Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pod of Horror #71

After a lengthy hiatus, we've attached the electrodes to the corpse,  shot a million volts of current through the rotting remains and viola! Pod of Horror is back! Episode #71 features interviews with authors James A. Moore, Hunter Shea and Daniel Boyd, along with regular features The Call of Kalanta, Jason Keene's Moonshine Matinee and Scary Words. Listen on iTunes or here

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When I’m 55

I never think of my age that often. But when I do, especially in the last couple of years, I’m am totally, abso-freakin’-lutely gob-smacked.

I’m 55. How did that happen?

In a recent conversation with a friend of similar vintage, we discussed how old we would guess we were if our memories were wiped. I told him I would guess I was in my mid-thirties. The only concessions to my age (aside from hair color) is the occasional twinge in the back and the need for more recovery time when I miss sleep. That’s it.

But I am 55, and that number does carry some meaning for me.

It means that my time is more valuable than ever before. That means that I have less patience with people who want to sell me things and expect me to sit through a 30 minute pitch before they tell me the price (please note: if someone doesn’t want to tell you the price, the price is going to be fairly ridiculous) or with physicians and other professionals who think nothing of asking you to wait three hours past the time of your appointment..

55 means that every second I spend with my wife is precious. Same goes for other close family members. It means that when it comes to movies and TV shows and books, my choices will be made carefully.

It also means the things I put my energy into have to be important to me. I have quite a few writing projects I want to get to. When I’m not working my day job, that’s what I’m spending most of my free time on.

It’s been a pretty good 55 years. I've managed to accomplished things the 12-year-old me would never dreamed of. I only hope the next 55 are just as good.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Favorite Comics

In 1973, DC Comics secured the comic book rights to The Shadow, the pulp magazine and radio star of the 1930s and 1940s. Around the same time as his series debuted, DC had The Shadow meet up with Batman. In the story, we learned that The Shadow had been an early inspiration to Bats. They teamed up once more before DC gave up their Shadow license, thus preventing the stories from being reprinted. But for those of us lucky enough to hold on to the originals, we can still thrill to the vigilante who was even scarier (and nuttier) than Batman.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Favorite Comics

This stands out in my memory as the moment when my love for comics and love for horror (stoked by Saturday night viewings of Chiller Theater) came together. Marvel’s line of black and white horror magazines was not regulated by the Comics Code Authority, so, in theory, they could be R-rated. In truth, there was never much of anything shocking, but the very idea that something naughty could happen gave these magazines even more appeal to a kid.

The very next issue began the origin of Dracula, illustrated by the incomparable Neal Adams. That was 1973 and it remains one of my favorite comics stories.

I have a lot of love for these magazines. Some of the other titles included Monsters Unleashed, Tales of the Zombie, Haunt of Horror and Vampire Tales.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A.S.S. Update

 In this week's column for the Freakin' Ashland Beacon, I share a new escapade of the Argillite Secret Service. As always, it's on page 2. You can read it here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Favorite Comics

This is why I loved Marvel Comics in the early-to-mid 70s. There was a try-anything feel to the books. Oddball ideas were guaranteed at least a few issues. Bother Voodoo was another reluctant Marvel hero who takes over the role when his brother, the first Brother Voodoo, is murdered. The series boasted good writing and fantastic art by Gene Colan, who also drew every issue of Tomb of Dracula, another of my favorites. Brother Voodoo’s series ended after five issues, but his story continued in the pages of one of Marvel’s black and white monster magazines.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Well, this is unexpected.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Favorite Comics

When this came out, I was 10 years old. I had never heard of Robert E, Howard, nor had I been exposed to sword and sorcery fiction. But something about the writing and art transported me in a way that nothing had before. And that first issue wasn’t even that great. Future installments deserved to be called masterpieces. This influenced my reading for years to come. All in all, the first hundred issues or so of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian remains my favorite interpretation of the character.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pod People

If you're a fan of Pod of Horror (and if you are, thank you) the show will be in about a week. For hardcore followers of our show's The Call of Kalanta, here is something to tide you over. By the way, this isn't an old clip. It was freshly recorded yesterday.

My Favorite Comics

When this came out in 1972, my brother and I thought it was one of the coolest things we’d ever seen. Like most kids, we were big fans of Evel Knievel, watching all of his jumps on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. So the idea of a guy with a flaming skull on a chopper was mind-blowing. I think I read this issue a dozen times before the next one showed up at the drug store in two months.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cover Guy

Today is the birthday of Bob Eggleton, immensely talented artist and the creator of amazing covers for fantasy and SF book. 

Of course, I have a preference for one of his pieces in particular. Thanks to Nick Cato at Novello Publishers for scoring this cover.

By the way, I have an idea swirling around in my head for a novel that would link the Deadneck stories. I hope funny zombies never go out of fashion.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

News From The Future

The secrets are revealed this week in my newspaper column in the Ashland Beacon. It's on page 2! Read it here.

Sunday, September 07, 2014


I just finished Personal by Lee Child, the new Jack Reacher novel. This one has Reacher, the former Army MP, drawn into the search for a deadly sniper he originally put in prison years ago. Set partly in France and England, and concerning possible multiple assassination attempts, Child crafts a supersonic page turner. It's possible that he's the best thriller writer in the biz.

Up next on the reading list: