June 2022: A Month in Horror

This month saw David Cronenberg’s film Crimes of the Future go on wide release; the reception has been mixed, but then, hasn’t that always been the case with Cronenberg’s work? Another talked-about release was Dashcam, which — if a screenshotted email is to be believed — was banned by Vue for its offensive content; although Vue denies placing this ban.

In awards news, the Ladies of Horror Fiction presented their prizes to a new batch of works. The winners this year were Jessica Lewis’ Bad Witch Burning (Best Young Adult), Lorien Lawrence’s The Collectors (Best Middle Grade), V. Castro’s Goddess of Filth (Best Novella), Gwendolyn Kiste’s “Sister Glitter Blood” (Best Short Fiction), Jessica McHugh’s Strange Nests (Best Poetry), Hailey Piper’s Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy and Isabel Yap’s Never Have I Ever (tied for Best Collection), Zakiya Dalila Harris’ The Other Black Girl (Best Debut) and Rachel Harrison’s Cackle (Best Novel). 2022 marks the final year of the Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards.

Those mourning the loss of the LOHF awards might take comfort in the fact that there is a new horror award on the block: the Godless 666 Awards, which is restricted to works available at independent retailer Godless and voted for by that site’s customers. In this inaugural year, Rayne Havok had two winners: “Mukbang Princess” (Best Short Story) and “Casey’s Vengeance” (Best Novelette). The other winners were John Baltisberger’s Unclean Verses (Best Audiobook), Simon McHardy and Sean Hawker’s Neil (Best Novella), Nikolas P. Robinson’s May Cause Ocular Bleeding (Best Anthology or Collection) and Daniel J. Volpe’s Left to You (Best Novel).

Bidding farewell…

This month, we lost two artists who did much to explore the darker edge of the fantastic.

Painter Ken Kelly was a disciple of Frank Frazetta, and his magnificent paintings can be found across Conan paperbacks and KISS album covers. In terms of horror-specific work, he painted covers to Warren comic magazines like Creepy and Vampirella, Halong with the twenty-first-century tribute Creeps. He passed away on June 2, aged 76.

Tim Sale was a comic artist known for taking Gotham City to particularly Gothic places — his signature work being the Jeph Loeb-scripted Batman: The Long Halloween. This comic’s macabre portrayal of Two-Face influenced the version seen in the film The Dark Knight. Sale passed away on June 16, aged 66.

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