Title: Outpost 28 | Issue #2 | Editor: Dean Kuhta | Publisher: Elvelon Press |Pub. Date: 03/2018 | Pages: 108 | Genre: Horror | ISBN13: 9780692081679 | Language: English | Triggers: Teen Suicide, parasitic bugs | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Received from editor for review consideration
A collection of dark stories, artwork, and interviews that feature soul-swallowing horror, phantasmic darkness, and a satisfying dosage of brain-munching zombies.
Issue #2 features grim tales by Ayesha Ahmad, Christa Carmen, Rachael Alexandra, Dean Kuhta, and Victor Johnston as well as artwork by professional artists like Andy Fairhurst, David Bonneywell, Michael Brack, Socar Myles, and Brett Gray. Ayesha’s zombie tale, “The After,” will continue from where we left off in issue #1. A new piece, “Windowpane,” by Dean, will feature a ghostly back-story of Abigail Somberlain from the Silvarum series. In addition, there will be a follow-up interview with Jason Walton from Khorada and Agalloch and Tim Cretella from Doppio Music. The lads over at Beastmaker will also partake in an interview! A couple other surprises may be included in this issue if the stars are aligned just right. Reserve your copy of issue #2 today to enjoy the many curious worlds of Outpost 28! Half of all sales of Outpost 28 go to help the homeless.
Outpost 28 #2 Review
As you may have surmised by now Outpost 28 is a horror…magazine doesn’t seem quite the right word as the binding and format are more book-like. Digest doesn’t seem really appropriate either. So until I come up with a better name a ‘mag’ it shall be. It seems (going by the Editorial Note by Dean Kuhta) that it has been quite a while since the first issue has come out. This makes me a bit torn as I really want to say, “More Outpost 28 , please!” but also not because it’s so well put together that I’m willing to wait at least six months or so for another. I don’t know what their plans are, circulation-wise, or how long it takes to put Outbound 28 together but I think a twice a year publication would be perfect.
The selection of stories in Outbound 28 was excellent. Even the ones that seemed continuations or introducing longer works seemed like full stories. The only one that I did feel a bit lost in was ‘The After: Part II‘ by Ayesha Ahmad since it seems part of a serial story. Even with ‘The After‘ it was still an interesting story and makes me want to hunt up the first publication to read the first part. And whatever awesome stories it might have in it as well. It’s very seldom that I fully like any collection of short stories but Outpost 28 is one of the rare ones. I was pulled in from the first story: ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge‘ by Christa Carmen. It was also one of my favorites and I have to say that the title gave me a dark chuckle when paired with the band mentioned in the story (by the by it’s also a Cd that I own and my favorite song on it is ‘The Ghost of You‘, another great title). I zoomed through the book so fast that I was a little sad when it was done. I wanted more. The only story that I felt was a bit out of place was ‘Pathfinder‘ by Jake Bauer. It was a good, well-written story but it felt more like I was reading a story from the Diablo III dungeon crawler game. It did still have horror leanings but felt a bit more sword and sorcery to me. It was a good story but the shift in tone was a bit jarring.
The artwork is great and they are paired very well with the stories. I hate to put one artist above another because I liked them all in their different styles. The ones I was drawn to the most, however, were the illustrations for ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge‘ (David Bonneywell), ‘Windowpane‘ (Michael Brack) and Brett Gray who did the illustrations for ‘Hand of Fate‘ and ‘Dark Discourse‘. I liked them very much.
I even liked the bit of poetry at the back and generally I react to poetry like a vampire before garlic but these were very good. There were just enough to provide a break but not enough to make an indifferent reader (and judge) of poetry start skimming.
I really liked the interviews with bands near the back of the book. Anyone who has visited this site long enough knows I love music very much (all kinds) and if someone gives me a new band to listen to I am absolutely thrilled. It led me to check out some of the songs mentioned and I liked Doppio Music’s ‘The Battle’ very much. Mr. Jason Walton of KHoRADA (and formerly of Agalloch) seems to keep himself very busy with several different musical projects, including a podcast. The band that really caught my attention was Beastmaker. They had a very Black Sabbath sound but also unique enough to sound different. Their videos seem pretty well put together also (although I did notice in one a lot of shots were reused). I will certainly be looking into these artists a lot more. I hope Outpost continues to support artists of all kinds.
As you can probably tell, I was pretty impressed with Outpost 28. The book itself is well put together. The table of contents is clean, neat and separated nicely into Stories-Authors-Artwork which made it easy to read everyone’s names clearly. The pages are glossy and complement the art. The artwork is placed well, it doesn’t look thrown in at random. The covers are sturdy and (I always have a hard time describing this) they have a texture to them that make them easy to hold, even for someone who has issues with holding books for long periods of time. I want to say sticky but that sounds negative and I mean anything but. I love it. I can whole-heartedly recommend this. It also comes with the added bonus of doing some good with its purchase as well as half the proceeds go toward helping the homeless.