Book review: Monsters Exist – Anthology

Nice review! I am working on getting mine done soon as well!

Grim Reader Reviews


I set the bar very high for anthologies. Why? because I’ve read some incredible books over the past 18 months and in these were some incredible short stories. Monsters Exist features a number of writers that I am acquainted with, though I never let this get in the way of me posting my honest opinion.

I much prefer a themed anthology rather than one that merely collects a number of “horror” stories that have little connection with each other. Monsters Exist is about…wait for it….MONSTERS! I like monsters quite a bit, so I was keen to dive into this. Cryptid horror, tales of myth and legend, it’s all good stuff, but where does this book stack up compared to other anthologies I have previously enjoyed? Well, as with a lot of anthologies and short story collections there are always some entries that speak to you more than others, and this…

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Stephen King’s CREEPSHOW Reissue Rocks!

Stephen King’s CREEPSHOW
Stephen King
May 9, 2017
Gallery 13
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Over my desk I have various treasures. There is the “shelf of fame” where I put my favorite books, many of which have been reviewed right here. I also have quite a few vintage horror comics hanging on the wall. How can anyone into our kind of stuff not love the art and storylines? There’s usually a creepy host or hostess and titles like “Frightmare!” or “Journey To Oblivion!” In these faded classics the bad guys usually get theirs and you often find yourself rooting for the monsters instead of the humans. That’s because the humans are ugly, greedy, and downright mean. Whereas, a monster is a monster. Cool looking in bright colors printed on pulpy paper. Life is simple for monsters. If anybody gets in their way, they just eat them up. It’s all the stuff we wish we could do, but can’t.

This is the same stuff that turned young Stephen King’s dials up to 10 and made him want to do what he does so well. However, since the modern world is much more complicated than it was in the 50s and 60s, so is King’s writing. He doesn’t usually have the luxury of jumping out of a closet and yelling “Boo!” Until CREEPSHOW a film that paid homage to that classic grooviness in spades. Working with George Romero, King brought the “Creature Double Feature” to life again. This graphic novel adaptation of the film has recently come back into print, thanks to the fine folks at Gallery 13. Now those of us who didn’t get it the first time can grab a copy! The art by Bernie Wrightson is perfect! He uses the limited color palette of vintage comics to great effect!

The stories are adaptations of the screenplay written by Stephen King and are introduced by The Creep they are just right. You get five great tales, including my favorite, The Crate! A mysterious and very old crate is found in the basement of a science building on a college campus by the janitor. He calls a bigwig professor and even though we all know it’s a bad idea, they soon have the crate open. It seems like nothing very exciting until it grabs poor old janitor Mike and eats him on the spot. The blood flows and the professor goes into shock. When he tries to get help from a colleague, the guy doesn’t believe him and has to take a look. He sure gets one, too! But then he’s torn to shreds and consumed. This seems like real bad news for everyone, except for a friend of Professor Stanley’s by the name of Henry who needs help getting rid of his mean drunk of a wife. For someone who’s constantly called dumb by his wife, this guy makes pretty good plans! In fact, Henry even figures out how get rid of the monster once it’s done all the dirty work.

Do bugs, especially cockroaches, give you the willies? Then check out They’re Creeping Up On You and keep the lights on! Because this story will make you stay afraid of the dark! You wouldn’t think that grass could be scary, but check out The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill and see if you don’t. Stephen King played the part of Jordy in the movie and did a great job!

CREEPSHOW is super fun and scary in a good way. You’ll find yourself chuckling just before something bad happens. I love this graphic novel and highly encourage you to pick up a copy real soon. The Creep is just dying to meet you!


No Mercy cover shot

Alessandro Manzetti
June 8, 2017
Crystal Lake Publishing
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis


This is dark horror poetry at its most intense and elaborate! Taking this poetic journey with Alessandro Mazetti, readers will surely recognize some names, things, and activities. But you will not know it all and that is good. NO MERCY truly offers no mercy! It is an unstoppable flood of images flickering past the readers’ startled eyes at warp speed. A frightening intensity set upon you like an attack of piranhas. I urge you to plunge your head into this waterfall and see what terrifying wonders await you! A magical technicolor nightmare, if you will.

Perhaps my words be too flowery, but I am struck dumb for mere words to explain what I saw in this collection of poems. NO MERCY brings to mind the first time that I read William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. It’s like taking an acid trip without actually dropping any acid! I don’t know about you, but I really like that feeling of being both frightened and yet laughing at the depravity. When you are done reading, the “real” world will seem so terribly normal and boring.

I like that Manzetti dedicated the book to Janis Joplin, aka Pearl, the ugly duckling who turned out to be royalty. The poems about her are beautiful and crammed with detail. But for writing, he chose Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue because the melty tones and textures of jazz are perfect for writing poetry. Jack Kerouac even wrote his poetry to fit how a horn player would blow. This poetry has that Beat quality. You want to read it fast and feel the riffs. Don’t overanalyze because you’ll just ruin it. Great poetry is stuff that you can read multiple times and get something different. NO MERCY is a book that definitely deserves multiple reads!

Some of my favorites in the book are, No Mercy, The Ghost Subway, and one of the longer selections A Dream Of Milk and Blood. The imagery in the last poem is so detailed, yet constantly changing. A coin is required for many of the changes of scene and is inserted in many different receptacles. One of them is even the main character’s forehead. I dig the nod to Gregory Corso for Morning Suicide. I like a lot of things in this collection, especially the beautifying of terrible things. Sometimes the things you need will find you and not the other way around. Instead of eating, you may be satisfied by being eaten and becoming part of something greater.

A little aside about the book publisher: I really like it when you can see how much heart has gone into putting a publication together. Crystal Lake obviously really cares what we readers think. Not only that, but they invite us to get involved. Sharing the good word with friends can mean the life or death of an independent publishing company. It also makes you part of an extended family of sorts, which is cool.

Do I think you should get a copy of this book ASAP? Yes, I do! Unless you are a squeamish uptight person. If that’s the case, this book might not make you happy. However, rest assured that if you just take a look around on the Crystal Lake and Journal Stone sites, you will find a great read that fits you! Alessandro Manzetti is a writer with extensive publication credits who really knows how to grab you and not let go. Recommended!

FREE Preview of Little One

Hey, this is a great offer guys! Be sure and take him up on this. We are talking master story teller whose work is reminiscent of classic King!

Timothy G. Huguenin

My upcoming horror novel, Little One, will be launched in less than two months! But if you were one of my email list subscribers, you would have gotten an email today containing a link to an ebook containing the first six chapters of the novel.

But it’s not too late! Click the book cover below to receive your free preview delivered to your email inbox!


Can’t wait to show you the rest. Until next time…

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this day in crime history: may 31, 1964


Nobody Move!

On this date in 1964, Charles Schimd, the “Pied Piper of Tucson,” murdered fifteen year old Alleen Rowe. The 23 year old Schmid–so self-conscious about his small stature that he would put crushed beer cans and rags in his boots to make himself look taller–managed to convince several local teenagers to help him set up Alleen to be killed, and then dispose of her body. His motive: he wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone. Schmid went on to murder two more teenage girls when they threatened to expose him.

Charles Schmid was arrested in November 1965. He was convicted and sentenced to death. His sentence was eventually commuted to life in prison, thanks to our ever-compassionate justice system. In 1975, his death sentence was carried out anyway, compliments of some never-compassionate inmates in the Arizona State Prison yard. They shanked the little psycho (a few dozen…

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