“How I mourn for my lost love Josette. I couldn’t help but remember how beautiful she was the night we met.”
Time is running out for the Collins family of 1841, if you believe in the letter that Brutus Collins wrote, and if you don’t, then take a look at the Nielsen ratings and get back to me. With only seven weeks left for me to write down everything I ever want to say about Dark Shadows, I’m going to take a day off from this parallel time, and circle back to The World of Dark Shadows, the unparalleled fanzine that reigned supreme for the first twenty-five years of DS fandom.
Continue reading Episode 1210: The Night We Met
“No, it wasn’t in this room, it was in another room, but it was behind the same door!”
Young Daniel is drawn to the drawing room of Loomis House, aka the Old House to anyone who matters. He’s here on an art school field trip, on the advice of a spooky oil painting of a Collins ancestor who speaks to him through the pounding of an off-screen kettle-drum heartbeat. Once he enters the house, Daniel isn’t sure what he’s supposed to do, because it turns out kettle-drum heartbeat is not as precise a communications medium as people sometimes think.
Looking around, his eye lights upon a manuscript sitting on the sideboard. He picks up the top page and begins to read, because Daniel is nosy and he has no respect for other people’s intellectual property.
“For long enough,” he reads, “the world has lived in ignorance of this terrible truth.” Realizing that this must be a page of Will’s new book, Daniel sits down and helps himself to some literature.
So, yeah, me too. This is a thing that young Daniels do, apparently, when we find ourselves just south of episode 1006, wondering what happens next. We read a book.
Continue reading Episode 1008: This Terrible Truth
“I’m not just a little boy in every room in this house!”
Right now, I’m writing these words, and right now, you’re reading them, and those cannot possibly be the same “right now,” and so there is a time distortion in everything that we know about each other.
On Dark Shadows, it’s January 1970. For me, at the moment, it’s September 2016. For you, it’s some impossible-to-predict time in the future — a couple hundred of you today, and a couple thousand of you this week, and then who knows how many, in the long tail of tomorrows to come.
Continue reading Episode 927: A Limited Number of Tomorrows
“There were infinite possibilities in infinite combinations.”
Monday’s episode was the first credited to Violet Welles, one of the best writers on Dark Shadows, and one of the most mysterious. She was a theatrical press agent, working on a varied slate of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. She also wrote for several television shows, but almost always as a ghost-writer; Dark Shadows is her only credited work as a writer, and she had to be talked into becoming a full-time writer on the show.
There are several websites that list Violet’s credits as a press rep — Playbill Vault, Internet Broadway Database and the Internet Off-Broadway Database — but almost nothing is known about her television work.
Happily, there’s a fan resource to the rescue: The World of Dark Shadows, the flagship DS fanzine which ran from 1975 to 2001. Issue #59/60, published in June 1991, ran a four-page interview with Violet Welles, giving us a rare glimpse into the day-to-day experience of the Dark Shadows writing team. The interview is fantastic, and I’m going to post it here in its entirety. It was conducted by Meghan Powell-Nivling, who I have not contacted for permission, so I hope nobody minds. Here’s Violet.
Continue reading Extra: An Interview with Violet Welles
“Isn’t it possible that Vicki is her own descendant?”
I’m taking a week off, so that I can concentrate on vengeance, and nothing else. But I don’t want to abandon you completely, because I know what it’s like to feel alone. I’m a Dark Shadows fan too.
So this week, I’ve been posting snippets from The World of Dark Shadows, a fanzine that was very important to me in the 80s and 90s. My favorite part of the magazine was the Collinsport Debating Society, where fans asked open-ended questions about the characters or the storylines, and then everybody speculated. It’s basically what people do now in forums, except it was way, way slower. That means the writers had more time to think about their response, and the readers had more time to wonder what the hell they were talking about.
Today, I’m going to share some excerpts from the Collinsport Debating Society. I haven’t asked anybody for permission, so I hope nobody minds, and here it is.
Continue reading X5: That Troublesome Problem
“As you lovingly bite my neck, your fangs sink ever deeper.”
Wednesday falls over the great house at Collinwood, and I’m still taking a week off so that I can polish my harpoon collection. So I’m going to post some interesting selections from The World of Dark Shadows, and then hypnotize you into thinking that counts as today’s blog entry.
By the way, did you ever try to find the exact center of a piece of fine crystal? Let the colors flow past you. Keep searching for the center. Yeah, that’ll do.
Continue reading X3: Barnabas Collins and the Poetry Slam
“You’re Barnabas Collins, the vampire. You leave me alone.”
Hi, you’ve reached Dark Shadows Every Day. I’m not here right now, because I’m away at a conference this week. But I know you need to fill the days and nights of your tomorrows, so I’m going to suspend time and space, and fill the week with five days of odds and ends that I can’t do in a regular post.
Today, I’m going to present two short stories from The World of Dark Shadows. Allow me to explain.
Continue reading X1: Barnabas Goes to the Circus