No dedicated writing log today, friends. Wayward Son continues to plod along at a satisfactory pace (just gotta put a few finishing touches on chapter 69 and 70), and I’ve also made a wee bit of progress on my academic work, namely my prospectus–I think I might start describing how things are coming along for both in my writing logs from here on out. Rather, I’d like to give a few updates on the stuff I’ve been reading from Amazon.com recently. Not gonna fully review ’em now (I might do each individually later), but just give brief overviews. Hope you find it interesting!
First thing I bought was Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Castlevania. Truth be told, I bought it mainly out of loyalty to a friend–the author, Kurt Kalata, is the one who first made the Castlevania Dungeon, the site I currently help moderate. The book really is good, as it’s a fairly comprehensive look at the *entire* Castlevania franchise–it covers not just the games but the background behind each of them, along with a lot of stuff on doujins (Japanese fanworks), Castlevania-esque games, and that sort of thing. I highly recommend it!
Then I got The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24, edited by Stephen Jones. I got this just to push my order above the 35 dollar limit Amazon requires for free shipping. It was alright, I suppose. It’s an edited collection of scary short stories, but none of ’em really stuck out in my mind, personally. I would say I overpaid for it a little bit, but that’s the price of free shipping, I guess D:
After that, I ordered the Pumpkinhead comic “Rites of Exorcism” #1. I was joking around with some friends of mine about old, bad horror movies (which I have a fervent love for–again, I may write about that later XD), and remembered a few I caught glimpses of when I was younger. Pumpkinhead was one (along with Rawhead Rex), so I figured I might try the comic book adaptations of these. I don’t remember much about the original Pumpkinhead movie (it was, after all, forgettable), but this comic is alright. Long story short, the granddaughter (of sorts) of an old witch doesn’t want to follow her forebear into witchdom, and when you combine that with the unsympathetic townsfolk and the visitation of some apparently crazy demon hunter guy, you know there’s gonna be trouble. Pumpkinhead doesn’t show up in this issue, but he will in the next one. Guess I should have bought those too :p
The next comic for me was Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed Vs. Rawhead Rex, Vol. 1.” I honestly can’t say much about this, cause I didn’t have much of an idea of what was going on. I hadn’t watched Nightbreed (only Rawhead Rex), so much of it passed over me. I bought it just for completion’s sake, mainly, though if I was serious about that, I should have bought the other issues in the series as well. XD The art is good at least, though 😀
A much better investment would be the comic adaptation of Clive Barker’s Rawhead Rex. The premise of this story is nothing special: A bumbling English farmer removes a stone in his field, unwittingly unearthing an ancient and malevolent entity his ancestors had sealed there. The entity, “Rawhead Rex,” promptly embarks on a spree of mayhem and bloody murder before finally being stopped by the father of one of his victims, wielding a talisman that was the only thing Rawhead feared. A further bit of background: This story had actually been adapted into a forgettable 1980s horror movie, which Clive Barker had disowned. Barker hated the movie for a few reasons, particularly due to the monster’s costume design; it looked like a crappy reject from a heavy-metal band with fangs.
Barker’s original conception of the monster was much more unsettling–he was supposed to be a pre-Christian embodiment of violent masculinity, and he was supposed to have looked like a nine-foot tall phallus with teeth that ate children. As I mentioned to a friend of mine on Tumblr, the comic adaptation is MUCH better in this regard; Rawhead very much looks suitably phallic and there are some terrifyingly graphic depictions of him chowing down on young children. It’s very violent, much more violent than the movie, so don’t read it if you have a weak stomach! If you don’t, however, the art and the incorporation of Barker’s original story is great. I HIGHLY recommend it for horror fans!
Finally, the last things I got were Barker’s Books of Blood. I got all 6 volumes of it–volumes 1-3 are contained in the first tome, volumes 4-6 are contained in the second. Once again, I am HIGHLY satisfied with this purchase. I’d heard of Barker before, obviously, having watched Rawhead Rex along with the far superior Hellraiser movies. However, I’d previously read mainly Bentley Little, Stephen King, and a few other horror writers. I spent far too long before introducing myself to Barker. The more fool me! He’s a truly fantastic writer, his descriptions, the intensity of his prose, and his twisted imagination are unlike anything I’ve really encountered before. Honestly, as much as I love Bentley Little, I would have to admit that Barker is better for the “twisted freaky shit happening, often involving sex” stories, because his writing is considerably stronger. I’ll do a fuller review later, but for now, I’ll just tell you guys to check Barker out!
Well, that should do it for this week…time to cut some checks out for some people. See all of you later XD