REVIEW: Decay #23


Featuring work by Darren Koziol, Katrina Young, Ben Sullivan, Kurt Stone, Arthur Strickland, Stuart Rumbel, Ken Best, Stephen Rios & Dragan Vignjevic


The masters of Australian Horror Comics are back with issue #23 of the wildly popular Decay and boy do they deliver!

If eighties exploitation movies, Cosmic Cannibalism and a certain Classic Australian Road Action Movie with an added vampire twist are up your alley, then you are in for a treat.

Things kick off with Decay creator Darren Koziol’s THE FUCK-UPS ‘Run through the jungle’ Created, Written and lettered by the man himself, with art by Ben Sullivan.

This heavily eighties influenced action segment is a fast paced, ultra violet, sadistic take on the A-Team and readers are thrown head first into a ‘not to be shared with your Grandma’ battle as the self proclaimed Unit of Crack Team Commandos take on a Murderous Warlord and his band of Guerrillas. Led by the seemingly level headed Sarge, the group also consists of the token bloody thirsty Brute, a Soccer Hooligan with a passion for the flame, a insane former surgeon, a serial killer with a love for creating his own suits (you’ll see!), a yellow-belled real life Zombie and the seemingly sane Female Beauty of the group who likes to take up any opportunity should it arise.

The dialogue and writing from Koziol speeds along nicely and allows the readers to get a glimpse into the origins of each of the FUCK-UPS members while at the same time not getting bogged down in the past as the action explodes (body parts everywhere) across the panels that are drawn wonderfully by Sullivan. His artwork on the characters and the gore they deliver with each shot, stab and bite help to capture the insanely over the top violence of this nonstop action scene. THE FUCK-UPS isn’t a brilliantly written original story and nor does it have to be, but it is one hell of a fun out of control violent gore fest and I look forward to what these psychopaths will get up to next.

Next up we have the OZ ZOMBIE segment titled ‘Road kill’ again Created, Written and lettered by Darren Koziol and with art by Kurt Stone. This short little piece is exactly the violent thing you would expect by simply reading the title and Kozoil’s writing and Stone’s art compliment each other nicely to deliver a nice little punch.

Thirdly we have the return of fan favourites SISTERS in ‘Silver City’ Created, Written and lettered by Koziol and with art by Arthur Strickland. The Vampire SISTERS are back and this time we catch them in 1980’s Broken Hill NSW awakening after a week long ‘sleep’ where they stumble across the movie set of the Australian Action Classic MAD MAX 2. Koziol’s writing is great in this segment as he slots the characters in nicely to the real life event and their interaction (and possibly influence?) with the filming crew comes across nicely.

Strickland’s artwork is the strongest of the issue and he captures not only the Landscape of the Australian outback wonderfully but also gives the characters a fantastic look across each panel and seeing the crew from MAD MAX will make you want to go and watch the movie again after reading.

Up next we have the wonderfully crazy THE YOINKER PROVIDES written and drawn by Stuart Rumble. It’s a highly original tale of Cosmic Cannibalism with nice character art and scene design by the Writer/Artist, which sticks with you for a while after reading (don’t think I’ll be cutting in on anyone in traffic again for a while).

The fifth entry in this issue is the story of Satanic summoning in NIGHT VISITOR by writer/artist Ken Best with lettering by Darren Koziol. A short segment about the lesser of two evils at it’s core and Best does well to bring the disgusting vibe in both art and writing to the true villain of the piece.

Lastly we have THE GUMBALL MACHINE written by Stephen Rios with Art by Dragan Vignuevic and lettering by Darren Koziol. This different take on the ‘End of Days’ is a sort of ultra violent version of The Village of the Dammed which has a follows a man as the last day of his life ends because of a simple candy. It’s a strange tale with good pacing and nice artwork that serves as a fitting last entry to this issue.

Issue #23 of DECAY is a real mixed bag of stories that will work well together to get the reader interested and wanting more. With great art especially in the SISTERS segment, Koziol and the Writers and Artists that he gets on board continue to prove why DECAY is the Zombie-King of Australian Comic Horror.

Get this and the new issue #24 at Kickstarter here.


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About Clancy Ellis

Clancy Ellis
Clancy James Ellis is a Perth based fiction writer with a background in Journalism. He specialises in tales of Horror and the Macabre as well as the occasional dabble in the Drama genre. The Kimberley native enjoys painting and drawing in his spare time and is also a huge fan of comics and avid supporter of the Australian comic scene.

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