Issue 4 of Decay was hotly contested around the office due to the teeth gnashing that followed the detour Oz Zombie took in Issue 3. I don't mind if a series wants to take a powder break with a flashback, but not when the zombie hordes are over running a supermarket! More on that later, editor Darren Koziol kept things sane thankfully with the fourth incarnation of what's become a vital Downunder magazine hitting all the right notes and general having people grooving to the beat.
Do I really have to run through the contents here? - horror maze (left undone though a pencil was raised in anger), Scatt the Zombie Cat (that feline sure is whacky), editorial, feature city, and stories. Everyone on the same page of the playbook? Let's get to the good stuff.
You really do know you are turning into a fan when you start naming individual issues of a magazine. Finally with Issue #4 Decay got the sort of fan name that tends to drive Editors up the wall. Once the first person in the office scoped Glenn Lumsden's amazingly good cover Issue #4 became the “dead Ned” Issue. I'm actually salivating at the concept of someone doing a zombie Ned Kelly story, and Darren Koziol is just the sort of sick individual to take a National icon, polished it up a bit, and then wrap a zombie tale around it. Destined to be revered as one of the great covers, we here at ScaryMinds salute Glenn Lumsden. Loving the fact that each Issue of Decay has a different Artists bump and grinding.
The first story in Issue #4 Blood Red Rose Coloured Glasses, Koziol and Nicholls, is one of those yarns that catches you out with the twist ending. I was actually wondering just how much more over the top writer Koziol was going to go with one of the more nightmarish jungle treks to be committed to the drawing board. I haven't been grooving to the undergrowth this much since big bad Dutch faced an alien menace in Predator (1987). And keeping up the shock twists, Alister Lockhart hits sword and sorcery territory with the highly entertaining Abel, that points out not all heros are destined to fulfill their quests. The artwork here did remind me of those old Conan comics that floated up onto the radar from time to time whenever the religious right let down their guard.
Thankfully with Issue #4 we are back in the supermarket that dripped blood as Dan and Sally face overwhelming zombie odds in the latest instalment of Oz Zombie, Darren Koziol keeping it light hearted with the script and Tom Green doing excellent service with the pencil. But wait there's more, Issue #4 offers a double scoop with Oz Zombie Adelaide laying down a backing groove track. Notable Tom Green has left the building in the second story with Stewart Cook taking up drawing duties. The change in Artist raised the sort of geek argument that has halted ScaryMinds' ascension into world wide prominance. It was the repeat of the bitter feuds that went down over T-Rex's move from acoustic to electric, and none of us were born when that went down Bro. For the record I'm going to miss Tom Green's work, but think Stewart Cook is very much the worthy replacement, oh and T-Rex's electric stuff rocks baby!
[Editor's Note: We really need to dial in some modern music, expenditure on glitter is going through the roof!]
I've probably not been talking about the Hosts in recent reviews, hey staple of your average horror magazine people, so should mention Editor Koziol is still keeping up his multiple personalty approach from the first Issue. Guess on the bright side it gives a greater opportunity for new Artists to get their work out there, but I'm still wondering if it helps or hinders in the overall magazine design stakes. If you have a strong opinion let me know in the new comments section, somewhere below there, if it got finished in time for this review.
Gosh almost at the end of the review and I forgot to mention the features in the Issue. Koziol hits out with pictorial coverage of Supernova, Sydney 2010, and as an added bonus Avcon, Adelaide 2010. So if looking at photos of whacky people hanging at conference in your thing, then Decay has your back covered.
Is it just me or is Decay getting better with each Issue? I was rocking out to number 4 and simply can't wait to see what might be lurking in the next Issue. Darren Koziol really has hit the right spot with his magazine, and besides being sans reviews (huge hint there), has pretty much covered about every avenue you can think of in a dark genre hit out.