Editor of the Season: Donna Leahey

Donna Leahey and I had been friends for a little over a year when we were both on the Write On panel at the Hardesty Library. Jack, the current president of Nevermore Edits, and Mac, the former president, were presenting with us. As we chatted about writing, Leahey said, “I’m a raw girl power kind of writer.”

It resonated with me so much that I still think about it when I pick up any of Leahey’s writing even three months later. Whether she was trying to or not, Leahey had perfectly captured her own essence, what drives her aesthetic. It’s one of the things she was looking for as she edited A Murder of Storytellers’s new anthology: Sorry, We’re Closed (Full disclosure: My short story “Safe at Home” is included in the anthology.)

Continue reading in The Corvidae Courier!

Don’t See Don’t Look [Review]

Jamie Lee Curtis could scream. Whether you’re a fan of Halloween, Prom NightThe Fog, or any other horror project she’s graced with her presence, we can all admit Curtis’ shrieks were bloodcurdling. They made her films better, more believable. In her directorial debutDon’t Look,  Luciana Faulhaber casts herself as a character who screams repeatedly, but she doesn’t have the abandon to be believable. Faulhaber sounds as though she’s constantly holding back, breaking the illusion of the film, but consistently puts herself in positions where she’s screaming again and again.

Don’t Look boasts that it is a “slasher throwback,” though it feels more mid-90s than 80s heyday. The premise sees five friends traveling to a remote cabin that belongs to Nicole (Lindsay DiFulvio, now Lindsay Eshelman) for Thanksgiving. Her parents were shot to death in this very cabin, as we see in an orange-tinted flashback that kicks off the movie. About halfway through, a killer that hasn’t been previously hinted at starts picking them, and two other rustic tenants, off one by one.

Continue reading at Wicked Horror!

 

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #2 (Comic Review)

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #2 opens with Luna peeling paper off the wall to eat with Joan of Arc. Joan tells Luna that, “St. Michael is HAWT, but I’m super into the Duke of Alençon.” Luna bursts into flames, realizing that Joan was schizophrenic and she may be too before vomiting eyeballs and waking up. If that sounds exactly like your s***, it’s definitely mine, then you’re going to love this issue. The series is built on Luna’s imagination, which artist Martìn Morazzo brings beautifully to life with his art.

Writer Christopher Cantwell brings a lot to the table as well. His writing in She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot lets its characters carry the weight of the first arc, meaning that Luna isn’t the only one suffering after the bloodbath in She Could Fly #4. Her mother, a la Lady Macbeth (or Edgar Allen Poe depending on your preference) scrubs at a clean floor saying, ““OhmygodIamheartilysorryforhavingoffendedthee…” I can’t stress enough how much it matters. Violence leads to trauma, and this series shows exactly what that looks like. The lasting effects add heft to every panel.

Continue reading at Wicked Horror!

Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #1 [Review]

Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #1 opens with Sabrina, a human ghost hunter (no relation to any teenage witches), writing a letter to her mother. Along with her father Paul and her brother Russ, Sabrina is on her way to investigate a series of murders that took place in a cemetery in Burden Hill.

Long time fans of Beasts of Burden will realize that something odd is going on here: the story is following humans. Not to worry, our beloved arcane a**-kicking dogs and cats are following them, investigating the same murders. Odder, our heroes understand what Paul and Sabrina are saying and the humans can understand them. It’s been infrequent that animals and humans have communicated in the story, but as Whitey points out, anyone they can understand “usually try to kill [them].” They put their suspicions aside, momentarily at least.

Continue reading at Wicked Horror!

The Prodigy Disappoints in Spite of a Promising Premise [Review]

Horror creators have a challenge balancing realism and respecting their audience. A vampire could come out of the closet behind me and sink its fangs into my neck now. As a skeptic, I would be hard-pressed to believe that I was actually being bitten by a vampire, because vampires aren’t real even as one sucked my blood. So to write a character like me, assuming that my skepticism is close to that of the average American, writer of The Prodigy Jeff Buhler needs to capture that skepticism.

The other side of the coin, where Buhler and The Prodigy slip, is that watching a skeptic come to the realization that they’re truly dealing with the paranormal gets boring after the first fifteen minutes or so, because the audience knows what’s happening in the film. Adrean Messmer lays out why nicely in Beyond the Cabin in the Woods episode on Ginger Snaps.

Continue reading at Wicked Horror!