Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cake For Lovecraft

Me: "Hi, I need to order a birthday cake."
Bakery Lady on phone: "Okay, how would you like it decorated."
Me: "Can you put an octopus on there?"
Bakery Lady "I don't think we have any octopuses. We have whales and sharks."
Me: "I was really hoping for a cephalopod."
Bakery Lady: I don't know that that is."
Me. "Okay forget the cephalopods. How about a graveyard?"
Bakery lady" "Er...we have little cookie tombstones."
Me: "Great, Go with that."
Bakery lady. "This is a birthday cake?"
Me: "Yeah, don't worry. The guy is dead."
Bakery lady. "Oh dear."
Me: "No, no, it's okay. He's been dead since 1937."
Bakery lady. "Um, okay. Do you want a name on the cake?"
Me: "Yes, put Happy Birthday H.P. Lovecraft."
Bakery lady: "Is Lovecraft one word?"
Me: "It is."
We talked about cake sizes and icing choices. Then she said, "When do you need to pick this up?"
Me: "Tomorrow will be fine."
Bakery lady. "What time are you coming because I want to be here to meet you."

Happy Birthday HPL!


    It’s H.P. Lovecraft’s Birthday. There are few authors whose work has given me more flat out fun that HPL’s. He remains one of the giants of the horror/fantasy field and along with Poe, one of the most influential writers of the macabre. I wrote an appreciation of Lovecraft last year on his birthday and I really can’t add to it, so if you didn’t read it, the link is below.

 

 


Blogger is acting weird this morning so I couldn't add a picture. You all know what HPL looks like anyway.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Time Warriors: An Idea Whose Time Didn't Come.

   In the summer of 1991 I had two jobs. I was writing a Chinese Kung-Fu comic book called Drunken Fist and at night I was teaching karate. Most days I had a lot of free time, and I was looking around for something else I could write as work for hire. I knew a lot about martial arts and a lot about guns and knives so it occurred to me that maybe I could write some Men's Adventure books. You know, The Executioner, Able Team, that kind of thing. So I began reading a lot of the Gold Eagle titles to see how it was done and ended up getting hooked on Mack Bolan, Stony Man, etc. Gold Eagle was trying a lot of titles at the time so there was plenty to choose from.
   One series, or rather mini-series seemed to be tailor made for me. It was called TIME WARRIORS, and it teamed a modern day Mercenary named Black Jack Hogan and a barbarian warrior from pre-history named Brom. The two were mystically linked somehow and would be called to each other's time when they were needed, so Brom would come to the present when Blackjack was in danger and vice versa. Great concept, eh?
   Except I didn't like the writing. The books were credited to a David North, but I don't know if that was a real guy or a house name. Gold Eagle used a lot of house names. I bought all three books in the mini series and tried to read them but they just didn't work for me. Apparently they didn't work for many other people either as Time Warriors never became a regular series.
   So why did I think of this twenty three year old series suddenly? The usual thing. Digging through some boxes of books and I found one of the paperbacks. No idea why I saved it. I haven't come across the other two, so it probably just got past me when I moved in 2004. I'll put it aside for the next Friends of the Library book sale. For the Time Warriors, time has run out.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Christmas in August

This is on the way from the UK. A Holiday Annual from 1982, which reprints some much older material, including a Sexton Blake Christmas story by Gwyn Evans, who specialized in such tales, and Holiday stories from other British story papers. Never too early to start gathering Christmas reading material.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Congregations of the Dead Ebook Cover.

Here it is. The new ebook cover for Congregations of the Dead. I really like this! Awesome artwork by Melody Simmons.

http://ebookindiecovers.com/

Saturday, August 09, 2014

My First Con Sketch

The picture above is the first con sketch I ever bought and I didn't actually intend to buy it. It was 1977 or so and I was attending the Atlanta Fantasy Fair. I'd have been about 15 and I was planning on being a comic book artist so I had gone down to artist's alley to watch the pros draw. Gil Kane, already a comic book legend, had a small crowd in front of him and I joined the group so I could watch him draw.
   Needless to say, I was amazed seeing the way he effortlessly constructed a figure in pencil, then finished it up with a marker. A lot of people seemed to be getting Green Lantern drawings and I knew he was identified with that character, but by 77 he had long since moved on and I'd only seen a few GL stories by Kane in reprints. To me he was a Marvel artist, and at that point he was drawing Daredevil regularly and also doing Spiderman annuals, and lots and lots of covers.
   Anyway, I was so fascinated by his skill that I didn't realize that I was moving up in line until the guy in front of me got his sketch and stepped aside. Kane looked up at me and said, "And what character would you like?"
   I probably hesitated for a few seconds but in my memory I just said, "Daredevil."
   As I said, I hadn't planned on buying anything, but at that point I was too embarrassed to say so and get out of line, and Daredevil was the first thing that came to mind since he was the current artist on the book.  So Gil Kane began roughing out Daredevil, and his wife, who was sitting beside him said, "That will be twenty dollars."
   Fortunately I had the cash on me. And yes, in 1977 you could have a Gil Kane Drawing of any character you wanted for twenty bucks. Of course now I wished I'd said Conan.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Acquisitions

Been a while since I did an acquisitions post. It was a good comics week. Conan and Baltimore were excellent. The Shadow Over Innsmouth was disappointing. Hard to make an idea with that much promise match up to the potential I guess. I got the Hellboy trade because I wanted to read the Batman/Hellboy/Starman teamup. The catnip mouse isn't actually new, but Bruce brought it over while I was putting these comics on the floor so I guess he wanted ya'll to see it.