Wednesday, April 29, 2015

World Horror Convention 2015

I don't think that I've mentioned that I'll be attending the World Horror Convention in Atlanta this year. I'll be appearing on several panels, signing books and talking to folks. This is my first time at WHC so I'm very excited about attending. This is my schedule for the con, so if you're in the area, drop by and say hi.





9-10 PM         Panel: WEIRD SOUTH: Voices of the Mountains: Manly Wade Wellman and Karl Edward Wagner – DUNWICH


Panelists discuss the influential writings of Manly Wade Wellman and Karl Edward Wagner, two pioneers of Southern Horror. From Wellman’s stories of John the Balladeer to Wagner’s tales of deep south terror like “Where the Summer Ends” and “In the Pines.”


Moderator: Charles Rutledge. Panelists: Cliff Biggers, James A. Moore, Leigh Perry, Brett Talley, Derek Tatum, James R. Tuck, Tim Waggoner




3-4 PM           TERRIFYING TROPES: H.P. Lovecraft in the 21st Century: The Problematic Legacy of the Great Old One of Horror and the Weird – SARNATH


Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s legacy in modern horror fiction has been cemented for more than half a century in his Cthulhu Mythos and exploration of cosmic, existential horror. More recently, the tentacles of Lovecraft’s more troubling legacy – as a voice for some of the last century’s most vile expressions of racism and xenophobia – have found their way into the center of the discussion of his work. Is it possible to untangle the two sides of Lovecraft’s work? Should we?


Moderator: David Nickle. Panelists: Jesse Bullington, Leslie Klinger, Usman T. Malik, Charles Rutledge, Molly Tanzer




NOON-1 PM Panel: From The Crypt to Providence: The Changing Face of Horror Comics – R’LEYH


Horror comics aren’t what they used to be! If you think horror comics are just zombies, gore, and mayhem, think again!


Moderator: Cliff Biggers. Panelists: Chesya Burke, Christopher Golden, Daniel Knauf, Jonathan Maberry, Charles Rutledge


For more information go here:


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cliff Biggers Looks at the Martian Legion

I haven't had time to do a proper review of the massive crossover book, The Martian Legion, but my good friend Cliff Biggers Interviewed the author, Buddy Saunders, who answered a lot of questions about the book. Check it out at Cliff's blog.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Engaging the Monster

I was talking to some friends the other day about Robert E. Howard's ventures into H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos and how the majority of Howard's Mythos stories differ from HPL's. For the most part that can be summed up in a single word. Action.

   If you've read a lot of Lovecraft you know that his protagonists tend to be fairly passive, more observers than participants in the plots, and that they generally come to a bad end either by going mad or by being messily devoured by some gibbering, slavering creature from the outer dark. Sometimes they go mad, THEN they get devoured.

   In Howard's Mythos fiction, things tend to go along about like they do in Lovecraft until the last part of the story, when REH's protagonists decide to fight back. Often they kill the thing that would have messily devoured one of Lovecraft's heroes.

   This is pretty much the way I approach horror fiction. Though I may write of terrible, horrible things that lurk in the darkness, Wade Griffin, Carter Decamp, Kharrn, or some other of my protagonists is generally going to engage the enemy with extreme prejudice. Like Jim Kirk, I don't believe in a no win scenario. There's a way to beat the monster. You just have to find it.

   Not that some of my secondary characters don't suffer horrible fates. I've had a few characters get messily devoured. But usually they'll be avenged.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Complete Russ Manning Tarzan Newspaper Strips

   I've talked before about how when I was a kid, I basically learned to read from my mom's collection of Gold Key Tarzan comics. I can remember looking at them before I was in school, wondering what the words in the balloons said, and making up stories to go with the pictures. As I learned to read, they were some of the first things I went back to, so that I could finally see what everybody was saying.

   In the late 1960s, the Gold Key Tarzan comics were being drawn by Russ Manning, who remains my favorite Tarzan artist. When I graduated to reading the actual Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan novels, it was Manning's ape man I saw in my mind's eye as I read.

   When Gold Key lost the ERB rights to DC Comics in the early 1970s, Joe Kubert became the main artist on Tarzan. I loved Joe's take on Tarzan, but he wasn't Manning. What I didn't know, was that Russ Manning had moved on years earlier to drawing the Tarzan newspaper strip. I gradually became aware of this when DC began to publish reprints of some of the strip material. New Russ Manning Tarzan art that I'd never seen.

   Problem was, DC wasn't reprinting everything, and a lot of the stuff they were publishing was badly chopped up to fit the comic book format. From things I heard later, Manning was less than thrilled with DC reworking his panels. In any case, I knew that there was a lot of Manning Tarzan out there that I didn't have access to.

   Over the years, bits and pieces of the Manning strips were reprinted in different books and magazines, and I managed to collect a lot of it. Still, I longed for a better, more permanent format collecting all the Russ Manning Tarzan. Tonight, I will see that wish fulfilled, because the fourth and final volume of IDW's TARZAN: THE COMPLETE RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS hits the shelves. 288 pages of Manning art, finishing up his long run on the series. These are huge hardcover books on nice paper with the strips shot from stats on file at ERB Inc and they are gorgeous. I couldn't ask for a better format of better reproduction and printing.

   Cliff has already informed me that my copy of the book is awaiting me at Dr. No's. So yes, wishes really do come true. Sometimes you just have to wait for it.