It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Halloween of course. Who doesn’t like a good scare every once in a while? Not to mention the beautiful tradition of Samhain, welcoming the darker half of the year and celebrating the end of the Harvest season.
This year I’m celebrating with some delicious pumpkin beer and reading from one of my newest favorites, Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books). Last year, author Grady Hendrix released My Best Friend’s Exorcism—a comically horrific tale of teenage friends growing up in the ’80s dealing with something a little more devilish than puberty. This year, he’s back with a journey through one of the most fascinating eras in pop publishing.
Paperbacks from Hell includes 350 full-color reprints of some of the “creepiest, weirdest and most gruesome covers ever produced” in the realm of fiction. The book’s eight chapters (with names like “Hail Satan,” “Weird Science,” and “Splatterpunks, Serial Killers, and Super Creeps”) dive deep into pulp publishing that in a way that will delight anyone with an interest in horror, design, illustration or the macabre.
Below are just a few of the images included in the book that has critics smiling.
’70s and ’80s Horror Books and their Covers
“Pure, demented delight.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Paperbacks from Hell is as wild as its source material.” —AV Club
“Grady Hendrix has written a hugely entertaining, lightning-paced and knowledgeable history. I love it!” —Mick Garris, creator of Showtime’s “Master of Horror”
“You may find yourself trying to stock up on old titles so you can get your fill of gloriously trashy scares.” —Bustle