Archive for the Books Category

Book of the Week: Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2017 by ranranami

I’m sure I’ve gone on tirades before about what makes a real vampire (or a good one), and the fact that they are not in fact romantic heroes. Dracula, especially, was nothing if not a predator and monster. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to tell you guys about a wonderfully dark little book I first discovered in middle school, and fell in love with. There’s a romantic gloss to the cover, and a sweet title, belying the dark story behind it.

.moonl

If you wanted Sarah to pick Jareth in Labyrinth, perhaps this book isn’t for you. Bowie was gorgeous with his typical glam rock beauty, but he was a man pursuing a little girl who wanted to prove to the world she was a woman. There’s a similar vein in this book about a young girl named Cynda vacationing with her family and trying to find her own way, isolated from the father and stepmother she doesn’t know, as well as the little brother she doesn’t really like. Then, Vincent shows up, and suddenly everything is different. It gets darker, and pretty soon the game Cynda thinks she’s playing spirals out of control. It’s a young adult novel, and certainly appropriate for the audience, but the heart of the story is a disturbing one, and that’s what makes this book so fantastic.

Advertisements

Book of the Week: Pet Sematary, by Stephen King

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2017 by ranranami

It goes without saying that Pet Sematary (the movie) really did have some of the most chilling moments in 90s horror. This is a recommendation for the book, however, which I think may be one of the few I’ve read that was practically identical to the film in all the right ways. Except for the soldier scene, which I would’ve loved to see in the film, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish I might get into later.

StephenKingPetSematary

It’s very short, a simple but fun read, and probably one of the less–how should I put it? Colorful? Vulgar? It’s one of Stephen King’s less foul-mouthed works from the time. I don’t often walk down the King road these days, but Pet Sematary will always hold a place in my heart, with its incredibly dark themes, and the basic idea that there is no true return from death. No matter what. Doctor Frankenstein couldn’t seem to accept that, and neither does Doctor Louis Creed. Both of them learned the hard way. A beautifully grim lesson to anyone who decides to dabble with the forces of life and death.

Book of the Week – The Knife Man, by Wendy Moore

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2017 by ranranami

As I’m generally more inclined to fiction, I’m sure this entry will come as a surprise. Granted, I’ve featured a book about body snatchers before, and I’m certain I featured another about the theory that there may have been a real Sweeney Todd…

 

knifeman

 

Anyway, nonfiction isn’t a common theme on this blog, but I simply couldn’t pass this one up. It was too good of a read not to share. Wendy Moore did what few biographers seem to manage so beautifully, in that she brought a man and his work back from the dead. How suiting for one of the most influential men in the development of surgical practices in the last 400 years. John Hunter, who despised the written word, translated beautifully onto the page.

As a boy, he skipped school, and as a man he helped his brother cement the foundation of one through body snatching, innovation, hard work, and sheer talent. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pick up this book as soon as possible and read it cover to cover.

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’?

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

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

wedgies

 

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

tumblr_o5sk4cg6gq1s8li3xo1_500

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

poe

 

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.