"Dismemberment to all and to all a good fright" - Santa
We have a saying around these parts, nothing says Christmas quite like a zombie movie in front of a dying barbeque. I am now officially adding to a zombie movie the Xmas edition of Decay magazine. Darren Koziol dropped a ripper of a read under our Xmas tree in 2011, though the thought of DK sliding down my chimney in the middle of the night makes me wonder if I shouldn't make myself scarce on Christmas eve, perhaps hide out in the Amityville house, there a room for rent somewhere on the second floor? Anyways before I get too Jody involved, Issue 11 of Decay magazine landed in a blood splashing gore filled fashion back in December, and though still playing catch up with the reviews, this Issue was a seasonal highlight. Let's see what DK has hidden under the bright shiny cover.
Please note Decay #11 was issued in time for the Christmas slaughter, we're still playing catch up on the review pile, hence this is later. Welcome to Enz for the first ever joint review of a Decay issue.
Ensuring we're all in the festive mood Decay #11 kicks off with an Oz Zombie celebration of that special day, Dead Xmas, script by Darren Koziol artwork by Alister Lockhart. The story works as a glimpse into the OZ world for this edition rather than a fully-fledged continuation of the plot arc developed through previous Issues, remembering our duo were trapped in a Mall down Adelaide way last time we dropped in for a visit. For mine a welcome inclusion in the Issue.
[Enzino], Lockhart sure can draw boobs, let's keep this one out of the hands of Dan, need to know basis being called. I take it the two central characters are part of an ongoing story arc? Memo time, read the back issues. Aussie version of The Walking Dead, though with more zombies and less chick moments.
Proving the Xmas edition isn't going to forget Tales 2 Tremble By we get two short stories that work as sort of shaggy dog vehicles of Xmas cheer. A Special Christmas Gift goes Psycho, and could only have been improved upon by the alarm clock reading 3:15am and the setting being Amityville, and Jingle Belles, a drop in visit by the SCAR team that adds to the overall mood of the Issue.
[Enzino], I was all up on Thomas Green's artwork in A Special Christmas Gift, all about the weird angles bringing in the feeling of the central character being short a few brews in the old slab. Good ending to the story that brought the smile. Jingle Belles is fun, also in full colour.
I'm not even sure how to describe Round & Round, a sort of dark genre take on that Wacky Races toon that used to be doing the rounds back in the late 1960s. Kids do a fracking google and respect your elders yo! Anyways we're talking a Darren Koziol script involving a car race that doesn't restrict itself to human competitors or standard rules for that matter. Highlight for mine was the commentator that was about as good as the smucks Channel 9 wheels out to cover the cricket, you know the sort that state the bleeding obvious and bore the tits off everyone. Scott Cranna throws on some primitive art, and it's all solid enough fun as the mood is lightened through the mid part of the magazine.
[Enzino], "SQUELCH", tehehehehe, okay I admit this one had me giggling like a giant pig finding new people moving into the house.
Ensuring all bases are covered we get to spend Christmas dinner with The Sisters in Christmas Feast, and get some tantalising hints about their past and possible origins as vampires. Once again Writer Koziol and Artist Cristian Navarro prove that Vampires don't sparkle during the daylight and for sure don't pine over emo chicks, in the hands of this pair they are blood thirsty predators. Excellent inclusion, whetting the appetite for the future stand-alone featuring the vixens of viciousness.
[Enzino], highly recommended, the sort of story that got the comics code coming down heavy in North America, the blood isn't being spared in this one.
[Enzino] I was particular impressed with Natures Christmas Revenge, slight nod to Jason Voorhees here in a sort of nature strikes back fashion. I certainly got the point of this tale.
Likewise Home For Christmas sees Darren Koziol and Tomte visiting a standard horror yarn with some noir visuals.
Rounding out Drew Close and Artist Jason Goungor revisit Santa Claws in a particularly gory fashion. This journey into monstordom has a particularly Eastern European style, which I guess speaks volumes about Christmas traditions in that part of the world. You really don't want to be naughty through the year, unless of course you are a hot chick with a yearning for Reviewers, exceptions prove rules and all that.
[Enzino], you forgot the final one page story featuring a zombie cat, Santa Claus, and a kid that got more than you can imagine while on Santa's lap.
Regularly readers of these reviews or Decay itself have probably noted through the course of this review that the Christmas edition is pretty much a tour de force of the previous ten issues with the return of some favourites as well as the inclusion of some of the more recent features. So pretty much if you have been hankering to find out what all the fuss is about over Decay then you could do worse than dialling into the Xmas issue.
While the stories are certainly entertaining enough, Issue #11 really brings home the bacon with some outstanding artwork, in particular the hosts appearing throughout that introduce each story. Some high quality effort is going into the magazine from this side of the panel. Each host brings some Christmas cheer to the Issue ensuring that blood and mistletoe is on the agenda.
[Enzino], the host on page 40 scored high in my misguided opinion, I'd be moving into 112 Ocean Avenue if we were talking baby sitter here, though the zombie Santa could be left in the stables.
There's got to be something working when a magazine hits Issue #11 and gears itself up for a third year of production. Decay continues to provide excellent reading, outstanding artwork, and an eye to keeping the World informed of the Artists and Script Writers rampaging across the "Wide Brown Land", that would be Australia to any Defoe family members reading. I know it's a tad late for the Xmas feeling to linger, just ask Julia or Kevin, but if you want to recapture the day or are just out for an excellent hour or so of entertainment than look no further, Santa Claws says buy Decay #11, and who are we to argue, highly recommended.
Just a side note here, on page 35 is an advertisement for the must have tee for Aussie horror fans, not telling, buy the magazine and check it out. Looking at ordering one today!
[Enzino], I'm man enough to admit I haven't been following the whole Decay thing, new to ScaryMinds folks, but I'm certainly taking time out this week to do some remedial reading of the back issues. Loved me some of the Xmas edition, it's gruesome, sexy, and full of the sort of dark meanderings that make me one happy horror son of bitch. Don't tell anyone but I've purloined the poster from the middle, full colour of the "Dead Ned" character, for my Study wall. It's right next to an old Alien poster. Bring on Issue #12 I'm hooked.
Decay Issue #11 is available from main street comic emporiums in the major Cities here in Oz. If your one doesn't stock it then threaten to pour petrol over the yank shelves and set them alight if the situation isn't resolved to your satisfaction asap, or you could simply ask for the magazine to be stocked, your choice there depending on your anger management issues. You could of course simply tap Dark Oz Online and order a copy via the web. Please note web orders are via email as Dark Oz doesn't have an online shopping cart happening yet. Before I forget online $10 (inclusive of P&H) for delivery in Oz, ask if OS, and I think $8 cover price from a retail outlet. For anyone running a shop with a horror section contact Dark Oz for distribution.
My thanks to Enzino for taking time out early morning to hit this review back and forward across email, and our long suffering Editor for the slight over flow of words.
[Editor's Note: calling this one a "slight overflow" is like saying Norman Bates has a few emotional issues!]