Monday, December 31, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Warning! This trailer is very R-Rated.

Review: Daughter of Dracula

I recently slashed my pull list at my local comics store, primarily because I was buying a lot of titles that I wasn’t enjoying. Simultaneously I realized that the stuff I really looked forward to was mainly reprints of titles from the 60s and 70s.

Maybe it’s part of getting older – that craving for the nostalgic favorites of my younger days – but I truly believe a lot of it is a simple dissatisfaction with the quality of comics today, where it seems every title is part of a larger crossover prompting months of build-up for little or no payoff, until the next crossover begins.

I realized that I missed good storytelling. To me, that’s solid writing that uses a beginning, middle and end to tell a tale, rich characterization and art that serves the story, rather than a platform for full-page poses that do little to advance the plot.

So I was in the perfect place to appreciate Daughter of Dracula by Ron Fortier and Rob Davis.

From the striking Mark Maddox cover, I knew I was in for something special. That cover is one of the most effective pieces I have seen is 40-plus years of reading comics.

Foriter is a veteran comics writer and novelist, and from the first page his sure hand is evident in the pacing of Daughter of Dracula. The Countess Marya Dracula has a chance encounter with a young man who will soon come to be known as The Red Baron. Marya is, of course, the child of you-know-who. Foriter quickly establishes her vampiric side, just as he offers her the possibility of true love.

Their romance blossoms, grows and reaches an unexpected conclusion over the 108 pages of this graphic novel. However, before you think this is a comic book version of a chick flick, let me make clear that Daughter of Dracula is filled with many scenes of warfare, bloodletting, sex and aerial dogfights. In fact, the richly detailed World War I setting is almost as much of a character as are Marya and Manfred von Ricthofen.

The art by Davis is always clear. The reader never questions what is happening in a given panel. Some of the landscapes and aerial battles are breathtaking. Davis uses a careful blend of realistic and cartoonish effects at just the right spots to emphasis whatever mood Fortier has thrown at him. Incidentally, Davis handled the art, lettering and, I presume, the gray tones that add so much to the story’s ambiance.

It’s difficult to find fault with any aspect of Daughter of Dracula. Other than a couple of typos and a slight problem I had in reading some of Mayra’s “handwritten” captions, the book is a joy to experience.

In fact, the best compliment I can pay to this satisfying graphic novel is that it could have easily been serialized in one of Marvel black and white horror magazines of the early 1970s, my favorite era in comic book history.

As much as Daughter of Dracula begs for a sequel I hope Fortier and Davis let the story stand as it is. Instead, I would prefer to see them explore other genres and other characters. The comics biz needs these guys.

You can order Daughter of Dracula here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pod of Horror #41

Pod of Ho-Ho-Horror #41 just slid down your chimney, and our gift bag is loaded!

* Robert McCammon talks about his retirement and return to writing.

* Jonathan Maberry discusses martial arts, teaching and GHOST ROAD BLUES.

* Comics veteran Ron Fortier teams up the Red Baron with the DAUGHTER OF DRACULA in a scary new graphic novel.

* We debut the 2007 PoH audio Christmas story, written by the members of the Justice & Wilbanks Message Board.

* Nanci stuffs The Call of Kalanta with news that won’t make you snooze.

* Scott Bradley is back at the helm of the PoH Review Department.

* And all the free books in The Tomb of Trivia will make you happier than an elf with spiked egg nog.

Pod of Horror is produced and hosted by Mark Justice. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

Get Pod of Horror merchandise.

Visit our MySpace page.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board.

The Ambiguously Gay Duo Save Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

So, Vatta Ya Been Doink?

Been a while. I'd like to say it's because of mammoth life-changing events (the good kind, natch), but instead it's the same old crap turned up to 11.

More soon. In the meantime, here some holiday spirit.

It's all your favorite Christmas songs at the same time, with a little Toto thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

You Got A Problem With Me?

Talk to the Fritten.

If You're Reading This You're a Genius

I tested this blog over here, and here's what it had to say about the readability:

cash advance

Wouldn't it be funny if it told every blogger that?

And that's what I'm doing instead of writing or any of the the five thousand other things clamoring for my attention.

Naked News Streaker

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Homemade Trek

I'll admit it: I've always enjoyed Star Trek and it's various incarnations.

For my money, ST: Deep Space Nine was the best of them, with excellent writing and superior acting. Too many of the other Trek series seemed to fall into a formula that can most easily be summed up this way: The Enterprise/Voyager encounter an alien race that looks like us except for some plastic glued to their foreheads and we make them see that we can all get along. The End.

At least DS9 (and, to a certain extent, the fourth and final season of Enterprise) tried to shake things up.

I've never felt strongly enough about the franchise to consider myself a Trekkie or Trekker or whatever the derogatory term is today. And I've certainly never felt moved to make my own Trek episodes.

I have watched a few of them. You have admire the hard work and love for the subject that goes into these Mom and Pop productions. The recreation of the various sets is impressive and the special effects are actually better than the 60s incarnation of the show.

Yet all that hard work is ultimately brought down by acting that is so bad, even junior high school theater groups would say, "Dude, you stink." Some of these guys make Shatner look like Olivier. I suspect that's because the fans behind the scenes insist on getting in front of the camera. They must figure Shatner made it look easy. So enjoy the passion and ignore the thespians.

Who's on First -- Star Wars Style

Tuesday, December 04, 2007