Guest Blog: Dark Horse Editor Scott Allie Interviews Author Christopher Golden
SA: Stephen King or Peter Straub?
CG: I love Peter's work, and some of his novels—most especially Shadowland—had a huge impact on me, but there's no contest here. Stephen King was the narrative voice of my childhood. Reading his novels while I was growing up had a massive influence on who I became as a writer and as a reader and—honestly—as a person.
SA: What's the best horror novel you've read this year?
CG: Let's call it a draw between the absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking The Silent Land by Graham Joyce and the chilling The Cypress House by Michael Koryta.
SA: Best horror comic?
CG: That's a tough one. Let's handicap this a little and say “best horror comic not being published by Dark Horse” because obviously Dark Horse is publishing the best horror comics in the industry. So, beyond Dark Horse, I'd call it a draw between Joe Hill's Locke & Key, which is creepy as hell, and Terry Moore's intriguing, unsettling Rachel Rising.
SA: Have you read Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's Fatale? It falls into similar territory with some of the stuff we've talked about. It feels a lot like dark fantasy but has some pretty scary stuff.
CG: I haven't. I'll check it out. Love Brubaker but I haven't gotten around to this one yet.
SA: When do you think the best period for horror comics was?
CG: Nostalgically, I have to say the late Seventies and early Eighties, when Marvel was publishing Tomb of Dracula, The Monster of Frankenstein, Werewolf by Night, Son of Satan, Adventure into Fear, and all of those wonderful black-and-white magazines, like Tales of the Zombie, Vampire Tales, Haunt of Horror, and Dracula Lives. If I'd been born earlier, I'm sure it would have been all about Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella, but for me, those old Marvel horrors were the greatest.
SA: As a horror writer, is there an advantage to setting a story in the past, like Baltimore or like Fatale?
CG: I do think it's easier to achieve a certain unsettling atmosphere when you're writing about the past, as long as it's a past that's at least somewhat familiar. Victorian England, for instance, does a lot more for a horror story as a creepy setting—London fog, carriages rattling on cobblestones, streetlamps—than, say, ancient Greece.
SA: You're a New England boy, like me. Do you think it contributed to your interest in horror fiction?
CG: I don't think it's just New England, but I do think that growing up in New England with its little towns and old churches and burial grounds and, more importantly, the season changes that give us a proper fall full of autumn leaves and chilly Octobers and Halloween the way it ought to be—not to mention the literary heritage of horror in New England, with Poe, Lovecraft, and King—damn right it contributed, and still does.
SA: Assuming you get a Baltimore movie made, what will be the scariest version: the novel, the comic, or the movie?
CG: If the movie's done very well—or very badly—it will be the scariest version for sure.
SA: Because of the direction you and the filmmakers are taking it, or because of the differences in medium?
CG: The latter. If it's done well, a film version of Baltimore would get down into that primal place in our ancient caveman brains, that place where we'll always be afraid of the dark and of loss, and it hurts us.
Our thanks to both Scott Allie and Christopher Golden for their time! For more info visit the official Christopher Golden website, the official Dark Horse Comics website, and click here to pre-order Baltimore: The Play from TFAW. Joe Golem and the Drowning City is available from the EvilShop so you can order it via the link below.
In Baltimore: The Play, a mad playwright puts on a Grand Guignol featuring actors that are real vampires. The evil financier of the play makes a bizarre discovery when he finds out that the playwright is a fraud and the true author is the disembodied head of a famous American author kept in a glass case.
In Joe Golem and the Drowning City, after a séance goes horribly wrong, strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits abduct the aging psychic Orlov the Conjuror, sending his young assistant, Molly McHugh, racing through the canals of a submerged Manhattan. As Molly flees her captors through a sunken city full of scavengers, her one hope comes in the form of two strange men: Simon Church, a Victorian-era detective kept alive by clockwork gears and magic, and his assistant, Joe, whose mysterious past is hinted at in dreams of stone and witches.
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