One of the great things I loved about Monster Bash is the presence of not only books but authors as well. Last year, I got over dozen books signed by a few different authors that were there. And it didn’t cost a penny! It would have been a lot more books but author Tom Weaver wasn’t able to make it to the show. But this year he was, and I was prepared for his return to the Bash, bringing well over a dozen of his books alone for him to sign. Weaver is a deity when it comes to horror history, spending his time seeking out and interviewing stars of the movies we love, both bigger names and not-so-bigger names, and getting their stories and memories down in print for us monster fans to read and learn even more about them.
So when tracked him down on Saturday and asked if he’d be willing to sign a few books, he graciously said yes. Now since I didn’t want to dump all of the titles at once, I had only brought few titles at that point. He told me to have a seat behind the table next to him while he was signing, where we started chatted. I told him a story of how because of something he wrote in an issue of Fangoria years ago, I ended up meeting someone who has become one of my best friends for the last 20+ years. The story, which I’ll go into more detail at a later time here on the site, dealt with my response to a comment that Weaver had made about Lon Chaney Sr., which at the time in youth, when I was a little bit more trigger happy when it came to defending my opinion, I wrote a reply back to the magazine, making snide little comments about Weaver’s opinion. Well, the magazine printed it and a soon-to-be-lifelong friend wrote me in response to my letter, and we started to corresponding from there. And the rest is history. Weaver laughed out loud and said that was one of the best stories that he’d heard. He mentioned that he was known to make comments that will get a reaction from his readers. Well, it sure worked for me!
After I mentioned that I had only brought some of the books I needed signed, he told me to go get the rest and he’d sign them all. So I quickly rushed back to my table, dropped off the signed ones and grabbed the rests, and went back. As I got there, he told me he just relayed my story to fellow author Gregory Mank, who was sitting next to him, still laughing about it. We talked a little more about his work and some of the difficulties in acquiring some of the interviews over the years. He was such a nice and friendly guy, even though he doesn’t look to happy in the above photo! Honestly though, it really was an honor to meet him.
During the day, during one of those rare times when I wasn’t working behind my table (insert laugh here), Dawn tells me a couple of gentlemen had stopped by and were perusing some of the books we were selling. She said that as they were looking through them, one of them says “Hey…there’s one of your books!” She didn’t remember which book it was but a short time later, we realized that he was sitting a couple tables down from us at the Monsters from the Vault table. His name is Mark Clark and he wrote the McFarland title Smirk, Sneer and Scream: Great Acting in Horror Cinema, as well as co-authoring Sixties Shockers, with Bryan Senn. So I went over and introduced myself and told him how much I enjoyed both of his books. He mentioned that Senn was at the show as well and that he’d bring him over to my table when he gets back. A short time later, they both come over and we have a great conversation about movies, books, Paul Naschy, and all sorts of other monster-related subjects. As it turns out, they usually go to the Cinevent shows in Columbus, so we made plans to hook up there, where they would more than happy to sign my books. Once again, so cool to meet a couple of guys whose work that I’ve admired over the years.
Authors Bryan Senn, Mark Clark, and myself
I also stopped by Gregory Mank’s table to have him sign the latest of his books that recently picked up, The Very Witching Time of Night. We talked a little about his upcoming book on Laird Cregar and that I had even picked a couple of Laird’s movies for my HorrorHound column in an upcoming issue, which he said he’d love to read, which I must say was pretty damn cool coming from someone that I respect a great deal.
And last, but definitely not least, we got to see and hang out for a bit with our buddy Troy Howarth, who was there at the show selling a special Monster Bash edition of his latest book, Real Depravities: The Films of Klaus Kinksi. We’ve been a fan of Troy’s work for a while, but got to meet him in person at last year’s Bash. This year, not only did I pick up the Kinski book, but volume 2 of his So Deadly, So Perverse giallo guides. For any fans of Italian cinema, these titles are essential for your library. So much information within those pages and will give you plenty of titles to add to your “need to see” list. You can order your own copies right from the publisher, Midnight Marquee through their website HERE.
Recently, Troy announced that one of his next projects would be a book of the films of the one and only Paul Naschy. Needless to say, I was more than a bit excited about it. There could be a hundred books coming out on Naschy’s work and it still wouldn’t be enough, if you ask me. I figure the more titles out there that promote this man’s work and films the better. So of course, we can’t wait to see this one come out. When more news about this become available, we will surely be posting it here on the site.
Myself with author Troy Howarth
along with Bryan Martinez, creator of The Giallo Room web series
Stay tuned for Part 4…”Where are you going now?”