Gothic Holiday Exclusive Blogs

Poe-etic license…

by on May.03, 2011, under Gothic Holiday Exclusive Blogs

Poe-etic license…

Few names in literature evoke a mood quite like that of Edgar Allen Poe. While credited with creating detective fiction, Poe is much better known as the premier American author of the macabre. Lending to the air of mystery and imagination so richly threaded throughout his fictional tales are the actual events that make up one of the most intriguing biographical tales in literary history.

There is no small amount of reference material available when it comes to Poe. The details of his tortured life are fascinating reading material, and provide just as much entertainment as his written works, making him a popular catalyst for a number of unique projects throughout the years. Below is a small sampling of some of the more enjoyable Poe-inspired products to surface over recent years.

“Tales of Mystery and Imagination” The Alan Parsons Project
A concept album written by Eric Woolfson, this was to be the first studio album recorded by the Alan Parsons Project. Comprised of session musicians and all the members of 70s rock bands Pilot and Ambrosia, “Tales…” offers a roster of rock songs based on the writings of Poe and reached the Top 40 on Billboard’s Top 200 the year of its release.

“In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe” DC Comics/Vertigo
This 2002 release, written by Jonathan Scott Fuqua with photographic art by Stephen John Phillips and Steve Parke, is an inventive protrayal of the tormented author’s life. With chilling photographs that invoke the fear that Poe wrestled with, Park & Phillips break the traditional boundaries of framed panels and create a graphic novel that explodes with original, unforgettable visuals.

“Closed on Account of Rabies” Various Artists
A 2 CD set of poems and tales of Edgar Allen Poe as read by various artists and performers, such as Christopher Walken, Iggy Pop, Dr. John, Deborah Harry, Diamanda Galas and Marianne Faithfull, this collection is a nice alternative to the typical book-on-tape. Featuring striking album artwork by Ralph Steadman, this one is worth tracking down.

“Poe” Boom! Studios
A recently released alternate-history comic book series that places Poe in the role of detective on the trail of the killer of his policeman brother’s friend.

“Poe” Sirius Comics
Another comic book series, written and illustrated by Jason Asala. The popular 24-issie story also spawned a stylized resin model kit of the title character.

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Gothic Rose Antiques

by on May.02, 2011, under Gothic Holiday Exclusive Blogs

If your decorating tastes run to the darker side of life, then you will want to bookmark

An extensive selection of unique gothic and Victorian wares can be found on this lavishly designed site, sure to appeal to collectors of the macabre. A kind of “Curiosity Shop of Horrors”, Gothic Rose Antiques offers art, sculpture, ironwork, books, surgical and undertaker tools and mortuary decor. As their site claims, there is “a touch of Transylvania to be found here”.

Gothic Rose Antiques brick-and-mortar shop is located in Placerville, California, and features even more merchandise not found on their website.

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Halloween Nostalgia

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Gothic Holiday Exclusive Blogs, Halloween


Everything old is new again…

Nostalgia never seems to go out of style.

Words like retro and vintage get tossed around these days to describe a wide variety of things – from design to art to clothing to automobiles. Be it lava lamps or paisley shirts or bakelite radios or jet packs, there is an undeniable appeal to things that so easily spark our memories of what was, or what was one day to be. Something as simple as an old atomic clock can transport us to another time and place, when life seemed so simplistic and we knew exactly what we wanted to be when we grew up (rock star, thank you very much). Truth be told, however, in many cases we seem to fondly remember a past that never actually was, so much as was perceived. The promise of that bright future ahead was intoxicating at times – who didn’t long for the day when we could control our entire life from our wristwatch (granted, we do it from our phones now, but the allure was was very much the same)? I had already decided on the color and options of my flying car at a tender young age, yet I’ve yet to actually order it. Still, every time I see a set of fins on a car I find myself back in my room at age ten, scouring hot rod magazines by flashlight and plotting my midnight flight over the city in my Futuramobile 5000 (yeah, I named it as well). Nostalgia, it seems, is our purest form of magic – it transcends space and time with little to no effort.

Halloween decorations have that same affect on me. I doubt I’d ever be able to explain why vintage Halloween items excite me so – obviously I have an innate love of the season, but to this day no other holiday ephemera latches on to my spirit quite like the orange and black bric-a-brac of Halloweens gone by…

For me, the paper window decorations of the 50s and 60s are the cherry on the top of an All Hallow’s sundae. Those brightly festive – yet somehow unsettling – cutout faces and characters used to push ALL the right buttons for me. Be it a mischievous winking monacle-wearing gentleman cat, a leering red devil, a goofy jack-o-lantern, or a green-skinned old hag of a witch, if I saw those beauties scotch-taped in a home’s windows I knew there was a kindred spirit within, one more soul who cherished the spectacular final day of October. They stood as an open invitation to share my love of the day, an inexpensive welcome mat beckoning me forth to ring the bell, hold open my pillowcase and wait for the avalanche of sweets to begin!

You can find modern imitations of these classic gems if you look around each year, but I prefer to hunt down the genuine article. I love a piece with pedigree – some secret history held within, storing years of Halloween memories like a tiny paper vault. Holding an original vintage decoration turns on the faucet of the mind, giving me an opportunity to imagine that particular household’s traditions and experiences, and meld them into my own, again creating that past that never actually was, but is perceived. Magic!

There are some fine sites on the web for finding images of these wonderful relics, and a few that actually sell them. In this modern day of computers and such, it would take no real effort to recreate your own window hangings with these pictures, with a couple clicks and an inexpensive printer. Or, if you’re like me, you can use them as a catalog for keeping up with your treasure hunt. Either way, they’re spectacular fun to explore.

Here are a few of my own favorites, most of which at one time or another hung in my childhood home (or one of the surrounding neighbor’s home). Take a peek and see if they transport you…

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2011 Events For The Dark Of Heart!

by on Mar.14, 2011, under Events, Gothic Holiday Exclusive Blogs

Save that date!

Looking for a way to fill in all the free time you have waiting for Halloween to arrive?

Well, the fine folks at have compiled a nifty little list of 2011 events tailored for the dark of heart!

Listed chronologically with links to key sites, the list is a perfect itinerary for your horror calendar planning.

Preview the list at and start racking up those frequent flyer points now!

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The Nocturnals

by on Mar.03, 2011, under Gothic Holiday Exclusive Blogs, Media

Nocturnally yours…

If you’re like me, you frequently ask yourself that age-old question – the one that that has lingered on everyone’s mind for generations – “What if Quentin Tarantino had worked for Universal Studios in the golden age of horror films?”.

The very concept is mind-boggling, to say the least.

Well, wonder no longer, because the answer lies in the colorful pages of Dan Brereton’s comic book tour de force “Nocturnals”. Part film noir, part mafia drama, part monster mash-up, and ALL fun-as-hell, “Nocturnals” is an amalgam of everything cool and hip and scary and suspenseful and wicked and funny, as told through Brereton’s gorgeous painted artwork and sharp, Rat-Pack-with-fangs dialogue

“Nocturnals” is one of those clever concepts that makes you scratch your head and say “why didn’t I come up with that?”. In this enjoyable series of dark adventures, we come face to face with one of the finest line-ups of personalities ever laid down in print. Doc Horror and his charming young daughter Evening (also known as Halloween Girl) lead a misfit band of beasts and beauties in defending California – and the world at large – against supernatural threats. Teeth bared and guns blazing, the Nocs charge face-first where angels AND demons fear to tread. Whether it’s the west coast mob or earth-conquering creatures from another dimension, Doc, Evening, Polychrome, Firelion, Starfish, the Raccoon, the Gunwitch (the scariest silly-hat-wearing sonuvabitch you’ll ever meet) and Evening’s band of mystical toys-come-to-life unleash a monstrous dose of whoop-ass on any and all danger. It is this stellar roster of characters that sets “Nocturnals” apart from typical graphic novel fare. Each and every personality in this world is infused with qualities that make you want to learn more about them. There is a genuine feeling of family among these unlikely heroes, not only between the characters themselves, but between us (the readers) and this fierce band of brothers and sisters in arms.

Originally released in 1995 in comic book form, and followed up with sporadic sequels, the entire run of “Nocturnals” tales is now available in a series of stylish hardcover collections. Ripe with cleverly-written stories and blockbuster movie-quality action sequences, “Nocturnals” is solid enjoyment from cover to cover. So light a candle, turn on some classic Blue Oyster Cult, pour a tall glass of your favorite elixir, and spend some time with the most lovable set of rogues you’ll meet this side of the grave…

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