In which Johnny’s education becomes a sticking point, and things get complicated.
Johnny gets another shot at his education, and something else comes to town.
It’s 1959, and things are about to get weird in Whitby.
A long, long time ago, I decided I wanted to try drawing a comic. I’m not a very good artist, but in high school it was a thing I was interested in purely because I love comics. One of the (many) concepts I came up with was supposed to a sort of serial. The original version of this involved a high school reporter who starts investigating after a classmate comes back from the dead. Each chapter would be her investigating a different supernatural happening. I decided a 1950s aesthetic purely because I wanted to mimic horror movies from that era. It was actually more scifi in the beginning, with one character originally intended to be an alien, and I ended up shifting some of that thanks to deriving more from the classic Universal monsters. I came back to the concept after some time and adjusted it to fit a novel format. I was in college at the time, working on other projects and my masters, and I ended up finishing Men and Monsters, a similar concept with similar influences, having a much easier time writing it.
I fumbled around with what I’d written for a while, worried it was too similar to other things, struggling with finishing the segment I was on, but I ultimately decided the concept was something I wanted to write. I was attached to the characters and the setting and decided the best way to motivate myself to finish it was to post it here. At least then, even if I do nothing with it, it’s out in the world, and I can see how this tiny concept I drafted out years and years ago has changed. So here is your introductory post to Laemmle High. Like the movies it derives its origins from, I give you the cast of characters and title card up front, before you enjoy the picture.
Beverly Jones………………………………………………………..high school reporter, friend to the undead
Merton Dewitt.……………………………………………………………..nerd, photographer, alien enthusiast
Marya Zalesk.…….………………………………………………a stranger in a strange land, also a vampire
Betty Isen…….….….………..prom queen, science fair winner three years running, dating Johnny
Johnny Maxwell…………………………….…….quarterback, most popular kid at school, dating Betty
Shelley Rathbone…………………………………….….…….…..science fair runner up three years running
The small town of Whitby was a community built for scientists at the height of World War II, meant to house the smartest, brightest, and most extreme leaders in new sciences. Since the end of the war, the families have settled down and are now enjoying the town that was built for them, and the children of those scientists are growing up. Nothing in Whitby is what it seems, and several students are about to learn firsthand how strange it can be. Join us next week for the start of Laemmle High in…
Esther Cobb takes revenge with a stranger on a black horse.
I’ve become somewhat enamored of the old west and old west style story telling since starting Deadlands. Initially I used it to mimic a serial style, but I liked its ‘roaming the earth’ aesthetic and enjoyed the desert imagery, the vast lands filled with mystery. I started this story when I had the clear image of a man in all black, with long black hair, face hidden beneath a black hat, on a black horse. Because of its similarities to Deadlands, I never really intended to make it a full length story, so this is the first and last we will ever hear of Esther Cobb and Grisham. If you’re also interested, I made a playlist specific to this story over at 8tracks you can listen to here. If this story gives you a desire for more old west horror, there’s a bonus story for Deadlands up for Halloween that you can read here.
Miranda West runs away from home late one night and finds herself on the absolute worst road trip.
Initially I was going to put out one story over the course of October, but I struggled too much with writing it and have a few other projects going on at the same time, so I’ll save it. Instead I’ll be posting three short pieces every other week throughout October to give you something spooky to read this Halloween.
I’d been playing around with the concept of a horror road trip story, which I’ve now outlined in three different versions. This vampire filled one sort of sprung out of nowhere, the first part, which will be the section below, written in pencil while I was at a training for work. The opening scene of a young woman stopping in a gas station in the middle of the night only to find everyone dead appeared very clearly in my mind. I’ve written more since then, but I have so many projects and I’m attempting to focus on the few I have a drive to finish, that it’s only been touched when I have the capacity to think about it. But I do enjoy this initial piece and am posting it for your reading pleasure.
An excerpt from a love letter to the Universal Monsters.
I’ve had an awful lot of fun lately taking concepts I started a long, long time ago and revamping them. It’s shown me how much I’ve grown as a writer, and how much experience I’ve accumulated. This story started as something very different. It started a long time ago. But in reviewing the concept, I considered a few things: 1) I liked the idea of a gaslight horror mystery, and the Victorian era became an easy ground to sow these seeds, and 2) I’d grown up on the Universal Monsters, so I included more characters to better match the traditional monster lineup. This became a love letter to things I adored, from monster mashes, to goofy ahistorical histories, to the only classical literature I enjoyed, to the things I longed to see more of in fiction. This is the story I’ve dedicated my time to finishing and will begin editing soon, so I thought I’d give a little sneak preview.