If you are a fan of B-movies, particularly in the horror genre, Vault Comics’ Cult Classic: Creature Feature is the perfect addition to your reading list. Written by Eliot Rahal and illustrated by John Bivens, the “love letter to B-movie madness” features colors by Hannah Jerrie and Iris Monahan, designs by Tim Daniel, and letters by Taylor Esposito. A collected edition of the series hits stores this week, and Vault Comics has provided The Beat with an exclusive preview of the full first issue of the series to whet your appetite for terror.
Here’s the official synopsis for Cult Classic: Creature Feature from the publisher:
Eons ago, visitors from outer space buried an item of unimaginable power in the primordial swamps that would one day become King Lake–a quaint little basin on the edge of Whisper, USA.
Millions of years later, a comet’s radioactive waves awaken the monster slumbering beneath the lake. As the beast feeds on America’s sweet, delicious youth, brain-slugs infect the quiet town, causing victims to vomit up their kill-hungry, zombified skeletons.
But for seventeen-year-old Jarrod Parker, none of that stuff matters much. For him, this isn’t about the Apocalypse. It’s about payback. Nothing–not his friends, not the undead, not even the end of the world–will keep him from vengeance.
As part of the creator-owned shared universe of interwoven stories created and curated by Rahal in 2018 with Cult Classic: Return to Whisper, Rahal described Cult Classic: Creature Feature as everything he loves all in one project:
There is an old quote about doing creative work, “Make the things you want to see.” Well… Creature Feature is that for me. This is the kind of project I’ve always wanted to make.
Sam Raimi is my all time favorite director. Army of Darkness is what got me into reading comics and exploring sci-fi as a teenager. I went to film school because of Bruce Campbell. I love this stuff. And it’s been my dream to make my own version of it one day. A B-Movie love letter grounded in real human emotion and in the moment character decision making all playing out on a ridiculous stage. It’s insanity with consequences.
Fortunately, my collaborator and co-creator John Bivens is a kindred spirit. John is a perfectionist. His work is immaculate. What’s more, he’s a sensitive and kind man who understood that in order for this book to work we needed to feel our characters. But more importantly… he loves the same stuff I do. The blood, the guts, the gore. The interior artwork of Creature Feature reflects all of John’s personality. Also, the color work done by Iris Monahan and Hannah Jerrie is something truly to admire. Their rich colors and neon despair blends the line work perfectly and single-handedly sets the tone for everything. It’s so good. Plus, Taylor Esposito on letters. Because he knows how to come in with those little touches that make the pages sing. Honestly, the art alone is why you should pick up this book. And that’s my favorite thing about this. Ya know… aside from alien lake monsters and brain slugs making your skeleton jump out your throat feet first.
Artist Bivens chimed in:
This book started with Eliot Rahal and I sitting in a dive bar discussing so-bad-they’re-good horror movies from the eighties. Eliot was talking about Night of the Creeps while I droned on about TerrorVision. We took that ball, ran with it, and a couple years later we have Cult Classic: Creature Feature. Along the way we brought on Hannah & Iris to handle colors. Both interned at my studio, World Monster HQ, and both are going to do great things in this industry. Then there is Taylor… he’s the best.
Check out the full first chapter of the story below. Cult Classic: Creature Feature hits stores on Wednesday, August 5.