"I trust this is a suitable payment for your silence in this matter" - Master Collins
The big 10 has arrived for Decay magazine! Issue number ten and things are still going strong for the banner publication from Dark Oz. As ever this Issue is full of great artwork, outstanding stories, and enough dark genre content to keep a convention fuelled up for a couple of days of mayhem. Business as usual then for Editor Koziol and his collective of malcontents. Let's crack open the cover and see what dark delights await the traveller inside.
Opening at Casa del Decay this Issue is a Sisters tale entitled Bucket of Blood, script by the rampaging Darren Koziol and panels by the South American maestro Cristian Navarro. We seem to be getting regular Sisters content in Decay leading up to the one shot Sisters release, no bad thing and fingers crossed the feature continues in future issues of Decay. Koziol and Navarro have proven to be a winning combination over the last few Issues. Bucket of Blood will expose new Readers to just how gory Sisters is going to be. Put DK in a dress and we still aren't going to call him Stephenie Meyers yo!
Jason Franks provides the script with artwork by Luke Andrew for a standard ghost story in Under the Sycamore, I for one can't get enough of the traditional chain rattlers so was high fiving my dog on reading this beauty. Similar, yet not the same, Greg Chapman takes up writing duties and John Stewart art for The Burial Plot, a tale that would not have been out of place in one of EC's more gruesome releases. And finally Darren Koziol and Gemma Buratto team up for the shaggy dog outing The Honeymooners.
Regular Readers will note a major feature missing from Issue 10, for the first time ever I think, we don't get an Oz Zombie story! Clearly this has caused a complete financial meltdown in some sectors of Europe as Bankers failed to get their favourite feature of Decay. Yes that's right kids I'm placing the blame for the EEC's economic doldrums squarely at Darren Koziol's feet, see what happens when you miss including an Oz Zombie yarn! On the bright side we do get Dan and Sally doing a spot of Mall browsing as the Hosts for this Issue's Tales 2 Tremble By.
Speaking of which we get four two page yarns to be going on with. Death rides the Great Depression outback roads in Harvester of Sorrow, which adds a new spin to a horror trope. Gargoyles continues the theme of the roof denizens as protectors of the innocent. The Sisters return in Hot In The City, nice to see the trilogy of vampire hotness in a modern setting. And lastly the highlight story of the Issue for mine is The Well, that sees Darren Koziol and Thomas Green nailing a tale with more than enough bite to be going on with.
One of the features I certainly enjoy when readin Decay is the photo articles of various events of interest to dark genre followers. In Issue #10 we get a solid three features as DK takes the Dark Oz show on the road. First up is Armageddon Melbourne 2011, solid coverage of freaks and hotties right there. Naturally we also get Adelaide's Zombie Walk from back in October, still not counting that as anything like a substitute for an Oz Zombie tale. And to round out we have the Royal Adelaide Show Ute Muster, featuring the Dark Oz vehicle of destruction.
Strangely the fiction prose seems to have evaporated from Decay over the last couple of Issues, everyone sent their typewriter in to be repaired? - but we do get DK's editorial, well worth a read, and a review of the excellent Tucker & Dale vs Evil movie. I'm actually hoping Koziol makes room in Decay for reviews of Indie horror movies as a regular feature. Hell I'm even going to knock up a few paragraphs on Bad Habits, Aussie Indie shocker, and submit.
One of the stand out aspects of Issue #10 is the high class of Host we are privileged to groove out to. Dave Kendall gets things rolling with a ripper that would not be out of place as a cover of an Eerie release. Hamish Waters, John Stewart, and Emerson Ward continue the excellent work, providing solid connections between different sections of the magazine.
I should also mention, before closing, the outstanding back cover by John Higgins, that adds a touch of ghoulish humour as we close the covers on a superb Issue of Decay.
So I had a good time with Issue 10 of Decay and am now fanging to get my teeth, tehehehe, into the Christmas edition that is sitting on my desk. Even at its weakest Decay remains the foremost horror magazine in Australia, and well worth dialling into. Full recommendation on Issue #10, Koziol and his cadre of contributors nail yet another release.
As ever you can either score your copy of Decay via the Dark Oz website, or if after some exercise then jog on down to your local Comic Retailer. At $10, included P&H, it's not going to break the bank.