2023 Rondo Awards

Rondo Awards administrator David Colton announced the winners of the 21st Annual Rondo Awards on May 4.

The Rondo Awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.

Among top winners of the publicly-voted Rondo were the Oscar-winning Everything Everywhere All At Once, voted Best Film, and Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet Of Curiosities, was picked as Best Television Presentation.

The newest entries to Rondo’s Monster Kid Hall of Fame are longtime horror historian Buddy Barnett, who helped found Cult Movies, one of the earliest fan magazines; writer Frank J. Dello Stritto; Amanda Reyes, the chronicler of obscure made-for-TV horror films; the late director Dan Curtis; and horror hosts Penny Dreadful and Joe Bob Briggs (Joe’s co-host Darcy the Mail Girl will also receive an award as his Last Drive-In folding chair mate).

More than 5,250 fans and pros voted online, the second largest turnout in the award’s 21 years.

In addition to the winners named below, go to the Rondo Award site to see the runners-up and honorable mentions (generally, everything else that was nominated.)

This photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, is an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2022

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet Of Curiosities (Netflix)

BEST BLU-RAY

  • Invaders From Mars (1953; Ignite)

BEST BLU-RAY COLLECTION

  • Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection Vol. 2 (4K; Universal)

BEST RESTORATION

  • Invaders From Mars (1953; Ignite)

FAVORITE COMMENTARIES

  • Tim Lucas

BEST DVD EXTRAS

  • Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster (Voltage), includes two hours on extra interviews and content. Directed by Thomas Hamilton, written by Ron MacCloskey

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • Mad God, directed by Phil Tippett

BEST SHORT FILM

  • 13 Minutes of Horror, a compilation of short films from NYX

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • The Legend of King Kong, directed by Tom Grove

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • Masters of Make-Up Effects: A Century of Practical Magic by Howard Berger & Marshall Julius

BEST CLASSIC HORROR FICTION (Fiction that uses classic horror icons as jumping off points.)

  • Classic Monsters Unleashed, edited by James Aquilone

BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)

  • Scary Monsters

BEST MAGAZINE (modern)

  • Fangoria

BEST ARTICLE

  • ‘Hex of the Century,’ by Dejan Ognjanovic, Rue Morgue #205

BEST INTERVIEW

  • Adrienne Barbeau, by Andrew J. Rausch, Shock Cinema #62

BEST COLUMN

  • Scene Queen, by Barbara Crampton (Fangoria)

BEST COVER

  • Scary Monsters #128 by Scott Jackson

BEST WEBSITE

  • Bloody Disgusting

BEST PODCAST

  • Mick Garris’ Post-Mortem

FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2022

  • Svengoolie

BEST EVENT

  • Scares That Care, conventions have raised $300,000 for breast cancer, childhood diseases

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OR COLLECTION

  • Kolchak The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary edited by James Aquilone

INDIVIDUAL RONDO AWARDS

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Robert Zier

In a world of AI and “screen time”, the pleasures of movies from almost 100 years ago seem increasingly lost on the young. But that hasn’t stopped Robert Zier, the proprietor of YouTube’s “Lugosi Theater,” where he talks knowledgeably and directly about horror movies old and older.

“Hi, I’m Bobby,” he says in one video. “I play Dracula in the classic Bela Lugosi style on YouTube and my TikTok videos, and at my friend’s haunted house. And I know my autism makes me a better Dracula.”

That kind of honesty helps explain why his YouTube page has more than one million views. A Monster Kid influencer has long been needed!   “I never imagined these movies existed,” one of his many fans said in her write-in vote. “He makes them come alive!”
For opening our old world to new audiences, Robert Zier receives a Special Recognition Rondo.

Simon Fitzjohn

A barely remembered thriller from 1977, THE HAUNTING OF JULIA with Mia Farrow, became something of a personal cause for film fan Simon Fitzjohn, who spent seven years trying to convince studios and overcome legal obstacles to get the movie, also known as FULL CIRCLE, restored and released on Blu-Ray. His efforts included negotiations with reluctant studio bureaucracy, some of whom were nervous about being sued. He even hired what he called a “fixer” to help clear rights problems.

“The re-release is on,” he announced in October. “I didn’t think I would ever say those words.”

Fitzjohn is a journalism tutor in London who has written three books, including one on the history of the character Norman Bates. Now the film is out from Imprint in a 4K version with numerous special features, and new attention on a film few thought would ever emerge again.

WRITER OF THE YEAR

Sam Irvin

Sam Irvin has done just about everything in show business, a director of more than 50 films, including one with Elvira, a biographer, a horror journalist, a consistent online presence and a supporter of the genre in every way.

But his recent book. I WAS A TEENAGE MONSTER HUNTER, has become an instant classic, a memoir ranging from his days helping with the family movie theatre business, to meeting Brian DePalma, and encounters of the close or awkward kind with stars  such as Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Rondo voters responded with support for the multi-Rondo winner for his writing and his seemingly endless storytelling prowess.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Mark Maddox

Mark Maddox continues his historic run as Best Artist, captivating voters with his vibrant takes on some of horror’s most unusual scenes. One example: The crawling eye from the movie of the same name on the cover of LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS. You cannot look away.

Mark’s work now includes Blu-Ray and books in addition to black-and-white portraits and the numerous magazine covers he produces each year. He has a near-Wiki grasp of movie history, and is a popular personality at various conventions and festivals.

FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Noufaux

For a third year, Britain’s Adele Veness, also known as Noufaux, has topped the growing world of fan artists. Noufaux stands out by experimenting with a variety of media, producing an art nouveau look that is both frightening but somehow comforting. Her subjects range from Bela Lugosi to more modern personalities, but always enveloped in an gilded cage of flowers and swirls.

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME

Buddy Barnett

Few horror fans have been as influential as Buddy Barnett, who with West Coast colleagues in the 1990s transformed his love of monsters and Bela Lugosi into a lifelong search for the origins of horror films and their offshoots.

A one-shot Bela Lugosi magazine soon became the long-running CULT MOVIES publication, a home for some of classic horror’s most important writers and historians. In addition, Barnett co-hosted CULT MOVIES TV, produced low-budget monster spoofs such as THE VAMPIRE HUNTERS CLUB (with Forrest J Ackerman among others), oversaw cult film conventions. and a collectible store. A stickler for accuracy, Barnett once said erroneous claims about Lugosi “always make me mad.”

Frank J. Dello Stritto

Many writers these days come up with genre “mash-ups,” where Tarzan, for example, meets Sherlock Holmes, but no one does it as brilliantly as Frank J. Dello Stritto. In three can’t-put-down novels, he has woven together the untold histories of various movie werewolves and wolf men, untangled the wanderings of Universal and Hammer’s mummies, and explored with Carl Denham the many lost worlds and giant monsters of the Pacific.

All this in addition to his trailblazing work on the real-life history of Bela Lugosi, shedding light on the unknown corners of classic horror history, and providing entertaining looks at the genre’s many totems and themes. Dello Stritto’s work always delivers, and he has changed horror scholarship for the better.

Amanda Reyes

Horror has many tantalizing blank spots — lost films, alternate endings, deleted scenes, and mysteries of casting and auditions. Surprisingly, another part of genre history is missing as well. Many of the made-for-TV horror and science fiction movies from the 1970s and 80s are lost or forgotten.

Enter television historian Amanda Reyes, who has chosen to accept her mission to reveal the many TV thrillers that showed up in living rooms and then vanished. In books such as “Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium, 1964-1999,” her lectures, commentaries, and Made for TV Mayhem blog, Reyes has renewed interest in these one-and-done movies, many of which were not considered part of horror history.

And she brings these “lost” movies back to life with wit, research and engaging writing.  We get the feeling she has only just begun.

Dan Curtis

One TV producer and director who did leave a mark was the late Dan Curtis, who revived the horror myths with TV shows such as Dark Shadows, and Jack Palance as Dracula, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the classic Night Stalker TV movies.

Curtis was able to modernize the monsters, mixing love and romance with gothic settings, or showing ghouls and beasts scrambling along rain-swept city streets, or a vicious Zuni doll terrorizing a kitchen. Horror wasn’t his only gift, producing numerous mini-series and theatrical movies.

Curtis, who died in 2006, left entertainment better than he found it, and showed how horror films could stay relevant even in changing times.

Penny Dreadful

From the earliest days of Vampira and Zacherley, horror hosts have used the movies they aired for laughs, visuals, and time fillers. But few realized the monster lode of possibilities like Penny Dreadful (Danielle Gelehrter), and her creative crew in Massachusetts. No more only joking from the commercial breaks; she and her co-stars, including her late wolfman husband Garou, would insert their faces and shadows into videos and clips.

Her show, Shilling Shockers, was way ahead of its time, and Penny Dreadful’s reach has grown far beyond her Massachusetts mandrake roots.

Penny has also brought research and performing skills to her Terror at Collinwood podcast, methodically retracing the saga of Barnabas Collins episode by episode. In a world of sometimes cookie cutter hosts and hostesses, Penny Dreadful remains one of a kind.

Joe Bob Briggs (and Darcy)

Deeply knowledgeable and whiplash fast, Joe Bob Briggs has had a Texas-sized impact on the world of horror appreciation. Even the grisliest films — and he shows them all on his five-year Shudder series, Joe Bob’s Last Drive-In — have redeeming values in his twinkling eyes. Before each showing he uses a sketchboard to tally the kills, including whether a movie has “hatchet fu,” “scalding fu,” or “choking fu.”

It’s all in good fun. A journalist and sportswriter, Joe Bob switched to films of mayhem in the 1980s and has been a constant presence, even when he disappeared for awhile, for almost half a century. Recently joined by Diana Prince, also known as the take no guff Darcy the Mail Girl, their efforts are ensuring that the often absurd world of splatter fu will live on!

Joe Bob, for his long career, will receive the Hall of Fame plaque. Darcy will get a Drive-In Co-Host statuette. Or as we call it, “Rondo fu.”

Pixel Scroll 4/11/23 Starship Tribbles! Ad Astra Per Felix Flattus!

(1) UKRANIAN BRADBURY TRANSLATOR MOURNED. [Item by Susan de Guardiola.] It’s being reported that Ukrainian researcher/editor/translator/”culturologist” Yevhen Gulevich (Gulevych), who, among other things, was the translator of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, was killed fighting at Bakhmut in Ukraine. 

His death is covered in Daily Kos’ news roundup “Ukraine Update: If the leaked documents are real, then they’re a good sign for Ukraine”. More detail:

Gulevich was a critical figure in detailing the history of Ukrainian art, explaining the origins of Ukrainian culture, and in mapping that history onto modern Ukraine. He was the editor of a Ukrainian magazine and frequently in demand for his skill at translating books written in other languages into Ukrainian while preserving the emotion and beauty of language. Among others, he translated Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” so that it can be read by generations of Ukrainians the way it has been read and enjoyed by generations of Americans. Gulevich died on Bakhmut. He probably died all the way back at the end of December, but his body could not be found, and his fellow soldiers maintained some level of hope that he was still out there until he was finally declared dead last month. “

The image at the top of that article is from his funeral (”A guard of honor for Yevhen Gulevich at Garrison Church, Lviv, Ukraine. April 10, 2023”) and you’ll see another picture from it if you scroll down to the quote.

(2) TOLKIEN AND WHITE SUPREMACY. Robin A. Reid has posted “Why White Supremacy No Longer Provides Cover for White Academia”, which she presented at the Roundtable on Racisms and Tolkien, Tolkien Studies Area, PCA/ACA 2023.

 …As I discussed yesterday in the roundtable on adaptations of Tolkien, the backlash against Amazon’s Rings of Powers series is part of the ongoing “culture war” effort by contemporary fascists, many who love Tolkien’s work. They are creating “a new front . . . in a decades’-long, international, far-right, culture war. The people waging it aren’t just fighting to keep Tolkien’s imaginary world white and manly and straight. They’re fighting to restore that white-supremacist system in the real world, too” (Craig Franson, personal communication). Yesterday I focused on the question of what fandom, or more specifically, what progressive fans might do. Today, I focus on the question of what white academics can do….

…Too many of the articles on race and Tolkien dismiss racist readers as atypical, as ignorant, as reading the Legendarium badly, and, by extension, dismiss the question of structural/systemic racisms in Tolkien’s legendarium as unimportant to the field of Tolkien scholarship….

(3) JEREMY RENNER ON JIMMY KIMMEL. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] The “Live!“ in the name of Jimmy Kimmel’s show may never have been more relevant than it was Monday night. Jeremy Renner made his first talkshow appearance following his January 1st accident that saw him basically crushed by a multi-ton snowplow.

Renner was there nominally to promote his new Disney+ show “Rennervations,” but it’s certain that his fans were cheered by his ability to walk to the interview chair using nothing more than a cane.

(4) SEE PICARD FINALE IN THEATERS. “’Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Finale Gets Special IMAX Screenings” reports Collider. Requests for free tickets open April 12 at 1:00 Eastern.

It’s time to boldly go back to the big screen! The final two episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season 3 are getting a one-night-only theatrical release in select IMAX theaters on April 19 followed by a pre-taped Q&A with the cast of the hit series. Participating cities include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. What’s even better is that tickets for the event are free, and they’ll be available on Wednesday, April 12 at 1 PM ET.

(5) GUGGENHEIM. The 2023 Guggenheim Fellows were announced April 5, 171 fellows from 48 fields. Jacqueline Woodson, who has done much genre work, was one of the people named as fellows in the Fiction category.

Fiction 

Lucy Corin, Writer, Berkeley, California; Professor of English, University of California, Davis 

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Writer, Arvada, Colorado; Endowed Chair in Creative Writing, Texas State University 

James Hannaham, Writer, Brooklyn, New York; Professor, Writing Department, Pratt Institute 

Jac JemcWriter, San Diego, California; Associate Teaching Professor, University of California, San Diego 

Don Lee, Writer, Baltimore, Maryland; Professor, Director of MFA Program in Creative Writing, Temple University 

Rebecca Lee, Writer, Wilmington, North Carolina; Associate Professor, Department of Creative Writing, University of North Carolina Wilmington 

Héctor Tobar, Writer, Los Angeles, California; Professor, University of California, Irvine 

Jacqueline Woodson, Writer, Brooklyn, New York 

(6) RONDO VOTING. Steve Vertlieb reminds us that April 23 is the last day for the public to vote for the Rondo Awards, “fandom’s only classic horror awards”, and he’d be thrilled if you voted for the nominee who interviewed him for the magazine We Belong Dead.

Cinema Retro is looking for votes, too: “Cinema Retro And Mark Mawston Nominated For This Year’s Rondo Awards”.

…Also, Cinema Retro contributor Mark Mawston, who recently brought CR readers a rare, exclusive interview with actor John Leyton, has been singled out for a nomination in the category of Best Interview. This time, the subject of his work is the life and career of noted writer, film, and film music historian, Steve Vertlieb, who reflects on his interactions with a “Who’s Who” of film legends from over the decades. The superb 12-page interview appeared in issue #31 of the popular British horror magazine “We Belong Dead”. Mark is known professionally as “The Rock and Roll Photographer To The Stars” (having photographed such music luminaries at Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, and Brian Wilson)….

Click here for the ballot and instructions on how to send in your vote.

(7) BOOK REVIEW. I am the Law: How Judge Dredd Predicted Our Future launched a few weeks ago. Jonathan Cowie has a review in the forthcoming seasonal edition of SF2 Concatenation and tweeted an advance post.

Even if you do not know of Judge Dredd but have an interest in policing and legality, then this is a fascinating introduction into twentieth and early twenty-first century trends, that, if they continue, lead to a worrying future…

For SF fans, this book is an exemplar of science fiction’s value to society and how the genre can, on occasion, seem to predict the future. In this case the seeming predictions – note the plural, for there are many – are unnervingly spot on and so if Judge Dredd is some sort of quasi-reflection of our future, then it is an unsettling one, and one at which we should rail against

Judge Dredd should come with a health warning when given to kids.

If perchance you have never heard of Judge Dredd (is there anyone in the western world under the age of 50 who hasn’t?), then he is a comic-strip character from the British weekly 2000AD as well as, now, the titular character of the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine. He is a 22nd century law enforcer of Mega-City 1: Mega-City 1 being effectively the amalgamation of former 20th century cities along the US’s eastern seaboard. Life in Mega-City-1, though futuristic, is harsh. Only a few Mega-Cities survived the early 21st century nuclear war and much of the middle of America (less protected by anti-missile shields) became a wasteland called the ‘Cursed Earth’. Meanwhile, the ocean off the city is now the polluted Black Atlantic.

Life in Mega-City 1 is also harsh for its citizens because the high automated future and advanced robotics have made many redundant and the majority are simply unemployed living on ‘welf’ (welfare benefits). Crime is rife as is the discontent and those who regret the loss of democracy. And then there are the threats from the technology used itself as well as external ones from other Mega-Cities both from within the former continental N. America and beyond.

So, to keep law and order, policemen are now both police, jury and judge who enforce the law and decide on guilt and punishment. These enforcers are the Judges.

This book is jam-packed with so many instances of where the strip has seemingly predicted the future that this review can but give you the barest of tasters….

The full review is here.

(8) MEMORY LANE.

1961[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

A work of Keith Laumer’s that I think doesn’t get as much appreciation as it deserves is where the Beginning comes from for the tonight’s Scroll. 

Worlds of The Imperium is the novel in question. It first appeared in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination in the February, March and April 1961 issues. The following year it was published by Ace Books as an Ace Double with Seven from the Stars by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Five years later, Dennis Dobson publishers would give it a handsome hardcover edition. 

I don’t consider it giving to be give y’all spoilers to note that Laumer wrote three sequels to this novel —The Other Side of TimeAssignment in Nowhere and Zone Yellow.

I consider it one of the better cross-time novels that I’ve read and I’ve read a lot of them in over the last fifty years. The antagonist is interesting, the worlds thought out to be more than the cookie cutter alternative ones we so often get and the story here moves along at a rather admirable  pace. With ale too. 

So here’s our Beginning… 

I STOPPED in front of a shop with a small wooden sign which hung from a wrought-iron spear projecting from the weathered stone wall. On it the word Antikvariat was lettered in spidery gold against dull black, and it creaked as it swung in the night wind. Below it a metal grating covered a dusty window with a display of yellowed etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs, and a faded mezzotint. Some of the buildings in the pictures looked familiar, but here they stood in open fields, or perched on hills overlooking a harbor crowded with sails. The ladies in the pictures wore great bell-like skirts and bonnets with ribbons, and carried tiny parasols, while dainty-footed horses pranced before carriages in the background.

It wasn’t the prints that interested me though, or even the heavy gilt 

frame embracing a tarnished mirror at one side; it was the man whose reflection I studied in the yellowed glass, a dark man wearing a tightly-belted grey trench-coat that was six inches too long. He stood with his hands thrust deep in his pockets and stared into a darkened window fifty feet from me. 

He had been following me all day. 

At first I thought it was coincidence when I noticed the man on the bus from Bromma, then studying theatre announcements in the hotel lobby while I registered, and half an hour later sitting three tables away sipping coffee while I ate a hearty dinner.

I had discarded that theory a long time ago. Five hours had passed and he was still with me as I walked through the Old Town, medieval Stockholm still preserved on an island in the middle of the city. I had walked past shabby windows crammed with copper pots, ornate silver, dueling pistols, and worn cavalry sabres; very quaint in the afternoon sun, but grim reminders of a ruder day of violence after midnight. Over the echo of my footsteps in the silent narrow streets the other steps came quietly behind, hurrying when I hurried, stopping when I stopped. Now the man stared into the dark window and waited, the next move was up to me. I was lost. Twenty years is a long time to remember the tortuous turnings of the streets of the Old Town. I took my guide book from my pocket and turned to the map in the back. My fingers were clumsy. 

I craned my neck up at the stone tablet set in the corner of the building; it was barely legible: Master-Samuelsgatan. I found the name on the folding map and saw that it ran for three short blocks, ending at Gamla Storgatan; a dead end. In the dim light it was difficult to see the fine detail on the map; I twisted the book around and got a clearer view; there appeared to be another tiny street, marked with crosslines, and labeled Guldsmedstrappan. I tried to remember my Swedish; trappan meant stair. The Goldsmith’s Stairs, running from Master Samuelsgatan to Hundgatan, another tiny street. It seemed to lead to the lighted area near the palace; it looked like my only route out. I dropped the book back into my pocket and moved off casually toward the stairs of the Goldsmith. I hoped there was no gate across the entrance.

My shadow waited a moment, then followed. Slowly as I was ambling, I gained a little on him. He seemed in no hurry at all. I passed more tiny shops, with ironbound doors and worn stone sills, and then saw that the next doorway was an open arch with littered granite steps ascending abruptly. I paused idly, then turned in. Once past the portal, I bounded up the steps at top speed. Six leaps, eight, and I was at the top and darting to the left toward a deep doorway. There was just a chance I’d cleared the top of the stair before the dark man had reached the bottom. I stood and listened. I heard the scrape of shoes, then heavy breathing from the direction of the stairs a few feet away. I waited, breathing with my mouth wide open, trying not to pant audibly. After a moment the steps moved away. The proper move for my silent companion would be to cast about quickly for my hiding place, on the assumption that I had concealed myself close by. He would be back this way soon.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 11, 1867 William Wallace Cook. Newspaper reporter and pulp writer who wrote four novels (The Fiction FactoryA Round Trip to the Year 2000, or A Flight Through Time, Cast Away at the Pole and Adrift in the Unknown, or Adventures in a Queer Realm) which were serialized in Argosy in the early part of the last century. Clute at EoSF says he was “was a crude writer, but is of interest for his attempts to combine adventure plots and Satire.” (Died 1933.)
  • Born April 11, 1892 — William M. Timlin. Author of The Ship that Sailed to Mars, a remarkable work that has 48 pages of text and 48 color plates. It has become a classic of fantasy literature. You can view the book here. (Died 1943.)
  • Born April 11, 1920 Peter O’Donnell. Best remembered as the creator of Modesty Blaise of which EoSF says that her “agility and supple strength are sufficiently exceptional for her to be understood as a Superhero”.  He also wrote the screenplay of The Vengeance of She based on H. Rider Haggard’s Ayesha: The Return of She novel. (Died 2010.)
  • Born April 11, 1941 Gene Szafran. He did cover art for genre books published by Bantam and Ballantine during the Sixties to the Eighties, including a series of Signet paperbacks of Robert A. Heinlein’s work including Farnham’s Freehold, The Green Hills of Earth, and Methusaleh’s Children. His art would garner him a 1972 Locus Award.  (Died 2011.)
  • Born April 11, 1949 Melanie Tem. She was the wife of genre author Steve Rasnic Tem. A prolific writer of both novels and short stories, she considered herself a dark fantasy writer, not a horror writer. Bryant, King and Simmonds all praised her writing. If I had to make a recommendation, I’d say start with Blood MoonWitch-Light (co-written with Nancy Holder) and Daughters done with her husband. ”The Man on the Ceiling” won her a World Fantasy Award.  She died of cancer which recurred after she’d been in remission. (Died 2015.)
  • Born April 11, 1955 Julie Czerneda, 68. She won the Prix Aurora Award for her Company of Others novel. She’d also receive one for Short Form in English for her “Left Foot on A Blind Man” Story, both of these early in her career.  She has a long running series, The Clan Chronicles which is as sprawling as anything Martin conceived.
  • Born April 11, 1963 Gregory Keyes, 60. Best known for The Age of Unreason tetralogy, a steampunk and magical affair featuring Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton. He also wrote The Psi Corps Trilogy and has done a lot of other media tie-in fiction including Pacific RimStar WarsPlanet of The ApesIndependence Day and Pacific Rim

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Eek! shows a notoriously fannish circle of hell.
  • The Far Side shows the cow’s real motivation for jumping the moon.
  • The Far Side wonders, “What did people use for fuel before the dinosaurs died?”

(11) GRAPHIC NOVELS MARKET ANALYZED. [Item by Dann.] In “Tilting at Windmills #295: Looking at NPD BookScan 2022” at ComicsBeat, Brian Hibbs does an annual assessment of graphic novels sold via bookstores.  His data does not include direct market sales nor does it include digital sales; only physical books sold via a bookstore (including Amazon).  The quick takes from his 2022 report that I found:

  • Scholastic is the king of physical book sales via bookstores with 40% of sales by western* publishers. (* Publishers from western nations – not publishers of western-themed graphic novels, natch)
  • The largest bookstore market is middle school/junior high-aged kids.  Dav Pilkey rules the roost with 8 of the top 20 titles.
  • Manga is the next largest sub-market with Viz Media being the most significant publisher at 60% of all manga sales.
  • Of the traditional “superhero” publishers, DC does a good job at #6 among western publishers with 20 titles in the top 750 and Marvel is struggling with only one title in the top 750.  DC’s success seems to be largely driven by what is being adapted for TV plus their youth-oriented titles.  Scholastic’s licenses of Marvel properties beat all of the Marvel-published titles.  Together, Marvel and DC comprise 10% of the market sold via bookstores.

Though Hibbs says, “But this seems paltry when you see that at least four other publishers licensed to publish Marvel characters … beat every single comic Marvel itself published, except for one: ‘Moon Knight by Lemire & Smallwood’, with 17k.”

The data is based on NPD BookScan and does not include sales via/to libraries, schools, specialty stores (like comic book stores), book clubs, and fairs.  There are other data issues arising from how publishers apply BISAC codes to their products.  For example, the novel Bloody Crown of Conan appeared on the list for many years while Dork Diaries comes and goes.  Brian has to get the data for The Complete Persepolis and Maus manually pulled for inclusion in his dataset.  He makes it clear that there are known unknowns with respect to his dataset.

The Daily Cartoonist has done its own overview of Hibbs’ work in “2022 Book Scan Graphic Books Report”.

(12) CELEBRATING ADDITIONS TO THE COLLECTION. For sff scholars at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY, “Pandemic Donations Moving Day” arrived at the end of February. The Science Fiction at City Tech blog has the story.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, Professor and Collections Management Librarian Wanett Clyde and English Department Professor Jason Ellis moved donated materials acquired during the first phase of the pandemic into the City Tech Science Fiction Collection’s space in the Archives and Special Collections of the Ursula C. Schwerin Library.

During the pandemic, we received a lot of new material for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, including magazines, novels, collections, academic journals, and monographs. These materials were donated by Charlie Seelig (~20 boxes of EVERYTHING), Analog Science Fiction and Fact (~4 boxes of magazines from their old office space), City Tech Professor Lucas Bernard (2 boxes of material that belonged to his father Kenneth Bernard, the experimental playwright and English professor), and Emeritus Professor of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and former president of the Science Fiction Research Association David Mead (1 box of Jack Vance materials), The Special Collections and Archives in the City Tech Library unfortunately were unable to open enough shelf space for these materials, so Wanett and Jason stored everything in their offices–with most of it being in Jason’s office (see below)…..

(13) FINISHED PROJECT. EV Grieve, in “This is the way”, has a photo of the completed Mandalorian-themed art on a building in New York’s East Village. See it at the link.

Here’s a follow-up to last week’s post and a look at the final “Mandalorian“-related mural by local artist-illustrator Rich Miller on the NE corner of Seventh Street and Avenue C. 

(14) THE MARVELS TRAILER. Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau return in Marvel Studios’ The Marvels, only in theaters November 10.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. SpaceX has released a “Starship Mission to Mars” video.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Susan de Guardiola, Steve Vertlieb, Lise Andreasen, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

2023 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 21st Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 28 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 23.

(Don’t be shy about voting for the interview with Steve Vertlieb by Mark Mawston from We Belong Dead #31 in the Best Interview category.)

And as a teaser, below are the Best Film and Best TV Presentation nominees.

BEST FILM OF 2022

Includes wide release, video-on-demand and streaming

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
BARBARIAN
THE BATMAN
THE BLACK PHONE
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
BONES AND ALL
CRIMES OF THE FUTURE
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
HALLOWEEN ENDS
MEN
THE MENU
THE MUNSTERS
NOPE
THE NORTHMAN
ORPHAN: FIRST KILL
PINOCCHIO (Del Toro)
PREY
SCREAM
SMILE
TERRIFIER 2
VIOLENT NIGHT

BEST TV PRESENTATION

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, Netflix. Eight episodes of unsettling horrors.  ‘The darkness has a way of catching me.’
CHUCKY, Bravo. Can ‘Good Chucky’ be trusted?  ‘I am so not dealing with this today.’
FROM, Epix. A  creepy forest keeps a town trapped. ‘You got kids, you nail the windows shut.’
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, AMC. A reworking of Anne Rice’s universe. ‘So, Mr. du Lac, How long have you been dead?’
THE MIDNIGHT CLUB, Netflix. Terminally ill teens share stories of desire and death. ‘That’s what any of us are at the end. Stories.’
OBI-WAN KENOBI, Disney+. Jedi legend encounters young Skywalkers. ‘When the time comes, he must be trained.’
RISE OF EMPIRES: OTTOMAN, Netflix.  In the 15th Century, Mehmed takes on Vlad the Impaler.  ‘The city was gripped by hysteria, as if the world was about to end.’
THE SANDMAN, HBO. Neil Gaiman’s melancholy ruler of The Dreaming. ‘What power would Hell have if those imprisoned here were not able to dream of Heaven?’
SEVERANCE, AppleTV+. A workplace enforces its own reality. ‘Quitting would effectively end your life. I mean, in so much as you’ve come to know it.’
STRANGER THINGS, Netflix. Eleven helps defeat the Upside Down, for now. ‘If you touch her again, I will kill you again.’
THE WALKING DEAD, AMC. Final season poses new questions and spinoffs. ‘This isn’t the future my brother wanted. Not what my my mother and dad fought for.’
WEDNESDAY, Netflix. Tim Burton’s take on The Addams Family. ‘Anytime I grow nauseous at the sight of a rainbow, or hear a pop song that makes my ears bleed, I’ll think of you.’
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, Disney+. Marvel melds comic book hero with classic horror. ‘Tonight it is every hunter for themselves.’
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, FX. The vampires say farewell to one of their own. ‘How am I gonna eat if I don’t prey on people, dummy?’

2022 Rondo Awards

Rondo Awards administrator David Colton announced the 2022 Rondo Award winners on April 29.

The Rondo Awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.

Among top winners of the publicly-voted Rondo were Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune, voted Best Film, and What We Do in the Shadows, picked for a third year as Best Television Show.

And in a posthumous tribute, comedian and classic horror fan Gilbert Gottfried, who died last month, was inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame.

Almost 4,700 fans and pros voted online, in what has become the largest annual survey of classic horror fans and pros in history.

In addition to the winners named below, go to the Rondo Award site to see the runners-up and honorable mentions (generally, everything else that was nominated.)

This photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, is an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2021

  • DUNE, directed by Denis Villeneuve

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Fx)

BEST BLU-RAY

  • INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957; Criterion)

BEST BLU-RAY COLLECTION

  • KOLCHAK: THE NIGHTSTALKER: The Complete Series (Kino)

BEST RESTORATION

  • DOCTOR X (1932; Warner Bros)

BEST COMMENTARY

  • Tom Weaver (Incredible Shrinking Man)

BEST DVD EXTRAS

  • INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957; Criterion), includes documentary on Jack Arnold, directed by Daniel Griffith, Arnold interview, remembrance by Richard Matheson’s son.

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • JAKOB’S WIFE, directed by Travis Stevens, starring Barbara Crampton

BEST SHORT FILM

  • THE MOST HAUNTED HOUSE IN VENICE BEACH, directed by Ansel Faraj

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER, directed by Thomas Hamilton, written by Ron MacCloskey

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • YOURS CRUELLY, ELVIRA: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, by Cassandra Peterson

BEST CLASSIC HORROR FICTION

(Fiction that uses classic horror icons as jumping off points)

  • DRACULA NEVER DIES: The Revenge of Bela Vorlock by Christopher R. Gauthier

BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)

  • SCARY MONSTERS

BEST MAGAZINE (modern)

  • FANGORIA

BEST ARTICLE

  • ‘Child of Dark Shadows,’ by Kathryn Leigh Scott, FANGORIA #11

BEST INTERVIEW

  • Sam Irvin interviews Elvira (THE DARK SIDE #222)

BEST COLUMN

  • Scene Queen, by Barbara Crampton (FANGORIA)

BEST COVER

  • CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES #25 by Daniel Horne

BEST WEBSITE

  • BLOODY DISGUSTING

BEST PODCAST

  • GILBERT GOTTFRIED’S AMAZING COLOSSAL PODCAST

FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2021

  • SVENGOOLIE

BEST EVENT

  • A DARK SHADOWS CHRISTMAS CAROL, read by several members of the Dark Shadows cast

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OR COLLECTION

  • LUGOSI: THE RISE AND FALL OF HOLLYWOOD’S DRACULA by Koren Shadmi

INDIVIDUAL RONDO AWARDS

SPECIAL RECOGNITION for achievements that may have been overlooked or don’t fit into other categories

  • KIER-LA JANISSE — Like no other before her, horror scholar Kier-la Janisse in 2021 demonstrated  that so-called “folk horror” goes far beyond the mythologies of Bigfoot and Loch Ness.In two seminal works, a weighty Blu-Ray collection of films called ALL THE HAUNTS BE OURS, which she helped assemble, and an in-depth documentary she directed, WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED, Janisse traces the deep roots of humanity’s natural fears — of forest beasts, of witches and sprites, and of all things supernatural, many hiding in plain sight. No Frankensteins are needed when owls are enough. In addition to her years of writings and her founding of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies 12 years ago, Janisse is deserving of Rondo’s ‘Special Recognition’ for advancing horror scholarship and understanding.

MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR Rondo’s highest honor: Who did the most in 2021 to advance the cause of classic horror scholarship, film preservation or genre creativity?

  • EVAN DAVIS — Whether known as Halloween Jack or Evan Davis, he is the energy behind the resurgence of The Monster Channel, which curates horror host shows 24/7 online, on Roku and wherever you can find it.

WRITER OF THE YEAR

  • FRANK DELLO STRITTO — In a series of fact-packed fictionalizations of the legends of the Wolf Man and kindred were-things, the Pacific Island brethren of King Kong, and now the might-have-been journeys of the Mummy — old and new —  Dello Stritto breathes new life into the stories we thought we know so well.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • MARK MADDOX

FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • NOUFAUX

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
New inductees

JEAN-CLAUDE MICHEL  — A French horror and film historian of long-standing, Jean-Claude Michel was the first foreign correspondent for Famous Monsters of Filmland, remaining with the magazine for many years.

LAURA WAGNER — Laura Wagner is not only ‘Classic Images’ magazine’s book reviewer; she has spent  decades interviewing stars and almost-stars whom everyone has forgotten except for  their fans.

BELA G. LUGOSI — There were times when Bela Lugosi’s son, Boris Karloff’s daughter, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s grandson would dine together in Hollywood. The trio of real ‘Monster Kids’ always caused a nervous buzz.

FRANK DIETZ — If the Baby Boomer generation of ‘Monster Kids’ — and that’s who most of us are — has a creative heart, it just may be artist, animator, actor, screenwriter, director, and monstrous party planner Frank Dietz. An artist at Disney studios, he taught young creatives the secrets of lines and shadows.

MAITLAND McDONAGH — Author, editor and cultural critic Maitland McDonagh was an influencer long before Tik-Tok. As early as 1991, McDonagh explored the world of Euro horror and giallo with her groundbreaking book, ‘Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento.’

MR. LOBO — For more than 21 years, Erik Lobo’s Cinema Insomnia has been a creative force in the horror host community, especially during the years when the format was close to disappearing. Now his always curated site, OSI74 (which stands for Outer Space International), houses dozens of hosts permanently online.

GILBERT GOTTFRIED — The no-holds-barred funnyman was not to everyone’s taste, but there was no doubt he knew his monsters. In bits onstage or on his Rondo Award-winning Amazing Colossal Podcast with Frank Santopadre, guests could range from Rick Baker and Sara Karloff to author David J. Skal and Adam West.

2022 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 20th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 28 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 17.

(Don’t be shy about voting for Steve Vertlieb, a nominee in the Best Events of 2021 category for Talking Kong – “Expert Steve Vertlieb appears on Classic Movies with Ron McCloskey to discuss King Kong and gorillas in cinema.”)

And as a teaser, below are the Best Film and Best TV Presentation nominees.

BEST FILM OF 2021

  • Antlers
  • Candyman
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • Don’t Look Up
  • Dune
  • Free Guy
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Godzilla Vs Kong
  • Halloween Kills
  • Last Night In Soho
  • Malignant
  • Night House
  • Nightmare Alley
  • Old
  • A Quiet Place, Part Two
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Zach Snyder’s Justice League


BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • Chucky, Bravo. The deadly doll is back. ‘We’re gonna party like it’s 1999.’
  • Creepshow, Shudder. Episodes in the EC vein.  ‘Naperville Ripper Still at Large’
  • Doctor Who, BBC America. The Thirteenth Doctor battles enemies old and new. ‘Don’t blink!’
  • Evil, CBS. Mysteries with a supernatural twist. ‘If one word is spoken within the monastery walls, the demon will be out.’
  • Fear Street,  Netflix. Teenagers battle a town curse in three eras. ‘Would you say he was more Dawn of the Dead, or Night of the Living Dead?’
  • ServantApple TV+. M. Night Shyamalan’s look at a family’s odd nanny.  ‘She’s not the sweet child you think she is.’
  • Midnight Mass, Netflix. A priest shakes a village’s faith. ‘God still has a plan, and death isn’t part of it anymore.’

2021 Rondo Awards

Rondo Awards administrator David Colton presided over the “19th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards Virtual Behind the Mask Stay Away From Me Don’t Touch Ceremony!” on May 3.

The Rondo Awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.

Colton says this year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 25-year old online community, drew more than 6,000 ballots, a 27% increase from last year’s vote and the largest survey of classic horror fans and pros in history.

On Saturday, June 5 in Louisville, with Covid protocols in place, Colton will hold a two-years-in-one Rondo Awards Ceremony at WonderFest in Louisville.

Below is a photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2020
Due to the pandemic, includes wide release, video-on-demand and streaming

  • THE INVISIBLE MAN, directed by Leigh Whannell (wide)

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • THE MANDALORIAN, ‘The Rescue,’ 12.18.20, Disney+. Baby Yoda finds a master. ‘I’ll see you again. I promise.’

BEST DVD/BLU-RAY OF 2020

  • WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953; Criterion)

BEST DVD/BLU-RAY COLLECTION

  • FRIDAY THE 13TH DELUXE COLLECTION (Shout!) 12 movies and extras on 16 discs.

BEST RESTORATION OR UPGRADE

  • WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953; Criterion). Saucer wires gone; extensive visual and audio improvements throughout.

FAVORITE COMMENTATOR 

  • Sam Irvin (Frankenstein: The True Story)

BEST DVD EXTRAS

  • DAWN OF THE DEAD SPECIAL EDITON (1978; Second Sight). Four feature length documentaries; new interviews.

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM OF 2020

  • SEEDS, directed by Skip Shea. A pagan cult takes hold in New England. See trailer here

BEST SHORT FILM

  • THE THOUSAND AND ONE LIVES OF DR. MABUSE, directed by Ansel Faraj (17:23 mins). Third installment of modern take on Mabuse. See film here.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • CURSED FILMS, five-part Shudder documentary on mishaps and deaths surrounding Exorcist, Omen, Poltergeist, Crow, Twilight Zone.   See trailer here.

BOOK OF THE YEAR 

  • RAY HARRYHAUSEN, Titan of Cinema, by Vanessa Harryhausen (National Galleries of Scotland, softcover, 208 pages, $37.50). Stories behind models and effects in a planned exhibition.

BEST HORROR ART BOOKS 

  • ROD SERLING’S NIGHT GALLERY: THE ART OF DARKNESS, by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Creature Features, hardcover/softcover, 316 pages, $75/$95). Commentary and reproductions of every painting used in the series.

BEST MAGAZINE OF 2020

  • Scary Monsters

BEST ARTICLE

  • ‘Black Horror; History on the Big Screen,’ by Ernie Rockelman, HORRORHOUND #84. Tracking black horror milestones.

BEST INTERVIEW 

  • Bruce Campbell by Dr. Gangrene, Scary Presents Monster Memories (#116)

BEST COLUMN

  • Scene Queen, by Barbara Crampton, FANGORIA

BEST MAGAZINE COVER

[Tie]

  • Scary Monsters #118 (Glow in the Dark) by Scott Jackson
  • Classic Monsters of the Movies #21 by Daniel Horne

BEST WEBSITE OF 2020

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

BEST VIRTUAL EVENTS OF 2020

  • BLOBFEST: Virtual events included Best Theatre Runouts of the past, Blob screenings, Miss Blobfest contest, online vendors.

FAVORITE HORROR HOSTS OF 2020

  • Svengoolie (Me-TV)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS OR COLLECTIONS

  • BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA STARRING BELA LUGOSI, by El Garing, Kerry Gammill, Richard Starkings, Robert Napton (Legendary Comics hardcover). Authorized by the Lugosi estate, he stars in a retelling of the classic tale.

WRITER OF THE YEAR 

  • Kelly Robinson

BEST ARTIST OF 2020

  • Mark Spears

BEST FAN ARTIST OF 2020 (The Linda Miller Award)

  • Noufaux – Adele Veness

MONSTER KID OF THE YEARRondo’s highest honor: Who did the most in 2020 to advance the cause of classic horror scholarship, film preservation or genre creativity?

  • From UCLA, the magic-making Scott MacQueen, who cajoled, pushed and insisted on Mystery Of The Wax Museum and this year’s Doctor X

SPECIAL RECOGNITION — for achievements that may have been overlooked or don’t fit into other categories

  • George Feltenstein, the longtime Warner Bros. executive who not only pushed Wax and Doctor X but Curse Of Frankenstein and a lifetime of DVDs and restorations. He left WB last month.
  • Monsters Holding B—–S, a very unique Instagram Site based on monsters and their victims. It not only features thousands of stills and paprodies, but also is a lab for young aspiring artists. And maybe the name will change someday!
  • Dick Klemensen for his work not only on Little Shoppe but his recent min-documentaries on ‘The Men Who Made Hammer.’

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME (See full list of Hall of Famers here.)

  • Stacie Ponder, whose Final Girl blog was among the first to show women have a rich stake in horror and horror appreciation.
  • Derek M. Koch, whose Monster Kids Radio was one of the first podcasts to be devoted entirely to classic monsters, and the kids who love them.
  • Joe Kane – posthumously — an original Monster Times editor, who became The Phantom of the Movies…
  • Robert ‘Bobb’ Cotter
  • Svengoolie 

2021 Rondo Award Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 19th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 28 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 25.

As a teaser, here are the Best Movie and Best Television Presentation nominees.

BEST FILM OF 2020

  • BLACK BOX, directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. (Amazon Prime)
  • COLOR OUT OF SPACE, directed by Richard Stanley (wide)
  • COME PLAY, directed by Jacob Chase (wide)
  • THE CRAFT: LEGACY, directed by Zoe Lister-Jones (VoD)
  • FREAKY, directed by Christopher Landon (wide)
  • GRETEL & HANSEL, directed by Osgood Perkins (wide)
  • HIS HOUSE, directed by Remi Weekes (Netflix)
  • THE INVISIBLE MAN, directed by Leigh Whannell (wide)
  • THE LODGE, directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (wide)
  • LOVE AND MONSTERS, directed by Michael Matthews (VoD)
  • MIDNIGHT SKY, directed by George Clooney (Netflix)
  • POSSESSOR, directed by Brandon Cronenberg (wide)
  • RELIC, directed by Natalie Erika James (wide)
  • THE RENTAL, directed by Dave Franco (wide; VoD)
  • SHE DIES TOMORROW, directed by Amy Seimetz (VoD)
  • SYNCHRONIC, directed by Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead (wide)
  • TENET, directed by Christopher Nolan (wide)
  • UNDERWATER, directed by William Eubank (wide)
  • VAST OF NIGHT, directed by Matthew Patterson (wide; Amazon)
  • WONDER WOMAN 84, directed by Patty Jenkins (wide; HBOMax)
  • THE WRETCHED, directed by Brett and Drew T. Pierce (wide)

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • BRAVE NEW WORLD, ‘Everybody Happy Now,’ 7.15.20, NBC Peacock. Rebellion grows against a genetic caste system. ‘If this place is so perfect, why is it upside down?’
  • CREEPSHOW, ‘Survival Type,’ 10.30.20, Shudder. Animated adaptation of Stephen King story. ‘How badly does the patient want to survive?’
  • DOCTOR WHO, ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati,’ 2.16.20, BBC America. The Thirteenth Doctor encounters Mary Shelley at Lake Geneva. ‘’Nobody mention Frankenstein. Nobody interfere.’
  • DRACULA, ‘The Rules of the Beast,’ 1.4.20, BBC/Netflix. At a convent, Sister Van Helsing confronts the Lord of the Undead. ‘Why does death always come as such a shock to mortals?’
  • HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, ‘The Great Good Place,’ 10.9.20, Netflix.  Adaptation of Henry James’ Turning of the Screw. ‘You young people have no idea what you are letting yourselves in for.’
  • INTO THE DARK, ‘Good Boy,’ 6.12.20, Hulu. Woman finds her support dog offers no support at all. ‘He can tell when I get anxious.’
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, ‘Sundown,’ 8.16.20. HBO. Racism of 1950s South collides with creatures from another reality. ‘I’ve heard worse. I’ve been part of worse.’
  • THE MANDALORIAN, ‘The Rescue,’ 12.18.20, Disney+. Baby Yoda finds a master. ‘I’ll see you again. I promise.’
  • SUPERNATURAL, ‘Carry On,’ 11.19.20, The CW. After 15-years, the monster hunt comes to an end. ‘You knew it was going to end like this for me.’
  • THE TRUTH SEEKERS, ‘Shadow of the Moon,’ 10.30.20, Amazon. Racing an eclipse, the team finds one member is not what they seem. ‘Never send a human to do a super-being’s job.’
  • THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ‘The Who of You,’ 6.25.20, CBS All Access. A would-be bank robber eludes a cop by jumping from body to body. ‘Charge him with criminal hypnosis.’
  • THE WALKING DEAD, ‘Walk With Us,’ 3.15.20, AMC. Negan and Alpha have a reckoning. ‘It took you long enough.’
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, ‘Nouveau Theatre Des Vampires,’ 6.10.20, FX. A gala is really a trap for the Staten Island vampires. ‘He was getting more and more sad. I could smell it on him.’

Memories of “Rondo”

By Steve Vertlieb: With the excitement this week regarding the announcement of this year’s marvelous crop of deserving new winners of the prestigious annual Rondo Awards, I’m happily reminded of my own encounter with the announcement and subsequent award ceremony just four years ago. Here I am being presented with the Rondo Hall of Fame Award for a precious lifetime of journalism and achievement by David Colton, former editor of USA Today, on Saturday evening, June 4th, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky.

David Colton and Steve Vertlieb

The proudest moment of my seventy four years…winning the coveted “Rondo Hall Of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award” for more than half a century of genre writing and publishing in a variety of books, magazines, journals, tabloids, and on the worldwide “web” (with apologies to Spiderman).

I’d like to humbly offer my sincere best wishes and congratulations to those worthy souls and winners of this year’s assortment of Rondo Award winners, as well as my eternal gratitude to the thousands of writers, directors, composers, actors, and special effects technicians whose work in film bathed my dreams, and my own meager accomplishments these past five plus decades in their creative shadow.

My work remains merely a pale reflection of the love and admiration that they so generously inspired in me, and in the millions of fans around the world who continue to love and respect the art of motion pictures, as well as those wondrous souls who inhabit them.

To all of you, I can only offer my profound and enduring gratitude for being permitted to share the love, inspiration, and joyous wonder of films and music.

2020 Rondo Awards

As Rondo Awards administrator David Colton puts it — “A monster in green hair and red lips dancing on the steps. A baby Yoda discovering the Force for the first time. A cool, cruel Dracula charming his soon-to-be dinner guests. And an unknown makeup woman of the 1950s helping to create a Creature for the ages. All these and more were honored today as the best of 2019 in the (Gasp!) 18th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.

The Rondo Awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.

Colton says this year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 25-year old online community, drew more than 4,700 ballots, the most ever.

Below is a photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2019

  • Joker

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • The Mandalorian

BEST BLU-RAY/DVD

  • Dracula (1979; Shout)

BEST COLLECTION

  • Godzilla: The Showa Era  (15 films; Criterion)

BEST RESTORATION

  • The Black Cat (1934; Universal)

BEST DVD EXTRA

  • Twisted Tale: The Unmaking of Spookies by Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley (SPOOKIES; 1986; Vinegar Syndrome)

BEST COMMENTARY

  • Tom Weaver, David Schecter, Dr. Robert J. Kiss (Tarantula, Shout)

BEST PACKAGE OF DVD EXTRAS

  • Godzilla: The Showa Era (Criterion); Interviews include director Ishira Honda, unused footage.

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • House Of The Gorgon, directed by Joshua Kennedy, with Caroline Munro, Martine Beswicke, Veronica Carlson

BEST SHORT FILM

  • Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster Frankenstein directed by Daniel Gray Longino; starring David Harbour.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Horror Noire: A History Of Black Horror, directed by Xavier Burgin, based on a book by Robin R. Means Coleman

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara

BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)

  • Scary Monsters

BEST MAGAZINE (modern)

  • Fangoria

BEST ARTICLE

  • Rise Of The Supermonsters/Monsters From The Closet, by Carly Maga and Matthew Hays, Rue Morgue #189

BEST INTERVIEW

  • Dark Shadows’ Kathryn Leigh Scott, interview by Rod Labbe, Scary Monsters #111

BEST COLUMN

  • “Scene Queen,” by Barbara Crampton (Fangoria)

BEST COVER

  • Scary Monsters #115 by Scott Jackson

BEST WEBSITE

  • Bloody Disgusting

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

  • Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2019

  • Svengoolie

BEST CONVENTION

  • Monster Bash

TOP LIVE EVENT

  • Svengoolie 40th Anniversary Honored by City of Chicago

ACHIEVEMENT IN HORROR STUDIES

  • Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation

BEST COMIC BOOK

  • The Creeps (Warrant)

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

RONDO AWARD FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT

  • SCOTT GALLINGHOUSE

For decades, the few details known about Rondo Hatton have been a mixture of conjecture and legend. Enter Scott Gallinghouse, whose masterful biography of Hatton in the book The Brute Man uncovered a richer life than anyone imagined. Two marriages, a thriving career as a reporter, an athlete and a brave gamble on Hollywood after his features began to distort. Meticulously researched and superbly written, Gallinghouse’s work is an important part of the Rondo Hatton story.

MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR

  • JORDAN PEELE

Director and writer Jordan Peele has brought a new sensibility and terrific energy to the horror and fantasy field with his depictions of real people confronting unreal truths. His films US and GET OUT and his reboot of THE TWILIGHT ZONE only hint at his new horror concepts to come. For thoroughly shaking tired tropes, he is our Monster Kid of the Year.

WRITER OF THE YEAR

  • GREGORY WILLIAM MANK

Greg Mank was one of the first horror historians to delve deeply into the production and personalities behind the Universal horror films, and decades later he shows no sign of ending his search for new insights about the films we all love. His recent books and lectures on actors Colin Clive and Laird Cregar, along with his Blu-Ray commentaries make him an essential part of ever-changing film history.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • MARK MADDOX

Like the best of genre artists, Mark Maddox makes familiar images new again through color and depth, superb composition and eye-pleasing dynamics. His work in magazines is legendary but his entry into Blu-Ray covers and more shows an artist moving with the times, and with his audience.

FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (The Linda Miller Award)

  • JERROD BROWN

Jerrod’s art is bold and grand, a mix of classic images and modern monsters. But last year his large-scale reproductions of Aurora monster model box art went on tour, wowing visitors with a mix of nostalgia and presentations that made childhoods new again.

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

  • Robert Bloch, Jonathan Rigby, Kat Ellinger, Constantine Nasr, Greg Luce, George Chastain, The Ghoul (Ron Sweed) And Son Of Ghoul,  David ‘The Rock’ Nelson

2020 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 18th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 30 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight March 29.

As a teaser, here are the Best Movie, Best Television Presentation, and Best Website finalists. Yes, Best Website – because guess who’s blog is smack dab in the middle of the list?

 1) BEST FILM OF 2019

  • AD ASTRA
  • ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
  • ANNABELLE COMES HOME
  • AVENGERS: ENDGAME
  • BLACK CHRISTMAS
  • BRIGHTBURN
  • CHILD’S PLAY
  • CRAWL
  • THE DEAD DON’T DIE
  • DOCTOR SLEEP
  • GLASS
  • GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS
  • HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U
  • IT: CHAPTER TWO
  • JOKER
  • THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • MIDSOMMAR
  • PARASITE
  • READY OR NOT
  • SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
  • SHAZAM!
  • SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
  • STAR WARS: RISE OF SKYWALKER
  • US
  • ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

2) BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984, ‘Camp Redwood,’ 9.18.19, FX.  Season nine kicks off with homages to the 80s. ‘This is the site of the greatest summer camp massacre of all time.’
  • ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK, ‘Submitted for Approval,’ 10.11.19, Nickelodeon. A new member joins the Midnight Society. ‘Nothing bad is gonna happen on this ride. Just relax.’
  • BLACK MIRROR, ‘Smithereens,’ 6.5.19, Netflix. An Uber driver has another destination in mind. ‘Do you mind if I follow an alternate route?’
  • THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, ‘An Exorcism in Greendale,’ 10.26.19, Netflix. A demon inhabits Uncle Jesse. ‘Mephistopheles, save us from the dramatics of a teenage witch.’
  • CREEPSHOW, ‘The Man in the Suitcase,’ 10/10/19, Shudder. An unexpected visitor has magical powers. ‘An unfortunate condition causes me to produce gold when I am in pain.’
  • DOCTOR WHO, ‘Resolution,’ 12.31.19, BBC. The 13th Doctor confronts the Daleks. ‘Don’t take that with alcohol, you’ll grow an extra head.’
  • EVIL, ‘October 31,’ 10.24.19, CBS.  Halloween and an exorcism are a deadly combination. ‘Kindness is hypocrisy.’
  • INTO THE DARK, ‘All That We Destroy,’ 5.3.19, Hulu. For Mother’s Day, an experiment with clones and family. ‘How many times has he killed me?’
  • THE MANDALORIAN, ‘Chapter Two: The Child,’ 11.15.19, DIsney+. Baby Yoda uses the Force to save his protector. ‘May it survive and bring you a handsome reward.’
  • MARIANNE. ‘You Left Her’  9.13.19, Netflix. Friends return to an old school for a ritual.  ‘She’s a witch. I wrote these books to fight against her.’
  • NOS4A2, ‘The Gas Mask Man,’ 6.2.19, AMC. A sinister Christmas is coming at the school. ‘He’s hunting you.’
  • STAR TREK DISCOVERY, ‘Such Sweet Sorrow’ 4.11.19, CBS Access. The saga of Captain Pike ends where it began. ‘There’s a whole galaxy out there full of people who will reach for you.’
  • STRANGER THINGS 3: ‘The Battle of Starcourt,’ 7.4.19, Netflix. The Mind Flayer comes for El. ‘The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave..’
  • SUPERNATURAL, ;Atomic Monsters,’ 11.7.19. Final season finds Sam and Dean on the road again. ‘You’ve got to stop calling yourself “The Meat Man”. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.’
  • THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ‘Replay,’ 4/1/19, CBS Access. A camcorder rewinds time on a racist cop. ‘Only by embracing her past could she protect her son’s future.’
  • THE WALKING DEAD, ‘We Are the End of the World,’ 10.13.19, AMC. The origins of Alpha and Beta.  ‘There is clarity in the chaos. Do you doubt me?’
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, ‘The Trial, 5.8.19, FX. Vampires stand accused by a tribunal of their peers. ‘We might have floated the idea of murdering him, but we didn’t do it. Did we??’

18) BEST WEBSITE