Thursday, March 24, 2016

The best book that I read in 2015: A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of GhostsA Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are two 2015 books that I greatly admire for both the presentation style and the skillful writing. GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a must read, and was my former favorite read of 2015.
I now rank A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS at the extreme top of that "best of 2015" list (just the books that I read, because I didn't read enough). The suspense and sense of dread for what is going to occur builds and builds with every chapter. The ending is shocking and disturbing, and I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read the book.
Marjorie Barrett, a young girl of 14 begins to exhibit disturbing behavior. Doctors are unable to completely diagnose her condition, suspected to be acute schizophrenia. John Barrett has recently become unemployed, with his chances of obtaining new employment in a quiet New England town discouraging. As the medical bills mount up he turns to his faith and a Catholic priest, who suggests demonic possession and begins preparation for an exorcism. The family agrees to allow a film crew into the home to document the proceedings for a television reality show.
If that wasn't enough of a hook to pull readers in, the entire story is first person narration, told by the younger sister Merry. She was 8 years old at the time of the exorcism, and is now 23 as she recounts the events as best she can to a best-selling author now turning to nonfiction.
The reader can never be sure how much of the re-telling is accurate, and how much is the exaggerated memories of a very young impressionable girl. There is not a single wasted passage in the book, and everything connects as the full picture is revealed. Tremblay manages to pay respect to some classic horror writers and movies throughout the story without copying them. He even makes a fellow horror author and friend one of the minor characters near the end of the book.
There is only a small amount of blood and bloody incidents within the book. What is most horrific about the story is the effects of these events on a modest family, who will be forever changed. This is a book that you can return to for repeat readings. I intend to and eagerly anticipate learning from a contemporary master of urban horror.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Get Into March Madness with Comic Book Resources heroes bracket


Not interested in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament of 64 beginning this week?  Bored with all the bracket fever?

Maybe you would prefer some head to head challenges of DC and Marvel TV heroes as portrayed by various actors?

Then, welcome to Comic Book Resources’   2016 DC/Marvel Comic Character Tournament!

Go to this site to enter the competition and submit your picks:    

This year (the 8th year) CBR is using just the television versions of DC and Marvel superheroes (The judges didn't count either Human Targets as “superheroes” , nor did they include  most SHIELD agents,. But they did count some of the more “super” SHIELD agents, as well as John Constantine.

This is not a head to head combat challenge for participants. It’s a popularity contest.  You’re voting for which superhero character (as portrayed by that actor) that you like the best.

Dont worry about the off-centered rankings and seedings.  Just jump in and have some fun with it. 

Just like in the March Madness competition, there are four regions:  Batcave, Daily Planet, Culver Institute, and Paradise Island.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Scuttlebutt 2016 #4: Keeping the FAITH, CW rewards comics-based shows with renewals

EDITOR’S NOTE:  FAITH has received quite a bit of press and media attention, and deservedly so.  Here’s your chance to catch up on the story, with new printings of the first issue.  I’m pretty sure the second issue will see an additional printing as well.  Why wait for the trade when you can read it now?  it could very well end up on several best-of-year 2016 lists.

from the official press release . . . . . . . .

Valiant’s FAITH #1 is the first certified hit of 2016! As word of mouth continues to spread – from The Huffington Post to The Today Show – the high-flying hero at the forefront of the Valiant Universe is zooming into yet another sold-out printing!
Valiant is proud to announce that FAITH #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUE of the best-selling, new limited series by rising star Jody Houser (Orphan Black) and acclaimed artist Francis Portela (Green Lantern) and Marguerite Savauge (DC Comics Bombshells) – has once again sold out at the distributor level and will return to store shelves on March 30th with the FAITH #1 (of 4) FOURTH PRINTING!

After more than two decades as the heart and soul of Valiant’s acclaimed HARBINGER team, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert’s spotlight-stealing solo debut has enraptured a new generation of fans, critics, retailers, and international media outlets – and now is the perfect time to jump on board!

Now, one of the fastest-selling, female-fronted solo series in the history of comics is leveling up with an unprecedented fourth printing for the breakout sensation of the New Year. Find out why fans everywhere are saying FAITH #1 soars above the rest:
Written by JODY HOUSER
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale MARCH 30 (FOC – 3/7/16)

FAITH #3 (of 4)
Written by JODY HOUSER
Cover C by CLAYTON HENRY (JAN161756)
Variant Cover by COLLEEN COOVER (JAN161757)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+| On sale MARCH 30 (FOC– 3/7/16)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  There are more super-hero and comic-themed series on television today than at any time period that I can recall.  It’s refreshing, but I’m getting a little tired of most of them.  It’s the same problem I have if I read super-hero comics on a regular basis.  Because of decades of prior reading, everything seems similar and boring to me.  I’m a little bit jaded when it comes to this sub-genre of comics.  I began by watching all the new tv shows, except for ARROW, which I could never get involved with.  It just didn’t hold my attention.  I followed the FLASH for Season One and then got annoyed with the Barry Allen character as portrayed and quit watching after three new episodes.  I stayed with just three episodes total of iZOMBIE in the first season and didn’t bother with Season Two.  It started out great but quickly became “zombie solves murder mystery of the week” and didn’t keep my attention.  I’m still watching LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and enjoying it part of the time. I like the ensemble cast and several episodes have been quite good.  I stayed with the entire Season One and Two of AGENT CARTER, but the show has a lot of flaws and drags during many episodes.  AGENTS OF SHIELD is decent, but the plots are getting too, too complicated.  I expect great things from this show, and so far it’s not living up to the full potential.  Over on CBS, I grew tired of SUPERGIRL quickly — too silly.  This is just my personal opinion of these shows - - - i hope they all continue as they should cultivate some interest in the books and gain some more comics readers  (always needed for our beloved industry to survive in the 21st Century). 
from the Comics Book Resources website . . . . . . .


The CW has announced that "Arrow," "The Flash," "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" and "iZombie" will all return for new seasons this fall.

"Arrow" will return for a fifth season, "The Flash" and "iZombie" for a third and "Legends of Tomorrow" for a second. "Jane the Virgin," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Supernatural," "The 100," "The Vampire Diaries" and The  Originals" were all also renewed.   
  .FB dc tv the cw
"The Flash," "Arrow" and "Legends of Tomorrow" will speed back to The CW this fall.


The CW has announced that "Arrow," "The Flash," "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" and "iZombie" will all return for new seasons this fall.

"Arrow" will return for a fifth season, "The Flash" and "iZombie" for a third and "Legends of Tomorrow" for a second. "Jane the Virgin," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Supernatural," "The 100," "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals" were all also renewed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

GHASTLY AWARD 2015 winners announced

GHASTLY NOTES:  Horror comics are becoming more frequent in our reading culture, and the Ghastly Awards are here to recognize, through Horror Comic submissions, those that shine the brightest.  We encourage all Comic Creators to take the time to head over to, become familiar with the site and guidelines, and submit your work for future Ghastly Award Nomination consideration. 

GA Logo

The Ghastly Award Judges are proud to announce the Winners of the 2015 Ghastly Awards. The Ghastly Award Judges chose the Nominees from the books submitted by Comic Creators and Publishers throughout 2015. Winners were voted on by the Our Celebrity Guest Judge, John Everson, Comic Book Creators, Publishers and the Fans. The Ghastly Judicial Panel congratulates all 2015 Winners and Nominees. It is an honor to be recognized by your fellow professionals for such outstanding work in horror comics.

The 2015 Winners are:


Best Ongoing Title 

Harrow County
(Dark Horse Comics)


Best Limited Series

Archie vs. Predator
(Dark Horse Comics)


Best One-Shot 

The Goon: Theatre Bizarre 
(Dark Horse Comics) 


Best Anthology

John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night *
(Storm King Productions)


Best Short Story in an Anthology

“The Jokes on You”
(Bloke’s Terrible Tomb of Terror #12


Best OGN

Hellbound *
(Dark Horse Comics) 


Best Archival Collection 

Collection of previously released material / Historical Book on Horror Comics

Creepy Presents: Alex Toth *
(Dark Horse Comics)

Best Writer

Cullen Bunn *
(Army of Darkness, Harrow County, Hellbreak, The Sixth Gun)


Best Artist 

Raymund Bermudez*


Best Colorist

Luca Saponti


Best Horror Comic Cover

Fan voting determined the Winner

Godzilla in Hell #1 - Subscription
(Artist Jeff Zornow)


Hall of Fame Inductees

Stephen R. Bissette  

Richard Corben


Normanton Award Honoree

Presented for their commitment to carrying on the legacy of Horror Comics for generations to come.

Dan Braun



Named for acclaimed comics creator "Ghastly" Graham Ingels, the Awards are in their 5th year. Created to honor excellence in Horror Comics, Comic Creators and Publishers can submit their books for nomination consideration throughout the calendar year. The top five nominees in each category will be chosen by the Judges, and will then be voted on by the Judges, Creators, Publishers and Fans to decide the winners.

We thank everyone who took the time to vote in the 2015 Awards. The submission process is now open for the 2016 Awards! 

We congratulate all of the Winners and Nominees for what they bring to the comic reading community. To be nominated is an honor and the Ghastly Awards are here to celebrate your achievements. 

For more information on the Ghastly Awards, or to submit your horror comics for the 2016 Award season please go to 

Decapitated Dan, Mike Howlett
, Denise Dutton, Daniel Viney and James Ferguson. 

EDITOR’S NOTES:  We made our picks for the awards in a previous February article. BC Refugees correctly identified 5 of the 11 eventual winners (45%).  For those keeping score, where our picks matched the winner, we have noted an asterisk * after the name.