…you just get introduced to this badass, demon taking character.
If you’re a fan of horror, (in this case, pulp-noir horror) I highly recommend you give the Tales of Mr. Rhee by Dirk Manning a read. Volume one is a collection of the first thirteen chapters from the digital version put in print. Each chapter is a couple pages long—and like some other classic horror tales, it features some nice black and white art. Oh, and before I forget, there’s also magic in this. So, that’s a lot of fun.
This was the first thing I’ve read from Dirk Manning. So, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. But to rewind a bit first, I went to a couple panels Mr. Manning was involved in during our recent coverage of the Wizard World Comic Con in Cleveland—and he seemed like a cool dude who knew what he was doing in the comic book game. So, I figured I’d give some of his stuff a try. And I must say, I was rewarded for taking the chance.
What I really like about Mr. Rhee is that you don’t get the whole story at first; you just get introduced to this badass, demon taking character. The slow burn of finding out Mr.Rhee’s back story is a lot of fun. And the bio of the main character is a nice touch as well. Also, when it comes to the magic, there are rules that apply for its use—which makes for a more interesting story.
As for the art, the way that Josh Ross, Austin McKinley, and Sean Burres work together and use gray tones to add depth is done very well. Their take on the magical elements of this book are both awesome and really creepy. I’m not sure how much of an input the artists had on the characters’ designs, but everybody inside this book looks great.
As I’m writing this review, I’m almost done with the first issue of volume 2—and I can tell you right now that this series only gets better. I’m really happy that I decided to give Mr.Rhee, and Dirk Manning, a chance. I know there’s a lot of bad indie horror books out there, but this definitely isn’t one of em. Support great comics and pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m giving The Tales of Mr. Rhee:
4 Out of 5 Whiskey Shots
Hello there folks. DPW Editor-In-Chief, Caleb James here. I don’t normally piggyback on Spencer’s reviews/recommendations, but I also had the pleasure of reading Mr. Manning’s work. And while I’d like to give a review of my own, I tend to go on and on. And that’s just not what these Fast and Easy reviews are all about. So, I’ll break it down to the basics.
During the same con, I also attended Dirk’s panels and talked with him a bit. I ended up grabbing his horror collection, Nightmare World Vol. One: Thirteen Tales of Terror. And I must say, I absolutely loved it.
This collection was unique in how each story was relatively short, yet managed to tell a whole tale and have a twist ending. As a writer, I know how hard it is to try and tell a whole story in a limited word count. But Dirk has done a masterful job of this.
Each tale had it’s own unique story to tell—but once you finished the book you realize they are all connected into a bigger universe where something nefarious lurks. And while I haven’t read Mr. Rhee yet, I have a sneaking suspicion these tales have something to do with that universe. Very clever.
A lot of the stories in this volume remind me of the old Tales From the Crypt books I read as a kid—but actually scary. None of the cheese those old pulp-style horror comics had. And while there were a few stories that didn’t shine as bright as others, I can honestly say I enjoyed each one. This is a first for me in the world of short story collection reading. Especially in comic book form.
One last thing, all the artists on this book were great. Many different and unique styles that really added to the creepy factor of the stories. Nothing felt out of place or overdone. And most importantly, they ADDED to the stories rather than took something away from them. Far too often you get a style of art in these kinds of books that is so overdone it takes the reader’s attention away from the story being told. Good job to everyone involved!
As a supporter of independent creators, I’m saddened to say I get burned more often than not when it comes to buying quality work. So, to Dirk Manning, thank you for creating something I can personally recommend to people interested in reading Indie books. I’ve been on a long losing streak of finding well-done work, but you broke the mold with this series. I can’t wait to check out the rest of them!
I give Nightmare World: Thirteen Tales of Terror Vol 1:
5 Out of 5 Whiskey Shots
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