Sunday, January 25, 2015

Karl Edward Wagner Interview in Dagon #25

I'm working on a story that features both Karl Edward Wagner and Manly Wade Wellman as supporting characters. Working title, pulled Wagner-Style from song lyric, is "Washes the Grave With Silvery Tears" . As a result I've been rereading various interviews with both writers, trying to get a feel for them. I was made aware of one interview I didn't have, which appeared in a British Fanzine DAGON #25 in 1989. With the help of Ebay and the Royal Mail, I found a reasonably priced ...copy and wasted no time in getting it sent my way.
As it turns out, the interview, conducted by Carl T. Ford, turned out to be one of the best interviews I've read with Wagner so far. It includes, among other things, the secret origin of Wagner's alter ego, Cody Lennox, a lot of information about the unfinished novel, 'At First Just Ghostly', and some stuff I didn't know about Wagner's signature character, Kane the immortal warrior-necromancer. I also found out a couple more things that KEW and I have in common, but more about that later.
Outside of the interview, the fanzine also contains some very interesting articles, and the old ads put me on the trail of a couple of books I don't have. So yeah, really good purchase. Worth the trouble.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


This week's acquisitions are heavy on the comics. The new IDW volume reprinting the Marvel Black & White Doc Savage magazine form the 70s is a really sharp package, which includes all the covers, text features and even the ads. The reproduction of the original stories is fantastic. And I got the Darkhorse adaptation of Conan the Conqueror by Timothy Truman and Tomas Giorello. Plus three paperbacks from 1971, which reprinted Marvel's Conan by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith. The non-comics part of the evening was the new Michael Moorcock novel, THE WHISPERING SWARM.

Happy Birthday Robert E. Howard!

Today is Robert E. Howard's birthday. This evening I'll read some of his fiction as I always do on this occasion. Next to Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes, REH's creation Conan the Cimmerian is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, and I've spent uncounted hours in his company. As most of you know, I'm a teetotaler, but I'll raise a mug of whatever I'm drinking to the shade of Mr. Howard and give my favorite toast.

Here's to us and them like us,
Damn few, and they're... probably dead. 

To Two-Gun Bob.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Dame To Kill For

I'll admit that after seeing Frank Miller's film version of Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT, that I was a bit worried about SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR, but apparently having Robert Rodriguez as co-director keeps Frank in line. The second SIN CITY is a terrific adaptation of the comic book and is right in line with the first movie. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Miller once referred to his character Marv as 'Conan in a trench coat' and that pretty much sums it up. When Marv goes 'kill crazy' it's best to get out of the way. And oh my goodness, that Eva Green.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Almost Time for the Beast

Almost ready for shipping. Go here to get on the WHITE NOISE PRESS mailing list.


Between the mail and the comic shop, I got a lot of nifty stuff last night. My pal Cliff had recommended the collection SEARCHERS AFTER HORROR and my friend Amanda had recommended the VAMPYRES anthology. Those and DAGON arrived in the post. Dagon, a fanzine from 1989, features an interview with Karl Edward Wagner that I haven't read yet. I'd been meaning to pick up the ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING collection. This has the first 13 issues of the original DC title, so all the work the team of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, plus a couple of other stories. Also got the fourth volume of BPRD, which gives me all the available hardbacks so far. The RED SONJA trade features the first story arc by writer Gail Simone. Simone is also one of the writers on the CONAN/RED SONJA mini series. And of course the second issue of THANOS VS THE HULK is written and drawn in Cosmic Style by Jim Starlin.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Clark Ashton Smith!

Today is Clark Ashton Smith's birthday. Smith is the most underrated of the 'three musketeers' of Weird Tales, but he is probably a better prose stylist than either of his comrades in words, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. I really only became a fan of CAS in the last few years, but have made it a point since then to read all of his stories. He shared the macabre imagination of HPL, but had a... more poetic and less pessimistic turn of mind than the Old Gentleman from Providence. Reading the letters between Smith and Lovecraft, it always seemed to me that Lovecraft felt he had found a kindred spirit in Smith. His letters to others often take the tone of teacher to student, but he seemed to consider Smith an equal and a fellow aficionado of the weird. The five excellent and highly collectible volumes of CAS from Nightshade Press have recently been made available as Kindle Ebooks and I highly recommend them. To learn more about Clark Ashton Smith I recommend the excellent page, The Eldritch Dark.