There are plenty of blessings and curses to be found around the Internet, but I am fortunate enough to count more of the former than the latter. I cannot claim a dependency to the easiness with which information can be accessed, but it certainly comes in handy. As it happened in the case of Andrez Bergen’s “Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat”, one of the novels I loved reading in recent times and that without the existence of the Internet I would not have been aware of its existence. This excellent cross between post-apocalyptic and noir fiction left me dreaming of ““Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat” becoming a cult movie too if someday technology makes it possible for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall to play in a production directed by Ridley Scott.” Well, that might not be possible any time soon, but a graphic novel based on Andrez Bergen’s novel is on the brink of coming into existence. “Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat”, the graphic novel, is written and illustrated by Andrez Bergen together with his daughter, Cocoa Bergen, and adapts the story of the novel published in 2011 to a 130+ pages comic book, while at the same time includes minor tweaks for the key characters and their world and some plot elements that were not part of the original novel. To help turn this project into reality Andrez Bergen put together a crowdfunding campaign with the stretched goal of 3,500 Australian Dollars. The campaign proves to be successful so far, with 43 days to go before this crowdfunding enterprise is over the project is funded in a proportion of almost 70%. So, if you want to back this project up or if you want to learn more about Andrez Bergen’s “Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat” graphic novel you can find details at the Kickstarter page of this project.
Through “Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat” not only that I discovered a wonderful novel and a very interesting writer, but I was also once again delighted with the work made by a small press. Bold and nonconformist I am thrilled to see these independent publishing houses offering most of the times delightful little gems for the readers. One such small publisher, recently born, is Kraken Press, dedicated to dark fiction. Run by the energetic George C. Cotronis, illustrator, writer and editor, Kraken Press published 3 titles so far, a novella by Adam Aresty, “Recovery”, a collection of short stories, “Staring Into the Abyss”, signed by Richard Thomas and an anthology edited by George Cotronis, “American Nightmare”, with five other titles scheduled to be released this year. Another of Kraken Press’ future projects is “Aghast”, a new, bi-annual magazine of dark fantasy and horror short fiction. “Aghast” will be available in both print and digital formats, will feature original short fiction, each issue aiming for content between 30k and 50k words and each story being accompanied by a black and white illustration made by George Cotronis, who is also the editor of the magazine. To get this magazine started and to support the publishing of the first few issues George C. Cotronis created a crowdfunding campaign with a stretched goal of 1,000 Pounds, the project being backed in a proportion of 79% with 19 days left of this campaign. The first issue of “Aghast” already looks promising, it will feature original stories by Megan Arkenberg and Tim Waggoner, while other goodies besides this initial appearance would become available if certain funding stretch goals are reached, including an issue #0 with short stories by Gemma Files, Jonathan Maberry and Jeff Strand. You can find all these stretch goals and further information about “Aghast” at its dedicated Kickstarter page.