Wednesday, June 29, 2011

At First Just Ghostly

Since I'm talking about Karl Edward Wagner I'll throw in a humorous (hopefully) little story. A few years back when I picked up the Nightshade Books volume Midnight Sun: The Complete Short Stories of Kane, I came across Wagner's story 'At First Just Ghostly' for the first time. Now you may recognize where the title comes from immediately, but I didn't. I just thought it a nifty turn of phrase and at that time I wasn't familiar with Karl's tendency to pull titles from song lyrics.
Anyway, that summer my workplace was playing an oldies station on the plant radio, which I can just barely hear in the office where I do my AutoCAD drafting and I thought I heard someone singing the line At First Just Ghostly. I sort of recognized the song as one I'd heard a lot as a kid, so I got up and went out into the plant in time to catch the second verse and then the chorus:

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale

This is, of course Procol Harum's famous 1967 song A Whiter Shade of Pale. Guess I'd just never paid much attention to the lyrics...

The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've heard me going on about the writings of the late Karl Edward Wagner, the creator of the hero-villain Kane and the editor of DAW Books' justly famous Year's Best Horror series. Wagner was one of the most active and knowledgeable proponents of the horror genre I'm aware of and he was also the author of some of the most frightening and original horror fiction to appear over the years. Sadly, the majority of his horror work has been out of print for a couple of decades.
That's about to change. Centipede Press, publishers of quality collections of the macabre by authors such as Frank Belknap Long, Henry Kuttner, Ramsey Campbell, Charles L. Grant, and many others is preparing a collection called The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner.
Looking through the contents I can state that this collection will indeed contain Karl's best stories, including Sticks, In the Pines, .220 Swift, and Neither Brute Nor Human. Classics all. The book will also have photos, essays, and reminiscences by friends and colleagues of Wagner. Here, courtesy of Jim Rockhill and of Jerad Walter at Centipede Press is the advance contents list. Pay attention to the titles. Karl had an ear for great titles.

According to Centipede, there will be two editions:

1. Signed edition
One volume in a slipcase.
Printed cloth cover.
Signed by JK Potter, Peter Straub, David Drake,
Stephen Jones, and Laird Barron
Limited to 200 copies
JK Potter illustrations in color.
Karl Edward Wagner photographs in color and black & white.
Contents:
Foreword: My Friend Karl by Stephen Jones
Various Encounters With Karl by Peter Straub
The Truth Insofar As I Know It by David Drake
Introduction: Unthreatened by the Morning Light by Karl Edward Wagner
In the Pines
Sticks
The Fourth Seal
Where the Summer Ends
.220 Swift
The River of Night's Dreaming
Beyond Any Measure
Neither Brute Nor Human
Blue Lady Come Back
The Last Wolf
Into Whose Hands
More Sinned Against
Shrapnel
Silted In
Lost Exits
Endless Night
An Awareness of Angels
But You'll Never Follow Me
Cedar Lane
The Kind Men Like
The Slug
Did They Get You to Trade?
Little Lessons in Gardening
A Walk on the Wild Side
Passages
In the Middle of a Snow Dream
Gremlin
Prince of the Punks
The Picture of Jonathan Collins
Locked Away
I've Come to Talk with You Again
Final Cut
Brushed Away
Old Loves
At First Just Ghostly
Lacunae
Plan 10 from Inner Space
Sign of the Salamander
Afterword: In the Shadows of the Pines by Laird Barron

2. Trade edition
Two volumes.
Cloth with dustjacket
JK Potter illustrations in black & white .
Karl Edward Wagner photographs in black & white.
Contents for volume 1:
Foreword: My Friend Karl by Stephen Jones
Introduction: Unthreatened by the Morning Light by Karl Edward Wagner
In the Pines
Sticks
The Fourth Seal
Where the Summer Ends
.220 Swift
The River of Night's Dreaming
Beyond Any Measure
Neither Brute Nor Human
Blue Lady Come Back
Afterword: In the Shadows of the Pines by Laird Barron

Contents for volume 2:
Various Encounters With Karl by Peter Straub
The Last Wolf
Into Whose Hands
More Sinned Against
Shrapnel
Silted In
Lost Exits
Endless Night
An Awareness of Angels
But You'll Never Follow Me
Cedar Lane
The Kind Men Like
The Slug
Did They Get You to Trade?
Little Lessons in Gardening
A Walk on the Wild Side
Passages
In the Middle of a Snow Dream
Gremlin
Prince of the Punks
The Picture of Jonathan Collins
Locked Away
I've Come to Talk with You Again
Final Cut
Brushed Away
Old Loves
Afterword: The Truth Insofar As I Know It by David Drake

The contents is set, but the order may change.

Jim

It makes me extremely happy to see Wagner's work back in print, especially in fine volumes that will last a long time. I note from the contents that the editor is including the Kane fragment At First Just Ghostly, a favorite of mine, and definitely a horror tale, though it features Wagner's signature character. This isn't unusual, since the majority of the Kane heroic fantasy tales are at heart, horror stories.
Amazon has the books listed as being available in March of next year. You can bet I'll be picking them up, even though I already have all the material listed above in other books. Be worth it to me to have it all in one place. Kudos to the folks at Centipede for making Karl Edward Wagner's horror stories available again for new readers and for long time fans.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Girl Hunters


Authors are often identified with their characters, especially writers of first person detective characters, and perhaps none more so than the late Mickey Spillane. If you're old enough to remember a series of Miller Lite Beer commercials from the 1980s, then you saw Spillane playing a cross between a lampoon of himself and his signature character Mike Hammer many times. He also appeared as Hammer on the occasional book cover, on one record album, and as another mixed version of himself and Hammer in the nifty movie Ring of Fear, which I reviewed a while back.
However Spillane's most extensive outing as Hammer was in the 1963 adaptation of the Mike Hammer novel, The Girl Hunters. In this one, Mickey Spillane IS Mike Hammer. I used to own this film on VHS, but that copy is long gone. Amazon.com shows the DVD as out of print and fairly expensive in the aftermarket. But, the entire movie is available for free on Youtube. Not a great copy, but certainly watchable.
I was doing a search on Spillane at Youtube last night, watching interviews and some of the aforementioned Miller Lite commercials, and that led me to a link for the full movie of The Girl Hunters. Not having seen it in a decade or so, I decided to watch it on the spot. Really enjoyed it. Nor surprisingly, since Spillane reportedly did some of the writing on the script, and since he's the star, The Girl Hunters is a better than average adaptation of the novel. Since I've spent a lot of time, recently, lamenting over the lack of adherence to the source material in the upcoming Conan movie, you can probably imagine that I'm pleased to see a movie that follows a book closely.
The plot is perhaps not Spillane's best, and the movie suffers from a low budget, but really, who cares? It's Mickey Spillane stalking around the screen as Mike Hammer! I've heard Spillane's acting in this one referred to as stilted, but I think his unstudied, genuine performance works well for Hammer. And Spillane can say those hardboiled lines that he wrote and not sound silly. Not as easy as it looks.
The supporting cast is very good. Shirley Eaton, the girl who would end up painted gold a year later in 1964's Goldfinger, is the female lead. Lloyd Nolan, veteran actor of dozens of movies and TV shows, and no stranger to Private Eye films, having portrayed Brett Halliday's PI Mike Shayne in a series of movies, is a government agent who tries to use Hammer to further his own investigation. (Though Mike gets more use of the agent than the other way around.) Also in the film is New York Herald Tribune columnist and TV personality Hy Gardner, playing himself. He and Spillane were friends in real life and the banter between Gardner and Hammer reflects this. The only wonky performance in the movie is by the guy playing Hammer's former pal, Pat Chambers. He seems to play every scene at the same tempo, all of them rather high strung.
Watching the movie, (much of which was filmed in the UK) I was reminded once again how different the world was in the 1960s. The cars and the clothes and even the look of the buildings. An era long gone now.
Anyway, I wish someone would make a high quality DVD of The Girl Hunters. Such a print may not even exist, but the CGI boys can do wonders restoring movies these days. Would be nice to have a clean copy of this unique little film. If you want to check it out yourself, go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TauH369twfI

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jim Shooter Talks Comics. Big Time.


Okay, seriously, if you love comic books you need to be reading Jim Shooter's Blog. Shooter started writing for DC Comics in the 1960s when he was just a teenager and by the 1980s he was the Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics. He went on to head up Valiant Comics in the 1990s. And over at his blog he is telling one fascinating story after the next. More behind the scenes stuff than you can shake a stick at. Check it out at:

http://www.jimshooter.com/

Friday, June 24, 2011

Conan:Road of Kings #6


Issue 6 of Conan: The Road of Kings brings the first story arc by writer Roy Thomas and artist Mike Hawthorne to an end. In this one, Conan finally catches up to the kidnapped Olivia and rescues her. He also has his final run in with the disfigured bounty hunter Gamesh. The final confrontation wasn't what I was expecting, as Roy decided to show Conan using his brains more than his brawn to finish off Gamesh. Roy also shows in this scene how an experienced writer uses foreshadowing to set something up early in a story (in this case in the previous issue) so it can pay off later, giving the reader a nice feeling of satisfaction. (I will note that I'm not convinced Gamesh is dead. He gets swallowed by a monster with a taste for gold, but we don't see a body. Tough guy like Gamesh might cut his way out.)
Someone over at the REH Comics Yahoo Group was giving sales figures and I found it interesting that Road of Kings has been outselling the other Conan comic being published at the same time, Conan:The Scarlet Citadel. Not sure if this was because folks knew that Thomas, the original writer of Marvel's Conan comics, was writing Road for Darkhorse or what.
I enjoyed Scarlet Citadel tremendously, but truthfully I'd rather see new Conan stories in the comics, rather than adaptations of Robert E. Howard stories. That may sound odd coming from a rabid REH fan like me, but hey, I've read and continue to read Howard as prose. I don't need illustrations to make it better for me. I'd prefer some new sword and sorcery stories in comics form, which is, of course, what I'm getting from Road of Kings. Anyway, looking forward to the next six issue arc.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Barsoom Buzz

I've purposely avoided much of the pre-production news on the upcoming John Carter of Mars film, (currently titled simply John Carter) mostly because I'd like to see it cold, with no idea what any of the stuff is going to look like. (I'm watching the Conan movie developments like a hawk, so one obsession is plenty.) However I did stumble onto some pre-production art the other day and if any of that makes it to the film, it will at least LOOK like Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars ought to look. The first trailer is supposed to be released next month with the final Harry Potter film, so fingers crossed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Haunters of the Dark

It occurred to me yesterday, during a re-read of H.P. Lovecraft's story, The Haunter of the Dark, that this is the story that most inept pastichers have been rewriting for all these years. It's also what people probably mean when they refer to a 'typical' Lovecraft story. It does read rather like a template for the later pastiches. We have the writer protagonist, the New England setting, the crumbling structure, (a church in this one) the mention of a cult, and the references to an earlier tragedy of apparently supernatural origins. There is a scene where all the famous books of the Cthulhu mythos are cataloged. (The Necronomicon, Cultes des Goules, De Vermis Mysteriis, Nameless Cults, etc.) Then we have what became the standard plot, the protagonist finds an object that summons something nasty from the outer dark and dies a messy death. How many times have we read that one? (Keep in mind, Lovecraft didn't write this over and over, just his followers did. In fact, I think this was the last Cthulhu mythos story Lovecraft wrote.)
This is kind of interesting as Haunter was written as a response to a Lovecraft pastiche by Robert Bloch, later the writer of Psycho and other horror classics, but just a teenager when the story was written. Bloch, who in the 1930s was one of Lovecraft's many correspondents, had written to Lovecraft, asking if he might kill the writer in a Cthulhu mythos story. Lovecraft was reportedly delighted, sending Bloch a document giving him permission to destroy a fictional version of himself in any matter Bloch wished. Bloch did so in the story The Shambler from the Stars.
Lovecraft responded in kind by writing a direct sequel to Shambler where he killed off a writer and artist named Robert Harrison Blake, who shared an actual Wisconsin address with Bloch. Others have suggested that the character of Blake, while mostly a stand in for Bloch, had characteristics of Lovecraft himself and of writer/artist Clark Ashton Smith.
Now of course, Lovecraft didn't treat his story as a gag. This is as well written and as full of creepy ideas as anything Lovecraft wrote, but still I find it interesting that what was written as a response to a pastiche became the inspiration for hundreds of pastiches that followed.
There are a couple of other interesting bits to the story. There's a mention of the serpent-men of Valusia who feature in Robert E. Howard's King Kull stories. Howard was still alive when Lovecraft wrote Haunter in 1935, so it was a nice tip of the hat to Two-Gun Bob. Also several of the fictional books I mentioned above were the creations of Lovecraft's friends, including Howard, Bloch, and August Derleth.
As a stand alone Lovecraft tale, The Haunter of the Dark carries considerable chills. The titular Haunter cannot abide light of any sort and is trapped in the darkness of the ancient Church's boarded over steeple. But one fateful night a huge thunderstorm knocks out the electricity in the city and a terrified Blake can only wait in the darkness, knowing that the thing he has released knows where to find him.
Oh, and that reminds me of the last bit that has become a cliché in Lovecraft pastiches. The protagonist continues to write his thoughts down in a journal right up to the point where the messy death finds him. It's not quite that bad in Haunter, but it's there. At least he didn't write "Aaaaaaagh".
Fifteen years later, Robert Bloch wrote a sequel to the sequel called The Shadow from the Steeple. A fun evening of Lovecraft study would be to read all three tales back to back and try to find all the in-jokes and references. There are many.
Anyway, The Haunter of the Dark appeared in the December 1936 issue of Weird Tales. Other, usually lesser, writers have been haunting the same darkness ever since.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Strange High House in the Mist

"In the morning mist comes up from the sea by the cliffs beyond Kingsport. White and feathery it comes from the deep to its brothers the clouds, full of dreams and dank pastures and caves of leviathan."

By 1926, H.P. Lovecraft had all but abandoned the writing of fantasy tales inspired by the works of Lord Dunsany for his tales of cosmic horror, the better known Chthulhu mythos stories. And yet on November 9th, 1926, Lovecraft penned one of his most haunting and poetic stories, The Strange High House in the Mist.
The small, coastal New England town of Kingsport is backed by high cliffs. One soaring, unclimbable cliff is the focus of the tale. It is so high and so sheer that they fear it because "it is so near the sky." However, despite this, there is an ancient house on the top of the cliff and "at evening men see lights in the small-paned windows."
No one in the memory of the town has ever gone to this house, and the residents of Kingsport think that's best, but a newcomer, a philosopher named Thomas Olney, becomes fascinated by the house and decides to see if he can reach it from the landward side. he travels many miles inland and then crosses woods and fields, climbing ever upward. Finally he must make his way into a deep chasm and back up the other side before finding himself at the rear of the house.
Approaching the structure he learns that the front door is flush with the edge of the cliff and there's no way to reach it. he is almost relieved but then a window opens and the houses inhabitant invites him inside.
The most amazing thing about this story is the language. People often talk of the clunkiness of Lovecraft's prose, but there's no sign of that here. The writing is elegant and poetic and it draws the reader in and carries him along on strange tides.
And even though this is not a horror tale, there is one chilling moment when the gray sea mists have closed about the house and something come knocking at the front door where nothing could possibly stand and knock. Whatever it is, the young man with ancient eyes who lives in the house fears it and he motions Olney to silence. While they wait, the thing leaves the door and tries every window before going away. Gooseflesh abounded during my reading of this part.
Anyway, if your knowledge of Lovecraft is limited to Cthulhu and the gang, seek out his fantasy tales, The Cats of Ulthar, The White Ship, The Doom that Came to Sarnath, and of course, The Strange High House in the Mist.

Sunday So Far

Just in from Father's Day breakfast with my parents. Gave dad a DVD copy of the new True Grit, which he and I saw at the theater. Chatted a bit about family stuff. My cousin lost his job. My brother has a second parrot. That sort of thing. (My brother had already sent me pictures and video of the parrot but I didn't let on.) I swung by the grocery store and picked up essentials like milk, cereal, and Jammie Dodgers. Now I'm at the computer with one cat at my feet and the other sitting behind me. That's Sunday so far.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spenser's Back

Well, I predicted that the estate of Robert B. Parker wouldn't let a money making machine like the Spenser series get away too easily and would probably get another writer to continue the series after Parker's death last year. This has come to pass. They at least got a good writer, a fellow named Ace Atkins, who has written some decent crime novels and who is reportedly a major fan of Parker.
I doubt that I will read the new books though. When I met Parker back in 2000, someone in the crowd of fans asked him if he would consider writing a team-up between his other character Jesse Stone and Spenser. Parker said that very well could happen (It did) but that it would have to be in a Spenser novel because he would only write Spenser in first person POV. (The Jesse Stone books are third person.) Spenser was the character he felt the closest to and identified with the most.
So, don't know if I want to read someone else's take on Spenser, if you take my meaning. However I've learned to never say never. My curiosity might get the better of me.

Brak's Back?


One of my fellow Robert E. Howard fans over at the REH Comics Yahoo Group mentioned that a company called Wildfire books, with who I'm not familiar, is going to publish John Jakes's final Brak the Barbarian novel, which will be written by author Adrian Cole from an outline by Jakes. Reportedly Wildfire approached Jakes about finishing the novel, but he wasn't interested. He was, however, all right with someone else finishing it from the outline.
That's all the details I have at the moment, however I can add a couple of things from my own knowledge. Jakes had mentioned back in the early 1970s that he had the final Brak story outlined and knew how the saga would finish up. He even joked in the introduction to one of the Brak paperbacks about having that outline locked in a safe in case something happened to him. What did happen to him was fame and fortune as a writer of historical novels following the runaway success of his Kent Family Chronicles written around America's Bicentennial.
About a decade ago when I was working on a biographical study of fantasy writer/editor Lin Carter, I interviewed Jakes about his days writing sword & sorcery stories about his blond Conan clone, Brak. Jakes had dedicated one of the Brak books to Carter, so I figured the men were acquainted. (Both men were also members of SAGA, the Swordsman and Sorcerers Guild of America, a loosely knit group of 70s-80s S&S writers.) The good news is Jakes was very forthcoming about his Brak stories and about Carter. The bad news is that was in the days before I had learned to back up everything I wrote in at least three places and a hard drive crash took the interview and the biographical study away. I never had the heart to go back and rewrite the study, especially since one of my primary sources passed away not long after I had interviewed him.
I do recall that Jakes was in no way ashamed of his days as a fantasy/SF author, but he felt that he had left that genre behind and had no interest in returning to it. I've talked about Brak the Barbarian here before, so if you're not familiar with the character, go here:

http://singular--points.blogspot.com/2010/08/devils-in-walls.html

Monday, June 13, 2011

Small Vices


The last couple of weekends I've been re-reading some of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels. This weekend it was Small Vices, a solid entry from 1997. This was one of the later Spensers that I liked enough to get Parker to sign it when I met him in 2000. I remember him looking at me when I went to get it signed, because he said, "You're tall. I hate tall." (Odd that both Spillane and Parker should comment on my height. I'm 6'-2", not super tall but then both writers were short.) Reportedly Parker had said this exact same thing to Tom Selleck when he met the actor, so I didn't feel too bad.
Anyway, in Small Vices, tough guy PI Spenser finally runs into somebody who's as dangerous as he is and almost gets killed. He is shot three times and spends close to a year recovering, a year in which everyone except a couple of his cop buddies, his pal Hawk, and his object of affection Susan Silverman think Spenser is dead.
Things start out, as they do in most private eye novels, a lot simpler, with Spenser looking into a case where a young, black man may have been framed for a murder. Spenser sets out to find the truth and that makes him the target of some dangerous people who would just as soon the truth not be known. he gets word that someone is looking to have him killed. Being Spenser he's not easy to kill, so someone hires a heavy hitter, a professional assassin who Spenser knows only as the Gray Man. (He has a grayish complexion, gray hair, and he dresses all in gray.) The Gray Man warns Spenser off the case, and when the PI won't back off, the Gray Man almost makes good on his contract.
When Spenser returns from the dead, he wants to kill the Gray Man, but it is in the best interests of his client to let the assassin live. Still he gets to rough the Gray Man up good when he captures him. It will have to do.
As I was re-reading Small Vices I recalled that it was right after that one when I thought the series started to go downhill. There were still some good Spenser books to come, but too many mediocre books as well. Small Vices was a good one, though, with plenty of action and some classic Spenser one-liners that made me smile. Well worth a re-read.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On to Isengard


The storyline in Lord of the Rings Online is turning towards Isengard and presumably events from the second book in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. The expansion, The Rise of Isengard, won't actually be available until September, but Turbine is offering a pre-release deal which lets you go ahead and order the game and which gives you Rohan armor and THREE Rohirrim horses. (You get three armor sets too, but I'm just showing Kharrn in the green one.) Since the Kin I belong to is called The Windriders of Rohan, it's nice to finally have Rohan horses and stuff. Now if we could just fight from horseback.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sword & Sandal Theater:The Minotaur


I mentioned the Peplum blog, a site devoted to sword & sandal movies, a few posts back. Now the fine fellow who runs that site has started a Peplum TV channel where he runs Peplum movies live. I stopped by last night and watched The Minotaur, a sword & sandal movie I'd been wanting to see, especially since my recent interest in the Minoan civilization. Turned out to be one of my favorites from this genre so far. I really enjoyed it, and also had a great time chatting with other S&S fans in the chatroom bar that runs right beside the movie. Kind of like a text version of MST3K. Great fun, and I learned a lot about the actors in the movie. These guys know their stuff.
Anyway, this one is based loosely on the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, and it's one of the most action packed sword & sandals I've seen. In some ways it's almost a sword & sorcery film because there are a lot of sword fights and there's even some sorcery. If someone had made a Conan movie in 1960, it might have looked much like this. Plus there are man-eating hyenas, hand to hand combat, gods and goddesses, a huge battle scene, the obligatory dance sequence, and of course the Minotaur itself. I can tell you, had I seen this one on a Sunday afternoon when I was 12 (where I saw most peplum movies) I'd have been one happy camper.
Bob Mathias is Theseus. Italian babe Rossana Schiafinno plays twin sisters, one good and one evil. The evil one is the hotter of the two. As I was watching I couldn't help but think of Robert E. Howard's Conan yarn, A Witch Shall be Born, which also features twin royal sisters.
The production values on The Minotaur were very high, with nice sets and costumes and decent cinematography. All and all, an impressive entry in the sword & sandal genre. I'm giving this one four out of five Sandals.
I'm including a link to the peplum TV channel. Movies usually start at 9:00 pm Eastern and there's a schedule up at the peplum blog. Check it out.

http://www.justin.tv/peplum_channel

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Day Made


Wandered over to the SF/Fantasy section at Barnes & Noble Friday and saw something I had once wondered if I'd ever see again, brand new trade editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars and Tarzan of the Apes. These are, of course, two of my favorite books of all time, and to see them readily available again with shiny new covers just made my day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Reading Report

The long weekend was one of those where I spent a lot of time just chilling, and much of the reading I did was non-fiction. Mostly I was reading books and parts of books about Alexandria, the city in Egypt founded by Alexander the Great and home of the famous library and equally famous lighthouse. Found out there's a movie called Agora which takes place in ancient Alexandria and is supposed to be pretty cool in its recreation of the city and the era. It's about Hypatia, the famous female philosopher and mathematician. I can watch it on streaming video from Amazon, which is cool.
I was also reading about the Minoan civilization, of which we know very little. In fact we don't even know what they called themselves, the term Minoan having been formed from the Myth of King Minos, the guy with the Labyrinth and the Minotaur.
The connection between the Minoans and Alexandria is that the island of Crete sits almost dead center between Greece and Egypt, so there was commerce between the Minoans, Greeks and Egyptians. Why was I reading this stuff? Just caught my attention, I guess. I'm like that. Anyway, digging for more books about Minoans and such. Want to get a good biography of Hypatia as well.
In less scholarly reading, I read through several comic books. Last week was a double Conan week with issues of Conan:The Road of Kings and Conan:The Scarlet Citadel. It was the final issue of Citadel, finishing up the adaptation of Robert E. Howard's yarn.
Also read a couple of stories from Volume 9 of the Dark Horse collection, Tarzan: The Jesse Marsh Years. The collections have caught up to where my collection of the actual comics begins, but I don't have a full set of the comics so there's still plenty of stuff that I haven't read to come.
Did a little more reading in the Year's Best Horror Stories books, finding a couple of real chillers. More about that later. As you can see, another eclectic reading weekend. I need to find a good novel for next weekend. I'll look into that.