Wednesday, August 31, 2022


Talk about artists suffering for their work -- Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne has been hit with some serious maladies over the years, the latest of which was painful back surgery. But that didn't slow him down enough to show up not long after to close out the annual Commonwealth Games in the UK with his guitarist, Tony Iommi. Their surprise appearance caused a roar from the crowd as Ozzy edged them on to "get crazy". Iommi was also in top form as they performed "Paranoid" and looked to be seriously enjoying himself.

Ozzy as the frontman has always garnered most of the attention and his drug-fueled antics were the stuff of legend. Everything from (accidentally, he says) biting the head off a live bat to giving up acid after having a one-hour conversation with a horse has kept his name at the forefront of rock extremism.

But at 73, Ozzy's slowing down a bit and has even acknowledged his own mortality on more than one occasion. And the Birmingham boy is even moving back to England according to news feeds and this article from THE OBSERVER.

And here's the show from the Commonwealth Games:

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


Halloween is coming and that means lots of companies will be trotting out their products, including Universal Studios, who are once more re-releasing more of their classic monster line. This time in 4k, Volume 2 of the Universal Classic Monsters Collection will include THE MUMMY, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. The first volume contained DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLFMAN and THE INVISIBLE MAN with a price tag of 80 bucks. The new volume will be released in October and is expected to cost about the same.


Boris Karloff's The Mummy and more icons of horror will be available for the first time ever on 4K Ultra HD in the second volume of the Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection. Last October, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment collected Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Invisible Man (1933), and The Wolfman (1941) for the first time in 4K in Volume 1 of the Icons of Horror Collection. More classic Universal monsters — including Claude Rains' Phantom of the Opera and Elsa Lanchester's Bride of Frankenstein — are coming to life in the premium format on October 11. 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment collects The Mummy (1932), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Phantom of the Opera (1943), and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) in the Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection Volume 2.  

The set comes complete with Blu-ray discs and digital copies and is packed with hours of classic bonus features, including theatrical trailers, feature commentaries, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and featurettes about the legacies of the studio's iconic monsters. See the official description and set details below.

From Universal Pictures, home of the monsters since the era of silent movies, comes a second volume of Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection with collectible packaging, showcasing four more of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history: The Mummy, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, The Bride of Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester and Claude Rains in the roles they made famous, these iconic films set new standards for horror with groundbreaking makeup, cinematography and special effects that have withstood the test of time.

  • The Mummy (1932)
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • Phantom of the Opera (1943)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed
  • He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce
  • Unraveling the Legacy of THE MUMMY
  • THE MUMMY Archives
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era (Int'l Version)
  • Trailer Gallery
    • The Mummy's Hand (1940)
    • The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
    • The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
    • The Mummy's Curse (1944)
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Paul M. Jensen
  • Feature Commentary with Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns, and Brent Armstrong
  • 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics (International Version)
    • Frankenstein (1931)
    • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    • The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
    • House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • Feature Commentary with Scott MacQueen
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot (Int'l version)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Scott MacQueen
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (3D Version) (Blu-ray only)
  • Back to the Black Lagoon
  • Production Photographs
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot
  • Revenge of the Creature (1955)
  • The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

Monday, August 29, 2022


Great news for sword and sorcery fans -- a brand new Conan novel will be released by Titan Books in October. Entitled, "Blood of the Serpent", it is written by renown alternate history writer S.M. Stirling.

"Conan the Barbarian, the world’s most famous fantasy hero, returns in an all-new novel tied directly to the famous works by his legendary creator, Robert E. Howard.

Mercenary, thief, soldier, usurper, Conan has faced conquering armies, wicked sorcerers, and monstrous creatures, wielding a savage sword that cuts a bloody swath across the Hyborian Age. In this all-new novel tying directly into Howard’s definitive canon, Conan is a paid mercenary in a remote Stygian town. There he meets Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, a brilliant swordswoman whose skills lead him to recruit her to the mercenary group. Her take-no-prisoners approach runs afoul of the corrupt politics, and a price lands on Valeria’s head. Seeking to survive, she and Conan become entangled in the vengeful schemes of a priest of Set, the serpent god.

A superstar of novels, short fiction, comics, video games, films, and an upcoming Netflix series (!), his adventures have inspired many of the most popular authors of the 20th and 21st centuries. This is the first in a series of brand-new, officially licensed standalone adventures, with spot illustrations throughout and a bonus: the original “Red Nails” short story by Robert E. Howard himself."

And here's news about the Netflix series from

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has put in development an epic live-action series based on Conan, the iconic sword-and-sorcery character created by writer Robert E. Howard, I have learned.

I hear the project, from Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler’s Pathfinder Media, is the first in a deal between Netflix and Conan Properties International, owned by Malmberg’s Cabinet Entertainment. The pact gives Netflix the exclusive option to acquire rights to the Conan literary library and develop works across TV and film, both live-action and animated.

The move would fit into Netflix’s strategy of acquiring globally recognizable IP to build an universe of films and TV series, including Roald Dahl’s novels, The Chronicles of Narnia books and comics publisher Millarworld.

A search is currently underway for a writer/showrunner to pen the Conan adaptation and director to helm the project. Malmberg and Wheeler will serve as executive producers on the potential series through their Pathfinder Media.

Pulp fiction author Howard introduced Conan the Barbarian, aka Conan the Cimmerian, in a series of short stories, first published in 1932 in Weird Tales magazine. The Conan stories ushered in a new genre of writing: Sword and Sorcery. Through the years the original tales have inspired over a thousand comic books, one hundred novels, three feature films, two television series, multiple video games, and a vast range of collectibles, toys, and more, worldwide.

The character was most famously played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1982 feature Conan the Barbarian, which made him a global superstar, as well as the 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer. In the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot, produced by Malmberg, the title role was played by Jason Momoa.

Conan the Adventurer animated series and spinoff Conan and the Young Warriors ran from 1992-94, followed by a short-lived 1997 syndicated action-adventure series, Conan the Adventurer, toplined by Ralf Möller.

Two years ago, a Conan drama series, based on the works by Howard, was in development at Amazon from Ryan Condal, Miguel Sapochnik, Warren Littlefield, Pathfinder Media and Endeavor Content. Wheeler and Malmberg previously produced Syfy’s Blood Drive.

Visit S.M. Stirling's webpage HERE:

Saturday, August 27, 2022


Vol. 1, No. 1
June 1989
Northstar Publishing
Editor: Mort Castle
Cover: Marc Bernal
Pages: 76
Cover price: $3.95

Back in the late 80's, horror fiction was enjoying a revival of popularity. Horror paperbacks were plentiful and a wide variety of authors and talent delivered a new wave of terror to readers.

One such popular author, Mort Castle, got together a number of writers to produce an illustrated magazine that featured their stories drawn as comics. The result was HORROR: THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF FEARS. Lasting only two issues, it was nevertheless an interesting experiment.

"Timed Exposure"
Script: Richard Christian Matheson
Art: Mark Bernal

"Bug House"
Script: Paul Dale Anderson
Art: Vincent Locke

"Portrait of Horror: J.N. Williamson"
Text: Timothy Walker
Art: Mark Bernal

"Devil's Powder"
Text: J. N. Williamson
Art: Dan Day
Dan Day

"On My Mind"
Script and art: Gary McCluskey

"The Crushing Death"
Script: Bob Weinberg
Art: Gary McKluskey

"The Unforgiven"
Text: John Maclay
Art: Alan Klosterman

"Perhaps, Dreamed by Many"
Script and art: Monty Sheldon

"And of Gideon"
Script: Mort Castle
Art: Mark Bernal; Gary McKluskey