elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
Please keep in mind that the majority of the artists that appear on this blog, along with their respective record labels, are not wealthy and need your support. If you enjoy the material that you find here, please support the artists/labels by purchasing their material afterwards. If you are an artist/label that would prefer to have your material removed from this blog, simply leave me a comment, and I would be more than happy to promptly remove the offending post.
In addition to running this blog, I also work on a few other projects during my spare time. You can find links to those, as well as a few other important links associated with Digital Meltd0wn in the menu bar above.
When I first posted scans of issues of both "Creepy" and "Eerie" a couple of months ago for Halloween Countdown 2010, I had no idea that they would be recieved as well as they did. Since that time I have shared several scans of horror comics and magazines from the 1950s which have all achieved legendary status within the genre. Now I would like to focus on a series which appeared many decades later in the 1980s, Gore Shriek. Gore Shriek was published by FantoCo Enterprises, which began in 1978 as a comic book store and mail-order business, owned and operated by Tom Skulan, who decided to expand his enterprise to include publishing in 1980. Gore Shriek was the first horror title published by FantaCo, which would eventually lead to the company releasing numerous books, magazines and comics dedicated to horror. They even started their own horror convention, FantaCon, which ran from 1979 to 1990 in Albany, NY. Of all the horror titles released by FantaCo, it was Gore Shriek that captivated me the most. The amazing artwork, stories, and unrepentent horror and gore made it the best horror comic of the decade in my opinion. The artists, writers, and editors involved were not only extremely talented, but they were true fans of horror, possessing a nearly infinite amount of knowledge about the history of the genre. Despite their immense talent, they were also some of the most humble and down-to-earth artists in the industry. While I don't have time to cover every artist who ever worked on Gore Shriek, I would like to pay tribute to a few of the most talented individuals who worked on the series.
Gore Shriek Vol. 2 - Issue 1
Stephen Bissette was one of the most multi-talented individuals who worked on Gore Shriek, and has proven to be an important figure in the world of comics over the last 30 years. He also happens to be one of my favorite artists who worked on the series. Bissette is best known for collaborating with legendary writer Alan Moore to create DC's "Saga of the Swamp Thing" from 1983 to 1987. He also published the horror anthology "Taboo" under his Spiderbaby Grafix imprint, which played host to numerous legendary figures in the comics world. Alan Moore, Neil Gaimain, Dave Vess and many others appeared in its pages from 1987 to 1995. In addition to contributing several of his own stories to Gore Shriek, Bissette also served as editor beginning with issue #4, and was responsible for introducing a few changes which greatly enhanced the the series. He implemented the amazing text articles which appeared in the series, which featured articles from industry legends such as Archie Goodwin and Tom Veitch. Fortunately, Bissette still maintains a visible online presence, and was gracious enough to write a series of articles detailing his time spent working on Gore Shriek. A great deal of information I obtained for this post was culled from these articles, so I would like to thank Mr. Bissette for putting together these fascinating and insightful posts. Those articles can be found here: http://srbissette.com/?p=1548
Of all the artists who worked on Gore Shriek, I enjoyed the art of David Spaulding Fuller the most. He was responsible for the majority of the cover art for the series, and also contributed several stories of his own. His cover art undoubtedly influenced many people's decision to buy the first issue of Gore Shriek. Fuller would eventually leave the comic industry, moving on to fulfill his dream by becoming a special effects makeup artists, and would go on to work in films such as Terminator 2, Army of Darkness, Edward Scissorhands, and Bride of Re-Animator among other films.
Gurchain Singh aka "The Gurch" was a close second behind Fuller. In many ways his artwork is reminiscent of the legendary Bernie Wrightson, who I recently featured here on DM. The Gurch was known for his graphic illustrations of the undead dispatching unsuspecting victims in a most brutal manner. His work was held in such high regard that FantaCo released a special issue, #2 1/2, which consisted entirely of full-page illustrations by "The Gurch". While doing research for this post, I was fortunate enough to stumble across this forum thread that Steve Bissette started regarding Gore Shriek. The Gurch made an appearance in the thread and dropped several scans of his original artwork, including several sketches and paintings, a few of which are recent efforts. I attempted to enlarge and sharpen up those scans a bit, and have included them as a bonus download to accompany both volumes of Gore Shriek below.
Chas. Balun was anothter multi-talented indivudual who worked on Gore Shriek. Before joining FantaCo, Chas. had already established himself as a succesful independent comic book artist and writer who published and distributed his own work. Chas. managed to gain a cult following after self-publishing "The Connoisseur's Guide to the Contemporary Horror Film" and "Gore Score", which offered straight-forward reviews, injected with Balun's trademark humor, of contemporary horror films and splatter flicks. He also published the first issue of the horror magazine, "Deep Red". In addition to distrubuting his previously published books via their mail-order operation, FantaCo also released "Horror Holocaust", and also revived "Deep Red". Unfortunately we lost a very talented individual when Chas Balun passed away earlier this year at the age of 61 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Greg Capullo is a name that many of you avid comic book collectors will be familiar with. While he wasn't the most talented artist within FantaCo, his talent would increase exponentially in the years to come. In fact, of all the artists that worked on Gore Shriek, it is perhaps Greg Capullo who went on to have the most successful career as a comic book artist after FantaCo folded. He eventually went on to work for major mainstream publishers, penciling titles such as X-Force from '91-93, and Todd McFarlane's Spawn from '94-99. Capullo made his debut as a comic artist in Gore Shriek Vol. 1 #2, in which he illustrated Bill Townsend's story, "Need For Speed".
During the mid-90s the infamous collapse of the speculation market occurred, which had a devistating impact on both mainstream and independent comic book publishers. Unfortunately, FantaCo was no exception, and in 1998 they made the decision to close their doors for good, thus killing any potential possibility of a Gore Shriek revival. However due to the internet, Gore Shriek and FantaCo have received a recent surge in popularity. A great deal of information about the company and the comic can be contributed to outspoken former FantaCo employees who have maintained a visible online presence, which has led to more and more people seeking out back issues of the comic, as well as other FantaCo releases. Below you will find digital scans of every issue that FantaCo released of Gore Shriek between 1986 and 1991. I have uploaded each of the issues in both .cbr and .pdf format, so you can choose the format you want, and split them up into packages consisting of Volume 1 and 2. Below is a table of contents detailing the artists, writers, and notes about each issue, and beyond that you will find the download links.
Gore Shriek - Table of Contents
Volume 1 - Issue #1 (1986)
Artists: Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Greg capullo, Steve Bissette Writers: Kevin McReavy, Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Bill Townsend, Steve Bissette Cover Art: Bruce Spaulding Fuller
Volume 1 - Issue #2 (1988)
Artists: Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Rolf Stark, Greg Capullo Writers: Rolf Stark, Bill Townsend Cover Art: Bruce Spaulding Fuller Notes: Contains Rolf Stark's debut as a comic artist/writer
Volume 1 - Issue #3 (1988)
Artists: Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Chas. Balun, Greg Capullo, Rolf Stark Writers: Chas. Balun, Bill Townsend, Rolf Stark, Bruce Spaulding Fuller Cover Art: Chas. Balun
Volume 1 - Issue #4 (1988)
Artists: Steve Bissette, Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Rolf Stark, Greg Capullo Writers: Steve Bissette, Augustus Mattick II, Henry J. Jansen III, Tom Skulan, Rolf Stark, Marlene Stevens Cover Art: Greg Capullo (Color By Bruce Spaulding Fuller) Notes: Contains a preview of "Mars Attacks"
Volume 1 - Issue #5 (1988)
Artists: Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Steve Bissette, Rick McCollum, Bill Anderson, Chris Pelletiere, Chas. Balun, David Marshall Writers: Rick McCollum, Chris Pelletiere, David Marshall Text Articles: Archie Goodwin, Tom Veitch, Stan Wiater Cover Art: Bruce Spaulding Fuller
Volume 1 - Issue #6 (1988)
Artists: Michael Dubisch, Gary Crutchley, Ben Dilworth, Gurchain Singh, Rolf Stark, Steve Bissette Writers: Michael Dubisch, Gary Crutchley, David Hern, Steve Bissette Text Articles: Jack Butterworth, Tom Veitch, Stan Wiater Cover Art: Bruce Spaulding Fuller
Volume 1 - Issue #6 1/2 (1989)
Artists: Gurchain Singh, Eric Stanaway, Rolf Stark, David MacDowell Writers: Eric Stanway, Rolf Stark, David MacDowell Cover Art: Gurchain Singh Notes: Special half-size issue which was only available as a free giveaway at FantaCon Conventions and through the FantaCo mail-order catalog
Volume 2 - Issue #1 (1990)
Artists: Gurchain Singh, Chas. Balun, Steve Bissette, Eric Stanway, Bruce Spaulding Fuller Writers: Gurchain Singh, Charles Dickens Cover Art: Gurchain Singh Notes: Contains a special Night of the Living Dead section by Steve Bissette
Volume 2 - Issue #2 (1990)
Artists: Chas. Balun, Gurchain Singh, Eric Stanway, Mike Dubisch Writers: Robert Louis Stevenson, Gurchain Singh Text Article: Anthony Timpone Cover Art: Bruce Spaulding Fuller
Volume 2 - Issue #2 1/2 (1990)
Artist: Gurchain Singh Cover Art: Gurchain Singh Notes: Composed entirely of full page illustrations by "The Gurch"
Volume 2 - Issue 3 (1991)
Artists: Gurchain Singh, Eric Stanway, L.G. McDonald, Allen Koszowski Writers: Gurchain Singh, Eric Stanway, David Kramer Cover Art: Allen Koszowski Notes: Contains adaptions of stories by Edgar Allan Poe and the Brothers Grimm
Volume 2 - Annual #1 (1990)
Artists: Landon McDonald, Gurchain Signh, Dave MacDowell, Eric Stanway, Mike Dusisch, Alex Diaz, Rolph Stark, Eric Talbot, Chris Pelletiere, Mark Martin, Gary Grutchley, Ben Dilworth, Rick McCollum, B. Anderson, Chris Pryzgrodzki, Wendy Snow-Lang Writers: Landon McDonald, Gurchain Singh, Dave MacDowell, Eric Stanway, , Mike Dubisch, Rick hautala, Alex Diaz, Chris Pelletiere, Mark Martin, Dave Henney, Rick McCollum, Gary Crutchley Cover Art: Allen Koszowski Notes: Contains adaptions of stories by Robert Bloch, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ambrose Bierce