Publisher: Madius Comics
Creative Geniuses: Alisdair Wood, Michael Sambrook, Rob Jones, Gareth Sleightholme, Neil Ford, Al McLauchlan
Currently available on the Comichaus App (CLICK HERE).
Do you know what I love? I love a really good horror anthology. Do you know who does a really good Horror anthology? That long list of names at the top of this review, that’s who!
This volume has four really well polished and executed stories, any one of which could easily grace the pages of one of the more well-known publishers. I don’t mean that as a disservice to MADIUS in any way, it’s a compliment on the quality of the talent working with them.
The first story, IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY, is a creepy tale of a small child venturing out at night and encountering a monster in the woods, but is it the child or the monster that should be afraid? The artwork in this story is brilliant, it’s very reminiscent of Charles Burns’ artwork. The stark black and white is perfect for this story and is especially powerful when we get to the twist in the tale. The story itself is compact, but delivers in a few pages what some writers struggle to do in whole books.
The second story is, well, on the face of it, it’s a gothic horror, following our narrator through the swirling fog and rain of a C19th German town, the shadows describing the haunting, hunting form of the dreaded AUFHOCKER. I’m going to be really picky and say that I would have really liked the artwork to have had more of a Bernie Wrightson feel to it but it is good and conveys the drama and tension really well. The narrative is great, delivered in the form of entries from a work on the mythology of Germanic culture. The reveal… had me crying, I really wasn’t expecting it to go where it did and it was brilliant! I can’t say anymore as it will spoil it for you.Story number three, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, is a sweet and sour twist on the zombie genre with a little Soylent Green thrown in for flavour (it’s about eating Zombies…) After all the recent hard-boiled and gritty genre outings of late, it’s really nice to see a story that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It does however, address a really important question. In the inevitable fall out from the military panicking and nuking all our natural resources out of existence, how do we survive?
The fourth and final entry, GRIMOIRE, is just bloody brilliant. It’s easily worthy of a place in one of my favourite anthology comics of all time, CREEPY. As a short story of only 15 pages, it has a chilling storyline, great pace and narrative, and well fleshed characters that I immediately liked. I thoroughly enjoyed that Ben was clearly modelled on Die Hard’s Sgt. Al Powell. This story has a creepy carnival, sideshow freaks, gypsy curses and supernatural, demonic creatures. I’m eternally grateful that my particular Kryptonite, clowns, were kept to a minimum. For me, this is the best of the four stories in this book but that is purely subjective as it ticked all my boxes for content and artwork.
I’m quite new to the world of Madius Comics, but I’m really loving the output I’ve read so far. As far as Tragic Tales of Horrere goes, as soon as I’ve finished writing this review, I will be reading the next volume and anything else I can find that these guys produce. Grab this book, check out their other publications, tell your friends about them and give Madius as much exposure as you can because their enthusiasm and their talent is more than worth your time and effort.
As well as being available on the Comichaus App, you can also pick up all manner of Madius Comics goodies from their newly refurbished website (CLICK HERE).
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek