Chris Marrs and I recently attended the Living Dead Convention in Portland and had a great time reconnecting with great writers like Rena Mason, Tim Long and John Skipp.
While at the show, I was able to pick up a copy of Skipp’s latest, THE ART OF HORRIBLE PEOPLE, a collection of his short stories.
Comedy and horror seem an odd pairing, but fear and laughter are close siblings. Skipp does a great job channeling the inner hilarity of horror. When you read his stuff, it’s not hard to picture John Skipp is the pen name for Stephen King’s Randall Flag.
THE ART OF HORRIBLE PEOPLE (Lazy Fascist Press) collects Skipp’s best–aka, most deranged–short stories, covering terrain ranging from a Hollywood film studio to a high-security psychiatric facility to a darkly ambitious private art exhibition.
“Art is the Devil,” which leads the collection, is a popular favorite, and you can also find zombies in the collection. But hands down, my favorite story is, “Food Fight.” In this story, the staff and inmates at a high-security insane asylum begin to experience strange urges when a sandstorm sweeps over the facility, bringing madness, slaughter and a mysterious presence known only as John Doe. It’s now in my top 10 favorite horror stories. Fun and mayhem galore.
THE ART OF HORRIBLE PEOPLE is great stuff for Skipp fans, and if you’re not yet a fan, it’s a strong introduction to Skipp’s unique voice in the horror genre.