May 10th, 2012


"And though your skin's sheet white and your arms carry scars..."

I'm listening to Keaton Henson's album. It's a beautiful thing. Utterly fucking beautiful. My thanks to whoever was kind enough to send it to me. Outside, the sun is coming and going, and the ceiling of clouds has, mercifully, been shattered. It's only 57˚F right now, and it likely won't go higher than 66˚F, and, even here in Providence, this is a paltry excuse for May (ironically, we've had a warmer than average year so far, overall). I'm looking towards Saturday, when we may reach the mid seventies with sun. If so, I will not stay inside, and the work be damned.


Yesterday, for the first time ever, I blurbed a novel. I've been asked numerous times, but on each occasion discovered I didn't like the book anywhere near enough to put my name on it. I've written a couple of introductions and afterwords, but that's not quite the same thing. Anyway, yesterday I gave a blurb to Richard E. Gropp's first novel, Bad Glass, due out from Del Rey on September 25th. I won't post the blurb here, but I will say you ought to preorder this novel. It's something rare, and it's something grand. My thanks to Richard and his editor for the opportunity to read this prior to publication.


So, yesterday Alabaster: Wolves #2 "hit the shelves," and there were some stunning reviews. My head spins. No, I didn't expect this. Here are links to three of the best reviews:

1. A very nice in-depth review from Kabooooom, examining the need for strong female heroes in comics (as opposed to fanboy fantasies of femininity):

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not advocating the notion that Dancy is a feminist bastion for superheroines. This young woman, for one thing, lacks the flash and flair of a superheroine. People know who she is, but they are underwhelmed upon seeing her in person. This plays directly against such notions of mainstream superhero comics. But let’s take a look at the character Kiernan is presenting to readers and whom Lieber & Rosenberg flesh out. She’s clearly a female, but we know this only in less overt ways. The occasional panel that highlights a bodily curvature that seems less masculine than it is feminine; however, we are not inundated with the over-the-top “porn aesthetic” that so many other female heroes are subjected to in their respective comics. Dancy has a basic kitchen knife for her armaments, no protective armor, and only her own wits to protect her. She is street smart, gritty, and still very dangerous. Furthermore, she possesses an admirable mission but is complex enough of a character to recognize the possibility of the gruesome work she is committed to doing might affect her in some less than positive ways. She might not be murdering others, but she is still killing these things, and this repeated act seems to take its toll—an occurrence rarely seen from standard fare superheroes—as she desperately attempts to hold on to “her stuff,” or what might be seen as an attempt to hold on the part of her that is still human. Instead of a super-powered model in lingerie who deals in absolutes, readers are presented with a protagonist who relies upon her own ability and provides much more possibilities for character development due to being depicted in a far more real and proportionate manner. When I think of the possibility for successful female characters, Kiernan’s Dancy Flammarion is one rising star who stands out from the pack.

You can read the entire review here.

2) Kind words from Badhaven, who pronounce Alabaster " of the best titles of it’s type currently on the shelves."

3) Geeksofdoom write of #2, This is really good Dark Fantasy, on par with the Stephen King Dark Tower books. It’s also great horror in the Southern Gothic tradition and I wouldn’t mind telling any fan of Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing to check it out. Considering that Moore's Swamp Thing was a direct influence on the comic, that I went to the artists and said remember that, that's what we're after – this is high praise, indeed. Here's the entire review.

There are others, and I expect there will be more to come, but you get the picture. It's going very well. If you haven't bought to book, it's out there, and there's always Dark Horse Digital.


Here's a Kickstarter project that I absolutely have to encourage you to support. Lee Moyer (who did the cover for Two Worlds and In Between and Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart) and Paul Komoda have something amazingly eldritch in the works: The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, or Monopoly goes Lovecraft! They're almost a third of the way to their goal, with 26 days to go, so it's looking good. I chipped in all I could afford, $75, but I will be spreading the word high and low.

And now, assembly day for Sirenia Digest #77 begins. By the way, this issue reprints the Dancy story, "Highway 97," which has never appeared anywhere since that long, long out-of-print subpress chapbook.

High and Low,
Aunt Beast