Friday, April 30, 2021

Rose O'Keefe Appears on THE OUTER DARK

Rose O'Keefe, the head of Eraserhead Press (publisher of my recent collection of novellas, WIDOW OF THE AMPUTATION & OTHER WEIRD CRIMES), was interviewed by Anya Martin on THE OUTER DARK podcast earlier this month. Here's THE OUTER DARK's description of the episode:

In our first full-episode publisher spotlight, Anya Martin interviews Rose O’Keefe, publisher at Eraserhead Press, the world’s leading publisher house of bizarro fiction with an international following for 400+ titles in its main line and four imprints Deadite Press, Fungasm Press, Lazy Fascist Press, and New Bizarro Author Series. The free-ranging no-holds-barred conversation includes the origins of Eraserhead Press as a writers’ collective in the punk/DIY/zine world of 1999, leveraging the print-on-demand revolution to success, the fun of being a writer’s ‘first fan’, the evolution of Bizarro and how its embrace of Weirdness differs from and intersects with Weird fiction, the rise of genre fluidity, her personal journey facing leadership challenges to expand diversity and inclusion, lessons learned and proactive ways to address and prevent sexual harassment/abuse at cons, Eraserhead publishing news and spotlight on new releases (1:09:53), updates on 2021 submissions status and the future of BizarroCon, Rose’s non-press-related reading recommendations, and her personal passion for Argentine Tango. This episode was recorded on Tuesday April 6, 2021.

To listen to the entire show, click HERE.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

MY ADVENTURES IN HYPERSPACE

Last night I returned to Solaris BlueRaven's HYPERSPACE radio show to discuss my latest books, BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD and WIDOW OF THE AMPUTATION & OTHER WEIRD CRIMES. If you have a Dark Vault Insider subscription, you can listen to the entire show by clicking right HERE.


 

 

 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Alan Moore Endorses BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD!

I'm very pleased to announce that my latest novel, BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD, just received the following blurb from none other than writer/magician Alan Moore (author of WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, FROM HELL, VOICE OF THE FIRE, JERUSALEM, etc.). Since I first encountered Moore's writing at the tender age of fourteen, I couldn't have been happier when he volunteered this endorsement: 

“Blending intertextual rampage through the horror-movie canon with engrossing noir mystery and a backdrop of Hollywood esoterica, Robert Guffey serves up an intoxicating pulp cocktail that will leave you wanting more. A crepuscular treasure from a fascinating author.”

--ALAN MOORE

If you want to learn more about this "crepuscular treasure," you can buy a copy of BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD (available in trade paperback and eBook formats) right HERE!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

GUARDIAN: "Attack of the Drones"

From Amelia Tait's 4-18-21 GUARDIAN article entitled "Attack of the Drones: The Mystery of Disappearing Swarms in the US Midwest":

At twilight on New Year’s Eve, 2020, Placido Montoya, 35, a plumber from Fort Morgan, Colorado, was driving to work. Ahead of him he noticed blinking lights in the sky. He’d heard rumours of mysterious drones, whispers in his local community, but now he was seeing them with his own eyes. In the early morning gloom, it was hard to make out how big the lights were and how many were hovering above him. But one thing was clear to Montoya: he needed to give chase.

As he approached the drones in his car, they “took off very fast” and Montoya tried to follow. He confesses hitting 120mph before losing track of them. “They were creepy, really creepy,” he says. “I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s almost as if they were watching us.”

That night, Vince Iovinella, deputy sheriff at Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, received more than 30 calls from locals reporting drones “zipping around all over the place” – Iovinella himself saw one with red, white and green lights that he also tried to chase. “It outran me,” he recalls.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Nebraska and Kansas were also dealing with their own mysterious drone swarms. From December 2019 to January 2020, residents of the three states were perturbed by multiple sightings of numerous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with wingspans of up to 6ft flying between 6pm and 10pm in grid formations. On the same night that Iovinella was receiving calls, a Nebraska deputy reported seeing 30 to 50 drones in the sky. Witnesses were alarmed by the size and speed of the vehicles. “It got to the point that we were fixing to take up arms,” says Mike, 39, from Lindon, Colorado, who wishes to retain partial anonymity.

But as quickly as the drones came, they disappeared. “That was it, they were gone,” Montoya says. More than a year later, no one knows who was behind the drones. Despite an investigation involving the FBI, US Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there are no official answers. Amazon, Google and Uber have denied involvement, and so did a local air force base. “Somebody’s doing something and nobody’s saying anything about it,” Montoya summarises. But even “somebody doing something” is now up for debate: one reporter claims the drones never existed at all.

What really happened in the sky above the American Midwest in those fateful winter months, and what can the incident tell us about new technology and old fears?

Did the mystery drones really exist and, if so, why can’t anyone find out who was behind them? Is a new type of conspiracy theory being born? Are drones the new UFOs?

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

BOX O' WIDOWS



Upon receiving a large box brimming with contributor copies of my latest collection, WIDOW OF THE AMPUTATION & OTHER WEIRD CRIMES, I plopped down on my front lawn, surrounded by all my faithful pink companions. We immediately began rereading "our" book cover-to-cover. I say "our" book because my little friends insist on teasing me. You see, they tell me they're the ones who dictated the book to me late at night while I lay sprawled on the front lawn, half-naked and dreaming. But I refuse to believe them this time. I think they're 
dissimulating again. The feathery ones are staring at me right now, even as I write this, lying to me with their blank, dead, pinpoint eyes that seem to collapse in upon themselves with every passing second, like roiling black holes at the center of the universe
entrances to other worlds far darker and stranger than our own. If anything happens to me, remember to contact the authorities. Tell them the Feathery Pink Ones are responsible. Contact the leaders of the free world. Alert the Men Who Know Things. For God's sake, keep watching the lawns. They might be coming for you next.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

NEW YORK TIMES: "Capitol Police Told to Hold Back on Riot Response on Jan. 6, Report Finds"

From Luke Broadwater's 4-13-21 NEW YORK TIMES article entitled "Capitol Police Told to Hold Back on Riot Response on Jan. 6, Report Finds":

The Capitol Police had clearer advance warnings about the Jan. 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which “Congress itself is the target.” But officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob, according to a scathing new report by the agency’s internal investigator.

In a 104-page document, the inspector general, Michael A. Bolton, criticized the way the Capitol Police prepared for and responded to the mob violence on Jan. 6. The report was reviewed by The New York Times and will be the subject of a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday.

Mr. Bolton found that the agency’s leaders failed to adequately prepare despite explicit warnings that pro-Trump extremists posed a threat to law enforcement and civilians and that the police used defective protective equipment. He also found that the leaders ordered their Civil Disturbance Unit to refrain from using its most powerful crowd-control tools — like stun grenades — to put down the onslaught.

The report offers the most devastating account to date of the lapses and miscalculations around the most violent attack on the Capitol in two centuries.

Three days before the siege, a Capitol Police intelligence assessment warned of violence from supporters of President Donald J. Trump who believed his false claims that the election had been stolen. Some had even posted a map of the Capitol complex’s tunnel system on pro-Trump message boards.

“Unlike previous postelection protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the threat assessment said, according to the inspector general’s report. “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

But on Jan. 5, the agency wrote in a plan for the protest that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.” And the former chief of the Capitol Police has testified that the force had determined that the likelihood of violence was “improbable.”

To read Broadwater's entire article, click HERE.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Adam Gorightly and David Perkins on PARALLAX VIEWS

Recommended Listening: On the 3-26-21 episode of PARALLAX VIEWS, J.G. Michaels interviewed self-described "crackpot historian" Adam Gorightly and cattle mutilation researcher David Perkins about Gorightly's latest book, SAUCERS, SPOOKS AND KOOKS. Click HERE to listen to the entire conversation.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

THE ROOT: "White Racist Fears, Not Economic Anxiety, Likely Drove the Capitol Insurrection"

From Ishena Robinson's 4-6-21 THE ROOT article entitled "New Research States the Obvious: White Racist Fears, Not Economic Anxiety, Likely Drove the Capitol Insurrection":

Some mainstream (re: white) writers and thinkers have instinctually sought to find a way to point to “economic anxiety” as an explanation for why hundreds of mostly white Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in January. Now, at least one expert is conceding the obvious: It was the racism.

We previously LOL’d at a Washington Post suggestion that the largely middle-class, gainfully employed members of the Jan. 6 MAGA mob were driven to storm the Capitol because they are victims of economic anxiety.

But Robert A. Pape, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and head of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, has amassed and analyzed demographic data on the Capitol insurrectionists that he says show a curious commonality in their background.

The Capitol mob, made up almost 95% of white people, had a significant percentage of people who “typically hail from places where non-White populations are growing fastest,” the researcher wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post on Tuesday.

The study’s findings were based on the CPOST’s evaluation of the profiles of 377 of the Capitol insurrectionists, said Pape, who added that the collection of people came from all over the country—most notably from counties whose electorates are diversifying and going blue [...].

What’s especially notable about the researcher’s announcement of the official findings, though, is the dire warning he says it presents.

“We cannot presume it will blow over,” Pape said. “The ingredients exist for future waves of political violence, from lone-wolf attacks to all-out assaults on democracy, surrounding the 2022 midterm elections.”

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Friday, April 9, 2021

SAUCERS, SPOOKS AND KOOKS


Immediately after finishing Adam Gorightly's latest book, SAUCERS, SPOOKS AND KOOKS: UFO DISINFORMATION IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS, I posted the following review on Amazon:

"Not only is Adam Gorightly's SAUCERS, SPOOKS AND KOOKS one of the most illuminating and entertaining books about UFOs ever written, but--more importantly--it's also one of the best books about psychological warfare, disinformation, and all around mindfuckery perpetuated against the general population. If you want to understand how a conspiracy-benighted world came to be so dazed and confused, then this is a good place to start."

If you're interested in purchasing a copy of SAUCERS, SPOOKS AND KOOKS, click HERE!

You can hear Adam Sayne and Serfiel Stevenson's 4-5-21 CONSPIRINORMAL interview with Adam Gorightly directly below.... 

UFOs and the Senate Intelligence Committee

From Bryan Bender's 3-25-21 POLITICO article entitled "Military and Spy Agencies Accused of Stiff-arming Investigators on UFO Sightings":

The truth may be out there. But don't expect the feds to share what they know anytime soon on the recent spate of UFO sightings.

Some military and spy agencies are blocking or simply ignoring the effort to catalog what they have on "unidentified aerial phenomenon," according to multiple current and former government officials. And as a result, the Biden administration will likely delay a much-anticipated public report to Congress.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the director of national intelligence to work with the Defense Department to provide a public accounting by June 25 on unexplained sightings of advanced aircraft and drones that have been reported by military personnel or captured by radar, satellites and other surveillance systems.

The request came after revelations in 2017 that the Pentagon was researching a series of unexplained intrusions into military airspace, including high-performance vehicles captured on video stalking Navy ships.

But those advising the investigations are advocating for significantly more time and resources to retrieve information from agencies that in some cases have shown reluctance, if not outright resistance, to sharing classified information. And they worry that without high-level involvement, it will be difficult to compel agencies to release what they have.

"Just getting access to the information, because of all the different security bureaucracies, that's an ordeal in itself," said Christopher Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence official who lobbied for the disclosure provision and is continuing to advise policymakers on the issue.

For example, he asserts that a Pentagon task force established last August and led by the Navy has had few personnel or resources and only modest success acquiring reports, video or other evidence gathered by military systems.

The Pentagon task force is expected to be the primary military organization contributing to the wider government report.

"I know that the task force has been denied access to pertinent information by the Air Force and they have been stiff-armed by them," Mellon said in an interview. "That is disappointing but not unexpected."
To read Bender's entire article, click HERE

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD

April 6th marks the official publication day of my seventh book, BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD (courtesy of Crossroad Press). Available in trade paperback and eBook formats! Audiobook to follow soon! To order a copy, click HERE!!!


It’s the late 1980s, and Michael Fenton, editor of Ramboona (a magazine dedicated to forgotten films), is attempting to track down the lost test footage from the 1931 Frankenstein produced by Universal Studios. It’s the holy grail of horror film aficionados: the twenty-minute reel in which Bela Lugosi portrays Frankenstein’s Monster instead of Boris Karloff, who would go on to make cinematic history with his portrayal of Mary Shelley’s creation. In his attempt to locate this fifty-year-old film canister, Mike is led down a labyrinth of blind alleys amidst the topsy-turvy wonderland of Los Angeles and environs.

When we first encounter Mike, he’s making a pilgrimage to Lugosi’s final resting place at Holy Cross Cemetery. This is where he meets Lucy Szilagyi, a struggling young actress who happens to be visiting Sharon Tate’s grave (located only a few tombstones away from Lugosi’s). Lucy, a film buff herself, joins Mike in his quixotic search, helping him track down such curious, real-life characters as Maila Nurmi (an out-of-work actress known more famously as “Vampira”), Bela Lugosi, Jr., science fiction novelist Curt Siodmak, and Manly P. Hall (master hypnotist, mystic, Lugosi confidant, and author of a strange occult encyclopedia entitled The Secret Teachings of All Ages). All of these individuals have valuable pieces of information that could lead Mike to the hidden location of the lost test reel. Lugosi’s grave is also where Mike encounters a mysterious old man who promises him the footage he so desperately desires. But the man offers the item only at a most unusual price….

Bela Lugosi’s Dead is one-third detective story, one-third Hollywood ghost story, and one-third pulp adventure tale….

*****

“In Robert Guffey's latest and greatest novel, dreams of old movies and nightmares of classic horror rack into sharp focus through the lens of a brave film historian, one determined to squint clearly at fleeting grains of film through the shifting sands of time. Never has the truth of Hollywood been so well revealed through fiction. As a result, Bela Lugosi's Dead delightfully and definitively proves that Bela Lugosi isn't dead.” 

--Gary D. Rhodes, author of LUGOSI and TOD BROWNING'S DRACULA


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Frank Thorne, R.I.P. (1930-2021)

From Matt Seneca's 3-10-21 COMICS JOURNAL obituary for Frank Thorne (1930-2021): 

Frank Thorne, one of American comics’ finer craftsmen and more notorious personalities, has died at 90. A cartoonist’s cartoonist whose career covers much of the comics medium’s midcentury history, Thorne’s bibliography runs the gamut from sober family-friendly newspaper strips to transgressive hardcore pornography, all delineated with the steady hand of a master illustrator [...].

The Conan the Barbarian spin-off Red Sonja, drawn by Thorne with a perfect balance of cartoon realism, Gothic shadow, and bawdy humor, was lauded by a fanatical cult audience [...]. Thorne embraced the culture of fandom at the dawn of the age of comics conventions, doing more than perhaps any other comics creator to establish cosplay as a cultural force. Judging lookalike contests in his guise as the long-bearded “Wizard”, and creating Sonja-inspired costumed dramas, Thorne and a series of buxom, scantily-clad models performed for comics conventions, public access TV — and eventually, the Playboy Channel [...].

Thorne created genre-inflected soft porn for venues high and low, becoming one of Playboy's frequent gag cartoonists while creating a steady stream of unrepentantly sleazy comics. Few venues for “adult oriented” comics in the ‘80s went without a Thorne cameo appearance of some kind. Risque heroines in the Red Sonja mold, but free of Marvel’s content restrictions, popped up everywhere: Heavy Metal featured sexy spacegirl Lann, National Lampoon carried pneumatic trail guide Danger Rangerette, Playboy ran the Li’l Abner spoof Moonshine McJugs, and in 1984 he published Ghita of Alizarr, a barbarian warrior whose blonde tresses were all that kept her from being a carbon copy of Sonja.

Easy to lose in the flurry of porn Thorne batted out in the ‘80s was that he was part of a wider trend: the movement toward creator ownership of concept and art by veterans of a midcentury comics scene famous for leaving its keenest strivers destitute once anyone who could do the job quicker or cheaper came along. But where many artists who’d spent careers on nothing but commercial pabulum struggled to free themselves of old habits once a chance to do whatever they wanted had been won, Thorne settled comfortably into an idiom where there was always money to be made [...]. Ever the dedicated craftsman, his career in porn comics chronicles a continued refining of his style, which moved from slashed Kubert-esque rendering to a lusher, inkier simplicity that made perfect sense next to European erotica masters like Guido Crepax and Georges Pichard in the “Adults Only” section of ‘90s comic stores. 

Thorne’s notoriety as a smut merchant crested in one of those Adult sections with the 1995 seizure of his atypically hardcore Eros book The Devil's Angel from Planet Comics in Oklahoma on (quickly dropped) charges of child pornography, placing the impressively bearded senior citizen in good company with NWA, Dungeons and Dragons, the Dead Kennedys, and outlaw cartoonist Mike Diana as victims of the '90s' benighted culture war on youth-corrupting media. Spun off from earlier series The Iron Devil, The Devil’s Angel is a strange book, full of physical transformations and effluvia, with the kind of bizarre vision that can only be legitimately personal in nature counterpointed by its author’s glossy, commercially appealing art. In its more outrĂ© passages it resembles a modern version of Chaucer or the Decameron’s debauched anecdotes [...].

Here's a brief excerpt from HEAVY METAL'S obit for Thorne:

Through the end of the ’80s and into the ’90s, Thorne continued to tell new tales in his own style and milieu — Ribit!, The Iron Devil, and its sequel, The Devil’s Angel. These last two collections were the most taboo-busting material of Thorne’s career, and if he was trying to piss someone off, it worked. The Devil’s Angel was one of several books cited in the Oklahoma v. Planet Comics obscenity case.

Frank Thorne was an original; a talented artist who was also one of the great characters of the comics community. He dressed up as his own characters for public appearances, and put himself into his own comics — it all speaks to an outward joy for the medium we don’t often see. In a 2011 interview, his terse answers were the words of a man who got to do exactly what he wanted with his life:

Ambition? “All I ever wanted to be was a cartoonist.”
Likes? “I LOVE drawing women.”
Dislikes? “I don’t like superheroes.”
Philosophy? “Better hand-to-mouth than 9-to-5.”

S. Clay Wilson, R.I.P. (1941-2021)

An excerpt from Sam Whiting's 2-10-21 SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE obituary entitled "S. Clay Wilson, Ingenious Underground Comix Artist, Dies at 79," which offers an overview of S. Clay Wilson's artistic career, from the underground comix movement of the 1970s all the way to the 21st century:

Back in the maximum-outrage years of underground comix in the 1970s, S. Clay Wilson was known for the Checkered Demon, a short and stubby antihero who wore checkered pants as he busted the heads of bikers, pirates and lowlifes, to the delight of readers of Zap, Yellow Dog, Arcade and other anthologies.

A uniquely San Francisco character and brilliant illustrator, Wilson had a long career using Dicks Bar in the Castro as his mailing address, message center and appointment place. Wilson outlasted Dicks, and he outlasted underground comix before finally dying, on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 7, at his home on 16th Street, half a block from the Dicks location.

His death was announced by his widow, Lorraine Chamberlain, in a series of rambling Facebook posts that began, “He’s gone. At 4 p.m. yesterday. I sat next to him all day yesterday, telling him stories … one of arriving here in a crowd of topless women on Pride Day.”

Wilson had been bedridden for two years because of the lingering effects of a traumatic brain injury he suffered after either a fall or a mugging while drunkenly walking home from a friend’s home on Nov. 1, 2008. At that time, he was found in the pouring rain, facedown between two parked cars.

He came out of a coma after three weeks and drew comics for Zap while still in the hospital. He’d lost his capacity for clever dialogue but kept trying to draw until his cognitive skills declined. He was 79.

“Wilson was a one-of-a-kind original guy,” said another one-of-a-kinder, Ron Turner, publisher of Last Gasp Books and Comics. “Nobody could imitate him. What looked like a jumbled mess on the page was always a smoothly told tale" [...].

“Wilson will go down as one of the boldest cartoonists in art history,” [said Patrick] Rosenkranz [author of a three-volume series titled “The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson"]. “He outdid all of his predecessors in his depiction of sexual deviation, mutilation and perversities of every stripe. But gallows humor was at the heart of all of it. There was something funny happening in the middle of the picture and you had to search to find it.”

To read Whiting's entire article, click HERE.