Decay #5 (2010)

Sex :
Violence :
Editor Darren Koziol
Publisher Dark Oz Productions
Writers Darren Koziol, Alister Lockhart, Ricky Hutcheson, SCAR, Tanya Nicholls, GOO
Art and Colours Alister Lockhart, Dave Heinrich, Lee Smith, Keith Backhouse, Jason Paulos, Nathan Peyton, SCAR, Gee Hale, Travis Hendrix, Gemma Burrato
Cover Alister Lockhart
Genre Collection


“I saw myself as a rotting corpse in there!” - Anon

The December 2010 issue of Decay, dubbed “the l'il zombies” edition by the crew, marks the fifth release of the magazine. As expected by now we get four original stories, a whole bunch of hosts, more Scatt misadventures, and Darren Koziol proving there's a whole lot happening when Speculative fans get together at various events. So if you are in your comfort zone with Decay already then Mr Koziol serves up exactly what you are craving for.

For those who like things shaken and stirred to hell and back there's a few new features in the magazine. Oh yes there will be shocks. For the first time ever Decay hits the prose drum, albeit with a single flash piece by Ricky Hutcheson, and there's now a letters page loitering at the back of the class. Rock on friends and neighbours, the new features got my interest and added to the whole dark delights banquet Decay serves up each issue.

I don't know if I'm raving about the covers of Decay enough yet, or if I have banged that drum so hard people are throwing rotten fruit at me. To recap, for those who might not be following the semi regular Decay review schedule here at ScaryMinds, each Issue Editor Koziol gets a new Artist to create something cool and eye catching for the cover of Decay that to date has nothing to do with the contents, hey rock out I'm digging. The cover for Issue 5 is simply an awesome creation by the clearly talented Alister Lockhart. A Priest is being dragged into a cellar by a whole bunch of little zombies, try displaying that in your mainstreet newsagent's window! You'll need to take time out to check the artwork, excellent eye to detail by Lockhart.

The first story in Issue 5 or L'il Zombies, as the edition will hence forth be known, is Summit, a sort of heroic sword and sandals tale that perhaps points out the futility of striving for the ultimate reward. Alister Lockhart hit both the art and script from an idea by Darren Koziol, to produce an impressive piece of work. Naturally we get our dose of Oz Zombie with the Rundle Lantern episode, not saying much there, you are either a fan of the series or you are reading the wrong site. Notably Keith Blackhouse has now taken up art duties, leading to even more debate around the office about which artist works best with Koziol's zombie script. I've dug each of the Artists thus far and am more than happy with Blackhouse's efforts here. The SCAR team, S. Carter and A. Rydyr, are back with a ripper of a Sci-Fi yarn that adds the retro flavour. And rounding out the stories is the amusing, to me anyway, Maximum Terror (Nicholls and Hendrix) another in the Circus Infinitus cycle of depraved imaginings that tend toward morality plays. Was I happy with the stories in L'il Zombies? - does Dean Winchester fear “chick moments”!

As normal Editor Darren Koziol has been out and about at various dark genre gatherings to capture the weirdos that attend such events. The Adelaide Zombie Walk 2010 looks a hoot, must attend one of those and have a brew with Darren after (or during or before). Armageddon Expo, Melbourne, looked solid in total geek overload terms. And the cream in this particular coffee was Koziol discovering The Mad Max Museum out in Silverton NSW, near where they made Mad Max 2. Now that place has to be almost a required pilgrimage for dark genre fans who dig Aussie movies. Has Darren Koziol discovered our very own Mecca, and does that make him a Prophet or just a very naughty boy?

Okay some feedback on the multi host issue no one else has raised about Decay. The consensus would be keep on bringing the different hosts until one strikes a chord with everyone. That's going to be bloody hard to do considering the adage you can't please all the people all of the time. Anywise in keeping with stated Decay Mag policy we get another fine selection of hosts for the L'il Zombies edition. So most people will be happy, hint page 43 worked for me.

Something real cool in this issue, our good friend Dave de Vries (Carmilla Hyde (2009), Sally Ann Watkins (2010)), gets a mention and a congrats. Nice to see at least one magazine going out of it's way to support local talent, two thumbs up to Decay.

I did mention the new prose inclusion and the letters page right? Nice to see Darren Koziol isn't sitting back on his arse and basking in all the positive critical glow! So if you want something included that isn't then contact Decay and make a case, movie reviews would be cool, hey just saying. Maybe a classics of Australian dark cinema series. Anyway the point being the Decay crew are open to suggestions yo.

So I got to say another excellent Issue from the Decay temple of doom. Seems to me this magazine just gets better and better as each new Issue hits the stands. I was grooving to the stories, dined out on the prose, and otherwise sat back and let those good times roll. If you haven't got into the magazine yet then get your Decay on stat, it's like a Downunder Eerie except with more bite.

If after an Issue or four then use the contact link from the front page of the official Dark Oz Productions site. To avoid disappiontment get in sooner rather than later as some Issues are now becoming collectors items.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  Decay just keeps getting better kids, sign onto the Decay army today! (That's a KISS reference for those under thirty).