New Zine: Witch Women from Heretical Sexts

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Nurse your Walpurgisnacht hangovers with Witch Women, the brand new zine from my micropress Heretical Sexts. I was able to collaborate with some of my favorite artists and authors for this exploration of the link between women and the occult in history, film, books, and other media. Ranging from esoteric to tongue-in-cheek, contents include:

-“Hag Couture,” cheeky advice on fashion and ritual realness by S. Elizabeth
-“Ace of Worlds,” an encounter with the tarot by Tom Blunt
-“The Scarlet Women,” an illustrated history of erotic magic written by Heather Drain and illustrated by Tenebrous Kate
-“Darkening the Coven,” an RPG and creative writing supplement by Jack W. Shear
-Art by Dana Glover, Becky Munich, and Carisa Swenson

Purchase a copy of Witch Women here.

I’ve also got button packs featuring my art for sale on the shop, so you can trick out your battle jackets with Gillman Businessman, Barbara Steele in “Curse of the Crimson Altar,” Nazgûl romance, and the dope Heretical Sexts logo designed by the mad genius of Recspec. Button packs ship free with all zine orders, and for a limited time I’m throwing in a free mini zine with all zine purchases.

Vampires vs Dancing Queens, Verhoeven’s Nazi Melodrama, the Sounds of Horror and More

The following are some movies I’ve watched recently that made enough of an impression one way or another to merit a post here. Consider these my personal pro/con recommendations for stuff you can probably watch on your streaming service of choice.

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Black Book (2006, dir. Paul Verhoeven)

How could a two-and-a-half-hour WWII melodrama about a beautiful Jewish spy fucking an SS officer as directed by the man who brought us “Robocop” and “Showgirls” go so very, very wrong? I’m pretty sure the moment when the soon-to-be-seduced Nazi whips out his stamp collection, thus demonstrating his “we are not all barbarians” stock character, sets things on a path into deadly doldrums. All the resistance fighters, pert breasts, gun battles, double-crosses, and false indictments in the world couldn’t transform this lumbering hulk of stereotypes and blandness into the flashy, decadent trash-cinema masterpiece it could have been. The Critics, however, adored it.bsoundstudio

Berberian Sound Studio (2012, dir. Peter Strickland)

This smart tribute to later-era Italo-horror shifts the focus from rivers of red to the gruesomely evocative sound design of these gorefests. Beautifully filmed, intimate in scope, and frequently bitingly funny, I was pleasantly surprised that this movie lured me into its strange spiral of madness. This is, at its heart, a movie about a culture clash and excellent performances drive home this central conflict. An ambiguous ending has frustrated many viewers, but this is highly recommended for fans of oddly-structured stories rich with period and technical details.devilskiss

Devil’s Kiss (1976, dir. Jordi Gigo)

Vintage Eurotrash can offer many delights: colorful cinematography, flashy jazz and prog rock soundtracks, and plentiful kink can frequently salvage an otherwise forgettable movie. Forgetfulness seems to be the order of the day in “Devil’s Kiss,” tragically, as someone at the helm seems to have forgotten to include music, beauty, and atmosphere anywhere in this neo-Gothic tale of revenge and the reanimated dead. I think the biggest shock was the inclusion of a scene that had enough impact to remind me that I’d previously watched this movie (though what that scene was seems to have escaped me at this point). I momentarily had this confused with “Devil’s Nightmare,” but that’s a far superior effort that features baby-stabbing and Erika Blanc’s delightful crazyface.vampballerina

The Vampire and the Ballerina (1960, dir. Renato Polselli)

This clunky little feature has bad monster design without being compellingly bad monster design, but is narrowly rescued from tedium by the endearing goofiness of its premise: a dance troupe of nubile young things is rehearsing for a performance at a remote castle, begging the question of who their intended audience might be, and begin falling prey to the hungry dead. Jiggly coquettishness and vampiric demises ensue.revengeoftheninja

Revenge of the Ninja (1983, dir. Sam Firstenberg)

Every movie should inspire the kind of joy I experienced when watching “Revenge of the Ninja,” which marries a profound misunderstanding of Japanese culture with the dopiest heroin-smuggling scheme of all time. Honestly—how much heroin can you even include in a tiny doll? And why let the dolls be displayed in a shop so you have to steal them back? Inscrutable! Featuring the father-son team of Sho and Kane Kosugi as good-guy ninjas—bring your kid to work day is just plain different at Cannon Films.manborg

Manborg (2011, dir. Steven Kostanski)

Deliberately camp movies are a dicey—nay, foreboding—proposition, but this Mortal Kombat meets 80s macho actioner puts in such overtime in its creative use of weirdo FX work that to not-like it would be like ignoring a puppy showing you its belly to receive tickles. After fearing that I’d have to turn this off after the first ten minutes, I was rewarded with stop-motion animated monsters, an unexpectedly charming villain in the form of The Baron, and some genuine laughs. This one may grow on my fellow hard-hearted cynics in a similar fashion.

Visit Me at Brooklyn Zine Fest on April 26

This Sunday, April 26 2015, I will be manning the Heretical Sexts table at Brooklyn Zine Fest. As an attendee of the event since its first year, I’m delighted to be participating on the vendor side of the table this year! BZF is a FREE EVENT that takes place from 11am to 6pm at the Brooklyn Historical Society, and full details on panels, artists, and writers involved in the Fest are available on the website here:

Brooklyn Zine Fest

There is a completely different set of zinesters on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to check out both dates to see everything this creative line-up has to offer.

witchwomen-screenIn addition to Forever Doomed, My Dream Date with a Villain, buttons, stickers, and swag from Heretical Sexts contributors, I’ll be premiering the newest HS zine titled Witch Women. Everything on the Heretical Sexts table is five bucks or under–that’s about the price of a beer. There’s no reasonable way you can say no to stopping by! The Witch Women zine is an exploration of the many facets of the relationship between femininity and the occult. The zine features original art and essays ranging from the esoteric to the humorous.

Witch Women Contents:

-“Hag Couture,” cheeky advice on fashion and ritual realness by S. Elizabeth
-“Ace of Worlds,” an encounter with the tarot by Tom Blunt
-“The Scarlet Women,” an illustrated history of erotic magic written by Heather Drain and illustrated by Tenebrous Kate
-“Darkening the Coven,” and RPG and creative writing supplement by Jack W. Shear
-Art by Dana Glover, Becky Munich, and Carisa Swenson