A series of happy coincidences led me to being on the staff at Cardiff's Film & Comic Con last weekend - at which, coincidentally, all-round good egg Arfon Jones had a new comic being "launched". Afron himself wasn't there, unfortunately, but the writers of said comic were - those being Matt Warner and AJ Ballard (of Hellbound Media), so after a bit of a chinwag I got the new issue of Slaughterhouse Farm (apparently I was the first one to buy it, fresh from the printers as it were), as well as the first and second issues. And this being a "comics blog" of sorts, and feeling oddly motivated today what with the aptness of it all (horror comic, Hallowe'en and so on), here's something that might pass for a "review".
Essentially, Slaughterhouse Farm is a video nasty in paper form, with all the grisliness and brutality you'd expect from such a thing. A Camden couple are driving a group of wayward teenagers into the heights of North Wales for a camping/team-building weekend, when they encounter the Welsh answer to Ed Gein - the appropriately-named Pigfucker:
And obviously, that's when things turn nasty - heads are sliced in half, brains are cooked, dogs are chopped down the middle, kids are impaled, decapitated heads are interfered with, characters you expect to be the "heroes" are suddenly and brutally killed off... All in good fun, of course.
"Reading the scripts for the first time can be quite a shock... They killed off a few I thought would make it!" - Arfon Jones (the one who does the drawings)
There's some hinted-at mysteries in there too, mysteries we won't know the full answer to until the fourth and final issue, which is due (I'm told) sometime around September next year. Gah!
So if this sort of thing is "your bag", or you just fancy something a bit different, Slaughterhouse Farm comes "recommended". The comics themselves might be haunted too, as they're DEFINITELY black and white, but under my scanner they seem to've picked up a somewhat psychedelic colour scheme. Interesting.
You can get the first two issues, and probably eventually the third issue, from the Hellbound Media shop - read them enough times and maybe they'll do for Snowdonia what John Landis did for the Yorkshire Moors (thunder crash, lightning etcetera).
For more "spookiness" on this here blog, have a look at Bloody Hell!, a horror anthology from Kev Sutherland, Nigel Maughan and so on; this list of things that frightened, disturbed or upset me as a youngster; a book of Spooky Riddles; some monstrous cartoons (a few dead links here, but most of them are still up); some gory stickers culled from a scrap book; some Hallowe'en music mixes (probably a bit late for that now, but it's still good stuff); Gahan Wilson's version of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven; Zig & Zag's "scary special" of their Zogazine by Kev Sutherland and John Moore; and some "spooky" Buster covers by Tom Paterson...