Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Back in August I was given the privilege of reading and reviewing the first four comic anthologies in a continuing series straight from the Bloke himself, The Bloke's Terrible Tomb of Terror; the alliteration is so horrifyingly camp, that you wonder what your going to find your way into. I have not as of yet been remotely disappointed by the Bloke and his offerings. I dare say that I have been knocked off my block impressed with each edition, and while I have my own favorite stories none of them have provided anything less than the strictest attention to homage and honor paid to Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and the EC rabble as well as Creepy and Eerie. Fans of these books MUST apply and purchase the four back issues from the Bloke as well as the newest, Fifth Fearsome Issue!

My general opinion of this issue is that it is filled with a variety of story lines, writers and artists that have made the collective experience of reading a Terrible Tomb of Terror magical. You're not getting one artist or one artist with one story line set on repeat to Gothic Rock Volume #3. This book, as with its predecessors, is an amalgam of some of the best tropes in horror film, literature and comic. The Bloke's Terrible Tomb of Terror survives by the conciseness of its tales mixed with the O'Henry irony that you've grown to love from the books of William M. Gaines and yet break off into modern equivalents of said tales all the while cuddled, lovingly, by the wit and wisdom of THE BLOKE HIMSELF.

In issue #5 you're treated to five tales of madness:

THE DOLLMAKER - A moral tale of a gaggle of thieves that break into the wrong house. This is one of my favorite horror subgenres, the living doll/toy tale. It's embedded in me from a child. Reading the story is terrifying even though you most likely no the outcome, nothing prepares you for your own sick imagination after you read it. The artwork is characteristic of the EC Style. Gore-geous.

MY FOREVER LOVE - Love potion #9? How about Love potion #666? The tale of unrequited love that turns into a romance from beyond the grave. Filled with classic horror love story fun and makes you consider whether every kiss truly begins with "Kaye". The art is a hybrid of older comic with modern inking, action and attention to boobs... I mean details. To quote Frederick Von Frankenstein, "what knockers!"

THE SCREAMING STATUES - A Tale that had me moderately confused on the first read, recants the tale of an ancient legend based around a collection of statues that have a story all their own. While I it took a few thumb-throughs to get the gist of the story, it's a good tale that may not have been as obvious as some of the previous tales in the Bloke's tome. Immerse yourself in ancient art, ancient lore and modern day death. The framing is truly unique and blends a disjointed chaotic frame with some action comic, sound effects to snap you into the story.

THE ETERNAL WISH - This entry features a very bleak style of artwork that I wasn't sure caught my fancy... that is until SATAN shows up! You'll see what I mean if you pick up the damn book. It's intentionally open and free in composition until evil shows up. An ordinary cautionary tales goes straight to Hell in this look at Tony Tallarico-esque ghoul and drool. Those who know my love for the Haunted Planet anthology know why this style of artwork is near and dear to my heart. Check it out HERE if you're not in the know.

CRICKETS - They have a consciousness! They know! These are the cries of the CRICKETS! I am nearly as shocked by insect horror as I am by doll horror. Both come straight out of my childhood, shock and terrify. This particular entry hearkens back to a story that I read in an anthology I got at a book fare. It was about a moth collector who suffered a violent end at the legs of many a moth including one very giant one that had become keenly aware of the collectors act of holocaust. Crickets takes a look at the psychic consciousness of the insect and just what that might mean for humanity. This is by far the most modern comic styling of any entry and is leaves the reader with dark images that actually force the reader to use their own imagination. It's why Lovecraft works in strict written word and why Crickets will get under your skin in the very best Twilight Zone/Serling way.

As always The Bloke has a featured pin-up girl and this month it will have you sitting on your tentacles with anticipation. I love the way Tomb of Terror draws the girlies. The Robert Crumb sensibilities are strong with these ones. Blessed are the comic book boobie men for they are the creator of dark fantasies. The cover art and back cover are true pieces of artwork. The book is funny and well written. My only criticism is that I want more sooner which is really my own selfish desire rather than anything The Bloke and company are doing.

Make sure to check out the writing, art and illustrating credits for each tale from the tomb to find out who your favorite is. Explore the back issues often and make sure to buy them, pass them down to your kids or just plant the damn things in their treehouses (the horror revolution will not be televised!).

Credits for this issue include:

Writers - Jason 'The Bloke' Crawley , Richard Matheson, Scott Tipton, Fabrizio Fassio
Artists - Mike Hoffman, Jason Paulos, Jon Christopher Ledford, Rock Baker, Scott Shriver, Alessandro Borroni, Marco Perugini & Rob Moran
You can read the review of the first four HERE straight from the Doc's mouth. Follow The Bloke on FaceBook HERE. Purchase your copy HERE.

Thanks again to The Bloke, Jason Crawley, for bringing me a book that excites, titillates and, yes, even scares the pee outta me!


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