Tag Archives: horror paperbacks


Tomorrow, I will be at Walker Stalker in Chicago! Tomorrow.

And this time, I am also planning on showing how my book cover parodies have become far more plentiful than they used to be. In the beginning, it was just Danger Crumples transforming Christopher Pike’s 1990s YA output, as seen here –

I do think with Danger Crumples I may actually have parodied these covers into being more coherent stories. Oops.

However, now that most of these are only available as postcards and I had more plays on piggie names in mind – more pigs have gotten their own book series and three of the paintings will be on display for the first time and also possibly the last time, I tend to make new things for every show that I do because I have a lot of ideas and very inspiring piglets.

Peregrine, crime boss and queen of my herd, finally got her own book series – Prey Street. And once again she meets with her most frightening enemy – the phone. This time she let Merricat pick it up, as if that would help.


Finny got a series too! Finnybumps, it’s very specific and allows him to intimidate Salem, just as he tries to from across the room every day.


This is my favorite new book cover parody. Ozma’s 80s horror paperback. There’s always been something ominous and yet flashy about how cute she is, which could only be expressed by painting her while drinking a lot of Tab.


Walker Stalker! Tomorrow! I know I’m no Jerry, who I won’t be able to see because I’ll be at my table, and I’m clearly not King Ezekiel, who I won’t be able to mention Hellraiser: Hellworld to (um, that movie has Khary Payton, future apparent (I haven’t seen it) downer Superman Henry Cavill, and the best but somewhat -to put it lightly – misused person on Vikings, Katheryn Winnick all in it, what a strange world we live in), but I hope someone comes and sees me anyway because I have a very wide range of stickers this time.


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City News and Books on December 10, 1988

52. Deadly Sleep – John Applegate

The cover features a teddy bear in a bed brandishing a bloody knife in the air – awesome. The story features an overly worried middle aged man who can’t control himself when he sleeps. There’s also some business stuff – boring. Who hasn’t woken up as a dad in the suburbs, wondering if they killed someone the night before? It’s the stuff of a million excuses and a million insurance fraud murders. So garden variety.

It’s okay, Horace, you can snuggle back in free from fear, there’s no middle aged suburban dads around.

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“Is this heaven?”

44. Blood Farm – Sam Siciliano

The cover of this 1988 horror trade paperback is awesome. The title is perfect for an “Iowa Gothic” as it is labeled. That is where the awesome ends, unfortunately.

There are some strong images, the hippie driving the hearse is an amiable fellow, the damsel in distress is damsely and very 70s with the hitchhiking and such, and the highways covered in snow are aptly described. I also appreciated the very 1970s aesthetic of the apartment interior description… It falls apart in terms of the horror. It’s brutally obvious and gets rapey and well, the setting basically means nothing (kind of like the extremely cold Southern Gothic I read earlier this year, Who Made Stevie Crye? [sub-disclosure, I remembered the title as “What Makes Stevie Crye?” and that’s probably because a lot of the book made me want to cry(e)]) and that disappointed me a lot because I’m Iowan. There’s lots of Gothic to extract from the Iowa winter landscape and farms. I’ve seen some desolation, perhaps it is up to me to properly “Iowa Gothic.” To be fair, the one time I tried clove cigarettes and didn’t inhale seems like a more apt description of “Iowa Gothic” for me, which doesn’t bode well for the genre.

Danger Crumples and Horace engage in a tense scene from their Guinea Pig Gothic drama where they are friends and part of the same long lasting herd, but sometimes Danger is compelled by his dementia to be not friends and Horace wants the will re-written so he can inherit the unholy legacy of having as many little toys as Danger Crumples. It’s a real page turner. A flip book.

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The Vanishing…Vanishing Point…easy to confuse titles, very different plots

29. Edge of Darkness – Joan Banks

This is one of those lovely little horror paperbacks I found at the Salvation Army in basically mint condition. And it’s not really horror, it’s a suspenseful thriller, but whatever. There’s nothing in here that’s remotely supernatural except for this one guy who plays that “developmentally challenged magic person” role. It starts off like The Vanishing, which is a movie that scares me nearly to death (not the Keifer one, I haven’t even seen the Keifer one) and always enters my mind on road trips with Mr. Cheese – we don’t get to see each other enough as it is, the idea that he disappears from the gas station… I don’t like to think of it and I shouldn’t because I’m already anxious as hell. Also, I’m the one who is supposed to disappear from the gas station but I’m not sure I would, because clearly kidnappers would sense that I’m the one that’s the most paranoid about it.

Anyway, this couple stops at a diner and the husband goes to the restroom and NEVER RETURNS. So, his wife does what any sane person would do in a town that clearly follows its own rules: she goes home, comes back in disguise, and takes matters into her own hands. With her machine gun leg – I wish. Really, she becomes a waitress and then tries to avoid being hit on by the sheriff, by the pregnant other waitress’s boyfriend, by this guy with a belt buckle, and also tries to avoid her insane landlady. Someone puts a dead rat on her pillow, which shocked me to no end. You can’t just wash the pillow case in that situation. She eventually finds another person in disguise that is also looking for her husband and somehow her boss at her hometown-not-a-disguised-waitress-job cares enough about her to show up in the town and bring her stuff. The town’s economy, shock, runs on pot, and they don’t like outsiders. It’s a story about the triumph of the human spirit.

I'm tired of not being in the same place as Mr. Cheese.

Is Mr. Cheese under the pillow, Morty? We know he’s in the state where that picture was taken.

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I have noted the unfinished buttonhole in the waistcoat

20. Run for Your Life – Ann Brahms

My copy of Run for Your Life is a first edition (1993) and it came with some loose provenance – a receipt from the Cedar Rapids Econofoods. It caused me to pine for a time when people might buy horror paperbacks at the grocery store, probably with gum and cigarettes. Maybe it was purchased by someone who worked there and was reading it on break instead of playing Dead Celebrities behind the orange juice like in Go. That’s my kind of nostalgia. Anyway, it was part of a cache of horror paperbacks with covers resembling the horror videos of your Blockbuster/Mr. Movies circa-1993 that I found at the Salvation Army. It was a kickass find. I miss those video store racks and I am still pursuing low quality horror movies that I glimpsed when I was too young to rent them. I just want to know what the hell was going on with that hair noose and that Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (that cover was soo misleading). Also, I’d really like a copy of The Nightmare Never Ends with its lack of lead in tape, disco Satan, and general incomprehensibility.

That said, this book had its moments. It was a horror novel with a doberman and a cabin on the cover, so I thought the cabin would show up early on. It did not and I had to spend a lot of time inside the head of a total-creepazoid (one of two in the book) who cannot let blonde ladies with green eyes go (guess what I look like, you have five seconds) and who drinks Southern Comfort while driving! Granted, we’re not supposed to sympathize with either of the creepazoids, but still- more stalking chokey men were not necessarily what I needed to read about or expected and if it didn’t read so damn quickly I might have given up. It would have been sad to give up on the first book of my cache since I am very excited about them. One is even listed as Paranormal/Occult on the side and that genre is totally not one that was available to me to use anymore thank you eighties Satanic Panic for opening the possibilities no matter how briefly. Anyway, there is one other particularly interesting character in the book who has a tweest (must be said in Tailor of Gloucester mouse voice)! An antiques dealer with several cats. He’s after Majolica. I would not be after Majolica. Too flashy. I prefer Halloween plates from Target for my dining needs and Get Along Gang mugs for my collectible pottery. I collect many things, but I did not really follow my family’s passion for collecting pottery or beautiful dishware.

No more tweest! I loved that video. And I totally have that Beswick figure...and the book, I read the book. I read.

I did not see that coming. – Belvedere, collector of souls

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