Horror Artist Profile: Ben Templesmith


BEN TEMPLESMITH

Ben Templesmith 07

Ben Templesmith has been one of the more interesting artists when it came to horror comics or, at the very least, when going for a more horror-themed cover. He has done cover work for comic publishers like IDW, Image comics and lately for DC Comics.

Born on Match 4, 1984 in Perth, Australia, Ben Templesmith like most comic artist would get his start working on a degree in graphic art and design which he would use to begin work as early as 2002 doing cover work for Todd McFarlane’s Hellspawn series. This would be the beginning of what would be a career of doing work for the large indie comic publisher Image Comics.

Yet, it would be the cover and interior artwork that he creates for Steve Niles’ 30 Days of Night horror franchise over at IDW Publishing that would be his claim to fame. His covers for the main series and the off-shoots would lead to more personal horror works such as Welcome to Hoxford, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse and Choker.

Ben Templesmith has a unique rough-hewn style that’s both disturbing and beautiful and brings to mind a dreamlike (or nightmarish depending on one’s predilection) and surrealistic style. It’s no wonder his style has become very synonymous with modern horror comic art.
Ben Templesmith 02Ben Templesmith 03Ben Templesmith 04Ben Templesmith 05Ben Templesmith 06Ben Templesmith 08Ben Templesmith 09

Good News! You Don’t Need To “Starve” For A Great Read Anymore!


4621059-01

Don’t look now, but Brian Wood is on a roll.

The once-hot wunderkind comics writer, who was felled last year by allegations of sexual harassment at comics conventions, apparently did some sort of public mea culpa/’fessing up, and is now deemed to be perfectly employable again.

For my part — to the extent that it even matters — I guess I’m still a little bit uncomfortable about the whole thing, but let’s be honest : Wood is certainly not the first industry pro to attempt to play the “casting couch” card with eager young female talent, nor (sadly) will he be the last. And there have been a lot worse offenders than him over the years. But he was the first to get called out publicly on social media for laying on the “I can really help you get a break in the industry, let’s got up to my room and talk about it” line, and he deserved it. I give him credit for not ducking the issue once it came to light, and better still for not “victim-shaming” the target of his unwanted and unwelcome advances — and the fact that feminist colorist Jordie Bellaire is still willing to work with him on Rebels despite having a more-than-full-plate of assignments should probably tell us all that Wood does, in fact, “get it,” and is appropriately regretful for his sleazy, boorish behavior — but I have to confess,  the whole thing has seriously dampened my enthusiasm for a guy who was doing not just good, but often excellent work, and wasn’t at all afraid to pepper his narratives with spot-on leftist and progressive themes.

In short, I genuinely thought Wood was one of the good guys. Now, I’m not so sure.

starve-7

What I am sure of, though, is that he’s come out of his self-imposed exile and is producing some of the strongest work of his career. The aforementioned Rebels that he’s doing over at Dark Horse with artist Andrea Mutti is a supremely engaging Revolutionary War period piece that looks to be his next Northlanders-style historical epic, while assuming the role of his next DMZ-esque series about class politics in a dystopian future we have the just-released Starve from Image Comics, which sees him teaming up with artist extraordinaire Danijel Zezelj and superstar colorist Dave Stewart (who, in a classy move, has been credited along with the writer and artist as a third co-creator on the book and owns a one-third copyright on the material). Wood has come out with rhetorical guns blazing on both titles, and seems bound and determined to win back his fans’ loyalty by producing top-quality product. So far, I gotta say,  the results are very impressive indeed.

starve-8

Just how impressive? How about this — the debut issue of Starve actually has me interested in a story about a goddamn celebrity chef, an “occupation” for which I harbor not just zero respect, but a healthy amount of outright contempt (along with the entire sick, bloated, excessive, nauseating edifice of “foodie culture” in general — half the world is starving to death and we have the nerve to critique food based on its “presentation” and “flavor profile”? Give me a fucking break). What’s next, I ask you? A genuinely human and moving story about a member of the Bush family?

In any case, our main protagonist here is one Gavin Cruikshank (the coolest name for a new character in comics in quite some time), a sort of Anthony Bourdain-if-he-still-shot-smack who hosted, a lifetime ago, a semi-popular cable TV cook-off show called — you guessed it — “Starve,” but chucked the Hollywood glitz and glamour a few years back to go on an extended booze-and-drugs-fueled bender in Hong Kong. Sounds like a plan, right? There’s just one problem — he’ still contractually obligated to do eight more episodes of his show, and the network has called in its marker by cancelling his credit cards and sending a private plane over to bring him back Stateside ASAP.

Ah, well — no good thing lasts forever, I suppose. Oh, and did I mention that while Cruikshank was off on his heroically-extended “lost weekend” that the world economy collapsed, the rich bastards at the top took open control of all aspects of society, his show was transformed into a competitive “cook something good for the 1% or die” monstrosity that’s now hosted by his former chief rival and is the biggest thing on TV, and that his vindictive ex-wife, with whom he has a teenage daughter that he hasn’t seen in years, bulldozed her way to the top of the network that airs it and will therefore be his new boss? Yup, a lot of shit can go down when you’re not paying attention.

starve_2_10

Not that Cruikshank is necessarily the easiest hero to root for himself, mind you : the ex has good reason for hating him given that he was well into his 40s — and 17 years into their marriage — before he finally came out of the closet (ignore the scene where he appears to be flirting with a female flight attendant, I guess), but I still suspect his heart is generally in the right place when, after returning to his show and being commanded to cook “the common meat” (dog, in case you were wondering) in a way that his rich paymasters will find appetizing, he determines, with steely resolve, to use the next eight episodes to get his show back, get his money back, get his daughter back, and bring the network crashing down. No doubt about it, friends — flaws and all, I like this cat. Even if he is a chef.

Plus, how cool is is that we’re getting as our central protagonist a gay guy in his mid-5os with substance abuse problems? Seen anyone like that in any Marvel or DC books lately? I didn’t think so.

Nor will you anytime soon, of course, which is why independent comics aren’t just “important,” but vital. And while lots of creators are being offered all the freedom they want with publishers like Image, how many of them are really giving us something that falls all that far outside of standard super-hero adventure fare? Starve isn’t just out to nudge you out of your comfort zone, but to obliterate it altogether — how cool is that?

No doubt this is a sophisticated story,  and it’s a damn good thing that it’s presented in such a visually sophisticated manner. Zezelj employs highly inventive panel layouts, cinematic angles, and expertly-deployed shadowing to give his work almost an “updated Krigstein” feel (I say almost because, let’s face it, no one will ever be as flat-out awesome as Bernard Krigstein), and it’s no exaggeration in the least to say that this is the most artistically accomplished book on the racks right now with the possible exception of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Providence (even though Zezelj and Burrows’ art styles couldn’t be more different). This is just great art, it’s also smart art, and there are a number of panels here that are more than suitable for gallery framing.

Which brings us, finally, to Dave Stewart, whose amazing colors bring it all home. “Smart art” needs smart coloring, too, after all, and Stewart doesn’t miss a beat, knowing precisely which dominant hues to bring to the foreground at any given time while letting a limited-but-varying selection of secondary tones play out against each other in the background.  I’d fork over a 33% ownership stake to get this guy onboard, too, that’s how good his work is.

Are you sold on getting this yet? Because you really should be. About a year ago at this time, Vertigo was saying that their nine-issue series series The Names, by Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez, was going to be “the comic where the 1% finally get what’s coming to them” — and while it didn’t exactly deliver on that promise, Wood, Zezelj, and Stewart seem more than ready to do just that,  plus interest. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of reading this first issue three times already, and there’s no doubt that I’m — sorry — very hungry for more.

 

 

 

Let Me Play “Postal” Worker For A Minute —


4370333-01b

 

 

 

One of my favorite things about reviewing comics is finding a hidden gem that no one’s really talking about and doing my part to help spread the word just a bit, and while Top Cow’s new ongoing series Postal (a product of their Minotaur Press sub-imprint) is, in fact,  generating at least a little bit of online “buzz,” given that it’s being released, as ever, by Image Comics, it’s understandably finding itself rather buried under all the hoopla surrounding the debut issue of Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Nameless, which also comes out today. It’s probably not fair to say that Nameless is sucking all of the oxygen out of the room, but — well, it’s coming pretty close. So let’s do what we can to even the scales a bit here, shall we?

I’ll admit right off the bat to not being much of a fan of Top Cow’s “shared universe” titles, but they’ve published  some interesting workset outside of its confines lately, and in particular I found myself intrigued by their recent four-part “eco-thriller” mini-series Wildfire, which was written by Matt Hawkins (who’s probably more talented than his status as a Top Cow “suit” would lead knee-jerk readers to believe) and illustrated in superb fashion by Linda Sejic, so given that much of the Wildfire  crew has re-assembled itself for Postal (Hawkins is co-writing it along with Bryan Hill while Sejic is doing the covers and colorist extraordinaire Betsy Gonia is joining in on both the covers and interior pages), I was bound to give at least the first issue a look — and my oh my am I glad I did.

Postal is an exercise in fairly comprehensive “world-building” that centers on the fictional town of Eden, Wyoming (population 2,198) as seen through the eyes of local mailman Mark Shiffron. Mark’s got an unusual perspective given that he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and while characters with Asperger’s have certainly appeared in comics pages before (most notably in the form of American Splendor‘s Toby Radloff), this marks, at least to my knowledge, the first time one of them has been given center stage in any considerable way. Three cheers to Hawkins and Hill for doing a bit of trailblazing, then — and for absolutely “nailing it” in terms of Mark’s ongoing interior monologue as well as his dialogue and mannerisms — but how’s the story itself, apart from that?

PO001_preview02

So far, so good, I’m pleased to report — the “secret” Eden is built on (which I’ll refrain from “spoiling” here) is given away maybe a bit too early (it may have made for a nice cliffhanger “revelation” at the end rather than a “gotcha” moment halfway through the issue), but given the necessity of getting the murder mystery that’s apparently at the heart of the story rolling, I can understand why they structured the script the way they did. Apart from that, though, I have absolutely zero complaints about the quality of the writing here. Eden is a town populated by rich and diverse characters, and most of the notable ones are given a chance to make at least something of a mark in the story, with the back-matter “trading-card style” profiles at the end of the book serving to enhance our knowledge of them rather than acting as a crutch. These are all individuals you’re going to want to know more about, and I can’t really think of the last time that a series with such a large, ensemble cast arrived on the scene as well-thought-out as this one.

PO001_preview05

As for the art, it comes our way courtesy of relative newcomer Isaac Goodhart, who won Top Cow’s “new talent search” contest last year and is certainly deserving of a regular monthly gig. His style won’t bowl you over with its flashiness or anything (thank goodness), but he’s got a seasoned eye for visual storytelling and seems equally at home illustrating both the book’s slower, “talky” scenes and its dramatic, “high impact” pages. Postal has much the same “rural noir” feel as fellow Image series Revival, and Goodhart breathes a lot of life into the characters he’s drawing by imbuing each of them with unique visual “tics” and traits that make them instantly stand out. I’m probably not the first person to make this comparison and I doubt I’ll be the last, but the pacing and flow of the story and pictures here are also reminiscent of a number of early Vertigo books, and that’s pretty high praise indeed for both the writing and the art.

PO001_covAsocial

Yeah, okay,  so murder mysteries have certainly been done to death across all media, but when you populate a well-worn premise with unique and memorable characters and set it in an inventive locale, there’s a great chance that you’ll still be able to squeeze blood from a rock. I’m ready to go Postal — you should be, too.

 

Am I Woman Enough To Survive “Bitch Planet” ?


4265196-01

Right off the bat, the answer to the question I pose in the headline here is a definitive “no,” simply because — well, I’m not a woman. And the interstellar penal colony that is the setting for writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro’s new Image Comics series, Bitch Planet, looks like kind of a rough place, so even if I could get in, it’s doubtful that I’d make it out alive.

Tell you what, though — I’m lucky. There’s just no way I could ever be sentenced to do time there, and not only because it’s fictitious. See, the BP is a special place reserved for only female convicts, and it houses the worst of the worst. Terrorists. Hardened killers. Bloodthirsty axe-murderers. Psychotic sexual deviants.

Just kidding — it’s where a future patriarchy sends its “non-compliant” second-class citizens who are guilty of such “crimes” as not getting the dishes done, being bad cooks, not “putting out” as often as their old man wants (or in the way that he wants), or even just getting too old to fit society’s standards of “attractiveness” anymore. Don’t ask me how future Earth got to be so relentlessly misogynistic, but I’m betting Mike Huckabee was elected president at some point and things just sorta slid from there.

4288085-01-ghost

As I’m sure is no doubt obvious by now, Bitch Planet is a comic with a definite point of view, and that’s certainly something that’s all too rare in today’s milquetoast, “be careful not to offend anyone” marketplace. De Connick is crafting an unabashedly feminist sci-fi action story here, and to call it a breath of fresh air is quite the understatement. The first issue landed like a ton of bricks last month and got everybody talking, and the second issue, wherein our creators limn the boundaries of the world they’re crafting in a bit more detail and introduce the ever-popular element of TV bloodsports, shows that nobody’s going to be taking their foot off the gas anytime soon here. They’re determined to give us material that’s as thought-provoking as it is exciting every 30 days, and I couldn’t be happier.

That being said — I think at least a hat-tip is owed to fellow feminist comics scribe Alex de Campi, who explored some of these same themes in a two-part story called “Prison Ship Antares” that she did last year as part of her Grindhouse : Doors Open At Midnight mini-series for Dark Horse, and utilized some of the same “B-movie” stylistic trappings that De Connick and De Landro employ to such stunning effect here.  The politics of Bitch Planet, however,  are much more overt, and we all know that ideas take a fair amount of time to go from the brain to the printed page, so just who thought of what first is an open question. I simply thought it was worth mention  — just as I think both books are well worth your time and money.

4354253-bitch+planet

Now then — since trying to take an “objective” look at BP without its jubilantly-stated viewpoint entering into the discussion is an exercise in futility, let me just say this : if you’ve got a problem with feminism, for whatever reason, this isn’t the comic for you. De Connick’s overriding ambition with her story is to take dead aim at patriarchy and fire a kill shot. That doesn’t mean that men should feel threatened by this book’s contents by any means, of course — provided you’re the sort of guy who’s honest enough to admit that our entire social structure is still bent toward keeping women, to one degree or another, “in their place.” The fluffy sense of faux- sexual-equality we’re spoon-fed by the media is a lie, and if owning up to that reality offends you, then Bitch Planet will probably offend you even more. But ya know what? Some people deserve to be offended.

Think about it, guys : when was the last time we had to put up with leering glances from strangers or cat-calls on the street? When was the last time we had to answer to our employers for our health care choices? When was the last time we were judged on the basis of our physical appearance before  anything else is taken into consideration? When was the last time we were told that we didn’t have to be paid as much as someone of the opposite sex for doing the exact same work?

Geez, when you look at things that way, maybe the out-of-control phallo-centric future on display in these pages isn’t so much an exaggeration of the current state of affairs as it is a reflection of them — albeit one where all the pretense is stripped away.

Clearly, though, the term “feminism” is one that means different things to different people, and the really cool thing about what De Connick is doing here is that she acknowledges that fact and is trying her level best, in both the script and the book’s idea-crammed back matter (overseen and assembled with the help of series editor Lauren Sankovitch, who used to work at Marvel but has now apparently gone freelance) to present multiple perspectives of current feminist thought. Sure, we can probably all agree that at its core, feminism is about empowering women to make whatever choices they want in life and about respecting those choices, but how we get there from here, and what’s preventing it from happening, is open for much debate and discussion. De Connick certainly has ideas about all of it, but she’s opening up the pages of her comic to “let it all hang out,” so to speak, which makes for a damn engrossing cover-to-cover read (and those back covers! Oh my how I do love ’em!)

Women of color are front and center here, as well, in the form of both series protagonist Kamau Kogo and “instant-fan-favorite” character Penny Rolle, who’s probably got a thing or two (or more) to say about size-acceptance issues, I’m prepared to bet. It also seems more likely than not (although it’s only a guess at this point) that homophobia and transphobia  will be working their way onto the Bitch Planet radar screen before too long, as this series also seems tailor-made for addressing those particular (and persistent) societal ills.

And the art — oh my, the art! De Connick has come under at least a little bit of criticism for doing this book with a male artist, but apparently De Landro has been a full involved co-creator from the outset, he’s very much “on board,” philosophically speaking, with everything that’s going on here, and his passion for the subject shows in every panel. The double-splash title pages are a thing of beauty, to be sure, but it’s not like he’s “slacking” anywhere else. Add in the superb colors of Chris Peter and you’ve got a comic that’s quite often breathtaking to look at (yes, it’s still okay to judge a comic based on looks — just not people).

I’ve been around the comics scene for a long time, and the strides toward inclusiveness that fandom has made have been significant. Even as little as ten years ago it was unusual to see a woman in a comic store, and now look — we’ve got books like Bitch Planet proving that female creators, and readers,  aren’t about to take a back seat to anyone. But let’s not mistake progress for “problem solved.” The very existence of this series  proves that we’ve come a long a long way, sure, but its raison d’etre lies in showing us just how far we still have to go and challenging us to come up with ways of getting there. Sure,  I’m not a woman (as we’ve already established), but I’m proud to throw my lot in with the team behind this comic as be as loudly and proudly non-compliant as any of them.

Artist Profile: Joe Chiodo


Chiodo01

Joe Chiodo is a name not unknown to comic book aficionados. The youngest of four boys, Chiodo would grow up to be one of the comic book industry’s most sought after cover illustrators and colorists. His popularity rose during the 1990’s as he contributed cover illustrations for the group of artists who would form the indie publishing, creator-owned company of Image Comics (especially the Wildstorm and Cliffhanger brands).

Chiodo’s pin-up style lends well to the so-called “bad girl” style of comic book characters such as Vampirella, Lady Death, Witchblade and a host of others. His pin-up style was reminiscent of classic pin-up and cheesecake artists such as Dave Stevens and Gil Elvgren. He would add a certain Disney cartoon-style to the mix that would become the unique Chiodo-style fans have come to admire and love.

Joe Chiodo continues to do cover illustrations and coloring for comic book artists and companies. He has also released his own series of artbooks that focuses on his cover works and original art and painting throughout the years.

Chiodo02Chiodo03Chiodo04Chiodo05Chiodo06Chiodo07Chiodo09Chiodo10Chiodo11Chiodo12 Chiodo13

Horror Review: The Walking Dead S3E01 “Seed”


“Holy shit!” — Axel

[some spoilers within]

It’s been a year since the cliffhanger which ended Season 2 of AMC’s widely popular The Walking Dead. We found Rick and his group escaping from the herd of zombies which swarmed into and over Hershel’s farm. The group lost two more to the walkers in the form of hapless Jimmy and Patricia. Andrea has gotten separated from the main group with most of the guns. It’s only through the timely intervention of a hooded stranger dragging along two incapacitated walkers that Andrea even gets to make it to this new season. It’s this hooded stranger and the last image we see of a darkened prison complex in the distance that has brought a new sense of optimism for the show which had been up and down through most of it’s sophomore season.

The second season had been rife with struggles not just for the characters in the show but also behind-the-scenes as original showrunner and executive producer Frank Darabont was unceremoniously fired from the very show he helped bring off the ground. Fans of the show and of Darabont saw this as a bad decision, but as the season unfolded there seemed to be a major consensus that Darabont might have been the problem to why the first half of the second season moved along even slower than the walkers. The second half saw new showrunner Glen Mazzara taking over and even though some of the same problems in terms of characterization and dialogue still remained the show in the second half seemed to move with a better sense of urgency which culminated in two of the series’ best episodes to date to close off the season.

Season 3 now begins with the episode titled “Seed” (directed by veteran series director Ernest Dickerson) and we get a major timeskip from the end of last season to tonight’s premiere. Rick and his group look to still be on the move with no safe haven in sight. In what looks like a hint of good things to come in terms of pacing and dialogue the show starts off gangbusters as Rick and his group raid a country home, dispatching the walkers within with ruthless efficiency and searching the place for supplies and other useful things real fast. There wasn’t any time for standing around or even going off into long expositional scenes to try and convey what had happened between the end of last season to tonight’s start.

Glen Mazzara, the show’s new showrunner had promised that the show would be taking on a new direction when he took over halfway through season 2, but we’re finally able to see his experience as a TV show producer and writer bear strong fruit with tonight’s premiere. We get to see Rick and his crew acting with more of a sense of urgency in just the first twnety minutes of the show than they had in the first two seasons. We’re finally seeing everyone realizing that they’re now stuck in a world with new rules that doesn’t make room for personal quirks and emotional issues (though we still get hints that they’re still but set aside for the greater good of the group) that just saps the energy from everyone. This group looks more like the sort of team that Shane would’ve thrived in and it looks like Rick has taken on the role of leader much more forcefully. It hasn’t mended the rift between him and Lori for what had transpired over two seasons of interpersonal conflicts that got more than just his best friend killed but others as well.

Tonight’s episode does a great job of explaining through their actions and behavior just how much time has passed between the seasons and how that intervening time has tested the groups mettle and made them harder and more capable in holding their own against the walkers. Even useless characters like Beth, Carol and Carl have become more adept in protecting themselves. It’s surprising to see Carl actually becoming the character he was in the comic book. I’m sure some parent groups will not be approving of Carl actually handling his gun with expertise but this is that kind of show and just because one is a kind doesn’t mean they have to be helpless.

If there were complaints about Darabont’s handling of the show during his short tenure it was that he was too much into creating a very slow burn that culminated into a huge climactic finish. It was fine for a truncated first season, but it showed just how ill-conceiveda narrative style it was for a tv series over a full season. I don’t sense that same feeling with tonight’s episode. One could tell that Mazzara was now fully in charge and not working on whatever Darabont had come up with for season 2. It’s a great start to the new season which has a good chance in reversing some of the ill-will last season’s very slow burns and wheel-spinning had created with a segment of the fan-base.

It also helps that we didn’t have to wait too long to see the official appearance of Danai Gurari in the role of fan-favorite Michonne with her zombie pets and katana. It wasn’t an episode spent directly introducing us to her but enough time was spent away from the group in the prison. Michonne as a character could become too much a caricature of the badass comic book female character, but for tonight it was just refreshing to see a female character on this show as capable and clear-headed as her. There’s even a hint of the sort of friendship that seemed to have grown between Michonne and Andrea since the end of season 2. Shane may have been a bad influence (though helpful in getting Andrea out of her suicidal rut) in season 2, but here’s to hoping that Michonne will be the sort of influence that Andrea will be needing to get her to become the badass characteron the show that her character is in the comic book.

One thing that tonight’s episode also did great that we only saw hints of with the first two seasons was the action such a series could have when given a chance. This is a series about the zombie apocalypse and those trying to survive in it. While I don’t expect each episode to be as action-packed as tonight’s premiere it was an encouraging start to what looks to be the real beginning of the Glen Mazzara era of The Walking Dead.

Now onto episode 2. With tonight’s cliffhanger ending (one that really got me by surprise) it’s going to be interesting to see how Rick and the new group in the end will get along or will they. Just as long as it doesn’t take the show all of the first half of the season to do it then I am all for intergroup conflict until the walkers become a more pressing problem.

NOTES

  • I’m quite surprised how quickly the show got the group to the prison. So, unlike season 2 which would’ve have the group wandering around in circles for 2-3 more episodes before finding their way to the complex.
  • It looks like Rick has gotten tired of what must’ve been Lori’s incessant harping during the months the show timeskipped between season 2 and the premiere of season 3 tonight.
  • Carl still hasn’t found a way to get himself lost thus get someone else killed which could be a nice change of pace for the character.
  • On a good note, Carl looks to be growing up and taking a handle on becoming a useful member of the group. He even does his share of some coldblooded killing of walkers in the episode’s intro.
  • In fact Carol becomes quite useful as well with Rick even commenting out of hand how much she grown to become a good shot with the AK-47 she was wielding.
  • All the talk of ‘shipping Daryl and Carol will get even louder as the two spent a brief moment flirting with each other after the group had taken over the prison courtyard.
  • Lori…Lori…Lori still looks to be the emotional weak point of the group and show, but this time around everyone in the group is either tuning her out or just trying to keep her focus and attention on keeping her unborn child safe. Even Hershel makes a point to remind her that this wasn’t about her anymore and that she should stop her complaining. It’s all about the baby and that’s all he and she should care about.
  • Beth and Carl…too cute.
  • Way to cockblock our boy Carl, Hershel…
  • Armored zombies, ’nuff said.
  • Some great work by Greg Nicotero and his team over at KNB EFX. A special note would be on the gas mask walker who got it’s face unceremoniously ripped off when Rick pulled off the gas mask. As a hardcore gorehound even I had to wince at that scene. It was great!
  • In what could be a way to reconcile the character of Dale in the comics who lasted longer than in the show the writers may be substituting Hershel in that role. The next couple episodes will tell if that’s the case.
  • I think whoever is the prop guy for this show has read Max Brook’s zombie novel World War Z if the makeshift “Lobo” Glenn was wielding is any indication.
  • Zombie Kill Count for tonight’s episode: I stopped counting after 30.

SDCC 2011: The Walking Dead Season 2 Trailer


The day before AMC released new production photos from the set of the second season of The Walking Dead series. Another bonus was their reveal of the Comic-Con exclusive poster for the show painted by comic book illustrator and cover artist extraordinaire Tim Bradstreet. Today was the big panel for the show’s season 2 at San Diego Comic-Con. Robert Kirkman was in attendance as was showrunner Frank Darabont and producer Gale Anne Hurd. The cast was also in attendance. Questions about their initial experience on the truncated first season were asked and answered. But the one thing people wanted to see the panel showed quite early and again as the panel concluded.

The Walking Dead season 2 has been given a definitely premiere date of October 16, 2011 just in time for AMC’s Fear Fest leading up to Halloween. It was the unveiling of the new season’s trailer which got the audience cheering loudly and from reactions to the trailer one thing is set to be sure and that’s this season looks to be even more bleak and with more forward momentum than the first season.

The show is less than 3 months away and it cannot come any sooner.