What Screams May Come: Scott Cole’s HEADLESS

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

Headless by Scott Cole
Grindhouse Press (March 5, 2024)

cover of HeadlessThe Synopsis:

In the midst of a heat wave punctuated by frequent rainstorms, people are losing their heads. Literally. Not only that, but their bodies are still walking, and attacking others.

And to make matters worse, tiny, translucent, maggot-sized worms are falling from the skies like hail.

As uncanny violence threatens to take over the city, Linzy, Carter, and Joanna become fast friends and leave for points unknown, hoping to stay alive, hoping to outrun the Headless.Continue Reading

Zac Thompson on Catching a DreamWave

banner that reads The Comic Vault

In the new comic Cemetery Kids Don’t Die from writer Zac Thompson and artist Daniel Irizarri, people are obsessed with the gaming console DreamWave, which works while you’re sleeping. But maybe NightmareWave is a better name, as this horror/science fiction story shows friends known as the Cemetery Kids get in over their heads. Cemetery Dance spoke with Thompson about the comic’s inspiration, his interest in horror comics, and how shonen manga (Japanese comics aimed for boys) inspired the artwork. Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: A Conversation with Tim Waggoner

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

The Atrocity Engine (Custodians of the Cosmos Book 1) by Tim Waggoner
Aethon Books (April 30, 2024)

The Synopsis:
Men in Black meets Hellraiser in this rollicking mash-up of urban fantasy and cosmic horror from four-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author Tim Waggoner.

cover of Atrocity EngineCreatures from dark dimensions infesting your home? Demonic beings trying to drive you insane? Alien gods attempting to destroy your universe?

Just call Maintenance.

This underpaid and overworked secret organization is dedicated to battling forces that seek to speed up Entropy and hasten the Omniverse’s inevitable death.

Neal Hudson is a twenty-year veteran of Maintenance. A surveyor who drives through the streets of Ash Creek, Ohio, constantly scanning for the deadly energy known as Corruption. Since the death of his previous partner, Neal prefers to work alone, and he’s not happy when he’s assigned to mentor a rookie.

But they better learn to get along fast.

The Multitude, a group of godlike beings who seek to increase Entropy at every opportunity, are creating an Atrocity Engine. This foul magical device can destroy the Earth, and they don’t care how many innocent lives it takes to build it. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot!)

Just another day on the job…Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: THIS SKIN WAS ONCE MINE

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

This Skin Was Once Mine by Eric LaRocca
Titan Books (April 2, 2024)

cover of This Skin Was Once MineEver since his debut publication, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke (now in a second edition with bonus stories), Eric LaRocca has been blazing a trail of broken souls and butchered hearts with each new release he unleashes. After a series of highly acclaimed novellas, LaRocca published his first full length novel, Everything the Darkness Eats, with Titan Books. Clearly a match made in horror, Titan is getting set to publish LaRocca’s newest collection of four riveting novellas in This Skin Was Once Mine and Other Disturbances. 

I cornered the author long enough to discuss his latest publication, the importance of being an aggressor to his readers, along with digging into what has caused the floor beneath him to be ripped out plus more!Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: Cruising the HUNTED HIGHWAYS

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

Hunted Highways (Dark Tide Book 12) by Carver Pike, Lucas Mangum, and Rowland Bercy
Crustal Lake Publishing (January 26th, 2024)

The Synopsis: 

cover of Hunted Highways“B.I.R.D.S.” by Rowland Bercy Jr.: In “B.I.R.D.S.,” a 2023 reimagining of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, a group of friends embarks on a cross-country trip, unwittingly stirring a vengeful avian onslaught. Raquel, Robert, Karen, and David face chaos and carnage, learning that appearances deceive and the price of their actions can be deadly. This bone-chilling tale weaves a narrative of suspense and consequence in a world where birds are not what they seem.

“Dracula and the Devil Walk Into a Bar” by Lucas Mangum: After a team of hunters raid their fortress, Dracula and Lucifer hit the road in search of a new place to call home. They stop at a roadside bar in an unincorporated locale to meet with a vampire named Mina. All three creatures of the night have the potential for violence. And none of them can resist the call of bloodshed. The people in this wood-paneled, neon-lit establishment are about to meet Hell itself.

“Road Wrath” by Carver Pike: For Melanie and her friends, this fun-filled trip to tour their favorite college campus is about to take a violent and macabre turn. If only they’d kept driving, if only they’d stayed far away from that rest stop, if only they’d been more polite when they encountered the creepy old couple. Now, it’s too late for apologies. Road Wrath is coming.  Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: Joseph Sale’s CITY OF CORPSES

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

The City of Corpses (Book two of the Lost Carcosa Series) by Joseph Sale
Blood Bound Books (January 16th, 2024)

cover of The City of CorpsesThe synopsis: Dark fantasy and horror combine in this epic narrative of war, betrayal, love, and spirituality…Reeling from betrayal, Alan, Cassilda, LeBarron, and Petruccio must go into hiding; the only place that seems safe is Alar, an underwater kingdom lying at the bottom of Lake Hali. But all is not well in Alar. Dangers lurk around every corner. And a sorceress now rules the city, one whose powers challenge even those of Carcosa’s princesses, Cassilda and Cali…Meanwhile, Pe’kar, the great enemy, unleashes his second legion upon Carcosa, intent to finally raze the city to the ground and become undisputed ruler of the black planet. How can Alan and his fellowship save Carcosa when they can hardly save themselves? The answer lies within…

The City of Corpses is the second Book of Lost Carcosa, an epic fantasy-horror that reimagines the astonishing mythos of Robert W. Chambers. Combining Clive Barker’s eroticism and fantasy with Stephen King’s pulse-pounding narrative, The City of Corpses will please fans of Imajica, Weaveworld, The Dark Tower, H. P. Lovecraft, Eric LaRocca, and Alistair Rennie.Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris
Crystal Lake Publishing
January 12th, 2024

The synopsis:

Jealous of the attention lavished upon the puppetry talents of his dear sister—and tormented by visions of her torture at the hands of the mysterious Uncle Pavan who recruited her for his arcane school—Elias is determined to learn the true nature of occult puppetry, no matter the hideous costs, in order to exact vengeance.

cover of Master of Rods and StringsContinue Reading

Review: Thirsty for Love by Carmen Pizarro and David Ocampo

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Thirsty for LoveThirsty for Love by Carmen Pizarro and David Ocampo
Independently Published (2022)
48 pages; $15.00 perfect bound collector’s edition of 100
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Thirsty for Love is a clever monster graphic novel written by David Ocampo and illustrated by Carmen Pizarro. When Emily goes missing, her friend Josie thinks she knows what happens. She’s aware of the new girl, Charlotte Smith, and suspects she’s responsible for Emily’s disappearance. When she confronts Charlotte, Josie discovers that her suspicions are not only wrong, but that the truth is far worse than she could ever imagine. Continue Reading

Horror Drive-In: Holiday Slasher-Thon

banner reading Horror Drive-In and Mark Sieber and Cemetery Dance

Sometimes I bring up slasher movies to people of my age group. I’m talking fifties and early sixties. I often see a glint in their eyes. A recognition of something magical. A recollection of a time of youthful fun and rebelliousness. When our hearts were still untamed. Before the soul-crippling drudgery of work. When our bodies were young and strong, our minds and hearts untamed.

I see traces of mournful regret. Regret about growing old and predictable. Sadness about obsession with politics. Disappointment at falling into the comfort zone of mediocrity. Superheroes, Star Wars, the latest streaming trends.

Many young people loved the slasher movies of the early eighties, but few loved them as much as I did. I saw as many as I could. In walk-in movie houses and in the glorious outdoor splendor of the drive-ins. My best friend and I were huge fans. He’s gone now, and I miss him as much as I miss the bloody innocence of the time.Continue Reading

Getting INVASIVE with Cullen Bunn

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of Invasive #1 Eisner Award-nominated writer Cullen Bunn is no stranger to horror, but he says his new comic, Invasive, haunts him and signals a signpost on the road to his approach to the genre. Invasive, which is published by Oni Press and illustrated by Jesús Hervás, has a debut date of December 13. Bunn spoke to Cemetery Dance about how a nightmare influenced this work, why Invasive is different from previous projects, and what else he has going on. Continue Reading

Dead Trees: The Cleanup

banner reading Dead Trees by Mark Sieber

cover of The CleanupWhen I first began reading horror fiction, most of it was populated by educated, successful characters. Writers were a popular choice. I was fine with it, and I still am, but by the mid-eighties the genre needed a jolt from a different demographic. John Skipp and Craig Spector gave it to us.

With the publication of The Light at the End we had characters from another class and fiction designated for a different demographic. Those who barely made it through high school. Or didn’t get a diploma at all. The disenfranchised, the ones who were dealt a bad hand from the start. People like me and my friends, in other words.

Many of the people I grew up with had ideals, but most lost sight of them. Bitter disappointment after disappointment hardened our hearts. We partied to celebrate our youth and to be free of the constraints of society, but the partying quickly began to take a toll, and burnout set in. We were more concerned with the next beer, the next gore movie, the next gorge-out buffet than bettering the world or ourselves.

Our lives were badly in need of a cleanup.Continue Reading

Review: The Scarecrow Man by Miguel Goncalves

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of The Scarecrow ManThe Scarecrow Man by Miguel Goncalves
Dark Pine Publishing (September 2023)
40 pages; $4.75 paperback; $0.00 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Do you dare enter the Scarecrow Show? 

From the pages of Devil’s Reject (by Dark Pine Publishing) comes Miguel Goncalves’s short story, “The Scarecrow Man,” where the line between reality and nightmare blurs into a devilish dance of psychological horror and crime fiction. As I devoured this debut, I couldn’t shake the echoes of Robert Bloch’s Psycho and A24’s cinematic masterpiece Pearl. Continue Reading

BROOMS Discusses the Art of Making Magic

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of BroomsBrooms, a new graphic novel written by Jasmine Walls and illustrated by Teo DuVall, takes place in an alternative 1930s where only some people are allowed to use magic, and unsanctioned broom racing is forbidden. Walls and DuVall spoke to Cemetery Dance about their backgrounds in graphic novels, the research that went into Brooms’ creation, and what they hope readers take away.Continue Reading

The CURSES of George Wylesol

banner that reads The Comic Vault

George Wylesol
George Wylesol

George Wylesol is an illustrator/designer/writer in Baltimore who creates unusual graphic novels. Curses, a collection of short stories, uses surreal and avant garde techniques to show the horrors in everything from a hospital to the wilderness to hell itself. Wylesol spoke to Cemetery Dance about how he worked on this book, his background, and what he’d like readers to take away from Curses.Continue Reading

Comic Creators on PROJECT: CRYPTID

banner that reads The Comic Vault

AHOY Comics’ new anthology PROJECT: CRYPTID, which has its first issue debuting this month, offers up scares and silliness as different writers and artists take on creatures from legends. Seven of the anthology’s writers — Mark Russell, Paul Constant, Bryce Ingman, Melissa F. Olson, Jazzlyn Stone, Henry Barajas, and Alisa Kwitney — all spoke to Cemetery Dance about their creatures of choice, the process of mixing horror with humor, and what makes comics a good medium for scary stories.Continue Reading