Remember - most of these images are merely thumbnails...don't forget to CLICK on 'em to see things the way they really are!


Monday, June 22, 2020


New Comics Review
 Published by ACP COMICS


Greetings, comic book lovers! I bring you a mystery!

I cannot speak to the state of modern comics, my friend, but most historians would agree that since the early days of Superman and Batman eighty years ago, and the resurgence of Marvel nearly sixty years ago, the industry has changed drastically. Independent publishers now have freedom to create like never before, and the internet provides a perfect platform to market and distribute new comics to an ever-widening audience.

But what is today's MYSTERY?
Q: How does the comic book fan of today find actual new, high quality comics that aren't over-priced, SJW/PC propaganda pap slogged out from DC, Marvel or some other big names?
A: It can be difficult to navigate the raging, uncharted waters of modern comics without some kind of a guide, or a map. A little word of mouth, a tip from a friend. Well, lucky you, I have been set adrift upon the waves of comic book horizons, and I have traversed those murky whitecaps already, so if we follow my simple treasure map as outlined below, perhaps we can find comics gold.

The best new comics of today are ones that take all of the best lessons that we have learned from over half a century of comic book story-telling history, distilling every element that has successfully worked and utilizing it, while adding their own distinctive and completely new creative vision. I believe one of the comics publishers doing this beautifully is ACP COMICS. 

In the past I have purchased, and am the proud owner of, ACP COMICS Horror/Sci-fi anthology series FORBIDDEN GALLERY issues #1-3. The first quantifiable attribute you cannot help but notice quickly is the excellent, high-quality of the production. Absolutely the finest paper I've seen on any comic book, ever. No lie.  Also, gone are the days of out-of-register printing! Every page is as perfect as the previous or the next. As an artist who also spent nine years as a printer, I am a qualified expert in judging such print quality. As far as quality, ACP COMICS knows what it is doing. 

You might say, "What good is glossy paper and slick printing if the art and story are crap?" So true. So many new or Indy comics have almost stick-figure art and lazy stories that your crazy cat-lady Aunt Mabel may have written. Perhaps to avoid such disappointing tripe, consider a switch from brand-x comics and start collecting ACP COMICS!

But, seriously, FORBIDDEN GALLERY comics have all the hallmarks of classic comics of the past, while bringing some of the most cutting edge creative story-telling and artwork, all from extremely talented people. 

ACP COMICS writer/editor/publisher William Mull is doing Yeoman's work to bring good comics back in vogue. The multi-talented Mr. Mull writes many of the original stories himself, and his studied grasp of the genre is reflected in gripping and often unsettling Gothic horror-tinged prose, seemingly culled from the heart of pulps long passed into the shrouded depths of another era. Assisting Mr. Mull ably is art director Daerick Gross Sr., whose skill at graphic design has helped FORBIDDEN GALLERY comics present a slick and polished product from the initial publication that has only improved with each issue. 
While publisher Mull may perform lion's share of the creative burden (often lettering or coloring as well), he has a growing roster of creative writers and artists contributing their skills to the final product. Some names are easily recognizable to those familiar with the industry, writers like Nicola Cuti, Roger McKenzie, Paul Kupperberg and others, along with industry professionals like artists Benito Gallego, Dan Day, Karl Comendador, Jeff Austin, and many others. The result is top-notch, high quality new comics. 

So, just what is this comic book I'm talking about, FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4?
FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4  -  Cover artwork by Steven Butler

Possibly the best new anthology comic out there, with each issue featuring multiple stories of the sci-fi/horror flavored variety. Take a pinch of 50's pre-code horror/sci-fi comics like EC Comics, add a dollop or two of Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Night Gallery, spice it up with elements from 70's Marvel and DC sci-fi/horror, don't forget a slice or two of the old Warren B/W masterpieces, then drizzle a few drops of the Hammer Films, and finally, top it all off with the twistiest twist endings that O. Henry couldn't have predicted.

Beginning with issue #1, FORBIDDEN GALLERY has been hosted by the dark and mysterious Archimedes. Handsome, devilish, and in complete control, Archimedes reveals, one by one, different  arcane works from his Forbidden Gallery to a very special and select audience (which includes the reader). In a role much akin to TV's The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling (but with much darker spiritual ties), the charming yet dangerous, intimidating and aloof Archimedes leads the reader through several varying tales of adventure, terror, and mystery!

Your Host, ARCHIMEDES and friend

As I've said, I have previously purchased FORBIDDEN GALLERY issues #1, #2, and #3, and enjoyed them all very much. The first issue was very good, and ACP has genuinely improved FORBIDDEN GALLERY with each issue, as they continue their forward progression. I think it's a great comic, so when I was given the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the upcoming FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4 for review, I was very excited to see what was coming next! I held high hopes for this issue and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed it just as much as I had anticipated!

When I think of horror/sci-fi comics in general, the gold standard is EC comics of the 50's. The new FG comics understand that,I think, at least they evoke that sense of nostalgia, while behind that familiar facade there lurks the menacing new form of horror. Reminder: If blood in comics makes you squeamish, then perhaps this comic isn't for you. While every page is not a slaughterhouse, ACP Comics aren't shy when violence is a vital part of the story.

That said, even EC Comics only managed four stories per issue, but ACP Comics has packed five stories into this comic!

FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4  -  Frontispiece artwork by Daerick Gross Sr. 

Story: Ed Devore / Pencils: Portaveritas / Inks: Jeff Austin / Colors: Kevin J. Frear / Letters: William Mull
The possibility of shape-shifters among us, and what could
happen to the delicate 
balance of nature when the ignorant
thumb of selfish indifference weighs down on life's scales. 

What shambling horrors may be unleashed in the dark?


Story:James Hudnall / Art: Luca Cicchitti  / Colors: Matt Webb / Letters: William Mull
A tale of one man's struggle with the demon alcohol and the
sharp spiral into madness! 
A lonely stretch of road, a bottle
of booze, and a mysterious hitch-hiker spell 


Story: Dan Johnson / Art: Benito Gallego  / Colors: Kevin J. Frear / Letters: William Mull
The cruel Baron has no mercy towards the band of peaceful gypsies
who trespass on his hallowed 
lands, but his wicked plans for the
comely Melda will bring about an unraveling of 
his privileged world,
as the darkest secret of the gypsies is unveiled!


Story & Letters: William Mull  /  Art: Karl Comendador  /  Colors: Daerick Gross Sr.
Nuclear catastrophe of recent days brings about true horrors
only previously dreamed of 
in cinema, as a giant mutation rises from the sea
to threaten Japan! Can the mysterious 
Particle Man stop it's destruction,
or will Tokyo truly fall in the onslaught?


Story: Nicola Cuti  /  Art: Dan Day  /  Colors: Daerick Gross Sr.  /  Letters: William Mull
The farthest depths of space. An uncharted planet.
Is the Captain being overly paranoid, or is he merely trying to
protect his ship from unknown danger? 
What if even the strictest of
protocols isn't enough to prevent a...contamination?


Every story has an appearance and an introduction by Archimedes, and every story has it's own full-page splash Pin-Up!

FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4 has a gorgeous front and back cover scene with excellent artwork by Steven Butler! I think it's quite striking! His work has appeared in ACP before and I quite enjoyed it. But have you heard this? ACP COMICS is now offering Special Discount Deals on FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4 featuring FIVE (count 'em - FIVE!) VARIANT COVERS!

Besides the excellent original cover by Steven Butler,
ACP COMICS offers five variant covers featuring the artwork of the very talented and renowned:
You may want to get them all! You can find them by clicking the link below, along with ACP COMICS variety of discount packages.

There are some very clever stories appearing here, and some excellent story-telling. All of the art was well done, with a variety of styles, some of it was quite spectacular. THE END OF THE LINE, for instance, is an example of some of the gems of story-telling that Mr. Mull puts together each issue. The art of Benito Gallego has such a strong John Buscema stamp on it like no other artist! I had to check more than once to see if it was an old Buscema story, but it is just a facet of the talented artist's skill-set. That's just one out of the five stories that I enjoyed.

FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4 is a definite BUY!
I enjoyed this comic! I enjoyed the earlier issues, too, and I'm genuinely excited to see what is coming next from ACP.
My bottom line - I give this comic 4-1/2  stars out of 5
and in the murky expanses of comicdom, this book stands out as well above average, and certainly easily worth the trouble of a mouse click to see more in-depth information.
I do highly recommend this comic, FORBIDDEN GALLERY #4, and issues #1-3 as well! Click the link below! 
In my opinion, the future looks bright for this series, FORBIDDEN GALLERY, and this comics publisher, ACP COMICS.

No comments:

Post a Comment