DOUBLE TAKE: Second Volley

Double Take went from successful Kickstarter campaign to full-fledged publisher!! Heartiest congratulations! There’s the established website as well as major sponsors Hastings and Midtown Comics. The fact that a super-pack of all ten issues is offered for five dollars less than the actual cover price is better than nothing 😉 Plus, the ten-pack is wrapped in cellophane to preserve those single issues.

Hastings adMidtown Comics adThere’s no official rating for these titles but I’d say they fall between T+ and M. The inclusion of African-Americans as main characters that are treated equitably is a non-issue in this fictional realm. That in itself reflects reality since Blacks were accepted and embraced by many of their fellow Americans even in those tumultuous times at the decade ebbed. The first issue of this second volley highlights an interracial relationship! Teens partaking in Mary Jane as well as cracking bottles of booze is universal and has been for occurring for at least a good two centuries. There’s a five-to-six-year-old foul-mouthed girl who swears worse than any sailor :0

Double Take logo 3The interconnectivity cements itself further. Some references are overt whereas others make you feverishly flip pages from the others to jot your memory. Politics and paranoia, slices of life and science, gore and horror – all mesh effortlessly to accentuate the year of various historical moments.

Double Take super packEvans County, Pennsylvania is the epicentre of the epidemic. This locale is made-up but there is a real life Evans City with a whopping population of 1,883 individuals in the Second State. Why here? How exactly did the ghouls come to be? Who is responsible? These ten titles totally tease and titillate since they create the landscape but do not provide any accessible answers. One must continue to read to fill in the blanks. Extremely strategic marketing!!

Evans County, PA

HOME #1HOME #1

“Lighter than Air” (27 pages)

Story: Michael Coast, Julian Rowe, Eric Hobbs, Bill Jemas

Script: Michael Coast

Pencils: Monica Catalano, Fernando Melek

Layouts: Julian Rowe

Colors: Javier Meña

Letters: Caroline Flanagan

Cover: Julian Rowe

Editors: Elysia Liang, Claire Dranginis

 [Sunday, Apr. 24, 1966   6:00 p.m. Evans County, PA]

Be it ever so humble there’s no place…wrought with dysfunction and obliviousness! Paul Foster has a cozy life: a beautiful blonde domestic wife and three children. He’s a deeply religious man who believes in the foundation of family and appreciates the value of hard work.

HOME #1 introLinda is a fully blossomed teen whose hormones are raging and desperately wants a piece of her black boyfriend Tim. Kevin fantasizes about space missions and loves to play for the sake of playing. Lisa simply wants to fly a kite. She is extremely aggravated that she can’t get lift-off.

Paul has major blinders as well as his head in the clouds. His truck has no gas therefore it has to be pushed downhill to get in to the town. Linda’s make-out session with Tim is interrupted when they have to propel the truck. There’s no follow-up to their tryst. Lisa really despises her entire parents. She’s the female version of Stewie. Either Mumsie and Daddy ignore what she’s saying or it’s an internal monologue audible and visible only to the readers. The appeal of apple pie [how American!] is ruined when a zombie makes a scene and kicks up a storm at the local diner. Luckily, no one was injured or bitten. Uuuummm, scratch that! Kevin approaches his parents and informs them that the ghoulish glutton fell on him and that he may have been hurt. [8.5/10]

HOME #1 fingers in the pieHOME #1 grabby grabHOME #1 out you goSidenote: aside from news of the Venus probe, the rocket Gemini is mentioned. No one seems to pay much mind to the report of increasing homicides in the Quaker state.

HOME #1 infection Extra features:

I've been trying to eat more vegansUltimate Cocktail Party

MEDIC #1MEDIC #1

“Flatline” (22 pages)

Story: Bill Jemas, Brian Finkelstein

Script: Brian Finkelstein, Mike Soviero, Michael Coast

Pencils: Marco Castiello

Layouts: Julian Rowe

Colors: Thomas Chu

Letters: Dave Lanphear, Richard Brooks

Cover: Apple Qingyang Zhang

Editor: Richard Brooks

[No info]

MEDIC #1 introLike any other health centre, University Hospital is never short on dire situations. The New York couple Ron and Emily (from HONOR) are rushed into the ER: he has severe chest injuries and is unconscious; she has lacerations on her head, is delusional, and is possibly concussed. A 23-year-old man is en route with two severed toes. He is the grumpiest of grumps when he arrives since he wants a quick fix but he is not high on the priority list. Emily awakens and inquires about Tom.

Interlude: the Gemini rocket is shown blasting off.

The meat of the story finally takes place. Dr. Bricker is the head surgeon in the OR. He bemoans his sad childhood to his staff. He was short, fat, had no luck with girls, and due to dyslexia was misplaced in Special Ed. classes. Despite those ramblings, he successfully brings Ron out of the woods. He even tries to woo one of the nurses but to no avail. Mr. Eight Toes is still unattended. He’s going to have to wait a bit longer since three corpses have reanimated in the morgue!! [7.5/10]

MEDIC #1 morgue no moreExtra features:

Digest Readers

Then vs. Now

 

REMOTE #1 REMOTE #1

“Dead Air” (22 pages)

Story: Colin Mitchell, Bill Jemas, Michael Coast

Script: Colin Mitchell

Pencils & Layouts: Young Heller, David Wilson

Colors: Tommaso Moscardini, Dinei Ribeiro

Letters: Elysia Liang, Charlotte Greenbaum

Cover: José Luís, Carlos Reno

Editors: Elysia Liang, Charlotte Greenbaum

[Sunday, Apr. 24, 1966   10:15 p.m. Evans County, PA]

REMOTE #1 introSamantha Stanton is own her own covering events at KBRF. Things are about to get eerily intense for her. Case in point: co-worker Wilcox has turned into a zombie and tries to get pieces of her. He’s holding a phone in his hand. She grabs it and speaks to the executive producer and owner Ed Grubler. The fat hairy slimeball is lapping it up in Pittsburgh with hired beauties. Samantha pleads for help but he tells her she has to fend for herself until help arrives and to report the eleven o’clock news without fail.

REMOTE #1 1st encounterThe woman has guts and for the most part remains cool as a cucumber. In the dead of night she ventures to the high tech room to access the Civil Defense Telex. The secretary Ms. Prendergast is a dead walker too! Sam calmly and efficiently gets rid of her by tangling her in the wires, thus electrocuting her.

REMOTE #1 2nd encounterOrders to evacuate three other towns comes through the wire. Sam has to get through a throng of corpses to relay the info. It’s hilarious how she fends them off with an umbrella. LOL! The transmission is made. At least two dozen zombies swarm the booth. She’s done for!! [9/10]

REMOTE #1 swarmedREMOTE #1 swarmed 2 Extra features:

• “I’ve been trying to eat more vegans.” [B&W illustration]

1960's Premiers

SLAB #1SLAB #1

“The Doctor Is In” (22 pages)

Story: Brian Finkelstein, Bill Jemas, Michael Coast

Script: Brian Finkelstein

Pencils: Joseph Cooper

Layouts: Julian Rowe

Colors: Liezl Buenaventura, The Hories

Letters: Richard Brooks

Cover: Apple Qingyang Zhang

Editor: Richard Brooks

[Sunday, Apr. 24, 1966   11:45 p.m. Evans County, PA]

SLAB #1 introDr. Grimes is at the KOV TV station reporting on the severity of the zombie outbreak. The urgency to burn the reanimated bodies to a crisp is a replay of the scene in DEDICATION. His cold-hard facts aren’t resonating with the staff. They want sensationalism over science. The execs liken him to Vincent Price as well as the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. When asked about the Venus probe, he demands to know the source of that tidbit. Begrudgingly, he allows a camera crew to follow him into the morgue. The doctor’s assistant stresses that his daughters should be contacted.

Jane is a guitar-strumming pothead. She’s astonished at the allusion to the ghouls. She screams at Angela the assistant and wants to pick up her sister Carol.

The media is getting all the facts wrong in assessing the correlation between radiation from the Venus probe and the emergence of zombies. Dr. Grimes puts his theory to the test: the corpse burns but there’s no sign of radiation whatsoever.

SLAB #1 extinguish evidenceSLAB #1 wormyIn another room, the crew is shown the limbless cadaver. He’s very much alive!! His entrails begin regenerating at an alarming rate. The same applies to his brain. Bradley comments on the specimen being unkillable. Grimes scoffs at his amateur observation.

SLAB #1 limblessSLAB #1 regenerationAngela comes to get Jane. She reluctantly has a puff of the bong to help her relax. The two spot a man sitting on the grass not realizing he’s munching on a squirrel. Carol is made aware of the situation. It’s too late for her. Someone broke into her home and takes a huge bite of her neck!! [9/10]

SLAB #1 squirrel snack

SLAB #1 behind you!SLAB #1 chomp!Extra features:

Today - brains

TV Guide Apr. 24-30, 1966

SOUL #1SOUL #1

“Friendly Fire” (22 pages)

Story: Michael Coast, Julian Rowe, Bill Jemas

Script: Michael Coast

Pencils: Ricardo Sanchez, José Luís, Ricardo Silva

Layouts: Julian Rowe

Colors: Tamra Bonvillain

Letters: Jim Prostovich

Cover: Carlos Reno

Editor: Robert Meyers

[Monday, Apr. 25, 1966   8:00 a.m. Evans County, PA]

SOUL #1 introSOUL #1 intro 2The war is own between humans and zombies!! There’s a shootout in the grassy field outside of town. This is the beginning of the second day. Chief McClelland, from HONOR, is on the scene.

SOUL #1 bang onSOUL #1 charge!Aside from the minor victory, there’s a major mess-up and a serious lack of impulse control when a young black man is shot simply because he’s holed up in some abandoned home. The man revives but he is no zombie. The bullet simply grazed the right side of his head. When he states he’s alive, more shots are fired by one of the trigger-happy officers since it is assumed that he’s a ghoul.

SOUL #1 wrong targetSOUL #1 grazedSOUL #1 aliveDr. Grimes and Bradley are on their way. LBJ watches live coverage of the incident. He’s extremely upset that an unarmed black man was shot on live television. His advisor George tells him the worst is yet to come.

The young man is identified as Ben. He tells the Chief his version of events. Ben stumbled upon the house when his truck run out of gas. A female resident burst through the front door in hysterics. The copious amount of blood is not from him nor is it his doing. The Chief’s female partner has done a recon of the exterior. All clear. She’s will investigate within. A couple lay bleeding in the basement. The man, with a bullet wound in the middle of his forehead, comes back in a different manner!! [9/10]

SOUL #1 gradual changeSOUL #1 awakeExtra features:

•  Digest readers.” [B&W illustration]

TV Guide, week of Apr. 24-30th, 1966

After all has been said and done, this ambitious endeavour has an impressive debut!! I’m no lover of this genre. In fact, I’m a rare breed in that I don’t read nor do I watch THE WALKING DEAD. The horror!! [pun intended!] For shame! I came to appreciate these endless eaters a little more with the representations all across the board.

Night of the Living Dead sceneThe setting for these tales goes back two years from the release of the film. For what reason, I cannot say but that is irrelevant since the U.S. was undergoing a major shift in social consciousness. Historical accuracy is undoubtedly correct: the Gemini rocket ended its five-year-mission in 1966. It’s significant in that it was NASA’s second human spaceflight program. FPOTUS Lyndon Baines Johnson held office from 1963-1969. He saw his fair share of challenges while leading the nation.

Bill Jemas extends his gratitude to the entire staff of Double Take, LLC. Here’s looking forward to more revelations!!

Thanks to entire staffDouble Take logo 2