Review: London Horror Comic #6 / Author: John-Paul Kamath / Artist: Lee Ferguson, Dean Kotz Matt Dixon, Matty Ryan / Published by: Self-published / Release Date: Out Now
Now in its sixth issue, London Horror Comic continues to impress. The beautifully illustrated glossy anthology presents short glimpses of horrible things in order to delight fans of the macabre. As you may expect, the title of the collection is rather literal; this is a series of horror stories each set in the grimy, overpriced and overrated capital city of England and each tale adds an element of nastiness and revulsion even beyond what the inhabitants of that ancient place have come to expect.
The opening tale is called The Beast and it perfectly encapsulates the madness that can grow in someone’s heart when exposed to a hard and punishing environment. It feels heavily influenced by the day-to-day grind of living in a densely populated place and frustration drips from every page. Strange Fruit deals with a similar theme; the dangers of living in rented accommodation and having no clue who your neighbours happen to be. Unlike The Beast, this tale has a much-needed sense of humour and some rather wry commentary.
One of the ways in which London Horror Comic excels is in imitating and honouring the old style EC comics, and with The Ticking Clock we get a great shout-out to the fine tradition of spooky comic books. The tale goes for both subtle humour and the gross-out, with a little bit of sexy creepiness thrown in for good measure. It's probably worth picking up the book for this tale alone. Finally we end with Ring of Fire, a tale of being careful what you wish for. It doesn’t really surprise anyone but has a nicely gross ending that is sure to make gorehounds emit a small chuckle, at the very least.
The book is not without its flaws; short form horror is very hard to pull off well and though two of the four stories feel complete, the others end a bit too suddenly, leaving the reader feeling as if a couple of pages are missing. The artwork is superb as always, the team doing a fantastic job on every page and making the book look truly professional and interesting. If you’re a fan of indie comic books and like horror, then there’s really no excuse.