Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stoking the Halloween Spirit

Yesterday I briefly spoke of "stoking the Halloween spirit" this month, and it got me to thinking about this hobby of horror comics. Sure, I could just review another book tonight from my "overdue" pile, that wouldn't be very hard. I'm WAY behind in that department. Trust me, the adjustment from doing a print fanzine to a web blog has been a slow transition for me, and when you suddenly multiply job, wife, and two little girls into the equation the den0minator for the the horror hobby suddenly doesn't carry the clout it once had. Shame.

Still, I continue to carry a torch for this genre, albeit it sometimes merely a pale speck in the dark distance. Thing is, I just can't let it go out, no matter what life throws at me. So I asked myself, how did this flame of mine that gets "stoked" every Autumn get ignited in the first place? As I lay in bed alone last night, my wife on the couch trying to console our cranky 4 month old, & a couple beers in me to lubricate the gears of my mind, the memories gently & warmly swept over my brain like an incoming tide.

The memories came clearly, but in brief spurts. At first I was a skateboarding 19 year old seeking shade & other unmentionables in the garage of my underage girlfriend's house during a humid summer afternoon, but I digress as that has nothing to do with this hobby. Going much further back, I then remembered sitting on the gold shag carpet of my bedroom, reading a story from DC titled "The Demon Within." It was in a large treasury sized edition, perfect for a youngester such as myself. The underlying theme of one being susceptible to harm by those who should be most trusted REALLY struck a chord with me. I remember each panel now some 30 years later still.

A few years after that I would somehow come across DC's UNEXPECTED 202, which featured "Hopping Down the Bunny Trail," a tale with a "twist" ending right up there with the best of them. My psyche was shattered. The seeds were planted. Although it wouldn't be until another couple years later that I would start to collect comics "seriously" (and CONAN titles at that), my love for the horror genre was ingrained, & with the occassional fertilization from such great offerings as TWISTED TALES, it would firmly take root in the early 1990's, eventually leading to the HCR print fanzine & now to this internet endeavor. Wilting at times in the face of adverse conditions, but (much like some horror subject matter) never dying.

So I ask you, how did your horror homefire get to burning, and what keeps it stoked this Halloween season??? Let me know!!!

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