Portland’s H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Kickstarter

One of my favorite events every year is the Portland H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, the next installment of which happens October 7-9, 2016. This year I also visited the San Pedro, California version for the occasion of my book release, and they’re also doing a Providence, Rhode Island version which just happened this past weekend. The Portland event is the biggest of the three, and the original.

While I was busy with other things this weekend, I neglected to post about the new Kickstarter for the Portland HPLFF. It looks like it won’t have a lot of trouble meeting its goal… in fact, literally as I type this sentence, it just watched it click over the $15k mark in another browser window. Congratulations, Gwen and Brian Callahan – funded!

Now, just because they’ve reached their goal doesn’t mean you won’t want to pledge. This is the best way to get your package of tickets, t-shirts, art and other goodies related to the event. I’ll be a guest again this year, and for the first time I’m participating in a fiction round robin, a collaborative story written along with John Shirley, S.P. Miskowski, Nikki Guerlain, Andrew S. Fuller, Wendy Wagner and Aaron Besson. If you want to read that story in the souvenir book, it’s a $10 add-on to any other pledge level.

Even if you won’t be able to attend, you can support the event and get some cool stuff. There are several packages available for non-attendees, allowing you to obtain various souvenirs just as if you were going to attend.

I assume there will be some cool stretch goals, as there have been in the past. Who knows what kind of interesting special guests might be on the horizon?

Images From San Pedro HPLFF 2016

I was about to summarize my recent ReaderCon experience when I realized I have a folder of photos I meant to share, along with a summary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in San Pedro, California. It’s been over for about 2 1/2 months and I forgot to post, until now!

Many of these photos are borrowed, so I’ll give credit to the photographer where I can. If I’m sharing your photo and you’d prefer I take it down, please just let me know.

Cody Goodfellow was one of the primary organizers of the convention and was good enough to pick me up at the airport and drop me off at the end of the weekend. When I arrived at Cody’s house, I had to obtain a live photo to convince certain parties overseas who wanted reassurance that Joe Pulver had survived the trip intact. Here is “proof of life.”


At the convention’s opening ceremony, Cody acted as emcee. Cody is one cool cat.


Here I am behind the Word Horde table. My book’s official release date happened to fall on the weekend of the convention, which made it easy for me to decide to head down to LA for the long weekend. I believe Ross Lockhart took this photo.


Here I am outside the Warner Grand theater, the primary venue for the convention, in old downtown San Pedro. Photo is by Nick Gucker.


Speaking of Nick Gucker, another book released at the convention was S.P. Miskowski’s excellent Stag in Flight, published by Dim Shores and illustrated by Nick. Dim Shores and Word Horde shared a dealer table so I was able to spend lots of time with Ross Lockhart, Sam Cowan, Nick Gucker and S.P. Miskowski.




This was my first time meeting S.P. in person (along with her husband Cory), a real highlight for me. Here we are clowning for a selfie.


I also picked up my copy of Michael Cisco’s The Knife Dance, another Dim Shores release. The hardcover is super beautiful! As I write this, they’re pretty nearly sold out, but you can still get the trade paperback. The Dim Shores store is HERE


Something I’ve experience at almost every convention I’ve attended is that there always seems to be one restaurant to which everyone returns at least once a day. Here’s a crowd gathered outside Happy Diner, where I ate breakfast four days in a row.

The photo by Mike Davis shows (L-R) Nick Gucker, Sam Cowan, Ross Lockhart, Kelly Young, me and Leeman Kessler. Excellent gentlemen, all but one.


This is the kind of thing I ate every day, severed with a generous jar of fresh-made salsa.


After this many of us were interviewed one at a time by Leeman, then we ended up at Sacred Grounds, a pretty cool coffee shop next door to the theater. This time Mike Davis included himself in the photo, and you can also see Leeman, me and Kelly Young. It’s got to be very, very early because Kelly and I have soft drinks.


Soon after this, we migrated down to the “Annex,” a little theater down the block where author readings and panels took place Saturday. Here’s yet another Mike Davis photo of several of us preparing to read, namely (L-R) Cory Herndon, S.P. Miskowski, Joe Pulver and me.


Matt Carpenter very kindly brought a bottle of one of our favorite libations, which lubricated many of the readings, and later panel discussions. Several of us read, all in a row. Here’s S.P. reading from Stag in Flight.


Here is the great Pulver reading!


After the reading, I posed with the sole existing “proof” copy of Autumn Cthulhu. Everyone was trying to get a look at this book, which was set to be released a week after this event.


The Cosmic Horror panel was a lot of fun, featuring Mike Davis, Leslie Klinger, S.P. Miskowski, Cody Goodfellow, me, Joe Pulver, Kat Rocha and Ross Lockhart.


Pulver at the Skinner mural in downtown San Pedro.


Leeman Kessler in the lobby of the Warner Grand…


… and later gazing into Lovecraft’s eyes.


One of the best fun parts of every convention is the night everyone stays up way too late, talking and laughing and drinking and who knows what else. I’m pretty sure the next 3 photos are by Sam Cowan. Here we have John Skipp, Ross Lockhart, me and Pulver out on the patio outside the hotel very, very late at night.


Nick Nacario, Nick Gucker and Leeman Kessler.


And me, Joe Pulver and Kelly Young.


Ross on the left, Sam on the right. The final day’s events were off-site, in this big warehouse down by the water. Everyone was exhausted, as is usually the case by the end of a long convention weekend.


Being driven back to the airport by Cody Goodfellow was an experience I will never forget. The important thing to understand is that this is a convertible and we’re driving something like 95 miles per hour. The wind knocked me around so much, I think I lost consciousness.


I had a great time, signed many books, met a lot of cool people and spent time with great friends. Convention success!

Interviewed by Leeman Kessler

The previous post was a quick “Ask Lovecraft” mini-interview with Leeman Kessler playing H.P. Lovecraft. Of course, Leeman is also an actual person, and in the following video, he interviews me as himself.

Note: the image below is not a video window, but an image of a video window. Tricky, eh? If you want to watch the brief interview, use this LINK.



Reading at CthulhuCon 2015

Here’s video of my reading at CthulhuCon in April 2015.

I read the first part of my story “Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window” which will appear in CTHULHU FHTAGN! edited by Ross E. Lockhart and to be published by Ross’s excellent press, Word Horde.

The story is an odd sort of sequel to my favorite H.P. Lovecraft story, “The Music of Erich Zann.”

It’s a bit difficult to hear, because the readings were held in a foyer with a lot of foot traffic to the dealer room right behind the audience. Thanks to my wife Lena for recording this, and to our friend Dominique Lamssies for taking over the camera when Lena had to exit due to a coughing fit.

HPLFF Con Report Coming Up

I’ve been preparing my blog report on the recent H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and have had to break it into several parts. So much happened. It’s hard to keep everything straight, to remember the sequence of events, which people I met on which days.


Here’s the statement I made on the event’s Facebook page:

Two primary impressions remain in the aftermath of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival:

1. Wow, I got to have fun with SO MANY cool and amazing people!

2. There were SO MANY other interesting and cool folks I barely spoke with, or didn’t even get to meet!

All weekend, such a great whirlwind of stuff going on. Such abundance of opportunities for friendship and learning and amusement and exchange of ideas. Seriously, if you’re at all interested in this kind of stuff and don’t attend next year, you’re missing out on something great.

While I get my memories and words organized, here are a few other HPLFF con reports by people I met along the way.

Wilum H. Pugmire – More HPLFF Memories

Molly Tanzer – fun times at the h.p. lovecraft film festival

Orrin Grey – Tripping

You can also scroll through the event’s Facebook page for all kinds of pictures, observations and reminiscences about the con.

My own report will begin soon…

Film Recommendation: Berberian Sound Studio

Many of my friends and blog associates would probably enjoy the 2012 film, Berberian Sound Studio. It’s especially delicious for fans of Giallo horror, and anyone interested in the processes and the gear of analog sound recording and mixing.

Berberian Sound Studio

It’s unique in that it depicts the foley artists, sound recordists and mixing engineers at work on an Italian horror film in the 1970s (titled “The Equestrian Vortex”), focusing on the behind the scenes work and the effect it has on the crew, without showing the visuals of the film itself.

It has a weird Lynch-like quality, full of mystery and abstraction, and characters coming unglued. Also, like Lynch’s films, there’s a major emphasis on sound design and sonic atmosphere, which is as important here as the images. I highly recommend it.

More information:

Berberian Sound Studio on Wikipedia and Berberian Sound Studio on IMDB.com.

100 Word Critic: Alien Resurrection

Ripley’s back, cloned to create alien-human hybrid offspring by (that familiar trope) recklessly overreaching scientists, in the Alien series’s conclusive fourth installment. I don’t count the Alien-versus-Predator travesties. Director Jeunet brings his regular players Dominique Pinon and Ron Perlman for just the right mix of quirkiness to go along with the doomsday bleakness. Sigourney Weaver conveys the darker note of a woman who’s come back from torment and death.

Conventional wisdom says Alien films declined in quality by installment, but I disagree. Resurrection is clearer and more engaging than Three by a wide margin, and better than the naysayers say.