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Author Topic: Publishers of Classic Horror  (Read 4710 times)

Big Bad Wolf

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Publishers of Classic Horror
« on: September 04, 2016, 02:10:58 PM »
I'm not sure how familiar you guys are with these publishers already, but I thought I'd mention them. I know this sub-forum doesn't get much traffic but it's really the best place for this. Feel free to share other publishers who deal in classic horror, whether they're republishing forgotten and out-of-print works or publishing new material with a decidedly old school approach.

First up, Valancourt Books. These guys do fantastic work, and every fan of classic horror should keep an eye on them. They frequently find lost gems from the past, from the 30s on up to the 80s, and republish them in spiffy paperbacks and ebooks. Sometimes they keep the old cover artwork intact, such is the case for their upcoming edition of The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck by Alexander Laing, a 1934 novel once hailed by Karl Edward Wagner as one of the top horror novels of all time. Meanwhile other works often get classy new artwork, one such example being Robert Marasco's classic 1973 haunted house novel Burnt Offerings, which I'm sure many of you are familiar with from the excellent TV movie adaptation.

Check them out at http://www.valancourtbooks.com/.

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Mike Scott

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 06:15:54 PM »
Those covers are great!
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Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 08:18:11 PM »
Those covers are great!
So great they make folks speechless, apparently.  :P
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Mike Scott

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 12:00:23 AM »
So great they make folks speechless . .

Stunned silence!
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Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2016, 05:28:49 PM »
Here's another great publisher to keep an eye on: Black Coat Press. With a focus largely on French genre fiction, several lost and obscure French horror gems are revived and freshly translated thanks to Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier and Brian Stableford. They're not limited to just horror, so you may find a lot of other great stuff from them if you're interested.

Examples include a trio of vampire novels by Paul Féval called Knightshade, Vampire City, and The Vampire Countess, all of which pre-date Stoker's legendary novel Dracula. However this publisher does more than simply republish lost works like these. They also publish new work with a decidedly classic approach, including The Vampire Alamanac, two volumes worth of vampire short stories (pulled out of their multi-volume series Tales of the Shadowmen) dedicated to new tales focused on classic vampires like Dracula and Carmilla as well as underappreciated ones like Lord Ruthven, Princess Asa Vajda of Black Sunday, and even Gyaos from the Gamera films!

One of my favorite reads in the last year, The Quest of Frankenstein, may appeal to you guys in particular. The novel by Frank Schildiner features a terrifying and brutal Frankenstein Monster on a quest across WWI Europe to supply Herbert West with the necessary ingredients to complete his monstrous mate. On this quest he encounters numerous classic horror figures, from a Creeper who should be familiar to any Rondo Hatton fans to a gathering of vampires attended by notables like Barnabas Collins and, of course, Count Dracula himself. It's a fun read and I can't wait for the sequel in March next year, The Triumph of Frankenstein.

Their covers aren't necessarily as spiffy as the work Valancourt puts out, but they tend to use excellent paintings that, to me, are a great fit for that classic pulp horror flavor.

Check them out at http://blackcoatpress.com/.





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Mike Scott

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2016, 06:56:46 PM »

Their covers aren't necessarily as spiffy as the work Valancourt puts out, but they tend to use excellent paintings that, to me, are a great fit for that classic pulp horror flavor.


The top and bottom rows look like Frazetta swipes.
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Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2016, 07:04:24 PM »
The top and bottom rows look like Frazetta swipes.
All four are attributed to Mike Hoffman. Whether or not they're plagiarized from Frazetta works, I couldn't say. Perhaps there's investigating to be done?
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Mike Scott

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2016, 07:07:25 PM »
Perhaps there's investigating to be done?

I looked over a ton of Frazetta and no swipes. I guess it's just that style that everybody copies.
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Lazarus

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 11:57:45 AM »
The artist is definitely trying to evoke that Frazetta feel.  But they look original.  Tons of Warren Mags did that with their covers. 

I really like the look of those Frankenstein books.  Might have to give them a try!

Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 10:00:45 PM »
The artist is definitely trying to evoke that Frazetta feel.  But they look original.  Tons of Warren Mags did that with their covers. 

I really like the look of those Frankenstein books.  Might have to give them a try!
They're pretty neat. Basically, they're a sort of continuation of a 1950s series of French novels by screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. These novels depict the Frankenstein Monster not as the sorrowful, sympathetic creature with the occasional bad temper and a desire for revenge that Mary Shelley wrote. He's a bloodthirsty, cruel, twisted creature with an intelligence that's often described as alien, and his brutality is something to behold. Nonetheless he makes for a fascinating protagonist, as he often faces other monsters and villains who rival him in depravity, if not even surpassing him.

These novels by Frank Schildiner are brand new, not translations, and they are in English, and you totally don't require a working knowledge of the older French novels at all. The Quest of Frankenstein is a lot of fun and I suspect the follow-up The Triumph of Frankenstein will be a lot of fun too.
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long live kong

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 01:45:11 AM »

Some fantastic artwork on those covers. Is the 'Burnt Offerings' book a short story anthology Big Bad Wolf? I read loads of short fiction and the title sounds very familiar.
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Mike Scott

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 10:24:51 AM »
Is the 'Burnt Offerings' book a short story anthology Big Bad Wolf?


It's a novel and was made into a movie in 1976.

http://www.valancourtbooks.com/burnt-offerings-1973.html
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long live kong

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2016, 10:40:11 AM »

Nice one, thanks for the info Mike!
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Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2016, 11:32:54 AM »
Some fantastic artwork on those covers. Is the 'Burnt Offerings' book a short story anthology Big Bad Wolf? I read loads of short fiction and the title sounds very familiar.

Mike already filled you in on Burnt Offerings but Valancourt has some recent releases that may interest you.

There's The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories which is pretty much what it sounds like. It's a collection of short stories written by various authors who have been published by Valancourt before. Some of them have rarely been reprinted before, if they've been reprinted at all, and there's a pair of brand new stories.

There's also The Late Breakfasters and Other Strange Stories Robert Aickman, an author of strange, often ambiguous weird tales. The Late Breakfasters is his only novel, the tale of a strange house party with eccentric guests, but there are six short stories included in the volume as well, two of which have never been published in the United States before.

Those two are available now, but later this month they'll be releasing a work I'm very excited about: The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories. In the Victorian era it was common for ghost stories to be told and written and published around Christmas, with one in particular by Charles Dickens going down as one of the greatest ghost stories, Christmas stories, and time travel stories ever written, simultaneously. But there were many, many other ghost stories for Christmas in the period, and this collection brings together a bunch of them, many of them rarely ever reprinted, apparently.

http://www.valancourtbooks.com/the-valancourt-book-of-horror-stories.html
http://www.valancourtbooks.com/the-late-breakfasters.html
http://www.valancourtbooks.com/the-valancourt-book-of-victorian-christmas-ghost-stories.html

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long live kong

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Re: Publishers of Classic Horror
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2016, 12:52:48 PM »
Thanks BBW, I just read the synopsis for Burnt Offerings and it sounds right up my street! I'll definitely read it before checking out the movie, and I'll also be looking up those anthology books!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 02:09:45 PM by long live kong »
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