This month, we’re looking under the bed, pulling back the curtain, and checking the attic because there’s something not quite right about each of the books, comics, and films we’re featuring in this month’s Paranormal issue. From the misty bayous of Louisiana to a trip into a post-apocalyptic Dante’s Inferno, you won’t be able to look away from premonitions of the extraordinary world outside your front door.
All Indie. All Awesome.
Crazy. Cool. Twisted. The essence of paranormal…with a skateboard. We don’t even want to tell you what this is about. It’s kind of like The Matrix…you have to see it for yourself. As our grandma would have said, our film editor, Emily Ingram, put her foot in this! See why here.
by Kibwe Tavares
This incredible film by Kibwe Tavares starts with two friends in pursuit of a little excitement and descends into a tale that combines the fantastic, magical realism, and a sobering allegory about getting what you wish for. This fifteen minute short is as enchanting as it is heartbreaking. See for yourself here.
As I stated in our last post, I live for stars and aliens, but this trip, just left of regular to the Paranormal, is a great excuse for me to talk about some gems I’ve found either online or in my collection. Fair warning, some of my picks are for Mature Readers Only. I’m not playing when I state that unless you are very comfortable with themes of horror, violence, graphic language, and sex these books are not for you.
House of Fear is James Powell’s love letter to series like Goosebumps and Cirque Du Freak. Made for young readers House of Fear is an anthology series with young protagonists who deal with spooky monsters like the Halloween toilet monster or ghost of a vengeful ax man. A quirky read for youngsters who like to live on the edge of their bed. Get the 1st issue FREE by clicking here.
Leading off the adult side of the list is Malefic. After almost being killed by a patient she was having sex with, disgraced shrink Dr. Evelyn Freust finds out that her dead father ran the Pit, a secret asylum of paranormal psychos. With no other career prospects, she’s recruited by the Church with No Name to continue her father’s work, keeping the super powered, mystical “Jokers” of the world locked up while trying to keep sane and stay alive. Published by 1First Comics/Devil’s Due, created by Dan Schaffer and with gritty black and white art by David Miller, Malefic is a creepy read for fans of the X-Files and X-Men, with a touch of perversion on a level with Nero. Please note that while the publishing date for Malefic is still in flux, it is DEFINITELY worth putting on your watch list. Follow Dan Schaffer for more information on when YOU can get a copy (and tell him George at NARAZU sent you!).
I’m only two issues in, and I love this next book. If the Kardashians merged with the Sixth Sense then you’d have There’s Nothing There, a twisted tale of a reality star who starts seeing dead people and she’s not the only one. The hauntings start soon after she attends a cult orgy. The wonderful dialogue of writer Patrick Kindlon spins an amazingly fun and dark tale of our heroine, Reno Selleti, who worries about being seen by paparazzi, then worries even more when no one shows up to take her picture. From riding in a Prius to the various tabloid stories that have been posted about her, you’ll get sucked into liking this celebrity who is a touch more than the superficial stars we’ve come to know. Kindlon’s snappy dialogue coupled with artist Maria Llovet’s hauntingly beautiful fusion of surrealist comic art make TNT a bold, gripping read.
How do I explain this bent work of art? I came across Howard Chaykin’s book many years ago (yes I was way too young to read it then, probably still am) and was amazed. At this time, creators only worked on “blue comics” using a fake name, but not Chaykin. The sheer absurdity of this 80’s cult classic starts with it being a black and white comic, a throwback in a time of full color, high glossy paper. Black Kiss has it all, corrupt cops, a transsexual serial killer, immortal vampire movie stars, church sex, potty mouths, and a murder mystery. This noir comic was done way back in the 80’s and was cutting edge for its time, spawning a sequel 20 years later. Not for the faint of heart, this is a roller coaster ride of weird trying to pull you in.
In Lynn Emery‘s A Darker Shade of Midnight, LaShaun Rouselle returns home from her life in Los Angeles to care for her ailing grandmother and come to terms with her tumultuous path, but she gets much more than she bargained for when she lands in the middle of a murder mystery that only her unique psychic powers can solve. Set against the lush landscapes and rich culture of Louisiana, A Darker Shade of Midnight is just the first book in a masterfully told series by an author who has more than 30 titles to her name and all the skill to show for it. Start your journey here.
There are billions of people in the world but demons aren’t interested in easy prey, no, they want the special taste of those with a unique ability: the ability to see them. The Hierophant by Madeline Claire Franklin is a creepy, atmospheric YA series that gives us a world where the last thing anyone wants is the gift of vision, because that gift comes with the whispering of your name…
Few novels attempt as much as The Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace boldly does. A Ghosthunter hunts the ghost of a super soldier in a post-apocalyptic world… a ghost who then strikes a bargain with her to help him find the ghost of his partner in exchange for precious information about her hellish world. This one reads like Dante’s Inferno for the YA set: taut, emotional, and as unsettling as a breeze in a closed room.
Ligotti is a name known among small press/indie horror for doing more to disturb readers with one sentence than many writers do with an entire book. The stories inside The Spectral Link are the kind of paranormal that slither into your brain and become you from the inside out. Go on and jump into this reality-defying collection. We’ll see you on the other side… if you’re lucky.
Spook Lights by Eden Royce is filled with moody, sticky stories that sometimes curl like mist from a moonlit bayou or suddenly snap like unseen jaws. “These are stories where the setting itself becomes a character—fog laced cemeteries, sulfur-rich salt marshes—places housing creatures that defy understanding and where the grotesque and macabre are celebrated.”
An elusive murderer, an invisible weapon with the power to kill as it heals, and only one woman with the know-how and the guts to solve the case – Enter the spellbinding world of Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective by Valjeanne Jeffers. Science Fiction author Ronald T. Jones describes Jeffers as “a literary chef…[taking] three ingredients, steampunk, horror, and alternate history [blending] them together [to create] a scrumptious main course of thrills, excitement, and suspense.” Join the banquet here!