It seems like a silly idea at best. At worst, a bro-heavy homophobic mess masquerading as satire. You take the two loudest, virulently masculine icons of the early Hardcore movement, Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig, and make a series of comics about them in a relationship. Heck, the standard Odd Couple tripe pretty much takes care of itself. Who would have thought it would turn into something much more over the decade-plus long run collected here?Continue Reading
So, we’ve got Desmond Coke, right? He’s a former James Bondian spy (full of all the expected baddass, class and Dapper Dan style that goes with the title) who found out a little too much. There’s also this boy, Lij Tafari, stuck at the center of the “too much” I just mentioned. They strike off from their home to find a place where the boy can live a normal life in peace, without being the pawn of political figureheads.Continue Reading
Welcome back to the continuing adventures of David Fosberg, intrepid aspiring purveyor of the metallic arts most black. If you read Book One (The Inverted Katabasis), that is. If not, you’ll probably still be okay. We start off with Davey living la vida nekro in Belgium with his new bandmate, Svart. Surfing couches, drinking beer and playing only the most kvlt riffs as a part of Desekration. New members are discovered and more things happen.Continue Reading
Fair warning: you may be disappointed to find out that Night Moves is not themed around the works of Bob Seger and his hallowed band of Silver Bullet miscreants. However, it does contain seven short stories and two novellas by one of the finest purveyors of weird horror in the business. Continue Reading
I generally dig Wrath James White. Both The Ressurectionist and 400 Days of Oppression held sly, unique takes on what usually qualifies as “Hardcore” or “Extreme” horror. I don’t really know anything about Matt Shaw, but this is the book Amazon dumped from their catalog until the cover was redesigned, so I had to buy it, though it has been returned with a different cover.
Let’s go ahead and skip the expected Princess Bride reference and pretend I made it so we can move on, alright? After all, marriage isn’t just about love, no matter how true that love may be. Just as it isn’t about sex (just ask every hack comic). Or the creation of small clones of yourselves. Or the merging of empires. Sure, those are part of it, but they utterly fail to encompass the actual experience. Marriage is about a life shared, along with all of the terror, heartache, unbridled rage and desperation that entails. The rest is just window dressing.Continue Reading
Any amateur naturalist worth their salt knows that Kentucky is one of the finest states in this dear union. Those great, sprawling acres of wilderness call to us, filled as they are with some of the more interesting species of both man and beast. Given this, it really is surprising it took this long for someone to put together a loose guide to the more unusual of its native fauna.Continue Reading
Anthologies based on meta-fictive themes can be a bit of a sticky wicket. Sure, we get bored with the same old over and over again, and it is super cool when someone messes with our heads. At the same time, those “look how deft I am at subverting literature” stories are self important in the most boring way possible. Continue Reading
A book of gorgeously rendered and lusciously poeticized violence. An on-the-cusp scream queen goddess of the local goth TV channel, who survived the brutal violence which tore her family apart, quite literally. A newly appeared 1-900 service that begs you to find the worst in yourself and reveal it to them. Gangs of thematically self-mutilating freaks roaming the streets. All through the background, the seductive voice of Pirsya Profana slithering between neurons. Welcome to the Season of the Witch.Continue Reading
Okay, the usual review format (hook, blurb, opinion) just ain’t gonna cut it here. Call me unprofessional or just a plain fool if you want. I’m okay with that. When a train runs this far off the rails, honey, you just have to look at the wreckage from a different angle.Continue Reading
I’ve been a huge fan of Lucy Snyder’s work for years. Her yarns are fun, gutsy and weird as all get out. While the Black Stars Burn, though, has caused me to realize how important it is in the pantheon of full out capital-L Literature.
“Mostly Monsters” makes this indisputably clear from the first page. On the surface, we have the destructive relationship between a father and his daughter and the damage it causes. A sharp, heartbreakingly personal tale of familial horror that kicked me right in the teeth. At the same time, it screams its manifesto to refuse to look away from the small terrors that shape us daily. The sense of causation here, the implications of what went wrong, where and what could be done to keep it from happening in the future are woven through every word without ever stopping the story itself or robbing it of emotional impact.Continue Reading
So, there’s this guy. Nick Graves. Nick is a bit of a jerk. He hates his wife, but when her surprise pregnancy derails his plan to divorce her, he decides to move them both far from friends, family and anything they know. That’ll show her. Too bad he didn’t look into the neighbors a bit closer as everyone he meets seems to act very strange and they have their own plans for him.
I grew up with ghost stories, passed down from my mother while sitting around a fire or simply hanging out and chatting after watching the X-files or Tales from the Darkside. I am sure that’s why I feel such a comfy, cozy connection to them. Admittedly, I warmed up quite a bit when I saw this anthology arrive in the mail.
Right off the bat, Sarah Hans kicks the door off the hinges with “The Cold Earth,” making it clear that this won’t be a simple collection of traditional drafty-old-mansion tales. We are placed square in the POV of our dear departed, a poor girl murdered by her ne’er do well husband, but it doesn’t devolve into the simplistic revenge story it so easily could have. Instead, we are shown a victim working to stop the cycle of violence and predation of the past, instead of simply exacting revenge for it.Continue Reading
I’ve been a fan of Chesya Burke’s short stories for years. “The Unremembered” from the Dark Faith anthology floored me, and her collection Let’s Play White is pure fire. Given that, I was extremely excited when she decided to write a novel, but The Strange Crimes of Little Africa had some fairly big boots to step into.
Ostensibly, Strange Crimes is a mystery. Anthropology student Jaz Idawell’s cousin is arrested for the murder of her uncle several years before, but she knows he didn’t do it. With the help of the one and only Zora Neal Hurston, she is determined to find the truth, no matter what it costs her. Of course, like all of the best mysteries, the case isn’t really the point. Jaz’s search becomes a search for her own identity and her own history.Continue Reading
So that we are clear, An Exorcism of Angels is a book of poems about love, but they are a far cry from the images of roses and violets and fleas as sex metaphors. Stephanie Wytovich presents us with love born of need instead of desire. Love that is desperate, angry, bitter and spewing bile and that red, red kroovy all over the place. Love with no happily ever after, ending in padded rooms and jail cells with screams echoing outside and in. Continue Reading