A Shadow over Gotham: Batman, and the Influence of Weird Literature

Lovecraft Joker

Lovecraft Joker by Lee Grant, with a background by Dave McKean. Essay by Aladdin Collar.

The chosen name for Batman’s home, the City of Gotham, is derived from a joke in Washington Irving’s satire magazine, Salmagundi, in which Irving called New York “Gotham,” in a passing reference to a village in England which is widely reputed to be populated by fools (see: “Wise Men of Gotham”). Irving, a semi-mythic figure blessed by his own namesake George Washington in 1776, would become the first American literary celebrity, and is best remembered today for his contributions to horror and speculative fiction (“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”). Bill Finger was unaware of these associations when he picked the name “Gotham” out of an NYC phonebook.

The initial success of Batman can be attributed to a confluence of familiar territory for readers of pulp adventure and horror tales: an urban gothic Zorro-type outwitting a gallery of rogues similar to those of Dick Tracy. Deeper in his influences, the character hails to the very first literary detective, Edgar Allan Poe’s August Dupin (who assists befuddled police in solving impossible crimes). In Batman’s origin story (Detective Comics no. 33, 1939), the bat at the window of Bruce Wayne’s study distinctly parallels Poe’s iconic Raven.

A year after his initial launch, the Batman tales experienced a major tone shift. He stopped shooting people in the face, and he was joined in his increasingly whimsical missions by a plucky young orphan called Robin, who added a pallet of bright color to the pages.

In 1954, Frederick Wertham released a book called Seduction of the Innocent, which accused the comic book industry of promoting degeneracy and immoral behavior. The industry then responded with self-imposed censorship (“the Comics Code”), and the tone of Superhero books veered ever brighter. Batman resorted to full-on camp. The property had transitioned from its original emotional core (anguish, vengeance) to utterly wacky nonsense (Dinosaur Robots, Bat-Mite) – a fate worse than death.

In the late 60’s, editor Julius Schwartz, former literary agent of H.P. Lovecraft, was assigned to revive the Batman mythos, and he directed his art teams to dial back the zaniness. In the 1970’s, writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams imbued the pages of Batman with dark contemporary imagery of urban decay and psychological horror. In this environment, the original model of Batman was retooled into the character we more or less know today, and a core component of the Batman mythos was added: the infernal sanitarium, Arkham Asylum.

Arkham Asylum alludes not just to the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, but to the culmination of his themes: that the universe is uncaring, and the creatures made of flesh have little power therein. In his book Batman Unauthorized, O’Neil associates the “witch-cursed” and “legend-haunted” Arkham of Lovecraft with Gotham’s Asylum, describing it as “a place of horror, not healing.” By allying himself with Lovecraft’s work, O’Neil conjures a potent symbol of doom; over the next fifty years, Arkham Asylum itself becomes the hidden antagonist perpetuating Batman’s struggles, allowing its eldritch agents (the Joker, et all) ample opportunities to escape. By pitting the “World’s Greatest Detective” against its necessary opponent, incomprehensible madness, a dramatic chord was struck that resonated with readers eager to quell their own existential dread.

In his own work, Lovecraft offered no bandage for the wounds he opened; in these so-called Detective Comics, The Batman understands that the universe is uncaring; and so he, with all of his resources, must be the one to care. Despite millennia of religious belief suggesting otherwise, (from Nemesis to Karma to the vengeful YHWV)  Justice doesn’t dispense itself. An endless quest persists for the Dark Knight. 

Batman reassures his readers that in the war against psychological horror, honor and perseverance still count for something.

While the 22 page installments became darker and darker, leading into stories that, in the 80’s, abandoned the Comics Code altogether (Mature Readers Only), Batman’s integrity and ingenuity continued to suffice in his insurmountable quest against whatever new evil he faced. The legacy of Arkham culminated in Grant Morrison’s runaway hit graphic novel, Arkham Asylum: a Serious House on Serious Earth, a “Mature Readers” title released contemporaneously with Tim Burton’s first Batman film. The graphic novel posits the idea that the Dark Knight is a demon, summoned through ritual magic by the original founder of Arkham Asylum, which manifests itself through the actions of Bruce Wayne. The warbling, fractured Weird tale, illustrated by surrealist master Dave McKean, is considered a pinnacle achievement in the tent of Batman stories, and helped set the stage for Grant Morrison’s brief but thorough deconstruction of the entire DC comics universe multiverse some 20 years later. 

Lovecraft clinically wrote of rational minds unable to surmount the traumas with which they are faced. Those stories are unforgiving, and devoid of hope. No heroes emerge to defend humanity; everyone dies, or loses their minds, and the apocalypse looms. Unresolved at Lovecraft’s death in 1937, the ghost of these conflicts lingered in the American psyche for a couple years before descending upon a new fictional American city where they might be addressed: in Gotham, in the shadowy recesses of a City of Fools, to be mitigated, if not quelled, by the Dark Knight’s vigilant watch, and by the countless imitators he’s inspired.

Batman’s outstanding performance in his field for the better part of a century has solidified his status as genuine American Archetype. Although nothing seems to get better in his city, Batman effectively maintains the status quo against the hidden structural component of Lovecraft’s philosophy, which pervades the worm-addled heart of Gotham; this crusade informs an ouroboros of crime and punishment, evasion and detection, that has played out over and over in film, television, and print for the better part of a century. 

A Review: The Book of Friendly Giants

Challenging the general consensus that all giants are brutish, irredeemable rascals, Eunice Barnard Fuller’s The book of Friendly Giants (1914) mines folklore and ancient mythology as inspiration for tales of benevolent giants – although, she sometimes rewrites the pagan or otherwise esoteric source material in order to pursue her gentle agenda. Nonetheless, it’s a well curated tour of the mythology of giants; age-old Chinese, Norse, Celtic, and Native American stories are incorporated among more recent giant literature, such as  “Gargantua and Pantagruel,”, a 16th century pentology of novels, or the 1887 book Three Good Giants, which introduces the primordial Chalbroth and his grandson Hurtali to the canon. The Friendly Giants stories culminate in a final, original chapter titled “The Giant Who Came Back,” set in 20th century New York City. It’s a nostalgic tale featuring the behemoth Benevaldo, who discovers that his people can no longer be seen by the humans that don’t believe in him. 

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914. Color by Aladdin Collar, 2016.

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914. Color by Aladdin Collar, 2016.

Each chapter is accompanied by a different introductory poem by Seymour Barnard, Fuller’s husband. I don’t care for his verses, and I’m glad he’s dead.

Bringing the text to vision, the infamous Pamela Coleman Smith (illustrator of the Rider-Waite tarot) provides what might be her final contribution to children’s literature (previous works of hers include The Russian Ballet, In Chimney Corners, and Annancy Stories). The illustrations fluctuate between simple cartoon art and fully painted scenes of fantasy and spectacle; her line-work is thick and rough, which especially serves the darker, more contemplative moments throughout. 

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914.

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914.

While Smith is fairly well known, I was discouraged, upon examination, to discover that biographical information about Eunice Fuller is scant. I was curious what these two women had in common, and if Fuller shared Smith’s background in the occult order of the Golden Dawn, or any associations with A.E. Waite and his crowd. As it turns out, Fuller seems to have been a pretty dedicated Christian protestant (at least in her youth), and at the time of their collaboration, Pamela Coleman Smith had abandoned her hermetic interests and committed herself to Catholicism in 1911. 

In continuing to research Eunice, however, I was encouraged to discover that she grew up in Lovecraft’s Providence, around four years his elder, a mere fifteen minute walk from Howard’s house on Angell st. 

Eunice Fuller lived at 170 Prospect st, in Providence, Rhode Island (picture above, in 2015). She was born ~1886. From a young age, she proved herself to be a talented writer; records of her achievements can be found in volume 96 of the Missionary Herald in 1900, where Eunice was awarded second place in a Missionary Essay Contest for young writers, earning her $10. Regarding the contest, the Herald muses:

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In 1903, Eunice took first prize in a fiction contest in St. Nicholas Illustrated, volume 31. $5 prize, and they published her full story. Later that year, her name appeared in Love and Life for Women, another missionary publication, as a record of Eunice’s junior auxiliary membership into their society.  

In High School, Eunice was a member of the Upsilon Sigma Society, a theatre group that produced several original farces. Eunice played Jonas Chorker (the gardener) in “My Cousin Timmy” (1903), and she played Dandelion in the Clancy Kids (1904). 

In 1907, after she’d graduated, Upsilon Sigma produced an original farce by Eunice and Margaret Courrier Lyon titled “A Visit from Obediah: A Farce in Two Acts (For Female Characters Only)”. Three other Fullers are listed as actors, and I am presuming they are Eunice’s sisters and brother. 

Eunice attended Smith College, and received a BA in 1908. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and served as editor for the Phi Kappa Psi Society. She was a senior member of the Philosophical Society, and during her final semester, served as the President of the German Club (Der Deutsche Verein). Her 1908 yearbook is here, and includes the only picture of her I was able to find.

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After graduating college, Eunice married Seymour Barnard, and worked primarily as a journalist, and an author of non-fiction. She wrote about American history, culture, economics, and women’s issues during the great depression. Her work appeared in Scribner’s, the New York Times Magazine, the North American Review, and more. Seymour, meanwhile, was published a couple times in the New Yorker, and he was fortunate enough to have one of his insipid poems illustrated by the illustrious Richard Scarry for Women’s Day

The Book of Friendly Giants was published in 1914, to favorable reviews from various literary magazines; The Bookseller (vol 41) calls the volume a ‘new idea,’ whose ‘manner of telling is delightful,’ and praised Smith’s illustrations as ‘queer, funny and fanciful as one has a right to expect’. St. Nicholas published one of the 12 stories, with Coleman’s illustrations accompanying, and also a review that begins:

“Who isn’t interested in giants? But most giants are a bad lot, and the business in hand is how to kill them off without getting hurt yourself.  But here in this book, the giants are quite a new sort…”

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914. Color by Aladdin Collar, 2016.

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914. Color by Aladdin Collar, 2016.

In the Worthwhile Reading section of the Independent (vol 80), a reviewer suggests that “After reading the book, the nursery will have to revise opinion regarding the viciousness of giants.” They did indeed; The Kindergarten-Primary Magazine reviewed the work, and called it “An excellent idea… a book the children will rejoice in.”

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914. Color by Aladdin Collar, 2016.

Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith for the Book of Friendly Giants, 1914. Color by Aladdin Collar, 2016.

In the spring of 1929, Eunice opened a brokerage house just for women. I’m not sure how well that worked out for her out in the end, considering the timing, but it was a noble effort. 

“So WALL STREET has come to Fifth Avenue. Silently one by one among the smart specialty shops of the Forties and Fifties appear the brokers’ signs. With the arts of the drawing room, stock market operators for the first time in history are actually bidding for feminine favor. And woman is at last being made free of those more or less green pastures where men long have dallied.” – Eunice Fuller Barnard, “Ladies of the Ticker,” North American Review, 1929

Ultimately, most of Fuller’s life and times are lost to the immemorial past; most of her imprint exists in her journalistic endeavors, which have been widely cited over a century of research and academic endeavors. At the very least, Fuller left behind enough evidence behind to prove that her obscurity is a disservice to our American heritage. 

A Review: John Dee’s America

Kill not the moth nor butterfly, for the Last Judgment draweth nigh.

John Dee’s America, by Jim Egan. Cosmopolite Press, 2015. Nonfiction, 584 pages. $19.95.

As Queen Elizabeth’s advisor, John Dee’s concept of North America was purely speculative – he never set foot on the continent. He referred to it as “Meta Incognito” in legal documents (“Atlantis” on his own maps), and he proposed that it would be the home of a new British Empire, which would guarantee religious freedom for all. With the blessing of the Queen and the help of her wealthy aristocrats, Dee’s colonization effort of 1583 was launched just before the ill-fated Roanoke colony – and the first experiment ended even more swiftly than the latter.

Such are the foundations of John Dee’s America, a graphic dissertation on the role of England’s greatest conjuror in the pre-production and eventual establishment of colonial America. Author Jim Egan takes every effort to provide context for Dee’s American vision, reaching not just through the annals of history for dates and names, but by correlating the contents of Dee’s massive library, unpacking the philosophy of 15th century English symbolic language, and modernizing & annotating his primary sources to provide abundant material for the reader to explore. Egan doesn’t just hand over mackerels; through simple explications of geometry, cartography, and astronomy, he teaches his readers to fish through the waters of our past in order to draw their own conclusions.

That isn’t to say that Egan doesn’t make various conjectures of his own. Although John Dee’s America serves on one hand as a comprehensive guide to the 1583 colonization effort, & as a focalization of all of the available research available on the subject, Egan also pursues an archeo-political objective in his book: providing an explanation for the origins of the mysterious Newport Tower, a massive ruin that stands in the town of Newport, Rhode Island (which is in the approximate location of John Dee’s proposed colony). This volume is a single fragment of Egan’s sprawling 12 (13?) book thesis regarding John Dee and the Newport Tower. If Egan’s hypothesis is correct, that would make the tower the oldest standing colonial structure in North America, and the very first building erected by the British Empire. Egan is certainly convinced of the matter, and opened The Newport Tower Museum just a few steps away from the ruin itself, vying for a UNESCO Heritage seal of approval.

It’s a fascinating idea that only holds as much water as the historical record supports; there are still some holes, as Dee cannot be directly connected to the Tower by any primary sources. I personally think there’s some hope that clarifying documents lie dormant in British royal archives, in whatever State papers remain of the first Elizabeth regime; the extent of John Dee’s role in American colonization was unknown, for example, until as recently as 1976, when his 4 Volume “Limits of the British Empire” was rediscovered in the British Library (written in 1577 – 1578). In total, he wrote eight volumes for Queen Elizabeth on the subject of British expansion (Rare and General Memorials contains the other four), some excerpts of which are included in John Dee’s America. Of these eight volumes, one still remains missing, likely suppressed by Elizabeth; the majority of the colonization effort of 1583 was conducted in secret, so as not to rile the Spanish. If Dee did construct the Newport Tower (as a means to establish ownership of the land, and to greet the incoming colonists), he did so with the blessing of the Queen and her company – and somebody must have paid for it all. Although Egan’s research hasn’t conclusively proved anything, he’s pieced together a story within a story that has tremendous implications.

Any building records of the Tower that might have existed during the Colonial era, meanwhile, would have been obliterated during the American Revolution, when the British occupied Newport. John Dee’s America spends its second half examining post-Elizabethan colonial Newport, and the first known owner of the Tower, Benedict Arnold (not the traitor, his great-great grandfather), who actualized Dee’s vision of religious freedom in his colony, Rhode Island. Arnold is an interesting figure in his own right; the first governor of Rhode Island, who married into British royal blood and passionately fought for American civil liberties, and the separation of church and state, while accruing as much land and power as he could. Amidst the drama of early colonial activity, with its land disputes, religious factions and various rebellions feature into his life and times, Egan always ties his historical fragments back to his thesis; Dee’s vision, the looming Tower, and what that Tower signified to to those early colonists who adopted it.

As Egan points out in the book, John Dee understood the urgency of religious freedom for all. He had been imprisoned as a young man, accused of conjuration and heresy by Queen Mary’s Catholic inquisition. Dee was clever enough to survive the ordeal, but all around him, his fellows were being burned at the stake, flayed in dungeons, & hung from the gallows. When his beloved Queen Elizabeth rose to power, the circumstances reversed, and it was the Catholics turn to be persecuted. Dee wanted to end the cycle of violence and distrust, and proposed that all of Elizabeth’s colonists be given freedom to practice their own faith. In the New World, Dee envisioned a New Jerusalem, where all men and women, Protestant and Catholic and indigenous folk alike, would be able to live in a universal harmony.

It’s particularly fitting, with that in mind, that Dee’s agent of conquest, Humphrey Gilbert, died in a shipwreck reportedly crying out a reference from Thomas Moore’s Utopia. “We are as near to Heaven by sea as by land!” He was sent with five ships to establish Dee’s colony at Newport; only one ship survived their ordeals, and returned to England. As of this writing, no Utopian societies have yet been successfully implemented.

Egan’s illustrations that abound throughout the pages add a certain charm to the generally despicable cast of scheming English nobles – his characters have a crude, friendly Quentin Blake quality (see the cover, above), and their portraits become recurring iconography of later diagrams that help distill information. Small illustrations of scenes – such as the death of Gilbert, or the Tower being blown up in the Revolutionary War – embellish the dramatic moments more than the text itself, which retains a calm, fairly neutral tone through the turbulent epochs explored.

Where Egan’s work really shines is in the decipherment of puzzles. For the frontispiece to General and Rare Memorials, John Dee illustrated the Heiroglyphicon Britanicon, an enigmatic illustration intended to persuade Queen Elizabeth to conquer. Egan delineates the symbolic components that are not immediately obvious to a casual reader in the 21st Century, and further endeavors to solve the riddles Dee implanted (a latin banner above the illustration reads, “More is hidden than out in the open”). I don’t know if I am convinced of all of Egan’s solutions to the riddles (does a crook in an arm the letter “D” make?), but his identification of Archangel Michael’s role in the meta-colonial tableau is a remarkable association, and I wonder if Egan wasn’t the first person in 400+ years to figure out Dee’s clue on his own.

poet William Blake #13 on top 500 poets Poet's PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyPrivacyBadger has replaced this AddThis button. Poems by William Blake : 69 / 139 « prev. poem next poem » The Angel - Poem by William Blake  Autoplay next video I dreamt a dream! What can it mean? And that I was a maiden Queen Guarded by an Angel mild: Witless woe was ne'er beguiled!

The Michael Code, from John Dee’s America, p. 216. This material can also be accessed in John Dee’s British Empire Was the First to Start at RODE on the River Dee, available to read online.

John Dee’s America is a massive endeavor, and, though written simply enough, the tale becomes quite convoluted; it’s crafted from so many sources and narratives, and some of the connections feel tenuous. Egan includes a lot of conjectured material, such as speculating on the significance of names, and the potential motivations of men whose true motivations we simply cannot know. Did Benedict Arnold really consider himself to be the King Arthur of America? Did he consider Newport to be his Camelot? Although some of Egan’s ideas tend to reach, he makes it quite clear what is theory and what is not, and how he’s reached any given hypothesis; and in writing about young Benedict Arnold’s homeland near ruins of Arthurian renown, Egan explores large vistas of myth and legend that intersect with the origins of America in new and curious ways. 

By page 453, Egan presents his Grand Visual Summary of the book, a ten page graphic that breaks down the narrative by location, characters, influences, and recurring symbolism. It’s a a huge boon to even the most diligent reader; there are many threads to be connected, and you probably haven’t been taking notes. The subsequent appendix provides material from another of Egan’s books, Elizabethan America, the John Dee Tower of 1583, which furthers Egan’s mission to prove the theory that John Dee did, in fact, design the Newport Tower. Egan looks at the tower from a multi-disciplined approach, combining history with astronomy, photography and an interpretation of Dee’s most cryptic work: the notoriously enigmatic Monas Heiroglyphica, which Egan has approaches with even more scrutiny than the Heiroglyphica Britanica.

There are no half measures in John Dee’s America; it is a massive volume. Still, it is delivered with a clarity of vision that allows a reader to open to virtually any page, glance over the graphics, and dive into any fragment. Jim Egan is a diligent guide on this journey, timing his strides to ensure that  all paths are walked, and no stone left unturned. The Tudor dynasty, phantom islands, Christian cults and a multiplicity of cryptograms abound in these pages. As the pieces come together, the often misunderstood character of John Dee emerges from the aeons, not as a madman, but as a brilliant and articulate architect of empire, whose spiritual practices compelled him to try and forge a new, kinder world from the ashes of the old. The American Empire, as it stands today, could do well to take a few lessons from his book. 

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For more on Egan’s theories, visit his museum in Newport. Much of his research is available online as well.

For more on John Dee, check out Benjamin’s Wooly’s excellent biography, The Queen’s Conjuror.

For more information on John Dee’s influence on early colonial proclivities, check out W. W. Woodward’s Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list.

New Lovecraft Novella Revivals from American Eldritch Press

Each volume of premium cosmic horror includes a new introduction and cover by Aladdin Collar, and can be yours for the low price of 5.75 – skip your next lunch and feast on the immemorial aeons instead. Click on a cover to go shopping.

Non-Euclidian Adventure

Non-Euclidian Adventure

Precambrian Horror

Precambrian Horror

Dunsanian Fantasy

Dunsanian Fantasy

The Continental Prophecies of William Blake

America a Prophecy

New from AMERICAN ELdRITCH: high-quality facsimile editions of two of William Blake’s continental prophecies. America a Prophecy (1793) features an introduction by Aladdin Collar, and Europe a Prophecy (1794) features an introduction by William Butler Yeats. Both volumes of premium cosmic horror are published in full color, and contain supplemental plain-text versions of the poems, as well as a diagrammatic interpretation of the cosmology.

Blake’s system repurposes gnostic philosophy, Quabbalic mysticism, and greco-roman/pagan tradition with an almost wholly new order of celestial deities. The poet himself seems to have lived a persistently visionary existence; he explained his writing process as taking dictation from spirits. As WB Yeats describes him, “He saw in every issue the whole contest of light and darkness, and found no peace. To him, the universe seemed filled with an intense excitement, at once infinitesimal and and infinite, for in every grass blade, in every atom of dust, Los, the ‘eternal mind’, warred upon the dragon Urizen, ‘the God of this world.’” – Aladdin Collar, from the Introduction to America a Prophecy

Europe a Prophecy

 

Did You Know?

 

Eldritch Facts 03 Eldritch Facts 04 Eldritch Facts 02 Eldritch Facts 01

 

Wow, I bet you learned something today! This is the stuff they won’t teach you in school. Please share with your friends and loved ones, preferably in a forwarded chain email with grainy, low res images and two watermarks from different facebook groups.

The Knight, the Devil, and Death

 

Engraving by Albretch Durer, 1514, with color by Aladdin Collar, 2015

Engraving by Albretch Durer, 1514, with color by Aladdin Collar, 2015

One of three master engravings by Albecht Durer, The Knight, the Devil and Death (1514) depicts a complicated romance of intrigue and mystery. Just a glance at the posturing and expression of the characters allows for an easy reading of this deeply symbolic work of art. 

The Knight

The Knight, poised with his spear, looks not upon the Devil or Death, for he is in love with both, and he doesn’t want either of them to figure out that they’re being played. 

The Devil

If you look closely upon the face of the Devil, however, he does know about the Knight’s infidelity… he just doesn’t care. He phallic imagery bends and twists in all directions; he’ll stick it anywhere. Have some self respect, Devil.

Death

Death, meanwhile, glowers naively at viewer; his pleading eyes ask all the questions. Why isn’t he looking at me? Death wonders. Doesn’t he love me anymore? Am I getting too old? One of Death’s hair snakes looks towards the knight, longingly; the other gazes away, unable to deal with the situation. 

Illustration by Edmund Sullivan, for AC Farquharson's translation of Lamotte Fouque's "Sintram and his Companions" (1908).

Illustration by Edmund Sullivan, for AC Farquharson’s translation of Lamotte Fouque’s “Sintram and his Companions” (1908).

Durer’s image inspired countless works of art and literature, and his depiction of the devil became a common representation of the beast. It was in the novel “Sintram and his Companions,” (1908) however, that Durer’s imagery was really explored to its full potential. The book features the characters of Sintram the Knight, Death and the Devil in sexually charged romp, with undertones that range from “subtle” to “naked dudes stabbing each other.” The frontispiece of the book (below) itself is Durer’s original print. 

 

 

American Eldritch and American Eldritch Comics: Available July 4th!

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Celebrate liberation from monarchy and the blood of our masters by purchasing a copy of American Eldritch, a new journal featuring weird art and literature. Issue number one includes fiction and essays by HP Lovecraft, R. Wess, Mac Smullen, Ambrose Bierce, and many more, as well as visual artists including but not limited to Jen Plaskowitz, D. Edward Calhoun, Alex Cobble, and Rosemary Liss.

$10.00, 150 pages. Published by the American Eldritch Society for the Preservation of Hearsay and Rumor. Preorder your copies NOW by putting 10.00 in a bank account and setting a timer for July 4th at midnight and then ordering it on amazon when they’re available.

Also available July 4th: American Eldritch Comics no. 1! What a great weekend for small press weird art enthusiasts. Featuring stories by Jackson Wingate, Lord Dunsany, Efraim Klein, Winsor McCay, and D. Edward Calhoun! 22 pages, full color, $7.50. 

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