eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Here’s a round up of some thought-provoking, Halloween-friendly articles on horror. (Images are from The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.)

“Fear is not the best thing in the world, of course, but it’s not going anywhere and we are likely forced to meet it in some capacity, great or small, each and every day. There’s no way around it. Denying this fact only provides more fertile ground for fear to take root. Worse yet, denying it robs us of our agency to meet and overcome it. The more we ignore scary things, the bigger and scarier those things become.” 

- Greg Ruth, “Why Horror is Good For You (and Even Better for Your Kids)"


“A young guy in a festival audience told me that it was nice to have women in the genre because it brought some ‘softness,’” says Ducournau, whose movie will be getting a wide release next year. “Softness? Have you seen my movie? When you make horror, it’s the expression of a form of violence that you feel inside of you – and it’s important we recognize that women feel violence and anger as well.”

- Phoebe Reilly, “From 'Babadook’ to 'Raw’: The Rise of the Modern Female Horror Filmmaker: How the genre has attracted an unprecedented number of female directors – and why these artists are elevating scary movies to a whole other level”


“While the general trend for gender parity in film has seen a decline in women’s representation, horror has been the exception. A recent study by Google and the Geena Davis Institute used technology to recognise patterns in gender, screen time and speaking time in major films. While the results revealed that men are seen and heard twice as much as women, the opposite was true of horror. Women held 53% of the on-screen time and 47% of the speaking time.”

- Kayleigh Donaldson, “Women Love Horror: Why Does This Still Surprise So Many Dudes?”


“It isn’t just that the women in these movies have to do things — we have to understand what they’re afraid of. We as viewers need to understand not just the physical fears, of death, of bones breaking, of torture. These movies aim to make the things these women fear the fears of the audience as well.”

- Gita Jackson, “Horror Movies Are One of the Few Places Women Are Told Their Fears Are Real”


“Violence in the real world doesn’t always have a satisfactory resolution. One of the appeals of violent entertainment is, you can see a story with a just resolution,” Goldstein said. “When we see justice is done, it reaffirms our belief that justice is possible.”

- Jen Christensen, “Go Scare Yourself! It’s Good for You”

eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Look no more for some perfect streaming music for this Halloween season!

Celebrating its 19th year, “Out ov the Coffin” is hosted by the fabulous D.J. Ichabod. What was born as a means of spreading dark and esoteric music to the Nashville area via WRVU, broadcasting from my graduate alma mater, Vanderbilt University (Go ‘Dores!), is now an spine-tingling and atmospheric podcast. Check it out for some perfect seasonal music! You won’t be sorry. 


‘Tis the season for specials, and the latest special episode is the podcast version of the Out ov the Coffin: Compilation for the Dead 2017. What’s that? Well, the “Compilation for the Dead” is actually a mixtape-style version of the podcast.

I made you a mixtape….” See? Not creepy at all! Right?

Each year Ichabod chooses just under 80 minutes of strictly new and current music to represent this podcast, his DJing style, and, most importantly, the current state of the goth & dark music scene as he sees it.

Listen now to the Compilation for the Dead 2017 here!

And keep an eye and ear out for the upcoming special Halloween show! 


eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Now it’s list time! Here are my picks for the spooky podcasts you don’t want to miss this Halloween.

In no particular order…

* Welcome to Night Vale: It’s TheNerdyBlogger’s fault that I’m addicted to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast (and its wonderfully weird related books, as well). This is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, an omnipotent Glow Cloud (All hail!), and cultural events. Think Lake Woebegone meets Stephen King. Just for kicks, I’m decorating this post with quotes from the podcast.

(Note: I also recommend checking out the other podcasts from Night Vale Presents, as well!)


* Astonishing Legends: This podcast’s mission is to take a look at legendary, strange, and unusual events from history and interview people who’ve had close encounters with the unexplained. Hosts Scott and Forrest strive to bring you everything that’s entertaining about those stories and remind you that it’s okay to laugh at scary stories – and, respectfully, even the people that tell them. That said, this is a serious and skeptical podcast. Put your headphones on, settle in for your commute, and get ready to experience a show like nothing you’ve ever heard before. I discovered this podcast while looking for more analyses of the Dyatlov Pass mystery, and I was hooked. My favorite series of episodes thus far focuses on the Somerton Man mystery. If you could have drinks with the Lone Gunmen, I’d expect the discussion would sound a bit like this podcast. (That’s a compliment, if you were wondering.) Right now they’re covering the Bell Witch. (Too cool!) You remember the Bell Witch, right?

* The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast: In each weekly podcast, Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer discuss a specific H.P. Lovecraft story – what it’s about, how it reads, why it may have been written and what other works of art it’s influenced. Since concluding Lovecraft’s stories, they’ve been covering other weird fiction that inspired the author, mostly those referenced in his essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature.” They regularly have talented guest readers and contributing composers for their music sections. The majority of the Lovecraft episodes are free. Three of the four monthly episodes are now subscription-only, but they are well, well worth the modest cost. And October is for werewolves!

* Saturday Frights: TheNerdyBlogger put this on my radar, and I’m grateful! Each week the co-hosts discussed a particular horror movie or horror-themed TV episode from the Retroist Vault for your listening enjoyment. Unfortunately, the show is no longer in production, but there are still 63 episodes in the archive that are well worth your time and guaranteed to put you in the Halloween mood. 

* Interference by Eric Luke: Another of my brilliant former graduate students, April, suggested this to me, and it’s sublime. Don’t miss this! The podiobook unfolds in twenty-four episodes, and then it’s done. Described as “an experiment in audio horror” (oh yeah!), here’s the tantalizing blurb: “SOMETHING wants in. To your head. Through this audiobook. Ethan, a digital sound engineer in Los Angeles, becomes aware that his life is unraveling when the audiobook he’s listening to reveals his deepest, darkest secrets, escalating until the narrator addresses him directly, threatening to destroy him from within. Vivian, a single mother running an antique store in San Francisco, listens to her audiobook to distract herself from missing her young daughter, but is shaken when the narrative is interrupted by her daughter’s voice, faintly calling for help. Ethan and Vivian are drawn together as they fight to solve a generation-spanning conspiracy that begins with a boy listening to the Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938 and evolves through the latest innovations in digital technology…” I love how the individual weird tales link together into a spooky, intense, and deeply humane conclusion.

* Rippercast: The Whitechapel Murders Podcast: This is a treat for those of you who are interested in the history of forensics, true crime, Victorian England/London, etc. A roundtable of author/academic presenters, co-hosts, and special guests discuss topics related to the Whitechapel Murders, Jack the Ripper, Victorian British history, true crime, and whatever else suits their fancy. Lately the podcast has been sharing the monthly scholarly talks recorded at the London meetings of the Whitechapel Society 1888 and at various international conferences focused on related themes, as well as the “10 Weeks in Whitechapel” series. If you want to hear the latest in research from those who literally wrote the books on their respective topics related to Jack the Ripper’s times and context, you’ll want to listen.

* Kat & Curt’s TV Re-View: This podcast began with brilliant bloggers Curtis Weyant and Katherine Sas introducing Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who to each other, watching one episode of each per week, sharing fannish delight and critical analysis. Curt, a long-time Whedon devotee and scholar, introduced the show to Kat, and analytical Whovian Kat acquainted Curt with the Doctor. Now Angel and Battlestar Galactica have been added to the mix. Join Kat and Curt for a journey through time, space, and Sunnydale as they battle demons, aliens, and the inscrutable process of creating quality narrative television.


* Tales to Terrify: This weekly audio magazine is one of StarShipSofa’s siblings in the District of Wonders. I’m terribly saddened to say that we lost our friend and comrade, author and host Larry Santoro (“the Vincent Price of podcasts!”). He is greatly missed. But the podcast continues to soldier (lurch? stagger? insert your scary verb here) on in his memory. It includes the best of contemporary horror fiction and nonfiction. It was my distinct honor to represent TTT last year at the Hugo Awards Ceremony, where it was a finalist for the Best Fancast Award. (In addition, have narrated three haunting stories for this podcast. Follow the links to hear my reading of “After the Ape” by Stephen Volk, my reading of “Jewels in the Dust” by Peter Crowther, and my reading of “Payback” by P.D. Cacek.)

* Lovecraft eZine Podcast: This is the podcast version of the wonderful and weekly live show produced by the incomparable Lovecraft eZine. Listen as stellar guests discuss cosmic horror, weird fiction, Lovecraftian horror, the Cthulhu Mythos, and related topics.

* Pseudopod: One of the oldest horror podcasts and still one of the very best, Pseudopod presents fine short horror in audio form weekly. Do not miss this podcast!

* MonsterTalk: This is the science show about monsters — a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and werewolves. Hosted by Blake Smith, Ben Radford, and Dr. Karen Stollznow, MonsterTalk interviews the scientists and investigators who shine a spotlight on the things that go bump in the night. The episode airing dates average out to mean a new show once a month, sometimes more. (Thanks to ankh_hpl for introducing me to this great show.)

* Classic Tales: Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley: what’s not to love? This is a fantastic weekly podcast featuring B.J. Harrison’s unabridged readings of great — and often haunting and Halloween-friendly — fiction.

* Atlanta Radio Theatre Company: Founded in 1984, ARTC is a staple at venues such as Dragon*Con and has a standing program year-round, performing adaptations of works by authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and H.G. Wells live. ARTC podcasts its fantastic productions.

* Skeptoid: This podcast shines the lights of logic and reason into the dark shadows. Each weekly episode focuses on a single phenomenon — an urban legend, a paranormal claim, etc. — that you may have heard of, and it explains the factual scientific reality. To put it another way, we the listeners are Fox Mulder, and Skeptoid kindly serves as our Dana Scully.


And here are some more recent lists for you!

* 13 Creepy Podcasts Just in Time for Halloween

* The Best Spooky Podcasts to Get You Ready for Halloween

* The Top 10 Scary Podcasts to Get You in a Spooky Mood

 Now it’s your turn. What other spooky podcasts do you recommend?

eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
It's Friday the 13th, people! You can't get more Halloween-friendly than that. May your day be spooktacular (in a good way, of course).

It seems only fitting to share with you a chilling passage from U.S. businessman/author Thomas W. Lawson's popular 1907 work Friday, the Thirteenth: A Novel, which some credit with contributing to the contemporary sense of doom that hangs over the day. In Lawson's novel, a corrupt broker takes advantage of the already-existing "Friday the 13th" superstition to create a Wall Street panic on that date. As you might imagine, the results are tragic.

This is the frontispiece to the novel by Sigismond de Ivanowski.

Here, let your spine be tingled by this excerpt:

Then, horror of horrors! I saw that there was something missing from her great blue eyes. I looked; gasped. Could it possibly be? With a bound I was at her side. I gazed again into those eyes which that morning had been all that was intelligent, all that was godlike, all that was human. Their soul, their life was gone. Beulah Sands was a dead woman; not dead in body, but in soul; the magic spark had fled. She was but an empty shell--a woman of living flesh and blood; but the citadel of life was empty, the mind was gone. What had been a woman was but a child. I passed my hand across my now damp forehead. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Bob's figure, with clasped, uplifted hands, and bursting eyes, was still there. There still resounded through the room the awful guttural groans. Beulah Sands smiled, the smile of an infant in the cradle. She took one beautiful hand from the paper and passed it over Bob's bronzed cheek, just as the infant touches its mother's face with its chubby fingers. In my horror I almost expected to hear the purling of a babe. My eyes in their perplexity must have wandered from her face, for I suddenly became aware of a great black head-line spread across the top of the paper that she had been reading:


And beneath in one of the columns:



In another column:


A hideous picture seared its every light and shade on my mind, through my heart, into all my soul. A frenzied-finance harvest scene with its gory crop; in the centre one living-dead, part of the picture, yet the ghost left to haunt the painters, one of whom was already cowering before the black and bloody canvas.

You can read the complete novel for free here at Project Gutenberg.
eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)

Shayna Murphy of Bookbub Blog recently posted a list of “31 of the All-Time Best Horror Books.” While it’s not a particularly wide-ranging or diverse list, it’s worth a look if you’re interested in the genre; there are some great works included. I’ve read far more of the titles from the “Timeless Classics” category than the “New Fiction.” How about you?


In the spirit of the BookBub list, here’s a little excerpt from the opening of the 40th anniversary edition of The Exorcist by the late, great William Peter Blatty (R.I.P.!):

Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men’s eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all. It was difficult to judge.

The house was a rental. Brooding. Tight. A brick colonial gripped by ivy in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Across the street was a fringe of campus belonging to George­town University; to the rear, a sheer embankment plummeting steep to busy M Street and, just beyond it, the River Potomac. Early on the morning of April 1, the house was quiet. Chris MacNeil was propped in bed, going over her lines for the next day’s filming; Regan, her daughter, was sleeping down the hall; and asleep downstairs in a room off the pantry were the middle-aged housekeepers, Willie and Karl. At approximately 12:25 a.m., Chris looked up from her script with a frown of puzzle­ment. She heard rapping sounds. They were odd. Muffled. Pro­found. Rhythmically clustered. Alien code tapped out by a dead man.


For a moment she listened, then dismissed it; but as the rappings persisted she could not concentrate. She slapped down the script on the bed.

Jesus, that bugs me!

She got up to investigate.

She went out to the hallway and looked around. The rappings seemed to be coming from Regan’s bedroom.

What is she doing?

She padded down the hall and the rappings grew suddenly louder, much faster, and as she pushed on the door and stepped into the room, they abruptly ceased.

What the freak’s going on?

Her pretty eleven-year-old was asleep, cuddled tight to a large stuffed round-eyed panda. Pookey. Faded from years of smothering; years of smacking, warm, wet kisses.

Chris moved softly to her bedside, leaned over and whis­pered. “Rags? You awake?”

Regular breathing. Heavy. Deep.

Read more from this excerpt here.

eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)

On this day in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died at the age of forty under mysterious circumstances.

For more information, read “Mysterious for Evermore” by Matthew Pearl, an article on Poe’s death from The Telegraph. Pearl is the author of a fascinating novel about the subject, The Poe Shadow.

This is Edgar Allan Poe - The Black Cat by the wonderful Alexander Levett:

Here are some links from me:
* In this episode of StarShipSofa, I review the “Madness: Insanity in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe” temporary exhibit at The Poe Museum, a place I always love to visit. I thought this was a very insightful exhibit, and in my “Looking Back on Genre History” segment I try to pass some of those insights along to listeners. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy!
* While we’re talking Poe, I invite you to vote on my Goodreads list of “Fiction Featuring Poe as a Character.”
* Hocus Pocus Comics is Poe-centric, and you’re invited to visit the site. In addition, check out this beautiful time-lapse video of David Hartman drawing the exclusive Kickstarter cover for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe.

The following are some of my favorite links about Edgar Allan Poe:
* PoeStories.com: An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
* The Poe Museum of Richmond
The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

This haunting doll is Edgar Poe 2 by the talented Gogolle:

One of my favorite works by Poe is “The Masque of the Red Death.” One of the best film representations of the story I’ve ever seen is this gorgeous, silent adaptation from Extraordinary Tales. Perhaps my favorite reading of the story is this one by Gabriel Byrne, which hits all the right notes.

There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can becmade. The whole company, indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around. But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was dabbled in blood – and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.

- Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”

eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Today I want to share an extraordinary new story from the October 2017 issue of The Dark Magazine. It is, in a word, haunting. You don’t want to miss “The Whalebone Parrot.”

As author Darcie Little Badger says of her story, “I tried to learn Lipan, but so little remains. Haunted by the ghosts of my dying language, I channeled my anger and sorrow into a story.” Check out this Twitter thread in which she explains the roots of her unforgettable Gothic tale.

Here is a brief taste:

Stairs had been chiseled into the incline between the beach and elevated meadow. As if summoned, a woman in white stepped onto the granite landing. Although her face was hidden by a lace veil, Emily recognized the willowy shape and unflagging straight posture.

“Thank you, Franklin!” Loretta called. That low, lilting voice had given Emily a thousand stories, a thousand admonishments, and a hundred thousand tender endearments. “Albert and I can manage the rest.”

As the skiff broke away from land, the sisters met in the middle of the staircase. “I missed you!” Emily cried. “Let me see your face!”

Loretta turned away from the sea and lifted her veil. “Have three years changed me?” she asked.

“Well … ” Loretta’s skin, once richer than dark amber, was sallow. She must rarely sun it. The new look complemented Whalebone Island, as dreary a place as any. Its grasses, brush, and scraggly trees were wind-stooped and stunted by their inhospitable lot. Emily wondered if the island, with time, would leech the color from her cheeks, too.

“Why do you cover your face?” she asked.

“Because I hate the way they stare.”


“Everyone but you, Darling.” Loretta smiled. “Let’s hurry home. A surprise is waiting.”

Read “The Whalebone Parrot” by Darcie Little Badger – or listen to the podcast version – here.
eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Today for the Halloween Countdown I want to share the best ghost story I've read in ages. I had the honor of including "If a Bird Can Be a Ghost" by Allison Mills in the August 2017 issue of Apex Magazine (a "Celebration of Indigenous Fantasists"), which I guest edited. If you haven't read this story, you're in for a treat. If you have read it, then read it again! I can tell you from personal experience that it rewards multiple readings.

Here's a brief taste:

If Shelly’s mother had been home, she wouldn’t have let her go to the river. Grandma walks up and down the bank a few times, holding Shelly’s hand, the cops trailing after them, and Grandma lets her hair hang loose and long to pull up any ghosts.

She catches the ghost on the third pass. His clothes are plastered to his body and his shivering makes him shift in and out of focus. He doesn’t speak, but he keeps glancing over his shoulder, towards a little outcrop of rocks on the bank of the water.

“Ah,” Grandma says, nodding. She gestures the cops closer and points to the rocks. “He’s caught up in there. A nice young man with a red beard.”

The cops wait until Shelly and Grandma leave to pull the body from the water. The ghost comes home with them, wet and shivery, even after the bus ride back to the house.

“Do you want me to turn on the heater?” Shelly asks him.

The ghost jumps and looks down at her. “Where did you come from?”

“Leave him alone, Shelly. We’ll feed him and send him off,” Grandma says. “He doesn’t need us confusing him even more.”

“I don’t understand what happened,” the ghost says. “I was just on the bridge. I was just thinking.”

Grandma pours the ghost a mug of milk and warms it in the microwave as he drifts around their kitchen, flickering in and out of focus as Shelly watches, fascinated. A new ghost, a ghost who is still deciding if he wants to stick around or not, is new for her.

“What’s your name?” Shelly asks because the cops hadn’t said.

The ghost gives her a distressed look. “I don’t know,” he says. “Do you know who I am? Do you know my name?”

Grandma set the mug of warm milk down on the kitchen table. “Here you go,” she says. “This will warm you up and then we’ll make sure you get where you’re going. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Shelly, would you get the scissors from my sewing kit?”

Shelly goes and gets the pair of small, silver scissors. The ghost drains the milk on the table. His wet hair drips real water on the floor. He looks like he’ll never be fully dry, like if you tried to wring him out he’d twist and twist and the water would just keep coming. This, Shelly thinks, is probably why Grandma doesn’t want to keep him. Having a damp ghost haunting their house would be troublesome.

Grandma wraps a strand of hair around her ring finger and clips it off. By the time the milk is finished, the ghost is nearly gone, just a faint smudge in the air where once there was a man.

“Where do they go?” Shelly asks. “Where do we send them?”

Grandma picks up the mug and refills it with milk. She sticks it in the microwave to heat it up for herself. “We’ll find out, won’t we? One day, a long time from now.”

Read "If a Bird Can Be a Ghost" by Allison Mills here.

Listen to my reading of "If a Bird Can Be a Ghost" here.
eldritchhobbit: (Default)

Happy birthday to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August, 1797 –
1 February, 1851)!

“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”
- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)

eldritchhobbit: (books/old)

Happy birthday to Emily Brontë (30 July, 1818 – 19 December, 1848)!


“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”
- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)

eldritchhobbit: (books/old)
Happy birthday to the mother of the Gothic, Ann Radcliffe (9 July, 1764 – 7 February, 1823).

“A well-informed mind is the best security against the contagion of folly and vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness. Store it with ideas, teach it the pleasure of thinking; and the temptations of the world without, will be counteracted by the gratifications derived from the world within.”
― Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)


eldritchhobbit: (books/coffee)
I am delighted to share that The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 from Hocus Pocus Comics is now available here through Comixology.

“Edgar Allan Poe has lost everyone he ever loved and now he is losing his mind. Haunted by his dead wife and his literary failures, the poet tumbles into a fantastic world created by his genius…and his madness.”

Here is the trailer.

eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
I am delighted to share the book trailer for Elevator #1 from Hocus Pocus Comics!

eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Happy birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (17 January, 1771 – 22 February, 1810) and Anne Brontë (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849)!

"Yet I will persist to the end. My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?"
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1789)

Ormond, or The Secret Witness The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“Are you hero enough to unite yourself to one whom you know to be suspected and despised by all around you, and identify your interests and your honor with hers?”
- Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
eldritchhobbit: (Read/Vintage)
Happy birthday, Wilkie Collins (8 January, 1824 – 23 September, 1889)!

done (finally)

“They seem to be in a conspiracy to persecute you,” she said. “What does it mean?”
“Only the protest of the world, Miss Verinder — on a very small scale — against anything that is new.”

― Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone (1868)
eldritchhobbit: (Edgar Allan Poe/Raven)
How about starting December with some good news?!?

I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this.

Hocus Pocus Comics Launches With Edgar Allan Poe and Houdini Comics: The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe marks debut for innovative digital media publishing company

Lakeland, FL: Start-Up Comic Publishers Hocus Pocus Comics will release their dynamic debut comic, The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, and their website, hpcomics.net, on January 1st, 2017. This begins their first wave of properties to be sold on ComiXology, with the publishers releasing four additional titles throughout 2017.

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe is a rebranding of the Harvey and Eagle Award-nominated Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo created by Hocus Pocus Comics’ founder, Dwight L. MacPherson. The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe offers a twisted glimpse into the dream-life of America's greatest fantasist, Edgar Allan Poe, in the darkest time of his life. Book 1 will be reprinted as Book 1, Issues 1-4 (with an exclusive cover by David Hartman, Rob Zombie album cover artist and producer of Phantasm: Ravager). Book 2 will feature an updated script and all-new art by Luis Czerniawski (Transformers: Evolutions, Kolchak the Nightstalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe) and Book 3 is a brand-new story that will finally complete MacPherson’s magnum opus. As he says, “Many readers have asked me what happened to Book 3, as they loved the characters and story. I’ve often joked that it’s a ‘lost book.’ Well, the time is right to finally complete this epic, and I couldn’t be more excited to share this ‘lost book’ with the world!”

Hocus Pocus Comics’ second title, Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits, is described by MacPherson as “Harry Potter meets Gravity Falls.” The first issue will be released this spring, and it will feature a cover by David Hartman and interior art by Mathieu Benoit (Jim Reaper: Week One, Lil’ Hellions: A Day at the Zoo).

Speaking on Hocus Pocus Comics’ mission, MacPherson says, “I believe that telling incredible stories is fundamental to a successful publishing company. There are many publishers pumping out a whole lot of mediocre properties, but we would rather take our time, stay small, and produce 3-4 extremely well-written, beautifully-illustrated books per year that will stick with readers long after they finish reading. We believe that good stories are magical, and we will do everything in our power to conjure some truly unforgettable magic.” To that end, MacPherson has put together several stellar teams working on books of several different genres. Hocus Pocus Comics’ motto is Imaginatio est Magicae (Imagination is Magic). Their goal is to create the future’s myths and legends, one comic at a time.

President and Publisher: Dwight L. MacPherson
Comic creator, writer, and editor Dwight L. MacPherson has been one of the most prolific writing professionals for more than 10 years. A longtime advocate of webcomics and digital media, his steampunk webcomic, Sidewise (DC Comics), won the June 2009 Zuda competition. He has also seen his creator-owned properties published by Image Comics, IDW Publishing, and many others. For more information, visit his website.

Editor-in-Chief: Amy H. Sturgis
Amy H. Sturgis holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University, teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and specializes in Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies. The author of four books and over fifty essays, and the editor of six books, Sturgis has won awards for her scholarship (The Imperishable Flame Award for J.R.R. Tolkien Scholarship), journalism (Best Magazine Review/Criticism/Column Award from the Los Angeles Press Club), and podcasting (The Sofanaut Award from listeners of the Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa). For more information, visit her website.

Creative Director: Bruce Brown
Bruce Brown is the creator and writer of Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, now a motion picture. He is also the co-writer (with Dwight L. MacPherson) of Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, which is now in pre-production. Several of Brown’s properties have been published by Image Comics and Arcana Comics. He has multiple properties currently in production as well as a spin-off to the wildly successful Howard Lovecraft series.

Production Manager: J.M. Bryan
J. M. Bryan is a writer and designer. He has an Associates in the Arts degree from Jackson College and a Bachelor of Theology w/minor in Language from Michigan Baptist Seminary. He spends his days with his wife and two children and his nights pouring his imagination onto paper. He is currently writing two comic series.

Vice President, Administration: Rebecca MacPherson
Rebecca MacPherson has over seven years of TV/Film and Theatre Production experience from her tenure at both Tribune Studios and Fox Studios. An NAACP Award for Best Local Producer nominee for the Los Angeles production of Stage Directions, she worked with Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington as Production Secretary on his directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, for Fox Searchlight Films.

For more information on Hocus Pocus Comics, please contact: info.hpcomics@gmail.com

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eldritchhobbit: (Dracula/Gorey)
Happy birthday to Bram Stoker (8 November, 1847 – 20 April, 1912)!


“There was one great tomb more lordly than all the rest; huge it was, and nobly proportioned. On it was but one word, DRACULA.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
Here are two quick recommendations of works I recently finished that are perfect for the season.
* Book rec:
A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby (2016), historical/mystery/horror/fantasy YA. What a beautiful, haunting story! My review is here.
* Netflix streaming rec:
Glitch. This is the Australian version of France's take on "the dead are back," The Returned (which I also love), but a unique enough spin to make this its own separate animal. The first season has six episodes (binge-able!) and the second season is in production now. Great writing. Intriguing and poignant.

On to the countdown...

While we were at Worldcon in August, my fantastic mother picked up for me a beautiful picture book, saying that it "looked like me" (which I take as a huge compliment). It's a gorgeous, Gothic story, both spooky and heartwarming, and I can't recommend it enough: The Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone.

As it turns out, the picture book is based on an equally gorgeous short film. I present to you The Lady ParaNorma.

eldritchhobbit: (Ripper/neglect)
Congratulations to Theodric, who won the first Halloween-friendly book giveaway. Now it's time for another one!

To enter, you need to be 1) over the age of eighteen, 2) not me (or my doppleganger, Mirror Universe self, alternate universe self, evil twin, or future ghost), and 3) living somewhere on the planet Earth (because shipping costs to the International Space Station are outrageous).

The winner gets to choose one of these vintage paperbacks (both in great condition, tight binding and clean text, from a smoke-free home), and I will ship it immediately.

Option 1: Fear Itself edited by Jeff Gelb (1995)

Official Description: "America's masters of horror confess their most secret terrors in 21 blood-chilling stories. This collection concerns the fears that prey on ordinary people every day: plane crashes, intruders, spiders, snakes, etc. Fear Itself features works by Nancy A. Collins, Rex Miller, Thomas F. Monteleone, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Hautala, Graham Masterson, Max Allan Collins, and others."

Option 2: Young Blood edited by Mike Baker (1994)

Official Description: "Youthful vision is the theme of this chilling anthology in which every story was written before the author's thirty-first birthday...

* A decaying bayou mansion hides a gruesome secret
* The dead rise from their tombs to form their own street gang
* A bookstore deals in rare and dangerous books
* You've heard of the tooth fairy - now meet the eye fairy

"Enter these darkly imaginative realms of terror. Whether the classic youthful gems of master writers, or the original tales of talented newcomers, they may just scare you into an early grave. This collection includes stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, and more."

The giveaway is open now and ends on Friday, October 21.

Here it is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's a Discussion Question for you: What's the scariest tale you've ever read? (Intentionally scary, that is: I'm not counting badly written/poorly edited stuff.) In other words, what's your most creeptastic book or story recommendation?

"It was a cold, desolate night, the kind that wouldn't just turn its back on terrible goings-on, but would stand by and watch."
- A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/vintage)
It's time for a Halloween-friendly book giveaway!

To enter, you need to be 1) over the age of eighteen, 2) not me (or my doppleganger, Mirror Universe self, alternate universe self, evil twin, or future ghost), and 3) living somewhere on the planet Earth (because shipping costs to the International Space Station are outrageous).

The winner gets to choose one of these new paperbacks, and I will ship it immediately.

Option 1: A Lonely and Curious Country: Tales from the Lands of Lovecraft edited by Matthew Carpenter (2015)

Official Description: "Horror can lurk in the most unlikely places: from the secluded cottage to the teeming metropolis. Lovecraft knew that terror could be rooted in the geography of a place as much as in an uncaring cosmos or a man’s soul. In these 17 brand new tales of chilling Lovecraftian horrors by leading authors, discover new lands of terror. Learn the truth about the glories of Y’ha-nthlei and what really happened to Erich Zann. Discover the fate of Tillinghast’s monstrous machine and do a deal with Nyarlathotep down in the byways of Mississippi. Sometimes that lonely farmhouse, brooding silently in its isolation, can be more terrifying than forgotten monoliths on an uncharted Pacific island."

This collection features stories by Rebecca Allred, Christine Morgan, Robert M. Prize, Pete Rawlik, and many more.

Option 2: Sweeter Than Wine: A Story of Love, Sleuthing and Vampires by L. Neil Smith (2011)

Official Description: "With just one tiny exception, J Gifford is an ordinary, decent, small-town kind of guy. He pays his bills on time. He waters his lawn. He treats his neighbors and the folks with whom he does business with kindness and respect. He's good to children and small animals. The tiny exception? He's a vampire.

"Born in 1920, and "brought over" shortly after D-Day in a little French village, 90-year-old Gifford still looks and feels 24. He has friends, a place in the community, a thriving business, and a big orange tabby cat named Fiddlestring. He knows where all the good restaurants are. He's very tidy about that "tiny exception" and has never killed anybody. All he lacks in his life is the beautiful girl who made him what he is today -- and then mysteriously vanished. Now, suddenly, after sixty-five years, she's back and needs his help. But is she his long-lost love or a serial-killing fiend? Only time—and blood—will tell."

The giveaway is open now and ends on Friday, October 14.

Here it is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, here's a Discussion Question for you: If you could only watch one film on all of the Halloweens to come, which film would you choose? In other words, what's your very favorite "go to" Halloween movie?

“Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimaeras — dire stories of Celaeno and the Harpies — may reproduce themselves in the brain of superstition — but they were there before. They are transcripts, types — the archetypes are in us, and eternal. How else should the recital of that which we know in a waking sense to be false come to affect us at all? Is it that we naturally conceive terror from such objects, considered in their capacity of being able to inflict upon us bodily injury? O, least of all! These terrors are of older standing. They date beyond body — or without the body, they would have been the same. . . . That the kind of fear here treated is purely spiritual — that it is strong in proportion as it is objectless on earth, that it predominates in the period of our sinless infancy — are difficulties the solution of which might afford some probable insight into our ante-mundane condition, and a peep at least into the shadowland of pre-existence.”
— Charles Lamb: “Witches and Other Night-Fears”


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