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Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks, (& Musicals) An Interview Redux

16 Apr

By Ed Sum and Ira Hunter

Release Date: May 13, 2019
Available for pre-order on Amazon

Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks on Vinyl is a wonderful book which looks back at nearly all the music from the greatest horror cinema classics. No, we are not talking about a rerelease of all these tunes, but instead, we will get an opening of a time capsule which looks at the unique history and artwork of these works. This hardbound, full-colour, 240-page book ​spotlights the intricate (and often rare) artwork on the LP sleeves, as well as album reviews, release details, and wild backstories.

Jeff Szpirglas reviews albums and old movies for Rue Morgue Magazine, and his bibliography does not end there. He’s written many books for young readers and is a second-grade full-time teacher. This vocation puts him in an interesting position should he decide to demonstrate his love for horror to impressionable minds. Aaron Lupton is the music editor for the said magazine and is a passionate and nerdy collector of horror soundtrack LPs. He also is the co-host of From My Parents Basement podcast with Eric Gaudet and Gary Pullin.

In what prompted the decision to create this book was when Szpirglas approached Aaron about putting together a special edition digest issue of the magazine focusing specifically on horror soundtracks. At the time, Rue Morgue had been releasing special editions on subjects ranging from horror collectables to Canadian horror, and he felt that a soundtrack book was a no-brainer. In his own words, So much of what makes these films effective often comes from sound and music working in conjunction with the images and the rhythms of editing.

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Raising the Bard with Songs of the Dead and Book Two

12 Apr

Vault Comics.jpg

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Andrea Fort and Michael Christopher Heron are the writing team behind Vault Comic‘s Songs for the Dead. This series is still ongoing and it came to my attention when I saw it turned a lot of the conceptions concerning Necromancers upside down! This character class is not from Dungeons and Dragons as we normally know it and the protagonist, Bethany, is a bright-eyed young girl whose desire for adventure keeps her going. Her music, though, is able to bring the dead back to life!

The consequences are worth noting. She is a pied piper, and the zombie critters that keep her company is amusing. Along the way, the supernatural encounters she faces are worse, and what she does to answer them got me curious. It’s like these creators decided to have the thought experiment of what if George Romero was asked to write a Disney Princess story.  To truly visualize it, “We also have to acknowledge our artist Sam Beck without whom it would be a lot of words on a page without those beautiful beautiful images. We owe her so much for her contribution,” said Fort and Heron. 

When considering this team crafted a tale that’s unique in the world of fantasy, they had to do more. It was important for these creators to have this story live in the fantasy worlds that we, as readers, are already familiar with while subverting the tropes, They picked and chose from every product they ever loved, and were careful in not to overdo it.

These creators love cinema and know its history (especially Fort)—ranging from Ingmar Bergman to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Harry Potter—and in what they have crafted shows. There’s more The Legend of Korra style nuances in this book to which Fort admits she’s a huge fan of. They wanted a book that’s accessible to everyone taking an interest in their debut book.

The two are avid role-playing gamers and just how they became a team was not while gaming. Although they had worked for the same company and had mutual friends, they never met. “Instead, it was through online dating, as most anti-social squirrelly millennials did,” laughed Fort.

songs-for-the-dead gn cover

When they finally got together, they instantly clicked and discovered they have a love for storytelling in the comic book medium. To say one did more than the other is unfair. Ultimately, the narrative is of their fictional daughter coming of age. The idea for this series arrived one day when Ford mentioned how her companion came to her one day and said, “‘You know I’ve been thinking a lot about how necromancers are always these really scary old dudes in these cloaks. Why can’t they be just like some sweet girl?’

“And being a woman who likes strong complex female characters, we realized crafting a story that was really female forward was important.”

Whether this thought came from him one day looking over his vintage playing card and tarot collection (to which Death is famously depicted) or out of the blue, the two knew this idea had to be further developed. The first few issues of this comic book were self-published and, very quickly, Vault Comics came knocking at their door. These two creators said being discovered was a boon. Fort said this company is wonderful for taking them on and they can continue telling more stories.

The second series, The Necromancer’s Map, is coming out this summer and the two believes it’s a great jumping in point for new readers. It will continue the story of the main characters Bethany and Alyssa, and explore the world even more.

This next arc will see her take on more of a role as a bard. Much like the Dungeons and Dragons character class, this role needs to be explored. Bethany is a minstrel first and a hellraiser second. “What better representation of a hero is there than somebody who can rally people with their hope and their optimism?” said Ford.

For admirers of independent works, this comic is one to certainly look at. To keep up with the latest happenings, please follow their Twitter page here.

Scott Duvall Slays it with Army of Darkness / Bubba Ho Tep

8 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Army of Darkness / Bubba Ho Tep (AoD/BHT) is a comic book not to be missed. It brings two fan favourites from the world of cult films into a crazy mix that only writer Scott Duvall and artist Vincenzo Federici can imagine. Issue number three is due April 10th, and for this author, it’s been quite a journey. He will soon celebrate ten years of being in the industry! This Vancouver, BC-based creator has plenty of ideas in the pipeline (including one concerning T-Rexes in World War 3), but when it comes to looking back at how he got to where he is now, he’s a talent to keep an eye on. He described the experience worthwhile. He grew up mostly reading Marvel Comics, but it was Y the Last Man which encouraged him to go into creating his own work.

“I always dreamed about it,” said Duvall, “Friends suggested I hook up with Arcana Comics. Sean O’Reilly helped me publish my first comic, Cryozone, and so I went to San Diego Comic-Con and handed it out to editors–anybody I could talk to. From there I got a Marvel internship.”

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After Capital City Comic Con, What’s Next for Victoria, BC?

25 Mar

 

Image result for comic booksBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After Capital City Comic Convention, what’s next? Some fans cannot wait for the next show but that will be a year away. In the meantime, Vancouver Island has enough shows making the fun last month after month. On the list are:

Whether this list is too much or too little, the local fandom community have more than enough to keep going. Those interested in coming to the garden city of Victoria, BC from afar will have to arrange their own travel and accommodations.

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