Tag: The Dark Side

Blu-ray review: Ghost Story (1981)

[Published in The Dark Side #172, December 2015.]

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Manchester Memories

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Went up to Manchester yesterday, to interview Jenny Hanley and Jonathan Rigby for the 28th Festival of Fantastic Films. Both guests and audience seemed to have a great time, and my conversation with Jenny was recorded for use in a future issue of the The Dark Side. The photographs above were taken by Chrissie Harper. (No, I wasn’t kneeling next to Jonathan; he’s just really tall.)

Blu-ray / DVD reviews: Creepy (2016), Beyond the Gates (2016), Ibiza Undead (2016), The Void (2016), Realm of the Damned – Tenebris Deos (2106)

[Published in The Dark Side #183, April]

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Fear Not

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I was disappointed, but not entirely surprised, to hear John Gilbert’s attempt to relaunch the horror magazine Fear has been called off after just four issues, especially as I had features in two of those and had hoped to place more in the near future.

That is the second occasion Fear and I have crossed paths. Back in 1991, I was approached by then-publishers Newsfield to become its production manager. The lengthy commute to Ludlow (a round trip of nearly 120 miles) and likely long hours proved too high a hurdle, despite a follow-up approach by John himself. It was a lucky decision: Newsfield went bust a few months later, and it’s likely I’d have joined the list of employees left out of pocket.

This time around, John was reportedly been stiffed by his unnamed backer, who’s failed to cover editorial expenses (which included surprisingly high website fees). He’s talking up the possibility of a further resurrection, but I know from personal experience (nine years co-publishing Critical Wave) how difficult it can be to reach a loyal audience. So many genre magazines spend their time fighting over the same potential readers (just line up the latest issues of SFX, Sci-Fi Now and Geeky Monkey, then try and spot the difference), success is more often than not decided by who’s got the biggest bank balance rather than straight quality. The remarkable longevity of The Dark Side (which I also work for, of course) is a regrettably rare example of a magazine finding a niche and developing a loyal readership; whether Fear can pull off the same trick remains to be seen, but I wish John luck.

Strip Teaser [2]

I guess the first appearance of Chrissie’s and my comic strip ‘The Lighter Side’ didn’t prompt readers to march towards the Dark Side offices waving burning torches like a scene from the 1930s horror movies we lampooned, because the January issue features our second collaboration, this time a nod to a more recent British classic.

As previously mentioned, you can see more of Chrissie’s work at her own website, Chez Chrissie, and support her webcomics via Patreon.

It’s still early days, so any support from Dark Side readers is very welcome. You can contact the editor, Allan Bryce, via allan@thedarksidemagazine.com.

Strip Teaser

Didn’t pick up the November issue of Britain’s longest-running horror magazine, The Dark Side? In that case, you’ll have missed the first instalment of what could become a regular comic strip if we can just persuade editor Allan Bryce he has room.

The artwork’s by my regular collaborator Chrissie Harper (you can see more recent illustrations at her own website, Chez Chrissie, where you can also support Chrissie’s webcomics via her Patreon page). The idea is to lampoon a different horror or science fiction movie each time, and we’ll be concentrating on older films because too many of the more recent releases are already laughable without any input from us.

Anyway, if you like this debut effort, particularly if you’re a regular Dark Side reader, please let Allan know via allan@thedarksidemagazine.com.