than one big advertisement for the restaurant chain and Pepsi Cola. But then again what did you expect for a free comic about the restaurant’s mascot? The art inside is pretty poorly done for the John Paul Jones segment but the Captain D’s stuff is fun and cartoony. Speaking of Captain D himself, it’s a shame that the old red beard mascot has been sent off to the great blue sea of forgotten fast food icons, and the food chain no longer uses him. Over all for a free comic, these were always fun and for the $1.93 I paid for it on Ebay, the trip down memory lane was worth it.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 12  **1/2
Released in 1978   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #12 of 41

This time Captain D tells the story of Captain James Cook, the son of a farmer who became a ship crew member and later joined a ship during the war with France. He is known for multiple things that changed the way we all sail: he introduced a healthy diet for sailors who spend long times at sea that helped them fight off sickness. He also was a very detailed navigator who drew up detailed maps and even introduced the dotted lines to map routes and dangers that one might face if following it. Sadly Captain Cook died in Hawaii when during a fight with natives over a stolen boat he was stabbed in the back. The Fish Story for this one is called “The Fish That Floated” and is about a young fish who just floats as he does not know how to swim, and his mom has to save him when fisherman almost nets him! The rest of the comic is filled with games and letters.

This issue does a great job of giving you the meat and potatoes of the life and career of Captain James Cook and they show you how he made some great changes to how the world at sea operates with one very important one is the diets of the sailors. And it’s great that it’s sauerkraut that is what was introduced to them and is what helps them fight of sicknesses like scurvy. Being from Waynesville, Ohio it’s great to see the kraut getting respect as we had a whole festival based around it! In other words, Captain Cook is an interesting icon of sea captains. The Fish Story is pretty good and again written by a kid and is about not being lazy and never giving up as one day what you need to do in life just might save your life. The cover is fine, and while not super eye catching, it’s still solid, and the interior art is great for a free promo comic and shows why these were a great tool for Captain D’s to try and capture the kids market. Good solid issue and worth reading if you like Fast Food comics.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 15   **
Released in 1986   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #15 of 41

In this issue Captain D tells us about a young Mark Twain and how when he was a young man he wanted to badly travel down the Amazon River, and learned his boating skills by becoming a “Cub” to a ship to learn how to become a river pilot! This takes him from being tested by the boat captain and also shows how he got the name Mark Twain as his real name is Samuel Clemens and this was all before he became the amazing writer we all know. The Fish Story for this issue is called “The Fish That Sang All Night” and is about an old man who while fishing hooks a very tiny fish who can talk and sing, and when the little fish begs the old man not to throw him back in the pair team up and the little fish becomes a TV star. The rest of the issue is filled with games, jokes and letters.

This is a pretty cool issue that showcases the early life of writer Mark Twain! And while he grew up near the river and waterways and had some sailing experience it’s a little crazy to put him in the same series as true Captains and Adventurers of the seas, but I am sure they knew that young readers and even older readers would know that name. The tale of Twain is super dragged out as its really just about him learning on a boat to understand the curves and shape of the waters. A good read yes but a pretty ho-hum tale that leaves you wanting something a little more ground breaking and world changing. The Fish Story is pretty fun and has a tiny singing fish becoming an over night star in the world of TV. The cover on this issue is ok and for some reason Mark Twain looks like a ghost with eerie yellow light all around him. The Interior art is good and is clearly your standard promo comic stuff. Over all a good issue but not a great issue and is pretty middle of the road as Mark Twain is cool him as a young man on a boat learning and being tested is kind of a bad choice. Oh I should also note that for some reason Captain D acts as if Mark Twain was a true hero that did so much for America via the waters…yeah poor old Captain was stretching to justify it.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 16   **
Released in 1986   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #15 of 41

This go around Captain D tells us about Captain Oliver Hazard a man who was born to be on the sea like his father before him and who once in the Navy rose the ranks in record time! He also created the phrase “Don’t Give Up The Ship” a saying still used till this day and during Americans war with Britain he won Lake Eerie and this victory helped up win the war! The Fish Tale is called “The Wise Fish” and is about a fish who outsmarts a shark at his door. As always the rest of the comic is filled with games, letters and jokes.

This is a solid and fun issue that showcases the heroic actions and life of Captain Oliver Hazard a man who was born to be a legend of the waters! This comic does a quick and fast job of alerting readers to what he has done to make America the nation it is today! Plus unlike the last issue Captain Hazard is a true hero of the waters and helped in battles and lived his life on the waters. The Fish Tale is ok and has a fish at home who gets a knock on his door from a shark trying to trick him to eat him, and the fish out smarts his would be attacker. The cover is pretty funny and has Silly Sailor goofing up again and the interior art is as always good for this level of promo comics. A good read for sure if you like Captain Hazard or even just goofy kids comics about history.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 18  *1/2
Released in 1978   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #18 of 41

Captain D in this classic issue tells the take of two captains who fought a battle with ironclad ships during the Civil War! For the North was Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden and for the South was Lieutenant Catesby Rodgers Jones and they sides fought a battle that lasted many rounds and neither side could make major damage to the others iron made ships. In the end both sides while no ship sunk claimed victory for the battle that was a strange one for sure that took place at America’s Civil War. The Fish Story for this issue is called “Fat Fish” about Ronald an over weight fish that is made fun of by all the other fish and this makes him run away from home, only to run into a shark who wants to eat him. Ronald swims so fast to save his life that he looses all the weight and returns home to be now popular cause he is no longer fat. The rest of the comic is filled with puzzles, letters, jokes and games.

This issue I have to point out has bright and flat coloring, but this makes this over all bland issue pop! The main story of the ironclad ship battle during the Civil War is entertaining but goes by way to fast, and the highlight is when a flash makes Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden go temporally blind and the art of it made me chuckle out loud. And I do like the back and fourth panels showing what was going on both ships. But again is way to fast and wish they would have built up the battle a little more. The Fish Story is the worst this far and the whole story is Fat Kids are to be made fun of until they loose weight…so silly and is the normal mindset of that time. The cover for this issue is action packed and eye catching for those who picked up the issue at Captain D’s and the interior art is good as always. Over all just an ok issue that has a cool yet to fast told Civil War story and a terrible messaged Fish Story.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 21  **
Released in 1987   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #21 of 41

In this issue Captain D talks about Confederate sea raider Raphael Semmes who manned one of the first war ships for the Confederate army and even brought down on of the North’s major stock ships. But finally was taken down in a battle in the Civil War and at first was a wanted man and then latter became a “Hero” in American history. The Fish Tale is untitled and is about a fish saving a King Fish from a witch who was forcing him to work in a salt mine. The rest of the issue is games, puzzles, jokes and letters.

This issue has a very quick look at Raphael Semmes and his time in the Civil war were he brought down a supplies ship and then when faced with a warship from the north was brought down, and he fled and was wanted for being a traitor and then once the war was over was honored by the US Navy…pretty standard and uneventful tale as his battles was few. The Fish Tale was fun and features a Witch and a cool creepy Salt Mine and a hero fish saving a King Fish…good silly kid comic stuff. The cover is pretty cool and has Captain D and Silly Sailor and they are doing a silly sailing joke. The interior art is good for this style of comic and once more I will say the coloring is pretty good and is bright. Over all an average good kids comic read featuring a fast food mascot.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 23 **
Released in 1987   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #23 of 41

Captain D in this issue wants to share the story of Portuguese explorer and Captain Ferdinand Magellan who fought battles as well was one of the biggest pushers that the Earth is round and not flat. After the quick history lesson there is some puzzles and games and finally Captain D shares a young readers Fish Tale called “The Fish That Got Away” that has a young boy being tricked by a super smart fish who steals his fishing boat.

In this issue Captain D gives a very quick history lesson about a very respectable world explorer from the 1400’s named Ferdinand Magellan, and while it is super fast and leaves out lots of Ferdinand’s life it does do a good job of trying to get you to want to learn more about him. The Fish Tale from this issue is pretty silly and cheesy and clearly was written by a youngster, plus I love how Captain D kind of alerts the kid that his title of the story should have been slightly different. Captain D in this issue comes off very well and seems to love sharing this issue with readers. The art in this issue is as most from this series and has a great kids comic feel, the cover is pretty good and to be honest the ones that had Captain D on them were the ones my brother and I were more into reading. Over all this issue is another average read and is one I semi remember from when I was a kid.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 25 **
Released in 1981   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #25 of 41

In this Exciting Issue, Captain D tells us about Italian explorer John Cabot who mapped the world and wanted to find a land to trade for silk and riches and after making a fake promise to the King went on some expeditions only to have failed at the task, but did find some land to claim for his King. He was badmouthed and labeled a failure and shortly after passed away. The Fish Story is called “Harry’s Close Call” and fallows Harry a tiny fish that is playing hide and seek with his friend and while hiding he is captured by a fisherman’s net and due to his small size he is thrown back into the water and is tagged by his friend. The rest of the issue has jokes, letters and games.

This issue is a standard read that features the quick history of explorer John Cabot who was an expert mapper and even “found” and claimed some land…but also told a fib in order to be able to map the areas with promises of silk and trades. I love how in one panel the people of the village call John a failure out loud so he can hear it…brutal! The Fish Story is pretty cool and has a fish playing hide and seek being netted by a fisherman and lucky for him because his size was thrown back and ends up being tagged and it! The cover is ok and for the most part is very generic and the interior art is standard. Over all an ok issue that is a fast read.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 25.5 *1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #25 of 41

In this issue Captain D brings you a look at Prince Henry of Portugal who was never going to be King as he had three older brothers in line so he spent his time training explorers and sailors in order to discover land and claim it for the nation. While he never did get to see the land the men he trained claimed, he still was an inspiration in the world of sailing for all he did. The Fish Tale in this issue is called “Fish Story” and is about a young fisherman hooking a fish on his first cast as the fish himself was eager to eat as the hook didn’t even have bait on it yet! The rest of the issue has puzzles, games, letters and jokes.

This issue is pretty good but does have a pretty weak look at Prince Henry who only trained people to explore and sail and never did so himself, while interesting it is a little silly of a choice to pick as an icon of sailing history. I will say the take is pretty quickly done and hits all the major marks it needs to. The Fish Tale in this issue is pretty weak and is just about a sloppy young fisherman who forgets to bait his hook and a hungry eager fish who wants to eat…not really all that amazing of a story. The biggest disappointment of this issue is that the cover makes it appear as if it has ghosts and a ghost ship and they do not show up in any story, but with that said the cover is good and eye catching and the interior art is solid like all others this far.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 27 **1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #27 of 41

In this issue Captain D shares the story of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton who was exploring Antarctica and ran into some very hard times when his ship is sunk in the ice and he and his crew must take smaller boats in order to survive the very harsh weather and conditions. Along the way Shackleton leaves his crew in camps and makes the long journey for help as he will not give up to and finds help and saves the life of his crew. The Fish Tale is called “Little Fishy’s Dream” that is about Teenie a fish who finds a chest full of gold and when her moms says she can’t spend it or eat it she makes a deal with a fisherman that if he sends down worms she will give him gold coins, and the pair make the deal and Teenie opens up her own worm shop. The rest of the issue is filled with jokes, letters and games.

This issue is very fast paced and both main attraction stories are pretty dang good! Sir Ernest Shackleton and his strong will to save his crews life is the stuff of legend and he travels and fights against the harsh bitter cold weather to do so. Sir Ernest Shackleton shows that the human will to live and help is strong and this is a trait I hope is passed on to more humans in these modern times. The Fish Tale is lots of fun and I like how Teenie used her mind and turned gold coins into meals for her and her mother! This is a really solid and fun issue that does not drag and while the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton is rushed it’s done well and keeps you interested and invested into the story. The cover is cool and once more has Captain D and Silly Sailor exchanging a cheesy boat joke. The interior art is good and has that classic promo Captain D’s charm. Over all a solid issue that also features a goofy Dracula joke and its awesome to see the vampire in a kids comic.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 28 **
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #28 of 41

In this issue Captain D shares a brief history lesson on the Battle Of Lake Champlain that was between America and United Kingdom having a massive naval battle on September 11, 1814 and had Commandant Macdonough win the battle, we also get a brief look at his life. The Fish Story in this issue is called “ My Greatest Catch” that is about a kid fishing who gets a big fish on his line and a diver tries to help him only to find the kid has hooked a big catfish who drives away driving a car underwater. The rest of this issue is puzzles and games.

This 28th issue in the Exciting Adventure starts with a half bio and half war tale of true to life American hero Commandant Macdonough who led America to victory via a sea battle. And this while again very crammed this history tale is a fun quick read that I am sure made kids at the time feel like they knew a little more about our nations history. The second tale is pretty cheesy and is a tall tale of catching a fish that ends with a joke, but I will admit its pretty cool seeing a massive catfish driving a car. Captain D in this issue comes off excited about sharing the war story and is amused by the Fish Story. The cover for this issue is pretty good, but I do not think it’s very eye catching for kids. The interior art is good and has still that true kids comic appeal. Over all this as well is just a solid average comic read that is based on a fast food mascot.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 29 **1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #29 of 41

This issue Captain D shares the story of Jean Lafitte a pirate who lived in New Orleans and was a well liked figure in the city, once he had a price put on his head by the American Government and got it dropped when he helped win a battle for America against the U.K! After the war he was once more well liked for a short amount of time, but was once more turned on and ran out of America and was never seen again. The “Fish Tale” for this one is about a young girl from Iowa who stays summers with her Grandparents and her Grandpa made her “bait” out of a bike horn and this made her catch more fish than anyone at the lake that year. And as always this is filled with puzzles, games and coloring pages.

This issue wins brownie points from me as it starts with saying that the ghost of Jean Lafitte is said to haunt the streets of New Orleans, and then goes into the Pirates history of ups and downs while in America. This part is a very good read and makes me want to write a comic about the ghost of Jean Lafitte for Blood Scream Comics! The Fish Story in this issue is a little silly, but very charming as its clear a little kid wrote it who enjoys fishing with her grandpa and clearly also like to ride her bike complete with horn! I am going to say this I really wish that this issue would have been a kind of Horror Comic and would have been about the Ghost of Lafitte in the Big Easy. The cover for this issue is pretty good and showcases Captain D, with the interior art being solid and good for this type of kid’s promo comic.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 30 **
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #30 of 41

This issue Captain D talks about Naval Commander Isaac Hull from his life as a youngster all the way to beating Britain’s navy in a battle in 1812, this man helped build America’s pride and helped prove that we can win our freedom and be a powerful nation. The “Fish Tale” for this issue is called Tricky Fish and is about a fish who has figured out how to steal he worms off hooks without being caught, but after getting greedy he finds himself hooked and learning a valuable lesson. And of course the rest of the comic is filled with kids letters, puzzles, jokes and games.

This is a great read and it was pretty cool to learn about Isaac Hull in a fast and very compact history lesson. Guys like him is why America is the nation it is to this day as he fought for freedom and rights. The Fish Tale is pretty fun as well and I like the idea of a greedy sneaky fish stealing worms and when he pushes his luck too much he makes the biggest mistake of his life. This issue’s cover is pretty good and the colors make it eye catching, the interior art as always is a solid kids promo comic style. While this is another average issue in this series I still find it very entertaining like the others in this series.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 31 *1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #31 of 41

Captain D in this issue shares a brief look at a man who helped sailors by exploring and making charts named Amerigo Vespucci who America is named after. He talks about how Amerigo was a cargo shipper and how he questioned some of the journeys of Christopher Columbus and due to his own wealth he and his shipmates decided to become explores and meet natives around the world that they made peace with and not war and when returning fellow explores desecrated his quest and it was not until decades later that he got the respect he deserved. The “Fish Tale” in this issue is nothing more than a quick Dr. Seuss style poem called The Fish And The Ish. And as always the rest of the comic is filled with games, puzzles, ads and fan letters.

This issue while good is a little below average and the main tale of Amerigo Vespucci goes by way to fast and I feel like he had more a story to talk about. The Fish Tale as well in this one is kind of blah and while the poem style story is fun and written by a kid from Ohio it just didn’t click. Over all really this issue is just ok and while the cover is great and has Captain D and Silly Sailor in a JAWS style situation, and the interior art in this issue seems a little rushed and not as classic as like the issues that came before it. Not much to say about this issue besides it was just kind of blah and that’s a shame as the explore they covered is very interesting.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 32 **
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #32 of 41

This issue Captain D is bringing explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano who was the first white man to sail from Georgia to Maine and how he and his crew came across many Native America tribes who treated them in many different ways as this was the first time many of them have ever seen a white person. His voyages are legendary and he like all the other sailors we have looked in these comics is important to history. The “Fish Story” for this issue is called “Tale Of Three Minnows” and is about three tiny minnows who want to open their own restaurant and pick an old cave to open it, but sadly for them their first costumer is their last as a massive alligator appears and eats the three new business owners and he closes the restaurant down. The rest of the issues is filled with ads, puzzles, letters and games.

The story of Giovanni da Verrazzano is an interesting one if you like early American history and I for one find him interesting as I love to find tales of Native Americans and how they dealt and felt about white people entering their land. I also think they do a great job of bringing his story to life in the promo fast food kids comic. The Fish Story is really grim as it has three very happy go lucky minnow that want so bad to open a business only for them to be brutally murdered in their business! Pretty brutal stuff for a kids comic as it’s clearly a murder on paper. The cover for this issue is pretty good and showcases Giovanni da Verrazzano, and the interior art work is back to being good and over all this is a pretty solid issue that reminds me why I enjoyed these comics in my youth.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 33 **
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #33 of 41

Captain D brings you a very brief look at inventor and ocean filmmaker Jacques Cousteau and follow how when young was very much into swimming and even created the aqualung so that divers can stay underwater so much longer. They also show that he was one of the worlds most leading maker of underwater films and as well fought for the world to stop polluting the waters. The “Fish Tale” for this issue is called “Castaway” is about a man who is stuck on an island for 20 years cause a shark keeps circling the island, and finally the man decides to try and make a swim to get to safety and finds that the shark was just made of plastic and now he lives back in the city and is happy. The rest of the issue is filled with games, jokes and letters.

This issue is pretty fun, but sadly delivers a way to fast bio on Jacques Cousteau one of the worlds most respected ocean life filmmakers and an innovator on how we all are able to now “breath” underwater thanks to his tanks. But to also be honest I think kids eating a fish kids meal probably did not care about the full life of Jacques Cousteau. Not to even mention that the Fish Tale in this issue is a little goofy and can clearly be seen that is written by a young kid. The cover is pretty great and has Captain D and Silly Sailor playing chess and really highlights the mascot for this seafood restaurant. The interior art in this issue while good also has a tad of rush look to it. Not much more to say about this issue besides it was an ok average promo comic read.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 34 **1/2
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #34 of 41

This issue covers Captain Josiah Creesy who is known as the King Of The Clipper Ships who as a young man knew that he was destined to be a captain of a ship! This follows how Josiah Creesy set a world record of sailing a clipper ship from New York to San Francisco in 89 days even though he had a shipmate named Texas Jack and his friend that tried to set him up to fail to set a record. In the end they also talk about how Josiah came out of retirement to command a ship during the Civil War. The “Fish Story” is called “The Lazy Fish” about a super lazy fish who ends up being displayed by his fellow fish so they could make money off just how lazy he is. The rest of the comic is filled with letters, puzzle and games.

This issue of the Exciting Adventures is pretty dang entertaining and they do a fantastic of bring you the quick history story of Josiah Creesy and his world record run that lead him from New York to San Francisco in a short time, and its crazy he did so as the weather and even some of his shipmates tried their best to stop him from doing so. Plus I love that Texas Jack and his no good friend tried their best to in-danger the lives of all aboard just so their Captain would not get the fame. Well done also to keep kids interested in the history lesson as they show the elements of excitement. The Fish Story is silly and yet still fun on a kids comic level as it shows that they understood and helped grow creative minds of kids who wrote in with their tales. This issue is really good on a Fast Food Promo Kids Comic level and the cover is just ok and a little boring and the interior art is pretty good for this style of comic. Over all this is a good read and showcases an interesting history lesson and some simple and fun puzzles and games.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 35   *1/2
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #35 of 41

In this issue Captain D shares the story of Rachel Carson a young woman who grew up the country in Pennsylvania and dreamed of one day living by the oceans. As she grew up she was a super skilled writer and went to collage for writing only to switch to science were when graduating she go a job in the field of her dreams by being able to work in and around the waters. And while working in this field she learned that humans with poisons used to fight weeds is killing many ocean life when it gets into the waters, and next came her big help to sea life as she wrote the book “The Silent Spring” a book that alerted the world and our government on just how harmful we have been to our nature. The “Fish Tale” in this issue is called “Stanley Saves The Day” and is about a family of catfish who are all talented and spend their days meowing, all but son Stanley who for some reason barks like a dog! All the other catfish dislike him as they think he is weird, that is until his barking scares off a massive shark saving lives and then he becomes a hero. The rest of the issues like always has letters, games, jokes and puzzles.

This is another one of those issues I feel they ran out of a bio topics to talk about and decided to just talk about a book writer who worked in water science who wanted to help save the little fishes from weed killer…most of her bio is spent talking about her schooling….kind of bland and not sure how kids eating their Captain D’s kids meal would feel about it. While Rachel Carson is an interesting person, not sure she is the right choice to excite kids to read. The Fish Tale in this issue is pretty fun and shows Stanley the catfish who is an odd one but also is one who stands his ground, is true to who he is and saves the day…good little story that teaches kids to be who they are. The cover is pretty good and has Captain D and Silly Sailor telling a joke and is eye catching to those who were in the restaurant, and the interior art is good and fitting for a fast food giveaway comic. Over all this issue is kind of boring with the main reason it got 1 ½ stars being that the Fish Tale was pretty good.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 36  **1/2
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #36 of 41

In this Exciting Adventure Captain D brings us the story of Captain Samuel Reid who by the age of 11 was working on a ship and even fought with Pirates to make the waters safe for sailors. But one night in 1814, his ship was attacked by British Warships in a neutral docking port, his small crew of brave men were able to hold them off and cause damage to many of their ships. In the end while Reid’s ship was brought down in the port the British Army had such bad damage that all three of their ships had to be docked and get major repairs…helping Americans during the time of war. The “Fish Story” in this issue is called “The Crazy Catch” is about a fisherman who rushed to the lake and forgot his bait and decides to use a picture of a fish as his bait, when he gets a bite and reels in he finds a picture of a bass on his hook! The rest of the issue is filled with letters, puzzles and games.

Ok first thing I have to say is that the coloring on the story of Samuel Reid is top notch and are so bright and well done that it rivals many of the indie comics from the same era of release. The story of Captain Samuel Reid is a good read as the issue focuses on a battle that he and his ship were out numbered and out manned, but still stood their ground and brought down a fleet of British ships. I also like that they through in the fact that he and his wife were apart of the minds that designed our nations flag. Very cool guy Captain Samuel Reid was and a true American Hero who loved his country. The Fish Story in this issue was good and silly and I am sure got a few laughs from young readers at the time. The cover for this issue is ok and nothing special and the interior art is good and again have to praise the coloring. Over all this is a solid issue of Captain D’s Exciting Adventures and brings a thrilling bio of an American hero alive on cheap newsprint pages. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style used in this fast food promo comic series.

But I do want to take a few moments before I end this update and get off this ship to also showcase this amazing art of Dracula that was used in one of these issues and I was thinking about this that for Halloween they should have done a issue of the comic that had Dracula on a ship with Captain D and Silly Sailor and play up on the vampire trying to bite them, but things keep going wrong for him and in the end thanks to Captain D’s sailing skills he saves them all from a terrible hurricane type storm, and this causes Dracula to become their friend. I also want to say that over the decades Captain D’s has had their fare share of merchandise that includes T-Shirts, Hats, Toys, Plush Dolls and of course the comics. So if you are a fan of this fast food joint you can collect some pretty cool stuff. And around 2018 they also tried a pair of new mascots called the D-Gulls (Dave and Desmond) two animated seagulls that sadly did not go over very well.

So Captain D has just docked the ship and our travels on this greasy sea has come to an end and I am really shocked on just how much these comics have aged and while they are by no means masterpieces they are fun FREE kids comic adventures that blends humor and history. I am also shocked on how good the meal was from them and I have to say the Fish and more so the Fried Green Tomatoes were on point. And I want to stress that Fast Food Restaurants should bring back the Free Comics for customers and I am looking at you Big Boy, McDonalds, Shoney’s, Burger King, White Castle and Captain D’s all places that have cool mascots that need to return to or make their comic debuts. Well now that we are back on dry land it’s time to tell you that I will be turning over Rotten Ink to Juliet for the next update as she will be helping me out this year many times so that I can focus on many of the Horror Host Icon updates and besides she wants to share her thoughts of She-Ra and the newer Netflix series that is a reboot to the classic 80’s cartoon and toys. So until next time read a comic or three, eat a fast food meal or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Make sure to come back for the Princess Of Power talk!

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Night Of The Scarecrow (1995)

For this Halloween Countdown, update we will be taking a look at the 1995 direct to video horror movie Night Of The Scarecrow! Back in the 90’s video rental stores were still king of movie viewing with streaming services not even around yet, and it was an event to go to the video store and look at the shelves to find the right movie or movies to provide entertainment for the weekend. This was a major part of my late teen years, and during this time I was able to watch many great direct-to-video horror movies and Night Of The Scarecrow was one of them! So let’s take a look at this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update all about that film and its promo comic.

Before we dive too deeply into Night Of The Scarecrow, we should first talk about its killer, the sinister Warlock who has many ways to dispose of human lives! The Warlock Scarecrow is very sinister in appearance and also uses his creepy voice to startle and scare those he has targeted to be his victims making it very easy for him to attack. He also has supernatural powers that allow him to control some farming machines and parts of nature and can do so to help capture and kill anyone stupid enough to get in his way. He can also use illusions to lure people into his traps as well as morph from place to place making him very cunning and deadly. When those dark magic tricks fail, he also uses brute force to kill his enemies by bare hands or sharp weapons, as his main goal is to kill and cause terror on the path for revenge. He can also implant seeds into females and cause them to explode open with killer vines coming out of the wounds dealing out pain and death. He also draws powers from his old Warlock book that has all his spells. And let’s not forget, he can shoot straw needles from his hands that act like mini arrows dealing pain and possible death to those unfortunate enough to have them fired upon them. Normal weapons like guns, fire and knives have zero effect of The Scarecrow, and his only weakness is damaging his bones from his human corpse. So in other words, if you destroy the bones, you destroy the Warlock Scarecrow. With only one weakness and with supernatural powers and a rage-filled attitude for death and revenge, The Warlock Scarecrow is one killer that is hard to kill and is cruel in his ways of dealing death.

 

So with that you can see that The Scarecrow is very deadly and evil and is one supernatural killer you should not mess with. So now that we broke him down, let’s take a look at the film that spawned him. I would like to remind you that I will be taking the film’s plot from our pals at IMDB and then I will write about the film’s production and release as well as my first time seeing the movie.

Night Of The Scarecrow (1995)

“A group of drunk teenagers accidently set free the spirit of a warlock, which possesses a scarecrow. The scarecrow goes on a bloody rampage killing the descendents of the men who had killed the warlock a century before. A newcomer and the daughter of the mayor try to stop it before it is too late and the warlock can reincarnate.”

Night Of The Scarecrow was directed by Jeff Burr, who is known to horror fans for directing such films as Stepfather II, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, Puppet Master 4-5 and Mil Mascaras Vs. The Aztec Mummy, to name a few. The film’s cast was made up of such names as Elizabeth Barondes, John Mese and Howard Swain as The Scarecrow. The film was released on home video by Republic Pictures on August 8, 1995 and was a very typical standard direct-to-video release and got some press from the likes of Fangoria Magazine. When released in 1995, this film had stiff competition to get Horror fans’ attention alongside films like Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight, Halloween: Curse Of Michael Myers, Castle Freak, Tales From The Hood, Leprechaun 3, Project Metalbeast, Vampire In Brooklyn, Mind Ripper, Sleepstalker, Burial Of The Rats, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah and Jack-O, to name a few. Over the years, Night of the Scarecrow has built up a cult following and finally was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2013.

When Night Of The Scarecrow was released on VHS, I can remember going to the video rental store K&L Video with my brother Bryan and renting it during one of our weekends of binge watching horror flicks. The owner Kenny also had a poster for the on the wall, and it was awesome looking. It was one of my picks as the cover drew me in and I have always been a sucker for a good creature slasher film. And with the sodas and chips that we bought from Dot’s Market in hand, we popped the movie into the VCR, and I enjoyed the hell out of the film! I liked the look of the Scarecrow, and much of the film’s gore effects were well done making it a very solid direct to video horror shocker. I spent some time trying to get a copy of the film on VHS for my collection and finally got it thanks to a local second hand media store, and later I would get it on DVD when it was finally released. For some reason I have always been into horror movies that have killer Scarecrows in them, and I think that it started for me with the made-for-TV movie “Dark Night Of The Scarecrow” that was released in 1981 as something about that movie always captured my attention and imagination. Also back in my youth, my Grandma Brassfield use to make a stuffed Scarecrow for Halloween to place on her swing on the front porch that she called “Mokernose” and this also became the thing of ghost stories between my brother and cousins and I as we would tell each other “What If it came alive” tales. The directing style of Jeff Burr is also really well done, and he always can make smaller budget films appear bigger by hiding limitations and highlighting the aspects that work. Howard Swain is pretty dang good as the Scarecrow, and it was great seeing the likes of Martine Beswick, Duane Whitaker and Robert Harvey in roles. Over all, if you like 90’s direct-to-video horror films, killer scarecrows, slasher flicks and evil curses, then this is a film you should check out this Halloween season.

So as you can see, this killer Scarecrow is one evil spirit who enjoys taking lives and stealing souls! I really do think this film is underrated as it’s a great film from director Jeff Burr and one that you should check out if you like films about murderous scarecrows. And now it’s time to take a look at this promo comic made about this film. I want to thank an Ebay seller for having it in stock and making this update possible. And before we get to this spooky comic review, I want to remind you readers 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. So if you are ready, lets head to the town of Clayton and see if we can spot and survive this night of the Scarecrow.

Night Of The Scarecrow # 1 **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $0.00   Republic Pictures   # 1 of 1

Clayton is a small farming town, and in this town is lifer Jed Faney whose father had told him something very bad before dying that has caused him to be drinking very heavily at the bar. Jed blows off his friend Todd and grabs a six-pack of beer and heads to the old cornfield and wants to drink with The Scarecrow who comes live and tells Jed that he has his father’s soul and now wants his! Jed runs away and drives off in his trunk as The Scarecrow follows threatening to steal his soul, and this causes Jed to wreck his truck and be killed during the wreck. As the town’s sheriff rushes to the scene of the wreck, The Scarecrow enters town and kills Todd and his drunk friends as this town has a curse that won’t end until the entire town is dead.

This promo comic does a pretty good job of getting your attention and building interest in the film as it gives you just enough to wonder why and how this killer Scarecrow has it out for the people of this small town. The plot is very simple with man who is told a secret by his father on his deathbed and decides to face the “legend” face only to become just another victim in the curse. The “hero” (if you can call him that) of this comic is Jed Faney who we first meet getting drunk in a bar and blowing off pulling pranks on high school students with his friend, only to drink and drive in his massive truck to a cornfield where he comes face to face with evil and wrecks his truck at a high speed and dies…that’s our hero. Now I get that Jed is told by his father that the whole town is on a one way path to dance with death and meet the Grim Reaper, it’s just that he really does nothing to try and warn people or even stop the killer Scarecrow…his plan of action is to drink heavily and drive drunk. The Scarecrow is pure evil and wants to collect the souls of those he kills and does not care who must die that cross his path as he just wants death and pain. The issue has some blood and deaths and does bring a slasher film style of horror to the reader, and for that the makers of this comic really did capture the mood and style of the film. The cover is great and is the poster that was used to promote the film at the video rental stores. The interior artwork is done by Leonard Kirk and is great stuff and has a real indie 90’s horror comic appeal. Over all if you like this film, direct-to-video horror movies in general or just love horror comics based on films, make sure to check this one out. Take a look at the artwork below to see Kirk’s style.

Night Of The Scarecrow from 1995 is a really entertaining film and also had a good comic book based around it. I want to thank my pal Nathan Steinke for alerting me to this comic book, as he and his brother Justin are like me and love to read and discover new horror comics as they are true comic book readers and fans. And now I am going to sound like a broken record as I take a moment to say this to filmmakers who are making horror films…why in the world are you guys not making comic books based on your films to help promote your fright flick? Really this is something that needs to come back full force from our past. Heck, movies like Giant Spider Invasion, The Willies, Sleepstalker, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Babysitter Massacre, Human vs. Zombies and so many more have comics, why not your film…think about it. Well the air is turning bone chilling as Halloween is coming up, so I think we will be next taking a look at a shot-on-video film series called SNIX that was created by James Rolfe! So until next time, read a horror comic or three, watch a horror movie or two and as always, support your local horror host! See you next time for the SNIX pack challenge.

The Undead Files: Isle Of The Dead

So as crazy as this sounds, I decided to cover the promo comic for the PC Game “Isle Of The Dead” and bump “Batman Nosferatu” to another update in the future. When I was growing up, my parents got a computer, and while from time to time we could use it, playing games on it was few and far and mostly I would play SkiFree, Free Cell or Minesweeper, all super classic games for PC Gaming. And then some time later, my brother bought himself a computer that he planned on using for college class projects as he was about to graduate high school and had plans of becoming a schoolteacher. Along with the computer that was rocking Windows 95 and had both a CD Rom and diskette drive, he bought a printer and a hand scanner and this opened the door for us to play a ton of PC Games. What was very cool was that my brother allowed me as well to get on the computer to play games or even get online via AOL. My brother’s PC opened the world of classic PC Horror Games for me and that is why we will be taking a look at one of those games and a promo comic that came with the game for this countdown to Halloween 2020 update! So if you are ready, let’s visit the world of Isle Of The Dead and see if we can survive the hordes of the undead! Oh and I do want to warn you that some of the gifs used on this update do have some disturbing imagery, so keep that in mind as you read on.

Isle Of The Dead was developed by Rainmaker Software and released by Merit Software in 1993 for PC and was a first person adventure survival horror game. Rainmaker Software was a very short-lived game developer who besides Isle Of The Dead only had one other game under their belt, the 1995 game “Nerves Of Steel” that was a war game that played much like Isle. The creators behind this game were A. Sean Glaspell along with Myk Friedman, Bryan Kelsch and Bruce J. Mack, and they wanted to bring a story driven hack slash game to gamers that was very much inspired by comic books. The game had music done by Scott Loehr and was shown off at the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show, and even at one point a port was made and ready to go for release on the Atari Jaguar home console, but was cancelled before being unleashed. The game was massacred by reviewers as it was getting mostly low scores with Dragon Magazine giving it a 0 out of 5 stars and PC Joker giving it a 38%. To this day YouTube gamers are still giving the game poor reviews. Most of the complaints about the game were the sloppy game play, the repetitive music, the goofy gore and the lack of real direction of where you are and what you are doing. But while for many, the game is in their Top 100 Worst Classic PC Games, it has also found cult classic status as many enjoy the cheesy nature of the game, and I am proud to say that I am one of those who grew up playing it and loving it! The game was not only released on diskette but also on CD. I think that the game was harshly panned by many reviewers is because it followed in the shadow of other first person games like Wolfenstein 3D and even Doom was released in late 1993…and because of this Isle Of The Dead was just lost in shuffle. While Isle Of The Dead never got a sequel or an official remake, I will say that a game series that I feel that could be connected to it is “Dead Island” that first started in 2011 for home consoles like PS3 and Xbox 360. While it’s not really connected, at least the undead island video game adventures lived on with it.

My Brother Bryan and I would look for PC games at a local used media shop (that we both ended up working for later) called “Replay Media,” and I can remember him buying games like “Doom II”, “You Don’t Know Jack”, “Plan Nine From Outer Space” and even one that was trivia and movie reviews that was made by Blockbuster Video. I on the other had remember having games based on “X-Men”, “Tom and Jerry” and an amazing one called “WaxWorks.” We would also hit thrift stores and that’s were my brother found Isle Of The Dead and with it being a horror game, we knew we had to buy it. The edition he had was the four diskettes version and came in a very cool big box and had the comic book in it as well. I can remember that when my brother first played it, he was not that impressed with the first person horror shooter, and when it was my turn to play, I can remember I was confused on what the heck I was doing and where I was suppose to go…and even with these frustrations…we both kept playing the game over time and each time we would get a little further and figure out the puzzles and traps. Of course once technology changed and we upgraded to bigger and better PC’s, the day and age of DOS Diskette games faded away into the background, but for some reason Isle Of The Dead always stuck with me from the simple game play, to the story of an island filled with zombie and even the music that plays throughout the game have always been something I looked back on fondly. I look back at my days sitting in my brother’s room near a window trying my best to figure out and beat Isle Of The Dead very fondly, and I have no shame in saying…I never beat the game as it would crash so many times and when not crashing I just found myself wandering around. Over all, I wish I could play Isle Of The Dead again…and just maybe I can one day on my Mac laptop!

Now let’s talk about the baddies that make up the Isle Of The Dead!! The main brains behind the horrors you face is a Mad Scientist who is evil and who seems to enjoy having the island filled with the undead and chasing off anyone foolish enough to step foot on it. He also is holding a woman hostage and is super dastardly. The island is filled with tons of flesh eating zombies that range from the mutated, female, fatty with guts out, cub scout kid zombie and of course muscle bound surfer dude zombie! Also around are massive killer bats that stalk around the caves. So as you can see, the Isle Of The Dead is filled with so many terrors that all want you dead!

I almost forgot to talk about the game’s hero, Jake Dunbar, the lone survivor of a bad plane crash that leaves all his fellow passengers dead! Jake is a man who just wants off the island and wants to survive the onslaught of the undead that appear and want him dead. Jake is a hero as well as when he finds out that the Mad Scientist has a woman held captive, and he knows he must rescue her before he escapes the island. Jake is armed with two kinds of shotguns as well as a machete in order to fight off the zombie horde and also must pick up items along the way to help in his journey. Jake Dunbar is a cool character, and while he does not have a huge back story, you get to know him and bond with him along the journey. One crazy thing about this game though, is if you quit the game this makes Jake kill himself…yeah super depressing way to end this hero’s life in this game.

So as you can see, Isle Of The Dead is a PC game that is not super popular, but over the decades has built up a cult following…I mean it’s such a indie game that when I was a teenager and many of my friends were PC Gamers, none of them had ever heard of this title, let alone played it! I also am very happy that I was able to track down a copy of the comic book to make this Countdown To Halloween 2020 and Undead File update possible. Plus I want to thank the Ebay seller for having this in stock and also letting me reread this after all these years. I 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s head out into the isle and see what these zombies have in store for us.

Isle Of The Dead # 1  **1/2
Released in 1993   Cover Price $0.00     Rainmaker   # 1 of 1

Two brave pilots lose control of the plane and crash land on Nuwapu, and it leaves everyone dead onboard, well besides Jake Dunbar who was tossed out during the crash. Jake uses all the strength he has and passes out on the beach. After a while he wakes up and looks around the wreckage and finds a shotgun as well as a med kit and looks for whatever else he can find. While looking around Jake is attacked by a zombie and uses the shotgun to blow its head off, and then all scared and nervous he knows that he must find the villagers of the island and see if they can help him get off it! As Jake heads into the jungle, it’s clear that he is being watched and stocked by zombies! The comic ends with the question of if Jake will get off the island and if he will find out who the madman is who is creating the zombies.

This comic book does a great job of setting up the moments before the game takes place and even gives you a few hints of what to look for in the plane like the shotgun and med kit! The comic follows Jake Dunbar, a man who was a passenger on a plane that crashes on an island that is filled with zombies, traps and mysteries…and ends with the question of whether he will survive the island or be eaten alive! Jake is a hero that does not want to be a hero and is fighting his way through the jungle in order to survive and with the temptation of a pretty woman in distress (as seen in the game) he arms himself and becomes the hero he needs to be! The zombies are hungry for human flesh and are running on instinct to eat and consume. The comic has one massive gory moment that has a zombies head being blown off by a shotgun and it reminds me of so many of the indie zombie comics of the 90’s like The Dead, The Walking Dead and Dead World. The cover for this promo comic is great and very eye catching, but I will also say very lazy, as it’s just the box cover used for the game. The interior art is great and done by a uncredited artist and really does have a indie comic look to it and the art could be at home with companies like Aircel and Arrow. Over all this is a good short promo comic that does a good job of showcasing the PC Game it was made to promote. If you like Isle Of The Dead or indie zombie horror comics, track this one down and give it a read. Oh and I have to say, when reading this comic again after all these years, much of it came back to me. Check out the artwork below from the unknown artist and see what I mean that this art style would have been right at home at Aircel Comics in the 90’s.

Isle Of The Dead for me is up there with Doom and Wolfenstein as some of the most iconic first generation of first-person shooters released for the PC! And as I have said before, survival horror and just horror video games are things that I think about around Halloween time as I think everyone reading this update should at least play one horror video game this October. This year on the PS4 I have been playing “Zombie Army 4”, “World War Z”, “Predator: Hunting Ground” and “Blair Witch” all games that are super fun and have added to this year that has started off so badly with the virus crisis. For our next update, we are escaping the Isle and will be heading to the country to take a look at a killer warlock scarecrow that is from the 1995 direct to video movie “Night Of The Scarecrow”! So until next time, read a horror comic or three, play a horror video game or two and as always, support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a bloody good time down on the farm.

Blah Blah True Blood Comics Blah

Greetings, Inkers! Juliet here, with a look at a show and one of its comics that combines several of my favorite things. Zombies have dominated horror-centric pop culture for the past decade, and while fans’ appetites were already primed for the arrival of the Walking Dead television show in 2010, the years prior to that were devoted to another undead creature: the vampire. The bloodsuckers had already enjoyed quite the pop culture run in the mid to late 1990s with the film versions of Interview With a Vampire and Queen of the Damned and TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among fan favorites. But after Buffy ended in 2003 and spin-off show Angel in 2004, it seemed that the vampire’s time in the film and television limelight was done.  But several series of books were already waiting for readers and waiting to be adapted by Hollywood, and 2008 and 2009 brought viewers the first film in the Twilight saga, the Vampire Diaries TV show, and the focus of today’s update, True Blood.  So warm up a bottle of your favorite blood type, and get ready to travel to Bon Temps, Louisiana as we talk about the TV show and its prequel comic.

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In 2001, author Charlaine Harris began her Southern Vampire Mysteries series (also called The Sookie Stackhouse Novels) with the book Dead Until Dark.  The series, which would go on to have 12 novels total, was narrated by Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps who has telepathic abilities and falls in love with a vampire.  The series was set around the same time each book was published, but in this near-reality world, a synthetic blood beverage called Tru Blood made it possible for vampires to become part of mainstream society.  As the books progressed, werewolves, shapeshifters, faeries, and even a maenad also emerged, among other supernatural creatures.  

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The series had been optioned for television twice before 2005, when producer Alan Ball, fresh off Six Feet Under (another of my favorite HBO shows), was embarking on a new deal with HBO to develop new content. Having read the series thus far, the Southern Vampire Mysteries was his first project under the deal, and production on the television show True Blood began.  

Like the novels, True Blood takes place by and large, in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana and begins by focusing on telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, played Anna Paquin, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton in a world where vampires are “out of the coffin,” and many other supernatural beings emerge.  That’s the simplest possible description I can give for the kickoff of a show that gets very complicated very quickly and stretches for seven (HBO-length) seasons.  As in the books, we meet werewolves, shapeshifters, faeries, a vampire hating mega-church-esque cult, witches, and yes, a maenad. The show is, however, a loose adaptation of the books with some big changes at the start and, like many books turned shows, True Blood’s plot definitely veers completely away from the plot of the book series at a certain point. 

In contrast to its teenage contemporary Twilight, True Blood is overtly sexy and puts sexuality in all of its forms at the forefront.  (Funny enough though, just as Twilight had Team Edward and Team Jacob, True Blood had Team Bill, Team Eric, and eventually Team Alcide.) Some people have chosen to interpret the vampires’ struggle for equality throughout the show as an allegory for the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, though Alan Ball, who is gay himself, disputes that interpretation as being reductive.

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When True Blood premiered in 2008, a service like HBO Go was merely a dream for fans like myself who had been hooked by the premium network’s still relatively new slate of dramas that came to prominence with The Sopranos and the aforementioned Six Feet Under. So that meant that viewers either had to have both cable and HBO to watch a show or wait for each season to come out on DVD. And so it was on DVD that I first saw True Blood.  Admittedly, I was a little uncertain about whether I was even interested; as a lifelong Anne Rice fan, I wasn’t sure anyone could do a Louisiana vampire story to my satisfaction other than her.  It took a combination of Matt buying me the first season on DVD as a gift, and the endorsement of several of my fellow Six Feet Under devotee friends for me to take the plunge.  And of course, it was love at first bite.

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I was initially drawn in by the fictional world of Bon Temps, along with the idea of vampires and the world adjusting to each other.  But what kept me coming back season after season was in Shreveport: Eric Northman, Pamela Swynford De Beaufort, and their vampire bar Fangtasia.  I was honestly more invested in them than the main Sookie Stackhouse story, especially after the reveal about Sookie’s origin, which remains for me one of the weakest plot points in the show, and to that end, I should clarify that I was not at all interested in (translation = pretty adamantly against) Eric and Sookie’s romantic storyline.  While at first I loved the slightly kitschy atmosphere of Fangtasia and Pam and Eric’s delightfully snarky banter, it was their unique relationship as century long companions that kept me watching until the very end. 

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Eric and Pam are also the reason I chose not to read the Southern Vampire Mystery books.  After watching the few seasons of True Blood, I strongly considered reading the books, but in doing a little research and finding out that their characters and storylines, among others I enjoyed, were very different than those portrayed on the show, I decided, to stick with the TV versions.  I typically don’t have this luxury as I usually end up watching shows based on books I already love and sometimes being disappointed at the translation.  Funny enough, as I was working on this update, AMC announced that they had acquired the TV rights to both the Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches properties.  So I’ll end up having the book to TV experience with a different set of vampires at some point.  

But back to Eric and Pam, or more specifically, back to Pam.  I mentioned before that there became different camps of viewers, and while I suppose I could be Team Eric, I am most definitely Team Pam.  When I start watching a show I really enjoy, there’s usually one character that from their first appearance I can instantly claim as my favorite, and Pamela Swynford De Beaufort is most definitely that character on True Blood.  It’s not a huge surprise as I have a “type” when it comes to favorite characters: sassy, in charge, but still complex and exploring their place in the world.  For me, Pam was also often a sounding board for the viewer (okay, maybe just this viewer), dryly commenting on some of the more ridiculous aspects of the story. And she’s got some of the most memorable lines (and outfits) from the show.  

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Before we move on, I should note that while Eric and Pam are my favorite characters/progeny-maker pair/otp/imaginary vampire best friends, in contrast Matt is firmly on Team Bill Compton and Jessica Hamby.  I actually really like Jessica too, but the Bill vs. Eric debate raged on hilariously in our house through the entire run of the show.  

Another memorable thing about True Blood was the show’s use of music.  In addition to the sexy, swampy theme song “Bad Things” performed by Jace Everett, the show is beautifully scored by Nathan Barr.  Also, notably, each episode is named for a song that describes something about the story and appears as part of it, usually as punctuation right as the end credits roll.  These are often classic and new classic songs from the likes of Dr. John, Neko Case and the Talking Heads. Some of these, along with notable other songs from within the episodes appear on 4 soundtrack albums that are still available on CD.

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During the height of its popularity, True Blood was known for a ton of merch and some really great marketing, and sometimes those two would go hand in hand.  Shortly after the show began, HBO began marketing bottles of actual, drinkable Tru Blood.  Okay, so it was blood orange soda, but the look and feel of the packaging was authentic to the show making it great for watch parties and collectors.  On the more traditional marketing front, the billboard and print ads for the show were always super distinctive and clever, opting for an attention grabbing image or phrase with the show’s signature red, black and white color scheme.  In the online/tv realm, there were several runs of “minisodes” used to bridge gaps between seasons.  The first was called A Drop of Blood and took place between seasons 2 and 3.  These 3 to 5 minute videos helped give viewers a look at smaller moments between the seasons.  In Eric and Pam’s, which was the first one released, we see them audition new dancers for Fangtastia and land on Yvetta, who we’d meet in season 3.  There was also an ongoing series of short videos that began in 2010 after season 3 and lasted until 2014 featuring Jessica.  These were vlog style videos in which our favorite redhead learned more about life as a vampire with Pam, Tara, Bill, and Ginger among her guests.

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Along with the soundtrack albums, the soda and of course DVDs of the seasons, fans of True Blood could take their pick from a slew of official and unofficial merchandise including more shirt designs than I can count, drinking and shots glasses, coffee mugs, a cookbook (which I own), a makeup line from Tarte cosmetics (which I wish I owned), and a line of Funko Pops.  Fun fact: I held off buying Pop figures for quite a long time until they made Eric and Pam, and then the floodgates opened up and I now have entirely too many. 

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True Blood also inspired several comic series. In both 2010 and 2012 IDW published comic series simply called True Blood, which were six and 14 issues respectively.  In 2011, there were two miniseries, also from IDW, True Blood: French Quarter and True Blood: Tainted Love, all of which spun off the TV show and used familiar characters.  But before all of that, there was True Blood: The Great Revelation.  This Top Cow comic was released in 2008 at ComicCon as a part of the pre-promotion for the show.  It’s a prequel to the show, and it’s the comic we’re going to look at here on Rotten Ink.

As a reminder, we comics on a scale of 1 to 4 and are looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So get a refill on your Tru Blood (or maybe some New Blood), and get ready to do some bad things.

True Blood The Great Revelation Comic 0

True Blood: The Great Revelation # 1 ***
Released in 2008     Cover Price: Free    Top Cow     # 1 of 1

A centuries old vampire named Lamar is flying through the night sky on an airplane.  As his journey begins, he reflects on how strange it is for vampires to be out in the open and how Tru Blood is making that happen.  Lamar arrives in the Shinjuku District of Tokyo, recalling his first visit to Japan ages ago as he makes his way to his hotel. There he tells us more about the emergence of Tru Blood that led to the Great Revelation: when a group of Japanese vampires found out that human scientists were close to developing synthetic blood, they bought up the patents, invested in the company, and began to spread the word to vampires around the world.  Even now, however, Lamar isn’t sure that humanity is ready for vampires, and he recalls that his friend Samson was eager for integration between vampires and humans and paid for it with a stake through his heart.  Lamar finally arrives at the headquarters for the Yakonomo Corporation where he’s eager to show them a secret of his own.

The first thing I should tell you about this comic is that the story ends on a cliffhanger that was continued digitally as pre-promotion for the show.  Comic Con attendees in 2008 got the first read, and eventually these pages and the rest of the story were released weekly on HBO’s website to gear up for the show’s premiere.  Unfortunately, after lots of searching and several Wayback Machine fails, I was unable to find the rest of the pages beyond what’s in the physical comic, which is disappointing, but is also worth noting because some of the questions I have about the story may have been answered in those extra pages.  That said, I thought this was a really nice introduction to the larger mythos of True Blood.  I thought it was really smart to create a character that exists outside of the world of the show and to make the setting someplace other than Bon Temps because it didn’t fall into the clumsy trap of some prequel promo comics where the comic and show aren’t being written in sync so the characters feel off.  Lamar is a compelling character and the little glimpses of his backstory we got made me want to spend more time with him, and I definitely want to know more about the weapon he revealed in the last panel.  The backstory about the Great Revelation and origin of Tru Blood also felt really well in line with the show, albeit with a few elements missing – the vampire Kings and Queens are mentioned but the authority isn’t mentioned by name, likewise we only see vampires at the Yakonomo Corporation with no sign of Mr. Gus (or perhaps his father).  It is interesting that we get the name Yakonomo this early in the show’s history, however, as it’s only referred to as “a Japanese Corporation” onscreen until season six. 

The story is primarily told in “voiceover” style, which works nicely for this shorter story, especially since the whole point is to give a lot of background in only a few pages.  Jason Badower’s art is great, and the colors by Blond were particularly great because they captured the mood of the show and all of the early marketing materials ahead of the premiere.  Speaking of, there are several bonus pages that include a two-page interview with Alan Ball and several “ads” that tie into entities in the show and had accompanying web buildouts (some of which you can find on the Wayback Machine – yay!) like the American Vampire League and the Fellowship of the Sun. All told, this is a really great addition to the True Blood story, and fans of the show should have this in their collection.

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It’s almost dawn, when, unless you’re Billith, all vampires need to find a place to hide from the sun.  And it’s about time that I hand Rotten Ink back to Matt.  For his next update, he’ll be revisiting the world of horror fan films with another batch of movies to tell you about.  In the meantime, read a comic or two, support your local comic shop and bank blood, and avoid any and all vampire emergencies. 

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Zombie Apocalypse (2008)

Zombie films have been a popular part of the Horror genre for a very long time at this point, and the TV show The Walking Dead has ensured that Zombies will not fall out of style anytime soon. Most of the films that are coming from indie directors and companies also want their piece of the undead pie. And for this “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update we will be taking a look at a promo comic that was released alongside the 2008 direct to video film Zombie Apocalypse! This is a film that I am sure many of you readers have never heard of but that you are surely Googling now…go on…I’ll wait. So if you are ready like I am, let’s see what the Zombie Apocalypse world has in store for us in both movie and comic worlds!

The Zombies in Zombie Apocalypse are created by a gas that was made by the Government and the Illuminati to use as a weapon against mankind. What started as a lab experiment now has the gas make the undead rise all over town, and they infect and eat people all around them. The zombies in this film are all over and kill in packs as they overwhelm their victims with sheer numbers, but they also kill by themselves, and as a single zombie, they can be even more dangerous as they are more silent and can stalk with more ease. The zombies look like dead humans with many of them having bloody open wounds on their faces making them easy to spot, but can also cause lots of panic in the living who have to look at them. To dispatch their human prey, the zombies use not only their numbers but also their teeth that carry the virus and can rip flesh as well as their hands that they scratch and rip at their victims. They also attack with fury making them even harder to escape from once they have you in their grip. These zombies also move at a normal speed and are not super slow, but are also not super fast making them a moderate threat when it comes to them giving chase. But while they are dead, they do also have weaknesses as you can kill them with guns, knives and almost any normal way you can kill a person as long as you give them head trauma. They are also not that smart and can be out maneuvered when dodging them. Over all these zombies are not as threatening as the ones we have covered before like Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Plague Of The Zombies or even Human vs Zombies, but they still are a major threats and can kill and eat a human with the best of them. I should also note that the zombies who started this outbreak was set free by the despicable Agent Net who is using them to hunt down the man who trained him and has turned on the Illuminati, making his one of their secret weapons when it comes to killing humans.

Now that we understand the killing nature of the Zombies, we should take a look at the film they are from, Zombie Apocalypse. Like always I will take the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB, and I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you’re ready, let’s see what this Zombie Apocalypse has in store for us.

Zombie Apocalypse (2008)

“Two college roommates get the fright of their lives when they head out to the bar, and come face to face with a shambling army of the undead. All Mark and Tom wanted was a fun night out on the town, but now they’ll be forced to fight if they want to survive until dawn. Thankfully Mark is handy with an axe, and medical student Tom has played enough video games to keep his cool in the chaos. With depressive video store clerk Raven helping to fend off the horde, they may stand a chance of making it through the night without getting devoured – or worse. But who is Miller, and what connection does his missing wife have to these horrible creatures. By the time the weary survivors find out, it may already be too late.”

Zombie Apocalypse was written and directed by Ryan Thompson and was his first feature film. It went direct to video and caused a mini splash for fans of indie zombie flicks. The film’s budget was around $5,000.00 and was released by Phantasmal Pictures that released many of Ryan’s other films as well. The cast included such actors as Kenny James, Hannah Gaff and David Calkins and many others including Kelly Knoll and Matt King, with this being many of their first roles. The cast and crew also went to many conventions and screenings to try and get this film out and in the public eye. The film when released was met with mix reviews with many Horror Fans being very displeased with it and giving it low star ratings. While not a household name when it comes to zombie Horror Movies, this film did make a mark no matter how small. The film did spawn a sequel in 2011 called “Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption” showing that it did have its own cult following.

I remember seeing this film before on the shelves of second hand media stores when I was looking through the Horror section to find a good fright flick to watch, but never bought it as I have been burnt out on micro budget zombie flicks for a long time. Years would pass before I would finally breakdown and buy a copy, and the main reason I did was because the copy came with the prequel comic and was perfect to cover here on Rotten Ink. So I ordered a copy of the film from Amazon and once in I read the comic and watched the film…the comic review will be coming up in this update soon while I can talk about the movie now. The film was not nearly as bad as most reviews would have you believe as it does have some charm with its over all dark humor and zombie shuffling around the streets. Another highlight for me was actress Kelly Knoll who plays Raven a woman who loves Horror and worked for a Video Rental Store…she reminded me of some of the ladies I knew that worked at local rental media stores. The downside is the acting is really terrible in spots, some scenes are out of focus and the widescreen presentation stretches the picture making it look odd. The effects are also pretty cheesy and most major blood splatter takes place off camera or so quickly you cannot make it out or worse is digital blood! Over all I enjoyed watching the film and while it is a bad movie, it does have some cool elements that make it enjoyable watch on a boring late night.

 

So now that we have taken a look at the film and the zombies who bring the terror in said film, I think it’s time we take a look at the promo comic that came FREE with the DVD! I want to thank Amazon for having this DVD/Comic Combo in stock and making this update possible. I also want to send a big thank you to the makers of this film for making this comic and bringing Horror Films and Horror Comics together. I want to also remind you all that I grade this comic 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 if you are ready like I am, let’s see what Zombie Apocalypse has to offer in the way of scares on pages with ink!

Zombie Apocalypse # 0  *1/2
Released in 2008   Cover Price FREE     Apocalypse Comics     # 0 of 0

A biker is riding on a quest to find his wife who is missing and has clearly been kidnapped. He remembers the past and in a research lab his wife Dr. Irene Miller is ordered to fill a room with gas that poisons and turns a group of men into zombies. She is heartbroken that she damned these men, but the Army General in charge is pleased with the outcome. The plan is to use the zombies as soldiers and win wars with the undead, never losing another American life of foreign soil. The biker who was once an agent has gone rogue and is now wanted for all the knowledge he has about the zombie project, and while on the run and searching for his wife, he stops at a strip bar and after talking to an old man, he flashes back to when he met Irene and how his own partner Net turned on him and reported them to the higher ups who in turn took Irene away. As he leaves the strip bar, he is sucker punched by Net who throws him into a car and so ends this prequel comic.

The plot of this comic has a rogue agent on the run form the Government and the Illuminati all the while trying to find his missing wife! While this is a fun prequel comic that showcases our hero, naked ladies and the true evil nature of those in charge of Project Apocalypse…there is no horror at all and the zombies themselves are barely seen and are behind glass. Our hero is Miller, who is a man who is running from his past as well as trying his best to find his missing wife. We don’t get a feel for the character and who he is and in the movie he is a silent badass while the comic kind of has him being a confused man with a one-track mind. Agent Net only shows up on the last page for the most part and is a scum bag who’s idea of a fair fight is punching a man as he walks through a door, what a coward! The Zombies in the issue are an after thought as they really do only appear behind glass when the gas infects men who were locked in the room. The comic is bloodless and does not pack any scares as no horror action takes place. The comic does showcase nudity as a scene takes place in a strip club…so I guess it does at least have one of the three elements of a Horror Comic. The cover for this issue 0 is pretty good and does have a indie zombie look and feel to it. The interior art is ok and while not the style or art I like, Brian Sheehy does a good job with what he has to work with. Over all this is a cool promo comic that acts as a way to start the film, but is a pretty bad Horror Comic…so I guess I will give it a below average star rating as it could have and should have been more. Check out the art below to see the style of Sheehy.

So Zombie Apocalypse was a Indie Horror Movie that made a wise move when they made a comic book to go alongside it, and while this comic was not that great, I do give them credit for doing it as I have said before more filmmakers and companies should do this as it helps add to the film’s story and can even bring viewers in. Let’s be honest, I may have never gotten around to seeing this film and the comic is what brought me to it, showing comics as promo items work! But for our next update let’s leave a world over run with zombies behind and take a look at ghost pirates as we take a look at the 2005 remake of The Fog as well as the Dark Horse Graphic Novel based on it! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for terror of the sea….or is that ocean?

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Giant Spider Invasion

The 70’s were filled with nature run amuck Horror Films, and many of them had to do with animals and one of these films was the 1975 cult classic Giant Spider Invasion, a film that was so cheesy and goofy that movie goers for decades have enjoyed! And you guessed it, this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update will be all about Giant Spider Invasion as I feel this is a great time to chat about this movie as well as the promo comic adaptation of it. So arm yourself with spider repellent and watch out for webs as we don’t want to fall victim for these giant spiders who want us all dead!

So let’s first take a look at the Giant Spiders, their killing ways, and why they are so massive! The Spiders’ origin is that they have fallen from space while inside rocks that also contain diamonds. Once freed from their stone homes, they wreak havoc on people and animals as they eat the flesh of both and grow very rapidly to massive size. The Giant Spiders use their speed and size in order to take down their victims as well as their many legs and sharp fangs that they rip and tear human flesh with. They also use their webs in order to trap humans so they can go in for the kill. The larger ones can use their size also to bring down homes and hiding spots while the smaller ones can get into tighter spaces and cause damage and harm. They also can use fear to their advantage as most people freak out when they are seen and cause people to panic and make mistakes when trying to flee. They also can kill in packs, making them deadly not only on their own but more so when they are together and can swarm and overwhelm. They also can shrug off gunfire, as it has no effect on them. While the Giant Spiders are dangerous, they do have some weakness and it all comes from a hole that was created by them falling to Earth that acts as a black hole and is the source of them living; if the hole can be closed the Giant Spiders die off! So as you can see these, Giant Spiders from Space really are very deadly and they have a taste of human flesh!

So now that we have taken a look at the Giant Spiders, we are at the point where we should take a look at the film they are from. As always, the film’s write up will be taken from our good friends at IMDB with everything that follows coming from my own words. So if you’re ready, I am ready to talk about some very large and angry space spiders who want to ruin days and make us all their human prey.

Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

A black hole hits North Wisconsin and opens a door to other dimensions. Giant 15 meter spiders emerge from it, who have an appetite for human flesh! Dr. Jenny Langer and Dr. Vance from the NASA try to save the world.”

Transcentury Pictures teamed with director Bill Rebane to make a Horror Science Fiction film that would feature giant spiders running wild in a small town. And with a budget of only $300 thousand the film Giant Spider Invasion went into production in order to cash in on the killer animal trend of Hollywood with Bill Rebane as the director and the script by Robert Easton. Richard L. Huff handled the casting that included aging actors like Alan Hale Jr., Steve Brodie, Barbara Hale and Leslie Parrish as well as fresh faces like Diane Lee Hart who would do the film’s nude scene. The film’s special effects for the giant spiders was mostly done with puppets as well as a car made up to look like a spider, adding to the film’s over all cheap and silly feel. The film’s score was handed by Bill Rebane as well, and once done the film was released by Group 1 and was a Box Office hit here in the US as it did $2,347,000.00 making it very profitable. After the film was done with its theatrical run, it would gain more fans when shown on ABC a total of three times. It would also gain more fans again when it was featured on the Horror Host shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 plus Dr. Creep’s New Shock Theater and even was praised by Razzie Movie Award creator John Wilson as being a bad movie worth seeing. The film would also be released on VHS, DVD and even Blu-Ray and became a massive cult classic film! Director Bill Rebane is known for his other very cheesy films Monster a Go-Go, Rana: Legend Of Shadow Lake and Blood Harvest to name a few. This film in 1975 was released alongside such other Horror Movies as Jaws, The Devils Rain, Legend Of The Werewolf, Night Of The Seagulls, Bug, Deep Red and many more! So while this film was lost in the shuffle of better films, it still made its mark on the world of Horror.

My first memories of seeing this film was when Dr. Creep showed it on his public access rebirth show New Shock Theater back in the early 2000’s, and I also remember it showing on MST3K proving the Horror Host are a great way to be introduced to movies. The thing about seeing Giant Spider Invasion is that it was a cheesy film that, while entertaining, I would always just wish I was watching the films that inspired it like the Universal Monster films “Deadly Mantis” and “Tarantula” or even the films that followed it like “Grizzly” and “Day of the Animals.” Now I am not saying that Giant Spider Invasion is bad, it’s just an okay animal runs amok film that features lots of aging actors and poorly put together giant spiders. When watching the film, I can remember always laughing out loud about just how bad the spiders looked in many of the scenes, but always enjoyed the quick nudity scene of Diane Lee Hart who I knew from the comedy film The Pom Pom Girls. It’s also really funny to see Alan Hale Jr. as the police chief when all you can really see him as is The Skipper from Giligan’s Island, even at one point he calls someone little buddy…so cheesy! The thing about this film is while I have seen it multiple times I just never really had a connection to it and for the longest time only owned the Horror Hosted versions of the film before finally breaking down and getting the Retro-Media release in order to get the comic reprint to cover for this blog update. So if you like Horror Sci-Fi films based on giant spiders that attack humans in a small town that is directed by a master of b-movies and is packed with old TV actors…this film is for you! And keep in mind I do not hate this movie. I really do enjoy it just don’t have much to say about it nor any cool stories about watching it besides the fact Dr. Creep hosted it.

So with that it’s time we take a look at the promo comic for Giant Spider Invasion that was originally given away at the theater and was later reprinted for the DVD release. I want to thank an Ebay seller for having this DVD & Comic combo in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I am grading this comic 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 if you’re ready to put your arachnophobia aside and come take a look at Giant Spiders from Outer Space with me, we should get to it!

Giant Spider Invasion # 1    **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price FREE      Group 1      #1 of 1

Ev and Dan Kester discover a meteor that fell from space and crash landed on their farm and inside this space rock is diamonds like they have never seen before! But they fail to notice there’s also a spider…while this is going on Dr. Jenny Langer is calling NASA to warn them of the radiation that also has came with the meteor. Little do Dan and Ev know that their house is being over run by the space spiders who are also growing in size, and with this the couple meet their end by the fangs of the spiders who are also now making their way toward town! Dr. Jenny along with some soldiers arrive and think that a black hole in space is what’s feeding the spider and causing them to grow massive! While the townspeople arm themselves and try to kill the spiders and save others, a massive 30-foot spider has entered the town and all looks doomed as our mini promo comic comes to an end and informs us to go to the theater and see this movie!

This is a very cool little theater promo comic from the 70’s that I am sure did its job and got movie goers to flock to their local cinema and see the film! This is one thing movie makers are lacking right now is making free promo comics to give away to movie goers I mean imagine if movies like Hell Fest, The Conjuring and Sinister had cool comics made and given out…these From Horror Movie To Horror Comic updates could go on forever! Now I need to also stress this promo comic is super short and is only 4 pages long as both front and back cover is used for story as well. Our plot is also very simple and has a meteor falling from space that is also caring space spiders that grow massive here on Earth and start killing in a small Wisconsin town. Our hero of this short comic is Dr. Jenny Langer who is the one who warns of the fallout of radiation from the meteor and is the one who tries to enlist the help of NASA as well as find the source of the spawning point. Dan and Ev Kester are a couple who seem more into harvesting the diamonds and not paying attention to their farm being infested by spiders who are growing large at an alarming rate, but they of course meet their end by fangs. The Giant Spiders are the baddies of the comic and man once they grow they become aggressive, are unstoppable and very mean spirited. In fact even smaller the spiders are very much blood thirsty and want to kill any human who comes close to them. The comic does not have any blood and has two confirmed deaths that happen off panel, but while it does not show the red stuff, it does have a great classic horror atmosphere that will surely please fans of old school 50’s horror movies. I am not sure on who did the art, but I will say one thing it’s pretty dang great and I wish that Dell Comics or Gold Key Comics would have made this into a full comic with the same artist brought on board. The cover is pretty great as it’s the movie poster mostly with the bottom half being the first four panels of our adaptation. Over all this is a pretty great promo comic that adapts a cheesy B-Horror Movie that also leaves us as a reader on a cliffhanger making us want to see the movie to figure out how we can rid ourselves of these pesky Giant Spiders! Check out the art below to see how great the art is in this promo comic.

So as you can see Giant Spider Invasion is a fun movie that had a fun promo comic book that shows even the cheesiest of the B-Movies can make a great comic book for fans of Horror Comics. Plus for many people spiders let alone giant ones will always strike fear into their hearts and this short comic delivers scares for those with the heebie jeebies of these eight-legged creatures. For our next update we will be leaving the world of Horror Movies behind and will be taking a look at another Atlas Comic superhero with Demon Hunter, should be a real fun time. So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time as we go on a demon hunt!

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Leprechaun (1993)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day ! For this update I think we are going to revisit that nasty little movie monster killer The Leprechaun! Last time I covered him was way back in 2013 when I reviewed the very cheesy BlueWater Comic series and that was also for Saint Patrick’s Day. For this update, we will be looking at the Trimark promo comic released when the film hit theaters, and it will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update so we can really breakdown the 1993 movie as well as Leprechaun the character. I am also doing this update in honor of the SYFY network’s newest Leprechaun sequel that is being released today. So if you’re ready to drink some green beer and look for the pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow, let’s dive into this pint size terror killer.

To start off this update, we need to take a look at our title killer of the film, the one and only Leprechaun, and while he has been in several films, we will only be talking about his killing abilities and flaws from the first film only as that is what this promo comic is based on. The Leprechaun is an over 3 feet tall supernatural creature who has a wicked nature and a thirst to kill those who make the mistake in taking his gold from him. The Leprechaun is very cunning and is a trickster and can use his size and appearance to scare his target victims leaving them open for the kill once panic sets in and they notice they are being stalked and hunted by a mythic creature with a frightening face. The Leprechaun also uses magic in order to dispatch his victims as, while he is not earth shattering with his powers, he can in fact use them on those who stole his gold and ones that get in his way. He also has no issues using his bare hands nor any weapon or item he can find around him on the sad person who crossed his path. He also has razor sharp fingernails that can also be used in hurting a human as well as his teeth that he will use to chomp down with. And all the while he also makes puns and jokes during his violence causing the victim to feel helpless and weak. He also can regrow body parts that have been cut off and can heal from wounds pretty fast. Oh and lets not forget, he is also good at leaving traps to capture his victims! While The Leprechaun is powerful, he does have weaknesses like four leaf clovers hurts him and leaves him powerless and open to attacks and is the true way of stopping him if one is placed on him. If he is forced to swallow the clover, he melts from the inside out. He also has a weakness for dirty shoes as he feels like he must polish them, once more leaving him open for an attack or for a person to get away from him. He is also very much empowered by his gold and is weaker without it, once more leaving him able to be hurt from counter attacks. He also can be hurt/stunned with more direct attacks like using a gun on him. While he can be stopped, this pint sized terror is a force of evil and when stolen from he has no issues ripping your guts out!

So now that we have taken a look at the Leprechaun and his powers and ways of killing, we should now take a look at the original movie that spawned him. For this part, the film’s plot write up is taken from our pals at IMDB with the production notes and thoughts being written by myself. So if you’re ready, let’s travel back to 1993 and enter the world of the Leprechaun.

Leprechaun (1993)

When Dan O’Grady returns to the U.S. after stealing some Irish leprechaun’s pot of gold, he thinks he can settle down and enjoy his newfound wealth. He thought wrong. The leprechaun followed him and O’Grady barely gets away with his life, having locked the little monster in his basement. Ten years later, J.D. and his spoiled daughter Tory move in. By accident, the leprechaun is released and almost immediately the annoying creature starts to look for his gold, not displaying any respect for human life.”

Mark Jones was a man who made his name producing TV shows and cartoons, and one day decided he wanted to direct and make a movie and choose the horror genre to make his debut. Inspired by the film series Critters and the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms, he went to Trimark and pitched the idea that became the company’s first home grown theatrical film release and brought them to the dance. Mark Jones wrote and directed the film and got a million dollar budget and began casting bringing in such names as Warwick Davis to play the Leprechaun, Mark Holton, Ken Olandt, Shay Duffin and a Jennifer Aniston in her first feature role! Gabe Bartalos was brought in to do the special effects that took three hours to apply and forty minuets to remove. One of the main shooting locations was Big Sky Ranch that was also used back in the day for locations for The Waltons and Little House On The Prairie. Before being released, the film received a massive push from Trimark as they really wanted this film to be a big hit and help bring them more attention and money to make future films. The film did okay for Trimark at the US Box Office bringing in $8,556,940.00 on a budget of only $1 million! The film ranked number 117 for the year and beat out such other cult films as Dazed And Confused, The Meteor Man, Children Of The Corn II, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm, Surf Ninjas, Mr. Nanny, Warlock: The Armageddon and Ernest Rides Again to name a few. While this film might not have been a box office smash nor is Leprechaun as iconic as other Horror Killers like Michael Myers or Leatherface, he does have a cult following and has made a mark for sure in the world of horror.

I can remember in 1993 when Leprechaun was being released to theaters as of course my brother and I wanted to see it and our Dad laughed at the trailer of it, and this of course meant we did not get to see it in theaters! When I was a young Monster Kid, movies with weird creatures and monsters were ones I always felt like I had to see and Leprechaun fit that bill. And of course not much has changed as I still love these style of movies! When I was finally able to see Leprechaun, it was when it came out on VHS and my brother Bryan rented it, and I can remember we both enjoyed it for all its cheesy goodness and years later I can remember watching it with my friend Jason Gilmore and he as well always really enjoyed it! In 1993 I can also remember clipping the newspaper ad from Dayton Daily News and keeping it along with other Horror Movie ads for a short time. Later I bought the film on VHS as well as DVD and even at one point remember owning the movie score on CD that was sadly stolen during a move. Even now in 2019, I find myself enjoying the original film as well as most of the sequels with the reboot Leprechaun: Origins being my lest favorite, and I really cannot wait to see the new film coming to SYFY called “Leprechaun: Returns” that should be premiering the day this update goes live. It’s odd to think that growing up the Leprechaun films have always been a part of my childhood as I have so many good memories of this series like hanging out with my friend Dave Wean watching Leprechaun 3 and eating Spaghetti-O’s while off from school, and watching Leprechaun In Da Hood and making out with my then girlfriend Misty on our couch right after moving in together and even watching Leprechaun Origins with my gal Juliet while a thunderstorm was going crazy outside. While not my favorite of the lower level Horror Movie series, it’s one I do enjoy and recommend watching them all if you like a little cheese and humor with your horror.

The Leprechaun was such a cult hit that even Saturday Night Live got in on poking fun at it via their Wayne’s World skits that were the shows most popular at the time and was based around two goofy guys Wayne and Garth and their cheesy public access show called Wayne’s World. And during some episodes as well as the second movie as Wayne armed with a flashlight would torment Garth by acting as if he was the Leprechaun! The segment on the show was really funny and Juliet and I break out reenacting the segment at home from time to time. I don’t want to spend too much time on this but also wanted to show it a little love and respect.

So now that we have chatted about The Leprechaun and his ways of murder, I think it’s time we take a look at a promo comic that was released by Trimark in order to help promote the film. I want to thank an Ebay seller who had this comic for sale and I am happy to say that the money I spent on this film went towards a charity. I also want to remind you all that I am grading this comic 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 if you’re ready lets dive into this first comic based on the horror movie Leprechaun.

Leprechaun # 1  **
Released in 1992       Cover Price FREE       Trimark      #1 of 1

In Ireland Farmer O’Grady follows a rainbow to the end and finds a pot of gold and rushes to sell it to the local jeweler and gets a large sum of money for it all, but unbeknownst to them all, the Leprechaun has arrived and wants his coins and jewels back! The Leprechaun starts off with burning down O’Grady’s farm and then starts his killing spree starting with the Jeweler and makes the terrified man’s fingers turn into snakes and attack himself. Then he goes after all those who bought his gold and jewels from the shop! His path of death includes decapitating a woman, makes a man’s head explode, drives one crazy and even electrocutes another! We then find out that Farmer O’Grady is on a plane on his way to start a new life in America, and in the baggage area The Leprechaun is hiding as the Farmer has kept one of the coins…and he wants it back!

This super short Horror Comic acts as a prequel to the film and sets up how the gold coin got to America as well as how The Leprechaun did. The plot is pretty paper thin and has a farmer finding the gold of Leprechaun and the sadistic little killing machine wants it back. Farmer O’Grady is a man who falls into luck when he finds the gold at the end of a rainbow and is able to sell it off and better his life even moving to America with the money he got…but sadly, we do not get to really get much character development from him as he is just kind of a bookend character for this short comic. The Leprechaun is filled with rage when he finds his gold missing this shows that this rhyme speaking mythical creature will kill in brutal ways! I like that it shows he very much enjoys killing people and even likes to get creative with his kills. The comic is filled with violent acts but does not show blood and gore and the kills are done in shadow, off panel or in a comedic way making the comic safe for readers of all ages. While this is a quick and fun read that does do a good job of feeling like it is a part of the film it’s based on, its small page count and rushed story also kind of hurts it as the kills fly by way too fast. The cover is fantastic and is just a drawn take of the film’s poster and is 100% eye catching for fans of the flick as well as Horror Comic readers. The comic’s interior art is done by William Clausen and is well done in spots as The Leprechaun looks great…the victims not so much, but to be fair it all does have a very underground comic book look and feel to it. Over all this promo comic is a fun read and captures the silly spooky nature of the film it was made to promote and is great for collectors who love comics based on films. Check out the art below to see the style of Clausen used in this comic.

So as you can see, Leprechaun makes a great character for comic books and while this Promo Comic nor the BlueWater Comics could do him full justice, they both show that with the right writer and artist a solid comic could be made and could help add to the character’s Horror legacy. I hope you enjoyed drinking your green beer and reading about this Horror Flick icon of murder on this update, and I also hope you get home safe and watch Leprechaun Returns on TV! And I have said it once and I’ll say it again, I do not understand why more companies don’t do promo comics to advertise their upcoming film…and I am not just saying this about Hollywood films, I am also looking at you Indie creators! I mean so many amazing Horror Movies have been put out over the past years that would make for a great comic series or promo that readers and fans would love to get their hands on…but yet nothing! That’s why I do want to send a big shout out to comic companies like Eibon Press, IDW, Blood Scream Comics and Dynamite who do deliver some amazing Horror Comics based on Horror Movies. For our next update we are going to stay in the world of Horror and do another “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update as we take a look at the promo comic for The Giant Spider Invasion! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for an arachnid good time!

Amazing Wiggly Jiggly Jell-O Man!

Who doesn’t like eating a big old bowl of Jell-O for dessert after a good meal? It’s been around for over 120 years, has been enjoyed by billions of people in that time and has become a food product that is a major part of American pop culture. When working on blog updates this year, I needed a quick and fun update to fill a small time frame and looking through my comic collection I found my copy of the promo comic The Adventures Of Jell-O Man and Wobbly and knew that I needed to talk about it as it’s a perfect quick update topic about something very weird and yet very fitting for Rotten Ink. Why don’t more companies make promo comics based on mascots of their products? Like why aren’t comics based on say The Burger King, The Green Giant and Chuck E. Cheese? I also always question why Indie Horror Filmmakers don’t make comics based on their films, as many of them would make amazing reads and are a prefect way to promote the fright flick. But let’s not harp on what should be, and let’s talk about what is and that’s Jell-O Man! So if you’re ready for this quick update, I am ready to talk all about this fruit flavored snack.

Pearle Wait created Jell-O in 1897 as he and his wife May found out a way to add fruit flavors to powdered gelatin. In 1899 they sold it off to Genesee Pure Food Company owner Orator Francis Woodward, and thanks to new ways to make, package and store food, he was able to get his new product onto store shelves. At first it was not a hit with shoppers. In the early 1900’s they really started to push the product more, taking out ads and adding new flavors to the line even making cookbooks to hand out that used Jell-O making it increasingly a household name and a must eat for after family meals. And from there it really did become a hit with shoppers. When Genesee Pure Food merged with Postum, they became General Foods and started to add more products to the Jell-O line as well as more flavors and kept really pushing it as a brand that was in many cupboards all over America, and for years this was the case. But starting in the 1960’s and all the way to the 80’s, sales for Jell-O started to decline, and they had to once more use ads and celebrities to bring sales back and to try and bring in a younger clientele…and once more it worked! Over the years Jell-O has had many ups and downs in sales and has lost many of the flavors they used to make, but one thing is for sure, they are not going anywhere soon and still remain a very popular dessert that is now added to all types of other meals. Jell-O has now also become a very iconic brand and has sparked all types of merchandise based around the brand as well from molds all the way to shirts and even a comic book.

When I was a youngster, I can remember that if I was not feeling well my mom would heat up Jell-O and make a hot drink for me that was suppose to help settle my stomach as well as deliver a shot of energy. I can of course remember eating classic Jell-O from time to time and can safely say my favorite flavor was Lime. To this day I get cravings for it! My mom used to also make this multiple layer Jell-O dessert, and man was it fantastic and something that was a joy to eat. It’s very odd to think about, but when I was a kid Jell-O did seem like a very big brand and like it was made just for us kids, but it was also something adults enjoyed. The way this product was marketed was very smart as it made kids crave it and adults think it was a great treat for youngsters. Next I will talk a little about the commercials shown when I was a kid and the celebrity they used.

Growing up Jell-O was everywhere from snack packs that kids in school had while eating lunch, all the way to TV ads that were played during cartoons and kid shows, and at this time, the spokesman was comedian Bill Cosby! Way before he went to jail, he was considered on of the world’s top comedians who entertained young and old alike with the likes of The Cosby Show and cartoon series Fat Albert. Growing up I was a big Bill Cosby fan as I watched not only the two aforementioned shows but also liked him on “The Electric Company” as well as his movies like “Ghost Dad”, “Leonard Part 6” and “The Devil And Max Devlin” and even when I got older, I bought many of his stand up routines on CD. When he was the spokesman for Jell-O, I can remember seeing the commercials and finding myself craving it as a snack as well as wanting to try such things as Jell-O Jigglers that allowed you to eat it with your hands. Plus having Bill Cosby sell the product gave it credit to parents when they wanted to treat their kids to a tasty treat. I don’t want to go too much into it, but let’s just say that I was really disappointed in Mr. Cosby when the terrible things he did came to the light, as he was always an American Icon and was considered Americans’ Favorite TV Dad. But while he turned out to be who he was, the memories of trying to sell me Jell-O when I was watching cartoons will always be a fun, silly and will bring a smile to my face.

Back in 1981, a comedy metal band was created and called themselves Green Jello and toured around performing silly and heavy songs and building a small following. Their big break came in 1992 when they released the song “Three Little Pigs” and metal fans as well as fans of pop rock music went crazy for it! The song was off their Cereal Killer album and because of the popularity of the song, Kraft Foods swooped in and filed a lawsuit against the band as they claimed a trademark infringement on the name Jell-O. Of course the band lost and had to change their name to Green Jelly and all their music releases as well as their merchandise had to have the name change. While the band’s name is one of the factors that made Kraft mad, it was the slogan they used “Green Jello Sucks” that really set them off. The band was a one hit winder with Three Little Pigs being their claim to fame, but keep in mind, they are still a band to this day and still have a cult following. I also want to say that the band was also sued by Metallica for stealing a rift from the song Enter Sandman as well as Kellogg Company for the use of Toucan Sam that they used in art and video and called him “Toucan Son Of Sam”.

So as you can seem Kraft is very protective of their Jell-O brand and have always tried to keep up their family friendly image safe and untarnished, but they cannot stop culture. The rumor going around the campfire is that they dislike the popular party drink called Jell-O Shots that takes the product and mixes it with mostly vodka. This “drink” is very popular at college bars, parties and even Horror, Comic and Anime Conventions. But the thing that bothers them the most is Jell-O Wrestling, a sports entertainment activity that mostly has young women in skimpy cloths rolling around an inflatable pool filled with Jell-O as men cheer. This event goes hand and hand with mud wrestling and is played up as a sexy sport and has even spawned many leagues as well as websites. I just wanted to touch on both of these things as they do go hand and hand with the legacy of Jell-O and is part of American culture.

From Bill Cosby to alcoholic drinks to a comedy metal band, we have talked about many different things connected to Jell-O, and now I feel it’s time we talk about their short lived mascot named Jell-O Man and his trusty dog Wobbly and their comic book adventure. And I think while I read this comic, I am also going to eat some lime Jell-O and enjoy this promo issue. I want to remind you readers that I grade this comic on a 1-4 star scale and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you’re ready, let’s see what Wobbly and Jell-O Man are all about.

Adventures Of Jell-O Man # 1  **
Released in 1991     Cover Price FREE     General Mills     # 1 of 1

“The Outrageous Origin Of Jell-O Man And Wobbly” Dr. Goodtaste along with his friend Snackens and robot Grabby are watching a computer that helps stock all the world’s stores with Jell-O products and this is upsetting Grabby who wants to also be able to eat some of this tasty snack and has an idea to do so and uses the energy from a experimental hologram laser cannon to super power his own robotic energy! Grabby traps his one time human friends in the lab and reroutes all the delivers of Jell-O products to be delivered to him as he wants it all for himself. But in the lab Goodtastse and Snackens watch in wonder as the hologram of the Jell-O logo transformers into to two beings made of the tasty snack, Jell-O Man and his dog Wobbly! Jell-O Man helps the humans escape the lab and returns and tricks Grabby into self-exploding and allowing Goodtaste to set the delivers back on track. “The Natural History Mystery” this story has Mrs. Sherman and her fourth grade class on a field trip to the museum when someone steals all the Jell-O snacks that were for dessert! But one young man calls up Jell-O Man who, along with Wobbly, vows to get their snacks back, and after wandering around the museum, he finds that the dinosaur called Snackosaurus has stolen them and after tripping the beast up is able to take back the snacks and save the field trip. “The Outer Space Case” has Jell-O Man and Wobbly on the planet of Gumongo to introduce them to Jell-O, and unbeknownst to them the evil Shoveler has followed them and steals all the snack from their refrigerators while the aliens sleep. The next day Jell-O Man comes up with a plan to capture The Shoveler and uses Jigglers to do so, as Shoveler bounce around on the giant Jell-O Jigglers the aliens and Jell-O Man bring him down and save their tasty treat from being stolen ever again.

This promo comic features three silly stories featuring Jell-O Man and his dog Wobbly and does its job of making readers think that Jell-O is a tasty treat that all kids love to eat. The three stories are pretty normal, kids comic stuff and has Jell-O Man’s origin as well as takes him to a museum and space to show that people all over the universe love pudding and gelatin. Jell-O man is a cool as ice hero who only worries about making sure people have Jell-O snacks to eat! He also sports cool whip hair and can detach his head and use it as a weapon to take down his enemies. He also talks like a cool hipster of the time and even at one point seems to be hitting on the school teacher as I think he wanted to show her his wobbly jiggler…yeah, I know that’s a cheesy joke. Speaking of Wobbly, he is pretty useless and only runs around and says “Yeah, Yeah” lots, so in other words he is a useless sidekick. Our villains in this comic are the robot Grabby, the purple dinosaur Snackosaurus and the shovel handed freak named The Shoveler, and while they are all bad dudes, none of them are major threats to mankind as all they really care about is stealing Jell-O…but if I had to pick one that I would say could more easily turn rouge and bring down mankind, I would choose Grabby as he seems very power hungry. The over all feel of this comic is fun and upbeat but spends most of each story really hammering home the idea that Jell-O is what we all need to be eating at all times and if you don’t have it, your life is depressing. None of the adventures seem that dangerous nor do the stakes really feel that big making it really just one big commercial ad for the Kraft products. The cover for this one is pretty eye catching and showcases our hero Jell-O Man and his trusty sidekick dog Wobbly. The interior art is done by Richard Howell and has a very simple style to it and yet also very cartoonish in spots and is perfect for this style comic, you long time readers will also remember that Howell did the artwork for The Shadow War Of Hawkman that I covered sometime back. Over all this is a fun promo comic that is nothing special but serves its purpose in delivering a goofy good read for kids and promote the product it was based all around. Check out the artwork below to see the style Howell used for this comic.

Jell-O Man was not a major hit in the world of mascots, and while he starred in some commercials, his main claim to fame is this promo comic as over the years of comic book shopping at stores I have seen this comic in many of .25 and $1.00 bins. And doing this update about a promo comic makes me look forward to covering more of them in the future. My next update will take us away from the world of Jell-O and place us into the world of Horror as for Saint Patrick’s Day we will be re-looking at the one and only Leprechaun! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a green beer good time!

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Driller (2006)

The world of Horror Movies and Horror Comics both have so many independent releases in their respected media.  Sometimes we are lucky, and they blend together and a comic is released based on a film. Today we will be taking a look at one of them with Driller, a cool promo comic based on the 2006 film. Driller is one of those independent Horror flicks that slipped under the radar, and many fans don’t know anything about it. So if you’re ready, lets take a few moments and take a trip into the world of Driller to see what horrors and gore this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update has in store for us.

Lets look at the alien-made killer of the film and comic that is called Futuristic Driller! As a regular man, he sat alone in a field drinking beer and hating on a woman who had broken his heart, but to his horror, a UFO appears and beams him up mutating him into a freaky deformed looking killing machine that is a pawn in their plan to take over the world. Futuristic Driller uses a power drill to dispatch his victims and is silent, cold and uncaring and rocks a scarred up face and a weird half face mask. Besides killing, he also helps create more weird alien soldiers to join the invasion as he also wants a bride. Futuristic Driller kills his victims with a massive power drill, plus has power & strength and uses his odd and creepy appearance to strike fear into their hearts before he drills a hole through it. He also can be hurt but fatal blows seem not to kill him, making him an unstoppable force like so many masked slasher killers before him. While it looks like he cannot be hurt, he does have some weaknesses like the fact he can be hurt, and this slows him down even more than normal. His slowness is also a weakness; if a victim is smart they can outrun and move around him. So while he is not an icon of Horror Villains like many others killers who have come before him and after, he is one dangerous killing machine who could be unstoppable and has made his bloody mark in the world of Horror.

So as you can see, The Futuristic Driller is one mean killing machine, and now that I have chatted about him, lets take a look at the film he comes from. As always I will be taking the film’s write up from our friends at IMDB and after I will write about the film’s production as well as my thoughts about it. So if you’re ready, lets take a look at Driller the movie!

Driller (2006)

“A dark and amusing tale of alien abduction, drugged up youth, drilling and killing.”

Driller was released in 2006 and was directed by Jason Kartalian who also wrote it. The film had a festival run and even was selected to be a part of Another Hole in the Head Film Festival and was well received. The film would also go on to make it to DVD and would have a solo release as well as come out alongside the 1979 film Driller Killer as part of a double feature. The film had a rumored budget of $300,000.00 and used practical effects to pull off the gore. The film starred such actors as Tanya Dempsey, Ivy Joeva, Eric Spudic and Jeb Rowen as the Futuristic Driller. It’s a true independent feature that blends Horror, Science Fiction and Comedy together and makes for a fun fright flick filled with backyard gore, a slasher style killer and attractive women. The film when released in 2006 had lots of competition from titles like Hatchet, See No Evil, Saw III, Rest Stop, Evil Bong, Wolf Hunter 2, Behind the Mask and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning to name a few! So as you can see, it was sadly lost in the shuffle.

Driller is one of those films I discovered while searching Ebay for comic books based on Horror Movies, and after a short while, I stumbled onto this promo comic that came along side the double feature DVD of this release. Once ordered, I decided that I was going to order also the single feature version of the film as I already had a massive two disc collector’s edition of Driller Killer and only needed the double feature to get the comic book. I chose to watch the film on a day off from work as outside massive thunderstorms brewed and helped set the mood. And when watching it I can say I really enjoyed it and found the killer to be cool and the gore effects very effective for the budget they had, not to mention the ladies of the film are easy on the eyes. My favorite kill in the movie has to be when he kills the apartment peeping handyman and the woman in the shower he is watching as The Futuristic Driller shows no mercy and drills them to death. I wish I had more of a connection to this film as I just discovered it this year so I have no amazing story of watching it with friends or finding it at a video store. All I can say if you enjoy Indie Horror Movies like I do, you might want to check this one out if you can find the DVD at a cheap price.

So as you can see Driller and it’s killer The Futuristic Driller are a bloody and entertaining combo that was one I am glad I discovered. I want to thank Ebay for having this comic in stock and want to thank also the makers of this film for making this promo comic to go along with their film. I need to also remind all you readers that I am grading this comic 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 if you’re ready, lets take a look at this short and mini comic based on 2006’s Driller.

Driller # 1  **
Released in 2006     Cover Price $0.00     Viewfinder      # 1 of 1

A man named Joe is asleep on his couch dreaming of being able to murder his uncaring and overbearing wife when he is awakened by her telling him to get to work. As Joe leaves, two stoned hillbillies smoking pot in their car see a UFO fly by, and sadly for Joe, he is the target of the aliens who beam him aboard and experiment and torment him in order to turn him into a mutated killing machine. The aliens drop Joe, now a freaky looking killer, back to earth who picks up a power drill and hits the streets and kills a man who is peeping on a woman in a shower and makes his way to get her as well and that’s how our comic ends.

This is a quick read that is the start of an adaptation of the film that I think was planned but never fully released. The plot of this comic follows a man who hates his life and wife who sadly is targeted by aliens who turn him into a killing mutated freak-killing machine! Joe is a slob who works a job and has a wife who likes to smack him and boss around and he does what he is told even though he hates every moment of his life he still does what he can to survive. Clearly he spends his time drinking beer to try and forget about how bad his life is. So in other words, Joe is a normal middle class man who has family issues and is down on his luck. But once Joe is turned into the Futuristic Driller, he no longer is human and has no issues with killing humans who get into his way! This comic, while very short, does have some of the red stuff as Futuristic Driller uses his power drill to kill the pervert watching the woman shower as well as blood is spilled when the aliens work on Joe to turn him into the killing machine. Not sure who did the comics interior artwork, but it’s solid stuff and captures the raw silly nature of the film, plus the cover is pretty cool and has that indie horror comic feel. Over all this is a fun and good short promo Horror Comic read that just makes me wish a full comic was released. Check out the art below to see what style you’re in for when reading this comic.

So while this comic might be very short and ends before any major mayhem takes place, it’s still a cool Horror Comic that many readers might not know exists and might want to get their hands on. I really do wish more indie Horror Films would make comics based on their films as I think comics are a great way to advertise the film to a market that most of the time would be very much into what they are presenting. So I think for our next update we are going to stay in the world of Horror and in fact what I have in store next was originally a comic book and was turned into a movie that was released by Troma, so in other words it’s a reverse From Horror Movie To Horror Comic! The comic and movie we will be talking about is The Killer Condom and this one is weird, funny and horrific! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch an indie Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a Killer good time.