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Carnopolis #1 (2003)

Carnopolis #1

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Comics for the sophisticated horror fan! That's what comes to mind when I try to describe the debut issue of Carnopolis. On the outside, it's a slick looking magazine with a beautiful glossy cover that looks damn good sitting on your coffee table. The Robh Ruppel cover is certainly an eye-catcher. On the inside, a combination of mature-themed comics and amazing artwork throughout.

Opening up the magazine, your first treated to a very nice piece of art on the inside cover by James Ryman. Flipping over a page and you've got the first story, Zombies of the SS by Marco Polo. It's 1945 and World War II has come to an end. The job's not completely done, however. Now there's a search for displaced nazi scientists who apparently have knowledge of some sinister arcane dimension. Marlena Foscari goes undercover to help make sure that this knowledge is not put to use. Unfortunately for her, things go wrong.

There are no zombies to speak of in this first installment of an ongoing series. This is just the set-up, though, and I'm sure there are plenty of them in the coming chapters. While there's not a lot of meat to the story just yet, Polo's artwork is excellent. The frames are large and open and encompass a lot of space. His views of the city are vast and detailed and lend themselves nicely to this magazine-size format. Polo doesn't skimp on the amount of nude flesh and at the end we're left with a nice cliffhanger.

Next up is From the Depths, one of three collections of pin-up style artwork in Carnopolis. This section contains images from James Ryman, each of which would look pretty sweet hanging on your wall. This guy can do amazing things with the female body...and it usually entails putting them around some nasty beast that you wouldn't want to meet up with in a dark alley. Or any alley for that matter. This is easily my favorite of the three galleries. Ryman, in my opinion, is one of the best in the business.

Winter by Noeland James Collins is up next. It's the first part in a two-part series of zombie mayhem and also my favorite part of the entire issue. There's no screwin' around here, the story starts off with a bang and Collins and his hero put a serious hurtin' on some undead. Fast-paced carnage is the name of the game in this story. It's a refreshing, high-contrast black & white style. By that I mean the artwork is either really black, or really white, with not much in the middle. Good stuff!

Then there's more exotic art, this time from Peter Clarke in Spider Bites. The imagery in this set of artwork is fantastic, and by that I mean more fantasy in nature...not to mention occasionally a bit odd. Clarke's talent is nothing to scoff at to be sure, but these pieces seem a bit misplaced for some reason. A few seem almost like incomplete sketches when compared to those of Ryan's.

If Peter Clarke has some off-the-wall imagery, then I don't know how to really classify the stuff that Eric Pigors creates in his Toxic Toons. Some of it is just plain weird. I suppose his art could be described as a combination of cartoonish humor, horror, and a reluctance to give up that childlike love for Halloween.

Last but not least is Deanna of the Dead by Bill Skaar. Deanna and her massive mammaries wrap up this premiere issue of Carnopolis. Actually, the story's not about her breasts, but they certainly stand out like they should be the focal point. Deanna uses those funbags and her goth-speak to accidentally awaken some denizens of the Netherworld. How does she get out of that predicament? Read it and find out. A fun little tale, with more top-notch artwork.

Overall, a very distinguished collection contained within an awesome cover, and an admirable start to the magazine. The only beef I have is that I wished that there were at least one additional story. If it wouldn't fit, then a little bit of art could be skimmed from the three galleries, or maybe trimmed to just two galleries. Then you've got a much meatier magazine! Other than that, I'm looking forward to issue #2!


(Out of 5)
September 17 2003

If you think you're too old to have comics lying around because you're afraid someone will see it and think you're a complete dork, there are no worries of that with Carnopolis. Get a copy and leave it out with pride.
1. When battling zombies, be sure to look around for wannabe necromancers.
2. Fight that urge of yours to dance naked in graveyards.
- "The whole problem with zombies. Without fail...there's so damn many of them."
- "Sadistic ghouls! I submit my body to your hideous purpose!"
- "The dead are impatient!"

Carnopolis Press
Billy George
Copyright 2003
Full-Size Magazine (8.5" x 11")
64 Pages
Exterior: Glossy Color
Interior: Black & White
Cover Price: $6.00


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