Watching Carmilla Become One of The Vampire Lovers

Vampire_lovers_posterTo celebrate this year’s 145th anniversary of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic vampire classic, Carmilla, Pan’s publisher, over at the StarWarp Concepts blog I’ve started a series of blog posts in which I’m reviewing various adaptations (comics, films, TV) of this strange and creepy paranormal romance.

Today I’m taking a look at The Vampire Lovers, the 1970 Hammer Films version starring Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla and veteran actor Peter Cushing (whom you younger Panatics might recognize as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope and—in CG form—in the recent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). Head over to today’s post at the SWC blog and check it out!

If you’re unfamiliar with what is probably Le Fanu’s most famous work, here’s the back-cover copy from the StarWarp Concepts edition:

Carmilla_CoverBefore Edward and Bella, before Lestat and Louis, even before Dracula and Mina, there was the vampiric tale of Carmilla and Laura.

Living with her widowed father in a dreary old castle in the woods of Styria, Laura has longed to have a friend with whom she can confide; a friend to bring some excitement to her pastoral lifestyle. And then Carmilla enters her life.

Left by her mother in the care of Laura’s father, Carmilla is young, beautiful, playful—everything that Laura had hoped to find in a companion. In fact, the lonely girl is so thrilled to have a new friend that she is willing to overlook the dark-haired beauty’s strange actions…which include a disturbing, growing obsession for her lovely hostess.

Carmilla, it seems, desires more than just friendship from Laura….

Carmilla—the SWC edition, featuring six original illustrations by artist Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1)—is available in print and digital formats, so visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information.

Simian Saturdays Climbs the World Trade Center with King Kong 1976

KingKong-1976Over at the StarWarp Concepts blog, it’s the second installment of Simian Saturdays, a series of reviews I’m doing that examine the movies (and other media) that focused on King Kong, the giant monkey who’s captured generations of monster fans’ hearts. It’s part of the SWC countdown to the March 7 release of King Kong, the next addition to its Illustrated Classics library.

Last week, I reviewed the original King Kong, from 1933. Today, it’s the 1976 remake of King Kong, starring Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Jeff Bridges (Iron Man), Charles Grodin (Midnight Run), and effects master Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London) as the big ape with the deadly obsession for blond-haired actresses. Go give it a read!

king-kong-cvrKing Kong (the SWC Illustrated Classic) is an e-book-only release that will reintroduce monster fans to the 1932 novelization of the original movie classic. 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, it includes 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. The SWC version features six 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.

King Kong goes on sale on March 7, 2017. In the meantime, visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for further information.

StarWarp Concepts Looks at a Creepy Carmilla Adaptation

Carmilla_CoverHey, vampire fans! To celebrate this year’s 145th anniversary of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic vampire classic, Carmilla, Pan’s publisher, over at the StarWarp Concepts blog I’ve started a series of blog posts in which I’m reviewing various adaptations (comics, films, TV) of this strange and creepy paranormal romance. We’re starting with a comic version that ran in Creepy #19, released in 1968 by Warren Publications, the original home of Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters of Filmland. Head over to today’s post at the SWC blog and check it out!

If you’re unfamiliar with what is probably Le Fanu’s most famous work, here’s the back-cover copy from the StarWarp Concepts edition:

Before Edward and Bella, before Lestat and Louis, even before Dracula and Mina, there was the vampiric tale of Carmilla and Laura.

Living with her widowed father in a dreary old castle in the woods of Styria, Laura has longed to have a friend with whom she can confide; a friend to bring some excitement to her pastoral lifestyle. And then Carmilla enters her life.

Left by her mother in the care of Laura’s father, Carmilla is young, beautiful, playful—everything that Laura had hoped to find in a companion. In fact, the lonely girl is so thrilled to have a new friend that she is willing to overlook the dark-haired beauty’s strange actions…which include a disturbing, growing obsession for her lovely hostess.

Carmilla, it seems, desires more than just friendship from Laura….

Carmilla—the SWC edition, featuring six original illustrations by artist Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1)—is available in print and digital formats, so visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information.

SWC Spotlights Author Clemence Annie Housman

whitefell-werewolf-cvrOver at the StarWarp Concepts blog, in honor of February being Women in Horror Month, I shine the spotlight on author and artist Clemence Annie Housman, who was not only the author of the debut SWC Horror Bites title White Fell—The Werewolf, but a leading member of the suffragette movement that led to women obtaining the right to vote in the United Kingdom.

White Fell—The Werewolf, originally published in 1896, concerns a beautiful woman named White Fell who 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…

White Fell—The Werewolf is on sale right now in print and digital formats, so visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for further information and order it today!

Simian Saturdays Looks at the First King Kong

king_kong_ver7Over at the StarWarp Concepts blog, today is the premiere installment of Simian Saturdays, a series of reviews I’m doing that examine the movies (and other media) that focused on King Kong, the giant monkey who’s captured generations of monster fans’ hearts over eight-plus decades. It’s part of the SWC countdown to the March 7 release of King Kong, the latest addition to its Illustrated Classics library.

For my first review, I take a look at the movie that started it all: the original, 1933 version of King Kong, starring Fay Wray as heroine Ann Darrow, Robert Armstrong as showman Carl Denham, and Bruce Cabot as Ann’s love interest, Jack Driscoll. Makes sense, right? So head on over to the SWC blog for Simian Saturdays, Episode 1—whether or not you’ve ever seen the original Kong, you might learn a thing or two!

king-kong-cvrKing Kong (the SWC Illustrated Classic) is an e-book-only release that will reintroduce monster fans to the 1932 novelization of the original movie classic. 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, it includes 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. The SWC version features six 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.

King Kong goes on sale on March 7, 2017. In the meantime, visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for further information.

StarWarp Concepts Celebrates Carmilla’s 145th Anniversary

Carmilla_CoverHey, vampire fans! Did you know that 2017 is the 145th anniversary of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic vampire classic, Carmilla? Well, now you do!

To celebrate that milestone, Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts—who has an Illustrated Classics edition available through its webstore—is running a series of blog posts next week in which I’ll be reviewing various adaptations (comics, films, TV) of this strange and creepy paranormal romance.

If you’re unfamiliar with what is probably Le Fanu’s most famous work, here’s the back-cover copy from the StarWarp Concepts edition:

Before Edward and Bella, before Lestat and Louis, even before Dracula and Mina, there was the vampiric tale of Carmilla and Laura.

Living with her widowed father in a dreary old castle in the woods of Styria, Laura has longed to have a friend with whom she can confide; a friend to bring some excitement to her pastoral lifestyle. And then Carmilla enters her life.

Left by her mother in the care of Laura’s father, Carmilla is young, beautiful, playful—everything that Laura had hoped to find in a companion. In fact, the lonely girl is so thrilled to have a new friend that she is willing to overlook the dark-haired beauty’s strange actions…which include a disturbing, growing obsession for her lovely hostess.

Carmilla, it seems, desires more than just friendship from Laura….

Carmilla—the SWC edition, featuring six original illustrations by artist Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1)—is available in print and digital formats, so visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information.

This Weekend, Get Ready for Simian Saturdays!

Simian-Saturdays-logoSimian Saturdays? “What kind of alliterative title is that?” you ask. “I bet it’s got something to do with monkeys!”

And you’d be right, although it doesn’t have anything to do with the kind of mythological orang pendek that Pan ran into in the pages of her first novel, Blood Feud (although she’d probably continue mispronouncing it as “orange pendant” if it did).

No, Simian Saturdays is a series of posts that start this weekend at the StarWarp Concepts blog in which I’ll be examining the movies (and other media) that’s focused on King Kong, the giant monkey who’s captured generations of monster fans’ hearts (like yours and mine) over the past eighty-plus years.

It’s part of the countdown that Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, is hosting that leads to their March 7th release of King Kong, the next addition to the Illustrated Classics library (the other titles being Edgar Rice Burroughs’s sci-fi adventure A Princess of Mars, J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire romance Carmilla, and the Brothers Grimm’s Snow White).

king-kong-cvrKing Kong is an e-book-only release that will reintroduce monster fans to the 1932 novelization of the original movie classic. 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, it includes 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. The SWC version features six 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.

As a monster fan, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the beauty-and-the-beast story of Kong and his “love interest,” Ann Darrow (who was played in the 1933 original by the queen of the scream queens, Fay Wray). But for those who aren’t, here’s the back-cover copy to bring you up-to-date:

Ann Darrow was a down-on-her-luck actress struggling to survive in Depression-era New York when she met moviemaker Carl Denham. He offered her the starring role in his latest film: a documentary about a long-lost island—and the godlike ape named Kong rumored to live there. Denham needed a beauty as a counterpart to the beast he hoped to find, and Ann was the answer to his prayers.

Mystery, romance, a chance to turn her life around, even the possibility of stardom—to Ann, it sounded like the adventure of a lifetime! But what she didn’t count on were the horrific dangers that awaited her on Skull Island—including the affections of a love-struck monster . . .

To kick off Simian Saturdays, I figured what would be better than a look at the movie that launched a monster legend: the original King Kong. So head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog this Saturday and check out my review, and then drop by it every Saturday to see what else Kong-related material I’ve dug up—the list keeps growing!

King Kong (the SWC Illustrated Classic) goes on sale on March 7, 2017. In the meantime, visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for further information.

SWC Horror Bites: White Fell: The Werewolf Now On Sale!

whitefell-werewolf-cvrHey, Panatics! As you know, February is Women in Horror Month, the annual celebration that shines the spotlight on the contributions of all the female creators—writers, artists, movie directors, producers, special makeup artists, special effects experts, etc.—who’ve brought thrills and chills to generations of fans around the world.

To do its part for the celebration, the literary researchers at Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, scoured the classic horror archives to find a title that not only would fit the occasion, but that would also make a fantastic launch title for its newly launched SWC Horror Bites series of chapbooks. And now it’s on sale!

White Fell—The Werewolf, originally published in 1896, was written by renowned author, artist, and suffragette Clemence Annie Housman, and is regarded by scholars as possibly the first feminist werewolf story. In it, a beautiful woman named White Fell 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…

Critics have consistently enjoyed it, right from its first publication—including a certain writer whose work has inspired generations of horror authors:

“Attains a high degree of gruesome tension.”H. P. Lovecraft

“An elegant, bittersweet story of twin brothers and the beautiful woman who comes between them. Housman effectively creates an atmosphere of dread and horror.”Goodreads

“For Housman, the female werewolf is a vehicle for her to present a strong feminist-inspired female character…. It is possible that Housman was telling the world that women had a hidden strength and that men should beware of their own hidden nature.”
The Nuke Mars Journal of Speculative Fiction

“White Fell is interesting because she subverts many of the tropes of the monstrous woman—i.e without maternal instincts, animalistic, lustful, etc. She is a femme fatale only in the most basic sense that she is a deadly woman.” International Gothic Association

White Fell—The Werewolf is on sale right now in print and digital formats, so visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for further information and order it today!

It’s Take Your Child to the Library Day 2017!

ghostbusters+library+sceneHey, book lovers and parents of book lovers! Today’s the sixth annual celebration of Take Your Child to the Library Day. To quote their website:

“Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library. Launched in 2011 right here in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, TYCLD raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child, and promotes library services and programs for children and families.”

Before the Internet, libraries were the source for information and reading, and these days they can use our support. So head out tomorrow, introduce your children to that big brick building with all the free books to borrow, update the library card that’s been stuck in the back of your wallet for all these years, and renew your acquaintance with a vital partner in the ongoing literacy campaign.

For more information, including the list of participating libraries, visit the TYCLD website.

SWC Horror Bites Coming from StarWarp Concepts

Hey, horror fans, Pan’s publisher is launching a new chapbook series next week, called SWC Horror Bites. Here’s the official press release, so you’ll know what’s coming this year—it’s some good stuff!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STARWARP CONCEPTS OFFERS READERS SOME TASTY “SWC HORROR BITES”

whitefell-werewolf-cvr“Short tales to appease your monstrous hunger for suspense” is how StarWarp Concepts publisher Steven Roman describes SWC Horror Bites, a new chapbook series that the company will launch on February 7, 2017. The series, a mix of new and classic horror stories, will be available in print and e-book formats exclusively from the SWC webstore, and at the conventions that StarWarp Concepts attends.

The SWC Horror Bites debut title is White Fell—The Werewolf. Originally published in 1896 as The Were-wolf, it was written by renowned author, artist, and suffragette Clemence Annie Housman, and is regarded by scholars as perhaps the first feminist werewolf story. In it, a beautiful woman named White Fell 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-CvrThe anthology Tales to Sorta Tremble By, scheduled for release in October and edited by Roman, will be the second Horror Bite. During the 1950s, comic book publishers were required to include text pages in their releases if they wanted their publications to meet U.S. postal requirements as magazines. They solved this problem by running mini prose stories, one to two pages in length, in their comics. Tales to Sorta Tremble By collects thirteen of those stories, with subjects ranging from vampires and werewolves to evil killer plants and mean-tempered zombies.

The third Horror Bite for 2017 is Gabriel Grub and the Goblins. Before miserly Ebenezer Scrooge had a run-in with ghosts in the pages of A Christmas Carol, author Charles Dickens wrote The Pickwick Papers, in which he introduced readers to Gabriel Grub, a foul-tempered gravedigger sorely lacking in the Christmas spirit. But all that changes when he draws the attention—and the ire—of the Goblin King, who sets about teaching Grub the error of his ways.

Gabriel-Grub-CvrWhite Fell—The Werewolf debuts on February 7, 2017, during StarWarp Concepts’ recognition of Women in Horror Month. Tales to Sorta Tremble By rises from the crypt on October 13, 2017 (Friday the 13th). And Gabriel Grub and the Goblins arrives on December 13, 2017.

For more information, please visit www.StarwarpConcepts.com.

About the Books:
White Fell—The Werewolf
by Clemence Annie Housman
Published by StarWarp Concepts
48 pages, chapbook (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $4.00 (print edition) • $1.99 (digital)
On sale February 7, 2017

Tales to Sorta Tremble By
Edited by Steven A. Roman
Published by StarWarp Concepts
52 pages, chapbook (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $4.00 (print edition) • $1.99 (digital)
On sale October 13, 2017

Gabriel Grub and the Goblins
by Charles Dickens
Published by StarWarp Concepts
24 pages, chapbook (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $3.00 (print edition) • $1.50 (digital)
On sale December 13, 2017