Film, Comic, Special Interest
Issue 18, WIn/Spr 2011 $8.99 U.S./$10.99 CAN 1
Issue Number 18
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief James R. Beach Managing Editor/Art Director Jason V Brock Design and Layout JaSunni Productions, LLC (www.JaSunni.com) ------------------------------
James R. Beach Jason V Brock Sunni K Brock (+Web Mistress) Caniglia L. J. Dopp Lawrence French R. B. James Joe R. Lansdale Nick Mamatas Gene O'Neill Lee Thompson
Contributing Artists/Photographers Jill Bauman (Interiors) Jason V Brock (Interiors) Caniglia (Cover, Interiors) L. J. Dopp (Price Portrait) Allen Koszowski (Interiors)
Leslie Barany Joyce Beach H. R. Giger Shawna Gore Trever Nordgren Brian M. Sammons William Simmons Cyrus Wraith Walker F. Paul Wilson
Printing B & B Print Source (with veg-based inks) _____________________
(ISSN 1548-6842) is published quarterly (Winter/Spring, Spring/Summer, Summer/Fall and Fall/Winter) by James R. Beach and Dark Discoveries Publications, 142 Woodside Drive, Longview, WA 98632 Copyright ÂŠ2004 and beyond by Dark Discoveries Publications, and where specified elsewhere in the issue. All rights revert to the authors/artists upon publication. Nothing shown can be reproduced without obtaining written permission from the creators. All book/ magazine cover images remain the copyrighted property of their respective owners. Direct all inquiries, address changes, submission queries,subscription orders and changes, etc. to: James R. Beach Dark Discoveries Publications 142 Woodside Drive Longview, WA 98632 U.S.A. e-mail: email@example.com Please make check or money order payable to: James R. Beach or Dark Discoveries Publications. Advertising rates available. Discounts for bulk and standing retail orders.
f i c t i o n Graffiti Sonata by Gene O'Neill
Christmas Monkeys (Poem) by Joe R. Lansdale
The Big Dark by Nick Mamatas
What the Dead's Eyes Behold by Jason V Brock
Crawl 54 by Lee Thompson
i n t e r v i e w s Sir Christopher Lee: Tall, Dark and Fearsome by Lawrence French
Allen Koszowski: Ink in His Blood by R. B. James
Fear Brought to Life: The Art of Jill Bauman 34 by R. B. James The Doctor is In: A Discussion with F. Paul Wilson 45 by Jason V Brock and James R. Beach A Visit with One Creepy Duo: Angelo Torres and Eric Powell by James R. Beach
n o n - f i c t i o n Gathering Darkness: In Appreciation of the Artists of Weird Tales 11 by Jason V Brock The Haunted Palace: A Meditation on the Roger Corman Classic by L. J. Dopp
â€œIn Their Own Words..." Caniglia
"Post-Crypts" - The Tangled Muse; Nightmare at 20,000 Feet; Alice on the Shelf (DD Reviews) by DD Staff
In Appreciation of the Artists of
Weird Tales by Jason V Brock
From Lascaux to the Rococo, the sensational to the sublime, art is a subjective experience: The appeal or dislike of a particular piece resides entirely in the eye of the beholder. The role of the artist is to relate their own observations in a language as universal as mathematics, kinesthetics and music: the visual vocabulary of form, color, texture. Illustration is another matter; while still using the same reference points/vocabulary as "Fine Art", the images generated are created to dramatize an aspect or principle of another work (usually written). As a result, these pieces are much less open to individual interpretation. They are more "representational", though abstract art can be a part component of an illustration (usually in the context of "graphic design" rather than a strict interpretation of a scene or concept). Great artists and illustrators abound, and everyone has a favorite; the point of this essay is to share my own appreciation for a few that I find personally compelling. I love all forms of art: whether Realism, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism or Postmodern. I have eclectic â€“ some might even say esoteric â€“ tastes in art, music, film, literature, and I am not alone, I'm sure, but when it comes to illustration, I am sure that my criteria narrow to a place on the gamut occupied by the vast majority of people. This issue of Dark Discoveries was initially wider in scope, but was narrowed for a variety of reasons (most too boring to detail), but one thing that came to the surface was the depth of great artwork that is on display from the "Pulp Era" (roughly from the late 1800s until the 1950s). Some of it is positively astonishing, and nearly all of it is in the realm of illustration for hire. Does that make it less valuable than so-called "High Art"? That's a question open to debate. I would posit that most of the great art in the world was produced for hire, usually by religious organizations or the very wealthy. Does that mean that Michelangelo or Sargent were really illustrators and not fine artists? In a since, yes. But so what? The net result is the same: fantastic artistic expression. Few are as inspired (for non-financial reasons) as a 11
Sir Christopher Lee:
Tall, Dark and Fearsome
By Lawrence French
In February, 2011 The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awarded Sir Christopher Lee with their prestigious “Fellowship Award.” It is quite important, as it puts Mr. Lee in the august company of many talented people who have preceded him: Sir Charlie Chaplin, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sir Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Christie, John Barry, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Terry Gilliam, Dame Judi Dench and last year’s recipient, Vanessa Redgrave. The award is even more noteworthy because it is the first time an actor in the genre of dread has ever been given such an honor. It is something that eluded past genre superstars, such as Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. Of course, directors in the genre, like Spielberg, Lucas and Cameron, our now loaded down with such honors, but sadly, horror actors have not been so fortunate. Since Mr. Lee will turn 89 in May 2011, I’m sure everyone reading this will agree, “It’s about time!” Here is the text of director Tim Burton’s BAFTA induction of Mr. Lee:
Tim Burton's Introduction
"The recipient of this year's award is an electrifying screen presence, whose work I’ve loved since I was a child. I’ve since had the privilege of working with him several times, starting with Sleepy Hollow, which was itself drawn from the inspiration of his great screen heritage. At six foot-five, he physically towers over those around him, in the same way his screen persona puts all of us in the shade. The range of his screen performances is truly amazing: From Sherlock Holmes to Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, from Rasputin, to Rochefort in The Three- and Four Musketeers, to the real life founder of Pakistan in Jinnah, one of the best performances of his career. In the ’50s and ’60s, he was the definitive Count Dracula, as well as The Mummy and Frankenstein’s monster, giving his own unique take on the classic screen monsters. In the seventies, he was Francisco Scaramanga, James Bond’s triple-nipple adversary in The Man With the Golden Gun. More recently, he appeared as the villain Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, and appeared as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I won’t mention every movie he’s ever made, because we’d be here all night, but he has developed the reputation as one of the most dedicated and determined actors of multiple generations. Last year he worked with Martin Scorsese on Hugo Cabret, and is currently slated to reprise his role as Saruman in the forthcoming fantasy, The Hobbit. In between all of this, he manages to squeeze in time to do work with UNICEF and record operas and heavy metal albums. I don’t know if any of you have those, but they are good! In 2009, he was knighted for his many achievements and at the age of 88, he’s still keeps doing amazing things!"
Christopher Lee’s Acceptance Speech
"I do feel a little bit like the man who said, I can’t wait to hear what I’ve got to say, but I’ll do my best. Wise and generous members of the committee, my fellow thespians, many of whom are involved in this (points to the BAFTA award)… I thank you all. This is a truly a great honor. A great, great honor. Two things really make it so. The fact that this was voted to me by my peers, and secondly, that I received it from one of the great directors of our age (Burton hugs Lee). I think there was a newspaper this morning that said I was probably going to cry, something I don’t very often do, in films at any rate. But it is a very emotional moment for me. I’m thankful that I don’t follow in the steps of the great Stanley Kubrick, whose award was posthumous. And I would like to say (looks at award)… my God… this is without a doubt the finest image I’ve ever had." ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gra ffiti Sonata By Gene O'Neill
(1st Movement) Lake Merritt: The lights in the windows of an apartment along the shore, shrouded in heavy fog. A few people out along East Lakeshore Drive, anxious to get in out of the misty night… Except for a lone figure… dressed in dark clothes… lurking in the shadows of the four-story complex on the corner, spying up at a lighted second floor apartment. Standing, watching, waiting...
or a moment after McKay opened the door of his Oakland apartment and saw Elise standing there, he felt his spirit surge. In the next instant, he realized his wife hadn’t brought their daughter, Ty, along: Only some foldedup cardboard boxes under her arm. His elation faded. Before he could say anything, Elise held up her hand, reinforcing his inference, “I’m done talking, Mac. Just here to pack a few more things.” He nodded and said, “It’s good to see you,” knowing any weak arguments he had left were pre-empted. Three weeks ago, Elise and their six-year-old daughter had moved out to a friend’s vacant apartment over on Lake Merritt. In a week, they were taking off to Elise’s sister Lauren’s place down at Pismo Beach. Watching Elise unfold the packing boxes, McKay yearned to tell his wife how much he missed her flute playing, her classical CDs, the three of them laughing together -- the essential joyful sounds of his life. He said nothing, realizing the time of effectively pleading his case had passed. Deflated, McKay left Elise packing. He’d taken the nearby pedestrian overpass across the freeway to the park to gather his thoughts. On the way down the enclosed steps to the playground, he stopped after he saw a drawing freshly chalked on the concrete wall. He had visited the park often in the last three weeks, fleeing the silence of the apartment, but had never noticed anything drawn on the wall. The image was a man wearing an indigo pea coat with his collar turned up and a black stocking cap rolled down to his eyes. He was looking back over his shoulder, the shadows not completely covering his square jaw, his penetrating eyes, his grim expression. Unlike most graffiti McKay had seen spray painted on freeway columns, there was no tag line. Looking the work over with a technical eye, he realized this wasn’t an amateurish cartoon at all. A competent artist had taken time to carefully outline, shade, and highlight, using minimal colors to make a startling, life-size figure. In fact, the thing was menacing, raising the hair on the back of McKay’s neck. An image of a lowlife with bad intentions, about to step out away from the wall. Turning away, McKay shivered. He continued down the overpass steps. His wife and daughter were moving out of town in a week, perhaps out of his life forever. The playground was unoccupied at this time of night. McKay sat down on a nearby bench. Sucking in a deep breath, he tried to center, clear his mind, and focus, like Dr. Havlicek had taught him. He stretched his hands out along the seat back, noticing that the trembling wasn’t too bad this evening: only a slight tremor. The condition had developed after he’d experienced a seizure at his drafting table last December. Despite medical intervention and Elise’s support, McKay had sunk into a black funk, a depression that only regular doses of medication helped partially alleviate. But nothing seemed to help the numbness and trembling in his hands, or the intermittent gaps in his memory. He was incapable of writing is own signature clearly, much less doing fine art. For eight months, he’d done little more than sit and watch the same movies over and over again on TV, unsure if he'd seen any of them before. Then, a month ago, Elise had admitted she was fed up. “…If the shaking were really something physical, they wouldn’t have referred you to a psychiatrist,” she’d argued. “He said he thought the retention stuff would clear up in time, too, it was just a side-effect of the meds. In the meantime, there are other things you could do with your MFA. Teach, maybe…? Anyhow, we need a break, Mac. Ty and I are moving to my friend Jamie’s apartment on Lake Merritt for a bit; then, after Ty's dance camp is through, we’re heading to my sister’s place. When you get yourself back on track, call us.” Breaking away from his thoughts, McKay glanced absently around the empty park. His biggest
What the Dead's Eyes Behold By Jason V Brock
ook at that...”
It was not the pendulous, ripe globes of her breasts -- decorated by dark, erect areolas -- which captured his interest. “Something's going on there...” It was not even the way the skin of the ribcage and flat, lightly toned belly -- covered by the faintest down of hair above the Mons -- still responded with gooseflesh at his touch that intrigued him. “Amazing...” It was not the tuft of pubic hair -- just a neatly cropped, teasing strip -- nor the creamy round hips, curving into the supple thighs... Not the full calves, tapering into tiny ankles and ending in the demure feet that was so captivating. “But what does it mean?” Neither was it the fleshy, enticingly round, tight and smooth buttocks, sloping in at the narrow waist along a muscular back to form a graceful hourglass, dimpled on both sides just above the Gluteus Maximus, that he found so compelling... Though he knew her body would make a fantastic mold; her addition would be one of his greatest pieces. “Uncanny... Same as all the others...” It was not the delicate scapulae, the fragile, nearly hairless arms or even the fine clavicle indentations, like kilned porcelain -- all so very beautiful. None of these things held his gaze: the lustrous shock of onyx hair, the petite, completely feminine voluptuousness; the pale, resplendent face; the lush, swollen lips -- ready, wet, inviting... No: it's those dark, dark eyes... Haunting. Knowing. Mysterious. “What do you see?” Her silence frustrated him: Already her eyes were glassing, the pupils fixed, dilated. It's as though the dying suddenly “get it” at the last minute, and they can't turn their gaze away from whatever “it” is... Little boys. Policemen. Goth chicks. Bikers. Lawyers. Street people. Prostitutes. All the same... As he looked into the snuffed orbs of this exquisite corpse, as beautiful a carcass as he had ever seen, he felt a chill -- not from the autumn cold -- but from the dawning recognition of what he must now do; trapped in the moment like an insect in amber. Calliope -- that was her name... Calliope. mmm
The Doctor is In: A Discussion with F. Paul Wilson By Jason V Brock & James R. Beach
F. Paul Wilson is an author of science fiction, horror, and thrillers. Wilson has chronicled the adventures of his popular anti-hero, Repairman Jack, in thirteen of his 40-plus books. In addition, Wilson has had three short story collections, edited two anthologies, and written for stage, screen, and interactive media, all while maintaining an alternate career as a practicing physician. The Keep, The Tomb, Harbingers, and By the Sword all appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List. Wheels Within Wheels won the first Prometheus Award in 1979; Sims won another, and The Tomb received the Porgie Award from The West Coast Review of Books. Wilson has also been awarded the prestigious Inkpot Award from the San Diego Comic-Con and the Pioneer Award from the RT Booklovers Convention. His novelette Aftershock won the 1999 Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction, and Dydeetown World was on the Young Adult recommended reading lists of the American Library Association and the New York Public Library, among others. His novel The Keep was made into a movie by Paramount in 1983, and The Tomb is currently in development as Repairman Jack by Beacon Films. For television, his original teleplay "Glim-Glim" aired on Monsters in 1989. Later, an adaptation of his short story "Ménage a Trois" was part of the pilot for The Hunger series that debuted on Showtime in July 1997, and "Pelts" was adapted by Dario Argento for the recent Mick Garris-produced cable series Masters of Horror.
Jason V Brock: The escalation of violence in film and other media seems rooted to me in a lack of engagement with literature… People appear to need more and more stimulation these days than print provides. What are your thoughts about that?
known only among classified personnel as "the crypt". Through the documentation of Dr. Blum, we experience the horrifying truth on the autopsy table. Zombies are not only possible, but they are devastatingly real. * General Story and Plot: Original and suspends disbelief. 4.9 * Narration/Scene/Overall Length: Journal entries in the first person bring the experience alive. The book could have easily been too long. As it is, the story is fast paced and doesn’t exhaust the reader. 4.8 *Placement within the Genre: Cross Genre. This novel should delight horror, sci-fi, and CSI fans alike. 4.7 * Style: Epistolary style brings realism to the overall work. 4.8 * Personal Affect: Not caring much for zombie stories, this has reinstated my faith that there can be a smart zombie tale. I haven’t felt that way about the archetypal “other” since reading Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. 4.9 * Summary: If you like zombies, but have grown tired of cliché, I highly recommend you read The Zombie Autopsies. If your comfort zone is shattered where you felt safe to call it all just fiction, don’t say I didn’t tell you so… * Total Rating: 4.8 -- Cyrus Wraith Walker
The Original Ghost Hunter…
Giallo thrill s… Cam Girl Chemical Burn Entertainment February, 2011 $19.95 Chemical Burn Entertainment is an independent movie company who've cranked out a large number of extreme horror and sexploitation films in the last couple of years (including Lesbian Vampires, Tales of the Dead and Idol of Evil). One of their latest is Cam Girl, the story of a young nursing student, Mary O’Brian, who makes ends meet by stripping and cavorting in front of her web cam for paying viewers on the internet. But somebody becomes obsessed with her and it gets creepier after that. It’s an interesting single character study and the movie is shot Giallo-style where the viewer is the made into a voyeur as well. We see Mary from the viewpoint not only within her apartment, but also as if we were watching her on the web as well. Although it’s virtually a one character play (we never actually see the faces of her landlord, the priest, customers, etc), the pace keeps it moving and the actress playing Mary (Layla Randle-Conde) is solid and carries it. The ending was a bit of a surprise and there are some suspenseful parts throughout and some interesting effects here and there. The voyeuristic touches of the camerawork work well to make you feel like an uncomfortable observer into her life. -- Trever Nordgren
C urses, Again Curse of the Full Moon Edited by James Lowder Ulysses Press ISBN: 978-1-56975-788-8 2010; $14.95
Kincaid: A Paranormal Casebook William F. Nolan Rocket Ride Books ISBN: 978-0-9823322-2-1 2011; $15.95 This collection of stories from William F. Nolan stars David Kincaid, a paranormal investigator working out of Los Angeles. Nolan doesn’t shy away from putting his leading man in confrontation with supernatural foes. These aren’t stories about a skeptic who debunks the mythological; Kincaid finds real spooks and has to defeat them. Despite some well-worn clichés and a few less-than-defined characters, the book is fun and offers a comfortable and rewarding read – especially for those with a fond nostalgia for 1970s television shows. Kincaid could have been the “Colombo of the Weird”. Most intriguing, however, is the insight that Kincaid provides into the real Bill Nolan: “Davey” Kincaid is most likely the author’s closest match to his own personality that he has ever written. In addition, the descriptions of the Southern California settings and Hollywood denizens give a telling glimpse into his personal and professional life, as well as his own interest in the supernatural… Overall, this short collection leaves the reader wanting more Kincaid adventures! -- Sunni K Brock
Over the last few years, werewolves have been making something of a comeback. While they have yet to reach the same supernatural superstar status as vampires or zombies, it’s good to see them getting some time in the spotlight. One such love letter to lycanthropes is Ulysses Press’ Curse of the Full Moon, a new anthology that collects 19 shape-shifting stories that run the gambit of style and setting. While it has no new tales, it does collect some great reprints. With authors such as Tanith Lee, George R. R. Martin, Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, Nancy A. Collins, Ramsey Campbell and others - what do you think? While none of the stories here are clunkers, there were a few that really floored me. With "In the Lost Lands", George R. R. Martin shows why he is not only a master of fantasy, but an exceedingly capable terror scribe as well. A tale of knights, ladies, woodsmen, hunters, and of course; werewolves, Martin merges both genres into a creepy, cool concoction. Joe R. Lansdale's "The Gentleman's Hotel" does not disappoint. Just as Martin brought his sword swinging expertise to his tale, Lansdale brings his trademark off-kilter, gun-slinging mojo to this tale of werewolves in the Wild West. While I’m not as familiar with Matt Venne’s stories as I am with Lansdale’s, I’ll have to rectify that after reading his exciting, and weird, "The Brown Bomber and the Nazi Werewolves of the S. S.". World War II, Nazis, Boxing champ Joe Louis, Heinrich Himmler, and werewolves all come together in this rapid page turner. Another hard to pigeonhole story is "Bay Wolf" by Neil Gaiman. Here he has a detective named Larry Talbot (wink) looking into what is murdering nubile teens on a beach. Add in a bit of famous Viking mythology and you get another mash up that delivers the goods. Other winning tales to be found here, but if the four vastly different stories above don’t whet your appetite for this anthology, then nothing will. If you are serious about shape changers, and wild about werewolves, then Curse of the Full Moon is the book for you. -- Brian M. Sammons
Published on Apr 22, 2011
A fine issue dedicated to the biggest names in the small press art world. Also some outstanding fiction from Gene O'Neill, Jason V Brock,...