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Highbrow Horror

Jan 19, 2019

I’m remembering a videogame called "The Last of Us." On the surface, it's a game about a man and a child traveling across the country after something like a zombie-outbreak destroys conventional society. The story had the twists and turns of any good narrative where the flawed heroic characters began an emotional journey in one place and ended in another. It was a fictional work featuring an ever-present threat of undead, but the game was at its scariest when the characters had to interact with each other – the often flawed humans whose moral integrity was absent in a disorganized world. The threat of Ellie getting kidnapped and raped by gangs of bandits pervaded every step into uncharted territory. And that’s what it felt like to be a part of the world presented in “The Last of Us” – endangered and vulnerable. The truth in that work of fiction plays in our world so well because the scariest component of the game – predatory humans – was also the most unnecessary and preventable part of that world. More so, it was the part of that world that most mirrors our own. Zombies aside, how long would it take for a society to unravel if its people were to lose their faith in the system that binds them? Our history books might offer some answers.

Some people struggle with fiction as a genre. I think their concern is that if the content they are reading or watching (or otherwise) is not based on something real, then what’s the point? If the emotions they feel as an audience member are not in response to something historical or factual, then does it make their experience inauthentic? But our textbooks, with their nuanced terms and dry descriptions, fail to convey any felt sense of the chaos and horror of the world they seek to record. In contrast, good art – in any form – touches upon and reveals to us the truths of our subjective human experience. You see, we can find our reflections in all things in this world, but sometimes it takes something otherworldly to most confront us with ourselves.

Keep it spooky,

-HvW

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Vampira!

Jan 13, 2019

Before there was Elvira, Svengoolie, or even the Cryptkeeper, there was Mailia Nurmi as Vampira - the world's very first "horror host." And, I'm excited to share my Carl Shears original Vampira charcoal drawing with you.

Carly does wicked custom art, makeup, and hair. If you're in the Chicagoland area, check her out at vitoanthonysalon.com or on Instagram.

To learn more about Vampira, check out this interesting documentary about her called "Vampira and Me" here

Keep it spooky,

-HvW

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A Review in Scream Magazine

Jan 07, 2019

I am excited to announce that Screams Before Dawn was reviewed in the 52nd issue of Scream magazine! You can check them out here: https://www.screamhorrormag.com/

They wrote, “This anthology comprising of an array of gruesome and entertaining stories hits the sweet spot, making for solid bedtime reading during these dark winter nights.” They called the book, "[...] an engaging page turner with a variety of stories that offer something different each time."

You can also find an ad for the book in the same issue right after their article on the “Halloween” movies. It’s an honor to be featured right next to a headshot of my longtime friend and confidant, Michael Myers.

For those of you in the US, stop by your local Barnes and Noble or Books a Million to check it out! Canadians can find it at Chapters/Indigo stores, and our fiends in the UK can find it at Eason, WH Smith, or Forbidden Planet stores or at any independent Newsagent.

Keep it spooky,

-HvW

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Welcome to 2019.

Jan 01, 2019

Tabula Rasa: we begin the year with a fresh start and a clean slate. For me, the turning of the calendar page calls for an inventory of sorts – a meeting with those blasted skeletons hanging in the closet. “New Year’s” is a holiday that always felt like a promise that bit off more than it could chew. For all the firework explosions and kisses at midnight, there’s also a lot of vomit in the street, so to speak. Nonetheless, I like to start my new years with a resolution, and my resolution for 2019 is to spread more cheer! How are we doing on that so far? [insert grin here]

I have to admit that 2018 was good to me. I saw the launch of my book, Screams Before Dawn, and I had the honor of meeting several of my heroes – from Kane Hodder and John Kassir to Nim Vind and Argyle Goolsby. And, in-between all of that, I managed to finally defeat Dracula in CastleVania III, thus ending a 20-year endeavor. But, 2018 wasn’t all accolades; we lost several heroes too – including Anthony Bourdain, the incredible Stan Lee, and J-sin Trioxin of Mister Monster. As we move into 2019, we appreciate where we’ve been while we look ahead to where we’ll go next.

On that note, this start of the new year serves as an opportunity for me to refine the scope of this blog – to increase the breadth and depth of the content we examine here. To that, I say cheers, happy new year, and...

Keep it spooky,

-HvW

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