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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sheep Comic Review: Itty Bitty Hellboy #3

Itty Bitty Hellboy #3
Writer: Art Baltazar, Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Cover Artist: Art Baltazar
Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Humor, Superhero
Publication Date:October 30, 2013
Format:FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
UPC:7 61568 23936 2 00311
It had to happen! Because you demanded it! Hellboy and the gang go to the fiery pits of HELL! How did they get there anyway? ALSO, our B.P.R.D. heroes’ search for Sasquatch continues! But what does Rasputin have to do with all this? OOOOH! Is he just trying to scare us? You WILL find out in this exciting issue!!!

* Highly recommended by Franco’s mom.

Oh, Hellboy is just so gosh darned cute. There's a sentence I never thought I'd type, but there you have it. Art Baltazar and Franco have rendered Hellboy and company to the point of precociousness with this series.

This time around l'il Liz gets some time in the spotlight alongside HB, first with some banana pancakes (is that a thing in the grownup version, by any chance?), and then when the gang gets sent to Hades by l'il Baba Yaga.

Oh yeah, this is Baba's time to shine, too. Throw in those adorably tiny Hellboy hellspawn and you might have the cutest issue of Itty Bitty yet.

There are only two issues left now, and I can only imagine where they intend to go with the kiddified antics. My familiarity with Mignola's creation is sorely lacking, I find, as it feels like I'm missing out on some of the winks and nods that the writers are coming up with for this mini-series.

As a bonus this time around, there is some fan art included in the letters section from a Denmark reader. Neat stuff, and considerably less controversial than the last collection of artwork I saw from Danish cartoonists.

review: Itty Bitty Hellboy #1
review: Itty Bitty Hellboy #2

4 "Itty Bitty" Sheep

Gef Fox
Wag the Fox: Den For Dark Fiction

Not Really a Book Review of The Undead Pool (but sort of)

The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12)
by Kim Harrison

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of The Undead Pool from the publisher with the condition that I help build excitement and give NO spoilers. I shudder to think what will happen to me if I divulge any secrects! *looks around for Al* I also cleared this post with Harrison.

Since there is only one more book left in the series it is time for Harrison to start peeling off those secondary characters and sending them on their way. Some might seem a little abrupt, but with so many characters and very little time left there was no way around that, but the major characters story lines are still open and could take a left (or right) turn at any moment!

Even after 12 books Harrison is still opening our eyes to new things in Rachel Morgan’s world. The Undead Pool  dives into that mysterious “wild magic” along with Elf history and the mythology of their goddess, their role in the war against demons, and their plans for the future of the elf race. We even learn about Newt and what happened to her. Al isn’t in this one as much; this is Rachel and Trent’s adventure. The question is what Al’s reaction will be to Rachel becoming friends with the enemy. His scars run deep, but we will have to wait for book #13 to learn about that. Bis is in this one and he just makes me all warm and fuzzy. He is one of my favorite characters now.

Notice I haven’t said anything about Rachel and Trent’s relationship? That one is a big no-no to talk about. Sorry. I won’t even tell my mom. 

*still checking over shoulder for Al*

What I will do is once a week post a quote or two from the book, but I can’t tell you who said it!

Quotes from The Undead Pool: 

“Oh, for little green apples” 

“There are no monsters under your bed, Rachel, or in your closet.” 

I can't wait for The Dead Pool to hit the shelves so we can talk about all that stuff I can't say! 
*looks over shoulder one more time*

Be sure to visit Kim's website ( )to read early chapter releases as they happen. Go to Kim's blog ( and hang out at Kim's Drama Box. You can ask her questions and she does check and answer back! There are also giveaways to enter so join in the excitement.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Three Free Comics from Steve Niles

I adore comic book writer Steve Niles. Criminal Macabre is one of my top three favorite comics. (reviews of C.M.) If you love horror comics then this is a man you need to read. He has three gruesome horror comics for free on his website. I have included the blurbs and links for you to check out. These are reminiscent of the old school Tales from the Crypt comics, only a little more graphic. My favorite is Edge of Doom. A collection of 5 separate short stories that are tied together in a unusual way. 

I give all three comics 5 "superhero horror" Sheep

Best known for works such as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Simon Dark, Mystery Society and Batman: Gotham County Line, he is credited among other contemporary writers as bringing horror comics back to prominence.

Niles is currently working for four of the top American comic publishers - IDW, DC, Image and Dark Horse. Everyone's favorite monster hunter Cal McDonald continues in theCriminal Macabre series from Dark Horse, as well as in stories currently being published by Steve's own Bloody Pulp Books.

Pieces For Mom: A Tale of The Undead (one-shot)
story Steve Niles
art & cover Andrew Ritchie
32 pages- FC - $3.99
The world has been overrun, the flesh-eating undead rule the streets, and two teen boys left abandoned in the city to fend for themselves and care for their rotting mother. In a world where the undead eat human flesh what chance do two boys have when they can hardly get along themselves? Featuring art by Andrew Ritchie that will literately crawl under your skin and story by Steve Niles, readers will discover this is NOT your typical zombie story.

Wake the Dead #1
by Steve Niles (Author) , Michael Dougherty (Introduction) , Chee (Artist)
Modern master of horror Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night) teams with new art sensation, Milx, to present a tale guaranteed to terrify! When Victor sets his sights on reversing death, he can't know just what a can of worms he's opening up. But he'll find out...

Edge of Doom 
Art by Kelley Jones
Discover the true meaning of terror as fright-masters Steve Niles and Kelley Jones bring you five frightening tales of stark raving horror! In one tale we watch a very sad and lonely man reaching the end of his rope, only to discover he's in way deeper than he ever imagined. It seems there's an army of little demons in his garden and he's their next sacrifice! Or another, of a brave space explorer left to roam a strange planet all alone as a result of an engine malfunction, with his only companion, a weather droid. And yet another, as we witness a husband & wife who thought the toughest challenge before them was their impending divorce, until a terrible car 'accident' makes them unwitting subjects in a bizarre scientific experiment.

Comic Review: The Strain, The Fall #5

The Strain, The Fall #5
Writer: David Lapham, Mike Huddleston
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist:E. M. Gist
Genre: Action/Adventure, Horror
Dark Horse Comics

Publication Date:October 16, 2013
Format:FC, 32 pages; Ongoing
UPC:7 61568 19185 1 00411
Sure that an ancient tome, the Occido Lumen, holds the secret to defeating the Master, Fet and Setrakian head to the auction house for a different kind of battle. Meanwhile, Eph, sure of a conspiracy surrounding the vampire epidemic, mounts a secret mission to assassinate the wealthy and ailing Eldritch Palmer!
* The next chapter in The Strain Trilogy, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan!
* Soon to be a TV show on FX!

“I’ve got to say that they’ve created the vilest, most revolting looking vampires I’ve ever seen.”–Geeks of Doom
November 2013. 
“A week ago, they invaded Manhattan. Now they will destroy the world. A vast conspiracy prevents the vampire epidemic from coming to light. A small force is humanity’s only chance: an alcoholic, a doctor, a pawnbroker, an exterminator, and a criminal. Can they prevent the Master from covering the planet in darkness?”

This issue begins with Eph writing a letter to his son who is speeding away with Nora on a train to hopefully safety from the vampires in New York City. He wrote it as he is about to try and assassinate Mr. Palmer. From there the comic had sections of each thing happening to each of the characters—from Eph to Vasiliy and the Professor talking about vampires and book an what it might mean to destroying the Master, to Nora trying to escape with Zach as Zach’s vampire mother and others attack the train. All of it ends at the space station in orbit above the earth. 

The artwork is still super and the storyline growing more intense. If you love scary vampire stories and even te end of the word scenarios, then you need to read this series. 

Comic Review: Ghosted #5

Ghosted #5
Story By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Goran Sudzuka
Art By: Miroslav Mrva
Cover By: Sean Phillips
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: SEP130621
Published: November 6, 2013
Image Comics

Winters escaped one prison only to find himself trapped in the Trask Mansion with the last of his team of ghost thieves. Will their first score also be their last? The first arc ends here!

Jackson and his team have their ghost, but it doesn't look like they're going to be able to collect. The sun has gone down, which means the Trask Mansion has come alive with all of its ghosts, and they've already ripped apart the reality TV crew. The remaining members might be breathing, but if the ghosts don't kill them, Lake will.

It's one double-cross after another by the looks of it, and after just a few pages into this climactic issue my head was spinning. Much of the series had planted the idea that Edzia the medium would be the turncoat of the team, spending the whole time hiding her ulterior motives for joining the team and holding back all she knew about the ghosts inside the mansion. Well, that little thread got cut pretty quick in favor of Lake the gun-toting bodyguard being the one to betray them all to get the ghost out of the mansion and into her boss Schrecken's hands.

While there was plenty of action in this issue, I felt like the four previous issues had been a bit of a bait and switch. I suppose heist stories do that to some degree no matter what, but the payoff just wasn't as rewarding as I'd hoped when everything was settled. And the final revelation of the story lacked oomph. It was good, but the focus shift kind of took the wind out of the story's sails, I thought.

If you've been keeping up with Ghosted from the get-go, maybe you'll be more into it than me. All of the ingredients are there, that's for sure, but I think it could have used a little more time to set and become something truly memorable. It looks like it's setup to carry on with a new story arc in the future, so maybe it's on to bigger and better things for Jackson and his supernatural exploits. Fingers crossed.

Review: Ghosted #2
Review: Ghosted #1
Review: Ghosted #3
Review: Ghosted #4

3 1/2 Sheep

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Comic Review: Fatale #18

Fatale #18
Image Comics
Story By: Ed Brubaker
Art By: Sean Phillips
Art By: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Cover By: Sean Phillips
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: JUL130523
Published: November 6, 2013

Everything goes wrong when Josephine appears in a Seattle band's music video, and her effect on those who desire her runs wild, as the most exciting arc of Fatale continues.

And remember, each issue of FATALE contains extra content, artwork and articles that are only available in the printed single issues.

Holy moly, this series is just bound and determined to find out how far down the rabbit hole goes.

Skip's dead. Jane killed him ... sort of. After Skip tried to force himself on her while the rest of the band was out, Jane worked whatever mojo she has in that noodle of hers and made Skip dunk his head in the toilet until he drowned himself. Eesh.

Now, when your drummer dies, you'd think that would be a sobering moment that might have you reexamining the choice you've made in life recently, but you're not smitten with Jane like these guys. Nope, they move the body to the basement and argue over how to dispose of it--and try to figure out how to keep people asking too many questions when they do their music video shoot the next day.

In all of this madness, Darcy is the only one thinking straight. Maybe Jane can only affect men. Whatever the case, her common sense approach to things inside that house is gonna get her killed, I can just feel it.

Aside from some panels that felt a little uneven compared to the rest, the artwork effectively captures the dark, twisting descent this rock band is taking. And when it comes time for the video shoot ... well, my oh my, you will just have to see that to believe it.

The serial killer cop, the horrifically scarred mob boss, and the double-crossed fugitive take a backseat in this issue, but I think things are gearing up for one helluva climax in the next couple of issues. And I ... can't ... wait.

Review: Fetale #15
Review: Fatale #16

Happy Thanksgiving from I Smell Sheep

Happy Thanksgiving from I Smell Sheep (and turkey)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: The Accidental Werewolf 2: Something About Harry by Dakota Cassidy

The Accidental Werewolf 2 : Something About Harry (Accidentally Friends #8)
by Dakota Cassidy
He’s in a furry situation.

Accountant Harry Ralph Emerson has always been a by-the-numbers kind of guy. But when he finds himself trapped at work sprouting an obscene amount of hair, he knows his odds for maintaining normalcy are zero to none. After a frantic internet search, Harry goes through the OOPS—Out in the Open Paranormal Support—checklist and comes to a disheartening conclusion: He’s turning into a werewolf and he needs help ASAP.

She might be the only solution.

Werewolf Mara Flaherty has long carried a torch for Pack Cosmetics’s sexy single accountant, even after her attempt to seduce him went down in flames. When her sister-in-law, Marty, shows up to handle Harry’s OOPS emergency, she tasks Mara with showing the hirsute hottie the ropes. But Mara knows Harry’s condition is a result of her lab experiment gone wrong—and the previously mild-mannered object of her affection is about to give her a piece of his mind…
Maura Flaherty is a werewolf who works in a lab and she desperately wants to have a baby. She makes this baby potion that she plans on taking home but it inadvertently gets ingested by a man who mistakes it for his vitamin water. As you can imagine, he isn't thrilled with this little snafu.

Harry Emerson is human, or at least he was human until something happened to him and he turned into a werewolf. We meet him for the first time when he calls the paranormal hotline asking the most unsympathetic woman for help.

There's no slow start to this book, we get great character interaction right from the very beginning. I wanted to hate Nina, who was on the other end of the phone call with Harry but I loved her character and her softer side that we see later on. I really hope to see more of her in up coming books.

Maura and her friends come to Harry's aid and quickly find out that his situation is even more serious than they realized. Not only is he now a werewolf but he has his late sisters kids at home that he has to take care of. I loved the kids characters, they were just snarky enough without coming off as brats. My heart went out to them after finding out they lost their parents and good old uncle Harry doesn't have a clue as to how to relate to them. It takes a talented author to give such depth to characters that it pulls on a reader's heart strings while reading.

Things look like they're going to work out alright until Maura goes on trial for accidentally turning a human with her baby mama potion. There are a few twists that I didn't see coming but they made sense in the end.

This is the second book in this series and even though I haven't read the first one, I don't think that in any way stopped me from enjoying this book at all. This definitely can be read as a stand alone book, so don't let the fact that it's book 2 in the series stop you from reading it if you happen to find yourself with a copy.

This is the first book by this author that I've read but I can assure you, it won't be the last. I love finding new to me authors that I really love reading. If you like steamy sex scenes, werewolves, vampires, zombies and a witch doctor thrown in just to mix things up a bit, you'll love this book.

5 sheep

Mary Kirkland
Dark Thoughts blog
Yahoo Contributor Network

About the Author:
Dakota Cassidy lives for a good laugh in life and in her writing. In fact, she almost loves a good giggle as much as she loves hair products and that's saying something.

Her goals in life are simple, (like really simple): banish the color yellow forever, create world peace via hot rollers and Aqua Net; and finally, nab every tiara in the land by competing in the Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss World pageants, then sweeping them in a stunning trifecta of much duct tape and Vaseline usage, all in just under one week. Oh, and write really fun books!

Dakota lives with her two sons, her mother, more cats and dogs than the local animal shelter and has a husband who puts the heroes in her books to shame.

Comic Review: Quantum and Woody! issues #1-4 from Valiant Comics + giveaway

the goat doesn't appear until issue #4
Quantum and Woody! 
Valiant comics
All are T+ rating
32 pages

Comic Book City Con was a small event, but packed with high quality comic book goodness. While there, I met Alejandro Arbona (editor) and Hunter Gorinsen (Director of Marketing) from Valiant Comics. One look at their selection and I knew I'd found another great indie publisher. They carry lots of adventure/fantasy/action/horror and superhero comics. The one that caught my eye was Quantum and Woody! It's about a humorous superhero team (when they aren't beating the crap out of each other) who fight monsters while trying to not let all their atoms fly apart. They gave me issues 1-4 to review.

I love this series. The artwork alone makes me laugh and says so much about the character's personalities (check out the covers below). Add that with the snarky dialogue and you get a winning combination. The first 4 issues alternate between the present and past giving the reader Woody and Eric’s back story. The flashbacks are inserted seamlessly in the story and help give emotional depth to our two fearless (and fearful) heroes. 

When we first meet Woody he is hiding from his bookie, who he owes a lot of money too, and having a one night stand. He is pretty much a douche. Eric is smart, disciplined and in the military. He is also wound so tight he is just hairs breath from going medieval on someone… and he does. The two brothers (Woody was a foster child in Eric’s family) meet for the first time in years at their dad’s funeral. After beating the crap out of each other (they do this a lot) they decide to work together and solve their dad’s murder. And there is an experiment gone wrong that gives them unstable superpowers, but there is one little draw back to it. They must be in close proximity of each other or all their protons will come apart and they will disappear.

This is a fast paced action story with a little drama and lots of crazy thrown in. You did see the goat on the cover of issue #1? I think just about anyone will enjoy this ride.

#1Writer: James Asmus
Penciler: Tom Fowler
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook, Marcos Martin, Andrew Robinson, Tom Fowler
Editor: Jody LeHeup
Once upon a time, Eric and Woody Henderson were inseparable. Adopted brothers. Best friends. Brilliant minds. Years later, they are estranged siblings, petty rivals, and washed-up failures. But when their father’s murder leads them into the throes of a life-altering scientific accident, Eric and Woody will find themselves with a whole new purpose – and a perfectly legitimate reason to wear costumes and fight crime. Go big or go home, folks! Quantum and Woody are coming!

(And, yes, there will be a goat too. Eventually.)

#2Writer: James Asmus
Penciler: Tom Fowler
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook, Tom Fowler, Rian Hughes
Editor: Jody LeHeup
Off to a bad start!

Eric and Woody Henderson have accidentally blown up their father’s life’s work – and themselves along with it! Now, as their bizarre new superpowers begin to manifest, will they be able to outmaneuver the squad of trigger-happy cops that think Eric and Woody are to blame for their dad’s murder? Plus! The mysterious cabal targeting the world’s worst superhero team only gets creepier. Seriously, it’s like an iceberg of creepy. Only 10 percent is showing! And Quantum and Woody are about to crash right the %$!@ into it!

#3Writer: James Asmus
Penciler: Tom Fowler
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook, Juan Doe
Editor: Jody LeHeup
What scares you more than anything else you can imagine? WRONG. The answer is…the Nightmare Brigade!

The scheming forces of the ERA will stop at nothing to unlock the secret science behind Quantum and Woody’s powers – and they’re just getting started! Plus – see what it takes to tear our boys apart – figuratively and literally! Trust us when we say that this one has TEETH.

#4Writer: James Asmus
Penciler: Tom Fowler
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook, Donovan Santiago, Rob Guillory
Editor: Jody LeHeup
The staggering first appearance of…the Goat!

Bitterly divided and hopelessly outgunned, Quantum and Woody are getting torn apart! Literally! Can they get their #$@% together before being shredded to atoms by the mysterious Crone and her super-science foot soldiers?! Probably not. But when a new ally emerges from the shadows, they’ll find the strength to fight baaaaack.

Valiant is a leading character-based entertainment company with a library of over 1,500 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman, Eternal Warrior, and many more. Established in 1989, Valiant has sold over 80 million comic books, and today its characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond.

Comic Book City Con 2013 Sponsored by Acme Comics, the Triad's oldest & largest comic specialty shop, Comic Book City Con will be taking place on Saturday, October 26th & Sunday, October 27th of 2013 at the Empire Room in historic downtown Greensboro, NC! It will surely be the epitome of our 30th anniversary serving the Triad!

I am giving away my issues #1-4 (grumble, grumble)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

29 New Releases for Nov 26 in Speculative Fiction

29 New Releases for Nov 19 in Speculative Fiction

There are no WTF-ery books... that makes me a little sad.

This has been your friendly Sheep kindle krack attack!

disclaimer: all these covers are links to our amazon affiliate pages. I Smell Sheep will get a small percentage of all sales through these links as an advertising fee. I Smell Sheep uses the money to pay for sheep s*** and shipping <G>