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Vintage Comics – Beware, Issue. 15: The Crystal of Time, Your Number is Up (Cover – 14)

Posted in Comics, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2018 by ranranami

First, apologies for the lack of color correction. I just got a new version of Photoshop elements, and like every edition before – – it’s completely different from the last one I used, and every function is yet another learning process. On the bright side, the podcast may be getting a new logo when I figure this silly thing out. Anyway, onto the comic…BEWARE, ISSUE 15! Yet another vintage comic where the writers forgot they didn’t need to describe every detail. Very much like the narration of a radio show, this may be a fun interactive little comic if you could get someone to read the dialog aloud.

The first story is more sci-fi romance than horror, which somehow seems to bring to mind Army of Darkness. I wonder if Sam Raimi was a fan? The second, a twisting tale of greed and numbers – – that actually cuts off before it gets really good. Ah well, the last frame is cartoonishly charming.

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Book of the Week: The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

Posted in Books, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2018 by ranranami

When I was a kid, hands-down Amityville horror was one of those movies that was so dark and creepy, I couldn’t really sit through it until I was probably 10 (which, if you’ve read and heard my ramblings over the last few years, you’ll realize was pretty late for me, considering I had watched Dead Alive probably a dozen times at that point.) This is the book that started it all.

amity

I’m not going to say it’s based on a true story. I desperately want to, but I think we can all agree that events in this story are highly dramatized. There have been lawsuits. Debates. Fights. I’d like to believe drunken horror nerd brawls, even, about the events in this book based on the horrific ghostly experiences of the Lutz family in 1975. They left the house in just under a month.

For context, in 1974 Ronald DeFreo Jr brutally murdered his family in this house (which, to its credit, looks like a pretty damn creepy house even without the overlay and flames on the modernized book cover above). This book is not about Ronald, but each element of the book sort of comes together very well, and if you haven’t had enough of the fictional story, there’s so much you can explore after you’ve read this (from DeFreo to the Warrens, a pair of paranormal investigators whose cases inspired Jay Anson to write this). True or not, it’s a great book, a modern classic, and well worth your time on a stormy night or a sunny day.

Vintage Comics – Baffling Mysteries, Issue 5 : Volcano of Vengeance, The Phantom Snow Queen (Cover – Pg. 14)

Posted in Comics, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2017 by ranranami

I’m sure most of you have figured out by now that the main thing drawing me to some of these vintage comics tends to be the awesome cover art. This one, too, while gorgeous (just look at that awesome skirt) won me over with the cover alone, and what could possibly be one of the most ridiculous lines I’ve ever read. The Baffling Mysteries comics often fell victim to your typical walls of text you see with any visual medium that hasn’t quite grasped the law of ‘show, don’t tell’. Wasn’t surprised at all to realize they came from Ace comics, who also produced Hand of Fate (which I’ve posted here before as well.) The characters in this one practically narrate everything. I mean everything. Very much in the style of an ear play or radio drama. If it’s dark, and the panel is painted dark, you’ll be reminded by the character telling you that it’s definitely dark; so on and so forth.

The first story focuses on South American goat-men gods. Or, as the rest of the world refers to them, Satyrs. There’s plenty of color variation in the panels, but far too much text covering up the actual art. It seemed like as the stories progressed, the line art got a bit more rushed. There was potential with the goat-ment, and certainly a message about…archaeology and museums not being a bad thing, I guess. The second story in a far snowier setting has death skiing with a sort of urban legend twist to it. The best part about this comic is the art, really. The stories are just near-misses…but man, look at all those bright yellows!

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Horror Flick of the Week: Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Posted in Media, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2016 by ranranami

laura

The 70s. Glamour and glitz, a decade with perhaps the most experimentation in materials, colors, and style fashion has ever really seen. Drugs, discos, sequins, furs, scandals, decadence…yes, the 70s had it all in a way the burning-out 80s didn’t quite recapture in quite the same way. Perhaps that was why this movie worked so well.

It’s easy to overlook this movie with a glance, a quick perusal of the description, just a story about a glamorous photographer and a murderer who seems to be copying pose-for-pose every single element of her almost gruesome works. If I had to pick an American movie that really nailed the essence of giallo’s style, it would be this one. Please, do yourself a favor and watch this movie as soon as possible. It will stick with you forever. Plus, there’s a very young Brad Dourif making an appearance in it as well, and who doesn’t love Brad Dourif? Did I mention John Carpenter wrote the initial story-line and early script?

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.

Featured Fear: Hypnophobia (fear of sleep)

Posted in Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 22, 2016 by ranranami

It would be so obvious to start this off with a rhyme from my favorite horror franchise, but I know you may already be thinking of it and humming along in your head without even meaning to. While water is pretty much inescapable, we all know we can just pretend it’s not in any other drink, or act as if adding flavoring to it suddenly changes the nature of that fear altogether…but sleep?

Without sleep, which can’t be disguised as anything else…you’d die. In fact, without sleep, you’d end up doing the ‘bigger’ sleep. As Poe once said, ‘ah, sleep, those little slices of death. How I loathe them.’

Actually, there’s no real evidence he ever said that, but it’s a fun line. Plenty of people hate sleep. They see it as a waste of time, something that somehow hinders them from doing anything valuable with the hours they have no control over…and sleep does make you vulnerable. In fact, when you’re sleeping, you’re at your weakest…no way to defend yourself, little if any awareness of your surroundings. The more I think about it, the more I think…maybe I should have another cup of coffee?

dreamsleep

Everyone sleeps. Everyone dreams. I’d say half of the fear of sleep owes to the fact that we dream, actually. Not only are you vulnerable to the world around you, but you’re vulnerable to your own subconscious at well. It is the ultimate assault on one’s will and body, and yet…at the same time…sleep does make us stronger. I suppose that’s because it doesn’t kill you, if you’re lucky.

Since I didn’t use a rhyme, I think today I’ll leave you with a poem instead. For what indeed is more poetic than sleep?

To Sleep

By John Keats

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,

Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,

Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,

Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:

O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close

In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,

Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws

Around my bed its lulling charities.

Then save me, or the passed day will shine

Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—

Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords

Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;

Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,

And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.