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You’re (Kinda) Safe For The Holidays

Covers to Monstrous and The Hidden

Worried about the upcoming holiday season? I hear ya. I’m a prep-for-months-thinking-of-cool-s#i+-for-relatives type. Last year, we waited for weeks for a home bottling kit so Pam and I could make my nephews custom sodas, with crazy labels. Urine Luck. Skittles soda. Cookie Dough. I know what it was like waiting for that kit to show up.

This year, everyone’s panicking about the supply chain. What I can guarantee you concerning stuff in our store? It isn’t waiting on any container ship. It’s here. If you want to order some horror goodies for Xmas, Chanukkah, a birthday, you will get it. The USPS is what you need to be concerned about—not me.  : )

Also, FREE gift wrapping…by the blind guy. Yup, we’ve posted vids in the past of me wrapping everything from Ovaltine containers to my own Xmas gifts (the wife was responsible for that one), but you wanna hook up a friend or loved one (Hell, maybe a not-so-loved one) with something wrapped by me, there’ll be a box to click to make it happen. If that isn’t enough, though? How about getting it on video?

Yeah, that’s going to be an option. You’ll get the file so you can hang onto it until the occasion so the surprise won’t be wrecked, and this’ll include:

A) Personalization. You want me to describe what’s going on to Chuck or Lisa or your parents? Consider it done. Better gimme a heads up if it shouldn’t contain objectionable content, though—I nick my finger on the paper? I’m not gonna hold back. Speaking of which…

B) Your gift recipient will be the winner (or loser) of wrapping-paper-roulette. Many of you know I go out of my way to obtain the ugliest paper possible, and I’m not going to go out of my way for complete strangers. I’m going to grab a package, Pam’s gonna tip me who it goes to, and then I’m gonna reach into a holiday tin containing about 15 different rolls of paper, and what I pick, I pick. (For Chanukkah orders, you can specify. Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel and all…)

C) Do not expect perfection. Yeah, I’m anal about trying to get things to look nice. Key word here is: trying. It’s entirely possible you could get one of my wrapping disasters, in which the decorative side of the paper faces in and it looks like the gift you’ve given is wrapped in typing paper. Ehh, s#i+ happens. You’ve been warned.

D) This can be done across multiple orders…assuming you have more than one friend/family member who you exchange gifts with who doesn’t have a restraining order. I have no problem wrapping something for Dave, for the chick you and Dave ruined your HS friendship over, or the therapist who’s trying to help you and Dave move on. You supply the names, place the order, I can break up the personalizations into as many packages as you desire. Did I say break-up? Should I have chosen a different term?

E) Gifts get tagged, so again, specify if you need something to be for Chanukkah or Xmas or a birthday, if there’s no box for that, complain to Pam.

If you don’t care and want the possibility of a Chanukkah-paper-wrap-job-with-a-Santa-Claus-gift-tag? Yee-ha!—I’m in. 

Okay, enough of that. MONSTROUS is a classic-era inspired pair of stories, cover art by Rodney Fyke, colors by Tomiwa Olu. The Hidden: A Danni Locke Mystery is exactly what it says, although as you can see from the image, there’s plenty of horror going on. Voodoo, beheading, torture and mutilation—what you expect from stories of mine. Deals available on orders for multiple products, all that jazz. 

Enjoy Halloween, and feel secure in ordering from Fright Unseen for your holiday needs. Comics, LGBTQ-centric tales, limited ed portfolios, work I’ve done with Bernie Wrightson, Zacherley, Basil Gogos and others—there’s plenty to choose from. The key thing is, if you have friends or family who love horror, I will make their gift fun, and bust my ass to get it there on time. If I have to hit the Post Office every day? Done. You’ll get Delivery Confirmation. I’ll sign whatever you get if you’d like. No one’s holidays should be held up because of supply chain problems. And nothing coming from here will be.

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Psssst—Cancel Cultists? You Just Became The Puritans You Used To Hate

Dave Chappelle in 2018

Dave Chappelle doesn’t need my defense or anyone else’s; he’s too sharp, too quick-witted, and, essentially, has a license to print money after the faux-outrage Netflix brouhaha. I am thrilled he’s the beneficiary of such narrow-minded criticism and hatred because a guy as bright as he is can absolutely bludgeon the hypocrites to death with it. Even Netflix higher-ups know better than to side with the simpering cancel cultists on this one, because the slope they want to drag us down makes the one Bond skied in The Spy Who Loved Me look like a snow-covered Kansas driveway.

Imagine this. Today’s cancel cultists (not to get political, but look at them—largely self-described progressives and liberals—and what they’re shrieking about). Let’s take this crew of hand-wringers and knee-jerkers and drop them in 1971, at the NBC headquarters. NBC is considering adapting a hit UK sitcom, airing it in primetime on Friday night…and hiring an all-black cast. Groundbreaking, right? A progressive’s wet dream, right? But, now let’s look at the man they choose for the lead role. Redd Foxx, one of the bluest of the ‘blue comics,’ and his routines. How long you think that show lasts—assuming it goes into production at all—without Foxx? How do you think a leaked email chain concerning Foxx pushing to use the dreaded N-word, which he did in multiple episodes, would’ve gone? Episodes with a social commentary he fought for! (Look up articles on the ‘courtroom episode’ after watching the clip, in which he blasts the judge for the racial disparity by pointing out there are “…enough ni66ers in here to make a Tarzan movie.” 

You think that show ever airs given today’s ‘progressives’? You think Good Times gets green-lit? You think the white-dominated landscape of traditional family-based sitcoms and dramas becomes so diverse so quickly? Think Freddie Prinze ever gets on TV in a co-leading role in 1974 without Sanford and Son leading the way? Pffft. Today’s so-called progressives would have torched Foxx and NBC and demanded they pull the show. Don’t believe me? Look at Chappelle. Employees at Netflix are going to stage a walkout and are looking for support from the public. They want to cancel a successful, minority comic who’s known for biting, social commentary (recall, he was lauded by these same hypocrites for his George Floyd 9 minute ‘bit’ mere months ago. They championed that. And in a heartbeat, they want to kill his career.)

Rewind a bit further. Can you imagine Lenny Bruce (the role for which Dustin Hoffman got his first Oscar nom) or George Carlin, unquestionably referred to as ‘legends’ of the field, ever getting out of the tiniest of back-room clubs? Today’s progressives wouldn’t have let them sniff the big time. Richard Pryor? Are you kidding? Another black man who never would have gotten beyond the club scene given his routines concerning women, blacks, prison, etc. But, it isn’t all about ‘ancient history’ (despite guys like Carlin and Pryor dying in our lifetimes). Think about a kid like Chris Rock getting his big chance. Does he survive a leak of emails and script notes concerning the ‘Ni66a Please’ parody commercial? Does he ever get an HBO special if today’s progressives saw him do the bit about “You want to hide something from ni66as? Hide your money in books, ‘cause ni66as don’t read! Books are like kryptonite to a ni66a.”? Can you imagine the ‘outrage’ about such a skit? Well, you don’t have to. SNL hired Shane Gillis in 2019, but fired him before he ever got on set due to old jokes and ‘offensive’ bits surfacing. (Picture how many SNL alum would’ve gotten on-air given today’s cancel cultists combing their standup history. It’s probably a show that doesn’t make it to season 10) 

Here’s another one. Go look up one of the biggest stars of the ‘80s/’90s, Eddie Murphy. Find the ‘Gay Honeymooners’ bit, and tell me that if he’d been doing that in clubs before he gets Saturday Night Live, he ever gets a movie deal. Be honest. Watch that routine, compare it to what’s being protested and canceled all across today’s media, and ask yourself…does Eddie Murphy ever get the SNL offer, much less become an A-list movie star? Does Coming To America ever get made? Trading Places? Does he become The Nutty Professor or the face of Disney remakes for a decade? A black man doing such ‘homophobic’ and ‘insensitive’ routines? Yeah, think about that.

The cancel cultists making entertainment companies shiver are the new Puritans. The same folks they claim to abhor and want no association with. “I don’t like that! Anyone who does is a bigot/racist/hater/unacceptable!” That’s the mantra. Now, they’re targeting black artists in a way that would have totally changed the landscape for struggling minorities. We wouldn’t have those seasons of Sanford and Son or Good Times or Chico and the Man, and the groundswell of minority-led casts. Poof, gone, were these people in charge. Chris Rock is a barely-known standup guy who never gets an HBO show to discuss social issues and talk about tough subjects. Murphy doesn’t prove to megacorporations like Disney and Dreamworks that you can put a black man front and center in a movie like The Nutty Professor and Shrek despite his Honeymooners bit. These people would have been the racist and phobic network execs and showrunners they damned until they got shows like Will and Grace—shows their own actions would have delayed for years. The career-killers of minorities who dared to joke about women and alternate lifestyles and…social issues. These are the most dangerous people in entertainment, and it’s a mirror they refuse to look into. : (

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Shifting Gears

Pencil illustration of a woman standing at the end of a bed with a gun in one hand. She's shining a flashlight in a beheaded, decaying corpse.

Pencils for The Hidden: A Danni Locke Mystery, provided by the talented Jason Moser.

Last week, wrapped a new short story that’s firmly in the ‘extreme horror’ category, and began sending it out to beta readers. Response so far has been excellent, with a couple of valuable contributions from my buddy Mario up in New York, who updated me on subway tech. With the feedback coming in, felt good about getting back on the story I’d been working on before, The Hellhole. 

Nope, not so fast. Having gotten an illustration in for the anniversary-related chapbook we’re looking to release in early November, fellow author Alex Ness tipped me off to an artist he’s worked with, and that inkslinger is coming on board to provide art for another chapbook—the first in the Danni Locke mystery series. (Only pencils right now, I know, more soon, I’m not a tease). This, while an artist halfway around the world is bringing a new zombie story of mine to life. Suddenly, The Hellhole has been put on the back burner yet again, so I can get another comic tale scripted—which would complete the first comic issue we’ll have ready in several years. 

I don’t mind. Right now, I’ve got over a dozen short stories completely finished and ready to go, several with artists doing spot/splash illos, but to put out a new comic now that we’ve got more shows than ever going on in Florida? Yeah, I can make room for that, no matter how tight the schedule is. More to come as things fall into place, and we prepare to make announcements about the talented folks joining the fold.

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A Warm, Bandagey Welcome…

A woman is scared by a mummy reaching out of a casket.

Rodney Fyke and I crossed paths back in ‘the day’—when I was still runnin’ around doing shows like Motor City Con, Chicago Comic Con, ComicFest and others. Even without drugs and alcohol, those years are largely a blur because while a lot of things stand out, I was the only driver. Meaning, if we needed to travel 18 hours one-way to do a show? All me. I put something like 70K miles on my new Ford in the early-‘90s in a 12-month span, all while writing dozens of horror stories, handling the entire business end, and being at a con 48 out of 52 weekends (1992). 

Rodney and I reconnected online recently. He’s been doing projects ever since, he remembers what it was like when Outlaw Publishing was a badge of honor, and he’s got a number of his own projects going for Hazzum Productions. So, why not throw a spot illo his way and check off another WORKED WITH: box from the old days?

And so, here it is. MONSTROUS is a 2-story-chapbook I’m hustling to get out (reasons to be discussed in an upcoming blog). Rodney and I were going over some possibilities, Pam gave me a good run-down of his style and where in an old ish of Cry For Dawn or Zacherley’s Midnight Terrors he’d’ve fit in, and boom—I pulled the trigger. You can decide for yourself, but according to Pam, green-lighting this? I done good.

Should have a pre-order pg up for MONSTROUS prior to Halloween, though our target is November 1. Please give Rodney a warm welcome to the Fright Unseen/Sight Unseen folds. Er, fold!