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Monday, April 19

13 Hosts - Horror Host Guidebook

I opened my scaremail this morning to find a creepy little package containing something I've been looking forward to for some time. It was a comic book called 13 HOSTS -  HORROR HOST GUIDEBOOK.

I was first approached by a guy named Brian Maze last year about this project. Brian is the brains behind this project, and it was his idea to do a comic book spotlighting various horror hosts. The title is obviously a play on words off the William Castle movie 13 GHOSTS. Brian wanted to know if I'd be interested in being one of the hosts spotlighted in the first issue, and I told him I'd be honored.

Brian is an amazingly talented artist - I LOVE his art. He has a cartoony style reminiscent of Bruce Timm that is clean and expressive. All the hosts' likenesses are captured perfectly, and the art is definitely the strong point of this project. In fact, the the full-length Dr. Gangrene caricature in the menu to the right of this blog is the drawing from my entry in this book.

The book itself is exactly what the title suggests, a guidebook to 13 individual horror hosts. Each host has one page dedicated to them, with a brief description of who they are and what their show is about. There are also several fake movie posters scattered throughout the book, along with two short one page comic strips and wrap around bookend pieces hosting the hosts, so to speak.

The cover features a woman in a tight red costume with dark hair holding a skull. I think this is a fictional horror host that Brian Maze created... but there is no mention in the book of who she is. Stranger still, she doesn't host the wrap around segments, which I found really odd. It would have made more sense to have the host on the cover host these segments too.

Each host has a number at the top of the page, starting with Penny Dreadful at #1 and ending with Count Gore DeVol at #13. My host page is featured on # 9, which actually suits me perfectly. I'm not really the superstitious type, but 9 has always been my lucky number - I was born September 9th (9-9) and that number just sort of seems to generally fall into place around me quite often. Kinda spooooky.

The final wrap up host bit is a two page instructional guide to how to be a horror host. It basically states that anyone can be a horror host and horror hosts have become the spooky equivalent of karaoke. Slap on a little makeup, pick a silly name and you too can be a horror host. I really couldn't disagree more. There is a lot more to horror hosting than singing along to other people's music. By making this comparison it basically cheapens all the hard work and hours and hours of writing, acting, editing, and producing a show that so many dedicated hosts put out there. .  I think this was intended as an inspirational pep talk for aspiring hosts, but they really missed the mark here. Totally discounts the part about talent, drive, dedication, and hard work and comes off kind of insulting, honestly.

This book is slightly smaller than a comic book and printed with a nice glossy cover. It has black and white interior art and a color cover, and overall turned out very nicely. It is definitely worth picking up for Brian Maze's art alone, and is the sort of unique project fans of horror hosts will really enjoy. There is possibly a second issue in the works, and it will be interesting to see which hosts it spotlights.

If you would like to order a copy go to:


  1. I think the end host segment was supposed to be funny... and it was. I think you missed the mark by taking it seriously. Also way to totally fail to mention that Mr. Lobo hosts the comic book... as well as writing everyone's descriptions. And you're right, he SHOULD have been on the cover.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks for the comment. If you found the final segment of the book funny, then great… I did not. I get that it was intended to be funny but still feel it demeans the hard work of hosts.

    You misread what I wrote - I said the host on the cover should have hosted the book. That is because she is an imaginary host. The purpose of this book was to spotlight all the various hosts, not just Lobo or me or any other individual host. That is why I feel that an imaginary host is most appropriate to host this book.

    Overall I am a fan of this comic. Brian Maze did an awesome job with the art. He really captured the likenesses of all the hosts.

    You are obviously a fan of Lobo’s. That is great – he does a fine show and I have nothing against him at all, and in fact I’ve had very friendly communications with him.

    By the way, way to totally fail to give your real name. If you’re going to write an insulting email at least have the cajones to give your real name.

  3. I didn't write anything Insulting, though kudos to you for printing it even though you felt insulted.

    Also I know what you meant when you were talking about the imaginary host... I didn't need that one spelled out for me. (That was also a joke)

    I think Mr. Lobo knows how much hard work goes into being a horror host and I also think that he knows how hard it is to write a comic. I believe that what was being addressed at the end of the comic was the current trend of people coming out of the wood work thinking it's going to be easy. Much like Mr. Lobo's tidbit in Rue Morgue "It's a great way to meet chicks and the money is amazing!" which I imagine is totally false.
    I am a general Horror Host fan which is why I was reading your blog. I respect you and what you do and I believe that Mr. Lobo probably does too. I just think it's incredibly disrespectful and tacky to review a book and not even mention the author -- Especially when the author is a fellow horror host.

  4. Hi Benita - Thanks for reading the blog, commenting back, and the compliment. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Eric yet but am sure we'll get along great when we do. I have enjoyed meeting my fellow horror hosts when I've had the opportunities in the past.

    As for this comic, I do not know why Brian Maze, who is the publisher of this book, felt it necessary to even have a host, honestly. You enjoyed the wrap around segments, I think Lobo used them for self promotion, and we already discussed the comments at the end. But hey, it is Brian's book and his decision - but to me the strength of the book is the art, the weakness the writing. I avoided mentioning Lobo because I wasn't going to say anything negative, but rather focus on the positives of the book.

    So we have a difference of opinion - like adults we can agree to disagree. That's what I love about the horror community - we may not always agree but in the end we're all fans of the same genre.