The Unexpected Return of Dakota North, part 2

In an earlier post, I talked about the Marvel comic Dakota North, which ran for five issues in the mid-80s and is now the subject of a brand new collection, Dakota North: Design for Dying. Now Dakota’s creator and writer, Martha Thomases, has been kind enough to talk to me a bit about Dakota’s origins. You wrote about the fashion … Read More

The Original Story about Mount Horeb’s Psychic Boy

When I wrote about this in an earlier post, I offered to post my transcription of the original newspaper articles, if anyone was interested. Thanks to all who said they were. Here you go. Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis, Thursday afternoon, April 1, 1909 Headline: MT. HOREB MYSTERY STILL BAFFLING ALL EFFORTS TO SOLVE IT Sub-headline: Residents Divided on Question … Read More

The Unexpected Return of Dakota North, part 1

Addendum: R.I.P. Stan Lee.  The mid-1980s, when I was a serious comic book fan, was a great time for taking risks: it gave us Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Watchmen, and Miracleman; Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; Frank Miller’s Daredevil and The Dark Knight Returns; and significant runs in all the major series, many of which have turned up as the plots of … Read More

Mount Horeb’s Psychic Boy…or Not

When you’re an author of fantasy and horror, and you live in a small town like Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, it’s inevitable that you get requests like the one I recently received from our library director, Jessica: “I have a spooky question for you.” She presented me with a badly-faded microfiche printout (see above) of a news story from 1909, about … Read More

Review: Vampire Classics (Graphic Classics #26)

It’s no secret that I love me some vampires. I’ve even written two vampire novels of my own, Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of Blood. Their combination of danger coupled with intelligence, of being able to pass as one of us until the fangs finally come out, makes them the perfect monster. They can be used to represent … Read More

The Vampires Want to Wear My Mud Shoes

One of my personal traditions is that, every October, I re-read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s such a rich novel that I usually find at least one detail I’d never noticed before. This year, though, in addition to reading the actual novel, I’ve been reading a children’s version to my daughter (after all, what else can follow Frankenstein?). It’s easy to … Read More

“I am fearless, and therefore powerful”: the Monster and the Siren

We sometimes forget, because familiarity negates it, that Frankenstein’s monster is supposed to be scary. I’m talking specifically about the Boris Karloff monster from the first three Universal films, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and (my favorite) Son of Frankenstein. I suppose the later films with other performers as the monster (Lon Chaney, Glenn Strange, Bela Lugosi, etc.) could also be … Read More

A Tale of SF/F/H at Its Best, and a Thank You

To read the news (and the blogs, and the social media posts), you’d believe that the science fiction, fantasy and horror community is made of up of crying man babies who freak out at the slightest deviation from what they believe a property, or a person, should be. From remaking The Last Jedi to trolling Leslie Jones, from complaining about … Read More

Music, identity, and the teenage heart

I just finished Whiskey Bottles and Brand-New Cars, a 2017 biography of Lynyrd Skynyrd by Mark Ribowski. I was 14 when the core of the band died in a plane crash on October 20, 1977, the real “day the music died” for my generation. I’m familiar with the broad strokes of the Skynyrd story, and even once saw the Rossington-Collins Band, one … Read More

When you make a spectacle of yourself…

My ten-year-old son recently got glasses. It’s not a surprise: my wife and I both wear them. And while two wrongs don’t make a right, apparently two nearsighteds make a farsighted. I was nine when I got my first glasses. I was in third grade, my first year in the old, long-gone Gibson Elementary School in Tennessee. Now, with the … Read More