Nameless Cults and Their Guidebooks

“This book is dedicated to the Ancient Ones, to the Lord of Abominations…” – William S. Burroughs (Cities of the Red Night, 1981) The fictional book Nameless Cults, by the German occultist Von Junzt, first appeared in Robert E. Howard’s tales “Children of the Night” (Weird Tales, April/May 1931) and “The Black Stone” (WT, November …

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The Legend of Hell House – Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts hosted the exhibition Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters on March 5-May 28, 2017, dedicated to the film director's collection of movie props, art, books, and comics that populate his home like the set of a 1940s Universal horror movie. The exhibition glosses Famous Monsters of Filmland’s editor Forry …

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The Coming of–King Kull! Bernie Wrightson, 1948-2017

  The phenomenal Bernie Wrightson passed away in March at age 68. Wrightson “lived the life” as a comic artist. He became a professional at age 18. During his highly influential stint on DC’s Swamp Thing, he and Len Wein elevated the comic book horror story to a higher standard than it had enjoyed since …

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Beyond the Valley of the Worm

There has been wide interest in H.P. Lovecraft's thoughts about life beyond this mortal coil, the paranormal, and experience beyond everyday bodily existence since Kenneth Grant’s The Magical Revival (Muller, 1972), associated writing like a piece on Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley in Lovecraft Studies (Barry Leon Bender, “Aleister Crowley and H.P. Lovecraft: The Occult Connection,” …

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A Catcher in the Pictish Wilderness

Most people are aware of Robert E. Howard through his character Conan the Cimmerian, even if they don't know the author's name. When I was young I dedicated myself to learning about the hidden recesses of popular culture, as a way out of the morass of public school and suburbia that surrounded me but was …

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Captain America’s Boise Tea Party

This is an updated version of a blog published earlier on Daily Kos and a talk given to the Anthropology Department Colloquium at Idaho State University. The truth is stranger (or at least uglier) than fiction. This is as true in the Intermountain West of Idaho and Utah as anywhere else. If you doubt it, see …

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Multimedia Barbarian – a video

https://youtu.be/EK3y9KsLAuY This is part 1 of 2 of a YouTube video about REH's Conan, that attempts to unpack the history of the character's meteoric rise in popular culture in the 1970s and 1980s. I'll post part 2 later after some editing. Part 2 is less of a love letter about the comics and the times, …

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