Archive for the Artwork Category

Death Count: All of the Deaths in the Friday the 13th Film Series, Illustrated

Posted in Artwork, Books, Film with tags , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by roarvis

For the previous entries, go here.


Click to Order

Esteemed horror blogger Stacie Ponder has published a book featuring stick-figure illustrations of every single murder scene in the Friday the 13th franchise. Ponder’s Final Girl blog features some of the most entertaining horror criticism available online, and was a valuable resource when I was doing my own “research” on the slasher genre. Her blend of humor and insight is intact on the pages of Death Count.

Each chapter is devoted to a specific Friday the 13th film, with an intro summarizing the basic plot and characters (however loosely those terms might apply). As such, Death Count serves as a handy Cliffs Notes guide to the entire series. The graphic deaths are played for laughs, as it’s hard not to chuckle at stick figure renditions of the endless stabbings, slashings, and gougings. I read the whole book in one sitting, and since it’s been a few years since I watched all the films, I was surprised to learn how many head crushings occurred. Thanks to this book, I have a new appreciation for the word “defenestrate,” which means “to throw (someone) out of a window.”

Despite the gross humor, Ponder also empathizes with the victims. The book strives to include every character, no matter how insignificant, and efforts were made to track down each of their names. This has the effect of humanizing the fictional victims, a theme that runs through the author’s work (see her response to the great Arbogast on Film entitled The One I Might Have Saved). Illustrations depicting the few characters who managed to survive the franchise are included as a bonus.



That wraps up this handy holiday guide to non-fiction horror. Maybe you, or someone you love, will find one of these tomes wrapped up under the Krampus tree. I’m off to hunt down some of the regional creepers, made-for-TV terrors, and musty paperback abominations that managed to slip through my clutches over the years. Hail, Santa!


Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction

Posted in Artwork, Books, Film with tags , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by roarvis

For the previous entries, go here.


Click to Order

It was the early 1980s. Horror fiction was everywhere. For a while, it seemed like publishers were competing with film studios to see who could pump out the most disturbing offering.

When I wasn’t hiding behind the sofa to catch a glimpse of Don’t Go to Sleep (1982) on TV, I was thumbing through the paperback racks at the local drugstore and scaring the crap out of my preteen self. I stared at the covers in disgust, read the lurid descriptions on the back jackets, and tried to imagine what unnatural terrors were described within.

While the stories seemed to echo the paranoid tabloid headings of the day, it was the cover art that fascinated me the most. Some of the most outrageous fantasy art of the time was designed specifically to sell paperbacks. You had die-cut, three-dimensional covers that folded out to reveal devil children, skeleton grandmothers, demonic priests, damsels-in-distress, killer crabs – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Paperbacks from Hell takes a closer look at this gaudy craze. Author Grady Hendrix examines the unique social conditions that led to the boom in mass-market horror, and gives equal consideration to both the written content of the books and the artwork. Chapters are organized by subject matter, providing a helpful overview of the themes that occupied readers of the day: Creepy Kids, When Animals Attack, Real Estate Nightmares, etc.


The covers are reproduced in glossy, vibrant color, making this a must-have for fans of horror and fantasy art. Hendrix even profiles some of the prolific artists, many of whom crossed over into science fiction and comics (including Jeffrey Catherine Jones and Rowena Morrill).

Hendrix, who is a fiction writer himself, clearly has respect for these authors and illustrators. That doesn’t stop him from mocking the sensationalism that fueled many of the books. The review of bogus true-crime Satanic abuse novel Michelle Remembers is titled “Michelle Misremembered,” and features the caption: “Could the demonic ordeal described by Michelle Smith possibly be real? (Spoiler alert: No.)

Paperbacks From Hell features contributions from Will Errickson, whose Too Much Horror Fiction blog is an essential online companion to this book.

On to The Final Chapter: Death Count!

Four of the Apocalypse: A Holiday Guide to Horror Non-Fiction Books

Posted in Artwork, Books, Film with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by roarvis


Recently I picked up four excellent non-fiction works related to movies and books in the horror genre. I was all set to take a photo and post it to Instagram, complete with relevant and witty hashtags. Then I remembered that once upon a time, I was a writer who wrote about other writers writing about things. This was before I grew disillusioned with the world of pop-culture commentary and gravitated toward projects that enable me to afford groceries (and books). My woefully neglected blog was still floating around on the internet like a discarded Angelfire homepage, generating the occasional insightful comment or spammy back-link. It deserved better.

With renewed resolve, I dusted off the old keyboard and composed a series of posts examining these four publications.

Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright

Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999 Edited by Amanda Reyes

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix (with Will Errickson)

Death Count: All of the Deaths in the Friday the 13th Film Series, Illustrated by Stacie Ponder

I’ll break the reviews into individual bite-sized chunks for easy digestion.

First up: Regional Horror!

Art Archives: The Black Hole, Pt. 3

Posted in Artwork, Film with tags , , on August 12, 2011 by roarvis

Why do I get the feeling I’ve overstayed my welcome with these Black Hole drawings? Nonetheless, it’s time for…

The electrifying conclusion of The Story of The Black Hole!

Reinhardt begins to plunge the Cygnus into the black hole, taking the surviving Palomino crew with it.

Journey to the other side

Art Archives: The Black Hole, Pt. 2

Posted in Artwork, Film with tags , , on August 11, 2011 by roarvis

And now…the story of The Black Hole!

Read on

Art Archives: The Black Hole, Pt. 1

Posted in Artwork, Film with tags , , on August 10, 2011 by roarvis

I was four years old when I saw The Black Hole.

Apparently Disney had decided to cash in on the success of Star Wars by crafting their own cute talking robot space adventure. Theaters throughout the U.S. booked the film, and chain stores throughout the U.S. stocked the merch. The stage was set for Disney to move effortlessly into the realm of live action blockbusters.

voyage into the dark realms of space

80s Science Fiction Film Child Art Archives: Introduction

Posted in Artwork, Film, Television with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2011 by roarvis

I’m proud to announce a new feature on this blog: 1980s science fiction movie art, as drawn by myself, when I was a child!

Recently I traveled to the remote woodlands of Northeast Ohio, where I found an archive comprised of every drawing I ever did from the time I first picked up a crayon. Most of this art is horrendous even by the standards by which we judge the art of a child. However, I was discovering the magic of motion pictures during a time before the PG-13 rating existed. This meant I was exposed not only to mainstream features like the Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also to titles that have since taken on cult status. I’m talking about The Black Hole, Flash Gordon, Tron, Clash of the Titans, The Dark Crystal, Blade Runner, and even Krull!

After returning from the theater, I would spend the next few days indoors, drawing what I had seen to the best of my ability. As a result, I have stacks of paper with crude interpretations of these beloved sci-fi classics.

More drawerings