Check your fear and get in gear — the VAN-PIRES are here!

The other day on Twitter, I asked people about their favorite weird 90s anthropomorphic animal-hero cartoons, for another project I'm working on. Someone skipped past the "animal" part of this question and shared this absolutely amazing gem of an opening credits sequence. Because this is a show about vans, that are also vampires, which live off of … gasoline, I guess?

I have no recollection of Van-pires. I was a pretty vociferous consumer of kids CGI sci-fi stuff, but maybe I was too old by the time it came out. The Wikipedia page claims it was a runaway hit that won "Sci-Fi Awards," although these claims come with no citations.

What is confirmable, however, is that the role of Tracula was played Jonathan Davis, the singer of the band Korn.

Do what you will with that information. Read the rest

"What We Do in the Shadows" returns to FX on April 15

"What We Do in the Shadows," Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's beautifully stupid vampire comedy, is out for more blood in season 2. The second season of the screwy, sharp-witted docu-satire premiers on FX on April 15, 10pm

Over the course of the season, the vampires will try to find their way in a world of human Super Bowl parties, internet trolls, an energy vampire who gets a promotion and becomes drunk on power and of course, all the ghosts, witches, necromancers, zombies and shadowy cloaked assassins who roam freely in the Tri-State area. Is Guillermo destined to be a vampire or a vampire hunter? Or maybe just a familiar for the rest of his life?


Image: Screengrab Read the rest

Just in time for Halloween, a new Hellmouth opens near Salem

Tewksbury, Massachusetts is about 15 miles south of Salem, New Hampshire and 25 miles west of Salem, Massachusetts. It's also 25 miles north of Watertown, Massachusetts, where Eliza Dushku was born and raised, and 25 miles northwest of South Boston, where famed vampire slayer Faith Lehane (Dushku's character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was born and raised.

Given that proximity, it's the logical place for a Hellmouth to open.

Authorities have officially blamed the problem on a "water main break." But anyone who's seen the third season of Buffy knows this is just a convenient excuse orchestrated by the ascendant demons who work at town hall. While there have not been any reported vampire sightings as of this time, Tewksbury is right next to Wilmington, where Massachusetts' sneakily-privatized and FOIA-immune NEMLEC SWAT Units are headquartered, which is kind of the same thing. Read the rest

Psychology professor who researchers "vampires" reportedly caught licking student's blood in class

Psychology professor Dr. Emyr Williams of Glyndwr University in Wales, UK researchers "real vampires" and often appears on television to discuss their blood-drinking lifestyle.

“We are talking about a group of individuals who believe they have a psychological need to consume blood," Williams has said.

Now an employment tribunal has revealed that after a female student somehow got a cut while in class, Williams allegedly wiped up the blood with his fingers and then licked them. The young woman reported the unusual behavior to one of Williams's PhD student, Helen Coleman, who reported it to school officials. Coleman alleges that the school didn't reprimand Williams but instead punished her, kicking her out of the PhD program.

“This is an extraordinary case," said Coleman's attorney. "We have never dealt with anything like this before.”

"'Extraordinary' claims Glyndwr University student 'turned vampire'" (Daily Post via Mysterious Universe) Read the rest

Drew Hayes' Fred the Vampire Accountant is back in 'The Fangs of Freelance'

Drew Hayes' Fred the Vampire Accountant is one of my favorites in the supernatural-folks-repeatedly-save-the-world genre. He's back in this fourth installment, even more accountant-y than ever.

Just because you are a creature of the dark and imbued with amazing skills doesn't mean you'll be interesting as an individual. Fred is an accountant who became a vampire looking for excitement. He found a whole lot of accounting work. The supernatural community doesn't have anyone who can reliably prepare their taxes, and so Fred. This is a wonderfully twisted view of a supernatural world.

Working for some of the most highly powered creatures in North America, but being a solo vampire left Fred vulnerable to more senior vampires co-opting and controlling both he and his accountancy. So Fred formed his own clan to maintain his independence and things went exactly as he planned, for about five minutes.

While the "I'm a boring vampire" schtick has largely worn out by now, the story and characters are wonderful. I really enjoyed learning more about Arch.

The Fangs of Freelance (Fred, the Vampire Accountant Book 4) via Amazon

Previously on Boing Boing:

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, The Vampire Accountant

Read the rest

George RR Martin's "Fevre Dream": the Lannisters as vampires

I first read George RR Martin's 1982 vampire novel Fevre Dream as a young teenager, around the time I was also discovering Anne Rice and a host of other "contemporary" vampire novels who were reinventing the genre; now, decades later, I've been transported anew to the slavery-haunted riverboat where Joshua York and Abner Marsh tried to tame the ancient vampire before it was too late.

Scientific study: real vampires don't want to be stereotyped

People who claim to be real vampires and must drink others' blood for energy are hesitant to talk to psychological counselors and other helping professionals about their lives because they fear being "judged as being wicked or evil or viewed as being psychotic, delusional or having a psychological problem," according to a new scientific study. Read the rest

The Awesome: ass-kicking girl monster-hunter FTW!

Eva Darrows's debut novel The Awesome features the most sarcastic, raunchiest, bad-ass-est heroine in recent YA history -- monster hunting has never been so outrageous.

"Vampire grave" from the 13th century unearthed

An archaeologist found a "vampire grave" in Bulgaria where a Medieval skeleton lies with an iron spike through its chest. Read the rest

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown: dangerous, bloody vampire YA novel

Holly Black's young adult vampire novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is everything a vampire novel should be: scary, angry, exciting and darkly sexy. It's a book that will make parents uneasy and give kids dangerous ideas. It's the lineal descendant of groundbreaking vampire stories like Poppy Z Brite's explosive debut Lost Souls, a hymn to the glory of a screwed-up adolescence, self-destructiveness as a learning opportunity, and the ferocious, unbreakable bonds of true friendship. It strong espresso to the weak tea of books like Twilight. With a shot of whisky. Read the rest

Vampire reborn babies

Spooky says: "Reborn baby dolls have been around for a few years now, and while some people love them so much they actually treat them like real babies, their ultra-realistic look creep a lot of people out. But one artist has managed to make these thing even creepier by making vampire reborn babies."

You Thought Reborn Babies Were Creepy? How About Vampire Reborn Babies? Read the rest

Garlic Twist

We’ve always used a standard, run-of-the-mill garlic press, probably just because it was what was in the drawer. It only used half the clove. It was a pain to clean. And stinky hands were hard to avoid. It’s a device whose engineering is outdated.

We were downtown recently, just having finished brunch, and decided to walk around the square. Just a couple of doors down we have a cute little kitchen store. It’s always a fun place to cruise, and as I’m checking out, with a brand-spanking new garlic press in my hand, there at the register is a box labeled Garlic Twist. It was the same price as the garlic press so I swapped.

This thing is awesome. Give the cloves a whack with the bottom of the press (it’s nice, sturdy acrylic). Remove the outer layer and toss them in the garlic twist. Slip the lid on and twist the top and bottom in opposite directions. Stop twisting when the garlic is the desired consistency. It works equally well with a single clove or a handful.

The package says you can also do ginger or olives or cherries. I haven’t tried that, but it should work just as well.

-- Melissa


Garlic Twist$17

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Garlic Twist

Know of a better tool, or need a recommendation? Submit a review or request! Read the rest

iZombie books 2 and 3: stylish comedy-horror comic goes from strength to strength

Last March, I reviewed the first iZombie collection, a new series of stylish, fun horror/comedy comics from Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. The series' premise is that Gwen Dylan is a recently risen zombie who isn't a mindless revenant, but rather is in full possession of her faculties, and will remain so, for so long as she keeps eating fresh brains. Not wanting to kill people, she gets a job as a gravedigger and snacks on the clients. While hanging around the graveyard, she befriends the ghost of a mixed-up hippie chick in go-go boots, and they add a were-terrier with a serious crush on her to their retinue, and now they're ready to start solving mysteries.

I just caught up with the next two volumes in the series: iZombie, uVampire and Six Feet Under and Rising and I'm pleased to report that iZombie moves from strength to strength, taking a kitchen-sink approach to eschatology that incorporates vampires, mummies, proper BRRRRAAAAAINNNSS zombies, poltergeists, and a sewn-together golem who has been scheming for centuries to bring about the end of the world by means cthulhoid.

The stories are both fun and suspenseful, and the creators are clearly going to great lengths to top each other with new kinds of clever weirdness. Each volume ends with a bunch of little metacomics that tell the back-story while borrowing the visual and storytelling styles of Casper the Friendly Ghost, Scooby Doo, and other comedy-horror forebears of the genre.

Having finished book three, I've pre-ordered book four at my local funnybooks emporium. Read the rest

A quick Q&A with Chuck Hogan, co-author of The Night Eternal

Chuck Hogan is the co-author, with Guillermo Del Toro, of The Night Eternal, which concludes their best-selling Strain trilogy. He is also the author of Prince of Thieves, recently filmed as The Town.

Q: Now that the Strain Trilogy is finished, is there anything that you would change about it if you were starting again?

A: Not realistically. Books and movies are never finished, only surrendered. There are always things you wish you could insert after the fact, but nothing about the trilogy feels lacking. We had a plan and we executed it, with many unforeseen twists and turns along the way. Read the rest