King vs. Koontz


Bob Pastorella and I talk about the masters of horror, Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Head on over to his blog to see our lists of the five best from each author. I’ve taken King, and he’s taken Koontz. Who do YOU enjoy more?

Noir at the Bar (St. Louis) anthology out soon, to benefit Subterranean Books

I am really excited about this anthology that Jed and Scott have put together. It’s to benefit Subterranean Books in St. Louis, as they are struggling these days. Would you look at all of the talent in this collection? I’m honored to be a part of it. Peep the TOC:
Foreword, Jed & Scott
Gunpowder & Aluminum Foil, Matthew McBride
One Fine Bird, Cameron Ashley
The Girl Who Kissed Barnaby Jones, Scott Phillips
Thin Mints, Daniel O’Shea
Doe Run Road, Dennis Tafoya
They Take You, Kyle Minor
Deviances, Frank Bill
Pig Helmet & The Wall of Life, Pinckney Benedict
An Orphan’s Tale, Jonathan Woods
Ballad of Larry Plank, Derek Nikita
Five Revelations Concerning Jenny L. as Told to  Maura C. by a Compassionate Angel, Laura Benedict
Care of the Circumcised Penis, Sean Doolittle
The Morning After, Jedidiah Ayres
Underground Wonder Bound, Richard Thomas
Outside Lou’s, David Cirillo, Illustrations by Matt Kindt
Everyone Grieves in a Unique Way, Anthony Neil Smith
Big Artie, Malachi Stone
Vampires are Pussies, Chris La Tray
Afterword, Rod Wiethop
Here’s what Jed had to say over at his blog about the book:

“We are now down to the waiting for hard copies to land and I’m terribly pleased with the book. Just goes to show what you can accomplish when you’re surrounded by generous, talented people and you don’t give two shits about punctuation or spelling.

Y’know who gets a big fat round of applause for this book tho? Fuckin Jon Bassoff and Matt Kindt, thems who. Bassoff formatted it and pulled some strings for my cherry ass and Kindt designed the shit outta it. Y’know who else gets a big thanks? Our blurbers – Lawrence Block, Duane Swierczynski, Megan Abbott, Todd Robinson, Roger Smith, Tom Piccirilli, Stephen Graham Jones and Sara Gran. Without their cavalier attitudes toward public decency in the information age I would’ve been without the leverage to wrangle some juicy recommendations outta that prestigious lot.

So, who wants a copy?

Here’s what you need to know: this has been put together as N@B’s effort to help out our local bookselling heroes at Subterranean Books, which is why they’re the only place you can get it. As soon as it’s available, I’ll make that announcement and you can order one off their website or send me a suitcase full of cash to trade for it. What? You don’t order books online? Fine, come on out to a N@B event ’cause you know we’ll pimp ’em there. Are you attending Bouchercon in September? Subterranean Books will have a table in the book room and you can make for to purchase it there too. There will be no eBook.

Not good enough? Kiss my ass. Publish your own damn book.”

Richard Does Wicker Park

Wicker Park used to be the third largest artistic community in the USA

So I took the day to run down to Wicker Park, my old neighborhood in the city of Chicago. I’m about 35 miles N/NW in the suburbs, where I live now, but I try to get back to my old haunts whenever I can. Ah, it was so much fun to run around. I went back in order to distribute about 200 postcards and about 20 posters. Most of the shops were very cool about letting me post up and drop off.

My first stop was Bongo Room, to get some food. One breakfast burrito and I was set. Great potatoes too.

Bongo Room, 1470 N. Milwaukee

Next, it was off to Myopic Books, one of my favorite used bookstores in all of Chicago. Tacked up a poster and then went hunting.

Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee

What did I find? Well, I got LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, THE BIRD IS GONE (A MANIFESTO), DEMON THEORY, some William T. Vollman, 13 STORIES & 13 EPIGRAPHS, and two copies of THE PARIS REVIEW (both with stories by Ben Percy, one with Aimee Bender). No Baer or Clevenger.

Then it was Reckless Records, where I put up a poster RIGHT THERE the right of the front door in the window (both sides). They still sell vinyl there.

Reckless Records, 1532 N. Milwaukee

I hit Untitled, Urban Outfitters, dropping off cards.

The Siver Room (1442 N. Milwaukee) is always cool, they’re having a big party tomorrow.

Metamorph Tatoos (1456 N. Milwaukee) was a really cool tattoo parlor and piercing salon. Great art on the walls. I think this guy was there when I walked in. He was pretty intense.

Micah Greenlay

Una Mae’s (1528 N. Milwaukee) is another really great shop. Used to be called Una Mae’s Freak Boutique. They put up a poster for me, very generous. This is their old sign but it brings back memories, so I posted it up anyway.

Brooklyn Industries is very cool, has this awesome art on the brick wall outside of their space, I shot some dust jacket shots there, but they didn’t make the final cut for Transubstantiate.

Found this little head shop called Dude, I Forgot, some really awesome hand blown glasswork and fantastic incense.

Then I headed over to Quimby’s, my other favorite bookstore in Chicago.

Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave.

They have a ton of edgy stuff – comics, graphic novels, art books, you name it. I’ll be reading here October 16th with some Otherworld Publications authors. Time and details TBD.

What did I get? Well, after 45 minutes, I walked out with these:

The latest issue of Juxtapoz, an edgy art+culture mag I love:

And some new comics/graphic novels that looked good Couldn’t find The Last Days of American Crime.


Unwritten (1) by Mike Carey & Peter Gross


Transmetropolitan (1) by Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson

So after that it was time to head home. Made two stops on the way back. Dropped off some cards at a really great Tattoo Parlor up in my neck of the woods, Lucky Seven Tattoo Studio (229 Peterson Road, Libertyville, IL) and my old buddies at Dreamland Comics (105 West Rockland Road, Libertyville, IL). They both helped me out by letting me take some counter space at Lucky 7 and inserting postcards into the sales at Dreamland.

One last stop. Goodwill. They have BOOKS! And for $13 I got some good stuff:

Tim O’Brien THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (love the short, now I have the collection)
Ayn Rand, THE FOUNTAINHEAD (never read it!)
Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451 (don’t own a copy!)
George Orwell, 1984 (also don’t own a copy)
Robert Heinlein, THE PUPPET MASTERS (classic SF)
Kurt Vonnegut, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (another I don’t own)
Thomas Harris, RED DRAGON (great book, didn’t own it)
Augusten Burrough, DRY (HC 1st)
Clive Barker, THE DAMNATION GAME (HC 1st)

Quite a haul.

Had a great time, thanks everyone for your help and support.

Demographic – More than just shirts

My friend Shane Harrison has this really cool t-shirt company, and I wanted to post up about it. Here is the synopsis from his about page, but basically they take a concept, a demographic, who you are, and make it into a shirt. You can suggest ideas to them as well.


Demographic is an emerging apparel company. It grew from a brainstorm involving two graphic designers who had trouble finding clothing which spoke to them personally. Weary of meaningless and/or self-promoting designs, they saw a need to create a line of apparel that says more about the wearer and less about the company they bought it from.

With this idea in mind, they devised a unique system in which each design concept represents a different group of people or “demographic.” This framework allows individuals to choose how they want to be viewed or call attention to ideas/issues that are important to them. In effect, revealing more about who they really are and less about the brand of clothes they wear.

SO…if this appeals to you, either go buy a shirt or suggest an idea, maybe you’ll get your shirt for FREE or in trade, or even cold, hard cash. These are some really talented designers, that I’ve known for years.



Dreamland Comics – Libertyville, IL

Libertyville, IL

Libertyville, IL

I met with the owner, Dave Gray, the other day to talk about a little co-op work. I live in Mundelein, IL which is just west of Libertyville, IL. What a great guy. He’s going to help promote my blog and writing and I’m going to talk about his shop.

First, these guys are sincere and passionate about what they do. They’re really into what they do, and it shows. They have a fantastic selection, and treat their customers with respect. I’m not the biggest comic collector, but have gone in here repeatedly to get some Gunslinger comics (the Stephen King adapted works) and they’ve even set aside some of the limited variants for me. If you live in the area, or even if you don’t, and need a good source for all of your comic, graphic novel and other related need, check out their website and order up. I love walking in here. I had to actually leave my wallet in the car so that I wouldn’t blow my paycheck – so many cool classic comics, new edgy graphic novels, and everything in between.

I do read a few titles. Was into the 100 BULLETS series, obviously the GUNSLINGER stuff. I picked up a little AEON FLUX, since I loved the MTV series, WATCHMEN of course, and some other random bits, Paul Pope’s work, such as 100%, SANDMAN, FABLES, Y: THE LAST MAN. Guess I’m more of a VERTIGO guy.

Stop by the store, give these guys a call or check out their website at as they are sure to have what you need.

• New Comics
• Back Issues
• Comic and Card Supplies
• Role-Playing Games
• Sports Cards
• Warhammer 40K
• Collectible Card Games
• Action Figures


105 West Rockland Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
1 (847) 680-0727
Fax: 1 (847) 680-4495

Monday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.