Montag, 9. Januar 2012

The start of a lifelong obsession.

THE START OF A LIFE LONG OBSESSION........

     I  was truly a weird kid. Everyone was more than happy to inform me of this. Parents, Teachers and Friends.
as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with monsters, Horror, SF, Fantasy and the Fantastic. In my heart of hearts I know that the written word is the greatest medium for this stuff. In my minds eye I supply my own illustrations, which no one else can top. One of my earliest memories is sitting in the back of my parents car at a Drive-In somewhere around Newcomerstown Ohio.  Honest to God it had to have been either 1963 or 1964. My parents must have thought that my sister and I were sleeping and didn't notice me watching the screen. What unfolded before my eyes, was what I would find out many years later, was the trailer to "Twice Told Tales" starring the wonderful Vincent Price. I remember  watching a  man sitting in a chair when the room starts to shake, the ceiling cracks open and a long skeleton arm reaches down and starts to strangle him!!!!

It wasn't until the early 90s that I finaly saw the film on TV and discovered it was the "House of 7 Gabels" episode from the above mentioned film.It had to have been been the trailer since I seem to  remember lots of text on the screen even though I couldn't read a word at the time. I was only 21/2 or 3 years old then. Anyways, it must have blown a dozen or so circuit breakers in my brain and damaged me for life. Which is as it should be in these sitiuations.I was in love from that day on.



The next stop was horror comics at the end of the 60s, beginning of the 70s. Sadly the "Code" comics never ever lived up to fun that their covers promised!

No way in hell could any Gold Key comic's Cover deliver that kind of mayhem between the covers! I did though, force one little girl from down the street to play Spring Heel Jack with me as I chased her while riding a Hippity-hop.

Sad, odd and true!
Thank god that the library at Johhny Clem elementary School in Newark Ohio supplied my salvation and saved me from shitty  watered dowen "kids" horror comics.





These 4 hardback collections were the next stage in the evolution in my love of all things horror. These 4   "Robert Arthur" edited anthologies featured reprints from the old pulp magazine "Weird Tales" and a good mix of Edwardian Horror fiction from the likes of  Algernon Blackwood and Lord Dunsany and A. M. Burrage.
This was great Brain Food for a 10 year old! These four anthologies were, for me,  the final proof that NOTHING could be better than a written story! This was also the start of the time where I didn't have to stay with my parents and sister when we went shopping. By the time Ii was 10 years old I had the run of the little shopping center that we had at the north end of town. This contained 2 super markets, a drug store and a Woolworth's among other businesses. One of the sueprmarkets,  the Woolworth's store and the Drug Store all had fairly large selections of paperbacks. I started browsing these and they deposited me into a whole new level of  garish Nirvana!


This freedom of movement and the ads from "Captain company" in the back of "Famous Monsters of filmland" showed me what could be found out there if only you persevered enough.

By the beginning of the 1970s I was so deeply infected that I've never found a cure, or even sought one, for my passion.

I'm planing on posting scans of my collection of garish vintage/retro Horror anthology paperbacks that I've collected over the years. I hope that this will be fairly entertaining and informative and that my writing will become better as I gain more experience. So please stay tuned and THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!!!

Kommentare:

  1. Awesome! Always in the mood for more cool creepy vintage horror paperbacks.

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  2. Ahhh ... Good memories here. I remember reading great story after great story in NIGHT CHILLS in study hall circa 10th grade. ("Sticks" I already knew from its initial appearance in whichever issue of Stuart David Schiff's WHISPERS it appeared in.) I *think* I gave it a rave review in a book review column ("The Horrors from the Bookstall," or something close to that) I was doing for an obscure fanzine called THE FANDOM OBSERVER. Seems like eons have passed since then.

    Sort of painful to see that copy of WORSE THINGS WAITING, since my copy never got back from Arizona after my first wife & I moved back to Arkansas, leaving 99+% of my collection behind, then got divorced. (At least my copy of LOVECRAFT AT LAST surfaced in a book of leftover odds & ends a couple of years after that.)

    Great blog -- right up my dark alley, obviously.

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    1. I know how it is to part with books. My daughter started studying last fall and thanks to the school costs a HUGE part of my collection ended up on Ebay! That hurts. To be honest though, I had sooo many books that were "too collectable" to actualy handle and (gasp!) read. This isn't a very healthy attitude IMHO. It's kind of like being married to Penelope Cruz and then have separate bedrooms. books are met to be read and not just admired. I fall so easily into that trap though. :-( At least I still have MYCOPY OF WORSE THINGS WAITING! ;-)

      take care.
      Doug

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  3. Aaaaaand I obviously posted this in response to the wrong post. Oh, well.

    This one is great, too -- the CREEPY & PAN BOOK OF HORROR collections were on my shelves as well back in the early '70s. And actually, watered-down or no, RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT was the first comic I ever bought regularly, starting with #5 while I was in 2nd grade; I blame those comics to some extent to my lifelong fascination with the alleged paranormal, & when I got back in to comics about 7 years ago after a 25-year hiatus, one of the first things I set out to do (sucessfully) was to amass all 94 issues. The one you pciture would've been one of the last I bought as a kid; it introduced young readers like me not only to Springheel Jack but also the Bell Witch -- a pretty good deal for a mere 15 cents, I'd say.

    Dan

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    1. That's funny. The "Springheel Jack" issue of Ripley's is the first issue that I remember buying. Up to then it was Turok ,Samson, Tarzan, Flying Saucers, Outer Limits and Mangus (as far as Gold Key is concerned.). Oh yeah, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
      My fascination with the paranormal really kicked in during October 1973 when the States were hit with a huge UFO Flap.
      And those old paperbacks by Frank Edwards collecting all of the "true" paranormal and Monster Stories. Another thing that got me going is that we lived about 30 miles or so from Point Pleasant during the whole Moth Man craze and i still remeber the collapse of the Silver Bridge very well. We lived on the Ohio side of the river down at Portsmouth.

      Take care.
      Doug

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    2. Sounds familiar, allowing of course for the couple of years' difference in our ages (I'm 52). The big UFO flap of 10/73 is what led me back to comics (in the form of sf-oriented titles like WORLDS UNKNOWN & the reprint mag WEIRD WONDER TALES) after about 3 years of paying very little attention to them.

      I was an absolute fiend for the "strange-but-true" paperbacks popular in the late '60s & early '70s, a tendnecy fueled by the presence of Edwards' seminal STRANGER THAN SCIENCE in my tiny hometown's (still no traffic lights to this day) library. (I've long toyed with the idea of doing a blog similar to yours & TOO MUCH HORROR FICTION, except devoted to those paperbacks, of which I've amassed several dozen over the last few years. Of course, that would require a scanner, & I'm both cheap & relatively poor -- as I'm fond of saying, if I'm to be one, I might as well be the other.)

      My point of comparison to your Point Pleasant proximity was living about 30 miles from Fouke, Ark., site of the allegedly fact-based LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. I was in 7th grade while the sightings that inspired the movie were all over the nearest city's newspaper; the guy who narrated the flick was a local TV weatherman, & the director was familiar to kids my age as the after-school cartoon-show host "Mayor Chuckles."

      Dan

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    3. Hi Dan,
      I loved "The Legend of Boggy Creek". I saw it at the old Midland Theater downtown Newark and then the foloowing summer at "The Valley Drive-In". I can still remeber that at the Drive-In it was on a double bill with an Italian SF film where they went and blew up a "living" planet. I have at this moment sitting in front of me my old copies of "Strange world" and "Stranger Than Science" by Frank Edwards (I was also crazy about "Flying Saucers Serious Business".), "Strange Abominable Snow" by Warren Smith from Popular Library (It's the one with the guy in a Parka about to be clubbed to death by a large Snowmn/Yeti on the cover.)and my old "Scholastic Book club edition of Strangely Enough" by C.B. Colby (Who I think also did all the weapons books in the elementary school library).
      I read a lot of Hans Holtzer and Brad Steiger books as a kid. I was also crazy about "Argosy" and "Saga". I'm not exactly rolling in cash either. I have one of those hp all in one scanner/copier/printers. so far it works pretty well.
      If you are interested in a scan I also have a glossy 8x10 of a frame from the Roger Patterson Big Foot film and a short letter from Rene Dahinden who sent me the photo when I wrote him asking about his research. I was also a member of NICAP for a year when I was 13! Here's Loren Coleman's Cryptozoology blog. I have quite a few of his books.

      http://www.cryptomundo.com/

      Well I gotta go now. supper's waiting! Take care.
      Doug

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    4. How cool! I vaguely recall BOGGY CREEK receiving its "world premiere" in Texarkana, the Arkansas side of which is in the same county as Fouke, & driving by on the highway & seeing spotlights shooting their beams up from the theatre ... though we didn't see it till a bit later.

      I've got that Warren Smith pb, but I was actually somewhat disappointed when I bought it (about 5 years ago; it wasn't one of the many I came across), because unlike the other 25 (I think ... & yes, I've got them all) Popular Library strange-but-true compendiums it didn't feature the line's standard cover fpr,at of 4 panel drawings on front & 2 on back promising all sorts of chilling weirdness inside. Oh, well.

      STRANGE WORLD I'm lucky enough to own an autographed hardcover copy of. Found it for a couple of bucks about 10 years ago in a used-book sale at a state park back in Little Rock. (I'm in Montgomery, Ala., these days.) FLYING SAUCERS SERIOUS BUSINESS helped warped my mind as a kid, though the first UFO book that really made an impression on me was the Lorenzens' UFOs: THE WHOLE STORY. I generally pick up UFO books when I find them cheap, too, with the prizes of my collection being an autographed copy of Morris K. Jessup's THE CASE FOR THE UFO (won off eBay about 12 years ago for less than $30 ... I was just looking for a copy of the book, period, & not for a *signed* edition!), as well as a (non-autographed, alas) copy of Ray Palmer's & Kenneth Arnold's THE COMING OF THE SAUCERS (roughly the same price at around the same time at an antiquarian book fair in Little Rock).

      Holzer I read fairly extensively as a kid, as several of his books showed up in my town's library & the larger library the next county over (where I wound up going to college). Same with Steiger. I've got several of the latter's books today, though only a couple of Holzer's.

      The SAGA UFO SPECIALs were manna from heaven when I was a kid. Wish I still had those ...

      And I'd love to see that scan you mention!

      Colemen's blog I look at every now & then, usually when it happens to be highlighted on the Anomalist website. I really need to get into the habit of looking at it more often, but I spend an ungodly amount of time online as it is, since online editing for a national nonprofit is how I make my living, to the point that half the time I don't even turn my machine on when I get home ...

      Dan

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  4. Hi Dan,
    I scanned the letter and postcard from Rene Dehinden. You can look at it in this album......

    https://picasaweb.google.com/douglasdraa/BookCovers


    take care.
    Doug

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  5. Hi Doug and thanks for having taken the time and energy to put this wonderful blog together. I too am an obsessive freak over vintage era paperbacks, both for their excellent lurid covers as well as the stories that lie in wait between them.

    I have a lot of entries here to catch up with, and am looking forward to taking my time doing just that. Godspeed to your devotion of the weird!

    Shaun Lawton

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  6. Hi Shaun,
    thanks for the kind words!!

    And the time and energy paid off!
    I'm the new contributing editor for WEIRD TALES MAGAZINE!!!! :-)

    Thanks and take care.
    Doug

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