All stories written by George Lennox
“A Late Night in Royston” – Art by Chris Connolly. Letters by Colin Bell
“Lost Souls” – Art and lettering by Jason Mathis
“Partyman” – Art by Norrie Millar, Colours by James Devlin and letters by Colin Bell
Cover art by Alex Ronald
Horror Show is an anthology title from Cult Empire Comics. It’s an impressively put together EC Comics (homage) style book, comprising three twist in the tail stories, all written by George Lennox but with different art teams. All are presented in glorious splatter strewn colour. In the afterword, George speaks of growing up in the age of the video nasty and this certainly shows.
I enjoyed all the stories but I think Partyman was my favourite of the three. Here is a quick run down, without spoiling them too much.
A Late Night in Royston is a warning about picking up girls from the rough side of town. It involves satanic flesh eating party girls and men in their underwear. It’s a pretty good quick horror tale. It’s got blood and gore aplenty and works well from a tension to gore point of view. You see it coming but that’s half the hook in these types of stories. Competent art and some nasty minded (in a good way) writing add up to an enjoyable story that could fit in to most anthologies out there.
Lost Souls is a little less clear in its structure. It opens well with a woman trying to tell a psychiatrist that she can see and communicate with dead people. This escalates to a home invasion by these dead people (Zombies? Ghosts?) and ends with a ‘To Be Continued’. The art is a little lacking compared to the other two stories and at points I am a little confused as to what is happening. It’s not bad though and maybe another couple of readings could clarify some points but I am a little confused?
Partyman is much more up my street. You know that guy who you avoid inviting to a party? He appears and that’s where it all starts to go wrong. It’s hard to fully explain without spoiling much of the story on this one but it goes there and then takes it on an interesting turn further.
I was pleased to see that this is a character that may well return in the appropriately named Batchelor Party in a future issue. The art is solidly nasty and I see a little bit of a Tim Vigil in the style. It’s got some really well written comedy moments that rang true throughout as well.
The cover by 2000AD artist Alex Ronald is a really iconic image perfect for a first issue. Highlighting the magnificently sleazy Partyman, it’s got a big dose of class and certainly pulls you in for a purchase. At 28 pages it’s also pretty well priced at £3.99.
Overall, the book is done with passion for the genre and that’s got to be admired. It’s definitely one of the best horror anthologies that I have read for a while and there are a couple of pointers that Dark Horse Comics could take on their Creepy and Eerie reboots. I admire George in that he goes there with the horror and he takes a full on horror fan’s attitude towards storytelling. Partyman deserves his own title and the opener is what I as a child of 1970s and 1980s horror would call a ‘proper’ horror story, full of dark splatter blood humour. It certainly doesn’t pander to the Twilight/Vampire Diaries/Interview with the Vampire crowd which is a welcome relief these days. Nicely done.
Many thanks for reading.
Categories: British Comics