“TALES OF FEAR #1” (Comic Review)


by: Svetlana Fedotov on: 2013-01-29 14:38:57

Some say that the horror comic magazine is as dead as a
week-old corpse, never to walk and love again. Few brave souls, however, have
taken it upon themselves to ignore such opinions, attempting to give the forgotten
medium another shock to its undead heart. Of course, who could really blame
them? With comic companies re-printing every old mag they can find, the sudden
rise in popularity for the classics has rekindled a love for all things
“eerie.” Morality plays, ghoulish hosts, and dangerous women are back with a
passion! TALES OF FEAR #1 is a recent addition, a one man’s pursuit to cut out
a niche into the already huge cake of the horror world. Though the comic is
kind of rough to look at, the passion that creator Gary Scott Beatty has for
the bizarre clearly shines through.

TALES OF FEAR (Aazurn Publishing) is very similar to the
old, TALES FROM THE CRYPT-type horror. Each story is self-contained and presented
by a skeletal figure who plays the part of host. The stories have such
interesting titles as “Zombie Porn,” that’s about, well, zombie porn, and
“Crack,” about a group of vandals that break into a house looking to score
drugs and end up finding something more sinister. The stories all play with a
bit of irony and have a twist at the end similar to THE TWILIGHT ZONE. In fact,
the story “Giants Fishing” almost reads as a bit of an homage to an episode of the
seminal series that plays out very similarly.

As much as this writer loves old horror comics and subsequently,
homages to them, there were a few things about this particular collection that
left a bitter taste in my mouth. Though Beatty has expressed that his art is a
creative alternative to traditional comic illustration, it proves more a
distraction than anything else. Instead of the pen and ink technique that
dominates comics, he went with a more photo-realistic attempt, which
unfortunately might actually be photos of people posing that were Photoshopped
over. A lot of the images end up stretched out and over exaggerated, which
really takes away from the writing. The tales, meanwhile, often start off
strong and slowly break down halfway through the collection, becoming tedious
and employing clichéd twists. Still, TALES OF FEAR is a fair attempt at
entering the horror world through the back door of comic magazines. Perhaps,
given time, it’ll prove itself to be a magazine to be feared.


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About the author
Svetlana Fedotov http://facebook.com/vladkicksass
Svetlana Fedotov hails from the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest. She loves horror and comic books, and does her best to combine those two together at any cost. She also writes for the horror site Brutal as Hell and sometimes for the magazine Delirium. Svetlana has recently released her first novel, Guts and Glory, under the pen name S.V. Fedotov on Amazon digital.
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