Q: You once said, “There’s a true innocence about monsters.” Is there something innocent about the monsters (vampires) in 30 Days of Night? A: In a way, I suppose. They are very pure and honorable among their own kind. They have about as much respect for us as we do cows, so killing humans doesn’t make them any less innocent than us for eating cows and chickens. I think animals and children under two years old are the only innocents left in this world. Monsters are often treated like animals, so . . .
Born in 1976, Benjamin König has been enamored with drawing and painting since his earliest years, when countless beautifully and creepily illustrated children’s books led a trail of breadcrumbs to his passion. Despite attempting several other professions (audio engineer, conservator, etc.), Benjamin always returned to his first love: drawing. He is now a freelance illustrator in Upper Bavaria, near Munich.
But there was one story that disturbed me in the more complicated way I would only later come to realize as a hallmark of the true genius of horror fiction. While the other stories left me with a kind of moonlit Halloween glow, this one put a spade into my settled earth and overturned it. I felt weirdly sick after reading it. I felt injured in some obscure way, as though it had betrayed a trust. The story was “The Monkey’s Paw,” by W.W. Jacobs.
This month, we have original fiction from Caspian Gray (“Centipede Heartbeat”) and Tanith Lee (“Doll Re Me”), along with reprints by Caitlín R. Kiernan (“Houses Under the Sea”) and Neil Gaiman (“Feminine Endings”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with acclaimed comics writer Steve Niles.
Buildings, and lives, are shaped by their authors. I love the idea of an architect creating a building without Euclidian geometry, where balls always roll into odd places, and floors creak, and when you look at the structure from outside, you have no idea how it stands. A Gaudi without the beauty or respect for nature. For me, that’s a metaphor for a life shaped by uncertainty, like our hero, Audrey Lucas’ life. She’s drawn to The Breviary because it’s familiar. Once inside, she’s shaped by it. Like a plant inside a small, glass cage where light comes from only one direction, she grows crooked.