Saturday, January 22, 2011


Ilfracombe people were left stunned yesterday (18th January 2011) after A-list director Tim Burton landed at our local Rugby club in a Harrods helicopter.
Residents spotted the eye-catching green, gold and white chopper circling over the town and speculation was soon rife amongst local people, with everyone wondering who could be aboard.
Thanks to the phenomenal power of Facebook, the passenger's identity was revealed by early afternoon; by which time the helicopter had unfortunately departed, leaving many locals disappointed that they had missed out on a once in a lifetime chance to meet their idol.
One local resident told Ilfracombe People "I was so gutted that Tim Burton was in my town today and I didn't even get to catch a glimpse of him! I wrote my dissertation for my degree on his films and have been an avid fan of his ever since I first watched Edward Scissorhands. But nobody knew he was coming to Ilfracombe-it was such a shock...we don't get many famous folk round these parts! I suppose he has to keep it quiet or he would be swamped with fans."
However, all is not lost, and this young fan may well still be in with a chance of spotting Burton in the flesh in the future. If local rumour is to be believed he was checking out various locations in North Devon as possible settings for his latest film Dark Shadows.
The film, a modern remake of the late 1960's vampire soap opera of the same name, will star Burton's regular collaborator and muse Johnny Depp in the title role, and filming is due to start in April of this year.
If Burton should chose a local location it would be a fantastic coup for North Devon, in particular local businesses and the economy. The National Trust property Antony in Cornwall played host to the filming of Alice in Wonderland back in 2008 and according to their website, during the filming period "Local companies are used for everything from fencing posts to the local green grocers. Everything that can be recycled is, to ensure that the experience is as ‘green’ as possible."
So will we be seeing more of Mr Burton in this part of the world in the future? We will just have to wait and see....

Sunday, January 16, 2011



Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Dark Shadows: The Complete Series Volume One

Click for Larger Cover

Hardcover: $49.99
ISBN #1-932563-45-8
208 pages, 7.5" x 10" x .75", full color,
Reprints Issues #1-#7 of the Gold Key Comics series Dark Shadows;
Art by Joe Certa;
Stories by Donald Arneson and Arnold Drake;
Available Now!
Dark Shadows:
The Complete Series Volume One
By Irwin Allen
Hermes Press proudly announces the complete reprint of Gold Key Comics’ television tie-in of the legendary supernatural suspense series Dark Shadows in a series of five hardcover volumes. The forerunner to today’s immensely popular vampire-themed television programs and theatrical films, Dark Shadows still garners serious attention as one of the most memorable TV shows of the last forty years. As anticipation builds after director Tim Burton’s announcement at Comic-Con International 2009 that his next project would be a big-screen remake of Dark Shadows — starring Johnny Depp in the role of reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins — the time seems perfect to reprint the full run of 35 Gold Key comic books based on the show, first published from 1968 to 1976.

The comic books to be collected in Hermes Press’ completely digitally restored series present archetypal tales of vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural. The stories contained in the collection are thoughtful and beautifully crafted; they are the perfect companion for fans of the show, but they stand on their own as fine examples of compelling and effective comic book storytelling.

Hermes Press’ reprint of the complete Dark Shadows presents the work of Silver Age comic book writers such as Donald Arneson and Arnold Drake. Drake, one of the industry’s most highly regarded writers, was responsible for the creation of the Doom Patrol and Deadman. Artist Joe Certa, an experienced comic book veteran, was responsible for the artwork on the complete run of the Dark Shadows series. Certa, whose career spanned over forty years, worked for almost every comic book publisher in the business and is best known for co-creating and providing art for J’onn J’onzz, The Martian Manhunter.

Hermes Press Publisher Daniel Herman feels that, “The classic Dark Shadows books published by Gold Key have been out-of-print far too long; our new series of complete reprints will remedy this situation and make the entire run available to old and new fans alike.”

In addition to reprinting the stories, Hermes Press will supplement each volume with poster art, pin-ups, and documentary material from the show. Each book will contain essays about the history of Dark Shadows as well as other aspects of the show.

Also see:
Dark Shadows: Volume Two Coming soon ...
Dark Shadows: Volume Three Coming soon ...



Dark Shadows Returns in May

Dark Shadows Returns in May A new season of Dark Shadows Dramatic Readings will be released later this year this year in advance of Tim Burton's big-screen remake starring Johnny Depp. The six self-contained horror stories are read by members of the original cast with contributions from some familiar faces to fans of Big Finish.

The series, now produced by James Goss and Joseph Lidster, opens in May with The Blind Painter by Jonathan Morris. “It’s a story about a man who wants to be the greatest artist in the world but he’s simply not good enough,” says Lidster. “A beautiful woman offers him the chance to be everything he wants to be but at a price.” The story stars Roger Davis as Charles Delaware Tate and Nicola Bryant as the mysterious Eloise.

Also available in May is The Death Mask by Mark Thomas Passmore. “This one’s a bit different,” says James Goss. “A lawyer, Tony Peterson, arrives at a millionaire’s party, only to find that one of his fellow guests is the witch Angelique – calling herself Cassandra Collins. Soon, a man lies dead and Tony and Cassandra have to work together to try to survive the night.”

The series then continues in June with Simon Guerrier’s The Creeping Fog – a chilling tale set in a London museum and D Lynn Smith’s The Lost Girl which sees the damned soul of Josette Du Pres making a final journey. July’s releases are The Poisoned Soul by James Goss and The Carrion Queen by Lizzie Hopley. The Poisoned Soul features Nancy Barrett as respected pillar of the community Charity Trask, whose body is possessed by the spirit of music hall star Pansy Faye. Charity’s father, the evil Reverend Trask, features alongside Angelique in The Carrion Queen.

“The previous stories have been a huge success,” says Lidster, “so it’s been great to follow on from that.”

Dark Shadows was a phenomenally successful US series of the 60s and 70s,” says Goss, “and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate its 45th anniversary with six more tales of the macabre.”


Every fan plays the game... what's the best movie of all time, the second best, and did my favorite make it into the "Top 100"? Fantastic Press proudly launches an exciting new series of gift books that colorfully explore popular motion picture genres, reviewing and ranking the best each genre has to offer. With imaginative, full-color layouts and a sense of spirited fun, each book in this custom-designed series begins with coverage of Movie #100, then suspensefully "ascends" to the Number One choice! Along the way, avid readers are treated to rare photos and posters, priceless information, and never-before published cultural artifacts. For the first Fantastic Press offering, it's horror against horror in the ultimate scary movie match-up. Screenwriter/film historian Gary (Pumpkinhead) Gerani presents and evaluates the cinema's most celebrated shockers, from silent classics to today's gleefully audacious gorefests. This super-colorful overview contains over 600 rare visuals, and features a brand-new introduction by celebrated horror movie director Roger Corman. HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS is featured in a full color spead. Order thru AMAZON.comTop 100 Horror Movies

Friday, January 7, 2011,0,6508922.story

Classic Hollywood: Marsha Mason comes full circle

One of the hottest actresses in the 1970s and '80s raced cars and raised herbs in New Mexico but is ready to return to N.Y. theater.

By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2010
Marsha Mason admits she foolishly believed being an actress in Hollywood was a lot like being one in England. "In other words, you could do theater and you could do movies. As you aged, there would be parts for you."

But she ruefully realized by the time she was in her 40s that wasn't the case. Mason, now a gregarious 68, was one of the hottest actress of the 1970s and early '80s, earning best actress Oscar nominations for " Cinderella Liberty" (1973), "The Goodbye Girl" (1977), "Chapter Two" (1979) and "Only When I Laugh" (1981). The latter three were written by then-husband Neil Simon. But when their nearly decade-old marriage ended in divorce in the early '80s and their last film collaboration, 1983's "Max Dugan Returns," tanked, the major roles dried up.

Over lunch recently at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, she admits that perhaps she was too closely associated with Simon. But it wasn't that simple. "In 1983 and '84, the whole business was changing," says Mason, who is still close with Simon and her two stepdaughters. "The business suddenly, rapidly, almost overnight changed to a very youth-oriented market."

Mason is a survivor, though, with eclectic interests and talents in and out of show business. She's kept busy, working in movies, TV and theater. She had just completed an episode as Patricia Heaton's character's wacky mother in an episode of ABC's comedy "The Middle." This year she appeared off-Broadway in a revival of "I Never Sang for My Father" and Shakespeare's "All's Well That Ends Well" in Washington, D.C.

For the last 17 years, she's also owned and operated the Resting in the River organic farm in Abiquiu, N.M., where she raises organic herbs and operates a wellness line of bath and body products. She says she moved there in 1993 because she felt she didn't belong in Los Angeles anymore. "I always felt rightly or wrongly after being a part of a marriage and a public sort of couple the whole thing sort of felt very strange here," she says. "The idea of being a single woman in Hollywood is a very peculiar thing."

It was her friend Shirley MacLaine, who also lived in New Mexico, who recommended the piece of land near a river. "I wound up becoming a farmer," she says, smiling. Mason also discovered her inner Marsha. "I realized a lot of my own personal sense of identity was wrapped up in my work," she says. "So when you are not working, you feel as if you don't have an identity. So moving to New Mexico … what was really wonderful was I discovered the work is the work and Marsha is Marsha and a lot of various pieces make up Marsha."

She is trying to sell the farm and move back to New York so she can do more theater. "Maybe I am coming full circle," she says, laughing. The St. Louis native moved there directly after graduating from what is now Webster University in suburban St. Louis. "I went to acting class, and I had regular jobs," she says. "Then I sort of focused on TV commercials." And soaps. She played a prostitute turned vampire on the ABC daytime vampire soap "Dark Shadows" and was appearing on the soap "Love of Life" when she auditioned for writer-director Paul Mazursky and got the pivotal part of George Segal's character's love interest in the filmmaker's 1973 romantic comedy "Blume in Love."

But it wasn't her film debut. Mason actually got her Screen Actors Guild card for a 1966 black-and-white, low-budget flick called "Hot Rod Hullaballoo." "I hope I won't ever find a piece of film from it," Mason says with a laugh.

Speaking of hot rods, after she divorced Simon she became a professional race car driver for seven years, racing a Mazda RX-7.

She had loved racing since she was in high school when a girlfriend's father bought a track outside of St. Louis. On Sundays, she and her girlfriend would hand out pit passes there. Mason was fascinated with the racers. "They would have cigarettes rolled up in their T-shirts and have ducktail hairdos," she says.

Years later, she was on a plane from New York to Los Angeles and found herself chatting with Paul Newman, who was coming out to race at Riverside. Mason told Newman how much she loved racing and he invited her to watch the race. "For a year I would just travel with the team," Mason says. "I would stay in the background."

Eventually, Newman suggested she go to racing school. She attended about three racing schools, graduated and she was off, well, to the races. "I made the Vavoline National Runoffs four times," she says, proudly. "I hooked up with Mike Lewis, who still races now, and we had a whole team. We used to do 12 races a season."

Though there were women in stock car racing, Mason was the only female on the track. When she completed in her first race at Sears Point — now Infineon Raceway — "I could feel a lot of the eyes on me. I could tell the guys were a little huffy. I just took the attitude that I am going to stay out of everybody's way. I stayed out of everybody's way, but I built relationships and they gave me points and urged me to be more competitive. It was great."