"Are there any more zombies back there or just you bunch of brain dead idiots?" - Anon
DK launches Issue #15 of the long running Australian magazine Decay with the purchaser having the choice of one of three covers. That's right when ordering you can select one of three excellent options! I went with the Ashley Clapperton art but would have been quite happy to select either of the other two on offer. You may be wondering why the choice, well say hello to the third anniversary issue of Decay, Australia's premier horror comic that just keeps on biting and snapping. Insane stuff but Dark Oz keeps on ensuring their customers are rocking out to the best available options Downunder and OS.
Needless to say the 56 page edition has the normal selection of Hosts, Sisters, Oz Zombie, and excellent stories to while away your evening with. If just purchasing for the pictures then I won't hold that against you as the art is mighty fine once again. A lot to get through in this review so hold onto your machete we're going down that dark path into the Decay woods.
Decay has progressed a long way from the first edition with some loses and some gains, but overall with a good feeling and a value for money vibe going down. The magazine has always had excellent colour covers but we now find a lot of the interior pages are also in colour. The two major story arcs that seem to be evolving in interesting directions, Sisters and Oz Zombie, now seem to be glimpses into alternative universe rather than serialised stories though in the case of Oz Zombie the separate story arcs set in Adelaide and Sydney appear to be on going. I'm also more than pleased to see that the two page Tales 2 Tremble By is still featuring heavily in Decay.
Breaking Decay #15 down we have a bumper crop of yarns to keep your inner ghoul happy with life. The issue kicks off with the normal editorial by DK, proving the big fella can string more words together than are required by a comic panel. Needless to say it's also informative, gives the good oil on the issue in your sweaty hands, and points out what is coming up in the near future. You also get a good look at the three alternative covers that each sport a sort of Vampirella feel which I guess is sort of in keeping with the subject matter, the three vampires featured in the Sisters story arc.
The first tale in fact does involve the Sisters and comes from the fertile, and slightly deviant mind, of Darren Koziol. Art is supplied by Kurt Stone to good effect; the boy sure does like drawing naked females! Titled Wild Beasts, which works as a dark pun, the first story is an appetiser to get your juices running. Later in the edition we get a second Sisters slice of malice with Strip Poker, DK once again providing the story with Paul Abstruse showing a nice artistic style. Actually Paul shows a tendency to draw females naked as well, is this what the Critics called a recurrent theme?
Naturally Oz Zombie isn't being left to rot with a couple of stories set in that Universe also included. The second story in the Issue Legacy follows a sort of trend to involve sports in the narrative. This time we're talking a baseball bat from a convertible, I'll leave it to the reader to fill in the pieces. Troy Mayes can be blamed for providing the script that will no doubt influence every delinquent in the Country to take up a new sport. Randy Silverman provides the naturalistic artwork to keep things ticking. Not to be outdone DK provides a sequel to a story arc I thought Decay had forgotten about. Sydney Harbour follows the adventures of an unnamed zombie slayer as the apocalypse descends on a Harbour City landmark. The dude is a classic square jawed hero who is surrounded by people unable to cope with what life has delivered to the dead letter office. Excellent reference to World War Z, the book not the movie, for those with their horrordars on. The panels are instantly recognisable as the work of the legendary Aussie retro Artist Jason Paulos. The Issue is worth the price of admission on this story alone.
As we have come to expect from each issue of Decay there are also a whole bunch of one off stories in this Issue that kind of underscores the magazine's journey in the dark woods of horror with some recognisable tropes. While the SCAR team may not be present Darren Koziol and Toby Jackson step in with Behemoth, a Science Fiction orientated tale that the brings the whole Kaiju concept into the equation. Closing Remarks, Alister Lockhart and Danos Philopoulous, hits the zombie apocalypse - no prizes for spotting the Dawn of the Dead (remake) reference. A classic ghost story, Death From Above, see's DK and Federico de Luca reiterating one of the great horror concepts that isn't going to go away anytime soon. And Swastika Dreaming In Pursuit of the Aryan Race hits the Naziploitation button that seems to be back in vogue recent. I've not included all stories here, there are a few other gems that I leave to surprise and no doubt delight the Reader. Are we talking value for money or what!
Due to various personal developments it's been a while since I've touched bases with Decay, another issue is tempting me from the review pile, but it was great to get right back on the horse and rock on out with the magazine. Seems that while Decay keeps the chills coming Issue by Issue, evolution continues a pace with DK not prepared to let things rest and slowly become comfortable for the Reader. Like all good horror magazines Decay seeks to surprise and shock, #15 is a solid release that should have fans engrossed in the chilling stories and excellent panels. I had a good time with the Issue and have no problems recommending it to anyone who likes a solid horror read of the comic variety.
Decay #15 is available either from Dark Oz or from all good comic emporiums in Australia's major Cities. The magazine will set you back $8, plus $2 P&H if in Australia and ordering online. If overseas drop a line on Dark Oz for P&H costs. Before I forget quite a number of back Issues are available, you can probably save on P&H if you score a number of Issues on a single order. Each magazine is stand alone so pick and match the ones that interest you or go for the full tarot pack.