Spooktoberfest Special: The Greatest Horror Comic Ever

Ever since the heyday of EC back in the fifties, comics have had a pretty solid relationship–Wertham aside–with the horror genre, and as we enter the final stretch to Halloween, my thoughts have fallen onto the high points of the genre.

Whether it’s the historically inspired chills of From Hell or Torso, the thrills of action-horror like Hellboy, the genuine creepiness of Japanese titles like Mail, or a dozen others, horror comics have given us some amazing reads. But there’s one thing that blows them all away.

I am referring, of course, to this:

 

Dr. McNinja #8: Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja

 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I’ll sum up: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is a webcomic about a doctor who is also a ninja, and is thus torn between his desire to heal and his need to kill. As you might expect from the title, he has adventures along with his gorilla receptionist, Judy, and his sidekick, a twelve year-old gunslinger named Gordito who grew a handlebar moustache through sheer force of will. It is also the greatest thing ever.

Seriously, at this point, words can’t really capture the way I feel about what Christopher Hastings, Kent Archer and Carly Monardo are doing over there, but rest assured that my heart has developed boners for it, mostly thanks to things like this:

 

 

King Radical. The most radical man in the radical land. I don’t think I’m overselling things here when I say that as far as achievements in sequential art go, The Adventures of Dr. McNinja makes Watchmen look like bullshit.

But anyway, back to “Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja.”

Under normal circumstances, I’d offer up a more detailed summary, but since you can just head over there to read the entire series for yourself, I’ll just hit the highlights. All you really need to know is that in the previous story–which has the amazing title of “D.A.R.E. to Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence”–Dr. McNinja ended up killing a bunch of guys who were jacked up on drugs that gave them artificial ninja abilities. And in this story, they come back from the dead.

With a zombie clone of Ben Franklin.

To breakdance.

 

 

Okay, so technically I think that’s actually popping and locking, and even more technically, that only happens in a dream sequence, but the part about the ninjas (and Ben Franklin’s clone) coming back from the dead?

 

 

Fortunately, Cumberland–under the direction of their ex-astronaut mayor–has a plan in place for just such an occurrence: Dr. McNinja will kill them all, a process that involves a gorilla ramping over a pile of flaming automobiles in a 2007 Honda Accord while the Doctor holds onto a grappling line.

 

 

Clearly, this is the single greatest use of the undead in modern fiction.

At least until #8, where Dr. McNinja fights Dracula.

On the moon.

FOR REAL.

 

 


 

BONUS FEATURE: Dr. McNinja Answers the Hard Questions

 

 

So awesome. So, so awesome.

The Batchuk Contest: And The Winner Is…

Last Sunday, I asked the readers of the ISB to take their shots at drawing Batman using unconventional nunchuks, and I’ve gotta say: You guys really came through on this one, and I can honestly say that there wasn’t a single entry that didn’t make me laugh.

So let’s see what Batman’s pulling out to fight crime tonight!

 

The very first entry from NickT set the standard that everyone else had to live up to:

 

Nunchuks Made of Batman’s Dead Parents

 

Hey, thedarkbackward draws a lot like Matt Wagner! Somebody get this guy a miniseries!

 

Nunchuks Made of Frankenstein’s Monster

 

Pj Perez brought us the first in a sub-genre that can only be called “Sidechuks.”

 

Nunchuks Made of Robins

 

The rain on Chris’s chest is a salt-water baptism…

 

Nunchuks Made of Sharks… IN THE FUTURE

 

Kilmoonie knows that the most devastating weapon is brutal Internet handsomeness.

 

Nunchuks Made of Chris Sims

 

Jamie goes the extra mile to bring us…

 

Nunchuks Made of the Punisher

 

I knew there was a reason they called Just Some Guy “Mr. Action!”

 

Nunchuks Made of Jimmy Olsen
(Check here for a full explanation and a larger version)

 

Falcon7 goes back to Gotham by Gaslight to bring us this beautiful bit of destruction:

 

Nunchuks Made of 19th Century Street Urchins

 

Earlofthercs crafted a sigil to tap into the collective unconscious of the fictionverse, but when that didn’t work out, he drew this:

 

Nunchuks Made of Grant Morrison

 

The 52 worlds of the DC Universe are as a child’s plaything to Dave!

 

Nunchuks Made of Batmen

 

Psychofish knows that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through Jim Aparo.

 

Nunchuks Made of Mjolnir and Stormbreaker

 

Brian Smith gives us something that I can only describe as “inexplicable and hilarious.”

 

Nunchuks Made of That “Cliff Hangers” Guy From The Price Is Right
(AKA Yodelchuks)

 

Bryan Boles has next summer’s zombie-themed event comic RIGHT HERE!

 

Nunchuks Made of Brian Michael Bendis an Robert Kirkman

 

Tim C did a sequential piece that is just… Just… I mean freakin’ look at it!

 

Nunchuks Made of Monkeys That Are On Fire

 

Jacob Z. Clinton‘s entry is probably the most metal thing I’ve seen today. And I saw Slayer fight Manowar with broadswords.

 

Nunchuks Made of Narwhals Who Are Immune To The Omega Effect

 

It’s like andrewg2442 reached into my head and pulled out my most wonderful dream.

 

Nunchuks Made of Bears With Chainsaws

 

Mitch presents a martial art 65 million years in the making.

 

Nunchuks Made of Tyrannosaurus Rexes, One of Which Appears To Be In a Gang (or Breakdance Crew)

 

Ninjaink can smell their fear… and it is sweet.

 

Nunchuks Made of Chainsaws

 

DouglasG is all about keeping things in scale.

 

Nunchuks Made of Godzilla and Mechagodzilla

 

Sean Whitmore‘s entry isn’t really nunchuks, but come on: we’re not really dealing with the standard definition at this point.

 

Nunchuks Made of Batman’s Own Dislocated Arms

 

Heimdall deserves his own case in the Batcave.

 

Nunchuks Made of Sidekicks

 

Schujo has two words for you: “Ka” and “boom.”

 

Nunchuks made of Dynamite

 

And now, a few that I got via email:

Moises Tavera created a strange world in which The Dark Knight was even more awesome than it was:

 

Nunchuks Made of Movie-Sharks

 

Friend of the ISB Richelle Mead has a fun activity that you can do at home!

 

Nunchuks Made of Smash-Hit Urban Fantasy Novels

 

Paul Milne is now on my Christmas Card list forever.

 

Nunchuks Made of MODOK and MODAM

 

Michael Noonan sent me what is unquestionably the strangest entry I’ve ever gotten:

 


(Click for full-size)

Nunchuks Made of Chris Sims That Are Used To Defeat Tarot, Orca the Whale Woman, the Joker and Dave’s Long Box While Herbie and Rachelle Goguen Look On

 

Caleb Mozzocco gives us a triptych of awesome:

 


(Click for full-size)

Nunchuks Made of The Punisher, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, and Batman

 

And finally…

Philip Oldham is In It To Win It!

 

Nunchuks Made of Missy and Torrance, The Rancho Carne Toros Cheerleaders From Bring It On

 

I don’t think I’m exaggerating here when I say that with entries like that, this is quite possibly the greatest contest in the history of contests, and considering that I got somebody to draw Batman using nunchuks made of MODOKs who also have their own nunchuks, I think I could retire from this whole internet thing tomorrow and be perfectly happy with that. Everyone who contributed was absolutely fantastic. You’ve made the world more awesome, and you should all be proud.

But, this is a contest, and that means that there can be only one winner, and that (dubious) honor can only go to one entry.

Because when you get right down to it, this entire thing was based on Batman using nunchuks made of sharks, and there’s only one thing that could possibly beat those:

 

NUNCHUKS MADE OF ANTI-SHARK REPELLENT BAT-SPRAY
by CornFedCannibal

 

Congratulations, CFC! You’ve won yourself an autographed copy of Teenagers From the Future, featuring an all new essay by me on the inherent teenage cruelty of the Legion Constitution, a copy of Batman Chronicles v.1, wherein Golden Age Batman hits people with other people a lot, and whatever else I happen to scrounge up before it’s time to mail out the prize.

Thanks, everybody! And really… No OMACHUKS?

 

Note: I’ve been through my email and the comments of the original post twice each, but if I happened to miss anybody, please shoot me an email to let me know.

Music To Take Over the World To

Like a lot of culturally savvy guys in their mid–sigh, okay, late–twenties without much musical talent, I spend a lot of my time thinking up Good Band Names. I mean, there’s always a chance, no matter how small, that I could go out on the night of the full moon, meet the Devil at a crossroads, get him to teach me guitar at the cost of my immortal soul, and land a recording contract, and in this increasingly hypothetical situation, I’d need a solid handle for my band to really have a shot at cracking the charts.

For the record, I’m currently going with Deadliest Of Foes.

What I don’t think about, however, is the kind of music I’d actually be playing, probably because I just assume that when you bargain with the Devil, you end up with either Mississippi Delta Blues or Hardcore Death Metal. But really, the underlying concept of the band is even more important than having a snappy name, whether it’s something as simple as “four-piece guitar rock” or “retro-60s wall-of-sound Girl Group,” or as complex as “a nine-man hip-hop juggernaut based around classic kung-fu movies” or “galloping, epic barbaric Norwegian thrash metal.” Don’t get me wrong, having the actual talent helps too, but knowing where you’re starting from tends to make things easier.

Unfortunately, while I was coming up with names like “Hooray for Gooba” and “The Batwitches,” somebody else came up with the single greatest concept for a band that the world has ever seen: The GI Joe Killaz.

 

 

Renamed after a C&D from Hasbro as just “The Killaz,” are a three-piece group where a guy in a metal mask and a really hot brunette rap in character as Desto and the Baroness.

 

 

And yes. Cobra Commander is their DJ.

 

 

Pure. One hundred percent. Genius.

I’ve known about them for a couple of years, ever since Kevin hipped me to the fact that there was a band made almost explicitly for my tastes, but aside from the three tracks you can grab on their website, it wasn’t until Faithful Reader David B├ędard found a copy of their CD up in Canada and sent it to me for my birthday that I was able to hear the whole thing and believe me. It’s awesome.

Aside from the general songs about life on the streets and/or in Cobra Command, the best bits on the album are the ones where they take an episode of the cartoon like “Money To Burn” and build an entire track around them. To repeat: This is a CD where Stacy and Des bust rhymes for three minutes about Cobra Commander’s plot to use radiation to burn all of the paper currency in the world and replace it with his own money.

Looks like we have a new Best Album Ever. Suck it, Revolver.

Which isn’t to say that the other songs on the album aren’t great: “The Seduction,” wherein plans are laid out for defeating Roadblock (“I got my sight set on your machine lever / I think I’m burnin’ up with a case of Jungle Fever”) and Jinx (“Runnin’ towards me swingin’ two ninja swords / Drop the blades, drop your clothes and drop to the floor”) is fantastic, and in “Python Patrol,” they go through Cobra’s hierarchy and even manage to include the fact that Crimson Guardsmen are all college educated with lyrics that are not only funny, but are a pretty solid cut above other so-called “nerdcore” novelty acts.

Or at least I thought they were, but since it’s got a section where the Baroness is rapping about the Televipers, I could be a little biased.

Probably best if you judge for yourself. Believe it or not, the album is actually still available on Amazon, and as a public service, have a listen to my favorite track, based on one of my favorite episodes of the show (which is also available for download on their site, if you want to kill somebody else’s bandwidth):

G.I. Joe Killaz – Eau De Cobra (6.75 MB, 192 kbps mp3).

Because the only thing better than the Baroness making a mind-control perfume to steal money from a billionaire on a cruise ship is Destro rapping about it.

Dr. McNinja v.2 is Seriously The Most Awesome Thing I Have Ever Read

Okay, kids: It’s Confession Time.

Despite the fact that I’ve known about it for more than a couple of years, I don’t actually read The Adventures of Dr. McNinja on a regular basis. I realized the first time I saw it that while every page was worth seeing, Christopher Hastings and Kent Archer were telling stories that would just read better in big chunks, and so after I read the initial story of Dr. McNinja’s battle against Paul Bunyan’s disease, I filed it away as something to come back to later and blow through in one shot.

And then I promptly got distracted by… I don’t know, putting together a run of Power Man and Iron Fist or something. You know how I am. Point is, I never got around to reading it until I saw Kent Archer at HeroesCon and picked up the first two trades. What can I say? It’s just another example of my weird desire to pay for things that I could read for free on the Internet, and as someone who writes things for free on the Internet, I’m fully aware of the irony here.

But that doesn’t matter, because it turns out that that purchase was probably the best thirty bucks I’d ever spent, because this

 

 

…is the most awesome thing I have ever read.

And that’s not to say that the first volume isn’t great; it’s pretty much non-stop awesome and even includes references to Fitness Celebrity John Basedow, but the second one… man.

For those of you unfamiliar with the premise–and at this point, I’m pretty sure I’m the last person to write about it–here’s the short version:

 

 

Dr. McNinja is a doctor who is also a ninja, and is therefore torn between his need to heal and his need to kill. He has a gorilla receptionist named Judy, a dinosaur named Yoshi, and by the end of the first trade, he’s got a kid sidekick named Gordito who grew a moustache through sheer force of will.

And this is his dad, Dan:

 

 

When the second volume picks up with a story called D.A.R.E. To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence–and I cannot tell you how hard I love this book for that alone–Dan recruits his son to battle Franz Rayner, a Danish action movie star who singlehandedly wiped out most of the American Ninja population in the ’80s, and who is now manufacturing a drug that turns ordinary people into ninjas so that he has more ninjas to kill, which will of course lead to him becoming President.

And if that sentence didn’t blow your mind, then this will:

 

 

I don’t know if this was the comic Christopher Hastings and Kent Archer were born to make, but I’m pretty sure it’s the comic I was born to read.

So for the love of God, if you haven’t already, go read it, or even better, buy the trade, which features a bonus story written by Friend of the ISB Benito Cereno that climaxes in a panel so awesome that I was literally–yes, literally–crying from laughing so hard when I read it.

Because seriously: It is the single greatest use of ninjas since the video for Total Eclipse of the Heart.