HACK ISSUES: Mad Balls, Aliens and Grizzly Sharks… Oh My!

Greetings monster kids! It’s been a while, eh? I hope you’ve all been able to keep up with your horror comics in my absence. As you can see there have been some changes here in the hallowed halls of HorrorSexy, but fear not I’m back and ready to help steer you toward the best in horror comics on the racks. In tune with the changes however, Hack Issues will also be working a little differently now. Instead of a weekly spotlight, I’m going to be going through each month’s Previews catalog, highlighting what I think are going to be the best in horror comics from each section.

For those unfamiliar, Previews is the monthly catalog from Diamond Distributors, the company that provides your local comic shop with all those goodies you spend your hard earned money on every week. The catalog itself comes out two months prior to the product ship date for what’s inside. So what that means is, everything I talk about in this post is in the February edition of Previews, but won’t be in stores until April, so if you have a subscription service with your store, or you are into pre-ordering now would be the time to ask for these titles to ensure you secure yourself a copy. While I realize the weekly shopping list was most likely helpful, there was still a chance that a book would sell out before some could snag it, this way, if you’re interested in something, it should be easier to get. If the weekly shopping list is still something you’d like to see, please sound off in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to get that going again.

Now, let’s get into this Previews. I’m going to go section by section, and adding page numbers at the end, so it should be extremely easy to let your comic shop owner what you need. First up, as always is Dark Horse.


Dark Horse

b3de4b15-309a-424c-b110-2d0b3f5ed143Aliens: Defiance kicks things off in our very first Hack Issues in the new format. Dark Horse has had the Aliens license for years, and has produced some extremely memorable stories featuring our favorite xenomorphs. I can’t remember the last time a top name writer has been on an Aliens book though. Definace changes that with series writer Brian Wood. Wood is known for his gritty story telling, most recently in The Massive for Dark Horse and series like Vertigo’s DMZ. He’s also got some sci-fi chops though, recently writing a fantastic Star Wars title before that license went back to Marvel. Joining Brian on art is an Australian writer turned artist named Tristan Jones. As of now, I’m unfamiliar with his work, but I’ve seen a couple of preview pages for Defiance, and I liked what I saw. Really looking forward to checking this out.

Battling demons from her past while fighting for her life, Coloinal Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks, in the company of Weyland-Yutani synthetics, is forced to question her strength and loyalty when the discovery of an insidious alien species on a derelict hauler sends her on a dangerous journey across the stars.

February 2016 page 46, Aliens: Defiance is a monthly title with a $3.99 cover price.

52284a9b-71ef-480f-88b4-030c9f1c53deDepartment H is a brand new series from Matt Kindt, the writer most famously known for his amazing series Mind Mgmt. While that book was more espionage with a sci-fi twist, it looks like this new series may have a bit of a supernatural tone, while maintaining focus mainly on the sci-fi aspect. Kindt’s art may not be for everyone, he has a completely unique style which looks almost like watercolor. I personally dig it a lot, but it’s his writing that really pushes his books.

Mia is a special investigator hired to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station. What she finds is a mind-blowing crime scene filled with suspects with terrible secrets, strange deep sea creatures, and an impending flood.

February 2016 page 52, Department H is a monthly title with a $3.99 cover price.

3d22af98-c464-4053-8bf1-8e31c4967066House of Penance is a new series from a personal favorite writer of mine, Peter Tomasi. He’s not a horror guy though, at least as far as my knowledge of his work, he’s mainly known for his superhero stuff for DC comics. He’s a solid story-teller though, so I have high hopes for House of Penance. Handling the art is another unknown to me, Ian Bertram. Again, the preview art I’ve seen looks really good though. I love a good haunted house story, crossing my fingers for this one.

The Winchester House – famous for it’s original owner’s bizarre compulsion to incorporate a multitude of architectural curiosities. But as the bereaved Sarah Winchester’s workers toil on stairways to nothing and doors to nowhere, a mysterious stranger arrives…and he could make Sarah’s demons all too real.

February 2016 page 71, House of Penance is a monthly six issue miniseries with a cover price of $3.99


Image Comics

c84f1131-a884-4dae-9652-1c61f7419f42Grizzly Shark may not be strictly a horror comic, but it is a hilariously fun creature mashup, which is why I’m including it. The book was originally a black and white one-shot from Invincible artist Ryan Ottley. It has a bit of a cult following, and fans have been clamoring for another issue since the original was released. Thankfully, in order to get the book more exposure, the original issue is being printed again, this time in color, with a brand new issue to follow.

February 2016, page 208, Grizzly Shark has a cover price of $3.50.



9f4e7f4b-7429-4031-9b01-82b46c7806adBlack Eyed Kids comes to us from a new imprint, Aftershock. The creative team consists of Eisner Award Winning writer Joe Pruett, who I know from his work on some of Marvel’s X-books, and Szymon Kudranski, whose previous work includes Spawn for image comics and a Penguin mini-series for DC, which was fantastic. Kudranski alone is reason enough to check out this book, his work is brilliantly dark and moody, and should be a perfect fit for a horror comic. Plus, the first issue is only going to set you back $1.99, so it’s not like it’s going to break the bank if it ends up being a dud. Which it won’t .

It’s dark. You’re alone. Then there’s a knock. You open the door to find two seemingly normal kids. They ask to come in, to borrow your phone to call for a ride. You find yourself overcome with an intense fear that you can’t explain. And then you notice their eyes…black…SOLID black. You want to run, but now they’re inside. It’s too late. They have you.

February 2016 page 268.

b2601103-9982-40d8-871e-75dcf43acd6aMad Balls those wacky, disgusting toys from our youth (assuming you’re as old as me) are making their way into comics courtesy of Lion Forge. The creative team on the book is another unknown to me, writer Brad McGinty and artist Brian Smith are bringing the balls to four color life. I honestly know nothing about this comic, other than it’s a comic about Mad Balls, and damn it that’s enough for me.

You thought, no hoped, those disgusting creepy heads from the 80’s were gone forever, but boy were you wrong. When the headless Torsoids sabotage the Intergalactic Bizarro Bowl, the squabbling Madballs have to team up to take ‘em down. Screamin’ Meemie, Brain Bash, Skullface, and the rest of Madballs are back in this grosser than gross new adventure.

February 2016 page 388, Madballs is a monthly miniseries with a $2.99 cover price.

So there you have it, February’s notable new horror comic releases. See something I missed? Have an opinion about the new format for Hack Issues? Want the shopping lists to return? Be sure and leave a comment and let us know if you like what we’re going.

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