Category Archives: Horror

The Art of Horror Wins at the World Fantasy Convention

Following it’s Bram Stoker award win earlier this year, Stephen Jones’, The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History, has received an award at the World Fantasy Convention. The awards were presented on the during this years convention in Columbus, Ohio at the World Fantasy Awards banquet. Awards ranged from lifetime achievement to various aspects of art and literature.


Since it’s beginnings in 1975, The World Fantasy Convention has continued as an annual gathering and reunion of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of light and dark fantasy art and literature. The Art of Horror was nominated in the category the Special – Professional category.

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In The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History  multi-award winning horror and dark fantasy writer and editor Stephen Jones brings together thrilling visuals of the horror genre that have bewitched audiences since the 19th century. These images continue to inspire nightmarish creatures that wander the streets every Halloween; the tradition of bone-chilling campfire stories; and let’s not forget the psyche-scarring films audiences can’t get enough of.

It is a celebration of frightful images, compiled and presented by some of the genre’s most respected names, including a foreword by cult favorite Neil Gaiman. Readers will be ensnared by the shockingly lurid and hauntingly beautiful color photos and illustrations representing every aspect of the horror genre since Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the 19th century.

Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, demons, serial killers, alien invaders, and more, it’s all here. From early engravings – via dust jackets, book illustrations, pulp magazines, movie posters, comic books, and paintings – to today’s artists working entirely in the digital realm. Stephen Jones and his exceptional team of contributors have sourced visuals from archives and private collections (including their own) worldwide, ensuring an unprecedented selection for those discovering the genre and the most committed fans. The Art of Horror is the ultimate collection to indulge the dark side in everyone.

Stephen Jones  is the leading authority on the fascinating history of horror. He is a Hugo Award nominee, the winner of four World Fantasy Awards, three International Horror Guild Awards, four Bram Stoker Awards, twenty-one British Fantasy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Horror Association. One of Britain’s most acclaimed horror and dark fantasy writers and editors, he has more than 130 books to his credit.


To order a copy of the book, click here.

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Congratulations to Stephen Jones!

Applause Books wants to congratulate Stephen Jones for winning an Award for his book The Art of Horror An Illustrated History! Stephen Jones was one of many authors present at the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, which took place this past weekend. He won the prize for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction! To watch the event, and Stephen Jones’ acceptance speech click on the link below!

>>Watch Here<<

A list of all winners and nominees can be found here


00141141Amazingly, there has never been a book quite like The Art of Horror An Illustrated History: a celebration of fearful images, compiled and presented by some of the genre’s most respected names. While acknowledging the beginnings of horror-related art in legends and folk tales, the focus of the book is on how the genre has presented itself to the world since the creations of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.

The stunning illustrations featured in The Art of Horror will captivate you right from the start. With chapters like, The Blood Is The Life, Man-Made Monsters, and Giant Behemoths, Editor Stephen Jones showcases an unprecedented collection of some 400 of the finest examples of horror-related art. Each chapter begins with an overview of the featured area of the genre, and also contains two special features on specific topics (e.g. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or the paintings of Clive Barker). These 10 chapters also showcases quotes from artists/illustrators, and a selection from writers and filmmakers, are featured throughout.

Jones and his stellar team of contributors have sourced visuals from archives and private collections (including their own!) worldwide, ensuring an unprecedented selection that is accessible to those discovering the genre. They also include many images that will be rare and unfamiliar to even the most committed fan. From early engravings, via dust jackets, book illustrations, pulp magazines, movie posters, comic books and paintings, to today’s artists working entirely in the digital realm. It’s all here, from the shockingly lurid to the hauntingly beautiful.

Dave Thompson on After Hours AM

Dave Thompson, author of Haunted America FAQ, spoke with Eric Olsen and Joel Sturgis of After Hours AM. They spoke about his current book and how he manged to write over 100 books! Click on the link below to hear the entire interview!

>>Listen<<

00128461Asked if she was believed in ghosts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand (1697-1780) replied, “No, but I am afraid of them.”

Whether you share the Marquise’s position or not, there is no doubt that the idea visitors from the afterlife has gripped humankind since time began. Ancient cultures East and West took spirits for granted, and reported sightings continue to this day—many of them close to home in every corner of the United States.

In Haunted America FAQ, Dave Thompson has created a fast-paced survey of the ghosts, ghouls, and associated denizens of the country’s haunted history. Tracing local ghost stories back to Native American legends and then forward through horror tales both ancient and modern, the book revisits some of the best-known haunted locales, as well as some of the most obscure creepy places, in America.

Delving deep into the cultural history of American hauntings, Haunted America FAQ features chapters on ghosts in cemeteries, amusement parks, government buildings, hospitals, and more, as well as ghostly books, movies, and television. Also included are a roundup of reality-TV ghost hunts and a state-by-state gazetteer of haunted spots.

Haunted America FAQ will amaze believers and skeptics alike with the history and range of spectral sightings it uncovers from around the country and, maybe, just around the corner.

Stephen Jones speaks with Exquisite Terror!

Stephen Jones, author of The Art of Horror, spoke with Rich Wilson from Exquisite Terror about his inspiration for the book. Read the interview below and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


00141141This new collection is beautifully put together by noted horror author Stephen Jones, and presents page after page of full colour art, from the earliest carvings of the Egyptians to the digital work of modern masters. As you’d expect, film and fiction are heavily represented, and the book is neatly split into sections — creatures, ghosts, psychopaths, etc. — with accompanying essays providing good reading material alongside countless posters and book covers. Often labelled as trash by the mainstream, The Art of Horror proves otherwise; this showcases superb work by immensely talented people, and richly brings your fears to life. As Jones states in his introduction: “Art will always be there to hold a mirror up to the universe and show us what is really out there…” This is a serious celebration of the genre, and a must-have for those who love things that go bump in the night.

We spoke to editor Jones about his inspiration for the book.

Where did the initial concept and idea for The Art of Horror come from?

Actually, this was one of those rare instances of a publisher contacting me. Elephant Book Company Ltd, a British packager of many classy coffee-table art books, approached me via a mutual colleague and asked if I was interested in writing a book about horror art. I initially turned them down as I was busy on a number of other projects and, having been involved with several art books before, I knew how much work it would involve.

However, they kept coming back, and I started to think that I didn’t want anybody else doing this book! So, in the end, we came up with a compromise where I would conceive and edit the book and we would get in other experts in their particular subjects to write the individual chapters. And that worked brilliantly — up to a point. In the end, it involved a lot more work for me than I had originally envisioned, but I had an incredible team backing me up and the more I got into it, the more fun I had doing it.

How important do you think these images have been in promoting horror literature and cinema in the past?

Oh, incredibly important. But the problem is that they are all over the place — in different countries, from different eras. That was the attraction to me, to bring together this rich vein of illustrative material relating to the horror genre into a single volume, so that people could see how it all fitted together, where the connections were being made.

Of course, even in a book of this size we barely scratched the surface. There is so much more that we could have included, but you have to work within certain commercial restrictions, and it was important to me that the cover price allowed it to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible. I’m very proud that we achieved that without sacrificing any quality whatsoever.

You have a wide and varied collection of artists featured, from legends such as Giger to comic book masters such as Charlie Adlard. Who chose the work to be featured, and how easy was it to obtain publishing rights?

This is where my team came in. Obviously, as I’ve been involved with the horror genre for nearly forty years, I was aware of the work of many of the artists we included, plus many of them were friends and acquaintances who I had dealt with before. But I also had an amazing project manager in Adam Newell (who I had previously worked with at Titan Books) and designer in Paul Palmer-Edwards, who both also suggested artists and various works to be included.

In the end, the final decision was always mine as it was my name on the book, but they brought to my attention artwork and images that I was perhaps not familiar with or had overlooked. On top of that, we had an experienced picture researcher who dealt with all the clearances. I simply could not have done all that work on my own, and without those people backing me up I would probably not have done the book at all. In the end, it really was a team effort.

Were there any artists you wanted to feature that didn’t make the book, for whatever reason?

Yes. There were some that turned us down — mostly because they wanted ridiculous amounts of money. When we found something that I liked, we usually approached the artist or their representative. In most cases they agreed to be included because they wanted to be in the book. As I say, a few turned us down and, in those cases, we just moved on and found a replacement piece of art to fit the specific theme.


Read the whole interview over at Exquisite Terror!

Haunted America FAQ

Haunted America FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Most Haunted Houses, Cemeteries, Battlefields, and More

by Dave Thompson

Website

Asked if she was believed in ghosts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand (1697-1780) replied, “No, but I am afraid of them.”

Whether you share the Marquise’s position or not, there is no doubt that the idea visitors from the afterlife has gripped humankind since time began. Ancient cultures East and West took spirits for granted, and reported sightings continue to this day—many of them close to home in every corner of the United States.

 In Haunted America FAQ (October 2015, Backbeat Books, $19.99), Dave Thompson has created a fast-paced survey of the ghosts, ghouls, and associated denizens of the country’s haunted history. Tracing local ghost stories back to Native American legends and then forward through horror tales both ancient and modern, the book revisits some of the best-known haunted locales, as well as some of the most obscure creepy places, in America.

Delving deep into the cultural history of American hauntings, Haunted America FAQ features chapters on ghosts in cemeteries, amusement parks, government buildings, hospitals, and more, as well as ghostly books, movies, and television. Also included are a roundup of reality-TV ghost hunts and a state-by-state gazetteer of haunted spots.

 Haunted America FAQ will amaze believers and skeptics alike with the history and range of spectral sightings it uncovers from around the country and, maybe, just around the corner.

$19.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
408 pages
9781480392625
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dave Thompson is the author of more that 100 books on television, music, and pop culture, with previous titles in the Backbeat Books and Applause Books FAQ Series on Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, South Park, and soccer. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Goldmine, MOJO, Melody Maker and other outlets. He lives in Newark, Del.
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Dave Thompson on The Peter Tilden Show!

Haunted America FAQ author, Dave Thompson, was a guest on The Peter Tilden Show on KABC in Los Angeles! He spoke with Peter about how and why he decided to write Haunted America FAQ and also talks about the most pointed out some of the most haunted locations in Los Angeles and around the country.  Listen to the full podcast below!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00128461Asked if she believed in ghosts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand (1697-1780) replied, “No, but I am afraid of them.”

Whether you share the Marquise’s position or not, there is no doubt that the idea visitors from the afterlife has gripped humankind since time began. Ancient cultures East and West took spirits for granted, and reported sightings continue to this day—many of them close to home in every corner of the United States.

In Haunted America FAQ, Dave Thompson has created a fast-paced survey of the ghosts, ghouls, and associated denizens of the country’s haunted history. Tracing local ghost stories back to Native American legends and then forward through horror tales both ancient and modern, the book revisits some of the best-known haunted locales, as well as some of the most obscure creepy places, in America.

Delving deep into the cultural history of American hauntings, Haunted America FAQ features chapters on ghosts in cemeteries, amusement parks, government buildings, hospitals, and more, as well as ghostly books, movies, and television. Also included are a roundup of reality-TV ghost hunts and a state-by-state gazetteer of haunted spots.

Haunted America FAQ will amaze believers and skeptics alike with the history and range of spectral sightings it uncovers from around the country and, maybe, just around the corner.

Halloween blues?

In just a blink of the eye the month of October has come and gone. Now it is the next holiday’s time to shine. But if you’re like us and you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to Halloween, then look no further! Bruce Scivally,  author of the book Dracula FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Count of Transylvania, is here to satisfy your Halloween needs. Read below for an excerpt of Dracula FAQ!


00127075Bram Stoker held memberships in the National Liberal Club, the Authors’ Club, and the Green Room Club. John J. O’Connor, writing in the New York Times sixty-five years after Stoker’s death, claimed that the author also belonged to “the Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult society whose members included William Butler Yeats, the poet, and Aleister Crowley, the notorious Satanist.”

A collection of Stoker’s rather morbid short stories, Under the Sunset, was published in 1881, but his next novel, The Snake’s Pass, didn’t appear until 1890. That year, Stoker had a dream that would fuel his most lasting creation. He saw a man reclining, sleeping, while three vampire women hovered over him. They kissed him, not on the mouth, but on the neck. Then, a man tore into the room and savagely pushed the women away, saying, “This man belongs to me. I want him.” The dream simmered in Stoker’s imagination, and he began developing a story around it. In early August 1890, he took his family for a holiday in Whitby, in North Yorkshire. The seaside town fired the imagination of the author.

Whitby is situated on two cliffs, split in the middle by the River Esk. Stoker wrote parts of the novel while vacationing in the town, and wove the location into his story. In his new novel, the vampire’s ship runs aground at Whitby, an episode based on a real-life incident—the Russian ship Dmitry out of Narva ran aground there during a storm in October 1885; in the novel, it is the Demeter, out of Varna. But it was the East Cliff, with its 199 steps leading up to a graveyard and the ruins of Whitby Abbey, that made the greatest impression on the author. It’s said that in the Abbey ruins, Stoker found the inspiration for Castle Dracula.

Most importantly, in the Whitby Library, Stoker found a book called An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, in which there was a footnote about a fifteenth-century warlord named Dracula. Stoker had thought of calling his villain Count Wampyr, from Styria (a location mentioned in J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla). Now, he changed his vampire’s name to Count Dracula, and situated his castle in Transylvania.

Some of the most evocative writing in Dracula comes at the beginning and end, the portions set in Transylvania. In reality, Stoker never visited the country, relying instead on information gleaned from books and from his friend Arminius Vambery, a professor from the University of Budapest. After conversations with Vambery, Stoker conducted further research in the British Library, uncovering facts about Vlad III.

While collecting information and working out the plot of Dracula, Stoker also wrote two other novels, The Watter’s Mou’ and The Shoulder of Shasta, both of which appeared in 1895. In May of 1897, Stoker sent the manuscript of his latest novel to Constable, his publisher. There was some uncertainty about the title; in his working notes, he had jotted down three possible titles: “The Un-Dead,” “The Dead Un-Dead,” and “Dracula.” Stoker submitted it under the title “The Un-Dead.” Before publication, the title changed to Dracula. The book arrived at booksellers on May 26, 1897.

Since its publication, Stoker’s book has been subject to all kinds of interpretations of the author’s unconscious influences. Some have seen it as an exploration of the fear of foreign immigration, with a malicious invader from Eastern Europe attempting to spread his evil influence over civilized cosmopolitan London. Others view it as a misogynistic fantasy of male power dominating the “New Woman,” as women with progressive, liberated ideas were referred to at the time; Mina Murray, with her aspirations to work alongside her husband-to-be, Jonathan Harker, and her mastery of shorthand and the typewriter is definitely an exemplar of this progressive female, Others say the novel’s vampirism is a metaphor for the sexuality that Victorians were prohibited from expressing, with the vampire’s bite being symbolic of penetration, and the “blood disease” of vampirism being a metaphor for syphilis. But Stoker may have thought he was simply writing an exciting thriller, given verisimilitude by its presentation as a series of journal entries and letters.

Stephen Jones speaks with Britflicks

Stephen Jones, editor of The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History, spoke with Stuart Wright of Britflicks. They spoke about the incredible illustrations that are featured in the book and much more. Listen to the podcast below to learn more The Art of Horror and what it has to offer!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00141141Amazingly, there has never been a book quite like The Art of Horror An Illustrated History: a celebration of fearful images, compiled and presented by some of the genre’s most respected names. While acknowledging the beginnings of horror-related art in legends and folk tales, the focus of the book is on how the genre has presented itself to the world since the creations of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.

The stunning illustrations featured in The Art of Horror will captivate you right from the start. With chapters like, The Blood Is The Life, Man-Made Monsters, and Giant Behemoths, Editor Stephen Jones showcases an unprecedented collection of some 400 of the finest examples of horror-related art. Each chapter begins with an overview of the featured area of the genre, and also contains two special features on specific topics (e.g. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or the paintings of Clive Barker). These 10 chapters also showcases quotes from artists/illustrators, and a selection from writers and filmmakers, are featured throughout.

Jones and his stellar team of contributors have sourced visuals from archives and private collections (including their own!) worldwide, ensuring an unprecedented selection that is accessible to those discovering the genre. They also include many images that will be rare and unfamiliar to even the most committed fan. From early engravings, via dust jackets, book illustrations, pulp magazines, movie posters, comic books and paintings, to today’s artists working entirely in the digital realm. It’s all here, from the shockingly lurid to the hauntingly beautiful.

Dracula FAQ

Dracula FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Count from Transylvania

by Bruce Scivally

Website

In the 15th century, warlord Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler and Dracula (son of the Dragon), became a legendary figure in his native Wallachia. Four hundred years later, Irish author Bram Stoker appropriated Dracula’s name for a vampire novel he spent seven years researching and writing. Considered one of the classics of Gothic literatures, Dracula went on to inspire numerous stage plays, musicals, movies, and television adaptations. The character Dracula is a permanent fixture in pop culture.

In Dracula FAQ (October 2015, Backbeat Books, $19.99), author Bruce Scivally unearths little-known facts about both the historical and literary Dracula, covering a abundance of topics along the way, including ancient vampire myths from various cultures; Hamilton Dean, the man who first brought Dracula to the stage in England, and Horace Liveright, the publisher who brought Dracula to Broadway; Dracula in opera and ballet; and Dracula in the comics.

And, of course, Scivally covers the movies, detailing a host of vampire films, from low-budget B-movies from the 60s to documentaries such as In Search of Dracula and box-office hits such as Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Dracula. He also looks at Anne Rice’s book series, The Vampire Chronicles, and the film version of Interview with a Vampire (1994), and at Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series – the best-selling books and the top-grossing film.

Dracula FAQ also features a gallery of rare images, from film stills to vintage ads, looks at Dracula tourist attractions and merchandise, vampire societies, and real-life vampires. Scavilly also includes lengthy biographies of some of the most iconic Draculas, including Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance, Frank Langella, Louis Jourdan, Gary Oldman, and Gerard Butler.

Dracula FAQ is an amazing journey through centuries of vampire history!

$19.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
284 pages
9781617136009
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

BRUCE SCIVALLY is the author of several books on film history, including James Bond: The Legacy, Superman on Film, Television, Radio & Broadway, and Billion Dollar Batman. After spending 22 years working in the film industry in Los Angeles, he moved to Chicago, where he teaches scriptwriting and film history classes at the Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago and Columbia College.

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October is finally here!

As we enter the month of October, we over at Hal Leonard are excited for Halloween. As we count down the days until Halloween approaches, here is an excerpt of one of our spooky books, Haunted America FAQ!


00128461From the bright lights of New Orleans, the avid fan of Louisiana cemeteries could take no more dramatic turn than toward the swamp lights of Manchac, and the mass grave that was perforcedly dug here to bury the victims of the Great West Indies Storm of September 1915.

Or, at least, the storm is what the official story blamed. Local lore, however. insists that the weather was simply the weapon that finished them off. The real killer was Aunt Julia Brown, the elderly voodoo priestess who owned almost all of the property around the town of Frenier Beach, out on Lake Pontchartrain, and who appeared to begrudge every tenant she had.

“One day I’m gonna die,” she used to sing to herself, and to anyone who might be passing by as she sat out on her porch. “One day I’m gonna die, and I’m gonna take all of you with me.” So she could not have timed her funeral more perfectly than to coincide with the landfall of a Category Three hurricane that modern equipment would tell us moved northwest from the Gulf of Mexico at around 14 mph, with sustained winds near its center of 115 mph, and which crashed into Frenier Beach like an express train.

At exactly the same time as Aunt Julia’s funeral.

The old woman had certainly unnerved her fellow townspeople. But they had admired her as well, and the whole town was out to pay its final respects. The funeral service began at four, and that was precisely when the storm hit. Gathered around Aunt Julia’s coffin, mourners were scattered as the windows of her house blew in and the walls peeled away.

Then the winds snatched up the coffin and carried it into the bayou, along with everything else it could gather—livestock and the living included. Later, once the winds had died down and the waters finally started to recede, Aunt Julia’s body was found deep within the cypress swamp.

But they only found her body. Her casket had disappeared, and so had more or less everything else she had owned. The personal possessions that she kept around her house, the house in which she lived, most of the property that she had collected around Frenier Beach, and a lot of the people who lived in it.

Speaking of earthly riches and treasures, people always say that when you go, you cannot take it with you, and maybe that’s true. But Aunt Julia certainly put it someplace.

The bodies that could be found were buried in a mass grave in Manchac Swamp, floated across the lake on makeshift driftwood rafts, and for a century since then the swamp has howled with their restless, and so wronged spirits.

In 2009, A&E’s Extreme Paranormal investigative team even visited the grave site, and although they returned with little more than a prime-time half hour of jumbled voodoo, mini-cam entombment, and the kind of outrageous exaggerations that only reality TV can supply, still it was one of the most captivating shows of its ilk ever broadcast. They found nothing, but that didn’t mean that something wasn’t there.

Besides, the cemetery is just one of Manchac’s claims to fame because there’s reasons aplenty why the locals used to call the place “the swamp of the ghosts.”

Reasons like nearby Manchac Lighthouse, automated in 1941, decommissioned in 1987; derelict and barely accessible but, says legend, occupied to this day.

Reasons like the Blood Red Hanging Tree, an old-time instrument of local justice, whose strange fruit can still be seen hanging from its branches today.

Reasons like the Cajun rougarou that has stalked the swamp for centuries, and reasons like the ghostly highway that crosses the swamp where, until its deadly collapse in 1976, a modern road bridge once stood, although woe betide anyone who attempts trust to its tarmac today.

In fact, the only thing that Manchac Swamp has more of than ghosts and supernatural horrors is probably alligators. Which is maybe why not many people go there at night.