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My Top Ten Picks for
Must Read Comic Books

10. Wulf & Batsy

Wulf and Batsy chronicles the adventures of a big bad Werewolf named Wulf and a feisty little Vampiress named Batsy, as they wander the earth in search of a place to call home and companions to call friends. Such things are not easily found. Wulf and Batsy have no guilt about feeding on human beings – that is simply their nature. But unfortunately, such behavior makes them outcasts everywhere they go. It’s not an easy thing to be a monster.

9. Dead Ahead

On a restless ocean, a group of weary survivors contemplate their grim fortune: What had started out as a fun little fishing trip soon turns into a nightmare of damnation, trapped on a floating prison. The continents have been hit by a plague that has turned humanity into living corpses - leaving our castaways at sea to fend for themselves! With provisions low, hope comes in the form of a luxury liner sailing into view on the horizon. All they needed to survive would be on board, but who among them has what it takes to find out what happened to its crew and passengers?

Nine survivors of a zombie holocaust caught out at sea during a day of fun in the sun realize that they can no longer go back to land or face being eaten by zombies or worse subjected to the remaining human tribes about. After eighteen months out at sea bouncing around and facing starvation or sinking fate dangles salvation in their face with a luxury liner appearing on the horizon....

8. Broken Girls

The students of Marianne's Crossing are all daughters of powerful and influential people, and that is the only reason that they are not in prison. The institution serves as school, prison, and rehab for girls who refuse to behave by society's rules. When one girl causes a chemical spill, it leaves only a few people unaffected by the horrible transformations. Now only the most violent and clever girls are left to try and make their way from the deepest sub-basement through the blood-thirsty maniac hordes.

In a nutshell Broken Girls is badass schoolgirls fighting mutated hordes of blood-crazed lunatics.

The story takes place in a secret boarding school for the troubled, violent kids of influential families. The kind of place where they ship the worst of the worst – a dysfunctional high school, drug rehab, and mental hospital all rolled into one nightmarish facility.

The thing about this place is that it’s funded by drug corporations. The “students” are just subjects of drug experiments as scientists try to find the next Ritalin or Prozac. Then things get out of control. A chemical spill spreads throughout the facility and causes every student, guard, and faculty member to mutate into complete psychopaths.

7. Monsterpocalypse

Monsterpocalypse is based on the action-packed, collectible miniatures game of the same name from Privateer Press. The era of monsters is upon us! Giant dinosaur-like creatures roam the southern hemisphere wrecking absolute destruction upon every city in their path. Now mankind has designed their own giant protectors, but will they be enough to save mankind or is our time on Earth up?

The quick and dirty is exactly what you think it is. The age of giant monsters and robots is upon us. Dinosaur-like creatures roam the Southern hemisphere. Monstrous creatures from space terrorize major cities with no purpose but absolute destruction, and now mankind is fighting back with gigantic robots. The robots of Globally United Advanced Research and Defense (G.U.A.R.D.) are manned by a four to five member crew. The initial story follows the crew of Sky Sentinel after they've had a less than spectacular first attempt at stopping one of these giant monsters. The crew is adjusting to their bruised egos and a new commander.

6. Fun House of Horror

This is the story of Jacob Stone, a city kid from N.Y. that takes a scenic day-trip upstate with his mother and cousins. They stop off at a roadside fruit-stand for lunch and suddenly a game of tag turns into the discovery of this young boy's life. An encounter with an The House Of Horrors! "A one night only Haunted House in the middle of nowhere!"

The caretaker "Ole Scratch" hands Jacob a book titled "The House Of Horrors". In the pages lie the untold horrors that have befallen these poor souls. Sadly the stories are incomplete. The Ghosts feel their stories must be told... and Jacob Stone, unknowingly, has just been chosen to give them peace. Whether he likes it or not!

I wrote this story because I remember my trips up to N.Y. with my Grandparents. We always had to stop off at the road-side fruit stands. There was just something magical about those places. Looking back there was just something magical about those days. The world was bigger.

5. Asylum of Horrors

Asylum of Horrors is your classic horror anthology in the sense that it has a mad doctor as a host and a series of short horror tales. Lots of gore and guts. And being a mature readers book it will go above and beyond for gore fans. Plenty of entrails and the eating of rotted carcases. But it won't just be about gore. There will be plenty of psychological horror tales, creep horror and shock horror. A little humor in the vein of Re-Animator and Evil Dead.

The first issue will be released late Sept. 2008 for the halooween season.

4. Screamland

It is unlike any other monster story I had ever read. Screamland assumes that the monsters are very real. And while they are monstrous and immortal, they have had a hell of a time making ends meet since the faded glory days of their monster movies in the 30s and 40s. When Screamland opens, it's the post-dot-com boom and bust of the late nineties. The Frankenstein monster is washed-up, bitter, drunk and broke after a failed dot-com investment. The Wolfman is (barely) working the Midwest doing third-rate comic cons and sci-fi conventions (and trying to drown himself in booze or score some tail)... and the Mummy... well, it's tough being Middle-Eastern and immortal in post 9-11 America.

Dracula, however... Dracula's doing fine.

What struck me most about Screamland is how real, how frail, messed up, and empathetic the monsters were. The story is really told from their point of view, and from where they stand, the humans around them are the real monsters.

3. Impaler

In the year 1460, a ferocious horde of vampires sweeps across Europe, and the only person that stands in their way is Vlad Tepes. Tepes goes through an arcane ceremony that grants him the supernatural powers he needs in order to defeat the vampires.

Fast forward to the present. NYC Homicide Detective Victor Dailey is set to retire as a New York City Homicide Detective. His wife died six months earlier from breast cancer, and now Dailey is nothing more than a shell of a man, going through the motions until he can turn in his badge and move to Florida.

As Dailey finalizes the terms of his retirement, an abandoned ship named the Demetrius is found drifting off the coast of Long Island. The ship was returning from an archeological dig in Morocco and the mutilated crew is discovered in the ship’s hold. As the investigation into what happened aboard the Demetrius winds down, the remaining police officers are attacked and killed by an ancient vampire, a vampire that was inadvertently released from its prison in Morocco by the Demetrius’ crew.

As darkness falls, an all-out vampire assault strikes Manhattan, the vicious beasts attacking with impunity. Humanity's only hope rests with Vlad Tepes, who must defeat the vampires once and for all.

2. Tales From The Crypt

Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, and The Vault of Horror are three bi-monthly horror comic anthology series published by EC Comics in the early 1950s. Tales from the Crypt hit newsstands with its April/May 1950 issue and ceased publication with its February/March 1955 issue, producing a total of thirty issues. The title was popular, but, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, comic books came under attack from parents, clergymen, schoolteachers, and others who believed the books contributed to illiteracy and juvenile delinquency. In April and June 1954, highly publicized Congressional subcommittee hearings on the effects of comic books upon children left the industry shaken. With the subsequent imposition of a highly restrictive Comics Code, EC Comics publisher William Maxwell Gaines canceled Tales from the Crypt and its two companion titles in September 1954. All three titles have been reprinted at various times since their demise and have been adapted for television and film.

1. Vampirella

Vampirella was originally presented as an inhabitant of the planet Drakulon, a world where people lived on blood and where blood flowed in rivers. Drakulon orbited twin suns, Satyr and Circe, with the former erupting at irregular intervals to destroy all life on the planet. As the effects of the explosion wane, a new civilization begins. The race of which Vampirella was born, the Vampiri, were able to transform themselves into bats at will, sprout wings when required, and drink blood.

The story begins with the inhabitants of Drakulon being destroyed slowly by Satyr's latest eruption. The last few lie dying when a spaceship from Earth crashes on the planet. Vampirella, sent to investigate, is attacked; retaliating, she discovers that the astronauts have blood in their veins. In order for her race to survive, she manages to pilot the ship back to Earth where her adventures begin. Vampirella becomes a "good" vampire, and devotes her energy to ridding our world of the homegrown "evil" kind.

Harris Comics revived Vampirella in the miniseries Morning In America, written by Kurt Busiek. Soon thereafter, Vampirella was established as being brainwashed by her sister and brother (in the story "Mystery Walk") and led to believe she was from the planet Drakulon. She learned that she was, in fact, the daughter of Lilith, whom popular medieval Jewish lore depicts as the first wife of Adam. Lilith would not submit before Adam and was cast out of Eden. She mated with demons in hell, giving birth to vampires who would kill the offspring of Adam and Eve on Earth. Later, she sought redemption from God and gave birth to Vampirella, whom she sent to Earth to kill all evil vampires. According to this account, Drakulon was a part of Hell where Lilith lived and ruled.

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