"They say out there in the ice, on the brink of starvation, they got a taste of their own kind..." - Douglas
Issue 16 of Decay magazine throws a bumper crop of stories at us, including all the regulars we expect to see each issue. So if after some Sisters or Oz Zombie then you are well catered for. For the first time in Decay's 16 editions Darren Koziol takes a backseat on the story telling and allows a whole bunch of other Writers full reign. Arguably this adds greater diversity to the 16th edition for those wanting to expand their Decay horizons.
While the edition doesn't have a common theme there's mighty fine eating to be had between its covers. As normal we have a full round of disturbing ideas, chilling artwork, and an attention to the publication detail that delivers a highly polished professional magazine to the reader. Let's break this one down and see what DK has delivered.
Alister Lockhart, script and artwork, leads off with Perfect World, the sort of tale that makes horror fans warm and fuzzy and which has the power to turn non-horror fans onto the dark genre. This is a classic horror story that is worth the price of admission alone, excellent art work and a script that just keeps on delivering. A slice of surreal nightmare that should have every reader begging for more. Guess I should also mention the story comes to you in full glorious colour.
Karl Brandt, ably supported by artwork from Paul Briske, delivers one of the weirder scripts you are likely to run across in a horror comic titled Mountain Bred. It's only two pages long - does that make it a "Tales 2 Tremble By", and the ending is perhaps a bit clichéd, but the whole concept was rocking out big time. I was sort of reminded of the Wendigo myth out of North America given an Aussie twist. Similarly Love Form The Grave sees a classic horror trope dusted off and given a spit and shine by Cameron McDonald with art from Billy Demonslayer's Hayden Fryer.
I'm going to jump a couple of stories here, not because they aren't worthy of mention but more due to running out of space in the review, to talk on the Sisters and Oz Zombie instalments Decay #16 loads our plates with. We get Hitchhikers which apparently puts the three vamps in Arizona judging from the landscape. While the story is sort of traditional Sisters fare, taking down some random dude who is shocked to discover vamps are real, Steve Lehmann's artwork raises things a lot, there's a sort of late Eerie feeling to the panels. Conversely Oz Zombie Tales: The Road to Oblivion rocks the house down with the script, DK wrote this one, and has the sure hand of South American Cristian Navarro on the art side of the machete. Get ready for a long Oz Zombie tale by the way, the boys have really gone all out with this one.
There are approx four more stories, including two in full colour, but I'm going to call a halt to covering the individual tales in the magazine as I'm probably boring a few Readers who want to get through this review and then rush out and buy Decay #16. Suffice it to say the remaining stories should get your blood pumping and worry local Conservative politicians about the effects of comics on impressionable minds like Christopher Pyne.
I wanted to mention the cover for Issue 16 by Alister Lockhart, it's one of the classics delivery by Decay thus far and rocks the house down. Notably Downunder the concept of horror has delivered a real renaissance in Artists creating some truly memorable works for differing publications. I'd pay good money to go see an exhibition, which would feature a lot of Decay covers, Lockhart's creation being to fore. Anyone run a gallery? Food for thought, how about throwing something on around October 31st in one of the major cities, would love to see the look of shock on Art Critics' faces.
DK once again delivers the eulogy, that would be the editorial to you and me Russ, and does an outstanding job. Besides highlighting the excellent content of the current edition he points out Decay #17 will have an ozploitation theme, outstanding, and Decay #18 will hit retro Sci-Fi, oh hell yes!
Guess I should also mention that Decay #16's design work was conceived by Zach Cassidy, not quite sure where this differs from layout, might find out and report back.
So I was minding my own business, sharpening a few knives, cutting faces out of photographs, the usual Sunday arvo activities when I noted that Decay #16 had escaped into the wild and was sitting on my breakfast table. Sure it looked all innocent there in the sunlight streaming through the curtains, thankfully I'm not in Queensland as there could have been a curtain fade problem, so naturally I had to pick up the magazine and thumb through it. A thumb through quickly turned into reading the magazine cover to cover as Decay #16 delivered on the cool horror content. I'm not even going to recommend this one kids, by now Decay is required reading for horror fans not only in Oz but World Wide as well. Go get a copy and then hunker down for a good time!
You can score your very own copy of Decay #16 from your local comic emporium if in one of Australia's major cities. The rest of us, including the OS readership, will have to set our browsers to Dark Oz Central. The magazine is $8 AUD, plus P&H for those ordering on line. If outside Australia please contact the Dark Oz powers that be for P&H costs, if inside Oz then a total of $10 delivered anywhere in the Country.
I've mentioned on site that Dark Oz are publishing Savage Bitch, a graphic novel featuring the outstanding stories and art of retro Sci-Fi team SCAR, (Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydr). I can now confirm the novel will be 104 pages of full colour that will set you back a highly reasonable $25 or $30 including P&H to anywhere in Australia. The book is hitting shelves in November 2013.