Interview: Angel Onofre

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Talk about unique! Straight out of Chicago, IL Angel Onofre is a comic book artist and animator with a very (and I really mean VERY) distinctive style that makes it practically impossible for one not be intrigued by his work. I’ll admit it I’m a fan. How could I not?? His shit is fantastic. Angel Onofre‘s drawings are disturbingly cute. Or is it adorably sick? Ah fuck it, judge for yourself!

Ladies & gentlemen, Angel Onofre.

GEEKCITING!: When describing your style I like to use the words ”grotesque” and ”adorable” in the same sentence. How would you describe your undeniably unique art style?

Angel Onofre: I feel like I can’t make up my mind on what I want to draw. I really love the old horror movie art. The stuff you would see on VHS covers while looking for a movie to rent. It was so weird and over the top. Then I love the 90’s era cartoon style with the giant eyeballs and wacky shapes. What ends up coming out when I draw is wacky weird horrific cartoons.

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GC!: When skipping through your work one can’t but notice that comic books had a deep impact on your art. So the question to end all questions… DC or Marvel? And what character would you like to illustrate for the big two the most?

AO: Oh man. I really do love both. I think as a whole I like Marvel characters better, but I do enjoy reading DC comics more. Getting a chance to illustrate any character from either side would be amazing, but if I had to choose it would have to be Batman. I kind of have an obsession with Batman though. I would probably want to draw a weirder goofier version of him instead of his normal serious scary self.

GC!: What are your most cherished tools and/or material when working on your art? Are you a digital kind of guy or more an old school paper and pen artist?

AO: I love it all and I love experimenting and combining. Discovering brush pens completely changed my life and I probably use those the most. Watercolor is easily the paint I’ve had the most fun using. When I work digitally I use a Wacom Cintiq that I feel I can no longer live without. I try new things here and there but those are the tools I spend the most time on.

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GC!: Instead of asking you what artist inspired you the most growing up I’d rather ask you what contemporary artist’s work do you follow and/or admire the most?

AO: There’s so many artists I enjoy and look up to. I love just scrolling through Instagram or Tumblr and finding new artists. There’s just so much talent out there it blows my mind. Some of the ones I look to regularly are Alex Pardee, Skottie Young, Jhonen Vasquez, Doug TenNapel, Creature Box, Cavity Colors, Skinner, Lora Zombie, Ben Templesmith. There are a ton more. These are artists that anything they put out makes me want to sprint to my drawing table and get to work. I love the kind of art that has so much energy in it, you can almost see it moving or hear the sound it would make.

GC!: Your Tex Avery-ish renditions of some of the most villainous characters in movie history is what attracted me to your work first. What leads you to pick a certain character instead of another one?

AO: Honestly, I just draw what I’m currently excited about. Whether it’s a movie, show, comic, game, or anything really. I have a habit of having horror movies on while I draw, so I end up drawing a lot of horror icons. I just love that stuff.

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GC!: You recently released your own comic book, The Thing That Came From Space or Something!, through indie publisher Cheese Lord Comics. What can you tell us about it and how did you have the idea for it?

AO: I had a really bad habit of starting comics and not finishing them. There’s been so many times I was about to launch a web comic but then decided not to. Most of the time I either came up with something I liked better before finishing the current one, or I just wasn’t happy enough with the art. It’s pretty scary to put your work out there and hope someone might find it amusing. The Thing That Came From Space or Something! was really me just saying “screw it, I’m going to finish something.” I based it off myself and my situation of not being able to finish web comics, added some violent drug monsters, and just ran with it. It feels absolutely awesome to have completed it and have strangers that bought it tell me they enjoyed it.

GC!: What can your fans expect from you in the near future and where can our readers meet you next?

AO: I’m working on a horror anthology with Leo Perez and Jon Michael Lennon of Cheese Lord Comics, and JSB of The Simon Corporation. The book is, Scratches: A Horror Anthology. Each story is written by JSB and illustrated by JSB, Jon, Leo, and I. I’m super excited for this as JSB has made what are probably my favorite indie comics, and I’m psyched to be able to illustrate his work. The other one is my second book. It’s about a little girl who accidentally opens the gates of hell for her Science Fair Project. This one will be in full color and feature even more monsters and violence. Both of these books should be out before the Summer. Next place you can meet me is NWI Comic Con in Schererville, IN on February 21st. I’ll be doing lots of Comic and Horror cons throughout the year, in and around Chicago, so check my website for updates!

I would like to thank Angel Onofre very, very much for taking the time. I know that as an artist you don’t always have the time so answer every interview request so it means the world to me that some are willing to answer my silly questions for my even sillier blog. Thank you Angel!

Also make sure to follow him on Instagram and like him on Facebook.

-Paulo Costa-

Interview: Geekstitchery

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Instagram, new stomping ground for all and every respectable hipster. If you wanna be a somebody in this world you got to have your own Instagram account right? (Shameless self promotion: Check out our Instagram account here. It is pretty cool. No really!) Still like most things in life there are two sides to Instagram. There are the attention whores posting… well literally ever fucking thing they do (no one cares what you had for lunch suga…) and then there are tons of great people, artists trying to promote their work. Artists I probably would never have heard of if it wasn’t for Instagram. One of said extraordinary artists is Instagram user Geekstitchery. Christina Jones the mind behind this crazy idea of combining all things geeky with her other passion cross stitch was kind enough to answer these few questions. Geekstitchery, the name alone makes you wanna know more about it right?

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GEEKCITING!: When you think of stitching, the Hulk or any other comic book character, is not the first thing that actually comes to mind. And yet you made it work. What inspired you or gave you the idea to start this little business of yours?

Christina Jones: I’ve always enjoyed cross stitching, but I got my inspiration to start making geeky creations from a fellow Instagram stitcher. I saw his beautiful cross stitch creations of Marvel characters and I was dying to find out how he did it because I wanted to make some for myself. He was very sweet and extremely helpful and he gave me the tips and information I needed to start making my own stuff. When I posted pictures of my stuff on Instagram people offered to buy them, so I stared my own Etsy shop. That’s how I got my little business stared.

GC!: Is Geekstitchery a one-woman project and if so do you intend it to stay that way or do you feel like expanding sometime in the near future?

CJ: Geekstitchery is a one-woman operation. I don’t plan on expanding any time soon because I hand make everything and I have very high standards when it comes to my products. I wouldn’t be able to sell anything that someone else made for me for fear that the quality would be lacking.

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GC!: You sell your items in various forms. From key chains to framed pieces, there seem to be no boundaries when it comes to your products. In what form does your work attract the most customers?

CJ: Most customers are attracted to the key chain form. I think it’s because they are cheaper and because they can tote them around and show them off to their friends.

GC!: How long does it take you to finish an ordered product?

CJ: The amount of time it takes me to finish an ordered product really depends on the size of the product. This may help put things into perspective. One square inch of stitching equals 144 individual stitches, so a key chain that is a square inch can take me up to two hours to make. It’s a long process but it’s a labor of love.

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GC!: What materials/tools do you fancy the most when working on your different projects?

CJ: When it comes to making my products it’s really as simple as a needle, thread, and canvas. I prefer DMC thread because I think their colors are more vibrant than other brands. Any old needle would work, I have used the same one for over a year now. As far as canvases go, I like working with plastic canvas because it leaves a lot more options open for finishing touches.

GC!: What are your goals and ambitions regarding your creations?

CJ: My goals and ambitions are to make a high quality product that allow people to show off their geeky side. I want people to feel giddy every time they see their purchases. Nothing beats that surge of nostalgia  you get when you see something from your childhood, whether it’s a video game character, anime character or super hero. As I say to all of my customers, ”GEEK ON AN PROSPER MY FRIEND!”.

For more information on how to get your own duper über cool stitched-up superhero make sure to check out Christina’s Geekstitchery Instagram account here and her Etsy shop here.

That’s all folks!

(Pictures taken from Christina Jones’ Instagram account. They all belong to her… obviously.)

-Paulo Costa-

Weekend of Horrors 2014

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As a horror fan, a real one, one of those that lives and breathes this genre of most deranged films, you will always get the ”look”. You know the look people give you when you pick up the latest Fangoria issue at your local newsstand. The look you get when you sport your newest horror-themed shirt to school. The look that says it all. I feed on shit like that. Yet it feels liberating and incredibly exciting to be able to walk among a mass of people knowing that every single person in there not only gets your love for horror movies but also shares the same passion for them. The Weekend of Horrors convention in Germany gives us all that and so much more.

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November. Time to spent a ridiculous amount of money on movie-related stuff in a relatively short amount of time. Time for, yes you guessed right (or you just simply read the headline…. duh), yet another trip to the biggest, baddest and most outrageously astounding horror convention Germany has ever seen. Pardon my enthusiasm but this year’s edition of the Weekend of Horrors just came to an end and once again it was fucking mind-blowing!

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It has become an unspoken tradition for me and my brother. Every year we pilgrim to Germany for what will undoubtedly turn out to be one hell of an event. We have been doing this for a couple of years already and will, beyond any doubt, keep doing it for as long as we can. However this is the first time I went to the convention since the venue changed from the Saalbau in Bottrop to the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen. I was kind of curious to see how that turned out since in my humble opinion a change of venue can also alter the unique mood, the distinct atmosphere of a certain event that has been going strong for a couple of years already. And I was right. It did change… but for the better. The Turbinenhalle is not only way bigger than the Saalbau it is also way more accessible and has a huge parking next to the venue which was more than enough to receive all of the horror aficionados who travelled hundreds of kilometers and where more than happy not having to drive for hours around the block hoping to find a parking slot not to far away from the actual venue. I do however have to say that we were stuck in a traffic jam right in front of the venue. Just a couple of meters before the entrance. The waiting line to get into the parking was huge and to this day I still don’t know why. When we finally got in there were literally hundreds of free parking slots. Go figure.

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When we finally got in we were immediately overwhelmed and forgot all the troubles we had getting in. Right there, right at that moment we were immersed by the epicness surrounding us and were ready to rock. Hard. The Turbinnenhalle was packed. With every year that goes by the Weekend of Horrors seems to gain more and more loyal visitors. It gets bigger and bigger (that’s what she said) with each and every year.

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What I particularly like about the Weekend of Horrors is the fact that all the people visiting the convention all  seem to have a different background, social or economic status and still for this particular weekend manage to bond together and forget their fucked-up daily routine, their shitty problems and decide to celebrate this genre we all love so much. The number of visitors is not the only thing growing over the years (no I am not talking about my penis) as the amount of sellers and exhibitors has increased drastically since the very first time a visited the Weekend of Horrors convention.

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Literally every aspect of the exceedingly wide range and aspect of the horror genre was represented. Literally? Yes literally. You like horror comic books? Panini Comics got you covered. Art is your thang and you like to sneak around conventions to find yourself some freshly dried art to hang up your walls? Well there were some very talented artists on-site promoting their respective books and taking commissions. Mario Covono and Graham Humphrey for example were there selling their very promising-sounding comic book Video Nasty (review on that little baby coming soon). Looking for figurines? Busts? Books? Bitch please there were tons. Need a couple of new horror shirts to wear on your next churchgoing? No problemo. You into movies? Oh but of course you are. Every single horror movie ever released on German-speaking territory could be found there… in multiple editions! Home video heaven on earth. I could have spent 1000 Euros in on single day. Easy. Unfortunately I’m not rich. Yet.

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As much as I love to walk around the convention halls and browse through all the amazing products for sale… I would not have driven from Luxembourg to Germany for merchandise and Blu-rays. Not when there is that little thing called the internet where you can literally buy everything and then some with on single click. No the main reason for me to visit the Weekend of Horrors events were always the stars in attendance. This year the biggest stars were undeniably The Walking Dead star Scott Wilson and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates. I swear to god, some were wetting themselves on-the-spot just from looking at Kim Coates. People (and I obviously mean girls) went crazy! Truth be told the guy was very cool about it and hugged and talked to each fan for a couple of minutes. Kim Coates seemed to be having a great time and of course so did his fans.

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As excited as I was to get my The Walking Dead S3 fish tank Blu-ray edition signed by the great Scott Wilson (and believe me I was beyond excited) the actor I was the most thrilled to meet was Howard Sherman. Bub from Day of the Dead. O boy. I felt myself shaking. Other stars present at this year’s edition were the ladies of the Evil Dead Betsy Baker, Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly, Jamie Kennedy of Scream fame, slasher icons Kane Hodder and Tony Moran and many many more.

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It was a blast! This year’s Weekend of Horrors convention was my personal geeky highlight of the year. The setting was perfect, the stars were great, heck even the food wasn’t as horrendous as it used to be. November 2015 can’t come soon enough.

For more pictures on the 12th edition of Germany’s biggest horror event Weekend of Horrors make sure to visit our Facebook page. And while you’re at it, click on that damn ”like” button will ya?

-Paulo Costa-

Diez-Tres 13ink

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Well talk about an original concept! Have you ever been into your local comic book shop and spontaneously decided to get some ink done? Well of course not. A comic book shop is a comic book shop… where you buy comic books right? Well from time to time there is that one comic book shop owner that thinks outside of the box and decides to offer something else, something different to their customers in order to stand out or simply to mix together a few of his dearest passions in life. The Diez-Tres 13ink shop is one of those stores with a very unique concept. There you can satisfy your monthly urge for some comic book goodness AND turn your body into a piece of art! Well fuck me, that’s pretty dope right!? Crazy idea. Crazy is good. Crazy is original. Crazy is the antithesis of boring. Me likes crazy.

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I first heard of the 13ink shop when I read somewhere online that they were organizing the first Free Comic Book Day here in Luxembourg. FCBD in Luxembourg?! Well it might sound like peanuts for some of you spoiled brats that get to experience events like this on a weekly basis, but for us geeks living in Luxembourg this was pretty huge. The Diez-Tres 13ink shop is the only store in Luxembourg participating in events like the FCBD and are always present at conventions and/or festivals that celebrate all things geek. I honestly believe that they deeply love what they are doing on a daily basis as they seemingly will stop at nothing when it comes to promote this culture we all care for so much.

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So what can you get in this most uncommon of shops? Well all that what your heart desires. Comic books (in English and in German), manga, action figurines, statues, card games, clothes… did I forget something? I probably did, and they probably have it. As with most comic book shops in Europe the Diez-Tres 13ink store is limited in space in comparison to some humongously huge shops in the States but it still remains a perfectly sized very well organized and stylish little shop that should appeal to most comic book aficionados. Also the people working there are extremely nice and polite which of course never hurts.

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If you live in or around Esch in Luxembourg you don’t need me to tell you to go visit the fine folks at the Diez-Tres 13ink shop. You’ve probably been there before and will continue to. Hell I’ve probably run across you during this year’s Halloween ComicFest. To all of you that have never been to the shop before… what the fuck are you waiting for?

DIEZ-TRES 13INK
28 Rue Dicks
L-4081 Esch-sur-Alzette – Luxembourg

-Paulo Costa-

Halloween ComicFest 2014 @ Diez-Tres 13ink

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My love for all things Halloween-related is unmeasurable. It is ridiculous. Halloween is the best. Unfortunately over here in Europe, and especially in Luxembourg, Halloween is still considered a minor event. However the amount of parties and/or events being organized in celebration of the spookiest of nights has increased considerably over the last couple of years. One of said events is the Halloween ComicFest being organized annually by the Diez-Tres 13ink shop in Esch. Now mix Halloween with another of my dearest passions in life, comic books, and what do you get? Exactly me wetting myself like a teenage girl before a One Direction show.

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The Diez-Tres 13ink shop in Esch was the only comic book store in Luxembourg participating in this year’s Halloween ComicFest. And what a blast it was. The owner of Diez-Tres 13ink shop was kind enough to answer these couple of questions before the big event. Muchas gracias!

In the States the Halloween ComicFest has become an annual meeting for lovers of all things comic books and horror. I imagine it being a little trickier to organize an event like this in Luxembourg. What motivated you in the first place to participate in this most exciting annual event?

The motivation behind taking part in the Halloween ComicFest stems from our first Free Comic Book Day in 2012. We have been working with our friends from Science Fiction & Fantasy Society Luxembourg (organisers, among others, of LuxCon), and saw that the first FCBD had been really successful with some artists from Luxembourg like Andy Genen, Rene Clement, and Sean McCormack on hand to draw. Some people were in costumes and it was an amazing first FCBD 2012 for us. RTL TV even did a report about the event. It was an altogether nice experience. After the first FCBD we stocked more comics and in 2013 for the second FCBD, more people showed up, more costumes and we even offered a free FCBD cake. 2014 went similarly as we gave away 750 free comics to comic book fans and offered free cupcakes. We were quite amazed by the reaction and also wanted to participate in Halloween’s free ComicFest. This year Andy Genen, Rene Clement and Anthony Darr are going to be on site to draw and we have 500 free comics for visitors.

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Does this particular event attract more new customers into your shop, or are most of the people attending the Halloween ComicFest usually loyal customers that visit the shop on a regular basis?

It’s a mix of both. Of course it is an opportunity to bring together our loyal customers without whom we wouldn’t really be able to put this kind of event together. New customers are attracted by the costumes, the crowd and of course the free comics, even though they do wonder if they need to buy anything else – which they don’t, free means free. Of course many then become new customers and they discover the large amount of comics, manga and other pop-culture items we have to offer.

How would you describe the Halloween ComicFest to a person that has never been to such an event? What can we expect in your shop on the 25th of October?

First, FREE COMICS! There are people in costumes, talented artists from Luxembourg who draw requests live for you, some specials and always a good familiar ambiance. It is like a big geek/nerd/fan-family get-together where everybody is welcome to spend the day among like-minded people in our  13ink shop in Esch.

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Attending this year’s Halloween ComicFest were Luxembourgian (comic book) artists Rene Clement, Anthony Darr and Andy Genen. If you’ve been following my blog for the last couple of months you’re probably familiar with Andy Genen’s work. His commission fees are so low, it’s ridiculous. Every time I meet the guy I just have to get a commission done. I just have to. For this particular event Andy brought with him a Halloween-themed print of Red Puma and Red Lion, two of his most beloved creations, being attacked by a horde of bloodthirsty zombies… a beauty I’m telling you! I’m already regretting not picking it up.

Rene Clement was doing sketches for the incredible price of 6 Euros! 6 fucking Euros! I shit you not. Of course I’m not going to pass that shit up. You know me better than that. Rene is probably the lesser known artist of the bunch, but he is without a shadow of a doubt a very gifted artist! His little zombie versions of some of the most famous characters in pop culture are just adorable. Go look it up!

Anthony Darr, another artist we’ve been trying to push heavily on this blog, is probably the rock star among Luxembourgian comic book artists as pretty much everybody in attendance seemed to be mesmerized by his art. All three artists were extremely busy that day and yet hugely thankful and happy for every person that decided to get a drawing from them.

I spent the whole afternoon in the 13ink shop and did not for one second feel like leaving. The Halloween ComicFest was a unique and very fun gathering for everybody involved. I can not wait for next year! Diez-Tres 13ink you did not disappoint!

-Paulo Costa-

Interview: 88 Films

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I’m a sucker for slasher movies. There is no such thing as a bad slasher movie when it comes to me. Obviously when UK-based DVD/Blu-ray company 88 Films announced their already legendary “Slasher Classics Collection” I creamed my pants. Yes you read correctly. I creamed my pants. That’s how excited I was. Already announced for this most dazzling collection are movies like Graduation Day, Scalps, Splatter University, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Don’t Go In The Woods… Alone and the highly anticipated Slaughterhouse. Oh boy fun times ahead.

Obviously these are not the only movies 88 Films have to offer. These are however the movies that caught my attention. The collection that opened my eyes and made me care about 88 Films, a DVD/Blu-ray company that is slowly but surely turning into one of the most prolific and beloved genre releasing companies in Europe. Word!

It is with great pleasure that I give to you guys yet another exciting interview. Damn we on a roll! This time around: Richard Elliott of 88 Films.

GEEKCITING!: Could you bring us the 88 Films family a little closer? How many individuals have a reluctant role to play at casa 88?

88 Films: We’re a two-man show. We do pretty much everything ourselves with a little help from our industry friends.

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GC!: What release are you guys most proud of? In other words: What release represents your catalogue the best?

88: We released a Troma classic called The Toxic Avenger recently in 4 different editions, I think we got the balance right in terms of quality, art, extras, price etc.

GC!: What criteria to do you guys follow when deciding what movie you’d like to add to your ever-growing movie catalogue?

88: In the main, is it from the 80’s???

GC!: So far the what is shaping up to be epic “Slasher Classic Collection” has 6 titles set for release. Is a second batch of movies already in the works or will the collection close up with its last title Scalps?

88: Our spine numbers don’t start with ”01” for no reason, hopefully some exciting news on that range to be announced soon!

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GC!: Next to your “Slasher Classics Collection” you already announced an Italian film collection. If you could pick one Italian horror movie, no matter what criteria no matter how hard it’d be to get the rights, which one would it be?

88: Anthrophogus.

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GC!: What makes you, in your opinion stand out from all the other cult/genre DVD/Blu-ray companies out there at the moment?

88: We don’t really run 88 Films like a business, it really feels like a hobby and hopefully that comes across in the products.

GC!: As far as I know there are no subtitles on your releases. Simple question: Why?

88: Cost I’m afraid. We simply don’t sell enough to make them viable except when we access to an existing file like in the case of Two Moon Junction.

GC!: Where do you guys see yourselves in a couple of years? What would you like to achieve with 88 Films?

88: Hopefully still releasing cool obscure films on a shiny disk. Assuming we haven’t won the lottery in the meantime in which case we’ll be on a beach somewhere.

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GC!: Any hints you could give our readers concerning yet unannounced titles to be released by 88 Films in the near future?

88: How about a slasher film with a seasonal theme!

Make sure to follow 88 Films on Facebook and visit their site from time to time. I for one can’t fucking wait to see what these guys have in store for us! Muchas gracias dudes for taking the time to do this interview!

-Paulo Costa-

Horns

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It’s been way too long since I’ve done a guest post and I’m pleased to say that I’m back with a review of a highly anticipated movie that was released digitally on October 6th: Horns! It’s based on the 2010 book of the same name by Joe Hill, who is actually the son of Stephen King, and was directed by Alexandre Aja, who is probably best known for his 2003 debut Haute Tension and his 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ignatius “Ig” Perrish, a young man who one morning has two horns growing out of his forehead, the film also features quite a remarkable cast in general. With such names as Juno Temple playing Merrin Williams, Ig’s girlfriend, Max Minghella who plays Lee Tourneau, Ig’s best friend, and James Remar, as Ig’s dad, at least the roles are adequately attributed. I’ll try to provide a spoiler free plot summary, including only aspects that are revealed within the first few minutes of the film’s one hundred twenty-minute running time, so fear not… I will not ruin anything major for you.

The whole town of Gideon hates Ig because he is the prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Merrin, and is still at large since there is no definite proof yet for a conviction. Despite his love for booze, he knows that he hasn’t committed the crime, however, and tries to drown out the constant harassment of the town’s people with more alcohol. After a return and the desecration of the dead woman’s murder spot, Ig blacks out from his drunkenness. The day after, he wakes up in a stranger’s bed with two tiny horns on his forehead. As the movie progresses from here on out, Ig learns about the powers, such as mind control and the desire of people to tell him all their darkest secrets, these devilish protrusions grant him. Hellbent on finding out who killed his girlfriend, he sets out on a quest for knowledge and learns many disturbing things.

Due to the nature of the subject matter, the whole tone of the movie is kept rather grim but there are also some black humor bits and some actually semi-romantic aspects. A special bit of eye candy are the gorgeous landscapes and the scenery that Aja has managed to capture, since they are a welcome contrast to the otherwise grim happenings. Apart from a few brief scenes, there is not much violence or gore but those scenes are quite explicit… as was expected from the Frenchman.

I personally enjoyed the acting a lot, especially since it was the first time I saw Radcliffe in a non-Harry Potter full-length movie, and would like to think that all the actors fit their roles perfectly. Even though I have to admit that it was a bit weird at first for me to hear the former wizard without a British accent… but I digress. The effects are a mix of classic techniques, like make-up and so on, and CGI, creating a believable, but not perfect, look.

Having read the book, and having seen many adaptations of his father’s books, I was of course slightly concerned how much the story would be butchered to appeal to the average movie-goer… and I must say that I was and still am pleasantly surprised. While there were some changes, mainly removing certain more fantastical elements, the main corpus of the book can be found in the moving version and the slightly altered ending was also a welcome new addition.

All in all, I’d say that Horns has fulfilled all my expectations and can actually stand its ground as of the better book adaptations out there. I can only strongly recommend giving the flick a chance and experiencing the twisted minds of the people who Ig encounters… if you have a dark sense of humor, you will find yourself smiling more than once, trust me.

-Yannick Schockmel-

The Convent

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Movies. Ain’t nothing I love more. Wait… movies and comic books. But this is about movies sooooo… Movies. I love ’em all. Like is there something more enthralling than the anticipation of a movie you know you will like for certain? You wait and wait for what feels like the longest period in the history of history and finally upon watching said movie you realize it did in fact deliver in every-single-fucking way. I ask you, when talking movies of course, is there a better feeling than that? Well fuck yes there is. Watching a movie you know shit about, a movie you had never heard of before and absolutely loving it. Shit like this makes me happy. They do say that it’s the little things in life that matter you know? The Convent directed by Mike Mendez is one of those movies.

The story is a simple one. A bunch of ill-advised college students break into a deserted convent where evil spirits dwell awaiting innocent souls to do… you know, what regular well-educated demons do. Feast on souls and shit. Granted, this might not sound like a Pulitzer-worthy story but believe me when I tell you that when shit breaks loose… well there is no holding back.

The Convent directed by Mike Mendez of Big Ass Spider! fame stars a bunch of random actors you have never heard of, however there is one actress every single horror fan should know: Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Creepshow, Swamp Thing) plays a small but very important role. As expected her performance is by far the strongest compared to those of the others… ahem ”actors”.

A fun entry into the nunsploitation sub-genre, The Convent is an incredible fun and highly splattery unknown gem of a movie. It is, like all good exploitation flick should be, extremely offensive to some and highly entertaining to others. This horror comedy however, unlike some other entries in this most delightful category of films, does not intend to shock for the purpose of shocking. In fact due to its comedic setting it is far from being a disturbing film. It is a relatively lighthearted horror film that still manages to incorporate some serious and exceedingly dark subjects into the story.

The Convent feels like a Tex Avery movie on crack. While highly graphic the violence in this film is still very cartoony and colorful. For example the director chose to give the demon’s veins and teeth a very flashy, neonish blue color that kind of sets the tone for the whole film. This, among other artistic choices, gives the movie a very unique look. The Convent is a perfect party film. A film to watch among friends during the most bloodcurdling period of the year, Halloween season.

The Convent is a dirty little film that deserves a wider audience.  Do not get discouraged by this poor excuse for a poster, The Convent has all the ingredients to become, one day, a cult classic. Go watch it. Love it. Spread the word.

-Paulo Costa-

Interview: Anthony Darr

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The first time I came across Anthony Darr‘s art was during the BD Festival in Contern. If I remember correctly it was in 2013. Anthony Darr is an up-and-coming Luxembourg-based artist that loves the comic book medium. How could he not? It is the best thing in the world! He is present at pretty much every local show so don’t hesitate to swing by his booth, say hi and buy yourself a nice piece of original art. Come on don’t be shy, you know you want to!

GEEKCITING! Thanks for taking the time Anthony! What have been the highs and lows of your artistic career so far?

Anthony Darr: 2012 was the year I really started painting. I began to invest much more time in going further and improve my technique. Two and a half years later I still consider myself at the beginning of my career. But so far I can tell that the highs have been the BD Festival in Contern in 2012, a private exhibition in Rome in 2014 aswell as one in Luxembourg (Musée de Luxembourg in 2009). The lows: being at the beginning of your career you have to draw a lot to make your work be known, sometimes I just don’t have enough time because besides being a father and husband, I also have a full-time job in a restaurant which takes a lot of my time.

GC!: Living in Luxembourg myself I know that comic books are not regarded as a significant medium of entertainment, let alone a serious job. What has been the feedback from your entourage and family in regards of your work?

AD: Unfortunately traditional comic books are not read anymore as they once were. But thanks to movie producers, the main Marvel heroes stayed in mind. My parents were very skeptical about it, they didn’t take it seriously. I never had any support, but my wife encouraged me and convinced me to pursue my goals as she still does now. This is my passion and it is just a part of me.

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GC!: Do you have a professional artistic schooling or are you a self-taught artist and if so where do you find inspiration for your drawings?

AD: I am a self-thought artist, as my family never considered it possible to live from art or nourish your family with paintings. I could never enroll in an artistic school. My inspiration comes from my childhood, comics from the 90’s but it also goes back to the 50’s. I get inspired by a lot of talented artists but my great idol remains Gabrielle Dell’otto. He is a great artist and I have still a lot to learn.

GC!: Fans can get a glimpse of your art at pretty much every single local geeky festival. Have you already been promoting your work in other countries? Where and when will fans be able to meet you next?

AD! I have been in Rome to show some paintings. I will be in Arlon the 18th and 19th of October. I am still at the beginning of my artistic adventure. But I will be present every year in the BD Festival in Contern in July, at the LuxCon in March as well as some comic book shops in Esch-sur-Alzette, Arlon and Essen. And if possible some more.

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GC!: What current comic book series, artists and writers are you most fond of?

AD: My favorite artists are: Gabriele Dell’otto, Francesco Mattina, Alex Ross, Esad Ribic, Adi Granov and Lucio Parrillo.

GC!: What was the most unusual commission you were ever asked to do?

AD: The most unusual commission I was asked to draw was the devil ”Hellstorm” which I was not familiar with.

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GC!: Last but not least what are your plans for the future? What can our readers expect from you by the end of the year and beyond?

AD: My plans for the future are to participate at the big convention in Italy, Lucca Comics And Games, Angoulême in France and some convention in the USA. My goal would be to work some day for a big editor and be able to paint the most amazing covers for comic books. And last, finally publish my sketchbook.

If you feel like ordering a commission or just simply want to gaze upon the various Anthony Darr drawings make sure to check him out on Facebook where he frequently posts his latest endeavours. Anthony Darr will also be present in pretty much every major comic book related event in Luxembourg. Thanks again Anthony!

-Paulo Costa-

BdMania

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Summer. After a seemingly never-ending and exhausting year the gods had mercy on my soul and released me into my well-deserved and much anticipated summer vacation. Fuck yeah! This year we decided to visit the beautiful city of Lisbon, capital of the country that saw my parents born and their parents before them. It is a city as magnificent as they come and well deserving of the explosing touristic expansion it is undergoing lately.

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Before leaving I did what I always do before I take my bags and jump into the next plane flying me into the sweetness known by the name of ”vacation”. I googled. Yes, I googled. I searched for any and every possible cool geeky place, museum or shop I could visit and afterwards, if I happen to like what  I see, put a few words together so I can introduce it to you guys on the blog. That’s just how I am, always thinking about my fellow geeks and geekettes. Ok I am lying. I’m doing it for myself. I’m weak like that. I need my geeky fix no matter where I am in the world. Lo and behold I found me a pretty sweet shop I judged worthy of y’alls attention.

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BdMania is a small but extremely charming comic book store situated right in the heart of Lisbon. They carry pretty much everything one could expect from a store like this. It is a typical comic book shop but of course trimmed down in size like a thousand times. After all it is still Portugal we are talking about. The biggest surprise to me while digging through the different books the shop had to offer was that most of the products they had for sale were in English. Pretty damn cool to know a shop like this can exist in Portugal.

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I’m glad I choose the BdMania store as the shop I wanted to visit in Lisbon and write about on the blog. They had tons of cool stuff and I could have spent hours in there. I’m even happier I choose this particular store knowing that  the seller in the shop (probably the owner) is a pretty cool guy. I only talked with him for a short moment (mostly about the blog) but he was incredibly polite and extremely nice. Makes it even easier for me to promote a store like this on my blog.

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All in all I have to say that the BdMania store is a very cool place to visit if you ever decide to take a trip to Lisbon. This will not remain my last visit to Lisbon. Nor will it be my last visit to this most appealing shop.

BDMANIA
Rua das Flores, 71
1200-194 Lisbon – Portugal

-Paulo Costa-