Forbidden Gallery #4
edited by William Mull
Writers: Ed Devore, Nicola Cuti James Hudnall, Dan Johnson, William Mull
Artists: Portaveritus and Jeff Austin, Luca Cicchitti, Benito Gallego, Karl Comedador, Dan Day, Portaveritas and more.
Published by ACP Comics
details for ordering coming soon from ACP Comics
It’s been more than a year and a half since the last issue of Forbidden Gallery, a great independent horror comics anthology, and I’m happy to report that the fourth issue should be available this week (maybe even later today). William Mull and ACP Comics continue in the tradition of short-form horror/sci-fi anthologies of the past, telling new tales of mystery and suspense with a fresh perspective.
In this latest installment, readers are treated to five stories that run the gamut from revenge on the farm to hauntings to Kaiju to outer space adventure and a wonderful period piece with a twist that will not be revealed here. In fact, one of the difficulties of reviewing this comic is trying to describe the stories without giving away too much of the plot. I’ll do my best here, but If it seems like I’m skipping over too much detail, that’s the reason why.
As with the previous issues of Forbidden Gallery, each story is preceded by a pin-up/splash page which acts as an introduction by the book’s host, Archimedes, and gives the presentation a cool Night Gallery vibe.
The opening tale is a quick one. “Weird of the Woodchuck” is a clever story with gorgeous artwork that can’t be described in detail without spoiling it. It’s a fun opener from writer, Ed DeVore, and artists Portaveritas and Jeff Austin.
“Into The Drink” is a cautionary tale about driving while intoxicated. This story is among the last published works written by James Hudnall, who had a long career for Eclipse Comics, DC Comics and Marvel, and co-created the television series Harsh Realms. The artwork is provided by Luca Cicchitti, and serves the story well.
Next up with one of the highlights of the book, “End of the Line,” a tale of wandering Gypsies set in an unspecified post-Medieval time. The story, by Dan Johnson, is a well-structured bit of pre-gothic horror, but the real star is the artwork. Benito Gallego manages to make this story look like what you’d get if you combined the art of the late John Buscema with a gloriously-photographed Hammer Horror movie. It is simply spectacular. That’s the opening panel, above.
That gem is followed by another, an epic superhero/Kaiju mash-up, “Particle Man: Rise of the Fukisharm!” written by William Mull with art by Karl Comendador. This is the story that will thrill and delight your inner-eight-year-old, as we basically get an action-packed pastiche of Godzilla and Ultraman, with a dash of Captain Atom thrown in, and what I suspect is a deliberate nod to They Might Be Giants. The intro page is seen at right.
Closing out this issue we have “Contamination,” written by the late Nicola Cuti with art by Dan Day. This is the outer space adventure, and I’m not going to spoil any more details than that, other than to say how great it is to see new art by Dan Day.
It’s clear that Forbidden Gallery is a labor of love. This is one of the most fun comics being published today. It harkens back to the kind of concise, disciplined graphic storytelling that used to be the norm, but is now all too rare. It’s a bit that sad that this book contains two stories written by authors who have passed away in the last year, but at least they are well-represented, with clever stories that are well-drawn and entertaining.
Forbidden Gallery is great fun for folks who loved horror comics like Creepy, Eerie, House of Mystery or the EC Comics classics. You can order the three previous issues, and this newest issues at the ACP Comics website. Issue Four should be available shortly after this review is published. You will have your choice of six different covers, including the main cover by Steven Butler, or you can go for a package deal and get them all.
You can find my review of the previous issue (which has links to reviews of earlier issues) HERE.
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