"You called Megan Russell, and we have heard" - Lilliana Blade
So we are in the midst of a Decaynado, hey it's a word in the modern vernacular - blame The Asylum, and Dark Oz send down their weirdest edition yet. Issue #19 has gone all retro with apparently some classic Aussie comic strips. Only problem being I'm not an Aussie, hence have no idea on the retro Oz stuff, and for sure aren't a superhero fan, which this issue is all about. Which brings me to every Reviewers' fear, having to review something that really isn't going to light the tires in terms of their own personal expectations, likes, and general well-being. On the bright side magazine purchasers get a choice of seven or so covers, after due deliberation I went with cover G cause it was done by the legendary Jason Paulos.
So let's get the white elephant out of the room before we're faced with the sort of pile of poo that would have Dr. Ellie Sattler elbow deep in the brown stuff. Yes this edition is very much horror orientated, not sure if the original comics were or not - once again retro Oz ain't my thing, so you can feel safe making the investment to fill out your Decay dance card. While we may not be presented with the sort of array of classic horror tropes that the magazine usually drops on us, there's enough here to have you reading the mag under the covers at night by torchlight. Hey busted guys, I like to stare in bedroom windows, late at night, wearing a clown suit, don't tell the cops.
You are still going to get eight stories to turn that frown upside down, including a long Southern Squadron tale to kick things off in style. The issue runs the gauntlet to a certain degree from demonic summoning, through psycho mayhem, to zombies and vampires. Once again DK isn't shying away from making things gruesome and just a little bit sexy when required. There's a reason teen males are attracted to horror, they are called boobs, sorry if this offends feminists but hey the genre isn't aimed at you, still plenty of chicks are drawn into the dark embrace regardless. So yes we have eight stories full of blood splattered pages and naked chicks. Now, really, do you want anything else in your reading diet?
While the issue may be all retro and such there are still a capable of Decay staples that brought a smile to my dial. The blood thirsty Sisters get room to incite another tale of carnage in a story I've dubbed "DK vs Edgar Allan Poe". Just on the quiet I think DK wins that battle, sorry to our North American readers, but buy the issue and make your own judgement call before getting your knickers in a knot over that statement. Also ensuring we aren't missing out is a short set in the Oz Zombie world at a beach, though from memory our two survivors were stuck in a Mall last time Decay rocked them, don't have issues to hand - moved and all, but am damn sure Dan and Sally were knee deep in the undead in central Adelaide. But regardless, Oz Zombie, just what the Doctor ordered for horror voyeurs, but we are keeping track of ongoing stories around these parts.
There are a couple of surprise names attached to Issue #19 that regular Sminds readers will immediately recognise from other reviews. Jason Paulos should need no introduction, check out his retro take on 1950s style U.S horror comics in the Eeek! reviews, unfortunately that magazine seems to have meet its end with Black House Comics calling stumps. Besides suppling a lot of artwork, cover etc., Jason reprises Hairbutt the Hippo in a light hearted zombie romp. And legendary film maker, amongst indie horror connoisseurs, Dave de Vries kicks things off with the Southern Squadron tale of demons.
The artwork as usually is top notch in Decay with unique styles ranging from traditional trade style, though na´ve, to some stunning examples of the Comic art form. Hint to DK, some Tees wouldn't be thrown out of bed for eating crackers. Oh come on, horror fans love tees as much as they like Jason going on a rampage, I'm calling that dark fashion folks. So anyways, and before I get completely side tracked, if you are in to comics for the frames then you get enough in this edition to have you salivating for the next release.
Not sure I've said this in a while, or at least since last Decay review, but wow the production standards on this magazine rival the best that New York can throw at us. Dark Oz really does go that extra step in making Decay a pleasure to read. While I might not have been totally enamelled by this edition I could still appreciate how much effort has gone into making #19 pretty cool looking.
I'm a tad behind in terms of Decay reviews, but if needing to score number 19 sooner rather than later hit your local comic emporium of geekiness. Wade through the nerds and chicks and grab your copy. If your local doesn't stock it threaten to go postal till they relent and order in, hey public service right there. If you are really stuck, cause you live in Bumwipe WA or something, then hit the web, set your browser to Dark Oz and order direct. Shipping is fast and easy, while there grab a few other issues, you'll thank me Bro!