Hell In Stalingrad

Hell In Stalingrad 

Madius Comics and Mad Robot Comics Collaboration 

Writers: Rob Jones and Matt Hardy

Artist: Russell MacEwan

Inks: WASM

Letters: Rob Jones

Cover: P J Holden

Hell In Stalingrad: War is Hell

Hell In Stalingrad is set in the midst of ‘The Battle of Stalingrad’, one of the most important battles in WWII. The Germany Army was defeated at Stalingrad, from which they did not recover. At this point it would be prudent to include a note from the creators:

“Just for clarification, we would like to take the moment to say that none of the creators involved support the oppressive ideologies which are prevalent in this book, such as Nazism or Stalinism. The context of the story came from the ferocious nature of the battle in and around Stalingrad, which is why we felt it would be a good setting to choose for our story. The idea of war breaking down the barriers between our reality and the kingdom of Hell seemed most apt in the theater where Nazism and Stalinism clashed so brutally. The idea of two men on either side of such atrocious ideals, thrust into a war they did not wish to wage, at the behest of those with such extreme viewpoints, seemed like an interesting story to explore.”

Hell in Stalingrad is a pulp horror graphic novel 

We follow the story of German soldier ‘Ernst’, and his Russian counterpart ‘Vassily’, as they are forced together to defeat a hellish enemy. They must cast aside their differences and opposing beliefs. The creators we’re kind enough to share with us the first 20 pages of the graphic novel for a review. From what we have seen so far, it is going to be huge. 

Hell In Stalingrad is 80 pages of black-and-white pulp horror goodness. It really gives the phrase ‘War Is Hell’ a whole new meaning. The creators have seamlessly brought the occult into this story of war. The inclusion of such occult themes and ancient evils is not a jarring addition, but something that flows naturally and helps to raise the tension and the stakes. The writing, along with the artwork is gritty and just as dark. Full of dark humor and characters that feel both well rounded and fully believable, these soldiers are not fighting because they want to, they are doing a job and really just fighting so they might be able to go home. 

The raw, frenetic art style 

I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the frankly immense artwork from Russell McEwan. The raw, frenetic panels reminded me of Lucy Sullivan’s ‘Barking’. It’s so multi-layered and intense, each page shows so much horror, movement, and energy. It’s perfectly suited for the story it’s accompanying. In showing both the raw horror of war and the haunting shadows of the occult. The minimalistic pallet of just Black, White, and Red is particularly effective in driving home the horror. In particular, the panel below really showcases the tone of Hell In Stalingrad. The mix of textures, positioning and SFX just works so well.

Hell In Stalingrad is currently funding on Kickstarter and we’d really recommend backing. In the same vein as Commando, but with an occult-ish twist, ‘Hell In Stalingrad’ pays homage to early pulp comics. It’s well worth a read if you’ve ever been fascinated by those ‘Occult War’ rumors and love a good bit of pulp.

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