First off, the new recruit to a scout troop gets more than he bargained for in 'Pack 666', a breezy fable drawn by Bridgit Scheide, whose work can go from cute to cutting in an instant. And the use of grey tones - Death Curse is printed in black and white - enhances the already appealing artwork. You may guess what's coming, but it's a lot of fun getting there.
More surprising is the tale of 'Vacculus', because it's so darn out there - this Count is one sucker you don't want to be having a dust-up with (click on image to enlarge). As with the introductions, the dialogue's a tad coarse for my delicate English sensibilities, but the air of good-natured grossness prevails. Chris Moreno obviously had a ball drawing this, giving real expression to his characters in wild layouts. My favourite panel shows the legal aftermath of a car crash, it's hugely atmospheric and almost alive with movement. I do think, though, that if the hooker has to get her (massive) bits out, so should the client. Equal objectification in horror anthologies, if you please.
'Parting Out' is an accomplished offering involving a cute young biker and a sinister old mechanic. There's suspense to be had in wondering who is actually stalking whom, before a well-composed reveal. The illustrations by Larkin Ford are spot on, hitting all the dramatic beats, and there's a nice use of Letratone.
And finally, we learn the 'Storybook Origin' of Mr Latch and Curse in a disgusting little vignette drawn by Jonas Britt, whose soft storybook style makes the horrific scenes all the nastier. This one went a little far for my tastes - I'm more The Haunting than Saw - but it does what it does very well.
So with Haven and Larry being the only unwelcome guests at this Lost Story Studios party, I'm voting Death Curse #1 a hit, a fun update on the old EC horror comics for today's viscera-demanding kids. Me, I'm rather relieved it's in black and white ...