Lone Star Horror


Pigeons from Hell #1

Right here, we got a horror comic with a Texas pedigree.

It’s based on a classic and extremely creepy story by Robert E. Howard. He’s best known as the creator of fantasy heroes like Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror, and Solomon Kane, but Howard wrote a lot of horror, too. He corresponded with horror legend H.P. Lovecraft and wrote quite a few stories in the Cthulhu Mythos. He was a Texan, too — the guy who created Conan the Barbarian lived in a little town called Cross Plains, down in Callahan County.

And this comic is written by another Texan with tons of experience writing horror — Joe R. Lansdale. He lives in Nacogdoches, and he’s written some of the weirdest, creepiest stories I’ve read. He helped create the splatterpunk genre, and he’s penned a bunch of horror/Western combos. He’s already written his fair share of comics, including a Conan miniseries and several series about Jonah Hex. I discovered his stuff back when I first hit the post-Stephen-King period of my horror-readin’, right about the same time as I stumbled across Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood” and the classic zombie anthology “The Book of the Dead.” So seeing Howard’s and Lansdale’s names on the cover promises me some classic pulp horror and modern pulp horror all wrapped up into one gory knot.

So aaaaanyway… This comic isn’t a direct adaptation of Howard’s “Pigeons from Hell” — it’s updated to the present day, starring a couple of sisters, Claire and Janet Blassenville, descendants of slaves and new inheritors of an old Louisiana plantation. They’ve brought along three friends to check out their new property, and what they find is a filthy, decaying wreck of a mansion, infested with thousands of pigeons. What were the stories the Blassenville sisters used to hear about pigeons as the souls of the damned escaping Hell? Probably nothing, right?

Well, one of their friends gets injured, and when they try to get him to a hospital, they lose control of the car and drive it into a lake. Nowhere else to turn, so they go back to the mansion. Did they see someone inside the house? Why is it so ice-cold when it’s the middle of summer? What’s stirring out in the local graveyard?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I am loving this one.

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