Category: Daily looks

Graphic Tales Reviews Vampire Free Style

With those big pleading eyes on the front cover of Issue #1, I couldn’t resist seeing what was hidden inside. There is a delightful mix of mystery and mirth in each edition. After reading Issues 1-5 the mystery began to unfold and each one left us eager for the next. I say “us” because our 13 year old daughter discovered them hiding under my chair and absolutely fell in love with them, too!

We both adore Vampire Free Style, just as if it were little lost kitten that had found us and we can’t wait to see what will happen next. It was enjoyable in spite of the fact that English is not the author’s native language. There are a few references that US readers may find obscure or bit confusing. But, this actually added to the charm and the settings of the stories.

If you like a mixture of anime, magic, romance and mystery, then check out Vampire Free Style!

I asked author Jenika Ioffreda what inspired these comics and here’s what she had to say:

About what inspired me for the comic series, the main character, Micia, was inspired by a joke between me and my boyfriend years ago.

We are both from Italy and in Italian language “Micia” it means “female cat” and it’s quite common name for female cats.

He was calling me Micia as a joke and I started to draw myself in a shape of cat whenever I needed to leave him a note.

Slowly the cat that I was drawing more and more started to take a life of her own… and there Micia was born. In 2003 I moved from Italy to United Kingdom and while I was on the train going from the airport to central London, I saw the roofs of some houses and I started to think I wanted draw a new comic book about characters very familiar with roofs.

The idea of a witch who was learning to fly come out and slowly all the other characters come out too. All the characters and situation are inspired by people I really met and situation I really lived and also by dreams I had while sleeping.

(Click on the thumbnails to see larger images)
Previews from Issue 1:

Previews from Issue 2:

Previews from Issue 3:

Previews from Issue 4:

Previews from Issue 5:

Work in progress for Vampire Free Style Issue 6

After reading the comics I wanted to know the creative spirit behind these whymsical books. Here’s what I found about artist Jenika Ioffreda, who is behind Vampire Free Style and the Factory of Dreams…

Birthday: “…The third day of the lunar year plus the second month of the Neptune century… “

What you like: The Moon, the Stars, the Sea and the Night

Recommended animation movies: All Studio Ghibli animation movies, Akira (Katsuiro Otomo), The Nightmare Before Christmas (Tim Burton), Corpse Bride (Tim Burton), Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud) and a lot more…

Recommended comic books: Barefoot Gen, (shocking and delicate autobiographical comic book story by Keiji Nakazawa about what Japanese people suffered after Hiroshima atomic bomb…), Persepolis (moving, funny and beautifully told autobiographical story by Marjane Satrapi about her growing up in Iran), Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi (terribly funny!), Dylan Dog (Italian comic book about a detective who investigates nightmares), Kimi wa petto by Yayoi Ogawa (unusual love story between 2 people completely different and meant to be together), Safety Pins (Uk independent comic book by Roger Wade about Stitch, a funny, punk, sweet and naive version of a modern Frankenstein), Rat-Man (Italian comic book by Leo Ortolani about a kind of anti-hero with a mouse-rat mask on. Be prepared for a lot of fun)

Favorite Bands: Die Kur, System of a Down, Dimmu Borgir, Nightwish, Octavia Sperati, Guano Apes, Theatre of Tragedy, Sirenia, Sepultura, Machine Head, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Maxdmyz, Captain DaFeira, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Emilie Autumn, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Tori Amos and a lot more…
Hobby: Everything that can be interesting for me

DIY: My life

Studio tools: Pencils, pens, inks, papers, hands, fingers, watercolors, acrylics, brushes, toothbrushes, lightbox, eMac with Photoshop CS2 and other graphic software and every other kind of tool where I can put my hands on…

A drawing that express yourself: you have it on the left of this page! 🙂

Oh yes, Jenika is “one of us”! I’m so glad she stumbled upon our humble site and shared her creative visions with with Gothic Blend!

Masks Releases Mini-Series

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 

MASKS is a photographic poem and exploration into the nature of identity. The story takes place inside the psyche of a girl named Sara. Sara sees pieces of the past lives of others and memories of her own as she follows a phantom killer and his victims through a distorted reality.

MASKS #1 was one of the most downloaded and popular indie comics on Wowio. Since then MASKS has built a cult following and has garnered some spectacular reviews such as:

“MASKS is very much a feast for the eyes…you’ll kick yourself if you miss this one.” –Ain’t It Cool News

“This is by far one of the most breathtaking graphic novels I have seen.” –Gothic Blend

“Masks is visually entrancing and the story reads like a poem.” –

“For fans of Dave McKean or film-maker Guillermo Del Toro, writer/artist Aaron Rintoul’s debut effort is a class act.” –Comic Book Jesus

“The images are at once beautiful, evocative and haunting.” –Comics And…Other Imaginary Tales

MASKS creator Aaron Rintoul says, “my intention with MASKS was to make something highly original that I had never seen done in comics before and a book the reader would want to open up more than just once. Hope you enjoy it!”

Masks Comic Trailer from Septagon Studios Inc on Vimeo.

MASKS also has one of the most unique and creative comic trailers the industry has to offer. It is a combination of live action, animation and comic art woven together seamlessly with an original soundtrack to capture the tone and mood of MASKS. The trailer was produced by Philip Carrer with Bleeding Apple film collective.

“It’s been a pleasure collaborating with talented artists like Aaron and Philip and we are excited to share the full series of Masks with comic fans,” said Nick Defina, president of Septagon Studios.

MASKS is available digitally for your computer, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. GET THE FULL FIRST DIGITAL ISSUE OF MASKS FREE! Visit for details. MASKS digital issues #2 and #3 are only $0.99 available at, Wowio and MyDigitalComics. They also come with 5 Bonuses. The MASKS Hardcover Graphic Novel can be purchased at through the ISBN 978-0986885303.

Visit for previews, art and info.

Join the Masks Facebook Fan Page for updates and exclusive Masks art.

Septagon Studios is a company focused on imaginative, innovative properties and concepts. We stand for creator freedom and artistic integrity. We embrace diversity with a major focus on art and inspirational storytelling.

Septagon Studios Inc
For readers. For creators. For everyone.

Blood Feud, The Sage of Pandora Zwieback

Monday, October 10, 2011

It has been theorized that people with mental illness may not be really “crazy”, they just may be seeing more clearly through the “veil” between the worlds. In the case of sixteen-year-old Pandora Zweiback, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and not taking her medication, this theory rings true. The problem is, who will believe she is actually seeing the monsters among us?! And what can she do about those monsters even if people did believe her?

Well written by Best Selling Author, Steven A. Roman, this story made me feel right at home with it’s pop-culture references to some of the haunts I frequent such at Deviant Art and Hot Topic. Steven made it easy to identify with Pan as she wrestles with her grasp on reality. It was refreshing to read a story where the parents are genuinely supportive of their teen, in spite of the incredible claims Pan makes and the situations they find themselves thrust into.

Blood Feud, The Saga of Pandora Zweiback is a fast moving story that is appropriate for teens and adults. It does have some violence, as would be expected when monsters are included Free Pandora Zwieback Comic Downloadand “Blood” is in the title.

I was quickly lured into the plot. However, the ending was a cruel cliff-hanger that made me curse the author (You know who you are and what you did 😉 for not having Book 2 available – NOW! I wait with bated breath for Book 2.

For more information on Blood Feud, The Saga of Pandora Zweiback and Pandora herself, please visit:

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion book review by Dee Marie

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Warm Bodies Sticks To You Like Zombie Goo!,
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion ~ book review by Dee Marie

When it comes to devouring novels, I have a very eclectic palette. Even so, I was never a huge fan of the supernatural (aside from hobbits, fairies, and wizards). That is until I stumbled into the fairytale-world of novelist Martin Millar. His fetish for Buffy the Vampire Slayer spread through me like a virus. Once infected with stories of vampires and werewolves, I was hopelessly cursed with no cure in sight.

Yet, there was still a part of me that resisted the urge to delve into the dark waters of any media (books, television, movies) dealing with zombies. My prejudice dissolved after watching the movie, Warm Bodies. Instead of being repulsed, I found myself laughing one moment, moved to tears the next (not tears brought on by terror … but instead heart-tugging teardrops, the kind that seeps out unexpectedly).

Movies that are based on novels, especially good movies, always pique my curiosity. Yet, exiting the theater left me with a yearning that I had not expected. On my drive home, I found myself missing the characters. Maybe it was just the journalist (or perhaps the romantic) in me; but I had to fill the plot holes; mend the unhealed zombie lesions the movie adaptation left gaping within my imagination.

Although I downloaded the book version of Warm Bodies that evening, life (as it often does) got in the way of my reading schedule. Soon the answers that I so urgently craved became a distant memory …only to be reignited last night, as I idly thumbed through my Kindle library. Turning the first page of Warm Bodies, I became hopelessly transported into author Isaac Marion’s post-apocalyptic world. It wasn’t until the first rays of daylight seeped through my bedroom curtains, that I realized I had spent a sleepless night nested in a hive of zombies.

If pressed to describe Warm Bodies, in a single word, it would have to be … thought-provoking! Yes, I know technically that’s two words hyphenated … perhaps: brilliant or innovative would do? Thankfully this is not a Twitter book-review, because when an author tugs at my emotions, my reviews tend to be loquacious. Isaac Marion shredded my essence. His words shattered my heart with despair; gently gluing the pieces back together with a glimmer of hope.

At first glance, Warm Bodies is an expected tale of horror. Mindless zombies, driven by an insatiable hunger, seek the only food source that can sustain them: living humans. The author juxtaposes graphic details with the reader’s imagination, as he describes the carnage of flesh being torn from screaming victims, brains suckled, and limbs ripped from the not yet dead. At the same time he skillfully implies, that it’s not malice within a zombie’s heart that drives them to feed … after all, zombies don’t have hearts … at least not beating ones. They are simply doing what comes naturally, they eat to survive.

In the middle of the feasting frenzy, one zombie, whose name is simply R, suddenly resists the overpowering urge to devour the source that spawned his kind. Like a knee bone is connected to a thigh bone; R has a vision that is connected to a name. In turn, the name is connected to a female survivor. A spark of humanity is ignited within the zombie by a single word … Julie.

From that moment, Warm Bodies transformed from a typical horror story into an uncategorized genre. The novel teeters on the cusp of romance, interwoven with political intrigue, splattered with unanswerable spiritual queries. It is a study of utopia versus dystopia. It is a story that not only entertains, but dares readers to explore what motivates their political, environmental, and religious beliefs … to reflect upon both immortality, as well as modern morality.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion book review by Dee Marie

Told from R’s point-of-view, the anti-hero explores the three distinct levels of his universe: The Living (humans), The Fleshies (zombies), and the Boneys (beyond-zombies). In disturbingly parallel scenes, R explores the differences, as well as the similarities, between humans and zombies. In a non-preachy manner, Warm Bodies, cautions readers to question the direction our society is headed: warning of the ramifications of our current path, at the same time giving an optimistic outcome for a better tomorrow.

The author scatters the storyline about like newly unboxed puzzle pieces, allowing readers to decide which society is truly uncivilized. At the same time, he prods readers to ponder what makes a civilized society civil; does a perfect formula exist that combines right-versus-might? Within the serious undertones of the subplots, dashes of humor are smattered about, with the cunning perfection of a novelist who knows his craft and understands his readers.

Like Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Isaac Marion’s provocative novel is destined to become a classic, not because of the monsters, but despite them … love, after all is the epicenter to both stories. Warm Bodies is not just a tale of young forbidden lovers; but a love-story of humanity; a love-story of life with hope for the future. Like the movie, the novel moved me to tears and laughter; it tugged at my heart and soul. Unlike the movie, the novel made me ponder and question the world I live in.

Long after you have read the last page; Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion, is a novel that will stick to you like zombie goo … … which is surprisingly … A Good Thing!

[Be sure to check out Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies prequel: The New Hunger]

Gothic Blend Talks to Belinda Hicks

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gothic Blend is especially privileged to be joined by Belinda Hicks. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and visit with us.

Tell us a little bit about who Belinda Hicks is.
Hmmm…good question! How would I sum up about myself? Well first thing would be that I am a mother of four amazing children, I’ve lived in Morgantown West Virginia basically my whole life. I like to think I am funny…never a dull moment when it comes to me….lol….But basically I am just as normal as everyone one is. I like to think there is more out there in the world than what we think there is. I am not a skeptic..I believe there is things out there that will come to play before the end of time….and if not than I guess the universe is a big let down. But that’s me and my opinion.

Your books deal with Vampires and other supernatural beings, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from other authors, movies, music, pictures I see on Facebook. Pictures are a big thing to me. When I see a Gothic picture that strikes me the words to flow in my head…and I have to get them down.

Do you find that your ideas to write new material come at specific times of the day?
When I began to write I can get stuck in anyway like most writings. But mostly right when I go to bed and lay my head down is when the best stuff usually comes to me. Then I have to get up write it down before I forget. It can be a nuisance some times.

Can you give us some insight on your writing process?
Insight on writing…hmmm not sure how I would put insight on writing. I just write what is in my head or how I am feeling. I have music playing all the time and just let it relax me to where ideas come or thoughts on a topic.

How long does it take you to write a new book?
My poetry books didn’t take as long as I thought it would…I write all the time. It’s just picking and proof reading your work and getting it together. My first book took me a little over a couple of months and my second about a month. Now the trilogy I’m working on I have been working on it for about five years now.

Belinda Hicks Talks with Gothic BlendWho are your main influences?
My main influences belong to the life I have lived, plus I give prop’s to three authors. If it was for William Shakespeare, I may have never loved plays and the tragedy he always writes, Edgar Allan Poe is another he is the reason I love dark poetry and I wish I can follow his steps and then there is the lovely Anne Rice. She has made me fall more in love with Vampires. The way she writes gives me chills…I remember the first book I read of her’s it was The Vampire Armand. I loved that book and had to read the rest. I wish to be like these three authors.

You currently have two books published, Dancing In The Mist Of Shadows and Peeking Through The Veil Of Shadows. Are you working on a third book?
Yes, I do have two books out now, Peeking Through The Veil Of Shadows and Dancing In The Mist Of Shadows and yes I am working on a third as we speak, it’s called Crying In The Cloak Of Shadows. I want to make a series of poetry books all with a shadow theme to them.

The cover art on both books is beautiful. Who was the artist and how did you come in contact with them?
The cover to my books start off with a picture from Google stock image and I send it to my publisher Barry Mowles and he designs them for me. He is great, I really like how they turn out.

What has been the biggest surprise along the way?
The biggest surprise was when I actually got to hold my first book in my hands. It was the greatest feeling in the world to finally see my book and my words out there in a book.

What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way?
My biggest challenge was actually getting the courage to have others read what I wrote. I never thought my writings were good. But A friend of mine added me to two poetry groups on Facebook and I was shocked at the comments I would get on my stuff. I had people telling me that they are my life long fan now, after the first month of slowly showing my work I have got the courage I never thought I had in me. I am now in about 15 poetry groups and I help people run two of them, plus I help a friend run a poetry page on Facebook along with my own page. If you would like to check them out they are Poetry and Friends and mine is Shadows.

What words of encouragement would you give to other aspiring authors?
Words of encouragement, I would say never give up. Even if you think you’re writing is not that good you would be surprised how others would like them. Yes, there will always be someone who criticism stuff but you have to take a step back and look at the positive comments you get, because writings, write because that is what we love to do. So, I say keep doing what you love and don’t let anyone tell you, you are wrong. It’s a sided coin in life some will like and some won’t but it matters what you feel.

Belinda Hicks Talks with Gothic BlendI really enjoyed this and I hope everyone got an idea of who I am. I am honored for this chance to let you into my head and my world as a writer. Just remember never let anyone say you can’t do anything you want. Show them you can be who you want in life.

Gothic Blend Talks to Static White’s Stitchery

Thursday, November 07, 2013 – 04:02 PM

Gothic Blend is especially privileged to be joined by Maya Bowen owner of Static White’s Stitchery. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and visit with us.

When was Static White’s Stitchery born?
Static White Stitchery was born in a corner of a tiny NYC apartment, just down hill of a huge Victorian era graveyard (seriously), on a cool September day in 2006.

Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
A bit of both. I do have some formal training, thanks to a short stint at Fashion Institute of Tech (NYC), but I began my stitchy adventures when I was a kid –thanks, Grandma!– and am forever looking to learn new things.

Where do you find inspiration for your cute and dark creations?
Books, movies, the interwebs… everywhere!

Do you find yourself being more creative during the day or at night?
I am most definitely more creative at night into the early morning. When the sun comes up it is time for bed. Usually.
Static White’s Stitchery Talks with Gothic Blend

Are all of your creations handmade and one of a kind?
All my creations are made with my own two hands and my various tools. Also, everything I create is either one of a kind or limited edition. Even when items are similar no two are exactly alike! I love adding special little details whenever possible. The only exception to that at the moment would be my headbands, which are limited edition since the fabrics I use are vintage/discontinued. There’s nothing wrong with mass producing items, but for me it’s boring.

Can you tell us a little bit about the creation process for a new product?
When an idea is spawning I usually sketch it out first but sometimes I’ll just jump right into the pattern. Once that’s sorted out, if I know 100% that it will work out, I dive right into the fabric. If not, then I’ll do a mock up in muslin to test it out first.

What has been the biggest surprise along the way?
The advertising and the online fans and friends. The amount of advertising needed just for a few views was a shocker at first but I got used to it and it got a little easier as time went on. As for the latter, it still amazes me how many awesome people I have met online through various groups and social networking.

What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way?
Getting seen in the great big ocean that is the interwebs. Also trying to make enough to pay the bills can be a challenge because the demand for awesome handmade goods can be fickle, as with anything else.

What words of encouragement would you give to other aspiring artist/seamstresses?
Aspiring to be any type of artist isn’t easy. Be prepared for the possibility of not “making it big”. Do it because you love it and don’t ever stop creating!

Graphic Tales Encounters Deborah Harkness

Monday, August 06, 2012 – 05:26 AM

On Monday, July 23rd we found ourselves on a special mission to meet a author Deborah Harkness, the best-selling author just released Shadow of Night, the sequel to A Discovery of Witches.

We weren’t really sure what to expect as we pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall that is home to Parnassus by Green Hills Mall in Nashville. This assuming store seemed an unlikely place to find such a renowned author. But, once inside the doors of Parnassus we discovered a standing room only eclectic crowd and fantastic staff of people at the store. It was welcoming and had a delightful selection of books and events.

Deborah came out and introduced herself. She is a professor at the University of Southern California and teaches European history and the history of science. Deborah is very intelligent, warm and funny. It is her inquiring mind that led to her career in fiction back in September 2008 when she wondered “if there really are vampires, what do they do for a living?”. Her first book, A Discovery of Witches was the unexpected answer to that question. Her first book debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and was also a bestseller in the UK, France, and Germany.

Deborah Harkness Hears Story of The Sons of AvalonAs she read an excerpt from Shadow of Night you could feel her enthusiasm build and it quickly became clear why her books are so popular. But, it was during the question and answer session where her personality and ironic sense of humor really began to shine through.

We discovered there really is a mysterious, missing manuscript known as Ashmole 782. What it contains…we don’t know…IT’S MISSING! But, Deborah’s real-life quest to find the missing manuscript weaved it’s self into the fabric of her stories. As did her desire for a home that would be less needy and more helpful. She had found her own home to constantly be in need of repairs and always needing something to be done. Her dream house found it’s place in her writing as well.

We wrapped up the evening with signatures and pictures. Deborah’s radiant energy and warmth was kindly shared with all that waited, including us. She reminded me of another special author, who is also a historian and a wonderfully warm woman.

We got our books signed and were honored to hand deliver a special gift to Deborah. Dee-Marie had mailed a signed copy of her Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy along with a personal note…one historical and majical author to another.

Deborah Harkness is an extraordinarily gracious lady, as is Dee-Marie. Both are gifted and talented authors and we were honored to make the connection for the two of them. The only thing that would have made it better would have been for Dee-Marie to have also been there in person so we could all have shared some wine together.

Deborah Harkness Receives The Sons of Avalon

We look forward to reading Deborah’s books and hope Deborah enjoys Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy as much as we did.

Now, for a Sons of Avalon inside scoop: If you look closely at the image in my hand in the last picture, you will see a sneak peak of the book cover for the sequel to Merlin’s Prophecy. We’ll keep you posted on the publishing progress of Dee-Marie’s next book!

Cyber Goth / Cyber Gothic looks

Image by trellia

If you aren’t familiar with the cybergothic style,,This style is often quite colourful and distinct,It’s a gothic subculture with futuristic elements,This style can contain artificial elements such as PVC (plastic),or latex (rubber) clothes,theatrical dreadlocks-,,or cyberlocks – hair extensions,Also different kind of respirators are commonly used in this particular style,you can also spot a cybergoth wearing different kind of goggles,,so called welders glasses,and extremely high platform shoes,Usually these are the things you can find in a cybergothic hair:,cyber belts made from foam,wrapping strings,,plastic rexlace – lacing,tubular crin, sort of an elastic tube,There’s no limit what to do with your hair,if you feel like putting up christmas tree ornaments in your hair,,that’s totally fine,cybergoths can also often use all sorts of fluffies,which have a rubber band to keep them in place,This particular pair also glows under a UV- light,as does many of the other cybergoth accessories,this style often contains neon reactive colors,combined with black clothes, hair or accessories,or perhaps with all of them,unlike many other goths,,cybergoths tend to listen electronic music of some sort:,EBM, aka electronic body music,or aggrotech music, for example: Hocico,or a little more easy-listening subgenre called Futurepop,artists like Vnv Nation or Apoptygma Berzerk, f

f course as a cybergoth you can also listen to,black metal, Rihanna and the bass boosted music played in dance clubs,if you feel like it,All these examples are just overgeneralized stereotypes,Everything stuffed into a one mold.,B

Faerie Goth / Fairy Goth looks

Image by Trellia

Fairy Goth can be considered a crossover of Romantic and Hippy Goth. This type has a love for fairies over the typical vampires, werewolves or witches and loves fantasy and mystical themes. The aesthetics of fairies appeal to them greatly, and they may even enjoy roleplaying out in the woods with friends. Blending in the dark, morbid traits of Goth with fairies created a beautiful type that can be enjoyed by all.