Right off the bat you can tell that Home Brew Vampire Bullets (HBVB) is a labour of love from all of the home-grown Australian contributors involved. HBVB is a quarterly anthology pulp book inspired by the likes of Tales from the Crypt, 2000AD, Métal Hurtlant and Ozploitation Movies. It’s a beautifully created piece of material that tantalises and leaves you wanting more.
The second issue gets quite an increase in size from the first issue at 162 pages, and is chock full of amazingly written prose from a massive line up of highly accredited writers and creators. It features a superbly in your face cover by Sacha Brying, and a foreword by none other than Australian comedic legend Tony Martin.
The material inside is not for the faint of heart with the books own website giving it a "75% R" rating, but if you're a fan of this type of genre you'd know this already. It’s available both digitally and in print form. As much as I'm trying to embrace the digital path of reading, this anthology warrants being purchased in print form as it really feels like a piece of art.
All the work in this tome is fantastic and it would be too hard to choose a favourite. That being said, I did check out some of the articles and pieces from new comers to the HBVB family first. Dr Emma Beddows’ investigative piece on the misogyny in Aussie Geek Culture was intriguing and informative, especially given it has been a hot topic in recent years; Johnny Fuckface by Dean Rankine had me grinning from ear to ear and then laughing out loud on the bus; Kellie Gollings’ Abando series of photographs were hauntingly beautifully, and had me staring at them for quite some time; and Laura Crawford’s prose piece on the Aussie indie gaming scene had me realise little I know about a medium I love.
Some notable mentions of creators returning to the fray include Aftertward: On ‘The Hobbit’ by Arran McKenna, Clive Parma & The Rainbow Serpent by Matthew Dunn, and Watch What You Eat by Justin Hamilton and Garth Jones.
Organising all of the incredible creators in the one book is the talented Garth Jones. As editor he has made this a rather unique book and quite the pleasure to read. Do yourself a favour and jump on their website and buy a copy.- Billy