Various Artists — House of Waxwork Issue 1

News / Vinyl Review / July 28, 2017

Comic book, soundtrack enthusiasts will find joy in ‘House of Waxwork’

Waxwork Comics

The Comic

Waxwork Records, known for their horror soundtrack releases, venture here into the world of comic books. Their first release, House of Waxwork — Issue 1, is a 32-page anthology, containing two creepy short stories: Occult Slumber Party, written by Gabe Soria (Batman 66’), and The Lighthouse Keeper, written by Kevin Bergeron (Waxwork CEO). Both will remind you of the classic short stories found in the horror-anthology comic books that inspired them, such as Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt. And much like those comic books, and the current rebirth horror cinema is experiencing, there’s a strong reliance on smart storytelling here that makes each story a joy. While Occult is a great tale, and a fantastic introduction to what Waxwork is trying to do here, The Lighthouse Keeper is the real standout. Although shorter, you’ll be impressed with Bergeron’s first foray into comic book writing, along with the ability to pack in two shocking twists and creatively present just the right amount of gore. A joy from start to finish, whether you’ve previously enjoyed horror comics or not.

The Music

What separates Waxwork from other horror comics is, of course, the inclusion of a 7″ record, featuring a theme for House of Waxwork as well as two tracks that are meant to score each of the two short stories. Waxwork’s intention here is simple. The reader will hopefully play each theme while they read each story. Any hesitation I held towards the concept was quickly extinguished, as the first track paired perfectly with Occult Slumber Party, as if it was plucked right from an ’80s horror film. The Lighthouse Keeper improved on the experience, simply as it was twice as long, and I’m a slow reader. With Occult I had to restart the track, making it a slightly less immersive experience. What’s most impressive, though, is just how well timed out the tracks are, matching up with story beats quite appropriately.

All Original Music by Rami Sharkey, Kevin Dredge, The Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra, Douglas Pipes, and Creeper.

Sound Quality 

Both colorways sound great here. I only detected a few pops and clicks throughout my playthrough on my high-def system, which is to be expected.

Packaging

Really impressed with the packaging here. Waxwork — as they typically do — put fun little touches on every component to this release. The comic itself, which features impressive cover artwork from Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative, has an interesting and unique texture to it, feeling like a fine sandpaper or skateboard grip-tape. Waxwork stated in an Instagram post that this was because the stories were so scary, you needed to have a good grip on the comic, so as not to drop it.

Inside the comic you’ll find a vintage Waxwork Records ad for their soundtrack releases, designed by popular poster artist Gary Pullin (I’m surprised they didn’t include a mail-order form, that’s how legitimate it seems). The 7” is heavyweight, coming in two different colorways, one for each story found, and both with a splatter effect. The sleeve itself features the “Die-rector,” the House of Waxwork character who introduces the two stories, and is made from high quality material. A great package that can be compared, in positive respects, to Waxwork’s soundtrack releases.

Download Code: Yes.

Comic book, soundtrack enthusiasts will find joy in 'House of Waxwork' Waxwork Comics The Comic Waxwork Records, known for their horror soundtrack releases, venture here into the world of comic books. Their first release, House of Waxwork — Issue 1, is a 32-page anthology, containing two creepy short stories: Occult Slumber Party, written by Gabe Soria (Batman 66’), and The Lighthouse Keeper, written by Kevin Bergeron (Waxwork CEO). Both will remind you of the classic short stories found in the horror-anthology comic books that inspired them, such as Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt. And much like those comic books, and the current rebirth horror cinema is experiencing, there's a strong reliance on smart storytelling here that makes each story a joy. While Occult is a great tale, and a fantastic introduction to what Waxwork is trying to do here, The Lighthouse Keeper is the real standout. Although shorter, you'll be impressed with Bergeron's first foray into comic book writing, along with the ability to pack in two shocking twists and creatively present just the right amount of gore. A joy from start to finish, whether you've previously enjoyed horror comics or not. The Music What separates Waxwork from other horror comics is, of course, the inclusion of a 7" record, featuring a theme for House of Waxwork as well as two tracks that are meant to score each of the two short stories. Waxwork's intention here is simple. The reader will hopefully play each theme while they read each story. Any hesitation I held towards the concept was quickly extinguished, as the first track paired perfectly with Occult Slumber Party, as if it was plucked right from an '80s horror film. The Lighthouse Keeper improved on the experience, simply as it was twice as long, and I'm a slow reader. With Occult I had to restart the track, making it a slightly less immersive experience. What's most impressive, though, is just how well timed out the tracks are, matching up with story beats quite appropriately. All Original Music by Rami Sharkey, Kevin Dredge, The Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra, Douglas Pipes, and Creeper. Sound Quality  Both colorways sound great here. I only detected a few pops and clicks throughout my playthrough on my high-def system, which is to be expected. Packaging Really impressed with the packaging here. Waxwork — as they typically do — put fun little touches on every component to this release. The comic itself, which features impressive cover artwork from Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative, has an interesting and unique texture to it, feeling like a fine sandpaper or skateboard grip-tape. Waxwork stated in an Instagram post that this was because the stories were so scary, you needed to have a good grip on the comic, so as not to drop it. Inside the comic you'll find a vintage Waxwork Records ad for their soundtrack releases, designed by popular poster artist Gary Pullin (I'm surprised they didn't include a mail-order form, that's how legitimate it seems). The 7” is heavyweight, coming in two…

Grade

Overall - 95%

95%

Either one of the components found here could have easily felt like an afterthought, which is why it's all the more impressive that they work so well together. The music, the stories, the packaging and design, they all come together to create a unique and new product that both the vinyl and comic industries will benefit from. Comic book and soundtrack enthusiasts alike will find joy in what Waxwork Comics has to offer here in their first issue.

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Zachary Behm
Zachary Behm is from Asheville, NC and has been a writer and illustrator for Modern Vinyl since August 2014. He currently works as a child therapist, and sometimes does freelance illustration. If you have a question or comment, don’t hesitate to tweet him or find him on Instagram: @zachbehm_illustration






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