DriveThru’s Christmas in July 2017 E-book Sale Begins

Christmas-in-JulyIt’s the time of year when e-book distributor DriveThru Comics—along with its sister sites DriveThru Fiction, DriveThru RPG, and RPGNow—launches its annual Christmas in July sale, during which you can purchase thousands of digital books at special prices! It runs from now through July 31—and yes, you’ll need to set up an account (it’s free) to take advantage of this promotion.

Included among the many participating publishers is StarWarp Concepts (of course), which means you can get the following titles at 25% off:

blood_feudBlood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is my young adult novel that’s perfect for lovers of dark urban fantasy. It introduces readers to Pandora Zwieback, a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets professional monster hunter Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. In Blood Feud, Pan, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father. It’s a character-driven action-fest that leads immediately into the second novel:

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrBlood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2: Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. But whose side is going to emerge the victor remains to be seen…

terraTerra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination is SWC’s popular how-to book for writers and gamers in which bestselling fantasy author Richard C. White (Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil, The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special, Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings) takes you through the step-by-step process of constructing a world for your characters, from societies and governments to currency and religion. Included is an interview with New York Times bestselling author Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance) that discusses his methods of world building, as well as his creative experiences during his time as a designer for gaming company TSR, the original home of Dungeons & Dragons.

For a Few Gold Pieces More is Richard C. White’s collection of fantasy short stories. Think Lord of the Rings meets the “spaghetti Westerns” of director Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), as a Rogue With No Name travels a world of epic-fantasy adventure, looking for treasure, romance—and revenge against the woman who sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (but she did).

Carmilla_CoverCarmilla is J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 19th-century classic vampiric tale of love gone wrong. Laura is so desperate for a friend that when a young woman named Carmilla practically turns up on the doorstep of the castle owned by Laura’s father, she thinks her prayers for companionship have been answered. But as she comes to realize, Carmilla isn’t as interested in making friends as she is in spilling blood. Regarded as the one of the earliest female vampire tales—if not the first—Carmilla was an influence on author Bram Stoker in the creation of the vampire brides in his seminal novel, Dracula, and remains a popular character in fiction to this day. Just like with A Princess of Mars, our edition contains six original illustrations done especially for StarWarp Concepts by the super-talented Eliseu Gouveia.

pan_annual_coverThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a spinoff from the novel series. In this 56-page, full-color comic special, the teenaged Goth adventuress battles Gothic Lolita vampires in a shopping mall and a jealous, man-stealing siren in the middle of New York’s Central Park. It features stories by me and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Mighty Mouse), art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella).

SWC_Lorelei-SectsLorelei: Sects and the City is a Mature Readers graphic novel in which Lori battles a cult of Elder God worshipers attempting to unleash hell on Earth. Basically a love letter to 1970s horror comics like Vampirella, Tomb of Dracula, and Ghost Rider, it’s written by yours truly, and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia (Vengeance of the Mummy, Lady Death), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk), and Neil Vokes (Flesh and Blood, Fright Night). It also features a cover by legendary artist Esteban Maroto (Vampirella, Zatanna, Lady Rawhide) and a frontispiece by original Vampirella artist Tom Sutton (Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night).

The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special is a digital pirate-fantasy comic created and written by Richard C. White, coauthor of SWC’s supernatural-superhero graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings. Drawn by Bill Bryan (artist of Caliber Press’ Dark Oz and DC Comics’ House of Mystery), and featuring cover art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (SWC’s The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual), it’s 48 pages of high-seas adventure perfect for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, as well as classics like The Crimson Pirate, Against All Flags, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk.

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings is a general readers’ graphic novel about a group of supernatural-superheroes-for-hire taking on their first case. The team consists of a wizard, a female ninja, a sorceress, a werewolf, and a rock ’n’ roll lighting designer wearing high-tech armor. Sure, they might not be on a power level with the Avengers or Justice League of America—they’re more like superpowered Ghostbusters—but they get the job done. The graphic novel is written by the husband-and-white team of Richard C. White (Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, For a Few Gold Pieces More: Tales of the Rogue With No Name) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman.

King-Kong-Final-FrontCvrKing Kong is our e-book-exclusive Illustrated Classics edition of the 1932 novelization of the renowned motion picture. Written by Delos W. Lovelace, based on the story by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper and the screenplay by James A. Creelman and Ruth Rose, the SWC edition of King Kong features scenes that didn’t appear in the final cut of the film—including the notorious “spider pit” sequence in which Kong’s human pursuers are attacked by horrific arachnids and insects. What makes our version special is that it contains six exclusive, original black-and-white illustrations by comics artist Paul Tuma, whose pulp-influenced style has appeared in the pages of The Twilight Avenger, Flare, and Dan Turner: Hollywood Detective.

Christmas in July runs through July 31, so head over to the StarWarp Concepts publisher page at DriveThru Comics and start your summer-reading shopping!

Who Are…Gabriel Grub and the Goblins?

Gabriel-Grub-Cvr“Short tales to appease your monstrous hunger for suspense” is how we describe SWC Horror Bites, a series of digest-sized done-in-one stories and short-story collections that will be available in print and e-book formats exclusively from the StarWarp Concepts webstore, and at the conventions we’ll be attending next year.

The series, a mix of new and classic horror stories, kicked off this past February with Clemence Annie Housman’s White Fell—The Werewolf. And, as I told you a couple of days ago, the second title will be Tales to Sorta Tremble By, a 13-story collection available in time for Halloween.

In December, StarWarp Concepts will be releasing a third Horror Bite: Gabriel Grub and the Goblins, a yuletide tale by Charles Dickens, the legendary author of A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield (among others).

“The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton” (also known as “The Goblins and the Sexton”) was first published in 1836 as a chapter of Dickens’s first serialized novel, The Pickwick Papers. It’s not nearly as famous as A Christmas Carol, but it does share the same theme of a bad-tempered loner being forced by supernatural intervention to learn the meaning of Christmas. Scrooge gets the spirits of Christmases past, present, and yet to come (plus the ghost of his old business partner, Marley); Grub gets the goblin king and his subjects.

As for our title change…well, there are three reasons. First, there was something about the triple-G alliterative quality—Gabriel, Grub, Goblins—that appealed to my inner Stan Lee (the real-life Mr. Lee having given us such character names as Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, Reed Richards, Betty Brant, and J. Jonah Jameson). On another level, I thought it had a Harry Potter–esque fantasy vibe that would catch the eye of potential readers. And lastly, most people today would probably have no idea what a sexton is, and might think it was either sextant—the nautical tool used for charting courses—or something related to intercourse.

Here’s the back-cover copy:

Ghosts aren’t the only supernatural creatures with the holiday spirit…

Gabriel Grub hates absolutely everything about Christmas—chestnuts roasting on open fires, yuletide carols being sung by a choir, the tidings of comfort and joy, the belief in peace on Earth and good will toward all men, even the figgy pudding. It’s all…well, if not humbug, then something pretty close to it.

What Gabriel Grub does enjoy, however, is digging graves—it’s not just one of his duties as a church sexton, it’s something that actually brings him a small measure of joy. So with a shovel in one hand and a bottle of gin in the other, he sets out one Christmas Eve to catch up on some work.

But as he will soon discover, the king of the goblins takes an extremely dim view of those who refuse to get into the holiday spirit.

It’s about to become a very memorable Christmas Eve for Gabriel Grub…

Gabriel Grub and the Goblins goes on sale on December 13 exclusively through the StarWarp Concepts webstore, and will be available in print and digital formats.

What Are…Tales to Sorta Tremble By?

“Short tales to appease your monstrous hunger for suspense” is how we describe SWC Horror Bites, a series of digest-sized done-in-one stories and short-story collections that will be available in print and e-book formats exclusively from the StarWarp Concepts webstore, and at the conventions we’ll be attending next year.

whitefell-werewolf-cvrThe series, a mix of new and classic horror stories, kicked off this past February with White Fell—The Werewolf. If you’re unfamiliar with this story by Clemence Annie Housman—regarded by some literary scholars as perhaps the first feminist werewolf tale—here’s the back-cover copy from our edition:

A beautiful woman wanders into a snowbound village—and into the hearts of twin brothers, one of whom immediately becomes smitten by her.

The other brother, however, soon grows suspicious of the enigmatic White Fell. Where did she come from? Why does she always carry an ax? And is her sudden appearance somehow related to the recent sightings of a bloodthirsty wolf in the area?

He may come to regret being so inquisitive…

Tales-Sorta-Tremble-CvrIn October, we’ll be releasing our second title: Tales to Sorta Tremble By, a horror anthology of 13 mini tales that first appeared in 1950s comic books. Here’s the back-cover copy:

The Flower of Evil. Jardini’s Jaw. The Living Brain. The Walking Dead.

These, and many others, are the tales you’ve long forgotten—or never even heard of before. They were the text stories, sometimes written anonymously or pseudonymously, that 1950s comic book publishers inserted in each issue of their macabre series to meet postal mailing requirements in order to be considered magazines.

This collection spotlights a baker’s dozen of those time-lost terror shorts, so gather round the jack-o’-lantern and prepare to be a little bit shocked and a tiny bit horrified by these…TALES TO SORTA TREMBLE BY!

The contents of this anthology are: “The Walking Dead” (a zombie tale), “Jardini’s Jaw” (how can a jawbone talk when it doesn’t have the rest of the head attached to it?!), “The Lonely Place” (a haunted house), “Call for Claws” (kids vs. a homeless guy with a spellbook), “The Land of the Dead” (more of those damned zombies!), “Call of the Werewolf” (I think the title kind of says it all), “The Flower of Evil” (well, there’s this flower, and it’s evil—I’ve said too much!), “The Lady in Black” (a private eye tracks down a man for a mysterious woman), “The Living Brain” (mad scientists and brain transplants—never a good mix), “The Shadow in the Moonlight” (I’m not saying it’s vampires…but it’s vampires), “Death and the Maiden” (a woman attends a party and runs into…guess who?), “Just What the Doctor Ordered” (a study in psychological terror), and “The End of the Line” (sometimes those weird urban legends turn out to be true).

Tales to Sorta Tremble By goes on sale on October 13 (Friday the 13th!) exclusively through the StarWarp Concepts webstore, and will be available in print and digital formats.

Happy Birthday, Ernie Colon!

Ernie-Colon-CoversJuly seems to be Birthday Month in the ’Warp Central offices! This past Monday we celebrated cover painter Bob Larkin’s 68th birthday; and today, it’s comic-art legend Ernie Colon’s 86th!

I’ve known Ernie since the late 1990s, when I was the assistant editor at book packaging company Byron Preiss Visual Publications who’d been handed the editorial reins on a quartet of science-fiction anthology books for middle-grade (ages 8–12) readers. Ernie provided the cover art and interior illustrations for all four: Bruce Coville’s UFOs, Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Bruce Coville’s Strange Worlds, and Bruce Coville’s Shapeshifters. (Bruce, in case you were unaware, is the award-winning author of the My Teacher is an Alien book series.) Ernie later did an illustration for The Ultimate Hulk, another anthology I wound up editing—and even he gave me the original art to keep!

But I was a fan of Ernie’s work long before that. He was the artist of DC Comics’ popular teen-fantasy comic, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and a truckload of titles for all manner of comic publishers during the course of his lengthy career. He’s drawn superheroes and adult fantasy characters, but what fans probably know him best for is his work on Harvey Comics’ kid-friendly Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.

Most recently, he got a “special thanks to…” acknowledgment in the closing credits for the new box-office hit, Spider-Man: Homecoming! See, back in 1988, he and writer Dwayne McDuffie (who passed away in 2011) created Damage Control, the Marvel Comics crew that cleans up all the rubble and ruin generated by superhero battles—and they’ve now made their Marvel movie debut in the latest Spidey flick!

Oh, and he also did a little art wizardry for a little company called StarWarp Concepts…

In The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Ernie teamed up with fan-favorite comics writer (and my old college buddy) Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Action Comics, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) to present “After Hours,” an eight-pager about a demon dropping in at his favorite watering hole after a hard day of scaring the crap out of folks. It’s a lighthearted character piece that Ernie told me he really enjoyed drawing, which meant a lot to Sholly, who’s also a longtime fan of his. You should definitely check it out, by ordering a copy today (said the publisher 😉 ).

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

Ernie doesn’t have a website, so to see more of his amazing work, pay a visit to the incredibly detailed fan site, Ernie Colon Unlimited.

Happy birthday, Ernie!

Happy Birthday, Bob Larkin!

Larkin_photoIf you’re a fan of comic books, or movies, or pulp fiction heroes, Bob Larkin is a painter whose work you recognize immediately; he’s provided covers and movie posters for just about every publishing house and film studio for more than four decades.

His covers for Doc Savage, Dazzler, Star Wars, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian, as well as movie posters for Piranha, Night of the Creeps, and The Toxic Avenger II are just some of the painted images you might already be familiar with, even if you didn’t know they were Larkin’s work. He’s been an inspiration to artists like Joe Jusko and Alex Ross. If you’re a Panatic, then you know him as the cover artist of the Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels Blood Feud and Blood Reign.

And today is his 68th birthday!

SWC_Larkin_SketchbookIt’s not just his painting skills that are impressive—Bob’s also one hell of a pencil artist, as you’ll see if you order a copy of SWC’s The Bob Larkin Sketchbook. It’s a collection of some of Bob’s incredible pencil drawings, and what you’ll discover when you see them is how wide-ranging his subjects are. Sci-fi, horror, Westerns, pulp adventure, crime fiction, movie merchandise, even wrestling stars—as we say on the book’s back cover, there really is little that he hasn’t painted. And the sketchbook features three pieces created especially for it: the Pandora Zwieback cover art; a portrait of Patricia Savage, the fightin’ cousin of pulp fiction’s top-tier adventurer, Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze; and a two-page spread in which Doc faces off against another Golden Age crimefighter—The Shadow!

The Bob Larkin Sketchbook is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

And to see more of Bob’s stunning work, pay a visit to his art blog, Bob Larkin: The Illustrated Man.

Happy birthday, Bob!

My Favorite Issue of Marvel Team-Up

Spidey-Pan-TeamUp

Okay, so maybe it’s not a real comic-book cover—ya got me! But with Spider-Man: Homecoming—the first Spidey film set firmly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—opening in the U.S. today, and both Spidey and Pan hailing from the New York borough of Queens, it only makes sense that they’d get together, right? Especially since the new movie Spidey lives in Pan’s (and StarWarp Concepts’) neighborhood of Sunnyside!

Spider-Man art by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano, from the back cover of 1976’s Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man: The Battle of the Century, one of the greatest team-up stories ever. Pan art by Eliseu Gouveia from The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, our free digital comic (download it today!).

And if you like this heroic meeting, then take a look at this post from June 2015, when Pan novel cover painter Bob Larkin teamed Pan up (at my suggestion) with one of the greatest pulp-era heroes of all time: Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze! Pan sure loves her crossovers!

Happy Fourth of July!

Who says there are no horror tie-ins to America’s birthday? Here are a couple of supernaturally patriotic comic covers to get you into the holiday mood, as America celebrates its 241st today:

ElviraHOM8

Elvira, the Queen of Halloween, does her best impression of the Statue of Liberty for the cover of Elvira’s House of Mystery #8, penciled by Dwight Turner, inked by comic-art legend Dick Giordano (Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Justice League of America), and published by DC Comics in July 1986.

GhostRider-comread132

Holy historical team-ups! The original supernatural version of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, helps Paul Revere spread the word about the advancing British forces, in this cover for the American Bicentennial issue of The Comic Reader, by two comic-art legends: penciler Frank Robbins (Batman, The Invaders, The Shadow) and inker P. Craig Russell (American Gods, Doctor Strange, War of the Worlds).

Makes ya feel proud to be a horror fan, doesn’t it?

Smashwords’ Summer/Winter 2017 E-book Sale Begins

smashwords-logoHey, book lovers! Today’s the day when e-book distributor Smashwords launches its ninth annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, during which you can purchase thousands of digital books at special prices! It runs from July 1 to July 31—and yes, you’ll need to set up an account (it’s free) to take advantage of this promotion. As for why Smashwords gives this event such an unusual name: Because Smashwords serves a global readership where it’s summer in the Northern hemisphere and winter in the Southern hemisphere. So whether you’re looking for a great beach read, or you want to curl up in front of warm fireplace with a great read, we’ve got you covered!”

Included among the many participating publishers is StarWarp Concepts (of course), which means you can get the following titles at 25% off, as long as you make sure to use the specially generated coupon codes when you make your purchase:

blood_feudBlood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is my young adult novel that’s perfect for lovers of dark urban fantasy. It introduces readers to Pandora Zwieback, a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets professional monster hunter Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. In Blood Feud, Pan, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father.

Use Coupon Code ZY37X (not case-sensitive) for Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1.

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrBlood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2: Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. But whose side is going to emerge the victor remains to be seen…

Use Coupon Code KK62H (not case-sensitive) for Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2.

terraTerra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination is our popular how-to book for writers and gamers in which bestselling fantasy author Richard C. White (Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil, The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special, Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings) takes you through the step-by-step process of constructing a world for your characters, from societies and governments to currency and religion. Included is an interview with New York Times bestselling author Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance) that discusses his methods of world building, as well as his creative experiences during his time as a designer for gaming company TSR, the original home of Dungeons & Dragons.

Use Coupon Code UC82A (not case-sensitive) for Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination.

Gold-Pieces-CvrFor a Few Gold Pieces More is Richard C. White’s collection of fantasy short stories. Think Lord of the Rings meets the “spaghetti Westerns” of director Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), as a Rogue With No Name travels a world of epic-fantasy adventure, looking for treasure, romance—and revenge against the woman who sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (but she did).

Use Coupon Code VD68F (not case-sensitive) for For a Few Gold Pieces More.

Again, the Smashwords Summer Sale runs until July 1 to July 31, so head over to the StarWarp Concepts publisher page at Smashwords and start your summer-reading shopping!

Scream Factory Turns This Week Into 5 Nights of Fear

NightbreedposterHorror movie alert! Starting tonight and running through Friday is 5 Nights of Fear, a monsteriffic event from home-entertainment company Shout! Factory to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its Scream Factory imprint. The movies they’ll be showing during the week are:

Monday, June 12: Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: Writer/director/author Clive Barker’s 1990 follow-up to his big-screen directorial debut Hellraiser never reached the pop-culture status of Pinhead’s cinematic adventures, but it still has its fans. Starring Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, and David Cronenberg (acting this time instead of directing), it’s the tale of Aaron Boone, a man who discovers he’s one of the Nightbreed—a race of monsters who’ve hidden their existence from humanity. But the real monster is Aaron’s psychotherapist, who’s a serial killer in his spare time.

bad_moon_xlgTuesday, June 13: Bad Moon: This often-overlooked werewolf film from 1996—based on the novel Thor by Wayne Smith (Thor being the dog in the story)—stars Michael Paré (Streets of Fire) as Ted, the creepy brother of single-mom Mariel Hemingway (Star 80), who’s trying to make ends meet while raising her son. Unfortunately, Ted has a habit of unleashing his murderous inner beast when the moon is full, and the only one who can stop Tedwolf from making a meal of his sister and nephew is Thor, the family German shepherd. Yes, a non-talking dog is the protagonist of this not-for-kids flick that culminates in Ted going full monster, with the best-looking practical-effects werewolf suit I’ve seen since the original Howling.

Wednesday, June 14: The Exorcist III: Author William Peter Blatty didn’t just start the exorcism craze with his 1971 novel The Exorcist (which he then adapted for director William Friedkin’s memorable 1973 film), he also took the director’s reins for this 1990 adaptation of his 1983 sequel novel, Legion. Acting legend George C. Scott (Patton, The Changeling) is Lieutenant Kinderman (played first in The Exorcist by Lee J. Cobb, who died in 1976), who’s investigating a series of gruesome murders that mirror the style of a serial murderer dubbed the Gemini Killer—problem is, Gemini has been dead for seventeen years. The trail of clues leads Kinderman to a psychiatric hospital, and an encounter with another character from the original Exorcist—one everyone thought was dead…

exorcist3Thursday, June 15: Hellhole: This 1985 thriller is one of those exploitative “inmates running the asylum” type of psychiatric institution horror tales. After her mother is murdered by a serial killer named Silk (Ray Sharkey), a traumatized and amnesiac Susan (Judy Landers, a regular of 1980s TV shows) is committed to an institution run by an evilly crazy doctor who likes to perform chemical lobotomies on his patients—and he’s got his sights set on the new girl. And then to make matters worse Silk shows up, looking for Susan…

Friday, June 16: Rabid: Wrapping up the week is this 1977 take on the zombie-epidemic genre by writer/director David Cronenberg (The Fly, The Dead Zone, Videodrome). Rose (played by adult film star Marilyn Chambers) is seriously injured in a traffic accident and undergoes experimental reconstructive surgery, with an unexpected result: it leaves her with an appetite for flesh and blood, and her victims turn into ravenous zombies. It’s as gory and body horror–oriented as you’d expect from a Cronenberg film, so be prepared to look away if you’re not into that kind of stuff!

Of course, the reason for these selections is that all five films are available on DVD and BluRay from Scream Factory, so if you like them enough to want to own them after you’re done watching, they’re not that had to track down. Additionally, Shout! Factory TV has a slew of horror movies you can stream for free right now, including the George Romero/Dario Argento collaboration Two Evil Eyes; Larry Cohen’s Q, The Winged Serpent (one of my favorites, about a monster living in NYC’s Chrysler Building); and episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Elvira’s Movie Macabre.

5 Nights of Fear starts each night at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Shout! Factory TV and Pluto TV Channel 512. For more information, visit the Shout! Factory TV website.

Even a Mummy Can Use a Hand, Sometimes

Mummy-HandAs I mentioned yesterday, today’s the U.S. release of The Mummy, Universal Studios’ new take on their old horror-movie franchise. So with that in mind, I figured it’d be the perfect time to reach into the horror-comic archives and pull out a classic one-page tale of the bandaged dead: “The Mummy’s Hand”! Click on the image to embiggen, as they say.

First published in Star Publications’ Ghostly Weird Stories #120 (cover-dated September 1953), “The Mummy’s Hand” was written, drawn, and colored by New Jersey native Jay Disbrow, a cult-favorite comics artist who passed away on May 2nd of this year, at the age of 91. The height of his popularity came during the 1950s, when horror comics were all the rage and Disbrow got to draw all sorts of weird and creepy monsters until the censor-heavy Comics Code Authority came along and put an end to the fun (but not for long!). But the CCA didn’t put an end to Dusbrow’s talents—he kept writing and drawing his own indie comics right up to 2005, creating such sci-fi characters as Captain Electron, Aroc of Zenith, and Lance Carrigan of the Galactic Legion.