Monday, December 31, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Warning! This trailer is very R-Rated.

Review: Daughter of Dracula

I recently slashed my pull list at my local comics store, primarily because I was buying a lot of titles that I wasn’t enjoying. Simultaneously I realized that the stuff I really looked forward to was mainly reprints of titles from the 60s and 70s.

Maybe it’s part of getting older – that craving for the nostalgic favorites of my younger days – but I truly believe a lot of it is a simple dissatisfaction with the quality of comics today, where it seems every title is part of a larger crossover prompting months of build-up for little or no payoff, until the next crossover begins.

I realized that I missed good storytelling. To me, that’s solid writing that uses a beginning, middle and end to tell a tale, rich characterization and art that serves the story, rather than a platform for full-page poses that do little to advance the plot.

So I was in the perfect place to appreciate Daughter of Dracula by Ron Fortier and Rob Davis.

From the striking Mark Maddox cover, I knew I was in for something special. That cover is one of the most effective pieces I have seen is 40-plus years of reading comics.

Foriter is a veteran comics writer and novelist, and from the first page his sure hand is evident in the pacing of Daughter of Dracula. The Countess Marya Dracula has a chance encounter with a young man who will soon come to be known as The Red Baron. Marya is, of course, the child of you-know-who. Foriter quickly establishes her vampiric side, just as he offers her the possibility of true love.

Their romance blossoms, grows and reaches an unexpected conclusion over the 108 pages of this graphic novel. However, before you think this is a comic book version of a chick flick, let me make clear that Daughter of Dracula is filled with many scenes of warfare, bloodletting, sex and aerial dogfights. In fact, the richly detailed World War I setting is almost as much of a character as are Marya and Manfred von Ricthofen.

The art by Davis is always clear. The reader never questions what is happening in a given panel. Some of the landscapes and aerial battles are breathtaking. Davis uses a careful blend of realistic and cartoonish effects at just the right spots to emphasis whatever mood Fortier has thrown at him. Incidentally, Davis handled the art, lettering and, I presume, the gray tones that add so much to the story’s ambiance.

It’s difficult to find fault with any aspect of Daughter of Dracula. Other than a couple of typos and a slight problem I had in reading some of Mayra’s “handwritten” captions, the book is a joy to experience.

In fact, the best compliment I can pay to this satisfying graphic novel is that it could have easily been serialized in one of Marvel black and white horror magazines of the early 1970s, my favorite era in comic book history.

As much as Daughter of Dracula begs for a sequel I hope Fortier and Davis let the story stand as it is. Instead, I would prefer to see them explore other genres and other characters. The comics biz needs these guys.

You can order Daughter of Dracula here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pod of Horror #41

Pod of Ho-Ho-Horror #41 just slid down your chimney, and our gift bag is loaded!

* Robert McCammon talks about his retirement and return to writing.

* Jonathan Maberry discusses martial arts, teaching and GHOST ROAD BLUES.

* Comics veteran Ron Fortier teams up the Red Baron with the DAUGHTER OF DRACULA in a scary new graphic novel.

* We debut the 2007 PoH audio Christmas story, written by the members of the Justice & Wilbanks Message Board.

* Nanci stuffs The Call of Kalanta with news that won’t make you snooze.

* Scott Bradley is back at the helm of the PoH Review Department.

* And all the free books in The Tomb of Trivia will make you happier than an elf with spiked egg nog.

Pod of Horror is produced and hosted by Mark Justice. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

Get Pod of Horror merchandise.

Visit our MySpace page.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board.

The Ambiguously Gay Duo Save Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

So, Vatta Ya Been Doink?

Been a while. I'd like to say it's because of mammoth life-changing events (the good kind, natch), but instead it's the same old crap turned up to 11.

More soon. In the meantime, here some holiday spirit.

It's all your favorite Christmas songs at the same time, with a little Toto thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

You Got A Problem With Me?

Talk to the Fritten.

If You're Reading This You're a Genius

I tested this blog over here, and here's what it had to say about the readability:

cash advance

Wouldn't it be funny if it told every blogger that?

And that's what I'm doing instead of writing or any of the the five thousand other things clamoring for my attention.

Naked News Streaker

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Homemade Trek

I'll admit it: I've always enjoyed Star Trek and it's various incarnations.

For my money, ST: Deep Space Nine was the best of them, with excellent writing and superior acting. Too many of the other Trek series seemed to fall into a formula that can most easily be summed up this way: The Enterprise/Voyager encounter an alien race that looks like us except for some plastic glued to their foreheads and we make them see that we can all get along. The End.

At least DS9 (and, to a certain extent, the fourth and final season of Enterprise) tried to shake things up.

I've never felt strongly enough about the franchise to consider myself a Trekkie or Trekker or whatever the derogatory term is today. And I've certainly never felt moved to make my own Trek episodes.

I have watched a few of them. You have admire the hard work and love for the subject that goes into these Mom and Pop productions. The recreation of the various sets is impressive and the special effects are actually better than the 60s incarnation of the show.

Yet all that hard work is ultimately brought down by acting that is so bad, even junior high school theater groups would say, "Dude, you stink." Some of these guys make Shatner look like Olivier. I suspect that's because the fans behind the scenes insist on getting in front of the camera. They must figure Shatner made it look easy. So enjoy the passion and ignore the thespians.

Who's on First -- Star Wars Style

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pod of Horror Christmas Story

"O Come All Ye Unfaithful", the Pod of Horror group Christmas story, has begun over at the Justice and Wilbanks Message Board.

The story will be written by Mark Justice, David T. Wilbanks, Matt Cowan, Gregory Montague, Richard Ristow and Cesar Puch. As each section is finished it will be posted at the board, then the final version will be offered as an audio story on Pod of Horror 41 in December.

You can read the opening segment here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New PhattSideDown

PhattSideDown provides the music for Pod of Horror. Now you can check out their new single "War Machine" when you head over to PoH's MySpace page.

Happy Thanksgiving from Hopalong Justice

I’ve been on vacation this week. The plan was to help Norma with Thanksgiving preparations.

You know what they say about plans.

On Sunday I was getting ready for my annual pilgrimage to Cincinnati with my brother and friends to take in a Bengals game. Before I left, Norma and I went out to the barn to retrieve the Christmas decorations. When we started moving the boxes in the overcrowded barn I noticed some liquid on the wooden floor. It turned out that the bottom had broken on a plastic jug of kerosene which we kept for the Tiki torches. I picked up the bottle and tossed it into the yard. Norma called the fire department to ask the best way to clean kerosene from a wooden floor, stressing that this wasn’t an emergency. They said they’d send somebody over.

Sure enough, within five minutes the fire chief arrived, followed by a fire truck with the lights flashing. The five or six firemen (in full gear) unloaded the barn and spread oil dry on the floor. They told us the only thing to do was to let the barn air out all day.

So, to recap: the spill was contained, the firemen dug out the Christmas stuff for me and I could still go to the Bengals game. So far so good, right? This was around 8:30 A.M.

We went to the game. The team sucked. We had beer and chili. Got home around 8:00 P.M.

On the way home my right foot began to ache. I didn’t think much about it. I’m close to 50 and I’m diabetic. Occasionally my feet ache.

Monday I felt fine. The foot was good. I spent the day organizing massive mountains of books into more presentable piles and boxing up thing that could be moved back to the barn. The foot ached a little, but not enough to cause concern.

When I woke up Tuesday the foot really throbbed. It had that tight, hot feeling that comes with a sunburn. I went into the bathroom, turned on the light and examined my foot.

It looked like I had been tortured with a cheese grater.

I went to the emergency room, where the baffled doc was at a loss to explain the injury.

“It looks like a burn,” he said, “so that’s how we’ll treat it.”

They dressed the injury, loaded me up with bandages, antibiotics and pain medication, and told me to keep the foot elevated. I was just happy they sent me home. I had visions of a hospital-cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

When we got home, a friend e-mailed to say it sounded like a chemical burn. Did I spill any of the stuff on my shoe?

I checked. My shoe reeked of kerosene. As I was tossing away the jug a small amount must have dripped on my shoe.

Ladies and gentlemen, I spent all day Sunday slow-roasting my foot with petroleum.

Here’s how it looked yesterday:

Repeated viewings of my foot could be the cure to overeating this holiday season.

Tomorrow I go to the doctor for an update.

Combine the foot fun with last week’s long days at work (to prepare for this productive week at home; dig the irony?), and I haven’t accomplished much on the novel.

Am I deterred? Am I surrendering to fate? Am I slinking away to spend my life on message boards talking about writing instead of doing it?

I say thee nay.

Reaper Road remains very vital, and I hope to prop my foot up near the computer and crank out the words on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I also have to get the group Christmas story going for the next Pod of Horror and get my notes to the other participants on the Justice-Wilbanks Message board.

Meantime, the family will be showing up soon. The turkey and desserts are done and Norma is working on the side dishes. I have potatoes to peel.

I hope you get to spend the day the way that makes you happy, with the people you most want to be with.

Try to take just a moment to count your blessings.

Me? I’m happy to be surrounded by a great family.

And to not be eating Thanksgiving dinner in the hospital.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A New Interview

Des Reddick interviewed me for the Dread Media podcast, so if you'd like to listen to me ramble on about my writing and Pod of Horror, you can tune in here.

I'll be back later to tell you about Reaper Road and why I went to the ER this morning.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yakkin' It Up

I had a great time last night on Lair of the Yak. Nick was a great host and I enjoyed the questions (and I was amazed that I got the web cam installed properly).

We ended up doing two 40 minute shows. I almost fell asleep near the end. I had been up since 4:00 a.m. and was starting to feel the effects of a long week and very little sleep. So If I sounded like I'd been drinking, that's why.

The actual drinking will take place today when my brother and I got to the Bengals-Arizona game in Cincinnati.

If you'd like to check out the Yak-tacular show, part one is here. And Part two can be found here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pod of Horror #40

Grab your giblets, ‘cause Pod of Horror #40 is here! Here’s what we’ve stuffed the show with this time:

* Brian Hodge shines a light on his dark fiction.

* Thriller writer Robert Liparulo tells us why we should be watching the skies.

* PoH co-founder David T. Wilbanks returns to reveal the real story behind DEAD EARTH: THE GREEN DAWN.

* No news escapes the nose of Nanci in The Call of Kalanta.

* And a bunch of free stuff! We’re thankful you’re listening.

Pod of Horror is produced and hosted by Mark Justice. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

Get Pod of Horror merchandise .

Visit our MySpace page.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board

Friday, November 16, 2007

Look For Me on Internet TV

I'll be a guest on Lair of the Yak, an Internet TV show hosted by Nick Cato, the publisher of Deadneck Hootenanny and a fine author in his own right.

You can check it out tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. eastern right here.

Speaking of Deadneck Hootenanny, another copy is up on E-bay.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Little Lost

ABC has created new "webisodes" of Lost starring the cast members. They will debut a new one each Monday on their site. The first one was less than riveting, although it's always good to see the fine actor who plays Jack's dad.

Hopefully they'll get better and more meaningful as they go along.

Meanwhile, here's today's word count on Reaper Road:


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reaper Road

The last few days haven't been the most productive I've ever had, but the novel continues.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Not a lot of writing time today, and when I finally sat down at the computer it was like rolling spaghetti up the side of the Empire State Building. What's the tote board say, Ed?


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday Word Count

Not much writing time today, but at least I hit five figures:


Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday Update

After reading a message board war that raged over her, I picked up The Keeper by Sarah Langan. it may be the best first novel I've ever read. At least so far. Highly recommended.

Here's today's word count for Reaper Road:


Sunday, November 04, 2007


Two brief items for you today.

1) The Bengals suck.

2) Today's Reaper Road word count:


Saturday, November 03, 2007


I don't get many Saturdays off, so when I do I like to take advantage of it.

I got in a long walk this morning in the fog (and I should have worn gloves -- it was frakkin' cold), then spent a bit of time reading and answering email.

We went to a retirement party for Norma's uncle who just completed 31 years as an educator. This month marks my 31st year in radio, but does it look like I get to retire anytime soon? Nooooo.

Later I submitted a short story to a fairly new market.

And I had a fairly good day on Reaper Road. Here's today's count:


The Biggest Loser

Is it Larry King or Jerry Seinfeld?

King looks like a clueless old man just going through the motions. Seinfeld looks like a dick who, despite his fame and incredible wealth, takes things way too seriously.

You decide.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Tonight's Word Count

Day 2 of Reaper Road saw a little progress. Not as much as I wanted, but I got to envision a Richter Scale for farts. That made it all worthwhile. Total:


Thursday, November 01, 2007


That's National Novel Writing Month to you and me.

It started today. I'm not officially signed up, but I'm committed to doing it anyway. Kind of like being a believer without going to church, I suppose.

For the moment we're going to pretend like I haven't started several novels and abandoned them. I consider them my WMDs. And like the President, I ain't talkin' about 'em.

Instead, I've girded my loins (kids, don't try this at home) and set fingers to keyboard. Despite my crazy schedule I'm going to try to find the time to write a novel this month. And I'll be honest with you: weekends and the week of Thanksgiving are going to have to be massively productive.

Just to crank up the pressure and chance of abject humiliation I'll try to post a word count here every day.

The novel is called Reaper Road. Here's how today went:


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween in Our Little Town

Every year there's a big Halloween party in the city park. Norma and I always work it . Here are a few highlights from last night.

Small Town U.S.A.'s most suave, debonair couple.

Norma makes a new friend.

The Mouth That Never Closes hitches a ride

DE:TGD Has Landed

Look what was in the mail today. Yowzah!

The Reviews Are In

A couple of new reviews are in for Dead Earth: The Green Dawn.

The first is from the The Green Man review site.

And here's another from The Fix.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trick or Treat

Here's a story for the holiday. It's been published a couple of times before, most recently last year at Horror Web. I hope you like it.

Halloween Everlasting
By Mark Justice

Tommy climbed the ladder to the tree house, just like he did every morning. When he squeezed through the opening in the floor, he found Bill, sitting against the wall, reading an old issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland , with Gill-Man on the cover. It was one of Tommy’s favorites.

“Hey,” he said.

Bill looked up from the magazine. “Hey.”

Tommy finished clambering through the opening. He brushed sawdust from his shirt and plopped down next to his friend. He searched through the pile of old comics and magazines, settling on a Famous Monsters with Wolf Man on the front.

“Hey,” Tommy said. “You think Wolf Man could beat up Gill-Man?”

Bill sat the magazine in his lap and thought about the question. “Nope,” he finally said.

“Me, neither,” Tommy said. “You know what tonight is?”

Bill smiled. “Trick or Treat.”

“Yeah. It hardly seems like a year, huh?”

“I know,” Bill said. “Remember last year, when I went as Dracula and you went as The Mummy. That was the coolest!”

“That wasn’t last year,” Tommy said.

“Was, too.”

“Uh-uh. That was before.”

“Before?” Bill said, his face scrunched up in concentration.


“Oh,” he said. “Anyway, what would you be this year, if you could be anything you want?”

“I don’t know,” Tommy said. “Maybe a pirate.”

“How ‘bout a biker?”

Tommy shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe. If I could be a teenage werewolf biker.”

Bill laughed. “That would be neat.”

They returned to examining their magazines for a while, even though they had long ago memorized the articles and pictures. Later, Bill said, “So, are we going out tonight?”

“We always do,” Tommy told him. “It’s Trick or Treat. We have to go.”

“I guess,” Bill said.

They passed the rest of the day in the tree house in Bill’s backyard.


That night they walked through the neighborhood, watching the other kids begging for candy.

“Man, they look so little this year,” Bill said through his plastic vampire fangs.

“No kidding,” Tommy said. He had left his mouth uncovered by the gauze wrapping of his mummy costume. As a fairy princess passed by them, Tommy looked into her plastic candy bag. “Boy! They’re handing out the good stuff this year. She had a Snickers and a Baby Ruth.”

“Sure beats candy corn,” Bill said.

“Or those marshmallow peanuts,” Tommy said, which cracked them both up.

They followed the throngs of trick-or-treaters through the neighborhood, to the intersection of Main and Harrison. While all of the costumed kids turned left on Harrison, toward another street of lighted porches and smiling Jack O’ Lanterns, Tommy and Bill hesitated. They gazed toward the darkened end of Main, as the whoop and din of excited children faded behind them, until all that seemed to remain of the world was the two of them.

Then, without speaking, they started down Main Street, away from the light. They passed by the empty barbershop, the drugstore (where many of the monster magazines had originally been purchased), the silent courthouse and the vacant lot, where they had both played baseball.

They walked until they came to the bridge. It spanned a small tributary of the Ohio, little more than a creek, not very deep at all.

Just deep enough.

They stepped carefully onto the bridge. Both boys peered over the rail, to the blackened water below.

“It was really cold, wasn’t it?” Bill said.


“I’m sorry I slipped.”

“I know,” Tommy said. “It wasn’t your fault. It was slick that night.”

“We didn’t have to take the shortcut,” Bill said. “We could’ve gone the long way around to Washington Street.”

“We were trying to get done by Eight, remember?”

“Oh, yeah. Well, you didn’t have to jump in after me, you know.”

Tommy shrugged. “That’s what best friends do. You would’ve done the same thing for me.”

“Would not.”

Tommy playfully punched Bill in the arm. “Would too.”

“Yeah, I guess so. Thanks for trying to save me.”

They stared silently at the dark water for a few moments.

“Come on,” Tommy said. “Let’s go.”

They walked back to Bill’s house, where they would climb up to the tree house and wait for another Halloween, best friends forever.

Forever twelve years old.

© 2004, 2007 Mark Justice

Pod of Horror Reviewed

Writer Petra Miller reviews Pod of Horror over at The Horror Library Blog-O-Rama. She likes the show and thinks I sound like Don Imus.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


I don't think I saw this when it aired in 1964. I'm pretty sure that song would have stuck with me. As it is, I can't get the tune out of my head (nor can I forget Chilly Willy's shaky dance) so I'm passing the curse along to you. Boo, man, boo.

The Signing

F. Keith Davis, Jeff Wamsley, Michael Knost, Mark Justice and potential customer

Thanks to Michael Knost for inviting me to the Legends of the Mountain State signing last night. Borders was a great host, and I enjoyed meeting the other participants, including Mothman expert Jeff Wamsley and F. Keith Davis, author and publisher.

If all goes as planned I'll be joining these gentlemen at Borders again in December.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Signing

Michael Knost, editor of Legends of the Mountain State, has invited me to be a part of a signing for the book tomorrow night at Border's Books in the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, WVa.

The event is 7-9:00 p.m. and is part of the store's Halloween celebration.

If you're in the area, please drop by.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DE:TGD Is Shipping

We got the word that Dead Earth: The Green Dawn is shipping from PS Publishing. It seems like we've been waiting for this since the days when Larry Craig went to the men's room just to use the toilet. But now it's finally here..

If you haven't ordered it yet, feel free to do so now.

Legends of the Mountain State

I received my contributor copies of this new ghost story anthology today. It includes my tale "The Way Home", but don't let that keep you from buying it. There are NAMES in here like Tom Monteleone, Tim Waggoner, Kealan Patrick Burke and my buddy Scott Nicholson. Rick Hautala wrote the foreword.

If you're so inclined, order here.

Abbott and Costello Bloopers

I suppose these have been available for a long time, but I was unaware of their existence until today. Enjoy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Deadneck Hootenanny -- SOLD OUT!

Publisher Nick Cato just let me know Deadneck Hootenanny is sold out.

What this means is the publisher no longer has copies.

However, online bookstore may still have a few. So if you still want one -- and I'm talking to you guys who kept asking me about it at my brother's wedding -- then try Bloodletting Books, Shocklines or Bad Moon Books.

Thanks to everyone who picked this up or helped to spread the word.

Pod of Horror in Rue Morgue

My little podcast gets a shout-out in issue #72 of Rue Morgue magazine. In an article on horror podcasts (and, God, who knew there were so many?) Kent McIntyre and Monica S. Kuebler say:

"Hosted by genre scribe Mark Justice (Deadneck Hootenanny), with regular reports from Nanci Kalanta of, this long-running podcast focuses exclusively on horror literature. Episodes feature publishing news, author interviews, con reports, book reviews (by Scott Bradley), juicy gossip and even some spooky tunes. Casual but very chatty, PoH is updated once, sometimes twice, monthly and each episode is roughly an hour long. Be sure to listen carefully for the hilarious spoof ads."

Thanks to Rue Morgue -- one of my favorite magazines -- for the plug, and for noticing the spoof ads. This is actually our second mention in RM. How cool is that?

(Thanks to Dannyboy for the heads-up.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Guess What I Did Yesterday?

I married my brother.

No, not like that, you perv.

I offciated the ceremony.

Dave and Charlene wanted something non-traditional, and they asked me to perform the wedding. I visited the Universal Life Church Monastery website, where I got ordained in about five minutes.

Charlene and Dave wrote the vows -- which, to my mother's chagrin, managed to work in the word "flatulence" -- and I offered a suggestion or two, and we were off to the races.

The wedding was held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. The bride was beautiful, the ceremony was brief, the food was amazing, and my brother and sister-in-law are off to a great start on their life together.

And I'm pretty sure Rev. Mark has performed his first and last wedding.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pod of Horror #39

Get out your trenchcoat and fedora...Pod of Horror goes Noir with episode #39.

* We cover the past and future of Hard Case Crime with editor Charles Ardai.

* Mary SanGiovanni talks about her debut novel, THE HOLLOWER.

* The Call of Kalanta flushes out all the news in the horror community.

* We have new reviews from Scott Bradley, co-editor of THE HORROR BOOK OF LISTS.

* The Tomb of Trivia wraps up one contest and begins another.

Pod of Horror is produced and hosted by Mark Justice. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

Get Pod of Horror merchandise.

Visit our MySpace page.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board.

Story Station Updates

Several new stories are up at Story Station, including one from Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Even if you're not a kid, you'll probably like these tales.

Writers, check out our guidelines and send us a great story.

A Night of Hope

Hope’s Place is a local child advocacy center dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse.

Thursday night Norma and I were honored to be guests at Hope’s Place’s annual Mystery Dinner, one of their major fund-raising events. The dinner was sold out.
We both took part in the mystery play. She was a human prop for a blindfolded psychic who tried to identify two of her, ah, physical attributes. I was Murph Crapington, budding TV evangelist and murder suspect. I did my best to uphold the fine Crapington name.

Here’s Norma with local musician Larry Pancake and Phil Osbourne, the world’s greatest guitarist:

And in this pic, Murph Crapington strikes a pose with local TV icon Randy Yohe:

It’s a tragedy that Hope's Place needs to exist, but for the victims of abuse, Hope’s Place is a blessing. Find out more about this fine organization here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dave

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. The Bengals didn't seem to care, so after the game, we enjoyed one of Norma's huge dinners and her Jack-O-Bat birthday/Halloween cake.

Here are Dave and his fiancée Charlene about to blow out the candles:

Let me tell ya, friends, them there bats are gooood-eatin'! Doggies!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pod of Horror, Walking the Plank, Saddling Up, Plumber's Butt

It’s been a strange week, as summer finally morphs into fall. Norma is still struggling with the cold from Hell (or, actually, the Caribbean – but since that includes Dominica, Hell still applies). I’ve been struggling with staying awake. Something about the weather, I guess. I couldn’t wait for Autumn and now I’m going to snooze through it.


I’ve been reading a lot – some reviews are over at my other blog – but the writing has been slow in coming. I’m still plugging away on various things, even though I think I left my concentration back on St. Lucia, when I fell off of the Black Pearl. Yes, I had a flip-flop blowout as I was climbing off the pirate ship. How humiliating. The drunk guy didn’t fall off. Neither did the old lady or the woman with the cane. *sigh*. Here I am at the wheel of the Black Peal with one of the “pirates” before the tumble:


I got an invitation to an anthology of western stories this week. It will be my first western, though it won’t be very traditional. Unless robot lawmen are traditional. Heh.


There will finally be a new Pod of Horror on October 20 (which is the same day my brother gets married). Don’t forget about the PoH MySpace page. I need more friends, so please drop by.


Finally, for your entertainment, here’s a picture of my soon-to-be-married brother Dave showing off his plumber qualifications while petting Lois:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pod of Horror News

Hey, thanks to the lovely and talented Nanci Kalanta,

Nanci Kalanta in her kitchen

Pod of Horror now has a MySpace page.

So head over there now and do whatever it is you do at places like that. And sign up to be a friend. 'Skay? Sawright.

But wait...there's even bigger news. We now have a Pod of Horror store, where you can purchase authentic PoH merchandise, like this stylish number:

And, more importantly, this:

Doesn't that just give you a tingle in your special place? I thought so. So what are you waiting for? Help your favorite podcast. Baby needs a new thong.

As Bartles and James once said: thank you for your support.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

All Hail Lois!

All Hail the Master of the Justice Household.

You will feed her, scratch her and throw toys to her as she commands, regardless of the time of day or night.

When she wakes you at 1:30 a.m. you will rub her face for 20-30 minutes, and you will like it!

Do as she bids or suffer the wrath of her sandpaper tongue against your nose and lips (followed by her quick dash to lick the litterbox to get your taste out of her mouth).

Look into her eyes and you, too, will instantly want to pour her a dish of milk.

Love the Lois!

Fear the Lois!

Monday, October 01, 2007

I Guess Hillary Won't Get Her Vote

Back From the Cruise

We got in late last night, tired and sore from the travel. We had a great time, though. Here we are in St. Thomas. We also visited Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados and Antigua.

It's good to be back, sleeping in our bed, cuddled up with Lois and Clark. It finally feels like Fall here, quite the contrast to the steamy Caribbean.

Norma and I both have colds, though she tells me it's Caribbean Dingu Fever.

If you travel to Australia can you catch Dingo Fever?

The Adventures of Yogi Bush

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Leaving For the Cruise

Norma and I take off in a few hours. I'll get to spend part of my birthday tomorrow in San Juan, then it's off to St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia and Antigua.

We'll be back late on the 30th. Talk you in October. Be good. Don't fight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Couple More Harry Chapin Classics

A Taste of Chapin

I've probably seen a few hundred concerts over the last thirty years and nobody -- nobody -- held sway over an audience like Harry Chapin. His story songs were unsubtle and pretty sentimental, but when you were sitting in front of him, he had the power to mesmerize you. He was a consummate entertainer. His tremendous charitable efforts and his campaign to end world hunger set the standard for all other performers. Without Harry, there would never had been "We Are The World" and other similar campaigns. He was the rare individual who believed he had to do more with his success than simply get rich.

Sit back and enjoy one of Harry Chapin's signature songs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's the Haps?

I know I haven't been updating here lately, but my other blog has been busy. If you drop by there, you will probably pick up on the crime fiction reading spree I'm currently on. When we leave on the cruise Sunday, my suitcase will be half clothes/half books.


I wanted to get a new Pod of Horror out this week. I just faced up to the fact that it ain't gonna happen. PoH fans, I'll talk to you in October.


I haven't had any writing announcements lately, but the writing continues on two horror projects and two crime pieces. One of the crime things looks to be a mean little novel set here in Kentucky. We'll see how it shakes out.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Playing With The New Camera

Norma Kay

Clark, Lord of the Manor


Brother Dave and Ed, the Female Dog

In Laymon's Terms

This book has been years in the making, but it looks like In Laymon's Terms will finally happen.

The great horror writer Richard Laymon died in 2001, far too young. While I never met him, I had the honor of interviewing him twice over the telephone. I found him to be like many horror writers I've known -- warm, witty and soft spoken. In other words, the exact opposite of his books.

A short time after his passing, Cemetery Dance announced a memorial anthology of stories in the style of Laymon, along with non-fiction tributes. In February 2003, co-editor Steve Gerlach notified me that my story "The Red Kingdom" had been accepted. It was my first professional sale and it remains the one I'm most proud of.

And how do I know this long-delayed project is getting closer?

Because I just finished signing the signature sheets and shipping them off to the next author in line.

Look for my scrawl, the second sloppiest on the sig sheet. I would tell you who was the sloppiest, but I can't read the name. :^)

Man, I can't wait to have this book in my hands. You can place your order here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Deadneck Fan Mail

A friend of mine just read Deadneck Hootenanny and sent along this comment:



Thanks, Anita. You made my day.

I believe you can still get a copy here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Bad Thing About The Steelers vs The Browns... that someone gets to win.

Friday Night Heroes

I’m tired of Summer.

After weeks of high temperature and humidity, I’ve spent the last few days inside. For the first time in my life, I’ve developed allergies during summer. Every time I’m outside for more than an hour or two my voice gets as raspy as a lifetime three-packs-a-day guy. I even lost it entirely for a couple of days back in August.

I haven’t done much reading during my self-imposed living room incarceration. I picked up the Heroes Season One box set last week, and Norma and I have been watching a couple of episodes every evening. When the show premiered, we watched the first two episodes before my wacky schedule and inability to keep track of videotapes made me miss the next five (I know, I know; I need Tivo). The series has been a lot of fun so far. In fact, it’s now one of our favorites. I’m looking forward to the addition of Veronica Mars star Kirsten Bell to the cast in the second season.

Here’s a prediction: The ratings success and fast pace of Heroes will have a profound effect on Lost when it returns in the winter. I expect Lost fans will get answers (or something resembling answers) faster now. Unlike many, I never thought Lost’s producers had “lost” their way nor did I believe Season Three was bad. Quite the opposite in fact. But the scheduling of the show and the introduction of so many new characters and storylines without resolution of the show’s earliest mysteries led to a ratings drop. That, I expect, will turn around in the 16 episode fourth season.

And now, a marketing success story. I got my Heroes box set at Wal-Mart. When I opened the package, I found something called “A Wal-Mart Bonus Disc”. The bonus was an extended trailer for the new NBC version of The Bionic Woman and the first four episodes of Friday Night Lights.

The Bionic preview left me cold, but I watched the FNL shows and found myself hooked.

Yes, I went out and bought the first season of FNL. Your evil plan worked, Wal-Mart.

The drama about life in a small football-obsessed Texas town is well written. The acting is subtle and naturalistic. The use of handheld cameras lends the whole thing a documentary feel.

It looks like I have to find time between work and writing and reading and reviewing to watch another show. That’s okay. Sleep is overrated.

The Western Channel aired the original 3:10 To Yuma Friday night. This was the first time I watched it, at least as far as I remember. My Dad was a huge fan of westerns, so we watched nearly everything that involved a horse and a gun. Chances are I saw this Glen Ford classic when I was younger, but I didn’t remember it.

Ford is remarkable as the villainous Ben Wade and Van Heflin (Old Time Radio’s Philip Marlowe) gives a career-defining performance as the conflicted, desperate family man who is taking Wade to the train depot solely for the reward money. Even though the film seems a little rushed in places (and movie theme songs sung by Frankie Laine never did anything for me), 3:10 To Yuma is a lot of fun. I plan to see the Russell Crowe remake eventually, though it may wait for DVD. I don’t seem to make it to the theater as often as I used to, for a variety of reasons.

Ironically, I’m headed out in a few hours to see the new version of Halloween, since the Bengals don’t play today. 90% of the reviews have been terrible. But a few reviewers – including someone I trust – say it’s a classic. I’ll let you know.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Gnawing on People

Oh, those wacky Japanese.

Video Watchdog #133

I just finished the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines.

I love movies, but I consider myself a casual fan rather than an perfectionist. I can't imagine watching several different versions of a film to note the difference in running times and subtitles.

Fortunately, I have have Video Watchdog to do that for me. In addition to the obsessive cataloging of film details, I'm constantly impressed by the subject matter the magazine covers. Science Fiction, Horror, Asian cinema, film noir, obscure independent and foreign films.

It's like Tim Lucas sat down and said, "How can we make a magazine that will make Mark Justice happy?"

This issue offers lengthy reviews of new box sets of Charlie Chan, Michael Shayne, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, along with essays on newer flicks like Children of Men and Hollywoodland. In each issue of VW, I usually learn about a film or two that I have to seek out. This time around it's Death Rides a Horse, a 1967 spaghetti western starring John Phillip Law and Lee Van Cleef, and These Are the Damned, a 1961 hammer SF film that has been around in a butchered form for a long time. Editor/publisher Lucas presents an exhaustive examination of the differences in the directors cut of Damned and previous releases.

It's another solid issue and highly recommended for hardcore fans of genre films.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pod of Horror #38: John Skipp and Adrienne Barbeau

It’s been two scary years and Pod of Horror is still here! Join us for PoH #38, our biggest episode yet.

* Splatterpunk legend John Skipp takes off his clothes to discuss books, movies, music and the Skipp & Spector years.

* Actress Adrienne Barbeau keeps her clothes on (darn it!) as she talks about her long career in the genre and her new film, The Unholy.

* G and Marcy Italiano give us the lowdown on creating the JOHNNY GRUESOME soundtrack.

* Nanci has all the news that fits on The Call of Kalanta.

* Scott Bradley reviews a pile of books.

* And speaking of books, we give away a lot of ‘em on The Tomb of Trivia.

Pod of Horror is produced and hosted by Mark Justice. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board .