Goth Chick News: A New Horror Comic to Chill Your Summer

Thursday, June 7th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Cold Spots issue 1-smallWhen I wasn’t sneaking in front of the TV in the wee hours to watch B&W horror classics on the local public station, I was hiding Tales from the Crypt between my mattresses. Much to my parents’ dismay, I was never much into Barbie or the myriad fan-girl magazines of the time, but spent my allowance doing my best to scare the snot out of myself.

Horror comics were easy-to-manage contraband and I became a fan for life, which is why it was particularly exciting when my friends over at Image Comics sent an early notice about their new offering launching later this summer.

Cullen Bunn (RegressionHarrow County) and Mark Torres (Zombies vs. Robots: Undercity) unleash psychological terror, the undead, and a supernaturally bitter cold in a spine-tingling new series, Cold Spots.

Ten years ago, Dan Kerr turned his back on his wife and unborn daughter. Now, both mother and child have gone missing, and Dan must face cosmic terrors to find them again. He soon finds that ghosts stir when his estranged daughter is near. And as the dead grow restless, the cold deepens in… Cold Spots.

“The idea of a sudden drop in temperature accompanying the manifestation of spirits has always fascinated me,” said Bunn. “With Cold Spots, I couple that idea with a tale of very personal loss and dread. As the dead surround Dan and his missing child, the cold takes on a deadly, terrifying ‘life’ of its own.”

Cold Spots #1 (Diamond Code JUN180044) hits stores on Wednesday, August 22nd.

Are you a horror comic fan? What’s your favorite? Post a comment or drop a line to sue@blackgate.com.


Goth Chick News: King’s Doctor Sleep Gets a Director and a Release Date

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Doctor Sleep-small Doctor Sleep paperback-small

Stephen King’s The Shining is one of his most iconic stories, perhaps as much for the book itself as for the author’s intense loathing of its screen adaptation by Stanley Kubrick, which has often been called one of the best horror movies ever made. King hated everything about Kubrick’s take, from his interpretation of Jack Torrance to the victim that was Wendy. Some 38 years since the release of The Shining, King was recently quoted as calling the film, “a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it.” I mean, I have only just cracked the binding of King’s new work The Outsider when he introduces a character by noting that she’s watching Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory because, in her words, it’s “better than The Shining.”

Ouch.

Understanding that King is still hanging onto significant ill feelings about The Shining’s translation from page to screen makes me wonder a bit about the news this week that his Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, has acquired both a director and a release date.

Mike Flanagan has had success interpreting King’s work in the past, having recently adapted Gerald’s Game for Netflix in 2017, and Warner Bros announced this week that Doctor Sleep has been greenlighted, with Flanagan at the helm and set to release on January 24, 2020.

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Goth Chick News: Just When You Think There Is No Originality Left in Hollywood…

Thursday, May 24th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Happytime Murders poster-small

This may be the greatest movie news I have had so far this year.

I’m a tad embarrassed to admit this one completely snuck up on me but I recently got a link to the red band trailer (aka: too naughty for the average viewer) for the movie The Happytime Murders. Thinking this might be some sort of serial killer bloodbath, I skeptically had a look only to discover the greatest thing ever.

Per its logline, The Happytime Murders is a “filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist.”

Directed by Brian Henson, puppeteer, son of Muppets creator and master puppeteer Jim Henson and current chair of The Jim Henson Company, The Happytime Murders tells the story of two detectives with a shared secret. The human detective, played by Melissa McCarthy and her puppet colleague are forced to work together to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.

So, two things before you watch this.

First, I warn you this trailer is “red band” for a reason. Don’t watch this at work without a screen protector and headphones. Second, in spite of the fact the level of humor here is so gutter that I feel I now need a hot shower, I laughed hard enough to cause the people in the upstairs offices to think there was something wrong with me.

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Goth Chick News: 13 Questions for Misty Keasler, Creator of Haunt

Thursday, May 17th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Misty Keasler Haunt-small

Our annual road trip to the Haunted Association and Attractions Show this year yielded some very unique finds, not the least of which being the photo-journal / coffee table book Haunt, created by photographer Misty Keasler.

Ms. Keasler toured and photographed professional haunted attractions across American and her work was recently the subject of an entire exhibit at the Modern Museum in Fort Worth, TX. Haunt includes 104 photographs many of which are unpopulated “scenes” from some of the season’s most famous attractions. Who would put these rooms together this way? Who makes up the market for such places, paying to be scared? And what does this say about American culture?

As you can imagine, we were just dying to find out so Misty, meet everyone – everyone, meet photo journalist extraordinaire, Misty Keasler.

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Goth Chick News: Welcoming Mother Noose Nursery Crimes With the Mother of all Press Kits

Thursday, May 10th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Mother Goose Nursery Crimes

One of the many advantages of working for Black Gate magazine — which mostly if not entirely makes up for the unisex bathrooms and the non-stop “birthday” celebrations or whatever the heck is going on upstairs — is getting an early look at upcoming releases before the public. Over the years I’ve gotten some pretty cool collectable things in the mail from this publicist or another, heralding the upcoming movie / book / game / CD. I cherish each and every one of these items, not only for their creativity, but because the artist deemed Black Gate a worthy place to share their upcoming announcement.

It’s like getting a birth notification – only way more interesting.

But this week I received a large FedEx box containing what is undeniably the most incredible book announcement ever to have crossed the threshold of the Black Gate office.

You may (or may not) recall my obsession with the artist Charles Martin Kline, he of the delightfully Gorey-esque picture book the 12 Frights of Christmas, and creator of the award winning short film Frankenfriend. Yes, I’ve basically been stalking Mr. Kline (or “Chas” as I call him) for nearly four years since his first release, Edgar Allen Paws and the Tell-Tale Tail, but you can’t blame me. His macabre sense of humor and attention to detail makes his work pretty unforgettable and him pretty fanciable, in my own obsessive, morbid kind of way.

But even though I keep close tabs on Chas’ latest endeavors, I was definitely not prepared for the official launch kit that accompanied my very own personalized edition of Mother Noose Nursery Crimes.

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Goth Chick News: 168 Days to Halloween

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Halloween 2018

CinemaCon was held in Vegas last week and for those of you lucky enough to attend, you got a first look at footage from the upcoming (final, and we mean it this time) installment in the Halloween franchise. The rest of us are going to have to wait for it to be released publicly, which is happening soon.

Still, a lot of scoop came out of the annual four-day event. Here is what we now know about David Gordon Green’s October sequel to the original classic.

Things Jamie Lee Curtis said at CinemaCon, along with descriptions of the footage that flooded social media, have revealed the basic plot details. As we already knew, the new movie takes place 40 years after the events of the original, with all subsequent sequels ignored. Michael Myers has been locked up in an asylum since tormenting the teenaged Laurie back in 1978, but of course he escapes. Only this time, Laurie isn’t a helpless victim – this time, Laurie is “ready.”

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Goth Chick News: Enjoy This… Whatever the Hell It Is

Thursday, April 26th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Anthony Hopkins Westworld-small

With season two of HBO’s Westworld premiering this week It’s difficult not to consider the magnitude of Sir Anthony Hopkins’s body of work. I mean, after all, before his latest stint as Robert Ford making all our violent dreams come true, he portrayed iconic characters from Captain Bligh, and Don Diego to Richard Nixon. But it was his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter and that line, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti,” followed by sucking air through his teeth that not only permanently burned Hopkins into my psyche but gave me nightmares for weeks. I mean, that’s the scariest and most disturbing he’s ever been.

Right?

Wrong.

This week the 80-year-old Hopkins decided to treat the Twitter-verse to his most horrifying performance to date. For reasons unknown Hopkins posted the short video below with the caption:

“This is what happens when you’re all work and no play…”

which may or may not have been some sort of Shining reference. However, Jack Torrance would have been under this desk in a fetal position had he seen what you’re about to see. And before you think you’re watching a filter at work, you aren’t. This isn’t Instagram it’s Twitter, and that’s Hopkins’ face doing that.

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Goth Chick News: If You Sniffed Dracula, Would You Be Coughin’…? Or, Our Trip to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

C2E2 2018 cosplay 2

For the last eight Aprils, Chicago has played host to one of the most heavily-attended comic conventions in the US, not to mention the largest and most prestigious cosplay competition in the world. The final numbers for the 2018 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2 for you cool kids) have not yet been reported, but estimates have the attendance approaching the 100,000 mark, meaning that is indeed quite a lot of spandex all in one place.

And boy, do we love cosplayers.

I mean, press credentials aside, I would probably have payed the organizers, ReedPOP, for the privilege of hanging around McCormick center and people watching all day. Instead, Black Gate photog Chris Z and I got to do it for free (aside from the fireball shots John O still won’t let us expense).

This year’s show boasted 1370 exhibitors ranging from costumes to books, memorabilia to comics and wall-to-wall artists of all kinds. It was truly difficult to figure out where to look first, or how long to look before someone pointed at one of the signs posted throughout the facility declaring “Cosplay Is Not Consent.”

Where, oh where to begin.

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Goth Chick News: Two Shots of Fireball, Some Blankets and a Candle; or Our Road Trip to the 2018 Halloween and Attractions Show

Thursday, March 29th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

2018 Halloween and Attractions Show Goth Chick 1

Normally, our annual road trip to cover the first trade show of the year is not only something we look forward to (for the obvious reasons), but also a chance to get our first whiff of spring.

The TransWorld Halloween and Attractions Show has been the premier, international event for the haunt industry for the last 30 years, boasting over 300 vendors catering to the industry’s professionals. We discovered it 16 years ago when it used to make its home here in Chicago until it relocated to St. Louis. And though the location makes for a long day, we can usually count on St. Louis to be in the 50’s as opposed to Chicago which is usually getting its final blast of winter right around the March showtime.

Except for this year.

Last weekend the weather forecast was calling for an all-day winter storm to cut a 100-mile swath straight across central Illinois and pushing freezing temperatures (and freezing rain) all the way south to our destination – meaning we were facing a thoroughly crappy commute both ways. With Black Gate photog Chris Z at the wheel of his ridiculously huge, military-grade Jeep, my primary worries included a 5-hour one-way trip turning into 7-plus hours or sliding into a ditch in the middle of nowhere and having to wait hours to be rescued (most of central Illinois IS technically the middle of nowhere).

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Goth Chick News: My Vacation to Hell

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick News My Vacation in Hell-small

This was just too good not to tell you about.

Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of vacationing in Turkey for several weeks. During that trip I fell in love with Istanbul, Turkish coffee and meat on sticks dipped in yogurt. I also thought the coolest story from that trip would be how our tour guide agreed to drive us within 200 miles of the border with Iran and Iraq so I could crawl under the jeep and take pictures of “war zone” checkpoint with a 500mm zoom lens. Apparently, the military is a bit twitchy about being photographed.

But no, the coolest thing I did on that trip, I didn’t even know I did until last week.

One of our stops was in the modern city of Pamukkale, in the region of Anatolia, from which we ventured into the countryside to the ruins of Hierapolis. To me the remains of this Greco-Roman city were especially magical because they have not been converted into a tourist attraction with paved parking and a gift shop selling stuff made in Taiwan. Instead this site is still very much under excavation by universities and preservationists from across the globe and in many places, we waded through waist-high weeds to get the best vantage points. It truly felt like we were discovering a lost city.

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