Horror anthologies since my earliest exposure to the world of comics have always been my favorite sub genre. My all time personal favorite comic series being the legendary Tales From the Crypt, from the moment I opened my first issue I fell in love with the format. Growing up I adored the Tromaville film Chillers, so, when I found out its director was going to be appearing at a local comic convention to promote a brand new anthology graphic novel based on said film, I screamed out in pure joy. Written by director/writer Daniel Boyd, along with many other talented writers Chillers is a must own book for horror fans.
I had the chance to meet Daniel as well as the young woman who modeled for the cover art Erica Roundtree Martin (also appears in one of the stories in the graphic novel as herself) at Huntington, West Virginia’s very first TriCon Comic Convention. Extremely nice and happy to be there, we briefly talked and I picked up the book that ultimately made me attend the convention to begin with. However, little did I know that I was about to rekindle a feeling that I had not experienced since the first time I was given a hand me down copy of Tales From the Crypt so many years ago.
The original film was based around five strangers stranded at a rural bus stop waiting on a late bus to arrive. Too help pass the time the strangers start telling each other various horror stories acting as the wrap-around plot for the anthology. Simple, yet flawless in terms of well executed wrap-around stories. The graphic novel uses a similar wrap-around story keeping it tied in closely to the film by having this collection being told by the driver of the bus, a selection of tales he has heard over the years as he takes unaware passengers on a one-way trip.
With an astounding eleven stories, over hundred pages of terror, Chillers gives you plenty of bang for your buck. Easily this is my favorite horror comic release of the year so far and will be very hard to dethrone maybe even impossible. There is no weak link when it comes to this book every writer involved is outstanding, each story is awesome and it is all tied together with top notch artists who perfectly capture the Tromaville vibe with its black and white art style. The perfect blend of black, white, grey, and halftone effects make each panel pop, bringing every story to life in a beautiful fashion.
If I had to choose, a favorite story it would be the first one entitled “Dr. Timmy’s Fearless Dentistry” for multiple reasons. The story revolves around a young man who is filled to the brim with fear, dwelling on a lost love forever tarnished by rejection. The young man starts to form a craving to murder those on the outside work that he feels so rejected by, scared he starts spending all his time at home working on superhero comics that reflect how he wish he could be. Stricken by a tooth ache he sees an strange infomercial for a dentist that claims to not only fix your smile but cure you of your darkest fears leading to a very interest twist and over the top gore soaked outcome that perfectly sets the tone and screams Tromaville in a furious punk rock tone. If you love horror anthologies, you have to read this book. Also, be on the look out for the original Tromaville film finally coming to DVD September 11th, 2012.