Monday, October 16, 2017

Philatelic Phantoms III: Folk Tales

I've covered past examples of Canada Post's celebration of all things creepy and Canadian, including the Haunted Canada Collection (2015, 2016) and their very cool Haunted Stamp House (1997).

This post takes an even further look back to a collection released on October 1, 1991, called FolktalesContes populaires. Although this series concerns Canadian folklore, I thought it might be still spooky enough to warrant a closer examination... and I wasn't disappointed! As with all such Canada Post collections, it's a cool slice of Canadiana.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Rise and Fall of OSFiC

I recently purchased a collection of 40 fanzines and newsletters published by The Ontario Science Fiction Club (OSFiC), which was active from 1967-84 and one of the longest-serving such clubs in the country. Even though I'm researching the creepier corners of Canadian fandom, I thought these publications could potentially offer a broader glimpse of homegrown fandom during that era--and I wasn't disappointed.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Fan Expo Toronto 2017

This year at Fan Expo in Toronto was an overall better experience than others of recent memory, despite having to chip in for the cost to be there. Traditionally, the Horror Writers Association covered the cost of the booth in order to promote its members and the organization, but due to recent budget constraints, they declined to sponsor the booth this year--at least in full. They still contributed as one of our sponsors, which was great, because it helped offset the cost for the half-dozen or so authors who chipped in to cover the remainder of the booth.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lost House by Frances Shelley Wees

While researching literature for possible inclusion in The Great Fright North, I came across Lost House by Frances Shelley Wees, which was described as "an eerie mystery of the Canadian North" on the cover of Argosy (V.284 N.2, Aug. 27, 1938).

This was the first of six weekly issues of Argosy in which Wees's story was serialized, so I jumped the gun (as is my nature) and bought each of them, with the hope that the story was truly "eerie" enough to be included in my book. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Russ Jones's Dracula

Published in 1966, Russ Jones's Dracula was co-written by Otto Binder and Craig Tennis, with illustrations by Alden (Al) McWilliams. This paperback may be considered the first graphic novel, as it predates early works by Marvel and DC from the 60s, all of which were original stories-- including Captain America: The Great Gold Steal (1968), The Avengers Battle the Earth-Wrecker (1967), Batman vs. the Fearsome Foursome (a novelization of the movie, published in 1966), and Batman vs. Three Villains of Doom (a story based on the Batman TV series, also published in 1966). Although The Adventures of Superman, written by George Lowther, was published by Random House in 1942, it only included ten illustrations by Joe Shuster, as well as some of his sketches.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2nd Global Conference on The Supernatural

From the press release: The supernatural has served as a useful means of explaining complicated natural processes in terms humans understand. As history’s famous witch-hunts have demonstrated, the supernatural is also a potent weapon for exerting control over individuals whose behaviour or appearance fail to conform to the ‘norms’ of the community. Conversely, the supernatural can also provide a means of expressing minority beliefs in a way that challenges the power of mainstream organized religions.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pippin's Journal : Or, Rosemary Is for Remembrance

Canadian author June Skinner published four novels under the pen name Rohan O'Grady, and a fifth as Ann Carleon, between 1961 and 1981. After falling out of the public eye in the early 80s, her career saw an upswing in 2010 after her third book, Let’s Kill Uncle (1963), was republished. (The book was previously adapted to film in 1966, directed by William Castle.)

She's been on my to-read list for quite some time. I decided to start with her second book, Pippin's Journal : Or, Rosemary Is for Remembrance (1962), primarily because it includes a number of illustrations by Edward Gorey--and his art is perfectly suited to Skinner's story, which is a macabre, Gothic tale that is darkly humorous at times.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

CFP: EuroMedia2017

Fancy a visit to England this summer? Then why not head to the picturesque town of Brighton, which is hosting EuroMedia2017, The European Conference on Media, Communication and Film 2017, from July 11-12, 2017.

Note that the initial abstract submission deadline is February 28, 2017, and early bird registration is open until the end of March 30, 2017.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hogtown Horror, Vol. 1

The city of Toronto, Canada is known by many nicknames, including The Big Smoke, The Centre of the Universe, Hollywood North, and Hogtown--the latter of which lends itself to a new collection of ghoulish comics called Hogtown Horror.

Each of the 17 stories, produced by Canadian artists and writers, chiefly take place in and around Toronto. Obviously those who live here, or are familiar with the city, will get a kick out of the stories--but they're universal enough to please any horror fan.