Saturday, July 4, 2009

Editorial July 09 e-issue #1

Editorial Issue #1- The Black Glove
by Nickolas Cook

Born in 1969, I grew up in the 70s and 80s. During those formative years, I saw the horror boom come and go. The impact that such a profusion of horror venues (films, TV series, books, games, etc., etc.) had on my life is almost impossible to explain. Let's just say as a child I had always leaned towards the dark side, so the influence of all that horror was like a black light beckon for my future. From an early age, I ate, drank and dreamed horror related stuff. I collected Famous Monsters before its decline, played The Dark Shadows board game, and even bought issue number 5 of Fangoria, which hooked me for life on gore films. Even in comic books, which I religiously collected for most of my teen years, even going so far as to get a job at 13 to pay for my monthly obsession, I found the dark side of the four panel soap opera more appealing than the Superman type of story. There was something inherently dangerous and edgy about men and women like The X-Men, who had such enormous powers, and by their own choices used them for the good of humanity and not for evil, that held me spell bound. Of course, the 70s and early 80s were the years of the drive-in, and every weekend my parents hauled me and my little brother to any of the six local drive-ins within 15 miles of home. It was at these wonderlands of light and darkness that I saw such classics as Phantasm (which has informed my creative life beyond words), Scanners, Humanoids From the Deep, Alien, Grizzly, Fear No Evil, The Velvet Vampire, Dawn of the Dead, and Fulci's Zombie, Friday the 13th, and so many more that I have no room to list them all here. Then of course the 80s video revolution came along to completely annihilate the drive-ins. And along with the vid-revolution came more horror grist for the mill. Because of videos being released at an exponentially expansive rate, I was able to see many horror films that I'd missed because of my age, or because they never made it to the theaters in my town. But there was also the fact that a lot of the new releases of that fertile period were not what one would classify as classics. Don't get me wrong, there were some straight to vid classics, but not many. Most of them were made on shoestring budgets by people who clearly had no idea what made horror work- much like the straight to DVD market by conveyor belt studios run out of someone's basement, with no stories, crap acting, and terribly mundane direction/cinematography/effects- a sort of horror porn, if you will. Unfortunately, this was also taking place in the horror publishing world. We went from cleverly written, literate classics such as The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and The Shining to Zebra's foil covers and books written by people who didn't exist or by not so talented authors hoping to cash in on the horror boom. It was this rush on the cash cow genre that ultimately ate away at the solid foundations of craft and professionalism like acid on wooden legs. The collapse, as we can see looking back, came on the heels of remakes (both foreign and domestic), too any needless sequels, PG13 'horror' films, big studios conceptions of horror, using overblown CGI effects that look exactly like every movie out there, and a video game mentality (i.e., violence with no real world consequences). And while there's been a few spikes on the radar, most those have been foreign releases thrown into American theaters to satiate a starving US horror populace.So what the heck is going to happen the horror genre that we all know and love?Cripes. Who knows? I sure don't. I keep watching the studios for signs of life again, keep my fingers crossed that some of the folks who know an author's pittance in the small press will finally blowup and hit the big house publishers, and keep wishing that America will begin to make horror the old fashioned way again- dangerous, edgy, gut wrenching stuff that hasn't been seen since the late 70s.Which brings me to the point of this editorial/introduction you're reading now.The Black Glove will be there to point the way--not only to what we consider the future return of great horror, but also to help readers look backwards at what once was and could perhaps be again.We have an open door policy here at The Black Glove, so please feel free to email any of the staff with comments, curses, or horror news you think we should highlight.It's our promise to you that we'll keep The Black Glove a free magazine, while providing the best non-fiction articles, reviews, news, and other content with the resources at our disposal.So we welcome you with open hearts and minds to The Black Glove...

--Nickolas Cook
The Black Glove