Shock Shop – Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert, Leila Leiz,Bill Crabtree, Nate Piekos (Dark Horse)

Following in the blood-soaked footsteps of The Cryptkeeper and The Mistress Of The Dark herself Elvira, is the insatiable Desdaemona Nimue Moreau, the newest ghost host with the most from creator Cullen Bunn. Given it’s not as snappy a moniker, as some of its predecessors Moreau is nonetheless the spookiest, freakiest comic shop proprietor this side of Transylvania and she’s on hand to point you towards some of the more macabre stories she has to offer in the Shock Shop.

The first issue offers up two spinechilling tales which will give you the willies this winter. It kicks off with the fantastically titled Something In The Woods, In The Dark which pretty much sums up what you can expect when a gang of friends take a two-mile hike into the woods on a camping weekend. But there’s tension in the camp with married couple Tom and Willa whose marriage is less than happy because of Tom’s infidelities. When Willa seemingly goes on a wander it seems that the very forest itself, is ready to exploit any emotional issues within the group for its own bloodthirsty means, which is all perfectly brought together by the brutally bleak artwork of Danny Luckert.

The mysterious Ms Moreau is again is on hand to introduce us to her next tale of terror, Familiars in which the artwork responsibility falls to Leila Leiz, who offers more of an “Archie Comics” style albeit with the same level of beautiful violence, that Luckert brought to the book. It all starts off innocently enough as a single Dad moves into a new house, however the house is not all it seems and when his kids come over for a visit the house really shows what it can do. But is the problem with the house, the people in it or a little bit of both? This is not your run of the mill haunted house tale as Bunn, once again shows off his well honed horror chops.

The anthology style lends Shock Shop an instant appeal to horror fans, but the stories and artwork themselves also stand out, pretty much making this book, the complete package….Chris Andrews

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