Year in Michael McDowell Review


Rich Gott:
Over the last 3-4 years, I've amassed most of Michael McDowell's books and short stories. I'm currently immersed in THE BLACK BERETS series, which McDowell wrote for with John Preston under the name Mike McCray.

THE BLACK BERETS is a series a 13-book series in which a group of Vietnam veterans come back together in 1984 to be mercenaries. Written fast and quick, some parts are very good, but many parts are not. Overall, I've found them entertaining.

The three notable Michael McDowell-related discoveries I made during 2012 are:

1. Someone released the original 2nd draft of Beetlejuice to the Internet. This version is when Beetlejuice was still a horror movie and is much, much darker!

2. I discovered that McDowell wrote a whole batch of short story adaptations of Tales from the Darkside episodes. He specifically wrote them for the TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, VOLUME ONE paperback original, released in 1988. No volume 2 was ever produced.  :(

3. Most exciting, was running across information that Michael McDowell wrote another short story, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. The story was (perhaps) published by Tim Burton without proper credit. (Why must Tim Burton taint EVERYTHING important to me . . . the Apes, and now also one of McDowell's final publications!?). For those so inclined, that information can be found here:

Yesterday I ran across this figure of the Oyster Boy (with his mask to dress up as a human for Halloween):

The set was half off at my local Barnes & Nobles. I know I should have resisted, but everyone over here has been terribly ill for weeks and work has exploded. I decided to splurge.



McDowell was awesome. Cold Moon Over Babylon and The Elementals are among my favorite horror novels. Would like to read the Blackwater series if I can get a hold of it. I have a couple other books by him, however, which I haven't read yet.

Rich Gott:
Emont: I've been reading McDowell sequentially and I'm getting close to 1983. I hope I will be finished with the BLACKWATER books by April or May. I'd be happy to send them your way when I'm finished with them.

I'm a huge fan of COLD MOON OVER BABYLON. I liked THE ELEMENTALS a lot, but I didn't love it. I think my favorite so far has been GILDED NEEDLES. That's a creepy book.


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