Black Creators in Horror Comics

Black Creators in Horror Comics by  Lori Titus

    Horror comics strive to accomplish much in a small space. Smart dialogue, breathtaking art and storytelling flow that is simple enough to convey ideas in a few frames but compelling enough to draw the reader in for more takes patience, talent, and collaborators worthy of the task. For Black History Month, I wanted to spotlight some of the rising  comic book creators of African/Black decent who breathe life into the complex  worlds that combine horror and ethnicity.

Eating Vampires by Regine Sawyer.

Set in Africa during the 1900’s, this tale follows a caravan of women making a trek across the desert. Imbued with mysterious powers, they are led by Regil Alexa. She is an “eater,” a shapeshifting apex predator that is the worst nightmare of any vampire. Regil has been tasked with protecting a little girl named Evelyn, the last link of a dying breed. Despite the fact that saving the child means risks to her own safety, she will endure what she has to in order to uphold her duty.

Evelyn is no slouch either. The little girl wears afro puffs, wields a knife, and keeps company with a cheetah named Madix who can change form into an even larger cat when needed.

Check out this and Sawyer’s other comic creations at www.lockettdown.com .

Shadowclub Karma by Rocbottom

Shadowclub is composed of a team of classic monsters who have been resurrected to save the world. The story goes into detail with back stories for each. Readers will thrill at the new take on stories including Dracula, The Wolfman, and more. A world so messed up that only the most reviled creatures can save it proves to be an intriguing premise. And don’t let the classic monsters here make you think otherwise; the dark underpinnings of this story and graphic violence make it a solidly adult read.

Part 1-3 are available at www.Truthfulcomics.com.

Offset by Delvin Howell

Someone – or more aptly, something– is stalking Kyle Harding.

Set on an imaginary island based on Barbados, the young hero of this story begins to notice odd things happening after the death of his mother. Lights glow on his evening walk home, flute music sounds in the air, and one night, he sees a specter in the darkness. Can he save himself and his family from what awaits him in the unknown? Luscious art, beautifully done suspense and the unexpected locale give the story true life and texture.

Check out the comic book at www.beyondpublishingcarribbean.com  .

Malice in Ovenland by Micheline Hess

Hess creates a fairy tale/horror comic about Lily, who gets more than she expected from her mother’s simple request. She’s an imaginative little girl who is upset that she didn’t go to camp for the summer. Among other things that she needs to do, one of her chores is to clean the oven. What Lily doesn’t know is that inside the oven is a portal into another realm,  ruled by the evil Queen of Oven Frites. She will be forced to fight for her freedom and learns some important lessons along the way. Think of this story as a cross between a Grimm fairytale and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

1-3 are available at www.comixology.com/Malice-in-Ovenland .

R.R.H by Orlando Harding

What if the old tale of Red Riding Hood was true, with a few nasty details omitted?  What if the werewolf was a powerful Alpha, whose bloodline has survived to this day?

This is the premise behind R.R.H. The story opens with Sydney Woodman’s seventeenth birthday, and she is doing normal things, celebrating with her girlfriends. She even gets the gift of a new car from her parents. What she didn’t expect was to be told that she is one in a line of descendants who have fought against wolves throughout history. And at seventeen, she is now ripe for the picking. It’s an inventive story with a plucky, quick witted heroine.

For more of the R.R.H universe, go to www.rrhcomic.com .

 

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Lori TiLori Titus Headshot.jpgtus is a Californian with an affinity for dark fiction. Her work explores mysticism and reality, treading the blurred line between man and monster. She thrives on coffee and daydreams when she isn’t writing or plotting out her next story. Her latest novel is The Bell House. She is also the author of Hunting in Closed Spaces (The Marradith Ryder Series) and co-author of two novels with Crystal Connor under the name Connor Titus.

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Intro to Celebrating Black Horror History

HorrorAddicts Black History Month

Intro to Celebrating Black Horror History

By Sumiko Saulson

60-black-women-in-horrorI’m proud to be the host of “Celebrating Black Horror History” during the month of February 2016. I would like to invite you, dear reader, to join us for an entire month of guest blogs, interviews, and offerings from the usual delightful staff here at HorrorAddicts.net that honor, highlight and celebrate the current and historical contributions members of the African Diaspora have made to the horror genre. I am excited to have so many talented guest contributors who are themselves, quite accomplished.  They include bestselling author Balogun Ojetade, Bram Stoker award winner Linda D. Addison, the prolific Crystal Connor and Kai Leaks, award-winning author Valjeanne Jeffers,  and many others.

As the author of 60 Black Women in Horror, I am no stranger to the subject of where black people stand in relation to the horror genre.  In fact, I first came into contact with HorrorAddicts back in 2013, when I was working on that very project as an ambassador for Women in Horror Month. David Watson’s 2012 article on African American horror writers was one of my reference materials when I was doing research for 60 Black Women in Horror.

This month, we will be looking at not only at authors, but black contributors to all aspects of the horror genre. We will cover topics as diverse as Lori Titus’ exploration of Black Women in Horror Comics, Eden Royce’s look at Southern Conjure Magic’s Contribution to Horror – the Realities versus the Fictitious, and James Goodridge’s  take on Real World Zombies.

We will look at the black presence (and sometimes, lack thereof) in horror films with Balogun Ojetade’s article on Early Black Horror Films of the 40s and 50s, Alicia McCalla’s perspective on Sembene in Penny Dreadful, Joslyn Corvis’s treatise on Tales from the Hood, James Goodridge’s personal perspective essay On the Dearth of Black Characters in Horror Movies, my piece From Producer to Actor: Wesley Snipes’ contribution to the Blade Franchise, Paula Ashe’s Sister My Sister: An Open Love Letter to Abby and Jenny Mills from Sleepy Hollow, and my look at Horror Legend Tony Todd.

The black presence in horror writing will also be a topic of discussion from both the author and the sumiko-blog-photocharacter points of view, with Linda D Addison’s Genesis: The First Black Horror Writers,  Kai Leaks’ essay on Author L.A. Banks’ Contribution to Horror, Bret Alexander Sweet’s Magical Realism in Toni Morrison (Beloved, Sulu, Song of Solomon), Kenesha Williams’s piece on Author Tananarive Due’s Contribution to Horror, Valjeanne Jeffers’s piece on Author Octavia Butler’s Contribution to Horror, Crystal Connor’s piece on The Inclusion of Black History in Speculative Fiction, and Nicole Kurtz ‘s article on The Representation of Black Women in The Dark Tower.

I hope you will enjoy the upcoming month of black history in horror features. Thank you for joining us.

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Sumiko Saulson’s blog “Things That Go Bump In My Head” focuses on horror fiction writing and features author interviews, writing advice, short stories and editorial pieces. She is the author of two novels in the science fiction and horror genres, “Solitude,” and “Warmth”, and a Young Adult dark fantasy series, “The Moon Cried Blood”, which was originally a novel.  Her fourth novel “Happiness and Other Diseases” will be released October 18, 2014.  She is also the author of a short story anthology “Things That Go Bump In My Head”.  She writes for the Oakland Art Scene for the Examiner.com. A published poet and writer of short stories and editorials, she was once profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle article about up-and-coming poets in the beatnik tradition. The child of African American and Russian-Jewish American parents, she is a native Californian, and was born and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles, moving to Hawaii, where she spent her teen years, at the age of 12. She has spent most of her adult life living in the San Francisco Bay Area. http://sumikosaulson.com/

Two from Crystal Connor

 

Crystal Conner the Author of  The Darkness and In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now is offering our readers a free copy of each book. If you would like a copy of one of these two books, be one of the first two people to email me at horroraddicts@gmail.com. Now on to our reviews:

10099991Artemisia has devoted her life to science, alchemy and jewelry. Family wasn’t as important to her as trying to obtain forbidden knowledge. She is a founding member of The Skyward Group which is a team of scientists working on top-secret projects. Artemisia’s main goal is to learn how god thinks and play god herself. There is another woman like her named Inanna. Inanna is a powerful witch who also has everything she wants and desires to be more god like. The one thing that neither has is a child.

This brings us to Adam, a three-month old boy who is being kept in a cage in a science lab. The doctors won’t get close to him because he’s dangerous. Alex has power but he doesn’t understand it and what he wants more than anything is to be loved.  Inanna and Artemisia have their eyes set on the boy and want to raise him in their own image. Only one can be his mother while the other will suffer at the hands of both mother and child.

The Darkness by Crystal Connor is the first book in The Spectrum Series and it was hard to put down. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, it’s the story of  forbidden magic versus forbidden science. It’s also a study on what happens when you become to powerful and have too much forbidden knowledge. I admire Crystal’s ability to make you love a character and hate them at the same time. The story here takes place over several years and we get to watch Adam go from a child to an adult. We see what destruction he causes when he can’t get what he wants, but we also see a boy who tries desperately to save the people he loves when they are in danger and how bad he feels when he hurts someone he loves.

You also see the good and bad in Inanna. You feel bad for her when her mother is taken away and she cries but then when she takes her vengeance on a group of people, you see that maybe this isn’t a person you should show pity for. One of my favorite scenes in the book has Inanna summoning warlocks and demons in order to do a protection spell for Adam. As she does this, one of the demons says that when she dies there will be no end to her suffering. Inanna’s reaction to this is indifference. I loved this scene because she was using evil and sacrificing herself to protect someone she loved. Inanna knows what she wants and nothing will stop her from having it.

What makes The Darkness interesting is that there are no heroes and villains, everyone is a shade of grey. The characters are complex, at times both Artemisia and Inanna show that they have a dark side but they also both show that they have a compassionate nature. The boy Alex also shows a lot of depth such as at one point he takes his anger out on one of the doctors in the lab but then another time we see him cry as another doctor hugs him for the first time. The characters are so fascinating you don’t see any of them as good or evil, they’re just people. Rather then choose sides I found myself compelled to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The way their personalities are, you’re never sure who to root for, which made for an unpredictable story.

22077604In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now  is a collaboration between Crystal Connor and Lori Titus and is quite simply about people in a small town called Fates Keep dealing with the apocalypse. This book starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. We have angels, demons, wolves, a witch and lots of people hoping to survive. While the story is deceptively simple, there are a lot of characters and viewpoints to keep track of.

One way I would describe The End is Now is as ambitious. The way the book is written is different than anything I’ve read, there are no main character but it has several characters that are important and there is no resting point in the action. This book is about action and chaos in a war between angels and demons.  You have to stick with this book in order to get into it because it moves fast. What starts as a simple action driven apocalypse tale becomes a complex story about good versus evil and the choices we make.

While reading this one I found myself wondering what the writing process must have been like, because unless you have a program its hard to keep it all straight. My favorite part of the book was the humans, who despite the hopelessness of their situation still do what they can to survive.  This book is an original take on the apocalypse fiction genre that is so popular right now. There is a lot going on in this book and the story moves along at the speed of a freight train and doesn’t stop until the end.