Mark’s been a reader for a looooong time, was thrilled to get this posted to my timeline the other day. I don’t usually share reviews, but doing so now because Mark knows a lot of my work readers have never seen, going back to the stuff that had printers turn their backs on us; seminal death metal cover artist Michael Whelan (Sepultura and Obituary, among others)ask us why we’d ever consider him for a gig—as well as asking us never to contact him again; me getting multiple death threats and, last but not least, my comics pulled from the shelf of a comic shop in Texas that got shut down, and me on a federal court case witness list. Among other fun stuff. : P
Figured a guy who knew my work that well and who hadn’t seen anything new in a while would be a good judge of what the four-volume Launch Pack had to offer. Here’s his first take, one volume in.
Amazon Review: Fright Unseen Launch Pack (ASHES)
I learned long ago that there is a certain way to read true horror. That there is a mental approach to this type of reading, when it comes to the likes of Lovecraft, King, Barker, and Monks.
My first terrifying and brutal glimpse into the mindset of the storytelling psyche of Joseph M. Monks, came via his seminal work on his legendary creation, Cry For Dawn. Having secured the entire set, back when they were still kind-of available and semi-affordable, I sat down to what would be a series of terrifying, anxiety-inducing encounters, espoused in simple comic book narrative form, complimented by various incredible visuals, delivered by many horror-artists of the ‘90s. This included the esteemed Bernie Wrightson, a great friend of Joes’, until his untimely death in 2017.
These stories…Decay…Night Cry…Undead Tales…
Anyway. I digress.
Man, where to start. I mean, it’s just a novella, right? Not too awful long of a read; should be able to devour (apologies) it in a single sitting. Such was my intent and my desire.
Also, I knew who I was dealing with, and the capabilities of his minds-eye. I had prepared myself.
Or so I thought.
What at first seemed a simple, easy trip with an elderly man, independent and still virile, yet toiling in the obscurity of a boring and eventless life, presented to him in his twilight years, was anything BUT. Long-forgotten in a dull senior-living facility, his life goes through a whiplash of past and present realities, each as realistic for him as the other.
Which is the true reality, Past or Present?
Could it be…both?
There will be no way for you to predict their total connection to his violent and bloody future.
Had he not bought the tiny incense-burner at that dusty little shop, would any of it have ever happened at all…?
We will pray for his soul.
If he ever had one.
Poor old Walt…that fuking bastard.