Saturday, November 12, 2011

Instead of more Darick Robertson : my quivering quest for GEISTER SCHOCKER

I know I haven´t posted Yesterday as I promised but although my own brother doesn´t believe it even somebody as perfect as me has to sleep or at least rest from time to time. I had hoped to put all I have to say about Darick Robertson in my last post but somehow the whole post escaped from me - like on the backseat of a car driven by two filthy assistants and a three - eyed smoking cat.

But that´s all the TRANSMETROPOLITAN references you will get Today as I probably should explain a bit why I was so tired on Thursday - since I promised do do that on my next post. On Tuesday I had to do a few errands and although I was very exhausted I didn´t get the chance to nap a bit during the afternoon because things kept coming in the way. Also I wanted to get to bed early but that also didn´t work out.

But Wednesday was the day that really broke this Camel´s back. Around noon I got a phone call that reminded me of this week´s meeting of AA ( Auffällige Arbeitslose ) and I had one of the worst ideas ever. Since I had received a comic order that day and issue 1 of UNCANNY X - MEN by Carlos Pacheco was not included since the online comicshop had just run out I decided to visit my regular comicshop before the AA reunion and see if I can´t get the issue there. And maybe the first two issues of GEISTER SCHOCKER, a new horror comic from DIE ROMANTRUHE which is an onlineshop for everything a german horrorfriki could ever want that has added the production of audioplays ( where they produced audioplays based on stories like german horror grandmasters A. F. Morland and Jason Dark who later on created JOHN SINCLAIR ) and now comics to their repertoire.

As longtime readers of the blog might know just recently my horror enthusiasm has been rekindled by the absolutely brilliant new JOHN SINCLAIR audioplays and since GEISTER SCHOCKER not only included a poster but also a horror audioplay I wanted to give it a try. I first saw the ad for GEISTER SCHOCKER in the latest issue of german horror comic par excellence HORRORSCHOCKER but when I asked at the newsstand in Bietigheim they never heard of it. And they have a really good selection of comic there, even better than at the newsstand in Ludwigsburg.

Now I could have just placed an order for UNCANNY X - MEN number 1 at the other online comicshop and gotten the two issues of GEISTER SCHOCKER that was already out ( the zero issue and the first one ) with one of my subsequent orders. Or I could have called my comicshop and asked them to put the three comics in my bag so I have them waiting for me upon my next visit. But I didn´t want to place another comic order so quick after the last one and I thought it would be easier to pick them up myself. And you really think I would finally learn from my mistakes.

The definition of a fool is somebody who keeps doing the same thing in the hopes of getting a different result. Well, I must be some kind of hardcore fool because every time I expect to find the comics I´m missing in my comicshop and every time I don´t and have to order them online anyway.

Now while that in itself is therefore a bad idea by definition I insisted in adding another wrinkle by deciding to visit the comicshop BEFORE the meeting. It was 14.30 hours when I began my trek to the comicshop and the meeting was supposed to start at 17.00 hours ( 18.00 hours for those coming late ) which would have been okay if it had been on the way.

But it wasn´t. Going to the comicshop first meant taking the subway all the way to Esslingen, then look for my comics and finally riding all the way back to Bietigheim - in two hours and a half. Which is not possible. Normally I go to the comicshop on those days when I through some bizarre coincidence wake up before eleven o´clock in the morning because it takes so frikkin long to go there. If I don´t get there very early I don´t have enough time to look for all the stuff and decide what I´m going to take with me this time.

At the moment I head on out to the old comicshop once a month and it always includes a lot of walking at the store since I´m looking for all kinds of stuff. It´s not as much walking as in the old store where I had to climb the stairs up and down to get to the different sections with back issues or the trades but it´s still quite the workout. And it´s one of the few workouts I get. This and putting my comics in order.

But I usually go there very early because even if I go to the shop just a little bit after noon I don´t come home until six or seven in the afternoon. So you can imagine what a bad idea it was to squeeze this visit into my agenda on that day. I had a good connection - not that it much helped things - but at the comicshop I was pressed for time so I just grabbed a few things and immediatelly left. Of course they couldn´t find the issues of GEISTER SCHOCKER and they also hadn´t unpacked UNCANNY X - MEN 1 yet so it would have been better if I had postponed the whole thing.

At the train station in Esslingen I got stress induced stomach cramps and I was lucky to have an iron ration of potato chips ( salt and vinegar ) on me that saved me. I always say it pays to carry a well packed bag in case of an emergency and this time it really payed off. My mother always says that I have my bag full of totally useless stuff but what she doesn´t understand that I mostly put things in there in the hopes that I won´t need it. I mean, do you put band - aids in you bag hoping you get cut or something just so you can use them ? And my mother is also more a fan of throwing away things instead of keeping them until they come in handy. For her anything that is not used in the first six seconds after purchase is useless. I think the whole concept of buying something you will use at a later date is uncomprehensible to her. Thus her constant war with my comic collection. Well, that and the fact that she still believes that I will at some point grow out of this whole comic reading nonsense. Even if I´m already waaay past 40.

Anyway, the trip wasn´t a complete failure since I caught an express train from Esslingen to Stuttgart and as I had to go from the upper rails to the subway stations below I came across a newsstand that had issue 1 of GEISTER SCHOCKER.

As could be expected I was waaaay to late for the meeting so I phoned ahead from the station in Bietigheim. Luckily three people were still at our usual watering hole so after being picked up by one of them we chatted for an hour about the latest developements and enjoyed some drinks and pizza. Maybe next time I will go there directly.

After this whole ordeal I was a bit bummed out so I slept through most of Thursday which made the post rather short. As I was writing it I thought I could come back to it the next day but finishing it took longer and longer and when it was finally done it was already six o´clock in the morning. So you can guess the rest. Instead of doing the follow - up post like promised I took a break on Friday ( I didn´t even go on the interwebs ) and did some eating, a lot of sleeping and also caught up a bit on my comic reading and watching new episodes of SLEDGE HAMMER.

So now you know why I was so tired on Thursday and why there was no new post Yesterday. And seeing that it´s 4.35 in the morning and I still haven´t finished it´s a safe bet that this post will not include any new clever examinations of Darick Robertson´s further comics by Yours truly. Since I have mentioned GEISTER SCHOCKER so often in this post I should probably give abit more info about the comic.

As I said it´s produced by DIE ROMANTRUHE, the first address for dime pulp horror in Germany where you can get the usual floppies as well as special collectors editions of the usual suspects like of course JOHN SINCLAIR and GESPENSTER KRIMI as well as TONY BALLARD, DAMONA KING or PROFESSOR ZAMORA.

And you can get other cool stuff like a replica of John Sinclair´s crucifix there. They also produce audioplays and are now trying their hand at comics. Issue 1 of GEISTER SCHOCKER is an albumsized black and white comic with a color cover and it has 48 pages. The price is 5.99 EUROS but you also get a color poster, which is a reproduction of the cover by Ertugrul Edirne which is based on this cover,

and the audioplay HIGHWAY ZUR HÖLLE ( Highway to hell ) based on the novel by Earl Warren with about 65 minutes length.

Since the first thing I did was listening to the disc let´s do this first. While it´s not the most original story and the actors are not up to the excellent standard of the JOHN SINCLAIR series it´s still pretty solid and just the right thing to put on your CD player after midnight.

There are 4 comic stories contained in issue 1 and one text short of which the first comic story is clearly the highlight. Although the story is based very much on the classic THE MUMMY with Boris Karloff the art by cover artist Ertugrul Edirne keeps you hooked even if you already know how the story turns out. I haven´t read the rest of the issue but the remaining three comic stories seem to be reprints from the 70s that would have profited from a smaller size.

In fact I half expected it to be regular comic size and in color since it clearly tries to fill the gap cult comic series GESPENSTER GESCHICHTEN left in the german comic landscape.

Despite how my review may sound I enjoyed the first issue of GEISTER SCHOCKER and as far as I´m concerned I got my money´s worth. You can see that this series is produced by real fans as they even added the red cover square all Williams comics used to have. And while there is some reprint material in the issue it makes complete sense since new readers are probably not familiar with the stories and older comic readers might have the chance to get the familiar stories in mint condition. And the audioplays are an additional incentive so as long as they can keep that and the posters they are offering quite a good package deal.

So far the series has gotten a lot of positive reactions so let´s hope they can keep their level of quality. While Levin Kurio´s HAMMERHARTE HORRORSCHOCKER is the best horror anthology comic on the german comic market this could be a good way for fans of 60s and 70s horror to pass the time between issues.

As usual I´m adding the links for all the indispensable pages without which I couldn´t have done the post. Especially the GESPENSTER KRIMI database with it´s plethora of almost impossible to find covers. Thanks, dudes.

get your own issues of geister schocker from die romantruhe

review of geister schocker issue 0 by zauberspiegel

review geister schocker 0 by splashcomics / review geister schocker 1

interview with joachim otto at the start of the audioplay series

bei vollmond holt dich der vampir - review

gespenster krimi database

Last but not least I have to mention Today´s celebrity birthdays but rejoice because Yesterday it would have been Demi Moore´s birthday and I know how raunchy pictures make some readers of my blog cringe. First up is " soon to be seen in a cinema near you " Catwoman Anne Hathaway who turns 29 on this very day.

The second one is Chilean - American actress and recording artist Cote De Pablo ( full name María José de Pablo Fernández ) and it´s her 32nd birthday. You probably all know her from playing former Israeli Mossad Liaison Officer and now NCIS Special Agent Ziva David on the tv hit show NCIS. Here in Germany they´re showing 3 episodes each Saturday on Kabel 1 every Saturday so it´s not too late to change your tv schedule accordingly.

And last but not least - and keeping the horror theme of Todays post - British actress Valerie Leon has her 66th anniversary. She´s best known for playing the dominatrix with the whip in REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER from 1978 and her lead role in BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY´S TOMB from 1971.

All the best wishes to all three of them.

Since the post has been all about GEISTER SCHOCKER the video is more of an audio since it´s BEI VOLLOND HOLT DICH DER VAMPIR ( The vampire takes you at midnight ) by Jason Dark. It was issue 5 of german horror cult series GESPENSTER KRIMI, first published on Friday the 7th of September in 1973.

It was his second novel for the series after DIE NACHT DES HEXERS ( Night of the Warlock ) published on Friday the 13th of July 1973 in which John Sinclair was first introduced to german dime novel readers. Yes, bad luck for all demons, ghosts and witches. And now : Good Night and Good Fright !

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest


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