Next up in the 2016 PopCult Gift Guide we have one of my favorite independent comics of the year, Forbidden Gallery. Like Cemetary Plots, this is the perfect gift for the comic-loving fan of horror and science fiction on your holiday shopping list.
There is a growing assortment of high-quality comic books that are making the rounds outside of the Diamond Comics Distribution loop, free from corporate interference and the tyranny of the direct-market comic shop mentality. We can add another brilliantly-executed, fun comic book to the list, with the first issue of Forbidden Gallery, published by ACP Comics. This is the brainchild of Editor/Publisher, William Mull, and Mull gathers together a diverse collection of veteran creators and newcomers to produce a very entertaining horror/adventure anthology.
With six great stories, including a brief intro, Forbidden Gallery successfully combines the feel of a 1970s color horror anthology comic book like DC’s House of Mystery with the spirit of Rod Serling’s classic TV show, Night Gallery. The stories are short, cleverly-constructed with twists and turns, and run the gamut from straight horror and gore to science fiction, weird war and mythology.
Behind a cool cover painting by comics veteran Josef Rubinstein, working over an original drawing by Paul Tuma, Forbidden Gallery opens with a two-page intro, written by Mull with art by Tuma, where we meet out host, Archimedes, who resides in a castle-like mansion. This sets the tone for the unexpected and mysterious stories that follow. Each story has its own cover-like splash page, and those are available as 11″ by 17″ prints from ACP at a very low price.
Forbidden Gallery #1 is a great, fun read, highly recommended and can still be ordered for the holidays. Not only are the stories so well written and drawn, but also the production, the lettering and coloring, are top-notch. If you need a gift for the fan of classic horror/sci-fi comics, or just anyone that you think would enjoy this, you can order the book, and the accompanying splash posters, along with some other cool publications, from ACP Comics.