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Archive for June 18th, 2008

Filthy Creations 3

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Steve Goodwin & Rog Pile (eds.) – Filthy Creations #3 (Autumn-Winter, 2007)

Filthy Creations 3

Rog Pile

Franklin Marsh – Better To Travel Hopefully
Coral King – Heads Or Tails
Daniel McGachey – The Mound
Noah Brown – Daemonia Of Swan-man
Peter Coady – The Standing Man
Craig Herbertson – Strange Fruit
Franklin Marsh – The Horror Of Dreadstone Moor [Part III]

Feeding time with the alligators: a cheerful, protective shrunken head with a strong sense of right and wrong: Jamesian shudders with a mobile burial mound: unflinching “let’s go kill some swans!” action: a permanent holiday in limbo, and the Southern trees once again bear a strange fruit now the sun-shield’s have failed ….

Business as usual at Filthy Creations!

Franklin Marsh – Better To Travel Hopefully …: Tasty tropical chiller. Experienced hit-man Dalrymple is hired by powerful businessman Stevenson to kill his wife, Ivana, who’s taken up refuge with her Indian servant in the Amazon jungle. Dalrymple hasn’t a prayer. Ivana is clairvoyant and saw him coming as, indeed, she has his several predecessors. She has a tried and trusted method for getting rid of these “little nuisances” ….

Franklin is also represented by part three of his black sorcery epic, The Horror Of Dreadstone Moor. In this episode, Ripton and his uncle Gregory recruit everybody’s favourite Rocking Reverend, Vic “The Riff” Riffle to their campaign versus the cannibalistic Grubblings. Ripton also gets to follow top Goth Elizabeth’s “amazing black satin-clad rear down the stairs” as they set off for the Amazing Henna Kaleidoscope gig in the village, so things are finally looking up for him in that department, too.

Coral King – Heads Or Tails: Pregnant Rebecca, verbally, physically and sexually abused by the domineering man in her life, is befriended by JoJo, a chatty shrunken head she inadvertently picked up at the village greengrocer’s. JoJo successfully oversees the birth of her son, then fixes it that neither Bec nor the boy will endure Mr. Hobson any longer.

Something of an emotional roller-coaster. The amiable head gets all the best dialogue and is as amusing as the bully’s antics are deeply unpleasant to read. It’s unfair to spoil the ending so let’s just say I didn’t see it coming.

Daniel McGachey – The Mound: “Mr. Elmsmore instantly had the impression that what he was looking at was, in fact, a grave; an unmarked burial mound that, night after night, approached that degree closer to the house or, and Elmsmore, would never normally be described as a superstitious man, encroached upon one of the houses inhabitants”.

Everything is rosy for Mr. Elmsmore since his head gardener, Mr. Galton, drained and sealed the old well in the garden. It wasn’t a pleasant job, what with all the gnawed bones Galton and his assistants found down there, some of them worryingly human looking. Elmsmore becomes increasingly obsessed with the shifting hump until one night he can take it no longer and, armed with a torch and shovel, he gets stuck into a moonlight dig …

Dan’s work revives the spirit of the much-missed M.R. James freak’s bible, Ghosts & Scholars. It’s unlikely that our next contributor would ever have troubled it’s hallowed pages because it’s ….

Noah Brown – Daemonia Of Swan-Man: Whenever I’ve read him, Bushwick’s work always puts me in mind of Jim Thirlwell in his You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath incarnation. There’s no messing about: it is straight on through to the heart of darkness, ugly stories that want to be loathed. This time out we have a four year old boy accompanying his dad on a search and mission in the van. They are off to kill some swans because, when he was his son’s age, dad was raped by a swan-human hybrid and he hates the “evil cunts”. If I say that the least disturbing thing about this story is Dad’s choice of motivational music – a bloody Saxon cassette! – you’ll know that this gets very nasty indeed. And how evil is that kiss off? Truly f**k**g remarkable.

Peter Coady – The Standing Man: Not a story that lends itself to the demonik smash and grab “then this happened, then that happened ….” school of boring review as it’s all mood. The standing man is truly suspended in dusk, not yet dead but you’d hardly call it living.

Craig Herbertson – Strange Fruit: After the Silo Wars, the surviving humans put their synthetic slaves to work on farms much as the zombies were reputed to toil in the cane fields of Haiti. Occasionally, one of these Straw Men will go wild and then there’s trouble. The narrator, locally unpopular for his stance on Straw Men’s rights, accompanies his friend, Solon, to Colonel Chevalis’s estate after his children have been ritually mutilated by one such renegade. Chevalis is unusually acquiescent when Solon requests permission to hunt for the killer on his property.

There’s a horrible significance in the choice of title.

Had a most enjoyable three quarters of an hour reacquainting myself with #3. Without wishing to do an injustice to either project by lumping them together, the FC‘s are the ideal companion to Charles’ Black Books Of Horror.

See also the Filthy 3 thread on Vault of Evil

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Paul Gravett – Mammoth Best Crime Comics

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Paul Gravett (ed.) The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics (Robinsons, 2008)


Cover design by Peter Stanbury: Illustration by Jordi Bernet

Here is the first ever popular collection of crime comics – the 24 best graphic short stories in the crime genre, spanning all the colours of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces.

This must-have collection is fully loaded with some of the greatest writers and artists in comics publishing, including Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, Johnny Craig, Alex Toth, Joe Kubert, Bernie Krigstein – plus adaptations of/collaborations by famous crime writers, such as Dashiel Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Lesley Charteris and Raymond Chandler.

Meet a gallery of hard-boiled, iconic heroes and killers inside including:Dashiell Hammett’s smooth operator Secret Agent X-9, Will Eisner’s masked mystery man The Spirit, Mickey Spillane’s heavyweight tough-guy Mike Hammer, Muñoz and Sampayo’s brooding ex-cop Alack Sinner, Abuli and Bernet’s venal hitman-for-hire Torpedo 1936, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty’s femme fatale investigator Ms. Tree, and Charles Burns’ Mexican wrestler and defective detective El Borbah.

About the Author:

Paul Gravett is the leading light in the UK comics industry. Freelance journalist, curator, and broadcaster, he has worked in comics publishing and promotion for over 20 years. He writes for publications as diverse as the Guardian, Bookseller and Comics International; and is author of Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics and Graphic Novels; Stories to Change Your Life.

Published by Robinson 18 July 2008, paperback, £12.99

I don’t do “bedside books” because I’m always far too busy having sex, but let’s pretend for a moment that I was like you poor fellows who lead a life of solitary vice and, most likely, wear pyjamas and comfy tartan slippers; then I’d have no hesitation in snuggling up in bed with a steaming hot cup of cocoa and a copy of The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics because it’s epic!

Only intended to flick through it for the time being but I wasn’t reckoning with the irresistible pull of Jack Cole’s drug soaked Murder, Morphine And Me (True Crimes, 1948), masked wrestler El Bordah (reluctantly dragging himself away from his copy of Bongo Butt magazine to investigate a bad show at the Sperm Bank in Charles Burns’ Love In Vein, 1987) and the squelchy horrors of Johnny Craig’s suitably malodorous The Sewer (William M. Gaines’ Crime Suspense Stories, 1951).

Ruthless Mr. Big’s, ultra-violent hoods, double-dealing dames, unscrupulous PI’s, cops of all stripe, stacked broads, the occasional juvenile delinquent – they’re all present and up to no good. I’ve not spotted any blackmailer’s or fat guys called ‘Mo’ yet, but chances are they’re in here. When I get time, I’ll try and give you the full table of contents for this and the companion volume of sorts – Mammoth Horror Comics – but hopefully this taster will at least give you some idea of the sickly treats in store.

Thanks, Sam!

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Paul Bibeau – Sundays With Vlad

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Paul Bibeau – Sundays With Vlad (Constable, 2008)


Cover design and illustration by

From Pennsylvania to Transylvania. One Man’s Quest to Live in the World of the Undead


As if visiting the dentally challenged lord of the night’s castle weren’t enough, vampire enthusiast Paul Bibeau digs through Bram Stoker’s original manuscript, meets with the president of the Dracula Fan Club and even marches in the Transylvania Day Parade as a giant garlic bulb – all part of his quest to reach the stone-cold heart of vampiredom.

From the moment his older sister jumped him, baring her glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs, Paul Bibeau was hooked. You could say this traumatic childhood experience scarred him for life – he began to develop an ever-deepening obsession with the Undead. Years later, his fixation led him to revise his honeymoon plans, persuading his unsuspecting wife to take a trip to Wallachia, Romania and the legendary lair of Dracula – the towering castle of Vlad the Impaler.

Clutching his guidebook like a bible, Bibeau sets off on an alarming but comic journey into the dark history of his hero.

Wasn’t sure where to put this on the forum as it’s tagged ‘Travel’, but it features a Dracula obsessive, reflects on the Ceausescu and ‘the Prez’  tyrannies and hauls in several vampire scene *ahem* “personalities” for interrogation (if they’re anything like the one’s of my acquaintance, the challenge is to get them to talk about something, ANYTHING other than themselves for ten seconds), so I guess it warrants a plug on Vault and besides, I like the retro cover a lot!

Three chapters in , and it all becomes clear. Mr. Bibeau’s travelogue is the latest in a fairly recent tradition that includes Rosemary Guiley’s Vampires Among Us, Norine Dresser’s American Vampires, MS Carol Page’s incendiary Blood Lust, Tony Thorpe’s Children Of The Night, Arlene ‘Bite Me!’ Russo’s *ahem* “disappointing” Vampire Nation and Kathleen Ramsland’s Piercing The Darkness – books which purport to make sense of the vampire subculture and often provide details of the author’s expeditions to Transylvania, New York, Whitby and (for the more adventurous) a fetish club.

Autumn 1999 and the honeymooning Paul and Anne Bibeau are being questioned by machine gun-toting guards at Bucharest airport. How did it come to this? Paul traces it back to his childhood and the day his big sister crawled from out of his dresser wearing glow-in-the-dark fangs. The experience sent him off on one and he’s never really come back.

He ain’t exactly Ripton Torn but I think many Vault people will recognise something of themselves in Mr. Bibeau. He was the weird kid at school, obsessed with all things monsters and the Leonard Nimoy hosted In Search Of “documentaries”: He’d ransack the local library for books on the supernatural (“factual”, preferably as he found horror fiction boring). A few years down the line he took the vampire in folklore for his independent study course and hosted a slide-show on his very topic in the same building. After college he took a job on a West Point (Virginia) newspaper, became an amateur ghost hunter and investigated unexplained phenomena, etc., etc. …. and then he proposed to a drop dead smart lawyer who looks nice in her business suits.

In the circumstances, a Honeymoon in Vlad country was inevitable

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Anon – Sweeney Todd or, The String Of Pearls

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Anonymous – Sweeney Todd or, The String Of Pearls (Wordsworth Editions, 2007)


Cover Design by Robert Mathias, Publishing Workshop.
Cover Illustration, David with the Head of Goliath, a detail of the head, 1606 (oil on canvas) by Michelangelo Merisa da Caravaggio (1571-1610) Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy
Bridgeman Art Library, London

With an introduction and Bibliography by Dick Collins:


A distraught Johanna Oakley wanders the streets of London seeking news of her missing fiance, Mark Ingestrie. She is befriended by Colonel Jeffrey, who is searching for his lost friend Thornhill, last seen in Sweeney Todd’s Fleet Street barber-shop. Todd’s apprentice, Tobias Ragg, is struggling to break free from his terrifying and sadistic master, while the barber himself is frantically trying to sell a string of pearls. Meanwhile, just around the corner in Bell Yard, the enigmatic Jarvis Williams has landed himself a fine job — making the most delicious pies in London, to Mrs Lovett’s secret recipe…

The String of Pearls – the original tale of Sweeney Todd, a classic of British horror – was first published as a weekly serial in 1846-47 by Edward Lloyd, the King of the Penny Dreadfuls. One of the earliest detective stories, it became an important source for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After 157 years of obscurity, it appears here for the first time in book form.

The String Of Pearls is usually credited to Thomas Peckett Prest, but Dick Collins is having none of it! His introductory essay is as welcome as the book itself and he makes a good argument for three – possibly four – authors taking turns at contributing chapters. According to Mr. Collins, the fact that almost everyone has credited the story to Prest is all the fault of “that worst of critics” Montague Summers who certainly has plenty of previous. I mean, far be it from me to accuse anyone of sloppy research but you’re advised to double-check any of “Dear Old Monty’s” “facts” because he’s about as reliable as your average Wikpedia entry.

Rare books reissued at budget prices – in paperback! If any publishers deserve our support it is Wordsworth.

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forthcoming publications from Constable-Robinson

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Exciting forcoming publications from Constable-Robinson include a posthumous Peter Haining collection on …. what else? True Hauntings!



Trisha Telep (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (July, 2008)

Paranormal romance is a supernatural force to be reckoned with. Although packed with a menagerie of werewolves, shapeshifters and assorted demons, its undisputed king is none other than our favourite centuries-old bloodsucker – the vampire.

We’re now living in a post-Buffy world of dark urban fantasy à la Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s irresistible Dark Hunters and the blood-lusting soul mates of Christine Feehan.

But it doesn’t stop there. This Mammoth collection opens a vein to reveal the mind-boggling scope of the supercharged phenomenon created when vampires met romance.

Let the biggest and brightest names in the paranormal romance business take you hot on the haemoglobin trail of the sexiest creatures of the night. Witness the bewildering array of complex vampire codes of conduct, dark ritual and dating practices, as they chat up the locals and engage in the most erotic encounters you will sink your teeth into this side of un-Death. These ain’t your mother’s vampires!.

Peter Haining (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings (October, 2008)

This giant collection includes a huge range of 20th-century first-hand accounts of hauntings, such as the American troops who repeatedly saw the ghosts of a dead platoon of men while on patrol in Vietnam; and the witnessed haunting of a house near Tintagel in Cornwall that led actress Kate Winslet to pull out of buying the property.

It covers the full spectrum of credible hauntings, from poltergeists (the noisy, dangerous and frightening spirits that are usually associated with pubescent girls, like the Bell Witch), to phantoms (like the Afrits of Saudi Arabia) and seduction spirits (such as the Lorelei, which have lured German men to death).

Also included are the notes of the most famous ghost hunters of the twentieth century such as Hans Holzer, Susy Smith (USA); Harry Price, Jenny Randles (UK); Joyce Zwarycz (Australia), Eric Rosenthal (South Africa), and Hwee Tan (Japan).

Plus essays by such names as Robert Graves, Edgar Cayce, and M. R. James outlining their own – often extraordinary – conclusions as to just what ghosts might be; along with a full bibliography and list of useful resources.

[image] Mammoth Best New Horror 19

David Kendall (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics (October, 2008)

You can’t keep a good (or bad) corpse down, and they rise up in spectacular form in this new collection.

The mindless, shambling zombies of yesteryear are rapidly being replaced by sprinters and runners with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. These days zombies are the rock and roll of horror monsters.

Presenting a mix of voodoo victims, creepy somnambulists, and flesh eating, rock n roll deadheads, The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics brings you the best the graveyard can give. From film sources and literary sources to some very strange sources, here over 20 of the best zombie comics ever produced.

They include the first Vince Locke Deadworld comic, Scott Hampton’s awesome adaptation of RE Howard’s Pigeons From Hell, plus stories from Steve Niles, Darko Macan, and many, many more.

If it’s dead, moving and hungry, you’ll find it here!

Currently Available

Jon Lewis – The Mammoth Book of Boys Own Stuff
Maxim Jakubowski – The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper
Peter Normanton – The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics
Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories
Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings
Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories
Arthur Veno – The Mammoth Book of Bikers
Stephen Jones – The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 18
Stephen Jones – The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 17
Stephen Jones – The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 16
Stephen Jones – The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 15
Stephen Jones – The Mammoth Book of Monsters

How to spot a Robinson’s Mammoth

1. It will have the word ‘Mammoth’ included in the title.

Robinson Logo

Fig. A

2. There will be a ‘Robinsons’ logo on the spine (see Fig. A).

A randomly selected ‘Mammoth’ cover to further assist you in identifying one.


Thanks to Sam at Constable-Robinson!

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