How many does it take…

How many double-sided sketches does it take to nail a design for images for ABCs of Horror, our upcoming project? Well, for one artist…quite a few, actually. And lots and lots of notes. But with a little luck, determination and obsessive self-critique, the designs were eventually nailed down for six of the twenty six images to be included in ABCs of Horror.

We at EM apologize for the low quality images of these rough sketches and remind you to please, keep it monstrous.

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Our benovelent/malevolent overlord, Theo Monster

Nepotism Is Real, Shut Up

Episode 27 of the Enigmatic Monster Project Podcast, “Nepotism Is Real, Shut Up”, is here to fill your day with the ramblings of your favourite co-hosts.

They talk about problems at work, problems obtaining work, bad ideas, good titles, Jon’s hatred of Sudbury, the lie of being overqualified for jobs and how you always bring a gift to Diaper Parties or else you look like a jerk.

Download the episode

Keep it monstrous, everybody.

Our benovelent/malevolent overlord, Theo Monster

Working For Bones

They’ve kept you waiting long enough, have another episode of the EMP Podcast!

Jake and Jon discuss their lives, their terrible jobs, movies they’ve seen, internet hatred and more! You can’t afford to miss yet another thrilling conversation between these two pals so download the latest episode right now.

Jon discussed two topics, both projects of YouTube phenomenon LittleKuriboh.

The first one, We’re Still Here, is a personal project wherein he openly discusses his constant struggle with depression. A wonderful series of videos where he first talks about something that makes him happy and then handles an aspect of depression, such as suicidal thoughts or feeling like he doesn’t matter. The series is a way for him to help not only himself, but others who deal with depression (or those would simply like an honest look into what a person with said problem goes through).

Secondly, The Mark Remark, is a comedic satire show where LittleKuriboh (aka Martin) does a funny voice, stands in front of a green screen and hilariously runs through the current WWE product, from RAW, SMACKDOWN! and even PPVs. Watch as he cuts apart terrible commentary, in-ring botches and sometimes takes a little break to go to a theme-park. No need to be a fan of pro-wrestling to enjoy it, the show is jam-packed with humour for everybody (though also occasional swearing, so watch at your own risk).

Keep it monstrous, everybody!

sweet new banner logo i did in like two days after designing for a month

Peril In Panels Volume XII “Afterlife With Archie”

sweet new banner logo i did in like two days after designing for a month

Shambling forward, jaws dropped in the eternal note.

Rising out of some overgrown bog, Jon’s back, covered in moss and clutching the latest edition of everybody’s favourite comic review. This week we’re gonna take a stroll down to beautiful, scenic Riverdale to run and hide from the lurching undead masses moaning for our sweet, supple flesh as I talk about book one of Afterlife With Archie.

Basic Plot Overview (minor spoilers, nothing substantial):

The comic opens with an ominous line “THIS IS HOW THE END OF THE WORLD BEGINS…” followed by Jughead Jones carrying the corpse of his recently killed dog to Sabrina The Teenaged Witch’s home, as tears streak down his face. Someone has hit poor Hotdog with their car and killed him, and Jughead Jones has come to Sabrina in the dead of the night praying she knows a way to bring his beloved pet back.
Unfortunately, Sabrina’s aunts (also witches) forbid it, saying that if the dog were only hurt that they could help but it has already passed on and a resurrection is out of the question for necromancy is blasphemous. “…Sometimes dead is better.” they remind Jughead, who goes to leave with his dead pet in his arms only for Sabrina to agree to help him against her two aunt’s wishes. The spell is cast, Jughead leaves Hotdog’s body and heads home with the promise that he’ll rise again. Sabrina is caught upon her return and punished along with her cat Salem for her defiance, being banished for one year’s time.
At the Jones’s home, Jughead skips school to wait for Hotdog’s return and is overjoyed to see him alive again but the reunion is bittersweet. Hotdog is now a rabid, undead hound and bites Jughead’s arm and it all goes downhill from there.

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The writing and basic story are both very serious and at the same incredibly cliche,
in a positive, hilariously over-the-top way. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is a writer who knows how to make everything hit its mark. The dialogue, the story’s pacing and even the narration (usually just a character’s inner thoughts) all work together in a cohesive way.
At the end of book one I was genuinely craving more story, more of the Riverdale gang becoming Rick’s group from The Walking Dead (except less oppressively “grimdark”).
It is a fun read thanks to him, that draws you in more and more the further you go on through it.

On the art front, Francesco Francovilla nails it. But honestly, that’s to be expected.
From composition to character redesigns (that still stay true to the original style),
his line work, his inking…its all just so visually striking. Especially when you look at the colour palette, which shifts and evolves appropriately whenever needed. Flashbacks are typically shown in a warm, orange-yellow tint and red plays an increasingly major role as the story continues. Funnily enough, the character who I think looked the best with Francovilla’s redesign was Jughead Jones, who’s character design changes completely when he becomes a zombie (don’t even dare call me out on spoilers for that one),
which is incredibly quick. Francovilla brings out so much detail in his characters,
retaining their original feel while not looking like he’s traced a real person like he came out of the Ultimate Marvel line. Panel layout is fairly standard, without being boring,
keeping pacing quick but never too quick.

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Lettering by Jack Morelli is done exceptionally well, subtle when it is required,
yet always eye-catching. Never illegible, either. Morelli is a pro at what he does.

While reading, you’ll definitely feel how ridiculous it is to see the Riverdale gang being beset on all sides by ravenous undead versions of their friends and family,
which will keep you from feeling any real serious emotional moments during the story. Except for a few moments, like the one that actually made me sad, which I’m actually mad at Aguirre-Sacasa and Francovilla for getting me with because they got me with a trope. They got me with a sad pet moment (spoilers ahoy!), when Archie’s dog (Vegas) sacrifices his life for Archie’s. It is excruciatingly heart-wrenching because of the interconnecting nature of the art and the writing, demolishing your emotional stability on all fronts.

Check out this page:

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How can that not make you feel anything? Now read this line that Vegas thinks as he’s fighting a losing battle against a zombified Hotdog, I’ll even keep the caps lock on and use all the same grammar as in the comic to fully capture this dog’s dying thoughts. “RUN. MYLIFEFORYOURS. LIVE, ARCHIEMASTER. THANK YOU—LOVE YOU—FOREVER—BUTNOW—RUNRUNRUN—LIVE!!!” If you’ll excuse me for a second, I need to go drink and think about dogs for a bit, alone in the dark. Any infrequent sobs you may hear are not coming from me.

…*snif* Wooo, okay we’re back.

Aguirre-Sacasa also finds a way to make Reggie Mantle, asshole incarnate,
sympathetic for a while. A brief moment where you’ll go “Huh, Reggie’s not a total asshole.” And then Reggie acts like Reggie again and you just want him to get clocked in the jaw, which hey, spoilers, happens. And it is great. Man, Reggie can suck it.

Afterlife With Archie is an incredible series, I hope it continues as long as possible.
Saying that, I feel I should preface it with “only if it can keep up this incredibly high quality on all creative fronts.” A tad unfair but it is a ridiculous premise that requires a lot of things to make it work. Every single part of the comic needs to be amazing to work or else it’s just another “take and add undead” which are dime a dozen. I am 100% glad I bought this on a whim knowing very little about it before hand.
I kind of hope this series continues and adds more supernatural elements into it.
They have witches and zombies, through in something eldritch or whatever. Hell, if they won’t get sued toss in the Graboids from Tremors! Archie Verses Tremors would sell a million copies in a minute. Because I would buy all of them.

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The TPB of Afterlife With Archie comes with tons of bonus material in the form of variant covers to look through, as well as scans of Francovilla’s thumbnail’s of the comic’s interiors. Definitely increases the value of the book overall for an art nerd like me.
As someone who’s not deeply entrenched in the Riverdale universe, though I guess a bit more than the average person, I very much enjoyed this book. I didn’t feel like I wasn’t getting an inside reference, ever. I’m sure there were some but I never felt left out,
which can be a problem when jumping into such a rich universe…which feels odd to say about Archie Comics but that franchise is around fifty plus years old. That alone is a feat, in and of itself but to make sure that someone who knows next to nothing not feel excluded…wow. Great job, everybody involved. Characters and their motivations are incredibly clear from the get go (Archie wants to help everybody, Veronica wants to keep Archie and her father safe, Jughead didn’t want his dog to die, etc.) and the story moves at a brisk pace.

Highly recommended to anybody looking for an actually entertaining zombie story that isn’t too dark or too slapstick. I am sincerely craving more story, really want to blow more money on these books. Oh and if you want more of Archie and the gang in supernatural situations, try Archie’s Weird Mysteries, a terrible cartoon with an infectiously bad opening song.

And that, my dearest of readers, brings this Peril In Panels article to a close.

Keep it monstrous, everybody!

– J.Kruschack

EMP PODCAST 4 in 1 Special

They said it couldn’t be done. That it wouldn’t or that it shouldn’t. But we’ve done it anyway. The EMP Podcast is back! All previous episodes are recorded and ready for download in these convenient .zip files loaded with MP3 goodness!  So enjoy these episodes and laugh as we mention in each one how long its been since our last episode!

Episode 19 “Live On Location 2: The Sequel”

Episode 20 “Mapping Mars”

Episode 21 “Why, Hello Billy”

Episode 22 “Wiggly Waggily Lines”

Episode 23 “The Handoff”

Now, our loveable hosts Jake and Jon regret to inform you that due to technical and time restraints, these episodes are rushed. Some don’t have the incredible, amazing intro/outro music (“Demon Tied To A Chair In My Brain” by Dax Riggs) and volume levels can be a bit high (very few and far between) and they apologize for these problems.
Software failures and work-related last-minute schedule changes forced our hands.
It was this or they never go up. Once again, our apologies, especially to those who follow our youtube account Theo Monster and were expecting the podcast up in video form.
As stated earlier, technical problems were abound. We also apologize for the lateness of these episodes, our long absence should end now that Jake will be recording and Jon will be editing.

Enjoy the episodes and keep it monstrous, everybody!

Ichor Falls: A Visitor’s Guide

Ichor Falls: A Visitor’s Guide

A simple, quick recommendation by Jonathan Kruschack. Certainly not by the eldritch thing that has embedded an unseeable, ethereal tentacle into his skull on New Years Eve as he drunkenly left his friend’s home smelling of Glenlivet 12 and Lucky Buddha and is periodically taking control of his corporeal form just for kicks.

No, that thing isn’t real and nobody should try and help him. I mean me, the human. Jon. Anyways, here’s the recommendation.

(Note To Self: Have puny human smack self in face for trying to sneakily ask for help DAMN YOU HUMAN STOP TYPING Y’RTHGRPHARLGH COMMANDS IT!)

Ichor Falls: A Visitor’s Guide, available on Gumroad.com.

A free PDF, full of short stories by Kris Straub, previously mentioned by the human  by me in the PIP article reviewing his comic Broodhollow and Scared Yet? recommendation article. This time Straub has released 17 stories, such as Promises, The Fulcrum, Opossum Society, The Stillwood King and Indistinguishable, all of which are set in the haunting, fictional town of Ichor Falls, West Virginia.

With a few graphics thrown in, this well laid out collection looks great and is an easy read for frail humans fans of horror literature. Each story is gripping in its own way.
Some sad, some disturbing, some even have a dark sense of humour.  Do yourself a favour and download this PDF. The above mentioned stories stand out but over all nothing in the PDF is lacking in the horror department. If this site did numerical reviews it’d be a 10/10. Download and enjoy Ichor Falls: A Visitors Guide today.

My Soul Is Being Devoured Please Help me*,

– J. Kruschack

*ha ha that is a joke all humans enjoy jokes don’t mind that Y’RTHGRPHARLGH WILL CRUSH YOUR BONES AND FEAST UPON THE DUST HUMAN STOP TYPING!

Theo_icon

This Week on EMP

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This Week on EMP

As you all know, yesterday was Labour Day! And many of you would have gone to work that day, myself included. We were going to conclude The Red Raven yesterday, but with the amount of work this past week (and yesterday), that dream never came to fruition. So, we’re going to take a break from that story; tomorrow our normal post schedule will resume with Horror Quote Hump Day

In other news, the third issue of The Enigmatic Monster will be coming out October 1st. And we’re still alive and partially sane. Which is important, in case you were wondering.

Have an awesome rest of the week! Keep it monstrous!

Theo_icon

 

Scared Yet: A Recommendation

Scared Yet: A Recommendation

The Jon human has prepared this recommendation article for you before he left for his day-job as the Penny human is also preoccupied with things like “work” and “responsibilities.” Theo cares not for these things but shall allow their lives to continue…for now. Look upon this article, ye mortals, and despair. – Theo Monster

Are you a fan of honest, fairly put opinions on literature? Yes? That’s great. Do you enjoy Creepypasta stories? No? Never heard of ’em? Well, that’s an easy fix, weary internet traveller.  Here’s a quick definition from the wiki:

Creepypasta are essentially internet horror stories, passed around on forums and other sites to disturb and frighten readers. The name “Creepypasta” comes from the word “copypasta”, an internet slang term for a block of text that gets copied and pasted over and over again from website to website. Creepypastas are sometimes supplemented with pictures, audio and/or video footage related to the story, typically with gory, distorted, or otherwise shocking content.

Now that you know what they are, you’re probably wondering “So what should I read first?” Well, I’d recomened checking out Kris Straub’s review series Scared Yet? which is a video review series featuring the author/cartoonist himself. Kris Straub, who wrote the amazing and frightening Candle Cove as well as the fantastic Broodhollow (which was reviewed on this very website) is doing this as a reward for his Kickstarter campaign raising enough money.

Kris Straub is an amazingly talented creative person and loves horror stories, particularly  of the more subtle, Lovecraftian type.  His reviews are honest, safe for work (as far as I can tell), straight to the point and fun. He even reads little snippets of certain stories and lists what they did right or wrong in his opinion. All in all a fair review even if he doesn’t enjoy the story/stories he’s encountered. I do not know how many he’ll be doing (hopefully lots) and the upload schedule is also unknown to me (hopefully more soon) but it’s still worth a look and listen.

If you’re a horror fan, a Creepypasta fan or simply looking for a good review then check out Scared Yet? by Kris Straub.

– J “the Human” Kruschack

Monster Mash

Monster Mash

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Feast your eyes on this! Old monster sketches, back in the day when I took more time to sketch . . . On the bus, in the class, at work . . .

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Enjoy!

-Penny C.

Peril In Panels Volume 7: Dead Winter

“Rest easy, comrade. You’re off the clock now. Your shift is over.”

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Hello, hello, hello and welcome to the latest edition of Peril In Panels*, this time we’ll be taking on the daunting task of discussing the webcomic Dead Winter by Dave Shabet,
a delightful romp through the zombie apocalypse. My name is Jonathan Kruschack and I’ll once again be your guide to all things comics. I’ll be doin’ my best to show you what stands out from the rest (hey, that’s a good line). And trust me when I say that this is not just another zombie apocalypse story. This is a shining example of a well thought-out, interesting, and over all good zombie story, in a sea of mediocre-to-good ones. But let’s put a pin in that point for a minute and talk about the comic’s plot, characters and creator. Continue reading

Peril In Panels Volume 6: Broodhollow

Peril In Panels Volume 6: Broodhollow

Welcome to Peril in Panels once again! Yes, I refuse to stop doing this.

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This is the latest I’ve ever worked on a PIP article, as I’m usually at least a week ahead of my deadline of three weeks. But right now as I start this it’s actually ten to 1:30 am right now, the day this article will be posted (February 15th). I got a cat sleeping on my bed in a quickly-made, flannel-patterned body-pillow fort, the heat on, a glass beer mug full with the remainder of the cool, refreshing water I poured into it and one of the best dang comics to ever grace not only the internet, but the world as well, as my topic of discussion.

Continue reading

Enigmatic Monster Podcast Episode 6: The Feople’s Champion

Enigmatic Monster Podcast Episode 6: The Feople’s Champion

Episode Six.

In the first episode of 2014 our stalwart hero Jonathan Kruschack battles the villainous co-host Jacob Zaccaria and tries to show him the error of his mispronouncing, genocidal ways. Or not. None of that happens and I am far from being a hero or stalwart. We just jbber-jabber for a while. As fools often do, or so I’m told.

So some things happened. Basically, we couldn’t upload to YouTube because the file is too big (around 44 minutes of content). So now just straight up mp3 to the blog, which was also so big it took a day to upload. We also dropped the previous intro “Living Is Suicide” and promoted “Demon Tied To A Chair in my Brain” to both intro and outro. And we’re are thinking of getting new music altogether. And by “we”, I mean me. Maybe, who knows. Oh and Penny made a cool flash intro which I’m going to mess around with, see if I can make it even cooler. Or worse, as I am not good with Flash. Too bad it isn’t available for you guys to see (YOUTUBE! *shakes fist*).

Link Dump (for everything that I mentioned, I forgot to ask Jake for links):
Creature Feature http://tinyurl.com/o9tg4v3
Peril In Panels http://tinyurl.com/prxqgsq
Miyazaki “Not Cuts” http://tinyurl.com/p5oholw
Tumblr Users Bein’ Smooth http://tinyurl.com/ndt4fvy
James Avery RIP http://tinyurl.com/o4xh66r
Victorian Manners Flash Game http://tinyurl.com/36fcmd
January Is Comics Month http://tinyurl.com/o776ltm
KC Green and Anthony Clark to make new comic in 2014 http://tinyurl.com/oo7lqgu

Also follow us on:
Twitter @monstrousenigma
Facebook http://tinyurl.com/nppo937

That’s all for us this week. Tune in two weeks from now for another episode and further jibbering and/or jabbering. Keep it monstrous, everybody!

– J. Kruschack

Love me.
Twitter @monstrousenigma
Instagram: enigmaticmonster
gmail: monstrousenigma@gmail.com
Spread my existence.

Peril In Panels: His Face All Red

Peril In Panels: His Face All Red

hey look I can put the pictures in the article now, less links! Hooray!“This man is not my brother.”

Never has an opening line been so true, nor has one ever been so foreboding and off putting at the above quote. Anyways, it’s time for another article where I bullshit about comics, cartoonists, and anything else I can cram in here while I desperately try and be amusing while I do so. Ready? Then let’s go! Continue reading

Creature Feature: Natalie Hall

Creature Feature: Natalie Hall

Today’s Creature Feature focuses on Natalie Hall. She is one talented lady.

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A California-based artist with a serious knack for drawing…pretty much anything. Seriously, from naked gesture poses to animals to superheroes to monsters to…whatever this thing is. Continue reading

Peril In Panels: Mish Mash Extravaganza

Y’know, for some unexplained, mysterious reason I really wanted to make a joke referencing Kid Rock (aka Robert James Ritchie, the blandest name ever) and I have no real reason as to why. I don’t particularly like Kid Rock or his music but it just seemed like a good idea. But then again almost all my jokes seem like good ideas. Then I make them.

Anyways. So I’m back, the fog has lifted, the earth has shifted and raised the gifted–damnit! I started making a Kid Rock reference again. What the Hell, me?
Stop making Kid Rock references. Stop it. It’s inappropriate. Alright, shake it off. *cue shaking my head side to side, Nixon-impersonation style* Woo, okay. I think I’m done.

But not with this article, that should’ve already gone underway. So, let’s jump right the fuck into it, this proverbial pit of monsters and creepy shit in comics with this edition of Peril In Panels! So this week we’re doing something different, something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while. I’ll be talking about more than one single comic in this article, one from Marvel and two from Dark Horse. I was originally going to do Kraven’s Last Hunt or maybe Preludes and Nocturnes, the first collected volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (or maybe even some Emily Carroll “His Face All Red”) but I decided to hold off on those, because I want to take the time to really dissect ’em and explain what I think of them and more importantly WHY I think that. So the perfect solution is to do these smaller stories. Bonus is that they’re all perfect for this article. Enjoy!

Continue reading

EM Podcast Episode 4: Of Old Men and Bridges

In the fourth instalment of the EM Podcast our plucky, erstwhile co-hosts (who totally know what the word “erstwhile” means and are completely sure they’ve used it correctly) discuss a multitude of topics including but not limited to:

– Jake nearly passing out at Black Friday
– the idea of a local sponsorship (or any sponsorship at all *wink*)
– fat drug addicts
– fat drug addicts who refuse to stop being mayor of a major city
– and much, much more!

So please, dear listener, enjoy the ramblings of two jerks with nothing better to do!

Oh yeah here’s the link dump.

Florida Mayor Arrested http://tinyurl.com/mbffedq
DiCaprio To Produce Watterson Biopic http://tinyurl.com/pu6d4mg
Radioactive Material Stolen http://tinyurl.com/n2u96mo
Walking Dead Game Season 2 http://tinyurl.com/kohj9xr
2000 Mice Parachuted into Guam http://tinyurl.com/pbo9ln3

Please leave your suggestions for Enigmatic Monster here http://tinyurl.com/lq9wdwf instead of the Facebook page. Which you should totally go to and like https://www.facebook.com/theenigmatic…

Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/monstrousenigma

Thanks again for listening and remember to keep it monstrous!

Peril In Panels: Hansel and Gretel

Let’s start things off with a nice, friendly, out of context quote from our subject today,
shall we?

“What are we doing? We’re changing clothes.”

“All that dried blood was starting to act like glue, so we couldn’t wear them anymore.”

So we’re back in action with another edition of Peril In Panels. This time around we aren’t talking North American comics, no sir (and/or madam). We’re taking a trip over to the tentacle-filled land of Japan to read some manga. Thankfully for everyone involved,
none of that (to my knowledge, at least) appears in any canon volumes of Black Lagoon
by Rei Hiroe. Some other things happen in the series, which you could argue are a lot worse/on par with being sexually assaulted by a Cephalopod. Like running into two remorseless killers, who were trained to do all manner of things for the simple amusement of their captors, then were unleashed onto the world to stalk to shadows and paint entire cities with crimson, making the wind stink of rust and gunpowder as they gleefully continue their wanton, unstoppable chaos. But before I get to any of that, I gotta drop some knowledge on you as if it were an anvil and your skull was Wile. E. Coyote
(“Super Genius”). Well bust out your comically small umbrellas and have a worried look on your face because this is one big ol’ anvil.

Continue reading

The Show Must Go On

That is correct, the show MUST go on! Four months is far too short a time for an undertaking such as this one; all of the work we did would just seem a waste if only a few people had a chance to see it.

Not only that, but we had so much fun making our 1st issue that we want to give you more! So here is our offer to you: you can give us inspiration for stories to write or you can send in something to Team Monster. Also, if there’s anything you believe will help make The Enigmatic Monster Project even better, we’re all up for hearing it! 

Once again, thank you for all the likes, shares, and follows! Team Monster wouldn’t be here without all of you! Spread the word and help us with our monstrous undertaking!

LogoThis message has been brought to you by Team Monster! Keep it monstrous!
If you like what we’re doing, don’t forget to love the monster on Facebook.
If you haven’t had the chance to check out our 1st issue, Team Monster would like to share it with you now.

1st Issue Now Available:

Team Monster is proud to announce the release of The Enigmatic Monster, issue 1.

There are two versions available:

download

read

Once more we would like to thank everyone for their support. For the time being Team Monster will be looking into making more issues for the project, but who can say for sure? Let us know what you think about our work; we welcome any and every suggestion/constructive critique that you have to offer.

If you like what we’re doing, and find it to be quite awesome, spread it to the far corners of the world!