Fans of the exploitation cult classic Maniac (directed by Bill Lustig) have a lot to look forward to thanks to the macabre talents over at Eibon Press. The gruesome exploits of deranged serial killer Frank Zito continue in this carnage-strewn comic sequel no one knew they needed. And you won’t want to miss out, my Nasties.
Now fans of the original movie will note (SPOILERS! If you’ve not seen the movie skip to the next paragraph…and go watch Maniac!) Frank ends up with his guts spilled all over his scummy bed at the end of the film. So questionably, and rightly so, how could there be a sequel? The answer lies in the fact that Eibon not only gave fans a page-by-page adaptation of the film but included lots (and I mean a fuck ton lots) of extra stuff in their sensational adaptation.
Eibon Press is gifted with grotesque imaginations. Not being content to just retell the Maniac story they included the goddamn New York Ripper into the story which leads to a blood-soaked showdown between two of the Big Apple’s most disturbed serial killers! If for nothing else that is worth it alone to own this modern horror-comic masterpiece.
But the comic also features some exceptional artwork that is pure eye candy for gore fiends. That same nasty beauty is continued in this sequel. So after faking his own death Frank sets out on the open highway to Hell itself as he hunts down that one special lady, the one who got away. By issue 2 (which goes on sale this week) we learn that the open road has way more deviants out there than one might want to think.
In ish 2 the unholy creep factor gets cranked up on a meth ride into pure sadism. It’s a pungent resemblance to exploitive motifs of past horror on-the-road staples. Not so much Texas Chainsaw Massacre as it is The Hills Have Eyes, which, let’s face it, is horrifying. It makes ya think twice about that cross-country joyride you had planned. You just might not make it back in one piece if Eibon has anything to say about it.
By now Frank has gained some notoriety for his crimes of sadistic passion. He’s also amassed a fan club of the worst sorts of people. Human degenerates who would just kill to meet their idol. Frank learns he’s not the only maniac out there and his world proves to be a very unforgiving place. The level of violence splashing across each page is what I’ve come to gladly expect out of Eibon Press, but, if we’re being honest, I really think they’ve outdone themselves. They really want you to know that, like Pieces suggests, you don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre.
Oh, there is chainsaw massacring a plenty here. The pages literally run red as Frank gets himself kidnapped by a deviant family of psychos who waylay unsuspecting travelers along the road only to bring them back to their little house of horrors. Some may say that Frank is about to get his comeuppance for all the dirty little things he’s done in life as he finds himself now the victim of sexual assault and sadism.
Like its predecessor, this is a must-own for horror collectors, fans, and lovers of exploitation. But let’s be honest, I could say the same thing for anything published by Eibon Press.
These guys are fans who live for horror. With each new release, they prove their passion for the genre by giving us the best fucking horror comics this side of Hell. So don’t miss out and be sure to order your copy here.
It’s time to crack open the forbidden tomes of Eibon, faithful followers. Here we bid a long farewell to our flesh. Beyond this point, there shall be no return. The mind will melt and the soul filleted as such oozing spectacles assault our vision from the Beyond. Forsake ye all hopes for a restful grave at the sure ending of life, because a hideous power, one of wickedness and dread, this way quickly comes. Eibon has been reopened forthwith ushering us into fresh circles of Hell.
. . . The Book of Eibon, that strangest and rarest of occult forgotten volumes … is said to have come down through a series of manifold translations from a prehistoric original written in the lost language of Hyperborea.
—Clark Ashton Smith, “Ubbo-Sathla”
Eibon Press is proving themselves to be the unrelenting future of horror comics. With a lethal eye trained for macabre details, they are undoubtedly the undisputed masters of their craft. By blending gruesome art with fiendish tales they masterfully weave new layers of terror into some of our most cherished exploitation films and cult classics, thus ensuring their secured place in horror history.
Horror naturally prospers in comic book form, mainly because the MPAA can’t step in with their bitchy attitudes and erase away any sight of blood, guts or sexuality that might make them blush with a bad case of the vapors. Many of our favorite horror franchises have suffered needlessly beneath the rigorous afflictions of uptight censorship, thus ruining some perfectly good horror movie opportunities in terms of those messy little meaty details. Friday the 13th, at least the later films, were systematically abused by the righteous endeavors of the MPAA. Luckily, the grimy halls of comic books are unspoiled by such convictions and their haunted halls are rife with maniacs who freely kick down our doors, raise their chipped hatchets and cleave our puny good sensibilities into a bloody and gurgling pulp.
Now, if you’ve had a chance to read anything from Avatar Press – I’m thinking especially Wormwood, but especially Crossed – or just about anything by Garth Ennis, you’ll know immediately what I mean here. Comic books are not safe, and woe to any who thinks differently. No one who appears in such macabre volumes shall be spared. Their eyes will melt and their flesh decay, no one, not even our most beloved of heroes, are safe beneath the ink of those given to this expression of Art. These writers and artists will not hesitate to shove us down and kick our teeth in. Oh no, horror comics are not safe, and they never should be.
This is an unshakable fact Eibon Press knows about very, very well. In the hands of these master sadists, the Art has taken a new form in order to distribute the Evangelium of terror. To gross someone out is honestly not in the least bit complicated, and believe me, many have (failingly) attempted to gain an audience by simply defiling their readers’ eyes through shocking gross-outs. But to craft an engaging story, to make the Art come to life, to beget something that will continue in the minds of their audience long after the reader puts away the book is only a thing masters of the craft can accomplish. It takes truly insidious talent to breathe something into existence that invades our normal everyday lives, plaguing us with visceral images and ghoulish scenes we won’t soon forget. Not just anybody can achieve this level of the Art. Junji Ito is able to do this effortlessly and has been my reigning favorite horror artist until I met with Eibon Press and witnessed what they have to offer.
Just like horror movies have many genres, the same is equally true of horror comics. In the case of Eibon Press, they’ve skillfully dominated the sodden field of exploitation experiences. Be it a grimy alleyway with dripping echoes of sweltering lust and shame, perhaps the humid gates of everlasting Hell, or a restless cemetery where the rotting dead rise out of the mire and mold – Eibon Press depicts some wonderfully dreadful landscapes you will traverse once you crack open their pages. Violence awaits and there will be no turning back once you enter. It is a horror fan’s paradise.
They make gritty somehow beautiful. Ascetically brilliant, they make full use of color to accentuate the full volume of gore at hand. I can guarantee gore hounds will not be disappointed! And as for tone, well this is like the equivalent of your favorite death metal albums in illustrated form. There will be slaughter and lots of blood.
But all is not just blood, guts and eroticism. These guys are better than that and build upon plot and focus on the characters who must face all the horrors Hell has to offer. If you think this is just an-all out splatterfest…well, you’d be correct! It gets very sticky as you turn the pages, but I assure you it’s the stories they’ve released that will keep you turning those pages.
Eibon Press specializes in embellishing upon the beloved cult classics of Lucio Fulci, and I love them for that! I’ve always been a Fulci fan so I approached these comics with a critical eye. I was not disappointed, but very much the opposite. I was impressed by how much love and care they handled the material with. It didn’t take long to realize these guys love Fulci’s work as much as I do.
I did say they embellish on the stories. For example, when reading Gates of Hell (City of the Living Dead) we get a lot more details of the evil priest who hangs himself at the beginning of the movie. With the use of some good narrative, the team gives us a fuller and broader story to the lores we already love and know. If you think you know everything there is to know about Zombi, think again. There is so much more to glean from that vicious story, and with the comic Zombie, Eibon proves this to be true. For example, you know how Zombi 2 ends? Well, Eibon extends the story and takes us right into the chaotic-strewn streets of the city. Put on your big boy pants because it just keeps getting more and more savage.
In case that’s already not enough to have you ready to order their entire line of comics, let me tempt you even further. In their epic Gates of Hell title, not only is Eibon giving us the hellish story of City of the Living Dead, but this is only the start of the Saga of the 7 Gates line. A series that begins with CotLD and will involve both The Beyond and House By the Cemetery, mummy! And I’m pretty sure Bob won’t be anywhere near as annoying in comic form as that little shit was in the movie. “Mummy, I see a girl in the window, Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!”
Ok I got it out of my system. That fucking voice though! Screw you, Bob!
They have also adapted both Maniac and Laserblast into comic form. Laserblast, people! I never in my sickest fever dreams would have ever expected that to be a comic storyline! Oh, you’re uninitiated into the silliness of Laserblast. Here, check this out.
Isn’t that just glorious? Only diehard fans of horror would take the time to adapt a movie this spectacularly cheesy into an art form and share it so a new generation may discover it. And after a speaking with these guys, I know they are indeed fans of the genre.
As a bonus feature for both of these (Maniac and Laserblast) you can get a truly unique VHS sleeve. Oh, that’s another thing, not only are we treated to some of the best gore in comics today, but, just like any great DVD release, we are also given loads of bonus content with every comic purchase. Bookmarks, fliers, collectible cards and (in some cases) music tracks. Yeah, they give codes for exclusive music content relating to the comics. When’s the last time Marvel did that? These guys treat the fans!
I can’t kiss the publisher’s ass enough. And no, I didn’t get a special deal from them. I’m still paying full price plus shipping, and that’s fine by me. I’m just a fan who wants everyone else to know what they’ve been missing. So let’s hurry up and fix it.
Eibon also has a totally original run called Bottomfeeder which is as pretty as a truckstop outhouse. That’s not a criticism either. It’s a story set in the 80’s and features some all-time favorite cult faces who regularly make cameos throughout the story. You can call it detectivesploitation as our asshole anti-hero is set against Roger Corman’s Humanoids From the Deep. Holy shit! Just typing that line was exciting.
These guys go for the jugular and never apologize for it. These are wickedly dangerous comics and you’ll need your manliest pair of britches to get into them, but you will not regret it. Fair warning these are in no way safe for work or around kids. There is explicit nudity in them all. And if child death affects you I would advise you stay away. Like in any good Fulci film kids are known to get a bad case of dead here.
Out of all the horror comics to choose from out there these guys are my absolute favorite. You cannot find these titles in stores, however, so be sure to visit their website here and don’t be scared to buy. Already Zombie is in its third printing and sells out like mad. Pretty sure I’ll be doing a review of that run fairly soon.
I’ve been talking with Eibon on the possibility of there being a Madmancomic, and the idea is out there. So fingers crossed.
This has been Manic Exorcism once again hoping you stay scared and dare to open these forbidden Gates and unleash a little Hell.
In case you’re oblivious Brewster, (and that’s ok, nobody’s perfect) legendary cinematic horror writer Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night) announced today via social media that he is returning to Charley and Amy’s universe of vampire shenanigans with a return to the old comic series and new novel- Fright Night 3!
Now, if that doesn’t get your retro fuzzies tingling by Jove…
The comic series published by NOW Comics spun off from the original 1985 film and had a respectable run beginning in October of 1988 all the way through the Summer of 1990. The series consisted of 22 issues total with a bonus of five very special issues along the way.
In the comment section, Holland tells fans he’s writing Fright Night 3 as a novel, which is just as exciting as the comic announcement itself! For those of you who still have your comics tucked away in your closet or in your mom’s attic somewhere; dust them off damn you and get ready for another round of these truly goreious horror treasures from Holland’s world of horror!