The Christmas song “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” promises
“There'll be scary ghost stories
New Wagner Volume Will Make an Excellent Gift
The first US collection of Wagner tales, all of his short horror in two volumes, is available from Centtiepede Press. These are large, handsome heirloom volumes, with photographic illustrations by J.K. Potter. I was surprised at the choice of photography as the medium for Karl’s stories, but they are very artfully done. I laughed out loud in the bookstore when I saw the photo on the back of the dustjacket. My only reservation about the books lies with the introduction. This is obviously a labor of love, but I wish Mr. Jones had done a bit more research before writing his introduction; it’s not entirely accurate. Not inexpensive, but still a bargain, as there are already sites demanding more than its cover price. More later.
Welcome to the
Perilous Worlds of Karl Edward Wagner
Kevin Elam has sent along a couple of family photos of Karl as a very young man, one of Karl with Kevin and his other Elam nephews, the founders of this site and, as the late Mike Elam related in his introduction here, among the first to enjoy Karl's story-telling. There is also a newspaper clipping announcing that young Dr. Wagner is beginning his residency.
The Last Karl Wagner
Kevin Elam has found a copy of Karl’s Last interview, which appeared in Horror: The News Magazine of the Horror & Dark Fantasy Field. The publication only lasted five issues, and the fifth issue in which this appears is a rarity indeed, currently unavailable from any known vendor. David Drake has spoken disparigingly of his collaboration with Karl on Killer, indicating he was trying to do the fading and dissolute writer a favor. Here Karl tells his version, but much more charitably, never once saying he saved a struggling and, ultimately, ungrateful writer from richly deserved obscurity. On the KEW page.
The Louise Stewart Collection
Louise Stewart was Karl’s first and last sweetheart, the woman for whom he carried the torch for much of his life, at least up until he married Barbara Mott. She attended a number of conventions with him, late in his life, after they both became single, and has been kind enough to provide me with photos and her own sketches - unlike myself, a humble illustrator, Louise is a gifted serious aritst. Getting these images up will take a while, but well begun is half done...
Gothic Touches in “The
An insightful examination by writer and Gothic scholar Charles Rutledge of the influence of the Victiorian Gothic novel on Wagner’s tales of Kane, as exemplified by the last of them, “The Gothic Touch.” Mr. Rutledge suggests that, despite the frightening tone of the story, Karl was also winking at those few readers who knew the genre. Linked from the KEW page.
“If I laugh at any mortal thing, it is that I may not cry,” said Lord Byron, the original Byronic Hero and a Kane inspiration. So do we laugh or cry at bookseller John McCormick’s description of the ham-fisted butchery of Karl’s text in the Powell edition of Darkness Weaves? Johnny calls it, “The true 1st unrevised edition.” He informs us that “All later printings are revised, and the title shortened to Darkness Weaves.“ This “unrevised” copy can be had for $23.28 & shipping.
The Karl Edward Wagner
For some reason the link I had for this article broke, but I’ve found it again: author William Lindblad encourages the community of horror and dark fantasy authors and readers to create a Rediscovery award to honor Karl’s great success in unearthing forgotten masterpieces of weird fiction. Again I offer my services in doing a portrait sculpture of Karl for the purpose, an undertaking I’d like to begin while I still have one good eye. If you think the notion worth pursuing, weigh in.
Perhaps the concept could be extended beyond horror to all pulpish realms. If so, I suggest K B Shaw, the creator of iPulp as a candidate for the first such award. His stated goal is no less an ambition than to save the short story.
Kane in Danger! The well-known Warner Kane covers by Frank Frazetta, painted according to Karl’s descriptions and now widely associated with Karl’s only series character, are slated to be used as the covers of new graphic novels. The protagonist will be a red-haired swashbuckler drawn to match the Kane covers, but will have no other connection to Kane or his creator whatsoever. Learn more about this outrage on the Revelations page.
A note to younger visitors: it hadn’t occurred to me that some might not recognize the clicking sound effect I’ve used here. No, that is not, as some have speculated, a camera. It is the device from whence derived the layout of your computer keyboard: the typewriter. You must have seen them in old movies. Karl acknowledged himself to be a “one-finger” typist; hence the hesitant tempo here. A little bell would sound to let you know you'd reached the end of the line.
Elam, one of the founders of this site, and the nephew of Karl
Wagner succumbed two years ago to Crohn's disease, an illness
that may have been a result of his adventurous life as an anthropologist,
digging up ancient sites and, possibly, ancient microbes in South
America and the Middle East.
There are places no one may visit and leave untainted. You are number to arrive at this one.
nces of his hig