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REVIEW OF PSYCHOSIS #1:
Between madness and mayhem lies…Psychosis! By Chris Buchner What scares you? What terrifies you most about the dark? What could make you break down, run home and cry to mama? The folks at Guild Works Productions, the publishing arm of the Comic Artists Guild, asked themselves questions like these when they sat down to produce Psychosis!, a black and white horror anthology that plays on some of the darkest fears of the human mind. “Whiteout” by Joseph B. Mauceri and E.R. Flynn is about a man who, during a big snowstorm, suddenly snaps. The artwork was good throughout the story, but the story itself was definitely an interestingly twisted tale. The way the panels were done in almost a stream of consciousness type way complimented the fact the story was spent mostly inside the character’s head, teaching the reader about the anatomy of a killer. There was some symbolism that’s a little hard to understand until the end, but effectively captured just how far into the depths of, well, psychosis this man had stumbled. “Wastrel Isle” by Scott Sheaffer, Keith Murphey, Hector Rodriguez and Ven Yann is more of a typical straightforward horror tale, not that it takes away from the quality any. A young couple explores a small island off the Massachusetts coast that’s only accessible across a sand bar at low tide. There, they come across a community cut off from the rest of the world, and hiding a dark secret. This was an interesting story with some good artwork accompanying it. Even though it followed a typical horror plotline, there wasn’t anything too clichéd about it. In the amount of space they had to tell their story, the creators managed to fit a lot of depth into it. “Meth” by Shawnti Therrien stands out amongst the others, being it’s the only tale in the book done in prose with a few accompanying images. Meth is the story of Methiyus, a vampire. Despite all the powers a vampire possesses, they can still be killed be it by stakes, sunlight, or former valley girls. One vampire, Cain, holds the secret to true immortality, and Meth has made it his quest to seek him out. In a nice move, the different characters’ voices are done in different sizes and with different fonts when compared to the text of the rest of the story. The artwork is just as nicely done, making full use of the black and white format by literally having the white seem to glow against the darker tones around it. The style itself, however, may be an acquired taste. You’ll either like it or you won’t, but regardless the selected images chosen definitely enhance the key moments of the story. “Never Judge a Book” by Robert J. Sodaro and Matt Ryan opens up in your stereotypical small town. The images offer a glimpse of the town but the words play up to the story’s title as you learn that each and every one of the upstanding citizens depicted has some kind of dark secret. But those secrets are nothing compared to the harmless looking gentleman and innocent little girls that become the focus of the story. At first glance, you might have to wonder what Matt Ryan’s cartoony style is doing in a horror anthology book, but if anything it adds to the deceptive tones captured in both the subject matter and the words. The layers involved in the story just keep piling on. “Desperate Skin” by Alan Abbadessa, Rammer Martinez and Peter Palmiotti centers on a group of several naked people trapped in a container of some kind with nothing but one porthole to whatever lies outside. It’s an obscure tale that harkens back to the days of the classic Twilight Zone where nothing is as it seems and has a twist at the end. The artwork is a little rough in some spots, but otherwise it compliments the story with a nice use of empty space to enhance the isolation felt by the characters. Accompanying the stories are various pin-ups done by the regular contributors and some extra people, nightmarish images that separate the stories where there are no ads. Overall, this was a very strong shot by GWP into the realm of horror. Depending on taste, it’s a mixed bag of treats ranging from very strong to mild in both art and storytelling. The creators sought out to play on the various fears people experience, and have managed to do so. In a true spirit of an anthology, the styles all vary greatly from each other but are aptly suited for the content they provide. Plus, the book comes with 4 different covers, each one representing 4 of the 5 tales within. If you love horror and truly twisted tales, give Psychosis! a shot. If you can handle it. GET YOUR COPY OF PSYCHOSIS #1 AND PLACE AN ORDER FOR PSYCHOSIS #2 TODAY!
Special sneak preview from Psychosis #2
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