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Water for Elephants, movie review by Dee Marie

Water for Elephants is not a “Horror movie.” It is, however a movie steeped in symbolism. Embroiled within the sadistic, surrealistic world of the Benzini Brothers Circus, the emotional and physical abuses that both humans and animals are forced to endure are horrific.

Without question, Hollywood tends to destroy the integrity of award-winning novels when converting them to film. So, when the news broke that my all-time favorite book, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, was being adapted into a movie, I was both elated and apprehensive. Understandably, condensing the 350 page novel into a 122 minute film was a necessary evil. Due to time-constraints, pivotal storylines were excluded (the elderly Jacob’s back story), and minor plot changes were made (morphing the characters of horse director and animal superintendant August, and circus owner/ringmaster Uncle Al, being the most significant).

Although this historical romance is set during the Great Depression; the movie begins with a shot of the main character, Jacob Jankowski (Hal Holbrook), in his twilight years; standing dazed and confused in the parking lot of a 21st century traveling circus. Charlie (Paul Schneider), the circus manager, takes pity on the old man. Offering him refuge in his office; Charlie soon discovers that, Jacob, in his youth, bore witness to one of the major catastrophes of circus history.

As the old man begins to weave his tale, the audience is transported to 1931. A cocksure, youthful Jacob (Robert Pattinson) is taking his final examine at the prestigious Cornwall University, in Ithaca, New York; within hours of earning his degree in veterinary medicine. Upon opening his examine book, the door opens to his classroom: immediately tragedy strikes.

Following a string of devastating circumstances, Jacob is left monetarily and emotionally a broken-man. With his hopes and dreams shattered, he abandons his once perfect life. In the dead of night, Jacob hops a moving train to an unknown destination. Within moments of setting off on his new adventure, he becomes embroiled within the sadistic, surrealistic world of the Benzini Brothers Circus. To pay off his debt for “riding the rails” of the circus boxcar, uninvited, Jacob is eventually hired as the Benzini Brothers Circus’ resident veterinarian … succumbing to the realization that his past will always be a part of his future.

During his short stint employed as the keeper of the menagerie’s well-being, Jacob’s world is turned upside-down. As he plunges deeper into the immorality of his new environment, Jacob does his best to cling to the values that his Polish immigrant parents instilled in him. Throughout the movie, Jacob’s inner-struggle between just-and-unjust causes his moral compass to constantly wobble from its true north.

Along his forced journey into manhood, Jacob becomes immersed in the pleasures and repulsions of circus life. His initial meeting with August (Christoph Waltz), the paranoid schizophrenic owner and ringmaster of the Benzini Brothers Circus, ends in Jacob’s first near death encounter. Yet, it is Jacob’s attraction to August’s beautiful wife, Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), and the scene stealing Rosie (Tai) the elephant, that seals the young man’s fate … trapping Jacob in a world that he detests for its cruelty, yet is bound to by unconditional love.

The lead actors in “Water for Elephants” do a remarkable job of breathing life into their characters. Rob Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz’s love triangle was wrought with tension. Plus, the chemistry between Pattinson and Witherspoon brought an undeniable reality to the lovers forbidden desire for one another. However, it was the bond between man and pachyderm that stole the movie. Both Rob Pattinson, and his elephant co-star Tai, displayed a gentle, child-like wonder to each other. The scenes they shared overflowed with on-screen magic.

Water for Elephants is a novel written for adults; sexuality among consenting adults is a common theme throughout the novel; as well as physical and mental abuse to both humans and animals. The movie plays down the sexual aspects of the book, and all explicit raunchy scenes were removed, replaced by sensuality and implied speculation.

Although the cruelty to humans and animals remain, most of it has been either watered-down, or hidden behind closed doors. In the novel, cruelty fueled and intensified the plot; in the movie it propels the love story. Several plot twists, and minor characters were also condensed, causing the movie version of Water for Elephants to, at times, feel rushed. However, it is evident that the changes to the novel’s plot, by screenwriter, Richard LaGravenese and director Francis Lawrence, were made with diligence and respect to the original material.

Besides the perfect casting, the film was beautifully costumed and filmed. Similar to the research that author Sara Gruen incorporated into her novel; strict detail was given to recreating the gritty underworld of circus life during the depression era.

Water for Elephants, does not duplicate the novel. Yet, it stays true to the fundamental elements of the storyline. The costumes and cinematography are a feast to the eyes, and Oscar-worthy performances were given by Rob Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, and yes, even Tai the elephant.

If you have read Water for Elephants, you will love the movie. If you haven’t read the novel, I highly suggest that you view the movie and read the book: both are indulgent worthy.

5 out of 5 stars Rated PG-13 for moments of actual and implied violence, and mild sexual content
Running Time: 122 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay By: Richard LaGravenes (adapted from the novel by Sara Gruen)

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Don’t Mean to Be Gothic

The dark clouds on the horizon may have a silver lining, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be lighting and thunder associated with the social changes that are sweeping the planet. I don’t mean to be gothic about this, but what if the perceived push for freedom in the Middle East and North Africa is not what it appears to be?
Like the rest of the world, I’ve been watching the protests and unrest spread across the Middle East and North Africa like a wild fire gone out of control. At first it appeared these protests were fueled by the human need for basic freedoms. It was riveting to watch this wave of rebellion against oppression crash against the shores of the established governments like a tsunami.

However, when I saw this interactive map on ABC News and was chilled by the thought, what if things are not as they appear? What if in fact these protests were a coordinated effort by Al Qaeda to gain control of strategic countries and the all powerful oil producing countries?

Perhaps I am being a bit paranoid. But, it does seem seriously suspicious to me because of what appears to be coordinated timing and select locations. How better to gain world wide support than to use familiar symbols of freedom as their push for change?

If they honestly want basic human freedoms. Cool! Let’s start by allowing women some basic freedoms, like not having to wear veils without the fear of being stoned. I know some very wonderful people that are Muslim. In my mind its their choice if they want to wear veils or not. At least, in theory, it should be the choice of the woman that decides whether she wants to wear a veil or not. There is a good article about how much confusion and dispute exists even among Muslims about the status of the niqab (face veil) in Islamic law. It states there are some Muslims who reject it vigorously but they agree with the headscarf. There are other Muslims who accept it while feeling that it is an extra thing and a recommended act but not obligatory. But, there are also Muslims who assert that it is the required form of modest dress for women. This last group is very vocal and gets a lot of attention. (For the full article, please visit:

I honestly don’t mean to get gothic, dark or pessimistic about this. However, the US has on more than one occasion supported groups by providing them with weapons, training and money and later discovered what a mistake that was. I hope that we all proceed with caution and prudence. Without considering the possibility that these events may or may not be an orchestrated effort to gain control of a large portion of the world’s oil supply by Al Qaeda we could well pay a much higher price than the one at the pump!

By the way, where are all the affordable electric and hydrogen cars? Since we missed the boat back in the 1970’s, we really need to get on with letting go of our extreme dependence on oil.

And, that’s my two cents from the Political Gothic Peanut Gallery.
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MASKS is a dark story with stunning visuals

Gothic Blend is excited to share an update to our previous review of MASKS. MASKS is a dark story with stunning visuals written and illustrated by Aaron Rintoul and published by Septagon Studios. After the successful Free digital release of MASKS #1, Septagon Studios has gone on to release the full MASKS mini series digitally along with the hardcover graphic novel and 5 Bonuses.

MASKS is a photographic poem and exploration into the nature of identity. The story takes place inside the psyche of a girl named Sara. Sara sees pieces of the past lives of others and memories of her own as she follows a phantom killer and his victims through a distorted reality.

MASKS #1 was one of the most downloaded and popular indie comics on Wowio. Since then MASKS has built a cult following and has garnered some spectacular reviews such as:

“MASKS is very much a feast for the eyes…you’ll kick yourself if you miss this one.” –Ain’t It Cool News

“This is by far one of the most breathtaking graphic novels I have seen.” –Gothic Blend

“Masks is visually entrancing and the story reads like a poem.” –

“For fans of Dave McKean or film-maker Guillermo Del Toro, writer/artist Aaron Rintoul’s debut effort is a class act.” –Comic Book Jesus

“The images are at once beautiful, evocative and haunting.” –Comics And…Other Imaginary Tales

MASKS creator Aaron Rintoul says, “my intention with MASKS was to make something highly original that I had never seen done in comics before and a book the reader would want to open up more than just once. Hope you enjoy it!”

Masks Comic Trailer from Septagon Studios Inc on Vimeo.

MASKS also has one of the most unique and creative comic trailers the industry has to offer. It is a combination of live action, animation and comic art woven together seamlessly with an original soundtrack to capture the tone and mood of MASKS. The trailer was produced by Philip Carrer with Bleeding Apple film collective.

“It’s been a pleasure collaborating with talented artists like Aaron and Philip and we are excited to share the full series of Masks with comic fans,” said Nick Defina, president of Septagon Studios.

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American Horror Story Goes Gothic.

The creators of American Horror Story have announced that Season 3, subtitled “Coven”, will take place in the Gothic setting of New Orleans and Kathy Bates will be joining the cast!

The creators of American Horror Story have announced that the next season of the edgy, creepy hit from FX will be set in the eerily appropriate location of New Orleans.

Much to the excitement of fans, several of the past sessions stars seasons will be returning, including Jessica Lange. To add a new element, Kathy Bates will be making her American Horror Story debut for the new season.

The third season of American Horror Story will reportedly feature witches. The news about witches appears to have previously leaked out, which caused some fans to conclude that season 3 would be in Salem, especially since the subtitle for this season is “Coven”. However, the rumors and speculation were put to rest when it was confirmed the new season would be set in New Orleans.

I am eager to see where the story line will go with incorporating witches this season. Previous seasons have included alien elements along with ghosts, murder and insanity with a story line that is wickedly crafted to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Reports say the show will be shooting on location this year. Hopefully that location will actually be in New Orleans which would add to the authenticity of the show. American Horror Story: Coven will begin filming this summer.

It will be interesting to watch the dynamic drama between the likes of Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange, both of which bring considerable talents to the table. I am looking forward to seeing what time period it will be set in and how they will portray witches and covens during that time in New Orleans. There are so many places they can go with this!

Who will be the witch will remain to be seen. But, if the writers hold true to the past two seasons no matter who plays what part, it will be worth watching this Gothic drama unfold, especially when you factor in the flavor and history of a setting such as New Orleans.

If you have never watched American Horror Story, I must warn you first, it is NOT for the timid, nor the faint of heart. American Horror Story is suspenseful, graphic and violent and depicts the worst, and sometimes the best, that humans can do, and have done, to one another.

Regardless of all the reports, fans of American Horror Story are already, eagerly awaiting American Horror Story: Coven, coming to FX October 17th, 2013.

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A modern day, urban Goth horror

Finally, another book review worth sinking my teeth into! I am delighted to share some insight behind the covers of Blood Feud, The Saga of Pandora Zweiback by Steven A. Roman. This modern day, urban Goth horror will have readers turning the pages to discover how Pandora comes to terms a very old problem…encountering the monsters among us!

It has been theorized that people with mental illness may not be really “crazy”, they just may be seeing more clearly through the “veil” between the worlds. In the case of sixteen-year-old Pandora Zweiback, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and not taking her medication, this theory rings true. The problem is, who will believe she is actually seeing the monsters among us?! And what can she do about those monsters even if people did believe her?

Well written by Best Selling Author, Steven A. Roman, this story made me feel right at home with it’s pop-culture references to some of the haunts I frequent such at Deviant Art and Hot Topic. Steven made it easy to identify with Pan as she wrestles with her grasp on reality. It was refreshing to read a story where the parents are genuinely supportive of their teen, in spite of the incredible claims Pan makes and the situations they find themselves thrust into.

Blood Feud, The Saga of Pandora Zweiback is a fast moving story that is appropriate for teens and adults. It does have some violence, as would be expected when monsters are included

and “Blood” is in the title.

I was quickly lured into the plot. However, the ending was a cruel cliff-hanger that made me curse the author (You know who you are and what you did 😉 for not having Book 2 available – NOW! I wait with bated breath for Book 2.

For more information on Blood Feud, The Saga of Pandora Zweiback and Pandora herself, please visit:

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Infinitum talks to author Rich Orth.

Infinitums Gothic Blend is especially privileged to be joined by Rich Orth. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and visit with us.

Tell us a little bit about who Rich Orth is.
Well, let’s see….I write dark poetry and also write lyrics for the amazing Horror Rock band DemonBoy! I am from Philly! Writer of poetry for just a few years…I like strolls in secluded parks and walks upon stormy beaches….I am the darkest happy person you shall ever meet..well, maybe.

Your poems deal with the darker side of life, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I thrive to be Dark, interesting and thought provoking. If I attain any of those 3 I did ok. My main inspirations are my wife, Lora & my daughter Caitlin….the thought of any loss of love brings about a cry from the soul………that line is now a teaser as that will be a new poem ..

Do you find that your ideas to write new material come at specific times of the day?
What an interesting question….I write anywhere, in bars…in my house ..driving in the car(My POEtry in Motion) I write almost any second except when at work…it gives me 50 hours a week to think a different way.

Can you give us some insight on your writing process?
I see something..hear a phrase ..and write….inspiration is at every turn…method to my madness is..take advantage of that moment and write quickly.

How long does it take you to write a new book?
I have many years of product….and I write constantly…sometimes several a day..but always at least 100 a year. I have at least 2 to 4 books worth as I write this, but I want and need to do a children’s book on my Siberian Husky Sobe ..he survived a stroke and much else…Then back to the DARKNESS!

Who are your main influences?
First and foremost Poe has been my literary inspiration. Some Lovecraft…also Hammer Films and William & Terry Castle as inspirations and mentors…Terry Castle is one of the greatest mentors ever, Terry made me , not just a poet, but a writer…sometimes it is just things in daily life. I see things in a different light than others…albeit a darkness!

You currently have one book of poetry published, POEtry Girls. Are you working on a second book?
Book 2 shall rise from the grave before February 14…Titled POEtry Girls II…Bloody Tis My Valentine! My literary agent, Wednesday Corey, wife Lora and longtime friend, Sherree Kopple are putting the package together. I am more involved, but will be and am still proud to be sharing the book with my fans via JWK Publishing!

The cover art on your book is beautiful. Who was the artist and how did you come in contact with them?
The cover is a manipulated version by William Cook of the artwork of my Dearest Raven…by the incomparable Alexander Kautz! Alex will be doing the cover art this time also…Alex is my Brother in the truest form and taking this journey with him, god it makes it sweeter! We met through the great horror producer/Director William Castle’s page and his dear daughter Terry…without Terry & Bill, the world would have missed out on many a wonderful collaboration by Alex & myself!

You also write lyrics for Demon Boy. How did you come in contact with Demon Boy and do you write all of the lyrics for his songs?
DB & I have been friends for several years. We met towards the demise of myspace and have been close ever since. DB loved my poem Cemetery Girl..He combined it with another of my poems and our 1st collaboration came to fruition. Since then we have done Zombie Dance & This Halloween..and we have much more in the works. I am not the sole lyricist, but we collaborate quite often..DB inspires my darkness!

What has been the biggest surprise along the way?
Wow…so many…1st is that people like my Poetry! I know many say its good..great. whatever…I am a skeptic…but friends and fans are changing my mind daily! Many things other than being published are the biggest are some of the best……. 1…My Poetry is part of the curriculum of an Italian High School…to proceed into a college you must pass me on your Maturity exam… 2. My book was seen in a movie..The Gilgo Beach Murders…To see it on the big screen at the Premiere was so ***** cool…Thanks to Wednesday Corey, LC Macabre, Adam Ginsberg & Joe DiPietro 3. I have my poem..My Night as Poe walled up inside the Poe Cottage in the Bronx NY…What an honor!! 4. Thanks to The Gilgo Beach Murders and the above mentioned I will be doing my 1st official book signing at The Macabre Film Festival in NY come mid January…..and I get to hang with DemonBoy for the entire weekend!

What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way?
Me……I doubt me daily…feel I might not be that good…Fortunately I have Wednesday & Lora to check myself..and so many friends and fans…They all make me better!

What words of encouragement would you give to other aspiring authors?
Go for it..I kept my work in a trunk for too many years..sharing only with the few…Give yourself up…bleed all over them…all you have to lose is anonymity ….

and as my final shout out.. To my Hockey following..sorry for the POEtry..
To my POEtry fans..sorry for the Hockey……………

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Seeking the Truth between normal and paranormal.

Gothic Blend is especially privileged to be joined by Seek the Truth Paranormal. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and visit with us.

When was Seek the Truth Paranormal founded and where are you based?
We are based out of Muncie Indiana and formed back in February of 2011. We’ve had our ups and downs since then but have only grown stronger from each experience.

How many members do you have on the team?
We have a core group of three founders Rachel Conwell, Mark Fowler and DeWaine West. We also have a few fellow investigators we can call up for larger locations or just to change up the teams line up. We also love to have guest investigators join us from time to time as well, to help give a fresh energy to the group.

Do team members specialize in specific areas of paranormal investigation?
We try to all keep up on new investigation techniques, idealy we’d love for all of our crew to have the same base knowldge of the equipment we use as well as a basic knowledge of varying paranormal topics. When one of us hear a new theory or technique we bring it to the rest and work together to learn the best way to adapt it into our investigation techniques.

What type of tools do you use and which have given you the best results.
We use a wide variety of equipment from modified hande held video cameras and audio recorders to infrared night vision security cam systems to capture video and audio. But aside from the standard video and audio eqiupment we also use things like an E.M.F. meter for detecting electromagnetic fluctuations in the environment as well as, custom made static field sensors to measure both possitive and negative fields of static electricity. We use a lot of equipment over all including infrared digital thermometers for measuring the tempature in any area and an E.M.F. pump which generates an electromagnetic field some believe the entities can feed off of to become more “active” One of our favorite tools that have given us a lot of great intelligent responses has been the SB7 Spirit Box. We’ve had it give us direct names and even an S.O.S. response to knocking on the floor.

How many investigations have you done?
We currently have 12 or 13 cases under our belts as Seek the Truth Paranormal. We are working on more cases for 2014, already have a few lined up for this year so we are looking foraward to what kind of evidence each case will bring as each one is always diferrent.

which investigation was the most active in regards to paranormal activity?
It’s hard for us to say which was our most active as each case has yielded plenty of evidence and experiences to say that are each having paranormal events. It really depends on the person, each person in our group has had varying experiences at a given location so to each of us all of our cases have been equally active, as for strict evidence return, we tend to catch E.V.P.’s or electronic voice phenomenon at every location.

The teams popularity on FaceBook is really growing. How many people are now following Seek the Truth Paranormal?
We currently have a combined following of roughly 3 to 4 thousand folks from all age ranges. Our case episodes are posted to our youtube channell. We’d like to thank each and every one of them as well for their continued support, we’ll always stay true to our fans/friends cause to us they are our extended paranormal family.

Most paranormal investigations seem to take place at night. Can you do investigations during the day?
The age old debate of day time versus night time investigating. Personally our group from research and experience we tend to believe activity happens at anytime of day or night. We have noticed though in a lot of cases which are termed “residual hauntings” can take place day or night yet most cases which have what is known as an “Intelligent Haunting” seem to happen mostly at night. What the reason for this is we don’t know it’s just an observation made while studying multiple cases over time.

Do you charge for your services?
No, we have never asked for payment of our services. We don’t feel it’s just to ask to be paid for something that isn’t able to be fully explained nor proven. After all the field of paranormal research is just that, research. Proven facts are hard to come by in this field as it’s still not taken as serious science and to us it should be. We do accept donations all of which goes directly back into the group for equipment or to help with gas or cover charges to certain locations. No one from our group benefits personally from donations.

If someone thinks they have paranormal activity can they contact Seek the Truth Paranormal to perform an investigation?
Yes but due to the fact we are a non profit group we are restricted to budget restraints. We are willing to go up to 4 or 5 hrs drive time from Muncie Indiana if needed. We never charge a client and provide our own resources while there and after the case is over, if the client wants it we provide them with a copy of all our findings as well as additional help if needed.

Have you ever considered doing a reality type TV show?
We would love to do a television show at some point down the road if possible but only if we could retain creative control of both the show and group. We want to stay true to our name Seek the Truth and our message of paranormal unity, as long as a producer is willing to let us be honest about what we find if we find anything, cause a lot of times that happens..So if we can stay true to our family and true our cause then we’d love to take it to that next level but for now Youtube works alright, when it’s not freezing up from adds at least haha.

Visit Seek the Truth Paranormal on FaceBook –> Click here <–

Visit Seek the Truth Paranormal on YouTube –> Click here <–

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Gothic Start to 2016

The start of 2016 has been a Gothic one, full of death and shrouded in mystery. Does this Gothic beginning to 2016 mean there will be more mass deaths of animals, or is it simply a shift in the wind?
There have been many cases throughout history of mass death of fish, animals and people. However, the unusual number of mass animal deaths so close together has gotten a lot of attention and has left a very Gothic mark on the start of 2011.

Here is a brief list of the gruesome news reports in January 2011. I tried to find them all. However, I suspect this is not a complete list. If you find more ghastly news, please post it in the comments here so we can keep up with how 2011 is progressing.

Hopefully, this is simply a climate shift that is causing these situations and not the harbinger of more dark times to come. Only time will tell.

January 2, 2011 – More Than 1,000 Dead Birds Fall From Sky In Arkansas
January 5, 2011 – Dead Birds Fall From Sky In Sweden, Dead Fish Found In Brazil, New Zealand
January 5, 2011 – Hundreds More Dead Birds Fall From Sky In Kentucky
January 5, 2011 – Two Million Dead Fish in Maryland
January 6, 2011 – Dead Crabs Wash Ashore By Thousands On England Beaches
January 6, 2011 – Dead birds discovered in Davidson, Wilson counties, TWRA reports
January 10, 2011 – Dead Birds Fall From Sky In Italy: Mass Animal Death Mystery Solved?
January 11, 2011 – More Than 100 Dead Birds Found on California Highway
January 12, 2011 – Thousands of Dead Fish Along Lakefront
January 13, 2011 – 300 Dead Birds Fall From Sky In Alabama (VIDEO)
January 18, 2011 – 200 Cows Found Dead in Wisconsin
January 21, 2011 – 10,000 Cattle Dead In Vietnam: Cows, Buffalo Part Of Mass Die-Off

Is this the beginning of the end? Is the apocalypse is coming? Or, do you think it is simply a seasonal shift? Global warming? What do you think?
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Demon Boy – discover the man behind the mask and the music.

Gothic Blend Talks to “Demon Boy” the most threatening new horror rocker on the scene. Because of our passion for music and dark, theatrical stage shows, you KNOW we just had to talk to “Demon Boy” to discover the man behind the mask and the music.

Gothic Blend is especially privileged to be joined by Demon Boy. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and visit with us.

*GB – When did you come up with the Demon Boy concept?
*DB – I created the concept in late 2008 and in February 2009 I officially released Demon Boy to to the public at Comic Con in New York City in front of 20,000 people, within 4 short months and with the help of a story on Fangoria TV Demon Boy was recognized as a new and upcoming act and I was on my way.

*GB – Demon Boy has 2 albums to date. Demon Boy and Dawn of the Demon. Are both albums self-produced?
*DB – Yes, the demo Demon Boy was recorded in 2009 in Ohio at Strawberry Fields recording studio and Dawn of the Demon was recorded in 2010 with my writing partner and guitarist at the time Steve Noir. Steve played all the instruments on that album as well as lay down the instrument tracks at his home studio and I did all the vocal tracks here at my home studio. It really was incredible how the two of us put that album together.

*GB – Can you give us some insight on your song writing process? Do you write all of the lyrics and music?
*DB – I write the majority of it yes. But I do work with outside artists with some of the lyrics, Rich Orth being my favorite collaborator. He has written Cemetery Girl and Zombie Dance with me as well as some songs that will appear on the next album. The process I use is to simply stick to a Horror related theme, dead girls, zombie, graveyards…you know good stuff!

*GB – In regards to music who are your biggest influences?
*DB – Obviously Alice Cooper, I also really like Wednesday 13 and Rob Zombie. My singing idol is Frank Dimino from the band ANGEL. While I do not sound like Frank I am greatly influenced by his vocal styling and inflections.

*GB – Who is in the current Demon Boy band lineup?
*DB – Johnny Hellfingerz is on guitar, Ken Huskey on Bass and Joe Arena on Drums. We fill out the live stage with guest musicians when needed. Guitarist Bo Roca has been touring with us this year so far.

*GB – I’ve read that you have just signed a contract for a tour in Japan. When will the tour start and how many shows will you be doing?
*DB – Yes I have signed with Elisabeth Dupont management who has taken the reins of the band and is beginning to expose Demon Boy internationally, with the Japan tour being only the start of what’s to come. The tour will take place in 2013. As of yet I cannot disclose the dates or length of the tour. But it will be stadium shows all the way and will happen in 2013.

*GB – Do you have plans to tour in the USA or Europe?
*DB – Yes plans are in line to continue after Japan with trips to London, Germany and more.

*GB – The Demon Boy brand has many noteworthy items associated with it from comic books to latex horror masks to music. Do you write and create the art work for your comics?
*DB – I write the story line and discuss it with my artist Helmut Eppich who does the pencils. Helmut then scripts out the story for the books from our conversations and my telling of the main story lines. Its a long process taking as much as 8-10 months to produce just one issue.

*GB – Do you create the latex horror masks in the Demon Boy lab?
*DB – No, those are created by my costume and stage prop designer Nick Petty of LSD Masks. Other than his work for Demon Boy, Nick has a great line of costumed masks and other novelties.

*GB – What has been the biggest surprise along the way?
*DB – Hmm…can’t say I’ve had any surprises. Everything has pretty much gone to plan to far. When we created Demon Boy we had a 5 year plan of what our goals were to be. We have stuck to that plan very tightly and so far we we are way ahead of our projected expectations.

*GB – What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way?
*DB – Can’t say that there are challenges. I’ve been in the music business a long time prior to Demon Boy and know my way around. If anything the challenge is getting by all the morons that claim they can help but really can’t deliver anything at all. I get offers all the time that I am constantly turning down. But with my new manager Elisabeth Dupont running things all those problems have been dissipated. She really has brought me to a new level and we are quickly moving along.

*GB – Thank you for taking the time for the interview. Gothic Blend and your fans wish you much success as you continue to take the music industry by storm!
*DB – Thank you it was my pleasure to be here.. D.B

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Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion ~ book review by Dee Marie

Award-Winning Author Dee-Marie delves into intoxicating darkness of Warm Bodies. You won’t want to miss this unexpected and intriguing book review!

Long after you have read the last page, Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion, is a novel that will stick to you like zombie goo … … which is surprisingly … A Good Thing!

When it comes to devouring novels, I have a very eclectic palette. Even so, I was never a huge fan of the supernatural (aside from hobbits, fairies, and wizards). That is until I stumbled into the fairytale-world of novelist Martin Millar. His fetish for Buffy the Vampire Slayer spread through me like a virus. Once infected with stories of vampires and werewolves, I was hopelessly cursed with no cure in sight.

Yet, there was still a part of me that resisted the urge to delve into the dark waters of any media (books, television, movies) dealing with zombies. My prejudice dissolved after watching the movie, Warm Bodies. Instead of being repulsed, I found myself laughing one moment, moved to tears the next (not tears brought on by terror … but instead heart-tugging teardrops, the kind that seeps out unexpectedly).

Movies that are based on novels, especially good movies, always pique my curiosity. Yet, exiting the theater left me with a yearning that I had not expected. On my drive home, I found myself missing the characters. Maybe it was just the journalist (or perhaps the romantic) in me; but I had to fill the plot holes; mend the unhealed zombie lesions the movie adaptation left gaping within my imagination.

Although I downloaded the book version of Warm Bodies that evening, life (as it often does) got in the way of my reading schedule. Soon the answers that I so urgently craved became a distant memory …only to be reignited last night, as I idly thumbed through my Kindle library. Turning the first page of Warm Bodies, I became hopelessly transported into author Isaac Marion’s post-apocalyptic world. It wasn’t until the first rays of daylight seeped through my bedroom curtains, that I realized I had spent a sleepless night nested in a hive of zombies.

If pressed to describe Warm Bodies, in a single word, it would have to be … thought-provoking! Yes, I know technically that’s two words hyphenated … perhaps: brilliant or innovative would do? Thankfully this is not a Twitter book-review, because when an author tugs at my emotions, my reviews tend to be loquacious. Isaac Marion shredded my essence. His words shattered my heart with despair; gently gluing the pieces back together with a glimmer of hope.

At first glance, Warm Bodies is an expected tale of horror. Mindless zombies, driven by an insatiable hunger, seek the only food source that can sustain them: living humans. The author juxtaposes graphic details with the reader’s imagination, as he describes the carnage of flesh being torn from screaming victims, brains suckled, and limbs ripped from the not yet dead. At the same time he skillfully implies, that it’s not malice within a zombie’s heart that drives them to feed … after all, zombies don’t have hearts … at least not beating ones. They are simply doing what comes naturally, they eat to survive.

In the middle of the feasting frenzy, one zombie, whose name is simply R, suddenly resists the overpowering urge to devour the source that spawned his kind. Like a knee bone is connected to a thigh bone; R has a vision that is connected to a name. In turn, the name is connected to a female survivor. A spark of humanity is ignited within the zombie by a single word … Julie.

From that moment, Warm Bodies transformed from a typical horror story into an uncategorized genre. The novel teeters on the cusp of romance, interwoven with political intrigue, splattered with unanswerable spiritual queries. It is a study of utopia versus dystopia. It is a story that not only entertains, but dares readers to explore what motivates their political, environmental, and religious beliefs … to reflect upon both immortality, as well as modern morality.

Told from R’s point-of-view, the anti-hero explores the three distinct levels of his universe: The Living (humans), The Fleshies (zombies), and the Boneys (beyond-zombies). In disturbingly parallel scenes, R explores the differences, as well as the similarities, between humans and zombies. In a non-preachy manner, Warm Bodies, cautions readers to question the direction our society is headed: warning of the ramifications of our current path, at the same time giving an optimistic outcome for a better tomorrow.

The author scatters the storyline about like newly unboxed puzzle pieces, allowing readers to decide which society is truly uncivilized. At the same time, he prods readers to ponder what makes a civilized society civil; does a perfect formula exist that combines right-versus-might? Within the serious undertones of the subplots, dashes of humor are smattered about, with the cunning perfection of a novelist who knows his craft and understands his readers.

Like Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Isaac Marion’s provocative novel is destined to become a classic, not because of the monsters, but despite them … love, after all is the epicenter to both stories. Warm Bodies is not just a tale of young forbidden lovers; but a love-story of humanity; a love-story of life with hope for the future. Like the movie, the novel moved me to tears and laughter; it tugged at my heart and soul. Unlike the movie, the novel made me ponder and question the world I live in.

Long after you have read the last page; Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion, is a novel that will stick to you like zombie goo … … which is surprisingly … A Good Thing!