Hellspawn and Creep Shows

A three-chapter sample of Corpus Evil is coming soon. I expected to have it online this week, but I decided to get a mailing list set up so that anyone who reads it can choose to be notified when the novel releases. The problem is setting up mailing lists is much more complicated than I expected. (It’s probably not complicated at all, but it is boring if you’re expecting a set-it-and-forget-it solution.) That and I really don’t know what my newsletter would entail, other than: “Hey, the novel’s out. Um, bye now.”

So I’ve been reading a ridiculous amount of Spawn lately in an effort to catch up. I don’t give a damn what people say, I still love 90s comics and I even like (fight me) Rob Liefeld because his stuff reminds me of what I tried to draw when I was a kid. (On second thought, this connection is probably a chicken-and-egg situation.) I never cared much for moderation and 90s comics were gloriously excessive.

Todd McFarlane was the king of this stuff. I drew Spawn and Violator about a million times growing up and I still doodle ’em to this day (uh, that sounded raunchy but you know what I meant). As much as I love McFarlane’s art, I keep thinking the same thing whenever I read his writing: I wish Spawn comics didn’t take themselves so seriously. (For context, I’m currently working my way through the Jim Downing issues and his name might as well be Debbie Downer.)

Then I crawled out of bed this morning and discovered RLM uploaded a serendipitous video (see above) in which they review Faust, a Brian Yuzna film about a “superhero” who’s suspiciously similar to Spawn. I quite like Yuzna and special FX wizard Screaming Mad George, but I somehow missed this pairing. In other words, I know what I’m watching this evening.

If you live anywhere near The Circle Cinema in Tulsa, you should probably check out their 35mm showing of Creepshow this June. Creepshow is a huge influence on Corpus Evil; I listened to John Harrison’s soundtrack for the film more than anything else while I was writing it. In fact, I think Creepshow is a more enjoyable Tales from the Crypt adaptation than HBO’s Tales from the Crypt.

Horror Talk (via an /r/horror post) drew my attention to an unproduced script for a Friday the 13th sequel. Here’s the direct link. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m keeping it open in a spare tab for light reading.

The weather here is stupid. Clouds are stupid. Chances of rain are stupid. Everything is stupid.

98 Days until Corpus Evil!

CorpusSample2t

As usual I’m behind schedule. The holiday madness, ridiculousness at work, and the blog move aren’t helping one bit. I’m still spinning my wheels in part three (I like how I expected to have this section done by “the middle of the week”). The three parts in the middle of Corpus Evil are tightly woven, which means changes in one section cause ripples across the others, but I expect to have them done around the same time. By “done” I mean ready for the girlfriend inspection, at which point it’s going to be ready for other pre-release readers.

Amazon pre-orders for Corpus Evil will probably begin in January. I wasn’t aware you couldn’t list Amazon pre-orders more than 90 days in advance of the release date, which doesn’t feel like enough time to gain steam there. Frankly—and this is coming from someone who uses Amazon regularly—it’s troubling that the retailer has so much of the market under its thumb. There are certainly a lot of benefits, but how long will it be before they impose the same level of idiotic censorship on indie books as they do indie movies?

To be clear, Corpus Evil is far from the “extreme” variety of indie books in my opinion, but it hardly feels like my opinion would matter to the bastards whose guidelines made Samurai Cop 2 unwatchable on their VOD service. Not that I’m certain that movie would have been very watchable to begin with (I’m not a big fan of self-aware B-movies), but that’s beside the point.

Break Time

Seems like a fitting day to announce I’m taking a break from this blog. 

Things will be back to normal by October, if not a lot sooner. This isn’t to say I won’t post something here and there in the meantime, but it won’t be a weekly thing for a while. 31 Days of Gore III is definitely still happening… if websites like this one still exist. (Look, I’m surprised we managed to get through SOPA and PIPA, to be perfectly honest, so I’m having a little trouble being optimistic this week.)

My newest toy: the Lionel CDV-700 6B Geiger counter

Here’s a short list of the things I’ve been shocked by:

  • Electric fence charger (I had the misfortune of holding it in both hands when it bit me)
  • Wall socket (horribly stupid school prank gone wrong)
  • Coverless light switch (felt around in the dark for said light switch)
  • Water heater (gas water heater, but it had an electronic thermostat)
  • A 9V battery taser (worthless for protection, by the way)
  • Bare house wiring in a customer’s attic (didn’t bite me until I grabbed a copper pipe)
  • A ton of other things I can’t remember at the moment

As of about an hour ago, I can add “Cold War-era Geiger counter” to the list:

Ain’t it a beauty? Came with the original headset, too.
Yes, I knew the insides were high voltage. No, I didn’t take the proper precautions when poking around inside. Yes, I felt the jolt right in my heart. I would rate this shock between the bare wiring (surprisingly mild) and the cattle fence charger (surprisingly strong).
I’ve been trying to get one of these for about a year and a half, but most eBay listings were either a little too damaged or a little too overpriced. I suspect the current price on these units is due to Fukashima-concerned consumers trying to screen their produce. Just so you know, most Geiger counters are pretty much worthless for this application. If you have no interest in using a Geiger counter properly, don’t buy one.
I got this one for $60 because the seller didn’t know what was wrong with it or how to operate it. Aside from battery corrosion (I have an $8 replacement compartment on the way from UraniumRocks.com, which also sells refurbished units for $180 a piece) and a bit of rust on the can, the unit is in good condition. A sticker indicates the civil defense calibrated it in 1983, the year I was born, and I wanted the Lionel-manufactured unit because A) it uses two D-cells instead of four, and B) it’s just cool that a toy company (well, model train company) manufactured it.
Baseline readings at my own house are a little higher than average (in my admittedly limited data set, anyway). The “hottest” thing I found was an old breadbox my parents used to keep our pills and vitamins in. The second hottest was a mysterious box in my father’s garage. The thrill of opening the newspaper-packed box up was more exciting than anything that ever happened to me while metal detectin’, but I was disappointed, if not relieved, to only find lantern mantles inside.
As is, it’s a pretty good unit for detecting potential sources and listening to that great Geiger counter sound, but I imagine it will be a while before I purchase a newer check source and get it properly calibrated. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty piece of Cold War history for my shelf.