The look of Morbid Curiosity magazine was defined by underground and outsider artists. Drawing from punk rock collage, Goth fashion design, and fine arts photography, the magazine's illustrators explored the inevitability of decay, especially the beauty of the skull beneath the skin. Morbid Curiosity editor Loren Rhoads has gathered prints, photographs, collages, and original artwork to showcase her favorite images from magazine and the book Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Stories of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Usual. Featured artists include Dorian Katz, R. Samuel Klatchko, M. Parfitt, Erik Quarry, Suzanne Dechnik, Mike Hunter, Chris Schnapp, Hugues Leblanc, Kimberlee Traub, and Timothy Renner.
Artwork from the cult magazine Morbid Curiosity & the book Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual will be for sale in June at
The Borderlands Café
870 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
between 19th and 20th Streets
Join us for the opening
Friday, June 4 at 7-9 p.m.
The Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction
February 08, 2010
To my amazement and pleasure, Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues made the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Award in Nonfiction. The next round of voting will determine whether it makes the actual ballot of nominees, then it goes to a vote for the award. The award ceremony is at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, England in March. I'm startled to get to this point. I'd been assuming the book wasn't eligible for the award because all its essays are reprints. (Last year, the fiction anthology I was part of got disqualified for not having enough material published for the first time in 2008.) Perhaps the rules have changed. Anyway, I've posted the news to twitter, facebook, and my blogs. I'm offering to give some of my stash of books to voting members of the HWA. Hopefully, Morbid Curiosity will advance to the next round and we can call it an award-nominated collection of essays. Wish me luck!
Reading at the Hypnodrome
January 29, 2010
I finally had to schedule a work day with my husband: get a babysitter, send Mason out for strong coffee, and set us up downstairs in his office, but the results were worth it. I am finally getting the videos from the Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues reading up on youtube. A link to me reading "The Mortician's Gift" should be live on the left now. The morning of the reading, I was supposed to chaperone my daughter's kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch. I woke up without any voice. I spend the day resting and relaxing, but by evening -- my big evening -- my voice was still throaty and rough. Hence, the mic in this video. A crossover event, combining readers to the book with acts from the Thrillpeddlers, had been one of the first release events I wanted to do. The evening turned out to be amazing. You can see other readings from that show by searching on Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues on youtube. There are seven stories total. Three of them are live now and the others are coming as soon as their authors get a chance to preview them. Stay tuned!
December 16, 2009
Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues has been nominated for a Black Quill Award at Dark Scribe magazine. Here's the link: http://www.darkscribemagazine.com/3rd-annual-bqa-nominees/ And here's the listing: BEST DARK GENRE BOOK OF NON-FICTION: (Any dark genre non-fiction subject, any publisher; awarded to the author[s] or editor[s]) * Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues edited by Loren Rhodes (Scribner) * Stephen King: The Non-Fiction by Rocky Wood and Justin Brooks (Cemetery Dance Publications) * The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by Bev Vincent (Fall River Press) * Writer's Workshop of Horror edited by Michael Knost (Woodland Press) Leaving aside the fact that my name is misspelled, I'm very honored to be named alongside those editors. In the world of nonfiction horror, those are the big boys. If you're inspired to vote, you must register as a reader of Dark Scribe. Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues was also recommended for the Bram Stoker Award in Nonfiction, but it's ineligible, since the book is all reprinted material, except for my introduction. Still, it's immensely flattering to be recognized.
The Best Holiday of the Year
November 02, 2009
I grew up on a farm, a mile down the road from the farm where my dad lived as a child. My parents knew everyone "on the mile": where they went to church, where they worked, whether they had kids. There were a lot of young families like my parents, who'd bought a couple of acres in the midst of farmland, built a ranch-style house, put down sod and planted trees. Almost no one decorated for Halloween. The holiday was much less about scares, when I was a kid, and more about community. The emphasis was on giving. One farm wife made popcorn balls: caramelized popcorn shaped bigger than a fist and wrapped in cellophane. Because the apple orchard was farther down the road, homemade candy apples were popular gifts. One neighbor offered a mixing bowl full of pennies and encouraged each child to take a fistful. (This was when you could actually buy two pieces of Bazooka bubblegum for a penny.) Neighbors would invite you in to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate so they could get a good look at your costume. Halloween seemed magical to me then. The neighborhood was a wonderland of houses with their porch lights on, inviting and friendly. We neighborhood kids traveled in packs, carrying brown paper grocery sacks and pillowcases. Our costumes were homemade and seldom p.c. -- hoboes and cowboys and Indian princesses, gypsies and soldiers -- things made by hand by our mothers or pulled together from our parents' closets. There were no racks of shiny rayon costumes at the sole grocery store in town. Because I have such rosy memories of Halloween -- before the scares of razor blades in apples and tabs of LSD given out as stickers (neither of which I took seriously until it was MY four-year-old going door-to-door) -- it was hard to learn to take my daughter trick-or-treating. We don't know our neighbors beyond the houses immediately adjacent. Porch lights are resolutely switched off in this neighborhood on Halloween, where the neighbors are more likely to celebrate Dia de los Muertoes or Qingming than Halloween. I knew that there were parts of town where parents dumped their kids by the vanload, but I wasn't interested in being run down in the crush. The first year we trick-or-treated only from the nurses in the hospice where my great aunt lay dying. The year my daughter was three, we only begged from places I shopped at on West Portal Avenue. We tried Potrero Hill the following year, but the neighbors were so besieged that they'd grown surly. Some just left bowls of candy on the steps and retreated, so they didn't have to interact with the children at all. Last year, we hit the jackpot. The neighbors of St. Francis Wood compete with each other, turning their yards into Oz, complete with Dorothy's house atop the witch, or setting up a life-sized pirate ship, captained by a skeleton. Kids and adults all seemed to have a good time. Lenore was particularly impressed by the man doling out chocolate body parts, who gave her a blue eye because she was "such a pretty princess." I'm excited about Halloween this year. One of the families in her class is hosting a Halloween party -- Lenore's first -- before the kids go out to trick-or-treat together. This may be the most magical night of her life. I look forward to recapturing the sense of community I felt as a child. It's strange that I have to think beyond our neighborhood to do it.
Can curiosity cure the blues?
October 08, 2009
Three years ago, Borderlands Books held a wake for the cult nonfiction magazine Morbid Curiosity. To celebrate the release of a new book drawn from the magazine's pages, Borderlands hosts a reading on October 10 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Featured readers: * Simon Wood crashes his car * Katrina James drinks blood * A. M. Muffaz endures an exorcism * Seth Flagsberg defends a murderer * John Domeier survives Valentine's Day * Sacramento blood artist M. Parfitt explains why * Emceed by editor Loren Rhoads Borderlands Books is located at 866 Valencia Street, between 19th and 20th in San Francisco. Check them out online at www.Borderlands-Books.com. Telephone (415) 824-8203. Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Stories of The Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual collects 40 of the editor's favorite tales previously published in Morbid Curiosity magazine. Come cures your blues. "A wild, exhilarating ride into the darker side of the human experience." -Rue Morgue magazine More info? www.charnel.com/morbidcuriosity
The promotion begins
September 24, 2009
I went down to KFOG to do my first radio interview this morning. I've been interviewed by Peter Finch, the news director, twice before. The first time he came to my home. The second time we spoke on the phone. This time, I actually got to set foot in the studio! I'm going to have to get up to speed with the radio interviews fairly quickly. This Sunday, I'll speak with KFJC (a college station) and the Ghost Man and Demonhunter show, which is internet radio. Next week, I've got my first pirate radio interview. As my husband pointed out, it doesn't matter what you wear on the radio. Still, I got dressed twice and put on lipstick. Sometimes it's about how you feel. This morning's interview was for the Beat of the Bay program, a local public affairs show. I'll find out when it's supposed to air and let you know.