Hello out there in Internet land!
I hope wherever you are you are safe, loved and that you are not dealing with sweltering heat. It has been a record high here in Berlin the last week 30ºC (90f). And it’s just the beginning of summer, so I am not looking forward to what the rest has to bring. I am by no means a summer person, I am a heavily tattooed pale AF person, so naturally I walk in the shade most days. I have thought of buying a parasol, but not sure I can bring myself to be so Morticia Addams.
This month's women in horror blog is something I truly love: podcasts. I can listen to them while I paint, draw, walk my pups or just chill with an elderflower gin fizz at the end of the week and enjoy some killer stories. It's one of the things I really love about the internet, being able to connect to all these incredible people and learn something new with each podcast. So without further ado, let's stay inside, get cosy with a fan and stay cool with this months blog on women in horror - podcasts edition.
This has been my favorite podcast to listen to for the last half year outside of The Lore podcast. Mabel was my first introduction into audio drama plays. I was very happy to find it one rainy night last year. I was searching for a spooky tale to listen to, while painting because it keeps me in the right mood to create my own art. The instant I listened to the first episode it brought me back to when my mother used to read stories to me and play out the voices in a dramatic way, the characters would feel more alive and I'd be entranced.
Mabel is haunting tale, following the paths of two young women, Anna and Mabel on a journey to find each other and themselves. I’m not going to spoil it for you with more, because you really need to listen to it to understand how wonderful it really is. Full of haunting, evil things, supernatural beings of great power and destruction,
with two women at the centre of it trying to find their way to each other and along the way falling in love.
Yes! A queer macabre love story! It hits all of my buttons. :D
The production level of this podcast is brilliant, the sounds are crisp, clear, the effects make me feel like I am wandering a gothic haunted house with the characters. I have honestly creeped myself out many a night by listening to this podcast alone in my flat with only this and dim lights on because I like it like that!
Mabel is written by Becca De La Rosa and Mabel Martin.
Find them here or if you have itunes subscribe there!
P.S Here is some killer fan art by Annalise Jensen find their work here
Host April Wolfe talks to female identifying directors, film creators, writers, producers and pairs their current projects with a genre movie, current, past or present.
April Wolfe is wickedly smart, well researched and holds engaging conversations with her guests. I love finding out about new movies and their creators, especially when they are made by women. The juxtaposition between the guests project and the genre movie almost always hold an interesting connection.
My personal favorite so far has been the discussion about the Witches of Eastwick and director Ramaa Mosley. Hearing about her process of creation in film in relation to the movie was informative. To a non film tech person like me, hearing how complicated movie setups can be, brought a whole new level of appreciation of film as an art form to me. Also hearing about the time constraints, money issues, sponsors and interpersonal relationships between directors, the actors and their crew. I had no idea how complex this all was. Even convincing towns to let you film there! It's amazing films get made at all, but here we are 2018 with some great films.
After hearing about her process, I want to watch Ramaa Mosley’s movies, one in particular The Brass Teapot. In short, it is about a couple that finds a brass teapot and find out that if they hurt themselves the teapot gives them money, armed with this knowledge what lengths will they go to with this new power. Mosley also has a new film that came out last year Tatterdemalion that sounds more supernatural and is definitely on my to watch list for June.
Find out more about Switchblade Sisters here and tune in for some seriously informative film discussions. Also available on itunes!
A positive meeting on twitter, yes there are great things about twitter and that’s meeting new cool people. Augie Peterson won my heart by engaging positively with me and being super supportive of people who work in the horror genre. She even plugs other people's podcast before starting her own which I find lovely. In the days of trolls and gatekeepers, it’s a blessing to find a kindred person. The same goes for Danni from the Freaky Fandom podcast which I will talk about later on in this blog.
Augie Peterson, in her kind voice, reads her original short horror stories and sometimes also does genre movie reviews. I personally enjoy her reading stories more. I love when authors translate their stories to podcast it gives them another dimension, another level of connection with the creator. You can hear how they want their characters to sound and the tone of the story can either be clear or purposefully misguided as to give you more suspense when the end comes. Most of her stories have an unsetting edge to them that land on the darker, sometimes bloody side. I also enjoy the shorter format, I’m a sucker for horror anthologies full of short stories that give you glimpses into different worlds. It’s almost like being able to travel between world dimensions and experience life in different planes of existence for a short time and then get whisked back to reality. And Augie delivers this lovely feeling in her podcasts so well. My favorites so far are a bloody sci-fi thriller "The Envelope" and a disturbing tale of demented love in "Her name is Luna." Oh and the one read by James Raymond "Wishful Thinking" was amazing, his voice is beautiful and displays her story with an added layer of elegance. Looking forward to listening to the second and third installations of that story later this week! Honestly there are so many great stories, so pick one and dive right into the spooky goodness.
Find her work here or if you have itunes subscribe there!
Monsters Out of the Closet is a audio play podcast created by two queer women Nicole Calande and Shriya Venkatesh, which shines a queer lens on horror stories. It is excellently produced, has amazing voice actors, and an atmosphere within each story that really sets you in the mood, engulfs you in that world via fantastic earthly sounds and unearthly soundscapes.
After much searching for queer horror anything I was excited to come across Monsters Out of the Closet- an audio play podcast similar to the setup of old radio shows. I can’t tell you how great it is to find horror stories with queer characters. Being a queer woman myself I have rarely seen any characters like me in horror or other genre narratives, or if I have it’s been relatively few that were good representations. Thankfully that is changing, but it still has a long way to go before there is equal representation for LGBTQ+ people in genre narratives.
The first story that hooked me was a familiar Zombie story titled Journey’s, on MOTC. It's a story of two men who had gone on a bad tinder date and the zombie apocalypse had broken out during/after? (not exactly clear on the when), but it was the icing on their already bad date night. Trapped in a car, not sure where to go, their only comfort a radio person, a woman reporting on where to go for safety. It’s a fun story with a lot of relatable moments. I think it’s the humanity of this story that gets me and that I can see a story from a point of view not often seen, is what makes it great for me. I think this one and the story Haunt are favorites of mine so far. They both have a positive air to them about love, loss, being a flawed human being and embracing who we are.
In the end it's the stellar production and the queer lens that makes this podcast an instant hit for me. We live in a big wide world with all kinds of beautiful people it’s life-giving to hear horror and macabre narratives from our global rainbow community. More of these podcasts please!!
P.s I will be doing a blog project on Queer People in Horror come the end of the year, so keep them eyes peeled!
You can find the podcast here and if you are so enthralled by them sign up for their Patreon and support queer women in horror creators!
Freaky Fandoms co-hosted by Danni and Hawkins discussing the freaky movies, vid games, comics, books and more that we all love to enjoy. As I am relatively new to the podcast I am just getting a feel for the type of relationship the two hosts have and so far it has been super casual and fun. I am a fan of swearing in real life so when I heard it in their podcast it made me smile. It immediately makes it more informal, like you’re just hanging out with friends having a good time and talking about your favorite fandoms.
My first podcast of theirs was about the fandom surrounding Nightmare Before Christmas because I was a big fan and I still watch it every Christmas. I have never enjoyed the holiday of Christmas in general so this is my one tradition around the holiday. Listening to the podcast was informative, funny and insightful. Each host had their own fav things about it and the not so great things. Like how Sally could be perceived as annoying to an overly egotistical Jack and the problematic male story line of a genius that causes havoc, but is excused eventually because of some self-awareness. A sadly too often portrayed male role with little depth. I of course enjoyed Jack’s transformation from narcissistic leader to introspective semi aware being later in the movie. One of the positive mentions was the gang of creepy kids Lock, Shock and Barrel, that worked for Jack also some of my personal favs characters.
Both hosts also commented on the gatekeeping that unfortunately happened around the film/fandom which is a problem that should be discussed with fandoms in general. It would be great if we could educate people that we can all enjoy things, we do not own the fandoms and we should all be happy more macabre stories are becoming accepted. I for one don't miss being called a freak for just enjoying horror movies or making creepy art. But with the wide acceptance of things it has it's own problems, which they also talked about. With wide acceptance sometimes comes the over-merchandising of the fandom, case in point Hot Topic's over-production of the fandom, also to the point of Marilyn Manson covering some of the songs? Thankfully I never heard that so my brain is safe for now. All in all a fun, informative listen that kept me thinking, laughing and smiling for the better part of my morning work hours.
Oh and personal bonus for me both hosts are fans of dark artists and Danni is actually a pretty great artist herself. Check out her twitter for some stellar art! Plus Danni and I connected on twitter over our mutual love of Amanda Fucking Palmer so high fives all around for that!
Looking forward to getting into more this week. Next stop will be their podcast on The Cabin in the Woods!
Well, that finishes it for this month's podcast edition, these are some stellar podcasts so pic your favs and go give them a listen. I'll be back next month with a second edition of women in horror podcasts. I seriously had to make this a two parter, because I sent out a request on twitter for people's favorite women in horror podcasts and I got an AMAZING response with so many stellar new podcasts that I could not fit them all into one blog. Big thanks to all who suggested some, I cannot wait to get into more podcasts! If you want to keep up to date on all of my shenanigans or talk art/horror, follow me on twitter @JessFonk I'm always down for a good chat and meeting new people.
Until next month stay cool and enjoy the start to summer!
All of this was made possible by my awesome patrons over at Patreon! If you would like to support my art or writings head on over and check out my tier rewards for all levels :D I believe everyone should be able to enjoy art and it's why I keep my patreon on the affordable lines, while also supporting my needs as a self-employed horror artist.