TKO Presents Tales of Terror

Title: TKO Presents Tales of Terror.
Writer(s): Liana Kangas, Joe Corallo, Sebastian Girner, Steve Foxe, Alex Paknadel, Kelly Williams, and many more.
Illustrator(s): Paul Azaceta, Baldemar Rivas, Lisandro Estherren, Ian Macewan, and many more.
Letterer(s): Jeff Powell, Steve Wands,Hassan otsmane-Elhaou, and many more.
Publisher: TKO Studios.

: Paperback.
Release Date: November 30th 2021.
Pages: 180.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
ISBN13: 9781952203565.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Horror has a way to crawl under one’s skin and singe its terror into one’s consciousness. All it takes is a little bit of doubt, a little bit of skepticism, and voilà, horror is born and proliferates within one’s mind almost to the extent of taking control of our lives. While it can often be quite messy, through an abundance of blood and gore, it can also take the form of an uncontrollable dread and a sense of helplessness. Horror might be a scary concept in itself but it’s what it forces us to do that can be even scarier. Or even what it forces us not to do. Exploring various facets of horror, several writers and artists unite to deliver tales of terror, whether it is within the walls of your own home, deep in the sea, or out in space.

What is TKO Presents Tales of Terror about? Publisher TKO Studios brings together a myriad of creative teams in a collaborative effort to put forth a horror collection of short graphic novel stories that explores various different horrifying stories. From demons brought to existence by tribes to sentient AI technology having a mind of its own in space, these stories present chilling and sometimes quite bloody stories that give these creators the chance to explore their respective narrative and artistic talents. This first collection contains stories entitled “Seeds of Eden“, “The Father of All Things“, “Night Train“, “Roofstompers“, “River of Sin“, “Dame From the Dark“, “The Walk“, “Killiamsburg“, and “Hand Me Down“.

“But you know what matters? The only thing that matters? We chose it.”

— Alex Paknadel

Despite its innocent and applaudable intention to offer numerous comic book creators, both writers and artists, the opportunity to make themselves known in the horror game through a short and sweet tale that reaches deep into the traditional tropes of the genre, this collection, unfortunately, suffers in term of quality and content. While the length in itself is an undeniable challenge in this medium, only a rare few successfully make use of the rules of this game and deliver original and chilling stories (see Night Train and River of Sin) that allow readers to take home some fruit for thought. Other stories (see Dame From the Dark), however, struggle to get through the reader by stumbling their way to the end, barely making much sense along the way, and offering little to nothing worth appreciating in its ideas, characters, or setting.

Where the narrative is unequally exquisite from one creative team to another, the same can also be said of the artwork. Although they are respectfully adequate for each of the stories that are being told, they unevenly achieve a different effect that can more likely negatively affect the reader’s appreciation than intended. Some artists have a knack at drawing dynamic and lively characters, meticulously giving them life and personality with the help of the writer’s script, others pencil rough designs that inevitably seem stiff and lifeless. Fortunately, the horror genre offers these artists a way out by emphasizing blood, gore, and chaos through their unique styles. The colouring also, more often than not, gives the stories the necessary gloom and doom, especially when working with shades and shadows, and notably through watercolour.

TKO Presents Tales of Terror is a mixed bag of short horror stories, ranging from psychologically thrilling to visually gory, presented without a unifying direction or style.

Thank you Medialab PR for sending me a copy for review.



14 thoughts on “TKO Presents Tales of Terror

  1. Yep, that is the danger of a collection by a disparate group. It’s always been why I’ve preferred anthologies to be by the same author. At least that way I know what I’m getting into 🙂

    As for the horror aspect, it really CAN get under your skin, can’t it? I’m currently working through a Cthulhu anthology and maaaaaan, some of the stories are downright creepy! So I know what you mean when you’re talking about it here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. At least my expectations were super duper low with this one, considering that I recognized absolutely none of the writers or artists!

      Oh man, that sounds like a lot of fun. I look forward to trying something purely Cthulhu-related in the future. When done right, it can really be quite horrifyingly fascinating!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s the thing about a collection of stories penned by a number of individuals – you don’t know what to expect and chances are that there will be quite a bit of content you won’t enjoy all that much. It feels weird to read such a collection (a waste of money and time), and even weirder to be featured in such a collection and not be happy with the other stories in the same book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting point, from the perspective of a writer who’s part of the collection. I do wonder what they all feel about being featured in this and if they don’t mind the differences in quality. The risks, however, are indeed so high for readers with this kind of collection. Probably best to try these from a library or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember reading the anthology my story was featured in and thinking: “What if people just throw this away before they get to my story?!” But then, I read reviews of those stories and reminded myself that people have different tastes and the stories I didn’t like all that much were actually really enjoyed by others (and maybe it was mine that wasn’t the strongest?!).

        Yea, that’s why I don’t normally buy such collections. Too much of a gamble.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s an interesting idea, kinda of a sampler pack. Let’s creators try their hands at something new and lets readers try something perhaps a little different. Sorry to hear it didn’t quite come together as a cohesive finished product. I don’t know if I’ve heard of TKO Studios before (could just be forgetting). Do they put out a lot of horror titles?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I could only indulge it as a sampler pack too. It would be wrong to judge them based solely on these but it does give me more reasons to try some of their other work if they catch my attention here. TKO Studios is pretty new but they have released some big titles from big names in the past (for example, I read and reviewed Sarah and Sentient last year). They have indeed been delivering a lot of horror stories lately but I think some of their stuff isn’t necessarily from that genre though.

      Liked by 1 person

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