Thursday, December 15, 2005



Pete Von Sholly’s Morbid
By Pete Von Sholly (shocking)
Starring the Von Sholly Players
Published by Dark Horse

I should love this.

This is a collection of various short comics homaging and parodying terrible science fiction and monster films from the 50s and 60s, H. P. Lovecraft and The Matrix. This is stuff I love. This is what I fall back on and geek out about when I’m sad or depressed or stuck in another country after having my passport stolen.

It’s also (in addition to comics) what I talk about all the time with anybody who’ll listen. Stupid science fiction and horror stuff make me really happy.

But Morbid doesn’t do anything for me. I think a large part is the way it’s, um, arted. Von Sholly says he’s been an artist for decades, storyboarding films and drawing underground comics in the 60s and 70s. However, he could be the most amazing artist I’ve ever seen and I wouldn’t know, because the amount of actual drawn artwork in this comic amounts to (I think) less than two pages. These are I think the best two pages in the entire book. Check out this picture (sorry for the shitty image quality), these comics look awesome!

The rest of the art is a combination of computer generated effects and photographs of people acting out the scenes.

Von Sholly says in his introduction that he wanted to make the movies he wanted to and by using comics and computer effects he could have the biggest budgets imaginable. I’m not going to knock the computer effects he’s using in this comic, some of them look pretty good and I sure as hell couldn’t do better. My problem is with the photos. They don’t blend well with the computer graphics. I don’t know if this is down to talent or technological abilities, but everything has this horrible fakeness to it. If everything was computer generated it would look odd (humans almost always look odd when computer generated) but at least everything would match.

The writing on short stories is of a variable quality. Some of them are pretty fun (the H. P. Lovecraft one), while others have some really good parts (using a body as a lure for other humans), but most of them are just okay and a couple are really bad. Von Sholly adds a lot of, to my mind, juvenile humour to the old b-movie plots and he hasn’t improved upon the sexism inherent in those old movies. Yeah, he’s mocking it directly but it’s still there. I much prefer to see pastiches of old stupid sci-fi acknowledge that people in the past were stupid and put females in leading (or at least intelligent) roles. I think you can keep the feel of everything and not treat women as sex objects.

In the end I’m glad I only paid $3 for this from a bargain bin.


Hi! Love you blog articles.
A passionate fan for years so I started my own blog :-)
See you.
Good Luck!
Hi! Love you blog articles.
A passionate fan for years so I started my own blog :-)
You might enjoy this audio interview with Pete Von Sholly, author of the "Capitol Hell" political satire postcard book.
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