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From ADVENTURES INTO DARKNESS #5 (artist unknown)

“I noticed that he had grown pale, but he forced a grin and started to dig. It was when the point of the pick bit into springy green sod for the second time that we noticed the smell. It was an odor which warned of death and age and mystic occurrences. Richard stared at me in great wonderment, but before he could speak there was a clap like thunder, and a great crack appeared in the grave at our feet. Up from the crack, squeaking and beating their wings, flew two great bats. And following them out came — IT!”


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… asked the lady, clasping my arm with a grip that matched her desperate expression.

“Yes,” I said, because it was the truth; I also thought it best to go along with this surprising twist in the experimental deep-brain virtual reality program I was testing.

“Cor! What does that have to do with anything?” asked Dr. Watson, in what he thought was a British accent.

That’s Hunter Watson, not John, although Hunter was playing the role of John in the simulation, and not just because they shared the same last name. …


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From THE DREAMING: WAKING HOURS #1 (art by Nick Robles, colors by Mat Lopes, letters by Simon Bowland)

In 1856, writer and scholar Delia Bacon questioned the authorship of William Shakespeare’s plays, arguing in her essay, “William Shakespeare and His Plays; An Enquiry Concerning Them,” that Shakespeare — given what is known of his humble background — could not have written the sophisticated plays attributed to him. Bacon suggested that Shakespeare’s elite contemporaries had authored them, utilizing Shakespeare as a cover. …


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From CAPTAIN BRITAIN chapter “Rough Justice” (July 1983); art by Alan Davis, colors by Helen Nally

In publisher Marvel Comics’ narrative continuity, there is a multiverse of parallel Earths, the most important of which is Earth-616, the primary continuity for Marvel’s characters. This numeric designation for the primary “Marvel Universe” was first used in a 1983 anthology comic featuring the adventures of UK-based superhero Captain Britain. Two creators involved in the designation’s debut claim the number “616” is an intended reference to the “Number of the Beast” from the biblical Book of Revelation.

Developed by Marvel’s American staff as a British superhero for the UK comics market, Captain Britain debuted in 1976 and appeared in a…


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From WE ONLY FIND THEM WHEN THEY’RE DEAD #1; art by Simone Di Meo, with color assists by Mariasara Miotti

Writer J. G. Ballard, the author of such acclaimed works as The Drowned World, The Burning World, and High Rise, challenged the narrative conventions of science fiction with his experimental writing style and his thematic focus on human psychology, societal decay, and environmental catastrophe. The most recent evidence of Ballard’s continuing cultural influence is Boom! Studio’s publication of the science fiction comic We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, by writer Al Ewing and artist Simone Di Meo. …


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From Locke & Key: …In Pale Battalions Go… #1: art by Gabriel Rodríguez, colors by Jay Fotos

On October 13, 1915, in a small French town on the Western Front during the Battle of Loos, a talented poet, 20-year old British captain Charles Sorley, died in combat, shot in the head by a German sniper. An untitled sonnet was later found among Sorley’s belongings; it was posthumously published and became the poet’s best-known work. The poem is surreal and haunting, its second line inspiring the title of writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodríguez’s new installment of the acclaimed dark fantasy comic Locke & Key. …


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From PULP: illustrated by Sean Phillips; colors by Jacob Phillips

In May 1944, American war correspondent Frederick Schiller Faust was killed in Italy while charging a German artillery position alongside the soldiers he was covering. At 52, he was the oldest correspondent on the front lines; prior to serving as a correspondent, the aspiring poet rose from humble beginnings to a lavish lifestyle through writing pulp fiction, including Western fiction under various pseudonyms, most notably as “Max Brand.” Faust’s extraordinary life is as interesting as the fiction he wrote. …


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“Baby Blue” by Trung Nguyen

Among the many curiosities of the derelict Elridge mansion is Buchanan Elridge’s old typewriter. It was not uncommon for Elridge’s neighbors to hear the young writer typing on the Underwood №5 as he crafted lurid horror fiction for various pulp magazines. Elridge’s more famous contemporaries, Howard and Lovecraft, praised his stories; he would likely have achieved greater literary acclaim, had he not been murdered in 1929. …


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Syd chases suspects, from DYING IS EASY #2; art by Martin Simmonds, with color assist from Dee Cunniffe

CHAPTER ONE: THE DICKS ASSEMBLE

Current members of the Secret Dictionary Club at Addams Preparatory were unsure whether the group’s 19th Century founders wanted a secret “dictionary club” (that is, a secret society of word enthusiasts) or a “secret dictionary” club (an exclusive clique sharing a cultish devotion to an apparently long-lost, generally unknown dictionary); regardless, members used their closed meetings to discuss comics, girls, and the occult.

Oliver, a senior with a distinguished circus family pedigree, called the gathering to order. About twenty teenage boys, still wearing uniforms in the afternoon hours between their last class of the day and the boarding school’s cafeteria…


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From PLUNGE #3; art by Stuart Immonen, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Deron Bennett

In the DC Comics title Plunge, published under DC’s horror imprint Hill House Comics, writer Joe Hill and artist Stuart Immonen (with colorist Dave Stewart) use arcane mathematics to create an atmosphere of dread. Strange numbers and equations are prominent on the covers rendered by artist Jeremy Wilson, mysterious equations on a ship’s bulkhead — seemingly written in blood — start each chapter, and the comic’s protagonists discover mathematic wonders with unnerving implications. In Plunge, math adds creepy ambiance to the story.

Plunge begins with a tsunami that triggers the discovery of the lost survey ship Derleth near a remote…

Reed Beebe

Writer. Adventurer. Amateur detective.

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