The Ghoulish Times | 01/13/24
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III and this is my spooky newsletter.
This is the first Ghoulish Times of the year, and the first one in several weeks--mostly due to an error encountered trying to use Buttondown, which is the newsletter host we hopped onto after abandoning Substack. I know a lot of people did not receive our first Buttondown email due to SPAM blockers, so here's a link if you'd like to catch up and hear why we decided to leave Substack in the dust.
Hopefully this issue won't also get eaten by gmail's guard dogs.
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My novella, The Last Haunt, is currently on sale for $0.99 over on the Evil Website. I am referring to the eBook, not the paperback. You won't find the paperback for $0.99. Or maybe you will. The world is full of unexpected discoveries. Who am I to say what you will and won't find? In either case, the eBook returns to its normal price after this weekend, so snag a discounted copy while you still can.
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I woke up on Christmas morning unable to breathe. The pollen count in Central Texas had gotten completely out of control, sending my allergies into overdrive. Unfortunately, several weeks later not much has changed. Cedar fever is a very real thing around here, and every year it seems to get worse and worse, almost like the environment is somehow in some state of steady decline. Last night I was awake until 4am blowing my nose and coughing. I am drowning in snot and yearning for death. Every day I load up on various allergy medications and spoonfuls of local honey and all of this only somewhat alleviates my issues.
I also often suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome while attempting to sleep, and hilariously enough antihistamines seem to trigger my RLS the most, so you can imagine what kind of fun I've been having every night.
Additionally, we are about to be hit with a massive cold front in Texas, and I am a little nervous we're going to have a repeat of January 2021 when the entire state shut down due to snow storms. We will be spending tonight wrapping our exterior pipes and dripping our faucets in preparation.
I bring all of this up because I know there are people reading this newsletter (if it hasn't gone to spam) who are probably waiting on things from me, and I beg for your mercy in these disgusting, snotty times.
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Anyway. It is indeed a new year and we are busier than ever attempting to catch up on various projects and prepare for other upcoming projects--such as our third annual Ghoulish Book Festival, which will occur in just a few months on March 15, 16, and 17. We've just received over 5,000 promo post cards containing information about the fest that I intend on handing out to local businesses throughout the San Antonio area. Here is the front and back artwork for the post card:
And here is a giant cardboard poster of Betty's festival artwork we've just hung up in the lobby of our bookshop:
Interested in attending? Snag a badge HERE.
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Here are all of the GHOULISH Podcast Network episodes you might have missed recently:
My Horror Confessional (hosted by Miguel Myers)
Decayed Tapes (hosted by Max Booth III & Miguel Myers)
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Here are some books I've recently read:
Monica by Daniel Clowes - This is the latest graphic novel by the dude who created Ghost World, and it's maybe one of the most fascinating comics I've had the pleasure of reading. I'm looking forward to revisiting it, because I believe it's the type of book that will only benefit with multiple rereads. We have a couple copies left for sale in the Ghoulish shop for anyone interested.
The Reformatory by Tananarive Due - This book fucking destroyed me. Easily the best horror novel of 2023, right? We have 2 copies left in the Ghoulish shop. Don't miss this one.
The Last King of California by Jordan Harper - I am a huge fan of Jordan Harper's work and I've been waiting for a chance to read this novel, which as of January 2024 does not seem to have a US publisher. It's only been released in the UK. I bought a copy when it first came out through a now-defunct international distribution website. I am not sure how folks in the US can get it now. If you've never read Jordan Harper's work, definitely snag a copy of She Rides Shotgun or Everybody Knows as soon as possible. His short story collection Love and Other Wounds is also great. I can't say I lost my mind over The Last King of California like I did his other work, but it's still very enjoyable and well worth a read once it's available in the US.
Running Dog by Don DeLillo - This book is batshit. DeLillo is more well-known for novels like White Noise and Underworld, but oh man if you've never read Running Dog I definitely recommend it. It's an earlier novel of his about a huge cast of insane characters attempting to track down a rumored DIY porno starring Adolf Hitler in the bunker he'd later kill himself in. I would kill for the opportunity to adapt this into a film. I can see it so clearly in my head that it's driving me nuts.
Here are some movies I've recently watched:
Little Darlings (1980) - Probably the best coming-of-age teen sex comedy ever made. It's a goddamn shame this one is so difficult to find (god bless the internet archive). Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol are perfect in this--and, honestly, everything else I've ever seen them in.
The Grave (1996) - Plays out like a lost Tales from the Crypt feature film with a cast that'll constantly make you point and go, "Holy shit, they're in this too?!" A ton of fun that I can't recommend highly enough.
City of the Vampires (1993) - Energy-draining shot-on-video snoozefest with some decent music and the lamest fucking dracula (dorkula) anybody's ever dared put in front of a camera. Listen to our conversation about it in the latest episode of Decayed Tapes.
Self Reliance (2024) - I find Jake Johnson endlessly watchable, so of course I was excited to check out his debut written/directed feature. For the most part, it's a lot of fun. The premise is irresistible - a dark web reality show offers someone one million dollars if he can avoid being assassinated for 30 days - and the cast seems to be having an absolute ball together. It was exactly the kind of 90-minute comedy I needed last night while drowning in snot.
The Phenom (2016) - I love baseball and I love movies about baseball. If you share these loves, then definitely check out The Phenom. It's not incredible, or anything, but I'm still glad I spent the time with it earlier this morning.
Here are some TV shows I've recently watched:
Fargo (season 5) - We are one episode away from the season finale and I am pumped. Easily the best season since season 2. Lori and I are planning on having a big pancake dinner when the final episode airs.
The Curse (season 1) - We wrapped up this show last night around 2am and looked at each other muttering, "What the fuck." I am never going to stop thinking about that last episode. Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie are an absolute dream-team collaboration and I hope they go on to make many more things together.
Twin Peaks (season 1) - I received all three seasons and Fire Walk With Me for Christmas, so my 16-year-old stepson and I have been watching an episode or two every day. We're nearly done with season 1 and are loving the hell out of it. I've seen season 1 before, many years ago, but never continued much beyond that. I decided it was time to introduce it to my stepson after we finished playing Alan Wake 1 & 2, which we both loved, and since those games take a lot of inspiration from Twin Peaks I thought he would appreciate the show. I was correct. We're planning on making a cherry pie to watch the season one finale next week. I am very, very excited to finally watch the movie and season 3. I am less excited about attempting, once again, to make it through season 2.
Things I'm currently looking forward to:
The Zone of Interest and True Detective: Night Country.
Finishing this novella I should have finished ages ago.
Working more on I Believe in Mister Bones, my next novel coming out through Apocalypse Party in October.
Knocking a thousand publishing-related projects off my to-do list.
Seeing my dogs after the shop closes tonight.
Eating leftover chinese food.
Taking a hot bath.
Being able to breathe again.
Ending this newsletter.