[In honour of Women in Horror Month, Mike DeShane and Aaron Von Lupton will be spotlighting three of the many ladies working in the bloody trenches of the horror comics biz. First up is Becky Cloonan, whose credits include some of the best horror titles on the market.]
Comic book creator Becky Cloonan’s motto is “Comics Rule Everything Around Me,” but based on her current career trajectory, it’s more like her goal is to rule comics.
Cloonan has been producing indie comics since 1999, but it was her work with writer Brian Wood on the twelve-issue series Demo in 2003 that first brought her mainstream attention. In the Eisner award-winning years since then, she has gone on to provide art for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman, Swamp Thing, Vampirella, B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth, Hack/Slash and more…
They’ve invaded our cities, our shopping malls and our graveyards, but there is one place that has so far escaped the inevitable onslaught of ravenous skinbags: our coffee tables. What may be the last bastion of civilization has fallen, though, with the publication of The Zombook, a glossy, 250-page, full-colour art book, featuring all manner of creative depictions of the zombified undead.
RM writer and copy editor extraordinaire Claire Horsnell gets the skinny on the horror art tome that sends a beastiary of shamblers straight into your living room…
[RM contributor Paul Counelis checks in with the first Monster Kid Corner column of 2013!]
Quite a few years back, I picked up a book at a library sale called Monster Kid Memories, by Bob Burns as told to Tom Weaver. After flipping through the pages for a mere five minutes, I was filled with a kind of good-natured jealousy. Not only were there incredible pictures of Bob and his wife Kathy’s insanely cool Halloween displays (on which they were assisted by future FX and makeup pros such as the legendary Rick Baker), but Bob’s museum-quality collection of classic horror film memorabilia was as impressive as any this side of Famous Monsters co-founder “Uncle” Forry Ackerman.
But the REALLY cool thing about that creature-feature stuff is, Burns got a lot of the goodies right from the monster legends themselves. I mean, this good-hearted fella was given the boots and forehead latex of the Frankenstein Monster from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein by none other than glowerin’ Glenn Strange…
[Paul Counelis checks in with a new installment of Monster Kid Corner.]
Over the years, the comic book industry has undergone a massive transformation, to say the least. In the ’60s, comics racks were filled with mostly superhero and comedy-style cartoon books, largely aimed at a younger crowd. Some books, such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, appealed to a twelve-and-under readership with their light and amusing themes. The superhero books probably had a slightly larger audience, with teenagers scooping up their favorite title when it came out at a monthly or bi-monthly clip.
Now, of course, comic books have spawned a multi-billion dollar media phenomenon, with increasingly spectacular films supplemented by plenty of movie, character and comic related merchandise and toys. Perhaps the strangest part of the recent crossover success of the medium is that a majority of those movie goers, toy collectors and comics readers are adults.
[Since today is Bram Stoker's 165th birthday, it seems fitting to commemorate the occasion with Richard Gladman's post-mortem of this year's Bram Stoker International Film Festival. Richard is the driving force behind the Classic Horror Campaign, and the voice of Rue Morgue UK. Rick also lurks about the web as his alter ego, Cyberschizoid.]
In the weeks leading up to Halloween in the UK, there are a plethora of horror film events, festivals and screenings vying for horror fans’ attention. One that has been building its reputation over the last four years is the Bram Stoker International Film Festival based in the North Yorkshire town of Whitby. Whitby is known as “the home of Dracula” because of its prominence in Stoker’s legendary vampire novel and the Bram Stoker International Film Festival capitalises on this with an abundance of vampire films in its programming, along with an extremely popular annual Vampire Ball where dressing up is not only welcomed but compulsory!
[Only 360 days until Halloween! Paul Counelis helps set the mood with a new installment of Monster Kid Corner.]
A few years ago, Image Comics released a nifty hardcover graphic novel called Dear Dracula. Written by Joshua Williamson and drawn by Vicente Navarrete, the story was about a kid named Sam who is maybe just a bit different than other kids his age – Sam is obsessed with horror movies and with Dracula in particular.
The art in the book is colorful, exaggerated and cartoonish, so it was kind of a no-brainer to take this appealing story and turn it into an animated feature. As a 60-minute telefilm, Dear Dracula had to be stretched out quite a bit to fit the bill. The book is simply the tale of a kid who sends a letter to Dracula to ask if he can become a vampire, but the movie centers around a different storyline: Dracula needs to learn how to be scary again, and Sam decides to help. In turn, Dracula attends a Halloween party with Sam to help him score points with the girl he has a crush on.
[Our annual Rock and Shock post-mortem, courtesy of Rue Morgue Audio Drome correspondent George Pacheco. We don't call him "Metal George" for nothing...]
The month of October means many things for New England residents. It’s a time for apple-picking, Halloween, long drives amongst the autumn leaves… and the annual Rock and Shock Festival!
The Massconcerts-produced convention has become something of a tradition for the city of Worcester’s most morbidly horror obsessed ghouls, and has gained a reputation as being one of the better organized and fan friendly cons on the East Coast.
[Paul Counelis checks in with a new installment of Monster Kid Corner.]
Every year around the middle of August or so, when the craft stores and candle makers are putting out their early Halloween goodies despite the dissenting cries of whiny, Christmas-lovin’ Tweeters everywhere, that autumn whisper sends its first chilly hint of what’s to come. It’s there in the earlier nights and the subtle hue change of the leaves; just a small breath whispered on the late summer wind…I’m coming.
At my house, that means dreaming of those fall nights spent outside listening to scary movie themes and readying our October displays for that perfect spooky mood. Inevitably, we wind up eating candied and caramel apples and watching horror-oriented shows, and depending on how early the youngest child falls asleep, we have to find some family programming that won’t scare the little one TOO much, but won’t be a chore for the rest of us to sit through.
[Alan Kelly checks in with a new installment of Hell's Shelves.]
There are several strains of inspiration running through Cathi Unsworth’s goth/noir/horror novel Weirdo – ideas and influences that have been percolating in the dark recesses of the author’s brain for years. Unsworth was inspired by everything from modern day witch-hunts, magic and youth counterculture to teen-on-teen murder, scapegoating and the visceral hatred faced by female transgressors within society.
Weirdo takes its cultish cues from classic folk-horror films of the ’60s and ’70s while evoking the searing Southern Gothic spirit of novelist Harry Crews and even nodding its head at bizarre British sickcom fare such as The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville.
[RM intern/UK import Charlotte Stear strips away the shiny veneer of British TV comedy and finds -- well, what the hell do you think she finds? Horror, of course.]
Since moving across the pond to these lovely Canadian shores, I’ve been asked many times what films, music and TV shows I like as naturally, these are the essential qualities to judge people on. I’ve realised while listing off all the many brilliant TV shows I love just how many of them are deeply influenced by the horror genre, and when I’m met with blank faces it has become clear what my mission is: to inform every one of you horror-loving fans about some British gems that may not be on your radar. Some of them you may be familiar with but if not, let me whet your appetite.