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In Praise of Ty, Tales for the Midnight Hour’s Unkillable Coward

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As each evening creeps slightly deeper into the afternoon and bratwurst is back on the menu at Wienerschnitzel, I find autumn on my mind, and in honor of the encroaching Halloween season, I feel the need to give a bit of praise to one of the preeminent old school horror story anthologies. And for once, I’m not referring to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark . No, despite Scary Stories being the king of the hell hill in this particular genre, there was another notable series concurrently haunting the pages of the Scholastic Book Club flyer alongside it. In fact, the first volume of this series even predates the original Scary Stories by several years!      I’m speaking, of course of Tales for the Midnight Hour , J.B. Stamper’s seminal quadrilogy of terror that caused many a juvenile some sleepless nights with its harrowing depictions of murder, monsters and madness. I used to think of Stamper as a bit of an enigma, an author who dropped their magnum opus, followed it up with a lesser-k

Nerd Video: My 1st Edition Magic: The Gathering Artist Proof

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      I started playing Magic: The Gathering back in the fall of 1994 (which was probably still a little too late, from a value perspective, but bear with me here). Unlike many people who got sucked in during the initial wave of mania surrounding the game, I never sold my collection. This ended up paying off for me, unlike, say, Beanie Babies collectors from the same era, who are still waiting for their time to shine. Actually, I'm sort of one of those too, having pillaged my mom's storage locker after she passed away for collectibles that might help mitigate the funeral costs, but let me tell you, the Princess Diana bear is still not worth anything despite pre-TNA Don West's promises of yore and internet urban legend . But anyway.      Magic cards from back then are increasingly scarce, is my point. And though I don't have anything as brain-meltingly expensive as, say, the fabled Alpha Black Lotus, I just so happen to own something quite a bit more scarce. As in, some

The Mouse and the Masks: A Journey to Mid-Pandemic Disneyland

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                When Disneyland announced its plans to reopen in a reduced capacity for California residents after a lengthy COVID closure, I couldn't help but think that said reopening might prove to be a truly unforgettable experience due to a confluence of circumstances unique to this place and time. For starters, the limited number of guests allowed at the park was sure to result in shorter wait times for the park's attractions, even taking into account that some of them (like the Matterhorn Bobsleds) would be out of commission. I was also very curious to see firsthand how the park would change its operations to accommodate current public safety restrictions. Of course, I was excited at the possibility of visiting the newest, Star Wars -themed land, which had not been open on my last visit, and of experiencing rides that I had either so far missed (the Cars racers ride in California Adventure comes to mind) or that had been changed/upgraded in the interim (like the Haunted

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: The Documentary: The Review

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Back around early 2015, I became aware of a project that sounded absolutely incredible: a documentary about Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark . Talk about a movie after my own heart! I was only too happy to donate to the film's Indiegogo, and eagerly awaited what was sure to be an enlightening look at my favorite series of books. I was not disappointed. Scary Stories is an engaging profile of the infamous horror trilogy, and has something to offer for both longtime fans of the books and newbies to the series. Though it definitely seems more geared toward people already familiar with Alvin Schwartz's work, the film does an admirable job of explaining just what these books are and the sort of impact they've had over the years. From the outset, it becomes clear that writer/producer/director Cody Meirick has done his homework, and the film's opening credits sequence features not only an acoustic version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 's "The Hearse Song,&quo

Spooky Storage Locker Finds

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  Happy October! I have to say, I've had a rough few months , but now that we're officially knee-deep in autumn (albeit with some distinctly summery heat in the Bay Area), it's nice to be able to find some comfort in the spooky trappings of the season. And speaking of spooky: I recently had to clean out two storage lockers chock-full of stuff that had hardly been touched in years, and the thick layers of dust, perilously teetering mystery piles and abundance of spiders and harvestmen definitely brought to mind an old fashioned haunted house. Much like being murdered by a vengeful ghost in one of these houses of horror, this experience was absolutely dreadful. I mean, look at this photo...this is of just one of the storage lockers, after hours of work: It's like a giant lasagna made of garbage. However, there was an amazing payoff for sifting through these giant junkheaps in the form of a heaping haul of Halloween treats! Yes, this is going to be a photo-heavy post. Let&

Review: Don't Turn Out the Lights, the Official Tribute to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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At this point, there's basically no debating that 2020 has been an atrocious year .Yet within the roiling cauldron of human misery that has been life for the last several months, there is a lone spot of light: it hasn't been this good of a time to be a fan of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark since Scary Stories 3 came out in 1991. The past year of so has been a boom time for Scary Stories fans, seeing the release of a beastly bevy of material beyond anything we could have ever imagined. There was a successful film adaptation , and a tie-in book that came out alongside it. There's Scary Stories: A Tribute to Terror , a fan-made passion project that does an incredible job of recreating the aesthetics and feel of the original trilogy. There's even a documentary about the Scary Stories phenomenon , and the history and impact of the books (which I will finally get around to covering soon, I promise). And then there's the latest release, and the one I was probabl