The Week in Horror: Denny O’Neil, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue

Happy Monday, fiends. I hope you’re all doing well out there Wacky Land. I’ve been trying to take a couple days from being immersed in the news, which continues to be one of the biggest shit shows I’ve ever seen in my life. New horror news worth reporting is still coming in at a sad trickle, but I’ll keep delivering to you what I can find.

We lost a great writer and editor this week. Denny O’Neil edited the Batman titles at DC when I became a hardcore collector. I was ten or eleven years old when O’Neil oversaw the death of Jason Todd in A Death in the Family and Batman getting his back broke by Bane in Knightfall, relaunched The Question with Denys Cowan, created Azreal with Joe Quesada, and launched the Batman; Legends of the Dark Knight series with Ed Hannigan. My main title was Detective Comics, O’Neil’s name was always there as editor and in the back pages with the fan letters. He was a good shepherd for the Bat-books. But his legacy goes back into the 60s, writing Doctor Strange and X-Men for Marvel, then various titles at Charlton, but where the Denny O’Neil we all know and love really made a name for himself, was when he came to DC in 1968. Sure, he’s responsible for taking away Wonder Woman’s powers for a bit, but he made Green Arrow and Green Lantern cool and vital characters and with Neal Adams, he relaunched Batman as a darker and gritty crime-fighter more than a decade before Frank Miller stole that credit with The Dark Knight Returns. I know, O’Neil isn’t really a horror guy, but I consider Batman a horror adjacent character (and if you have to ask why then you probably don’t know anything about the character) and aside from that, he deserves to be celebrated for all he brought to comic book writing. He changed how stories were told and his influence still resonates today.

ABKCO will be releasing the big Arrow boxset of early Alejandro Jodorawsky films, which include Fando y Lis, El Topo, and Holy Mountain for North America. The set is identical to the Arrow set in every way, except the company logo changes. Um, yea, this is also more horror adjacent I guess, but Jodorowsky is a powerful storyteller and you should make room in your life for his films. Besides Sante Sangre is one of my favourite horror films.

Severin Films will be releasing a 4k restoration and steel book of the classic Spanish/UK zombie film, directed by Jorge Grau, Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue. I only saw this film for the first time a few years ago and really fell in love with it. It’s such a smart and well-done film and the box art for the new release is truly stunning.

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