The Gingerdead Man #1
Written by: Brockton McKinney
Illustrated by: Sergio Rios
Published by: Action Lab-Danger Zone
Reviewed by: Kristian Horn
For those not in the know, Full Moon Studios was a production house that made mostly B-movie horror fare back in the late ’90’s to the mid 2000’s. Their most popular film franchise was the Puppetmaster series of films which have spawned at least four sequels. Other than that they’ve been responsible for the Trancers films and have created movies such as Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death. In all honesty, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen one movie produced by Full Moon Studios…which is odd for me being that it seems as much of their library would have at least one feature that I would have been interested in checking out. I am a big horror/sci-fi fan and I can’t imagine why I hadn’t come across at least one of their titles in the aisles of the local video store back in my youth…when there were such things as video stores. Granted, Full Moon was apparently never known for having the highest quality releases but if “quality” were something that kept me from watching a film back in the day then I would have missed out on many movies which have become die-hard favorites of mine. I mean, when I was a teenager my friends and I loved a movie called Basketcase and let me tell you, that isn’t a quality movie, but it is fun in its own weird and demented way.
It certainly looks like someone at Action Lab recognizes weird and demented fun when they see it as Action Lab: Danger Zone has apparently licensed several Full Moon Studios properties to be made as comic books. In the past several months they’ve released books based on the Puppetmaster and Trancers series of movies and now they’re here to bring The Gingerdead Man to the pages of comic books. If weird and demented fun doesn’t describe the nature of this book, then I don’t know what does.
The plot centers around a gang of thugs breaking into an abandoned bakery. The thugs plan to use this bakery as ground zero for making edibles out of brand new drug that they’ve acquired. The leader of the gang heads out for an important errand and leaves some of her minions in charge and urges them not to sample any of the product before they’ve had a chance to bake it. Not being the smartest bakers in the kitchen, said minions do, indeed, attempt to make some edibles on their own and accidentally spill blood into the mix. Thus the Gingerdead Man is re-born and woe be to any who cross his path.
This first issue basically serves as an introduction to the concept of the Gingerdead Man for anyone who, like myself, has never seen the films that this comic is based on. For an introductory issue it’s pretty solid stuff. It doesn’t take itself too seriously (With a name like Gingerdead Man how could it?) and delivers the crazed violence and mayhem that Full Moon Studios seem to be famous for. It also seems to offer a nod to previous installments of the film series with what seem to be a cameo of a character from the film series. Again, I’m not sure as I’ve never seen the movies but the nods to the past seemed to be obvious to me. In any case this issue of The Gingerdead Man seems like it’s ready to deliver some piping hot comic goodness to fans of the original series as well as to fans of horror who’ve never discovered any of these films before.
The art itself is a bit cartoony for this type of fare, in my opinion, but it’s still solidly competent. Sergio Rios has a Joe Madueria type style about him that seems a bit misplaced with this type of story. While it’s true that the Gingerdead Man concept could lend itself to animation style antics, I felt as if the artistic manner of the issue as a whole wasn’t quite able to convey the unpleasant nature of the violence that ran through the tale. Yes, the Gingerdead Man himself is disarmingly cute but what he does is decidedly not; so maybe a grittier take on the comic pages might have been more impactful. Despite this nitpick, I still find the storytelling to be effective and the art does pop off the page.
In any case, The Gingerdead Man is a book that is a lot of fun especially if you like horror stories with a whacked out twist. It’s crazy, it’s funny, and it quite honestly has the most insane final splash page I’ve ever seen in a comic. Pick it up if you like a sense of humor served with your gore.