Friday, October 31, 2014

Lost in the shuffle (Night Shade Books and total lack of promotion)

Looks neat doesn't it?

I found it HERE.

And that, my friends, is a problem.

Because I didn't know about it. Thanks to Amazon for all that consumer-specific data mining. I saw the link.

I follow Night Shade Books on Facebook and Twitter.


I forget who bought out Night Shade Books. But, they haven't done an update to their Facebook page in over a year. Which isn't too smart because they have been putting out books. 

I went to their main page. The Facebook link went to the un-updated page. The Twitter links goes to a new, unsetup Twitter feed - not the one I had been following.

Newsfeed on their main page, too, is spotty. This book was released 07-October-2014, according to Amazon. No news item on that day about the release.  AT ALL.

 This is NOT going to help keep the imprint alive, people!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Further haunts of October

Well, I'll be busy tomorrow and I'm not sure what other haunts I'll get to before Halloween and October are officially over.  So, here's one more blast of scary tales consumed this month.

"Spirits" by James A. Moore

"Furious Demon" by Addison Clift

"The Phantom Coach" by Amelia B. Edwards

"The Secret of Kralitz" by Henry Kuttner

"The Eater of Souls" by Henry Kuttner

"The Salem Horror" by Henry Kuttner

"Needle Song" by Charles L. Grant

"Wake-up Call" by David J. Schow

Sabrina #1 (comic)

Ghosts #1 (comic)

"Foet" by F. Paul Wilson

"The Candle in the Skull" by Basil Copper

"The Black Stone" by Robert E. Howard

Blood From the Mummy's Tomb (movie)

Straight On 'Til Morning by Christopher Golden (still reading)

Twice-Told Tales (anthology movie - three stories, I've watched the first, "Doctor Heidegger's Experiment")

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More October frights

"Doctor Porthos" by Basil Copper

"Stragella" by Hugh B. Cave

"A Place Where There Is Peace" by James A. Moore

"Human Remains" by Clive Barker

"A Week in the Unlife" by David J. Schow

"The House at Evening" by Frances Garfield

The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (movie)

One Million B.C. (1940) (movie)

The Mummy's Shroud (movie)

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

There will be a night of anthology horror movies coming up on TCM, on Oct 28th, not Halloween (oh, they have other horrors for Halloween.) Dead of Night, Twice Told Tales, Kwaidan, The House That Dripped Blood and Torture Garden (screenplay by Robert Bloch.)  I'll be recording them all except ...House.., as I've already seen it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October Frights So Far

I have no real plans or goals for horror consumption this October. Just reading or watching whatever hits my fancy. Almost at the mid-point of the month. Here's what I've experienced so far.

"Echo From The Abyss", "One Thousand One Nights Unseen", "Curse the Child" by David J. West

"The Calamander Chest" by Joseph Payne Brennan

Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper (graphic novel)

THRILLER (t.v.) - (episode) "The Twisted Image"

"The Music of Eric Zahn" by H. P. Lovecraft

"That Hellbound Train" by Robert Bloch

That Hellbound Train (graphic novel)

"The Witching Tree" by Brian Keene

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (movie)

"Widow House" by Gregory Luce

"The Dwarf" by Ray Bradbury

"The Chemical Vampire" by Lee Francis

"Beyond Any Measure" by Karl Edward Wagner

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bloch, Lansdale & Lansdale quadruple shot

Over the summer, during one sale or another, I grabbed two graphic novel adaptations of Robert Bloch short stories. Both were adapted by Joe R. Lansdale and John Lansdale (I don't know their relation.) I thought October would be a good time to pull them out, and compare them with their source material.

"Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper" (original appearance, Weird Tales, 1943)

There are murders in Chicago, and an eccentric Englishman believes they are the work of Jack the Ripper. Why did Jack murder and then disappear in the 1890s? How could an old, old man physically commit knife murders now? Because Jack is an immortal sorcerer who must kill to maintain his eternal life. He wanders the world, springing up in various cities over the years, committing murders and then moving on. The narrator, a psychiatrist by trade, gets pulled along in the grisly hunt.

It's a classic for good reason, though the twist is a bit predictable.

Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper

The twist at the end of the original story, and the original story's first-person point-of-view, undoubtedly made this adaptation a challenge. Having read the short, I knew who the villain was, but Lansdale made changes that helped obscure (in a good way) where the tale was going - even from someone familiar with the original short story.

One clever change was to make the murderer a monster, albeit under control of the true criminal. It keeps the reader guessing. It made me wonder how many changes were made and would the "whodunit" be changed?

The minimalist take on the art extended to the cast of characters - there aren't very many. I did find it odd that there really aren't many suspects offered. There is a quick throwaway scapegoat near the end, but he comes in awfully late.

This is a good graphic novel and a very good lesson in stretching a tight short story into a longer tale, and a very good lesson in adapting to the comic form.

"That Hellbound Train"

(original appearance, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1958)
Great tale, though more fantasy than horror. Martin lives a hobo's life until that Hellbound Train and its devil Conductor offer him a deal. I have to believe Rod Serling tried his best to get the rights to adapt this one. It would have made a classic Twilight Zone episode.

That Hellbound Train

Very faithful adaptation of the story. Closer than Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper. The only main change was the Devil tempting Martin with Eve, whereas in the original story, the Devil just lets Martin do himself in. Bonus points for including Robert Johnson in the passenger car splash!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

loot: Horror Gems, Volume 2

Horror Gems, Vol. Two

I stumbled on this series on Amazon one day through various searches. I don't know anything about the Armchair Fiction publisher but the table-of-contents were intriguing. I went with Volume 2, rather than Volume 1, because I wanted to read a Joseph Payne Brennan story.

It's a nice print book.

Table of contents are a bit slammed in there, and I saw no original copyright or first appearance information. I could look it up on the internet, but it would be nice if it were handy in the book.

I would guess that these are all public domain grabs. Nothing wrong with that to me as long as they're truly public and they are presented well.

I found the lack of an overall introduction odd. In the actual content, some stories have introductions and some don't. Again, odd.

Nice font and layout.

My only complaint here is that the font, while nice, is a bit light on the page. It could be darker.

It is what I expected and looks like a fun series of books. Once I get to reading it, I'll let you know if there are typo issues.

If I like it, I'll certainly consider acquiring more.