Monday, February 20, 2012

Horror Paperback Infestation


I was an instant fan of Beth Holmes' The Whipping Boy (Jove Publications, '78), a strange and sometimes mind-boggling tale of child abuse. If you can wrangle a copy, you won't be disappointed.

The cover art is striking but strangely underwhelming, too. I often look at it and contemplate the thinking behind it.The interior of the sleeve is the actual face of the man whose profile is seen on the cover. 



Pretty decent rabies novel from Walter Harris, who preferred to be known as W. Harris. Definitely a product of the success of James Herbert's The Rats, it had a similar structure and got a little too preachy about the sexually active. You know who you are!

Cover art is great, and makes it looks like a war novel. There's a war against rabies, sure, but nothing terribly military. I'd say Star Distributors were probably trying to snag readers of Martin Cruz Smith's Nightwing ('77), the 'Bats Attack' hit of the year. Guy N. Smith's Bats Out of Hell was released a year later to further capitialize on Cruz's success. It was clearly a good time for plagues, infestations, and bats.


Did Victor Mullen quit the book trade after writing The Toy Tree (Paperjacks, '88)? Must have. I can't find anything else by him. I did look. Oh, yes, I looked hard because I loved The Toy Tree.  The language is awkward at times (a few too many adjectives), but Mullen captured the madness of a crazy kid very nicely. He pushed the envelope, too, with plenty of nastiness directed at kids and some juvenile games that would not have been out of place in Serrador's film Who Could Kill A Child


The book's art is very special. Probably much too subtle for the random paperback buyer, it  conveys the book's nihilism with skilled strokes of the brush.


The Toy Tree was another interesting release from the Ontario-based Paperjacks, the same publisher of the masterpiece The Happy Man (reviewed on this blog long ago).


14 comments:

  1. I remember THE WHIPPING BOY but not the others. Phantom, you wouldn't happen to know the name of that books title/author font? It's on many cool-looking paperbacks of the era.

    ReplyDelete
  2. an old rodent buddy of yoursFebruary 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Phantom, you`re right, i am a coward, but thats what living in "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION" does to people, it grinds them down and completely destroys them, in exactly the same way that religion used to grind down and destroy our ancestors lives, its an exact parellel (and you fucking-well know it is as well ! ! !).

    ReplyDelete
  3. an old rodent/hamster -- I don't disagree with you, but there are ways to express your views. I do it here, don't I? Just be "smart" about it. You write quite well, so why not use that talent to make your points without alienating everybody? Unfortunately, the majority of people do have very narrow views and that's the way they are, but there are some who will listen to what you have to say. Trolling just irritates people and marginalizes you even more. If you're happy to sit on the extreme margins, that's a different thing, but you don't seem happy doing that because you constantly complain about the way things are. Complaining anonymously and as a troll has no impact on anything after a while. Build your blog. Let it express you. Fight the repression within yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Will -- I'm not sure what that font is, but it's a good one and one of the few generic fonts that works on a book cover. I'll try to search my Final Cut fonts for something approximating it. Will let you know if I turn up anything relevant.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Phantom, you yourself once told me that there are plenty of ways to anonymize a blog but then i was told by someone else (a computer expert i might add) that its impossible for a blog to be anonymized to the point where it cannot be traced to a specific IP address, thats what puts me off of starting a blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. JBH -- you can use a VPN service. Many people living in tricky places like China and Burma use these to protect their identity. If you care to send me a direct email, I can make some suggestions. I'm at phantomofpulp (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Phantom, if a VPN service is so perfect in terms of achieving total anonymity why doesn`t everybody use one ?. By the way, if you provided me with the information and i did start using a VPN service would it adversely affect my computers ability to access pornography ?, because thats the only reason i`ve got for having access to the internet in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  8. JBH -- nothing is perfect, but a VPN will definitely not negatively affect your accessing of porno sites.

    ReplyDelete
  9. jervaise brooke hamsterFebruary 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Phantom, the VPN sounds good but a couple of years ago you posted a com-girl-t here saying that there were some of my com-girl-ts that you refused to publish because "your identity was known". I was just wondering why YOU haven`t strived for total anonymity here (especially when you consider how controversial and problematic some of the posts on here are). So YOU presumably are not using a VPN to try to achieve total anonymity with this site, like i said, i was just wondering why ?. Also, if i sent you an e-girl wouldn`t you then know my real identity ?.

    ReplyDelete
  10. JBH -- It's impossible for me to be anonymous on this blog because I talk about my own films sometimes and get rather personal. I don't use a VPN for this blog. My posts here can be rather hard and offensive to some, I guess, but I focus on stuff that's "adult" and about adults. If you sent me an e-gail, i wouldn't necessarily know your identity. Just create a new gmail account for doing that. My mission is not to expose you. I just don't want to be publishing commercial VPN recommendations on this blog as this blog's focus is not internet security, etc. So, this is the last post I'll do on this blog with you re: what you asked. Feel free to write or just search VPN's on Google.

    ReplyDelete
  11. About THE TOY TREE. Victor Miller did write another book a year or so later. It's called TREE HOUSE, published by Zebra. At first I thought it was only a re-release with a different title but checking both prologues, I can assure that it isn't. Just thought you should know since you've enjoyed his book so much.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Authorfan -- thank you for the info about TREE HOUSE. I'm going to track it down.

    And thanks so much for visiting the blog. I'm never quite sure if anybody is reading it much anymore. Interest in blogs seems to be fading, I feel.

    What are some of your favorite all-time book,s my friend?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your blog is super, man. It's so much fun meeting others who love horror like I do. I recently finished for the second time SPAWN OF HELL by William Schoell. I wanted to see if it held well. It did. I much prefer horror from the '80s, though I don't turn my back on recent writers (Jonathan Maberry, Bentley Little, Tamara Thorne, just to name a few). Anything by Hautala, Garton, Saul, Coyne, Eulo, even John Russo, makes my day. And also, for some strange reason, I'm always attracted to less known writers such as Owen Brookes, Duffy Stein, Nick Sharman... The list goes on and on. Doesn't mean their books are all winners but I always gave them a try at least. Looking forward to your blog entries, my friend.

    ReplyDelete