Archive for the Books Category

Featured Kickstarter: Black Dog Devil

Posted in Books, Comics, Kickstarter Projects, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2016 by ranranami

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1028393422/black-dog-devil-volume-1/widget/video.html

In a quaint 1950s town in rural Indiana, a witches coven was interrupted at the height of evil, and a curse was born. For 25 years, the curse was all but forgotten, until a Stranger walked in out of the rain one October night, and this once-sleepy town will never be the same…

Dusty Crosley

Horror is an ever-evolving monster (pun aside), and one can’t help but think how well the genre suits just about every format, from print, to screen, to art, projection, radio, music, etcetera. I don’t think there has ever been a time when the genre had so much innovation or incredible variety as we’re seeing today. When I found this kickstarter, my breath was taken away by the eery beauty of the pictures in the video above. Frankly, I think you would be doing your self a disservice by not checking this project out.

Interested? Swing on over to the kickstarter page and help bring the first issue this gorgeous graphic series to life. Or, is that ‘unlife’?

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Book of the week – Lenore: Wedgies, by Roman Dirge

Posted in Books, Comics, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by ranranami

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Back when I was in junior high, the webcomic world was blossoming for the first time across the internet. Aside from my Archie comics, which my mom bought me on every bi-weekly grocery trip, I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to really delve into others until then. So, I decided I wanted to use my extra cash from household chores to buy something special. I went to a comic store for the first time, and I found…Lenore, by Roman Dirge (a fun artist who also happens to be pretty close friends with Jhonen Vasquez of ‘Invader Zim’ fame.) This was the first issue I bought, and I instantly fell in love with the creepy little dead girl who didn’t really comprehend the idea of mortality, and thus many of her poor pets had to suffer from her unwittingly dangerous affection.

My Lenore obsession burnt out by the time I was in high school and really exploring other, slightly more mature comics, but this book will always hold a place in my heart, and even to this day when I pick it up, a quick look at a page or two always elicits a soft chuckle. Don’t let your possibly bitter memories of the overly marketed Hot Topic prevent you from reading these comics. You’d be missing out on something pretty good.

Book of the Week: Varney The Vampire: Or “The Feast Of Blood” by Thomas Preskett Prest

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by ranranami

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With Dracula, many romantic images are conceived in today’s readers minds. They attribute a good deal of the mythos to that particular novel, and for good reason…it was pretty popular, but did you know this one came pretty much half a century before, and was the true progenitor of many of the tropes we still use today in vampire stories?

There’s plenty of awesome ‘penny dreadfuls’ out there worth browsing through if you like yourself something a little campy, a little gory, and perhaps a little tasteless…but few so long, and rarely do they receive much attention today (‘The String of Pearls’ aside, which you may know by the name ‘Sweeney Todd’.)

Essentially it’s a soap opera. In fact, fans of Dark Shadows might even consider Varney awfully similar to Barnabas Collins in his journey, at times sympathetic, and other times absolutely despicable. Anyway, it’s a fun romp, and an important mile stone in Gothic literature, well worth the read (over perhaps several dozen sittings.)

Book of the Week: The Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2016 by ranranami

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Okay, okay, of all the Poe collections…I bet you’re wondering why I’m recommending this one in particular for the book of the week, and I’ll keep it fairly simple. It’s available free on Amazon Kindle, and it’s most of the best ones. That, of course, would be: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

Now, there are plenty of other amazing works by the man who I’d go so far as to say was the greatest American author of Gothic literature, not the least of which being ‘The Raven‘, which don’t find themselves in the confines of this digital (or paperback) book, but I do think these are an ideal start for a young reader making his or her first foray into spooky classic works. Each of them have found their way onto the silver screen in anthology and feature length incarnations for very good reasons. They’re timeless. They’re awesome. They’re how you should be spending the evening tonight, and if you’re an adult…perhaps with a nice glass of wine, though I’d say avoid the sherry. Then again, if it can’t be helped, maybe try to obtain your own amontillado…some people aren’t too generous with it.

Selections from Calling all Girls Magazine, Issue #64

Posted in Books, Fun and Games, Halloween Junk, MAgazines, Media with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by ranranami

Today I’m going to do something kid-friendly. I was digging through old magazines and comics online while I finished polishing up the last few pages of the remainder of Man in Black I’ll be posting, when I stumbled on ‘Calling all Girls’, a magazine for young girls back in the late 50s and early 60s with a delightful style I couldn’t help but be charmed by. There’s definitely something enchanting about an old magazine with more hand-drawn pictures than actual photographs.

There’s also something equally enchanting about the idea of having your kid actually organize their own Halloween party and put everything together, though I don’t doubt you’ll still have a little hand in helping them along the way. It’s very self-sufficient, isn’t it? And the ideas in the first article I selected to show off are absolutely adorable, though I would say be careful about how old your kid is before you let them bob for balloons…just in case they weren’t aware that you probably shouldn’t swallow the rubber bits.

I also picked out a spooky story in the magazine, though there was another mystery I had considered. This one had a spooky cabin, though, so I went with it. Can you imagine, though, if teenagers in modern horror were as resourceful as these two girls? I think the body counts would be pretty much 0. Warning, there may be some animal casualties in this story, read at your own risk.

Book(s) of the Week: St. Peter’s Wolf

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by ranranami

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Saint Peter’s Wolf, by Michael Cadnum

You would think it’s child’s play to write a good werewolf story. Use a full moon, throw in an okay guy who probably doesn’t have too much going on in his life, get him into a nasty accident at the wrong end of a Gypsy curse, mix in a love interest…that’s all there is to most basic werewolf stories, right? I mean honestly, that’s pretty much your general heroic cycle, if you’re simplifying it for a toddler.

Yet, I rarely run into a werewolf story that leaves me thinking ‘I really enjoyed that. It hit all the bases, and ended up being a well-rounded story about man’s struggle with his inner beast.’ Honestly, most of the good ones tend to be over 50 years old, too. If you’re familiar with the film ‘Wolf’ with Jack Nicholson, which time and again I make myself watch once a year hoping I’ll somehow manage to actually think it’s a good movie, because it does have a great cast and cool effects…

Saint Peter’s Wolf…is everything that story should have been. It is very similar, but it’s done right. It also has a very unique twist on exactly how the ‘curse’ is obtained, and keeps the werewolf as your general quadrupedal beast, rather than a man with huge teeth, a bad temper, and a body hair issue. It’s also got a fascinating protagonist who discovers that becoming the monster is actually a little bit better than what he’s already got going on. At any rate, it’s not strictly horrifying…but it’s a very good read.

Book(s) of the Week: Monster of the Year

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by ranranami

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As a kid, when I wanted a spooky book at the school library, I’ll admit I judged everything by the cover. In early elementary school, I adored the card catalogue (I’m sure some of you remember those huge filing cabinets with ‘key words’ scrawled in .2 size font.) I knew that without fail, Bruce Coville always had books with the best covers. I still remember the day I found this book based on the key word ‘monster’.

It was cute, it was fun, and it was perfect for a kid like myself…who enjoyed nothing more than putting as many monsters together in one story as possible. It’s basically about a boy who gets a gift from his dad: a billboard. He can do anything he wants with that little bit of ad space…so he decides to make something fun. A piece of art for a ‘monster contest’. What he doesn’t expect, however, is monsters from around the world showing up to take part. Who knew roadside ads were so effective?