A Kickstarter for Samurai Slasher, a comic anthology based on a fake 1980s slasher film, has just launched, a story written by Mike Garley (the man behind Dead Roots, Eponymous and The Kill Screen and chock full of UK talent.
The 38-page title will feature art, colours and lettering by Andy W Clift, Gavin Mitchell, Kristina Gee, Wynn Ryder, Nathan Ashworth, Mike Stock and Jon Scrivens.
“Samurai Slasher is a fun and loving look at the slasher genre,” Mike tells us, “which follows the eponymous katana wielding menace, as he slashes his way through feudal Japan, a lakeside retreat, a gallery exhibition, before finally being confronted by the army.
“The Kickstarter features a bunch of incredible rewards such as an original soundtrack (composed by Ian Alex-Mac), an incredible 1980s-styled movie poster (Illustrated by Michael Lee-Graham), hand painted samurai dioramas (sculptured and hand painted by Jason Bakutis of www.microfear.com), as well as the opportunity to star in the comic itself.”
A Comics Anthology based on a fake 1980s Samurai slasher movie series? Count me on board! I was lucky enough to have a good look at some of the interior pages – and this is a corker!
There have been a few ‘homage to horror movie’ comics in the last couple of years. Grindhouse from Alex de Campi and Co and Vandroid from Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith and Dan McDaid both spring to mind (both published in 2014 from Dark Horse Comics). Both homaged the seedy, low budget, experimental horror side of movies. Both reminded me of those trips to the early video shops and the multitude of titles, many of which I haven’t seen since, with amazing covers and less than richly financed interiors. There are still rafts of these films that have never been seen again, even in this digital age.
So I love hearing about books like Samurai Slasher. Full on, no holds barred, horror exploitation at it’s meanest and goriest Drive In/Video Nastiness. Mike Garley and his collaborators have turned bad (Bad but Very good in my opinion) 1980s horror/action movies like Samurai Cop and Ghost Warrior into great comics. What a rich feeding ground these movies are for the imaginative comic creator.
We can look back now on the clichés (one character gets horribly murdered because he smokes weed and has pre marital sex for example) the gore (literally buckets of red paint are thrown about for impact) and the nostalgia and both jump a little and giggle a lot at a book like this. Mike has excelled in pulling me back to those days of 1980s slash movies, and done it without me remembering how downright rubbish many of them turned out to be. (Still love them though!)
The art in all the three stories works perfectly for the vibe Mike is going for here. It’s all in colour and leaves you wanting more. We get some great and often really darkly funny moments that are perfectly captured in comics form. The extra audio tracks are reminiscent of John Carpenter’s Halloween tracks with a big dose of Tangerine Dream in The Keep. Spot on!
I absolutely loved this. Great fun from beginning to end. I see a hit in the making and you need to jump on this.
• Andy W. Clift can be found on Twitter @andyWclift
• Jon Scrivens can be found @JonScrivens
Many thanks for reading.
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.