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Archive for June 19th, 2008

Filthy Creations 4

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Rog Pile & Steve Goodwin (eds.) – Filthy Creations 4 (May 2008)

Filthy Creations 4

‘All Souls’ Day’ by Witold Pruszkowski

Sean Parker – Character
Noah Brown – The Snakes Inside
John Kenneth Dunham – The Lodge
Caroline Callaghan – Phone Number
Charles Black – Holding On
Franklin Marsh – The Horror Of Dreadstone Moor: Part V
Rog Pile – Bait
D. F. Lewis – Ghost Hunters

Verse by Virginia Powell
Art by Rog Pile & John Kenneth Dunham

Just arrived! See the Filthy Creations #4 thread on Vault of Evil!

£2.50 (including P&P), made out to R Pile

46 Trenoweth Estate
North Country
Cornwall TR16 4AH

All apologies! Long-overdue review of the truly great Filth 4 to follow just as soon as I come up with something that doesn’t read as dreadfully as my three attempts to date! You think the rest of this blog is awfully written ? Trust me, this is the “better” stuff …. :(

Posted in Filthy Creations, Magazines, small press | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Peter Normanton – Mammoth Best Horror Comics

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Peter Normanton (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics (Robinson, 2008)


That line-up in full!

Peter Normanton – Foreword

1. The Dark Age Of Comics: 1940’s – 1950’s

Famous Tales Of Terror (Yellowjacket #1, Sept. 1944)
Hitler’s Head (Weird Terror #1, Sept. 1952)
No Rest For The Dead (Journey Into Fear #12, March 1953)
He (Black Cat Mystery, Aug. 1952)
The Secret Files Of Dr. Drew (Rangers Comics #49, Oct. 1949)
The Corpse That Wouldn’t Die! (Web Of Evil #2, Jan. 1952)
Bride Of Death (Adventures Into Darkness #7, May 1952)
Dungeon Of Doom (Chamber Of Chills #6, March 1952)
Terror Of The Stolen Legs (Dark Mysteries #18, June 1954)
Den Of Horror (Weird Terror #3, Jan. 1953)
The Living Dead (Dark Mysteries #20, Oct. 1954)
Marching Zombies (Black Cat Mystery #35, May 1952)
Grave Rehearsal (Strange Fantasy #7, Aug. 1953)
A Glimpse Of The Pit (Horrific #9, Jan. 1954)
The Horror Of The Walking Corpse (Dark Mysteries #16, Feb. 1954)
The Thing That Walked At Night (Ghost Comics #9, Winter 1953)
Partners In Blood (Journey Into Fear #6, May 1952)
Dead Man’s Revenge (Shocking Mystery Cases #50, Sept. 1952)
The Hand Of Glory (Chilling Tales #13, Dec. 1952)
The Man Who Would Be Fate (Hand Of Fate #21, Aug. 1954)

2. The Terror Returns: 1960’s – 1970’s

The Master Of Dread End (Ghost Stories #1, Sept. 1962)
Santa’s Claws (Web Of Horror #3, Apr. 1970)
The Game Keeper (Ghostly Haunts #40, Sept. 1974)
Fatal Scalpel (Weird Vol. 2. #1, Dec. 1966)
The Weirdest Character I’ve Ever Known! (Ghostly Haunts #38, May. 1974)
Now … Another Maniac! (Psycho #18, May. 1974)
Through A Glass Darkly (Ghostly Tales #113, Feb. 1975)
Ghosts Walk Among Us (Psycho #15, Nov. 1973)
Tradition Of The Wolf (Nightmare #23, Feb. 1975)
Sea Of Graves (Web Of Horror #2, Feb. 1970)

3. The Faithful Few: 1980’s – 1990’s

Killer Planet (Death Rattle Vol. 2, #1, Oct. 1985)
Over His Head (Twisted Tales #2, Apr. 1983)
Christmas Carol (Demon Dreams #1, Feb. 1984)
Mr. Monster: His World (Dark Horse Presents #14, Jan. 1988)
Home Ties (Twisted Tales #6, Jan. 1984)
One Of These Days (Deadworld #6, Dec. 1987)
The Dunwich Horror (The Haunter Of The Dark & Other Grotesque Visions, 1999)
Dream Snake (Robert E. Howard Mythmaker, 1999)
Purgation (The Confessor Demonicus-ex-Deo, 1999)

4. A New Millennium Of The Macabre: 21st Century

Dread End (From The Tomb #12, Feb. 2004)
The Festival (Bedlam #5, July 2004)
The Crawlspace (From The Tomb #18, Christmas 2005)
Immortal: A Vampire Tale (Black Boar Press, 2003)
There Was An Old Woman (Fleshrot Tales From The Dead #2, 2003)
Cal McDonald: A Letter From B.S. (Drawing On Your Nightmares #1, Oct. 2003)
Luna’s Story: Little Red Riding Hood (Nightmares & Fairy Tales #8, March 2004)
The Graveswellers (Morbid #2, Feb. 2005)
Shuteye (Zacherley’s Midnight Terrors #2, 2004)



In over 500 pages this book collects the finest tales of terror from the past sixty years of comic book publishing. It encompasses all eras of the genre, from the ‘weird menace’ horror of the perennially popular 1950s pre-Code comics published by EC, to the dark modern gems of the 90s and 2000s.

Discover the tales that drove the American youth of the 1950s into a frenzy and resulted in legislation to put an end to their gruesome content – the pre-Code comic book macabre that was Dark Mysteries, Chamber of Chills, Weird Terror and Journey into Fear. Contributors from these early years include Bernie Wrightson, master adapter of Lovecraft, Mary Shelley and Stephen King; Mike Kaluta, the man behind The Shadow, Metropolis, and The Spawn of Frankenstein; and Rudy Palais, the EC artist responsible for such twisted works as Marching Zombies.

Modern contributions include Pete Von Scholly’s The Graveswellers (the man behind The Shawshank Redemption, The Mask, and The Green Mile), David Hitchcock’s self-published Immortal – a Vampire Tale (creator of the Jack the Ripper comic Whitechapel Freak), Thomas Ott’s G.O.D. from Greetings from Hellville (acclaimed Swiss noir artist), Legendary Canadian counter-culture cartoonist Rand Holmes’ Death Rattle, and Vincent Locke’s One of These Days (famed for his underground hit zombie comic Deadworld), and comic-book legend Steve Ditko’s Disaster Doom Death

Not had a chance to give this anything more than a cursory browse yet, but it looks terrific! The second strip, from Weird Terror (Sept 1952) for example, is a delightful little thing entitled Hitler’s Head and who could resist The Terror Of The Stolen Legs? Review to follow ASAP but, in the meantime, has anyone else had the pleasure?

Posted in "Constable-Robinson*, Comics & Graphic Novels | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Robert Tinnell & Adrian Salmon – The Faceless

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

The Faceless – Robert Tinnell and Adrian Salmon (Image, 2005)


He’s Willing To Go To Hell … So You Won’t Have To …


By day, Terry Sharp is a hard-living, skirt-chasing, celebrated director of classic horror films. But by night, the horror turns real – Terry has discovered a shadowy group of Satanists hell-bent on taking control of the British government. This knowledge has made him a marked man. Black magic or bullets – the Faceless conspirators don’t particularly care which – as long as the end result is Terry’s death.

Too bad for them, Terry Sharp isn’t ready to die just yet – not without taking a whole lot of bad guys with him.

That’s just the blurb!

Meet Terry sharp, celebrated director of The Return of Frankenstein and other Midwich horror masterpieces. Unknown to his colleagues, our granite-chinned friend leads a double life, triple if you include his penchant for bedding beautiful women within two or three frames of meeting them. Away from the studio is where Sharp’s real work begins: combating the shadowy Satanic Organisation, the Faceless, who are intent on overthrowing the British Government!

This is the first graphic novel I’ve ever read to the end (twice!), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As mentioned, there’s plenty of The Saint about it, tons of Hammer references and a smidgeon of Wheatley’s hysterical “the Commies are Satanists!” pot-boilers. I’ll not be the first to comment that it’s beautifully drawn, but the script is top notch too: very economic with not a word out of place. And Terry’s sidekick Elspeth is a bit of a looker, of that you can be sure.

The one criticism I could make, and even that’s not unique to me, is that while it’s a blinding introduction to Terry’s adventures, just as the story’s hotting up, you’re left in mid-air awaiting the continuation in the next book when you just know our hero will start upping the body count, especially now that he’s got revenge on his mind!

Check out the trailer and other goodies here !

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Charles Black – Second Black Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Charles Black (ed.) – The 2nd Black Book Of Horror
(Mortbury Press, Feb. 2008)

2nd black book of horror

Cover: Paul Mudie

Gary McMahon – Black Glass
David A. Sutton – Amygdala
David A. Riley – Now and Forever More
Steve Goodwin – The Cold Harvest
Craig Herbertson – On the Couch
Mike Chinn – All Under Hatches Stow’d
Daniel McGachey – The Crimson Picture
D. F. Lewis – Squabble
Eddy C. Bertin – The Eye in the Mirror
Julia Lufford – The Meal
John L. Probert – In Sickness And …
L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims – Onion
Rog Pile – The Pit

ISBN 978-0955606113

200 Pages

£7 + £1-50 P&P in the UK

order from Mortbury Press


Several Vault readers nominated Charles’ debut anthology as their most treasured book of 2007 and here’s a second volume. I don’t have a copy yet, but just look at that wonderful line-up! It is to be hoped that a third Book Of Horror will be published toward the end of this year.

It is to be hoped that a review will appear here soon, but don’t let that put you off your enjoyment.

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Charles Black – The Black Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Charles Black (ed) – The Black Book Of Horror (Mortbury Press, 2007)

Charles Black - Black Book of Horror

Cover: Paul Mudie

Frank Nicholas – Crows
Mark Samuels – Regina vs. Zoskia
Gary Fry – The Older Man
Steve Goodwin – Power
Roger B. Pile – Cords
Sean Parker – The Sound Of Muzak
D. F. Lewis – Shaped Like A Snake
David A. Sutton – Only In Your Dreams
Paul Finch – The Wolf At Jessie’s Door
John L. Probert – Size Matters
John Kenneth Dunham – Spare Rib: A Romance
Gary McMahon – Family Fishing
David Conyers – Subtle Invasion
D. F. Lewis – A Pie With Thick Gravy
David A. Riley – Lock-In
Franklin Marsh – Last Christmas (I Gave You My Life)
Daniel McGachey – “Shalt Thou Know My Name?”
Charles Black – To Summon A Flesh Eating Demon


David Riley – Lock-In: The Potters Wheel, Edgebottom, on the outskirts of Manchester. Sam Sowerby the landlord has recently let a room to ‘Albert Durer’ who, unknown to Sam, is a Black Magician specialising in conjuring forth Cthulthoid monstrosities. His latest ritual sees the pub plunged into a void surrounded on all sides by an impenetrable blackness. Regular Tom Atkins takes a step outside to see what’s going on, has his face torn off for his trouble. The teacher, Harold Sillitoe, is next to try his luck – he bleeds to death after his arm is picked clean as if by acid. Now Sam and his four elderly friends affectionately known as ‘The Grudgers’ after the area they hail from, are left with a desperate choice: either stay here and die of starvation or find some way of getting through the black shroud ….

John L. Probert – Size Matters: “His penis looked like the huge maroon salami sausage that he had seen on Nigella Lawson’s cookery programme last week, right down to the runny brown gravy she had poured over the end ….”

Funded by the unexpected fortune left him by his late mother, Harry Walker decides to splash out on an extension in the hope it will improve his luck with women. As we can see from the passage quoted above, the operation conducted, by the dubious plastic surgeon Dr. Lockhampton, doesn’t go as well as it might and the resultant gangrene sees poor Harry bitterly regretful that he tampered with his healthy six inches. A chance meeting with a crone along the abandoned railway line restores what he’s lost – with way too much interest. Killer last line.

As far as I’m aware, there are no plans to adapt this one as a graphic novel any time soon.

Franklin Marsh – Last Christmas (I Gave You My Life): December 24th and Kate makes a break for it, clearing off with the kids, away from that wretched husband of hers, never – NEVER – to see him again. Tragically, she opts to spend the night at the Bide-A-Wee’ Guest House, pride and joy of creepy Mr. Pottinger and his mute slab of wife, but – how can that be? The place burnt down years ago! Still, let’s not fret over technicalities – the Pottinger’s sure know how to throw a party!

Sergeant Doobie explains to WPC Stacy Dawes how the place obtained it’s justified reputation as a popular suicide spot and the mystery surrounding the identities of those who perished in the original fire. She thinks he’s a “silly sod” but wisely keeps her opinions to herself.

“Reads like a condensed version of the Amicus Tales From The Crypt” is the biggest compliment I can pay this one.

D. F. Lewis – A Pie With Thick Gravy:

George settles down to eat his dinner.

The pastry erupts.

George’s dinner settles down to eat him.

I wonder why the lurker in the gravy put me in mind so of the fanged ghoulie on the cover of Pan Horror #3 ?

Mark Samuels – Regina vs. Zoskia: Henry Dunn is to take over the interminable but lucrative case which has proved so extremely profitable to his firm since 1964. As Jackson drives him over to the Zoskia Institution, he fills the younger lawyer in on some background detail:

” … the inmates decided they no longer wished to be classified insane. They’ve been challenging the legal basis on which the definition rests for the past forty-odd years. Dr. Zoskia contends that the hospital is for the sane and that it is the outside world which is occupied by the mentally disturbed.”

Jackson also lets on that the inmates have trained themselves to go without sleep. Some have have managed to remain awake for years which, as you’d expect, has wreaked havoc on their already fragile minds and physically they’re a trip – pale, emaciated zombies. Check out those bulbous eyes!

Dr. Zoskia decides that Jackson has served their cause as best he was capable so now he can ‘voluntarily’ commit himself to the Institute while Dunn takes sole control of their case. The last Dunn sees of his colleague, he’s being manhandled into a box.

The late night sequence wherein Dunn, appalled yet fascinated, watches from his window as a group of these maniacs gleefully bury Jackson in St. Olaf’s churchyard is an early Black Book highlight for me.

Daniel McGachey – “Shalt Thou Know My Name?”: “In the courtroom they told of a great wind that gathered up in the courtyard and which stirred the leaves and branches that littered the ground. And these appeared to gather up in the air and take on a form, like that of a scarecrow but growing thicker and more solid and more like a living thing …. “

Delightful M. R. James tribute pitched somewhere between (I think!) The Ash-Tree and a nastier Casting The Runes. Seachester Museum. Dower is consulting the Hesketh papers when who should stroll in but Edgar Bright, still as loud as ever and eager to examine the self same documents. Marvellous, curses Dower who detests him. Back in their college days, Bright got Dower royally drunk and copied down his thesis, presenting it as his own. Bright’s was accepted while Dower was accused of plagiarism!

A scene is narrowly averted as Bright agrees to leave his rival to his studies. The fact that this fraud is following in the same line of research as he gives Dower an idea. When he fortuitously (or so he then thinks) chances on a file relating to a rather eventful witch trial, he has a means of finally avenging himself by way of a little ‘joke’ ….

David A. Sutton – Only In Your Dreams: Donald is overburdened with his work for the North Atlantic Whaling Research Group ( they’re lobbying for the hunting ban to be lifted) and he’s been snappy and intolerant toward his family: wife Margaret, ten year old William and little Sophie, six. When Sophie asks if she can stay up because she’s terrified of “the jellyman” he completely loses it and it’s left to Margaret – as usual – to calm her fears. Apparently, the jellyman is to visit each of them in turn tonight which is why she’s so upset.

Margaret, unable to sleep, wakes up in the early hours and is horrified to discover that Donald hasn’t even bothered to lock up. What if the Animal Rights nutters have tracked them to their new home? She couldn’t go through all that again. But it’s not a bunch of “Woolly headed, criminal terrorists” she should be concerning herself with just now ….

Gary McMahon – Family Fishing: “I’m locking you in here with her. By the time I come back for you, you’ll be a man. Don’t disappoint me, boy”

Fell, North Yorks. Narrator confides an incident from his pre-teen years when he was sent off to spend a weekend at his grandfather’s gloomy, cluttered old house a mile or so from the nearest village. Grand-pop has laid on some ‘entertainment’ – tomorrow morning they’re going fishing.

After a hearty breakfast – the boy will need all his strength – they set off in the truck. Presently they approach a filthy shanty town in the woods, populated by barely human creatures and the boy gets his first inkling that “fishing” is something of a euphemism for what he’s about to get up to. The Moreau family have always had a keen interest in genetics and the old timer is proud to have followed in his infamous ancestor’s footsteps.

David Conyers – Subtle Invasion: The world awakens to discover that it’s been invaded overnight by grey, spiky demon plants from outer space which multiply at an alarming rate and obliterate anything in their path (“It hadn’t eaten her, it had replaced the space that she had once occupied”). Truly, the Triffids were just uppity stinging nettles compared to these unrelenting bastards.

In Melbourne, Sutherland, wife Kitty, little Nikki and Norbert the teddy bear are among the first to find one of these monstrosities lurking in their back yard. If they report it to the authorities it’s a sure thing they’ll be evacuated, so maybe it’s best they leave it until tomorrow ….

SF-horror crossovers don’t always do it for me but I love this. It reads like a glorious ‘fifties b-movie played completely straight. Norbert is adorable (I confess, I was really worried for him) and a brief cameo from a nasty biker gang is an unexpected bonus.

Roger Pile – Cords: Jenny and the narrator chance upon the Contemporary Warfare: It’s Glories And Terrors exhibition at the defunct Cathedral. Whoever designed the sets is on top of their game – it even feels like a jungle – and that waxwork of the crucified girl is in very poor taste. Slowly they realise that they’re caught up in the fantasy world of a mad genius where audience participation is taken as given and pushed to horrific extremes …

Gary Fry – The Older Man: Meet Jack Preen, house painter, front-man of ropey covers band Fatal Inversion, self-styled stud, approaching forty and hating it. Recently his thoughts have turned to the ravages time will play on his body and this job at the posh couple’s place isn’t helping any.

He’s an author, scruffy git, writes books debunking the supernatural: she’s a lawyer, gorgeous, and should be well out of hubby’s league. And there’s a decrepit old girl living with them too, the wife’s mother, though he’s sure his mate said something about her having died a few weeks back …..

Any story that features hot corpse-on-corpse action is OK in my book. I found it vaguely reminiscent of Ramsey Campbell’s super-creepy Again but with additional enormous belly-laugh.

Charles Black – How To Summon A Flesh Eating Demon: “Do you really think I’m going to plunge my knife into this young girl’s heaving bosom?” Greydin snorted. Now who’s being all Hammer House Of Horror? “

Prof. Julius Greydin has located a copy of the semi-mythical Book Of Setopholes and argues that it’s an authentic grimoire. His sceptical friend, Dr. Ernest Mellman is adamant that it’s at best a compendium of the usual mumbo jumbo, at worst an elaborate hoax. Their pupil, Tony Zaniger, wonders how they stand each other’s company – they’re always trying to out-do each other. There’s only one way to settle the dispute – perform one of the rituals.

The trial run is a failure but Greydin isn’t ready yet to concede. For the second attempt some nights later, he pulls out all the stops. Skulls, human and animal, are borrowed from the laboratory. He even provides a drugged naked virgin, Michelle Chalmers – Tony’s had the hots on her for ages! This time, they’ll do everything by the letter. But Greydin has made one fatal miscalculation and his world turns all Taste The Blood Of Dracula

The book goes out kicking and screaming on a note of Grand Guignol.

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Paperback Fanatic

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Paperback Fanatic : The Story so far ……

Justin Marriott (ed.) – Paperback Fanatic # 6 (Feb. 2008)

Paperback Fanatic 6

Peter Haining interview – long chat with the late Peter Haining about his trail-blazing days at the New English Library fiction factory. Discusses authors such as Jim Moffatt, Terry Harknett and Chris Priest, and books such as Skinhead, Chopper and Edge.

Haining’s Web of Terror- noted genre expert Mike Ashley’s dissection of Peter’s classic horror anthologies

Sexton Blake and The Guardians- Andy Boot’s investigation into the murky world of Bill Baker’s Press Editorial. Great stuff for any fan of 1960s pulp!

Philip Harbottle’s Vision of Tomorrow- how did the excellent SF mag Vision fail? Editor Phil reveals the inside story on the rise and fall of the UK’s only SF mag of the early 1970s.

Plus- Robert E Howard in UK paperback, NEL and the Mafia, letters, updates and reviews. 44 A4 pages.

Cover price £3.95, post-free to members of this site. Payment by paypal – details at Paperback Fanatic

This has just this minute arrived but see the Vault thread for comment on the mighty Paperback Fanatic # 6

Paperback Fanatic #5

Justin Marriott (ed) – Paperback Fanatic #5* (Nov. 2007)

Paperback Fanatic 5

Cover art: Ade Salmen

Right. Stuff in your strongest stomach because the eagerly awaited ‘When Animals Attack!’ special is finally upon us, 14 glorious glossy A4 sides devoted to the ‘Nasty’ creature feature novels that proliferated in the wake of James Herbert’s sex, gore and social commentary smash The Rats. As with the rest of the magazine, the article is offset with a plethora of cover reproductions treasury from the golden age. Even if you’ve never sampled the delights of Eat Them Alive, The Maggots, Worms, Night Killers or the mighty Crabs On The Rampage, you’ll qualify for the dreaded ‘overnight expert’ status once you’ve stomped and squelched your way through Justin’s crash course.

Following on from the Robert Lory scoop in the previous issue, an interview with Robert ‘Big Bob’ Tralins, a new name on me but responsible for a respectable stream of sexploitation and warped horrors for Popular, Belmont, Paperback Library and similar US cheapo publishers through the ‘swinging’ ‘sixties and ‘seventies. Sword & Sorcery he-men and she-women are well catered for with a Rivals Of Conan round-up and this issue also sees the conclusion of Legion Of The Damned, an exhaustive meditation on the joys of the pleasant, long-lived escapist Nazi war pulp craze. Finally, a welcome new feature is the self-explanatory Fanatical Thoughts – News, Updates, Letters, Gossip where various reprobates get to air their views.

For this reader, the best and most frustrating thing about Paperback Fanatic is that just when I think I can finally put a lid on all the genres I need to watch for when creepy crawling the junk-shops, Mr. Marriott will write something utterly intriguing about some old pile of rubbish or other and I’ll be all ‘Hmmm, but can I really live without Captive Of Gor‘?

Order your copy via paypal:

* replace the AT with @ *

£3.50 post-paid UK
£5 post-paid mainland Europe
$8 post-paid to US and Canada.

* Perhaps I should attempt to explain the numbering system as it can get confusing. Issue 1 was Pulpmania!, issue 2 was Paperback Dungeon hence what I’ve always referred to as Paperback Fanatic #1 was actually #3.

I’m glad I’ve cleared that up to everybody’s complete satisfaction ….

Paperback Fanatic # 4

Paperback Fanatic #2 (Sept. 2007)

Paperback Fanatic 2

What did we do before Paperback Fanatic? If it only seems a couple of weeks since we were raving over the first issue, that’s because it is, so when a mysterious bundle squelched through my letterbox on Monday the last thing I was expecting it to contain was a proof of number 2!

It’s not as if I’m ever going to struggle to promote it to you people, but the eagle-eyed will have noticed that the cover features selected works from Robert Lory – and Justin has landed one of his biggest scoops ever! If you recall the interview-cum-career retrospective with Michel Parry way back in Pulp Mania, imagine the same treatment afforded to Mr. Lory …

To blithely trot out “worth the entry price for this alone” is true but also pays a huge disservice to the rest of the magazine. Justin has hit on a winning formula with his genre-hopping approach and number 3 showcases the artwork of Jan Parker and Bruce Pennington, the first in a two part investigation into the ‘German’ war fiction of Sven Hassel, ‘Leo Kessler’ and their acolytes, plus the usual feast of cover scans.

Order your copy via paypal

* replace the AT with @ *

£3.50 post-paid UK
£5 post-paid mainland Europe
$8 post-paid to US and Canada.

Paperback Fanatic #3

The third issue of the legendary Justin Cultprint’s excellent The Paperback Fanatic (“The British magazine for collectors of pulp fiction”) is available now and if you enjoy browsing ‘seventies book covers this is certainly the magazine for you! The highlight for me is the catalogue of Sphere’s ‘seventies horror titles and there are also features on tacky kung-fu novels, the many faces of Paul Tabori and a piece on violent cops ‘The Special Squad’.

Here’s the cover!

Order your copy via paypal

£3 post-paid UK
£5 post-paid mainland Europe
$8 post-paid to US and Canada.

A Vault Of Evil version of the Sphere article is now available online here. My thanks to Justin for giving me permision to do this.

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Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Life In Books

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Stephen Jones (ed.) – Basil Copper: A Life In Books (PS Publishing, Feb. 2008)


Stephen Jones – Introduction: Recollections Of Basil Copper
Basil Copper – Foreword
Richard Dalby – Basil Copper, Crime Writer And Master Of The Macabre
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. A. Macabre And Supernatural Novels
Basil Copper – Remembering August Derleth And Arkham House
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. B. Macabre And Supernatural Collections
Basil Copper – The Game’s Afoot! August Derleth And Solar Pons
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. C. The ‘Solar Pons’ Series
Basil Copper – August Derleth: A Giant Remembered
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. D. The ‘Mike Faraday’ Series
Basil Copper – Rap Sheet
Basil Copper – Diamonds Are For Never
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. E. Other Books
Basil Copper – In The Footsteps Of Dracula
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. F. Non-Fiction
Basil Copper – The Curse
Basil Copper – Professor Mahmoud
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. G. Short Stories And Novellas
Basil Copper – Peter Haining: A Tribute
Basil Copper – The Black Coffin
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. H. Media Adaptations
Basil Copper – Count Magnus
Stephen Jones – Basil Copper: A Working Bibliography. I. Unpublished Works
Basil Copper – Darkness, Mist And Shadow: The Landscape Of Fear

Illustrations by Randy Broeker and Les Edwards

“the basil copper book is a model in bibliography, and the articles are a fascinating read. my only minor quibble is that the proofing suddenly goes to pot on the short stories, which i found most bizarre. but it only stood out as the rest of the text was immaculate, i guess. mr c’s screenplay is a cracker, btw, and really should have been made. i’d recommend anyone who, like me, has only ever read his macabre stuff to look out for the hardboiled novels; on the strength of the short story included in this volume, i certainly intend to!”

– pulphack on Vault of Evil

After the excitement and excesses of the launch, maybe it’s time to turn our attention to the book – and what a splendid effort by all concerned. First impressions (i’ve barely dipped into it yet) are pulphack’s “model in bibliography”-cum- big Basil scrapbook with several photo’s of the great man in action taken at various stages of his career and much fine illustrative work. Some of it – like the Peter Haining tribute – is snippet-size, but Stephen Jones’ biblio is an all-encompassing thing which speaks of several hours devoted study.

As with the event, it’s a celebratory thing that will have you wishing your own favourite authors had studies like this devoted to them. Be warned, i’m planning to return to A Life In Books when i’ve given it a super-scrutiny, but now that pesky perve The Handyman beckons ….

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One Eyed Grey 5: Bank Holiday Weekend

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Chris Roberts (ed.) – One Eyed Grey # 5 : Bank Holiday Weekend (fF&M Publications, May 2008)


‘a penny dreadful for the 21st century’

Chris Roberts – Editorial

Daisy Pearce – Black Prince (illustration Daniel Morgenstern)
Scott Wood – The Temple of Bacchus (photograph Alex Blair)
Cee Gee – Bank Holiday Weekend (illustration Celia Biscoe)
Richard Burdett – Bird Man (illustration Sara Bevan, photograph Robert Hackman)
Emily Cleaver – The Second Cellar (photograph Ken Johnson)
Andrew Flynn – The Toll Raven of Anerley Hill (illustration Alistair Kenward)
Benedict J Jones – Goin’ Underground (photograph Boris Green)
Martin Jones – EC Chainsaw Massacre III by (photograph Sarah Livingston)


Disappearing ladies, off licences on the sites of ancient temples, birds who charge tolls and one’s that stalk with the pigeon hordes. All this and a couple of nasty trips underground. What more could you want from a Bank Holiday Weekend?

Magic you say? We’ll we’ve got that as well in this edition of One Eye Grey which, in contrast to all the anniversary celebrations connected with Paris sixty eight, remains resolutely London two and eight.

One Eye Grey is a collaborative effort bringing together people who fancied creating something chilling and pocket sized to read on the tube … ”

What a wonderful concept! Maybe they could throw in a can of Super strength to Circle Line ravers with next issue, The Arsenal Stadium Mystery?

In the spirit of the thing, I’ve been saving this specifically for my infrequent tube journeys, hoping that someone in the same carriage will be reading a copy which, you must admit, would be a caper!


Richard Burdett – Bird Man: “A figure sauntered along the fields at 125 mph and looked at me, his eyes lightening in a blurred landscape. He walked straight through a man who was watching the train pass, leaving a brief pink mist. And he laughed. A woman down the coached coughed, then burst into flames ….

A pigeon-poisoner’s progress. The narrator reassures himself that Roger the tramp is a mental case prone to vivid hallucinations when he tells him about the Birdman and why he’s so grateful to Ken Livingstone for ridding Trafalgar Square of it’s pigeon population, After the terrible incident in Yorkshire, however, he no longer has the luxury of incredulity.

Benjamin Jones – Goin’ Underground: Editor Chris Roberts calls it right in his notes: “A welcome addition to the London legends of underground troglodyte communities who live off discarded burgers and unguarded commuters….”

It’s approaching midnight when a tube train arrives at Moorgate station minus one carriage. Guards Paulie, Jono, Dennis and narrator Steve enter the tunnel to see what’s become of it – and wish they hadn’t. Reads like a shudder pulp in miniature without the Scoobie Doo ‘rational’ ending and, like Mark Samuels’ Sentinels, Ron Weighell’s The Tunnel Of Saksaksalum and Robert Barbour Johnson’s ‘thirties classic Far Below, a delightfully unpleasant treat for Death Line/ Creep enthusiasts, although Ben has since informed me he doesn’t go a bundle on the latter film.

Emily Cleaver – The Second Cellar: Ok, so I cheated a bit with this one. I still had three pages to go when I got off the train so I completed it on a bench outside Tower Hill station. Just thought I’d best come clean about that.

Prof. Eckersley investigates a roadworks in the shadow of St. Giles Church where a 200 year old cellar has collapsed, exposing another beneath. Fantasising that – at last! – he’s about to make a significant archaeological find, Eckersley inadvisedly explores the premises after dark. It is located slap in the middle of what once was the Rookeries, home to the days beggars, cripples and desperately impoverished, and not all of them are at rest even now ….

Name-check for Geraldine, long-time proprietress of Bloomsbury’s Atlantis, the Occult bookshop in Museum Street.

Contact: F&M Publications

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