Tag-Archive for » zombie «

Friday, August 10th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

We’re back once again over here at the Weird Friends podcast with a whole new episode! This time around, we go with some fairly light horror fare with Chuck Wendig’s “Double Dead”!

This book was a pleasant surprise for myself. I have a good friend that I’ve traded books back and forth with for years. Said friend, Ak, hit me up awhile back with an article on Chuck Wending stating that he had been hearing quite a bit of buzz on him and the plots of his existing books grabbed me fairly quick! I’ve read a lot of zombie novels here as of late and while I do enjoy them, they tend to get a bit too heavy and in some cases, a bit too repetitive. Wendig’s version of the undead apocalypse was a nice change of pace that moved quick and wasn’t too heavy with ennui, melancholy, and stoic rambling.

Wending has some other books that look really good too, Blackbirds and Mockingbird. Both of these have catapulted up to the top of my to-read pile after reading “Double Dead”, so should be cool!

As always, the Dad and his Weird Friends show can be found on Bloody Good Horror Feed and iTunes! Give us a listen, let us know what you think! Feedback is welcome and encouraged, send your missives to casey@bloodygoodhorror.com!

Finally, come join us in the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Club on Facebook! We like to talk about books and if that’s your thing, we’d love to have you with us. It’s been a bit slow here lately, but that’s because we don’t have you there to help spice things up!

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Monday, March 12th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Real life has reared it’s ugly head once again, delaying me from posting here on ‘ye olde blog’, but here we are once again!

Just over a week ago, I released Episode 8 of the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Podcast, and this episode was a special one. For myself at any rate. Never before have I taken up the charge to sit down and actually interview somebody. Thankfully for me, author Jesse Petersen agreed to stop by and have a chat! Despite my nerves and everything else, the interview turned out quite well.

For those of you not familiar with Ms. Petersen, she’s penned a three book zombie series known as the “Living With the Dead” series. (There’s a short story collection in there to boot!) The covers of the first two books, “Married with Zombies” and “Flip this Zombie”, are seen above. My introduction to these book started with my lovely wife reading them and having a blast and then proceeding to pester me to get me to read them.

The Mrs. “You really need to read these books!”
The Mr. “But..they’re…pink.”
The Mrs. “So? Zombies! They’re really good!”
The Mr. ” But…Girlie…”
The Mrs. “They’re not chick-lit, read em!”

That conversation went on much like that over a couple of days until finally I relented. The next few days were broken up in two day chunks as I poured through each novel and broke into a typical “Those were really good books!” “….I told you so.” routine with the Mrs.

That said guys…they’re not girlie at all. It’s okay. The covers are just a design choice, you can read them. They are solid zombie novels!

Since this episode has been released, Jesse’s third novel “Eat, Slay, Love” has been nominated for a Dead Letter Award over at Mail Order Zombie! If you enjoy the interview and decide to give the book a read? Why not throw her a vote!

While we’re here…since I am in full bore book mode here as of late, I invite you to come join us in the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Club over on Facebook! Nothing more than a place to hangout and chat about books with like minded nerds! It’s a little quiet and dusty in there right now, but if you come join us, it’s bound to liven up!

Without further ado, I give you Episode 8 of the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Podcast! Enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

Brimstone #2 – A little western style horror is always welcome as far as I’m concerned. For “Brimstone”, the story over-rides the art, which is cool since I’m here for the story. The story seems somewhat standard so far, but creepy and intriguing, so that’s a plus.

Danger Girl and Armys of Darkness #1 – I’m a sucker for “Armys of Darkness” sadly. I always pick up these mini-series and almost always wind up disappointed or bored. I have no background knowledge of “Danger Girl” whatsoever, so I’m missing out on the connection here, so this one was most a yawner for me.

Elric: The Balance Lost #1 – I’ve not read Moorcock’s “Elric” novels before (I’m working on it Basham!) but I’m familiar with the character. There seems to be three or four realities going on here, but they did a good job of making it all curiosity grabbing though it was tough to comprehend. I’ll come back for more just to see how this all unfolds!

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Fool Moon #2 – I’ve only read the first “Dresden” novel and I liked it a ton. I don’t know if this story is new or a graphic version of an existing book. Regardless, it’s fun! Harry Dresden is a good character and the zany supernatural stuff that he runs into fits the comic book venue well. I like how they’re playing with the werewolf tropes here too. My only beef? Harry Dresden’s a bit more beefcake that I would guessed.

I, Zombie #15 – Still loving this book! The artwork’s fun and the story seems…kitschy. A bit of a throw back you might say. I’m enjoying it, just need to make sure I stay on it a little more regularly, I’ve been missing issues here and there.

Sweet Tooth #23 – Pardon me as I repeat myself…Still loving this book! This one’s quirky with a nice dark air too it. I’ve really got no guess as to what penultimate end they’re driving to here, which is great. This is one book I truly read every month just to find out what happens!

Uncanny X-Men #538-540 – I’ve been behind on this title, so I grabbed the three most recent. This book has been reinvented so many times, it’s hard to make any judgement historically. I still have fun with it though. Sadly, I jumped back in at the finish of one arch, read through a one off story, then found myself in the “Fear Itself” tie in, so I can’t form a real judgement on it all. It still feels like good old X-Men though. For true enjoyment though, I think I’m staying with “Uncanny X-Force” being my favorite X-Title for the time being.

X-Men #14 – Again, a blind dive into the X-Men pool. I haven’t been reading any X-Titles except for Uncanny X-Force for awhile, but “X-Men First Class” got me hankering for some more mutants. I know that each X-title has their own theme so to speak, I have no idea what plain old X-Men’s is though. This almost felt like a re-hash of an older story line, but maybe that’s the point.

MAD Magazine #510 – This one was a just for fun! I (and my dad) used to read MAD religiously back in the day, so I had to see what was what! The book’s changed a lot, as to be expected as they change talent over the years. It felt good though! Same cornball jokes, same hokey satires. Fun times, fun times. I’ll definitely have to see what the daughter thinks of this stuff!


So here I go, trying to get back into a regular comics regimen once again! Thankfully, I”ll be bringing the daughter along for the ride! I’m totally lost on the x-titles and which ones are good, bad or ugly, so I’m looking for suggestions on what x-books I should be on the look out for! On top of that, I’m open for comic book suggestions in general! Have a favorite title? Leave a note in the comments!

Monday, October 26th, 2009 | Author: Casey Criswell

First off, let me say that the little comic nerd that was in me never dreamed he’d be getting press materials delivered to his door, direct from D.C. Comics. That, that still makes me happy and a little excited when I see their logo on the pacage at the front door.

Halloween is generally a big holiday in the genre world. Probably even bigger in the ranks of some place like DC’s Vertigo Comics where they embrace more the weird and macbre. Enter their big Halloween spooktacular, The House of Mystery Halloween Annual. This bad boy is 45 pages of full color creepiness, with some shorts from many of Vertigo’s line. You’ll find a wrapper story from the original creative team of “House of Myster”, a visit from “Hellblazer” hero John Constantine, a preview of an upcoming title “I, Zombie” and more.

I’m not too familiar with the Vertigo line outside of their big name staples. Titles such as “House of Mystery” I’ve never heard of before. Be it a simple matter of not catching it on my local shops shelves, who knows. After digging into this Halloween annual, I actually finding myself itching to ad a few new books to the pull list. Nothing here is outright terrifying mind you, and none of the stories are long enough to be indicitive of the titles normal output. Still, they’re a nice little creepy aside that fits in with the season.

Even in the short amount of time given to each tale, I find myself most drawn to “House of Mystery”. There’s a good quirky cast going on here and glancing at back issues online, it looks to be a good fit for the horror fan. The upcoming “I, Zombie” looks like it could have some potential as well, and “Hellblazer” is always good fun.

Quality wise, there is really nothing to be surprised by here. Most of the titles core teams are at work and face it, they’re all pros! The artwork is solid, the stories are fun. There’s not enough room here to get the full depth of the writing team but just enough of a teast that might tug at your curiosity.

It’s Halloween at The House of Mystery, and that can only mean one thing: the bash of a lifetime! But when Fig discovers a strange mask in the attic, she begins having visions of everywhere the mask has been, and she quickly becomes the life and death of the party. This special 48-page annual contains a framing story by the regular HOUSE OF MYSTERY creative team of writer Matthew Sturges and artists Luca Rossi and Jose Marzan Jr. Also included is a series of short stories from a few regular Vertigo titles including HELLBLAZER by Peter Milligan, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini and MADAME XANADU by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley and Richard Friend as well as a special MERV PUMPKINHEAD tale (the first in over 8 years!)by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and Kevin Nowlan! In addition, you’ll be treated to a yarn spotlighting the upcoming new monthly series I, ZOMBIE by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred

If you’re a horror comic fan, you might snag this one while you’re at the shop. While I enjoyed it, I can’t really say I would be sad had I missed it altogether. If you have an extra $5 to spare in your weekly book budget, give it a shot because hey…tis the season!

Wednesday, November 05th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

The Zombie Diaries

“The Zombie Diaries” is a bird’s eye view of during and after an apocalyptic viral outbreak. We have three separate groups we’re following throughout; “The Outbreak”, “The Scavengers”, and “The Survivors”.

With our first group we follow a documentary film crew as they set off into the countryside to film a documentary on the outbreak. In “The Scavengers” we watch a group of three people a month after the outbreak as they simply try and exist. In “The Survivors”, we come across a large group of people gathered together for safety and trying to work a plan to keep themselves safe to build a strong hold.

This all sounds magnificent in theory; post zombie apocalypse, rebuilding, surviving. In actuality, this could have indeed been the case. With little to no character development involved in the movie and too much cinema verite shaky cam, it was nearly impossible to keep up with which group you were watching or what was going on. We are thrown into each group rather abruptly with nothing but a brief exposition as to what they’re doing. For the two smaller groups, this pretty much kills any cohesiveness to the story. Only with the larger group do we actually get some meat to bite into as far as characters and story go. The leader of the farm has some smart touches written for her; insisting that everybody wash their hands before they go in, disinfecting your shoes in bleach poured on the ground before entering the house to prevent the virus from being tracked in. She even keeps a small but believable knot of survivors around here. At one point in “The Survivors” focus, we see one of the farm tenants panic at the sound of movement in the brush and begin shooting blindly. Upon closer inspection we find that she’s shot two uninfected people. She runs off screaming, the weight of what she’s done is allowed to sink in to us the viewer. But…they never do anything else about it. Do we see what they do to her for killing two innocent people? Do they let her go? Do they forget about it? Your guess is as good as mine.

It’s this lack of character depth that makes it nearly impossible to care about what happens to anybody in this movie. There is nobody to root for, no emotional connection, and barely any physical recollection to them. The first hand mock-u-mentary style horror film as been done to death now, and it does work. It should even lend itself to the zombie genre quite well. With “Zombie Diaries” it works for the most part but manages to destroy any tension or atmosphere that it has built as soon as any action starts. The camera shakes so much that you simply can’t see what is going on every time a zombie appears on screen. When one of the scavengers yells to his cohorts “Oh shit, I think I saw something over there”, the camera soon begins shaking so violently that you cannot focus on anything in the shot to see if he did in fact see something. I do understand that you’re going for realism and cameras shake when you run. This is great for realism, but hard to watch as a viewer. When we can’t focus or make out anything that is happening on screen, it soon becomes pointless.

Aside from these two main issues, “Zombie Diaries” is completely standard and does nothing to elevate itself over the rest of the zombie movies that choke the shelves of video stores everywhere. In fact, there is so little zombie mayhem in this movie it’s rather boring. Nothing but strung together scenes of people talking and smoking with the occasional zombie staggering through a cornfield. I had high hopes; unfortunately those hopes are left unfulfilled!

4 snoring zombies out of 10

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