Markosia Enterprises
January 20, 2020
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Hello to one and all from your old pal Skull! Today we have something that we don’t get a lot of here in the Skullcave, a graphic novel. Not only is Stay Alive a graphic novel, but it is one that combines Horror, Crime, Sex, and Showbiz into one vibrant and tasty package. YUM! If you’re not a fan of those things and don’t much care to laugh at the society we’ve become, then I’d recommend that you get the hell out of here now. Everyone else, come along and take a peek at what the twisted trio of James C. Harberson III (author) , Mackie Wildwood (author), and Stephen Baskerville (artist) have created for your viewing pleasure.

I’m gonna do my best not to toss any spoilers in, but there’s a lot of detail and action going on here and I want to give you a solid sight line of the big picture. So hold tight, and concentrate to get what I’m spinning. There is a private sector funded assassination group called UKILL and what they do is hunt down and kill creepers, pedophiles, and rich stars who indulge in animal cruelty for fun and profit. The way they decide who to kill next is by taking a public poll of their viewers. Once the numbers are in, it’s time to set about taking out whoever is chosen. As UKILL puts it. “Death Does Discriminate!” These are folks who most of us wouldn’t mind having gruesome deaths after all the hell they’ve put their victims through.

That is until Jane Morgan, a failing movie starlet with a checkered past, decides to take her agent’s advice and go on an opposing show called STAY ALIVE in which she’ll try to avoid being killed by UKILL. All the action will be followed 24/7 by TV cameras and blasted all over social media. While Jane is kind of sexy naked, she doesn’t spend a lot of time using her brains, so this could be a very short show indeed. Except the STAY ALIVE crew have stacked the deck heavily in Jane’s favor. There’s all kinds of professional help, including one Moses Rabkin, bodyguard and soldier of fortune extraordinaire. This guy has amazing instincts and is a powerful ally to have on your side. But keeping Jane alive isn’t going to be a cakewalk…

UKILL is huge and has its hands inevery part of our society all the way up to the good old FBI. Plus, it’s a monster many people take into their lives willingly because they believe in the cause, or maybe just like seeing folks die in imaginatively gruesome ways. This isn’t just a couple of tough guys who talk funny offing people. Plus, there’s a zany wildcard that UKILL is more than happy to spring from the secure mental health facility where he’s been cooling his heels and focusing on his hatred for none other than Jane Morgan. Kenyon Kraft is crazy as they come, but he’s also crazy smart about how to kill people violently, painfully, and with plenty of blood splatter. Just having this wackjob after you would be reason enough to be scared, but when he’s assisted by a huge organization, terror is too small a word.

Rating? We’re talking 5 STARS here folks! The action moves fast and dialogue is funny in the snarky way that only horror can produce. There are many small jokes included in the big picture and quite a few jabs at stereotypes. Buccaneer Magazine being featured here is a tip of the hat to Stephen King who sold a lot of stories to men’s magazines in his early days. If you haven’t guessed by now, this graphic novel is for mature audiences. STAY ALIVE’S great characters and multiple storylines rocket along all the way to the finish line. Maybe if we’re lucky, there’ll be a sequel in the works! Thanks for checking out Damaged Skull Writer & Reviewer’s review of Markosia Enterprise’s graphic novel STAY ALIVE! Special thanks to James C. Harberson III for his time and help with this review. Be sure to check out his great collection of short horror, A Disgusting Supermarket of Death, which is also currently available from your favorite booksellers and highly recommended by this reviewer in a previous post. Need more info? Then check out Markosia at www.markosia.com and James C Harberson III at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19908137.Jim_Harberson


Hello again fellow horror writers and readers! I always enjoy sharing good news, so let me tell you a bit about this new short horror story anthology from No Bad Books Press. The title is “RELEASED” and the overall theme is things escaping into the world that probably shouldn’t have. Not only do I like the concept, but I’m proud to be contributing my short horror story “Hell To The Holler” to this cool project. I’m also a big fan of this amazing cover! It really gives readers a good visual representation of what’s inside. Make sure to keep an eye out for “RELEASED” from No Bad Books Press! Want more information? See what co-founders S. Faxon & Theresa Halvorsen are up to by visiting them at http://www.nobadbookspress.com


I enjoy writing all kinds of poetry, but there’ll always be a large part of my heart dedicated to the dark, speculative, and horror forms. Life itself is often a big horror movie. Maybe it’s a bit more subtle, and there aren’t clowns with chainsaws running through your living room. But how about getting stuck on the highway at two in morning, or having to slip out the backdoor of your girlfriend’s place because there’s a man out front who wants to introduce you to his pals, Smith & Wesson? To everyone who married their high school sweetheart and lived happily ever after, kudos! For the majority of the world, love hurts, maims, and sometimes kills. People commit suicide because their hearts are broken. Beauty is often only skin deep and it’s easier than one might think to find yourself trapped in a real bad spot. I think “Beautiful Tragedies 2” is going to be a book that slices you to the bone but also offers a solace to those in dark places. Damaged Skull Writer will keep you posted on this book’s progress and let you know when it hits bookstores. Until then…be careful out there. Unless you enjoy pain, then by all means carry on!

“The Jogger”

If you haven’t had a chance to read this awesome story by Jenny Maloney, here’s another chance to give it a whirl. THE JOGGER is interesting, disturbing, and very real feeling. Why do joggers always seem to be the ones to find those murdered off the beaten path?

Other Worlds, and This

Exciting news! My short story “The Jogger” is now up at All Worlds Wayfarer.

Many moons ago, Ray Bradbury wrote a story where he explored the idea that the looky-loos at all accidents were actually the same people every time.

Well, you know how it always seems like joggers find the bodies? (As one friend put it, it’s how all Law & Orders start.) I wanted to explore the idea that it was always the same jogger who found the bodies, inspired by Bradbury’s idea.

Thanks so much to the team at All Worlds Wayfarer. I appreciate your time, your effort, and your dedication to presenting creative work in such a beautiful format.

You can read the result now. I hope you enjoy it.

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