One Bloody Thing After Another
What do you find scarier: the horrors of adolescence, or that giant pool of blood slowly spreading across the living room floor? Isn’t it high time that a so-called horror novel addressed this subtle yet significant distinction? At the launch of his eagerly awaited new novel, One Bloody Thing After Another (ECW Press), Joey Comeau will crack open such literary chestnuts with Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics. Marc Glassman, Executive Director of TINARS, will host.
One Bloody Thing After Another Jackie has a map of the city on the wall of her bedroom, with a green pin for each of her trees. She has a first-kiss tree and a broken-arm tree. She has a car-accident tree. There is a tree at the hospital where Jackie’s mother passed away into the long good night. When one of them gets cut down, Jackie doesn’t know what to do but she doesn’t let that stop her. She picks up the biggest rock she can carry and puts it through the window of a car. Smash. She intends to leave before the police arrive, but they’re early.
Ann is Jackie’s best friend, but she’s got problems of her own. Her mother is chained up in the basement. How do you bring that up in casual conversation? “Oh, sorry I’ve been so distant, Jackie. My mother has more teeth than she’s supposed to, and she won’t eat anything that’s already dead.” Ann and her sister Margaret don’t have much of a choice here. Their mother needs to be fed. It isn’t easy but this is family. It’s not supposed to be easy. It’ll be okay as long as Margaret and Ann still have each other.
Add in a cantankerous old man, his powerfully stupid dog, a headless ghost, a lesbian crush and a few unsettling visits from Jackie’s own dead mother, and you’ll find that One Bloody Thing After Another is a different sort of horror novel from the ones you’re used to. It’s as sad and funny as it is frightening, and it is as much about the way families rely on each other as it is about blood being drooled on the carpet. Though, to be honest, there is a lot of blood being drooled on the carpet.
Joey Comeau writes the comic A Softer World, which has appeared in The Guardian and been profiled in Rolling Stone. He’s the author of Overqualified and Lockpick Pornography.
Ryan North is a Toronto-based writer and computer programmer. He is the creator and author of Dinosaur Comics, and co-creator of Whispered Apologies and Happy Dog the Happy Dog.
Joey Comeau: Sarah Dunn, firstname.lastname@example.org, (416) 694-3348
TINARS: Chris Reed, email@example.com, (416) 598-1447