New book! Satanic Panic: Pop-cultural Paranoia in the 1980s

SP-cover-WEBHey, some of my writing is gonna be in an actual book! I wrote the afterword for this upcoming anthology on the 1980s Satanic Panic, put out by Canadian publisher Spectacular Optical! This is a crowd-funded endeavor, and there is an Indiegogo page where you can pre-order the book. Pre-ordering gets you some cool extras that you won’t see if you wait and buy it on Amazon.

The book features chapters focused on different aspects of the era, from movies to music to Jack Chick publications.  It is absolutely fascinating, and laid out beautifully with lots of photos and artwork. If you are a fan of horror movies, true crime stories, religious weirdness, rock n’ roll music, etc. you will love it.

Awhile back I wrote a little post on this blog about the Satanic Panic, which lead co-editor Kier-la Janisse (also film programmer, founder of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, and author of the super-cool book House of Psychotic Women) to contact me about contributing. I came to this project just as an average schmoe with a blog who happens to have an unhealthy fascination for the era, but the other authors have much more impressive résumés.  Their contributions are fascinating and compelling, and I’m honored to be included.

Here is some more info from the Spectacular Optical web page:

Spectacular Optical Announces Upcoming Second Book:
SATANIC PANIC: POP-CULTURAL PARANOIA IN THE 1980s
www.spectacularoptical.ca

spanicIn the 1980s, it seemed impossible to escape Satan’s supposed influence. Everywhere you turned, there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the “Satanic Panic,” not only sought to convince us of devils lurking behind the dials of our TVs and radios and the hellfire that awaited on book and video store shelves, it also created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, audio cassettes and literature. The second book by Canadian micro-publisher Spectacular Optical,Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, offers an unprecedented and in-depth exploration of how a controversial culture war played out during the decade, from the publication of the memoir Michelle Remembers in 1980 to the end of the McMartin “Satanic Ritual Abuse” Trial in 1990. This new anthology, expected to be released in summer 2015, follows on the success of KID POWER!, Spectacular Optical’s inaugural book about cool, tough and sassy kids in cult film and television.

Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s features 20 new essays and interviews addressing the ways the widespread fear of a Satanic conspiracy was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons & Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons, TV talk shows and even home computers. The book also features case studies on McMartin, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and Long Island “acid king” killer Ricky Kasso. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, the book aims to capture the untold story of the how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.

Satanic Panic’s roster of contributing authors and media critics includes Gavin Baddeley (Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock n’ Roll), Liisa Ladouceur (Encyclopedia Gothica), David Flint (Sheer Filth), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study), Adrian Mack (The Georgia Straight), Forrest Jackson (Cosmic Suicide: The Tragedy and Transcendence of Heaven’s Gate), Alison Nastasi (Flavorwire), Leslie Hatton (Popshifter), David Canfield (Twitch), David Bertrand (Fangoria; Spectacular Optical), Alison Lang (Rue Morgue), Kevin L. Ferguson (Queens College/CUNY), Wm Conley (Deathwound), Kurt Halfyard (Twitch), Samm Deighan (Satanic Pandemonium), Stacey Rusnak (The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction), Ralph Elawani (C’est complet au royaume des morts), Gil Nault (Liturgie apocryphe) and Joshua Graham, alongside co-editors Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films) and Paul Corupe (Canuxploitation). The book will also feature comic art by Rick Trembles (Motion Picture Purgatory) and original illustrations by Toronto artist Mike McDonnell.

The book’s launch in summer 2015 will be accompanied by screenings and panel events in multiple cities. Stay tuned for more developments on that front, as well as a full table of contents list to be announced later this spring. Please see attached for cover art, which will be printed with metallic silver ink on black matte.

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