This October Indie publisher Archaia are teaming with actor Dan Fogler (“FANBOYS”) to bring readers an all new horror anthology entitled “MOON LAKE”. The book will be collecting stories from some of the genre’s most talented contributors such as Tim Seeley, Stefan Hutchinson, and Brian Holquin just to name a few. The hardcover graphic novel won’t be available until October, but beyond the break you can read the entire 6 page short story of Stefan Hutchinson’s “BLACK BEAR BLUES”, and also get our thoughts on the story with our full review. Read on for the skinny.
When I heard about ‘MOON LAKE’ from the folks over at Archaia Comics I was immediately stunned at the sheer amount of talent that the crew was able to put together for the horror anthology. The book itself is a bit of a love project from “FANBOYS” actor Dan Fogler. An anthology that evokes memories of books such as “TALES FROM THE CRYPT” and others of its ilk that collected a handful of horror stories in one place and gave fans a literal ‘horrorgasm’ of content to go through. A lot of publishers put together these types of books around the holiday, and most will have 2 or 3 big names attached to pull in readership, but what Fogler has done is he has put together a literal ‘Dream Team’ of writers, artists, and inkers in order to give fans one fun, horrific, and bloody good read.
Though we haven’t had the privilege of getting our dirty little hands on “MOON LAKE” and flipping through the entire book yet, Bloody-Disgusting was allowed to read scribe Stefan Hutchinson’s (“DAY OF THE DEAD: DESERTION”, “HALLOWEEN: ONE GOOD SCARE”) entire 6 page story that he contributed to the piece entitled “BLACK BEAR BLUES”, and let me tell you – if this story is anything to go off of then you needn’t look any further for your horror fix this Halloween.
“BLACK BEAR BLUES” is for all intents and purposes a ‘parody’ of the Werner Herzog film “GRIZZLEY MAN”, and the death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. Now while that film came out 5 years ago some would still scream “Too Soon!” at this idea, and for all of those people…well, hey, at least it wasn’t ‘The Crocodile Hunter’? Kidding aside, I was a bit shocked myself when I found out about not only the stories origins, but also of the events that it so graphically depicted. After all, agree with Treadwell’s actions or not at the end of the day he was still a human being, and that wasn’t the stuff of fiction.
But then you read the story (short at just 6 pages for the anthology) and you have no other choice but to go marvel at the balls that Hutchinson and Daly had in making this story. It doesn’t hold back, and even though they change the name of the character from Timothy to Thomas (last name intact) you still get the idea of just how freely the creators approach their work. Where most writers would shun away from even touching on a subject matter such as this so closely, Hutchinson goes full steam ahead and delivers not only an unflinching look at the carnage that befell a man that got too close to something he shouldn’t, but also of the darker and more sinister things that play out that you don’t ever see.
Daly’s artwork is fantastic as usual, and when the gore is thrown onto the page it is sure to strike a nerve. Just like his writer on the project Daly does a fantastic job of going the extra mile and not wasting any time by going straight for the jugular (or torso in this case). Throw in a great outing by inker Lizzy John and you have the makings of another fantastic piece of horror lit from some of its brightest stars.
When we reviewed Hutchinson’s last story “DAY OF THE DEAD DESERTION”, I praised the writer for daring to take readers places that they didn’t necessarily ever want to go. He took an iconic character like Bub and wove a back-story into the speechless shambler’s mythos seamlessly. That’s not a feat that is easily (if ever) done. So if praise is due then I must say that the scribe has done it once again and taken a story, that on paper you wouldn’t ever see yourself enjoying because of the subject matter, and making it work. So for those of you who think the story of “BLACK BEAR BLUES” is insensitive I want you to chew on this – what is worse, a writer basing a ‘semi-fictional’ comic book on the last moments of a man’s life, or a filmmaker documenting the entire thing and giving you an entire film about the events? Because even though you don’t like to admit it, the fascination with death and the unfortunate ends that befall those around us is something that is in all of us. Some just have the guts to throw it in our faces.
4 Out Of 5 Skulls
WRITTEN By: Stefan Hutchinson
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Jim Daly
“MOON LAKE” Official Press Release
“Los Angeles, CA (August 23, 2010) – Fangs, freaks and fright fill Archaia Black Label’s newly announced horror anthology, MOON LAKE, an original graphic novel hardcover coming October 2010 in association with the diversely talented writer/director Dan Fogler and his company, Unkatush, Inc.
MOON LAKE (oversized hardcover, full color, 112 pages, 7.25” x 11.25”, $19.95) is a collection of short horror stories based in and around the titular, haunted body of water, which was the basis of Fogler’s independent horror movie, HYSTERICAL PSYCHO.
“The idea for the graphic novel came from wanting to expand the world of HYSTERICAL PSYCHO,” said Fogler. “The movie takes place up north at the eternally haunted region called Moon Lake. The tone of the film is like Alfred Hitchcock on acid meets EVIL DEAD, so I thought, why not do HITCHCOCK PRESENTS on acid, or TALES FROM THE CRYPT on crack, or TWILIGHT ZONE on THC…you get the picture. MOON LAKE is an anthology telling the hysterically horrific tales of Moon Lake from prehistoric times through today and into the possible future. Not all the stories are funny but they sure as hell are freaky…”
“Anyone who loves 50-foot tall zombie dinosaurs, naked women from the dawn of prehistory, horny sasquatches, secret wars on the lunar surface and learning the truth about how humans were created by aliens who spliced their DNA with the DNA of Earth monkeys, I guarantee that MOON LAKE is the one book that you absolutely cannot miss this year,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. “Dan Fogler is one of the most amazing creators I’ve ever had the honor to work with, and I feel so lucky that we’ve been able to bring his vision to life here at Archaia. I’m only sorry that Dan and I will have to wait to share the wonders of ‘Cannibal House’ and ‘Ben Franklinstein’ until MOON LAKE Vol. 2.”
Fogler’s illustrated alter ego, the Man in the Moon—a demonic spoof of Alfred Hitchcock—will introduce each story in the chapter breaks, featuring the art of rising talent Brooke Allen. Fogler will also write a bonus prose story as part of the extras in the back of the graphic novel, with illustrations by Scott Newman (TUMOR).
Joining Fogler will be a group of some of the most talented writers and artists in horror and science fiction comics. Following is a list of the stories appearing in MOON LAKE and their respective creators:”
“Camp Sasquatch” short story
(W) Tim Seeley (HACK/SLASH)
(A) Robbi Rodriguez (HAZED)
A group of randy camp counselors has a close encounter of the Sasquatch kind.
“Desensitized Deirdre” short story
(W) R. H. Stavis (DEMONS OF MERCY)
(A) Jeffrey Zornow (GRIMM FAIRY TALES, HALLOWEEN: THE FIRST DEATH OF LAURIE STRODE)
A peppy cheerleader has the worst day of her life, transforming her into a manic mass murderer.
“Black Bear Blues” short story
(W) Stef Hutchinson (HALLOWEEN: NIGHT DANCE)
(A) Jim Daly (BAD PLANET)
A spoof of the documentary “Grizzly Man,” in which a man goes out into the wild to commune with grizzly bears—this time, with different results.
“Cave Girl” short story
(W) Brian Holguin (SPAWN)
(A) Tommy Castillo (BATMAN, EVIL ERNIE, TOETAGS FEATURING GEORGE ROMERO)
A prehistoric adventure following the exploits of Cave Girl and her pack of zombie dinosaurs.
“His Final Escape” short story
(W) Nick Tapalansky (AWAKENING)
(A) Alex Eckman-Lawn (AWAKENING)
A Houdini-like escape artist performs one last, fatal stunt in the depths of Moon Lake.
“Moon Wars” short story
(W) Blake Leibel (SYNDROME)
(A) Josh Finney and Kat Rocha (TITANIUM RAIN)
Evoking 1950s, sci-fi B movies, a group of soldiers in high-tech gear battle dozens of Godzilla-like creatures on the dark side of the moon.
“Archaia has put together a great crew,” marveled Fogler. “Each story is a unique puzzle piece that fits together beautifully to create MOON LAKE Volume 1, and in my opinion, the variety of artistic styles throughout the book rivals that of classic issues of HEAVY METAL magazine. My good friend, R.H. Stavis, co-creator of ‘Desensitized Deirdre’—one of my favorite Moon Lake residents—said to go with Archaia because the books they put out are classy and they are extremely creator friendly. And she was absolutely right! I hope to do many more books with Archaia.”
MOON LAKE will be published under Archaia’s new Black Label line of titles, which specializes in co-developing intellectual properties with prestigious partners who are seeking to flesh out and realize their original ideas through the use of Archaia’s resources.
Limited advance copies of the MOON LAKE hardcover will be available at New York Comic Con (Oct. 8-10 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, NY) and go on sale in October wherever books are sold. To pre-order a copy, use ISBN code 978-1-932386-96-7.”
“Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds. Archaia is: Artesia, Awakening, Beautiful Scars, Berona’s War, The Black Knight, Critical Millennium, Cyclops, The Dark Crystal, Dark Fall, Days Missing, The Devil’s Handshake, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson, The Engineer, Everlast, Feeding Ground, Fraggle Rock, God Machine, The Grave Doug Freshley, Gunnerkrigg Court, Hybrid Bastards!, Inanna’s Tears, Johnny Recon, The Killer, Killing Pickman, Labyrinth, The Lone and Level Sands, Lucid, Miranda Mercury, Moon Lake, Mouse Guard, Mr. Murder Is Dead, Okko, One in a Million, Primordia, Return of the Dapper Men, Robotika, Saga, The Secret History, Some New Kind of Slaughter, Starkweather: Immortal, Syndrome, A Tale of Sand, Titanium Rain, Trial By Fire, and Tumor”
“MOON LAKE” The Original Hardcover Graphic Novel Horror Anthology Comes Your Way From Archaia Comics This October!