Publisher: Waxwork Comics
Writer: Mike Miner
Artists : Clay McCormack, Doug Garback, Taylor Esposito
Release Date: 9th March 2018
What was your first horror film, I wonder? Maybe it was the original Friday the 13th or Halloween movies, watched with the volume turned down so your parents wouldn’t catch you? Or perhaps it was something grotesque and nightmare-inducing like The Thing or Nightmare on Elm Street? Whatever way you slice it, horror movies are a rite of passage, and the genre doesn’t get any better than the classic ‘80s slasher flicks – a genre which Poser, a brand new series from Waxworks Comics, captures the essence of perfectly.
The setting takes us right back into the nostalgic area of the Californian coast with a group of punks who’d fit right into a Lost Boys scene if it was set a few years before. Clay McCormack’s beautiful art depicts a group of characters we’ve seen so many times before – teenagers getting drunk on the beach while a misunderstood loner tries to join the gang. But this time it’s not the high school jocks and their cheerleader girlfriends, but a group of punks getting drunk between gigs. They make the mistake of bullying the shy young misfit, calling him a poser and threatening to beat him up if they don’t get some free food.
Like any horror aficionado will tell you, you don’t piss off the weirdo. Sure enough, the elitist punks end up gutted and the boy disappears into the ocean after a fight with some of the victims’ friends. And thus, a legend is born. Matt Miner’s story then jumps ahead 30 years to modern day as we follow a set of new punks off on their daily sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll fuelled exploits with a hooded figure following close behind.
The premise for this comic was definitely one of the most unique I’ve ever come across. A company known for horror film soundtracks not only teaming up with artists and writers to produce a graphic novel but even going so far as to releasing a soundtrack to accompany it? I know what you’re thinking though, how would they know how to make a good comic/storyline? Well, leave your doubts at the door because the whole project just works full-stop.
Who better to know how to deliver a perfect piece of horror than the dudes and dudettes who score the films? Not only that, but they also manage create a setting and a sound that really captures both the early Californian hardcore and punk scene of the 1980’s (Dlack Flag, Dead Kennedys) to the broadly representational punk scene of today (too many bands to name).
Matt Miner has written something which ticks every box of a classic ‘80s slashed flick while taking a direct snap shot of the punk scene today. The variety of faces, genders, tastes and sexualities accepted in this great scene today are written in a way that isn’t belittled or flashy, and alongside the art by Clay McCormack, it provides a beautiful ode to just how accepting us punks can be of pretty much anyone.
But at the same time, it also focuses on the scene’s dark side in the same cautionary manner that Jason Voorhees did to the promiscuity of ‘80s teens. The punk scene is about self-expression and individuality in all forms, and if you’re going to be one of those elitist wankers who claims what is or isn’t punk, well, maybe the poser killer will come and chop your head off!
I really can’t recommend this series enough, but you absolutely have to listen to the soundtrack as you read! It takes you right back to those childhood nightmares on Halloween nights while simultaneously reminding you to dust off your vinyl collection. And for once, us punks are centre stage, rather than serving as the random muggers or the first bite of zombie food as we have been in countless films in the past, from Terminator to the recent season of Stranger Things.
If you love punk, horror or both, give this a read and turn the soundtrack up to 11.
You can grab yourself a copy of Poser #1 – including the 7″ Vinyl Soundtrack from Joel Grind (Toxic Holocaust) by CLICKING HERE.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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