Friday, 30 October 2020

FOUR CHAMBERS OF FRIGHT Kickstarter OCT 30th 7pm (PST)

From Garth Matthams, the writer/creator of “Witch Creek Road” and Nevin Arnold, the artist/creator of “Monsterella”,  “Four Chambers Of Fright” features four heart-stopping tales of terror delivered by the sensationally sadistic, “Dizzy”.

A “Four Chambers Of Fright” Kickstarter will launch October 30th, 2020 at 7pm (PST) to raise the funds necessary to get the book into print. Many amazing rewards will be available, including digital and print copies, a deluxe version of the book, as well as an exclusive virgin cover limited to just 100 copies!

It might have been over coffee, it might have been at a comic con, but at one point, inspired by some "Ghost Manor" comics we'd been enjoying (featuring horror hostess "Winnie The Witch"), Garth mentioned that if he did that type of horror anthology it would revolve around a vampire on roller skates named "Dizzy The Disco Draculette". I was hooked. Not long after, Garth was writing the book around his wildly popular "Witch Creek Road" series, and I was drawing it between pages for the next "Monsterella". The finished result is a truly unique and inspired twist on the horror anthology comic book, and I can't wait to share it with you!


Monday, 26 October 2020



Dizzy The Disco Draculette

An “Elvira” inspired horror anthology with a sinister twist by Canadian publisher Hangman Comics.October 26th, 2020. Vancouver Island, Canada.

From the writer/creator of “Witch Creek Road” and the artist/creator of “Monsterella”,  “Four Chambers Of Fright” features four heart-stopping tales of terror delivered by the sensationally sadistic, “Dizzy”.

Nevin Arnold (Monsterella, Calavera The Undead) and Garth Matthams (Witch Creek Road, The Living Finger), both monstrously huge fans of the classic horror comics and magazines of the 60s and 70s, have joined forces to create a sinister spin on the classic “horror hostess” narrated creepy comics of yesteryear.

In the tradition of the horror host, Dizzy spins multiple tales of terror, but unlike the many masters of the macabre that came before her, Dizzy tends to be a little more...INVOLVED in her work!

Written by Garth Matthams and illustrated by Nevin Arnold and Rodrigo Trindade. Also featuring art by Pablo Verdugo (“Mr. Beaver”) and stunning cover art by Sun Khamunaki (“Lady Death”).  

A “Four Chambers Of Fright” Kickstarter will launch October 30th, 2020 at 7pm (PST) to raise the funds necessary to get the book into print. Many amazing rewards will be available, including digital and print copies, a deluxe version of the book, as well as an exclusive virgin cover limited to just 100 copies.

Pending the success of the Kickstarter, the book is set for a February 2021 release.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

DIO Albums review for ABSOLUTE UNDERGROUND magazine

Holy Diver! Check out a review I wrote for the new DIO album remasters in Absolute Underground Magazine, the coolest metal/horror/tattoo mag in Canada!

Ronnie James Dio requires no introduction in the realms of rock 'n roll and metal, but if he did, it would be as one of the most influential and revered singer/songwriters in heavy metal history.  

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of his most unfortunate passing, BMG Records have reissued and remastered DIO's long out-of-print 1996-2004 studio albums – 1996’s "Angry Machines", 2000’s "Magica", 2002’s "Killing the Dragon" and 2004’s "Master of the Moon". 

To sum up Ronnie James Dio's musical legacy with any brevity is not a simple task, but I'll attempt a "coles notes" version. 

In 1975 Dio, along with guitarist/songwriter, Ritchie Blackmore (formerly of Deep Purple), forged the legendary British rock group, "Rainbow". Don't let the name fool you, they rocked to high heaven. Combining hard rocking and atmospheric compositions with Dio's powerful and versatile vocals, belting out songs of fantasy and medieval lore, they became very successful, very quickly. But it was not to last, and in 1979 Dio would go on to more than fill the shoes of Ozzy Osbourne as the new singer of Black Sabbath.

Sabbath was revitalized by Dio's contributions musically and lyrically and quickly achieved a second wave of success. But it too was not to last, (but would continue later in reunions), and in 1982 Dio moved on to form the DIO band. In 1983 they would go on to release the critically acclaimed album "Holy Diver". From there, with endless ripping guitars, soaring vocals, and Dio's trademark sword and sorcery infused lyrics, DIO went on to dominate the 1980's with chart-topping albums and hit singles. 

These early releases, from Rainbow, to Sabbath, to 80's DIO often overshadow Dio's later albums and collaborations. These reissues, featuring DIO's final four albums are nothing if not a reminder of the consistency of Dio's stand the test of time craftmanship. And as a collector and huge fan myself, the rare and live bonus tracks are a real treat. Each deluxe remaster features a bonus disc of rare and previously unreleased live tracks from the accompanying tour for each album. The 180-gram black vinyl editions include the original tracklistings and are available as a limited edition first run with an LP-sized Lenticular album art print. Each release also features updated artwork from frequent DIO art director Marc Sasso.

1996's "Angry Machines" concludes a trilogy I like to call "Dio Dark", which consisted of 1992's "Dehumanizer" (from Dio's second run with Black Sabbath), 1993's "Strange Highways" and "Angry Machines". This album showcases a much doomier, angrier musical approach which was consistent with a lot of classic bands at that time scrambling to find their footing in an uncertain decade for metal. The album is not without its gems, "Hunter Of The Heart" is very memorable, and the delicate album closer "This Is Your Life" shines very brightly at the end of this gritty musical journey. 

DIO kicked the fantasy overtones into overdrive for 2000's "Magica", a brilliant return to form after his darker 90's releases. The new millennium introduced a whole new generation of metalheads to DIO's unique brand of old school metal with stand out tracks like "Fever Dreams" and "Losing My Insanity". This epic concept album was originally planned to be the first part of a trilogy, unfortunately, Ronnie passed away before he could complete the project. This reissue includes the thundering track, "Electra", DIO's final recording, and only known song from the sessions that would have come to be Magica II and III.   

2002's "Killing The Dragon" really shines in the DIO discography, its chock full of memorable tracks that boast a current sound while still rooted in the classic greatness that they won fans over with in the 80's. The galloping title track kicks off the album and after a few seconds, if you didn't know already, there is no denying that DIO is back! "Along Came A Spider", "Better In The Dark", "Push" and countless other all-killer-no-filler tracks round out an excellent album that will have you returning to listen time and time again. 

Before Dio's triumphant third return to Black Sabbath, he released what would be the final DIO album, 2004's "Master Of The Moon". This album is a continuation of the greatness achieved on "Killing The Dragon", if not quite as consistent or hard-hitting, it still packs many powerful punches. The title track, "One More For The Road" and "End Of The World" among others once again capture that classic DIO magic while steering you into new territory at the same time. This reissue features a really great live version of "Heaven And Hell", as well as the classic "Rainbow In The Dark" and the rare studio track "Prisoner In Paradice". 

Not everyone will like a musical artist, you simply can't please everyone all of the time. I'm sure there were countless parents and religious figureheads that disproved of Dio's music, lyrics, and themes, but you would be very hard-pressed to find metal musicians, enthusiasts, and music industry professionals that have anything poor to say about Ronnie James Dio and his craft. Arguably the greatest metal vocalist of all time, his lyrics empowered, inspired, and opened one's eyes to the wonders that surround us, the truths we should always question, and the dreams we should never let the world take from us.

I can't tell you how many times I've listened to "Holy Diver", "Sacred Heart" or any of DIO's albums, countless times I'm sure. But I can tell you that they still move me to this day. All any of us can hope to achieve is a lasting legacy of positive influence after we're gone, and as selfish as it may sound, a hole that cannot be filled. Ronnie achieved all of the above and much much more. It's hard to believe he's been gone ten years, but it's easy to believe he'll live on for a hundred more.

DIO online:

Friday, 6 December 2019


An Interview with Nevin Arnold on Monsterella and Crowdfunding

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Supporting locally made comics is a passion for some, and to have a ringleader in charge helps wrangle everyone together. Nevin Arnold’s love for anthology works and comics started at a very young age. His career in illustration led him to create for Americanime Productions with “Honor of the Damned.” To have works published in Joe Shuster Gene Day’s award winning work Epic Canadiana #2 with “Ghost-Woman” speaks for itself. This eventually led him to develop his own brand of comics.
Readers of Calavera the Undead will be thrilled to see him as the ringleader behind Monsterella under the Hangman Comics banner. Chatting with him was an absolute pleasure, and I had to ask:
So what led you to the realm of all things dark, morbid and disturbing with the horror genre?
I remember spending my allowance renting old beta/vhs horror and science fiction movies, werewolves, vampires, aliens, and lots and lots of Godzilla. I’d buy from everywhere! Monsters were not only fun to draw, they made every story better. I guess Elvira (she was my first love) introduced me to a world beyond Saturday morning cartoons and I just never came back!
Monsterella Cover 1
How did the idea of Monsterella come about?
The idea for Monsterella came from me reading a lot of Vampirella magazines at the time–the ones from the 70s, using the anthology style format instead (an approach rarely used these days). She’s a cross between Vampirella and Elvira.
How did you assemble the team?
I go to all the comic book shows up and down the island and see many amazing regular artists and writers; I thought one day that wouldn’t it be fun [for all of us locals] to do a project together. When we have regular full time jobs, have lives and families and everything else, it takes us a long time to finish a book. We’re all chasing the dream of self publishing and the payoff–I hope–is that they can get a job with a major comic publisher.
With the huge gambit of sexy TV hosts, who would you love to see your hostess cross over with in the comic book world?
To have Lady Death would be really cool. Our incredibly talented cover artist, Sun Khamunaki drawn the centerfold in our Summer Special and has done covers for Brian Pulido’s Lady Death comics. She created a cover for the third issue that’s coming out in December.
Despite having an irregular release schedule, what can you say about stories which stand out and issue #3?
Everyone that has ever given me feedback on the first issue praises Josh Kully‘s “The Stork,” an incredible piece of work. Dan MacKinnon‘s two stories have created a following for his character Graelin whos is from his epic “From The Ashes” comic book. Lawrence Denvir illustrated Matt Smith’s amazing tale of “The Last Woman On Earth” which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Victoria, BC.

So many stories stand out: Julien Pilon introduced a new character, “Emma” in his werewolf tale in #2 that people are hoping to see more of. Plus the covers, by Khamunaki and John Gallagher (production artist for The CW’s many DC superhero shows), have really helped the book pop on the shelves. Victoria’s Gareth Gaudin brought some star power to the back cover of #1, everyone knows and loves both Gareth and his Perogy Cat.
For the new issue, Lawrence has a great new story entitled “Wheel Of Misfortune,” and Matt is offering three new short stories. Andrew Fryer, another local artist from Duncan illustrated a story for me called “The Space Siren of Sector 13” and it looks amazing. Also this upcoming issue features Hans Chow, Jhones-Bas CraneoGarth MatthamsLogan Reilly and Justin Shauf.
Also, I have an epic 13-page conclusion to the Monsterella tale that began in #1.
Monsterella Cover 2
How difficult is your role as editor?
One challenge with so many people involved is scheduling. Luckily our readers understand when we do the crowdfunding thing. I don’t start soliciting until the book is nearly done. The money goes to paying for the printing than us profiting.
I knew from the start that if I chose the right talents, each issue would just magically come together and for the most part, it has. The end result is always fantastic. I basically just decide how many pages are available to each creative team and ask that they do what they want to do. That’s when creative types shine brightest, off-leash, with very few restrictions or guidelines.
When considering there’s a lot of incredible talent living here on Vancouver Island, including an individual who left to found an “Image” Empire, who would you love to see contribute?
I’d love to have a pin-up or cover from Ken Steacy. We all enjoy seeing him at all the shows. I have all of his War Bears issues (which he did with Margaret Atwood for Dark Horse Comics) signed, and I got a big 16×20 original piece from Ken of the heroine Oursonette over top of my drawing board for inspiration.
In Chemainus, where I live, Todd McFarlane recently was at Wiffle Games. He wrote a little message on one of my books and left it for the shop owner to pass on. It reads “To Nev – Keep up the great work.” I have that hanging over my drawing board as well. He was a huge inspiration and I consider him one of my top five influences. To take the time to encourage a small-town dreamer like me is amazing. Obviously, I’d love to see his spin on drawing Monsterella, but like I said, I’m a dreamer!
Are there any conventions you’ll be at so people can talk to you or ask about how to contribute?
I’ll be at Cowichan Comic Book Expo Oct 6th and Curious Comicon Halloween Howler Oct 26th. Also, just email me at! We’re always looking for cool and spooky new stuff.
What are your present and long term goals for the series?
I could never guarantee releasing a bi-monthly book; that was the original goal but that’d be really hard to pull together. I think after issue three, Monsterella will turn into a regular Halloween release special.
For back issues, please visit

Thursday, 5 December 2019

MONSTERELLA #1 & 2 Review by Dusty Good of Geeks Worldwide



Monsterella Issues #1 & #2Hangman Comics
Story: VariousArt: VariousLettering: Various
Monsterella. If the name alone doesn’t sell you right away; seeing this series of anthologies that are being Kickstarted by Hangman Comics ought to do the trick. Produced in the vein of black and white anthologies of the 1970’s; this series is a throwback to the early days of Vampirella and Warren Comics, yet also a trendy rendition of more modern anthologies like Dark Horse Presents.
Anthologies can be tricky. In essence, it’s a collection of short stories; leaving varied room for quality in story and art. When an anthology is done wrong is a jumbled nightmare, but when it’s done right you end up with multiple takes on a given character or subject. Thankfully Monsterella falls on the side of the angels with these two offerings.
Issue one introduces our hostess and titular character Monsterella, real name Montrossa Rella; a warden to the prison planet, Doomru. The main story in the first issue centers around a prison break, the arrival of human astronauts, and Monsterella’s fight with some badass alien creatures. It’s as wild and crazy as it sounds. This isn’t a serious comic, it’s meant to be babes, monsters, aliens, action, and horror…Think back to the glory days of Heavy Metal and you’ve got the flavor of this title.
The stand out segment from the other ancillary tales is by far “The Stork” by creator Josh Kully. This short story is the stuff of nightmares and one of the most haunting bits of pop culture I have read in a long time. The visuals are creepy, the mood is dark, the words poetic and the entire tale sits with you long after you have finished reading. If there was ever a tale that I would mark as the successor to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, this would be it. Chilling stuff!
Issue two is a continuation in the same vein of storytelling with more monsters, more horror, more awesomeness. Reading these issues back to back helps you understand just how committed Hangman is to delivering on the reader a good time and a fun comic. There is more than enough here to see this series continue on as a regular series.
While the art and writing harken back to the 60s and 70s, there are minor hiccups here and there. This is an Indy title so I give a little room when it comes to art that is a little stiff, figures that are not proportioned correctly, and writing that comes off as clunky. This is part of the charm. The comic has just as many rough edges as the main character.  This is made in the spirit of grungy rock-n-roll, midnight matinees, and scary B-movies. It’s not meant to look polished and professional. That’s not the point. It’s all about the creators scraping and clawing their way to readers to bring them a gem.
This is where crowdfunding comes in. This is a collection of young talents that are just starting their journey into the industry; while some have experience others are brand new to the game. This is really Indy comics at its finest and one of the shining examples of how fans have helped creators not only fulfill a vision but brought something back into the medium that has been lacking…fun.

Monday, 14 October 2019

MONSTERELLA #3 Press Release:

MONSTERELLA, an action/adventure/horror/sci-fi anthology inspired by the classic “Vampirella” magazines of the 1970’s by Canadian publisher Hangman Comics.

October 10th, 2019. Vancouver Island, Canada.

Monsterella revolves around the continuing adventures of Montrossa Rella, AKA “Monsterella”, the warden of an intergalactic prison planet, where the galaxy’s worst of the worst monsters are imprisoned and isolated from the rest of the universe. All hell breaks loose when an unexpected revolt overthrows her and threatens the safety of the entire galaxy! 

But her adventures are just one chapter of the book. In the style of the classic Vampirella magazines, Monsterella goes on to introduce other astonishing tales told and illustrated by a creepy collection of Canadian talents that will be sure to chill and thrill you cover to cover! 

This all-thriller-no-filler third issue features cover art by Sun Khamunaki (“Lady Death”) as well as a second cover option by Julien Pilon (“Book Of Emma”). Here’s a look at what you’ll find in the pages of this issue:

Monsterella, Zorgo and their shipwrecked human counterparts return to Doomru, but as prisoners to the mind slaves of the galactic fiend, Mogru. A final showdown will decide the fate of the galaxy!

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE by Lawrence Denvir
Emily & Ben’s on-the-rocks relationship won’t stop them from visiting the traveling circus while it’s in town. But what will their future hold once Emily visits the sideshow cartomancer?

THE LAKE by Garth Matthams & Logan Reilly
Two young women go camping beneath the stars, the trees, and a full moon that seems eerily too close...

Emma discovers the origin source of her newfound powers. In a tale of light versus the shadows, we follow the tale of a disgraced knight in search of redemption.

TALES OF THE LAST WOMAN ON EARTH by Matt Smith, Justin Shauf, Jhonesbas Craneo, & Julien Pilon
Return to post-apocalyptic Victoria, BC! Writer Matt Smith (“Smith vs Smith”) teams up with artists Justin Shauf (“Frankenstein: A World of Gods & Monsters”), Jhonesbas Craneo (“Manimals”) and Julien Pilon (“Foundry”) for three short stories exploring the on-going battle between the Beasts of Victoria and Megan, the Last Woman on Earth.

A hitchhiker takes an unsuspecting driver down a dark path in this tale inspired by Trinidadian folklore.  

A Monsterellla Kickstarter will launch October 16th, 2019 at 7pm (PST) to raise the funds necessary to get the book into print. Many amazing rewards will be available, including digital and print copies, as well as deluxe versions of the book.

Pending the success of the Kickstarter, the book is set for a December 2019 release.

Kickstarter link:

Preview Trailer:

Facebook Event Page:


Friday, 4 October 2019

MONSTERELLA #3 Kickstarter! Oct.16th, 2019 7pm PST

Monsterella #3 Kickstarter begins October 16th, 7 pm PST. Please check out the event page for all the sinister details!