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You know the songs. They’re etched into every punk’s brain. Not just because they’re catchy, but because there’s something else there. Glenn Danzig’s lyrics evoke intense imagery. Beautiful, dark, monstery imagery. There’s poetry between the whoa-oh-ohs. There are stories in those songs. They just need to be told.
Now, underground fiction’s most talented fiends have created a series of tales inspired by the Misfits. In these pages, an astro zombie contemplates the life she left behind as she goes into flesh-ripping battle. A team of organ harvesters shows just how violent the world can be. A wannabe true crime reporter goes on a grisly road trip that takes him a little too close to his subject matter. A mysterious set of skulls pushes a young woman to create a collection of her very own. A teenager from mars excavates the fetid product of his earthly lust.
These new twists on the songs you love are sure to surprise, startle, sicken and force you to see this timeless horror punk in a completely different light.
Of the top five most coveted anthology subjects I have come across, Weirdpunk Books has published three of them. “The New Flesh” is themed around David Cronenberg, “Blood For you” is themed for G.G. Allin, and “Hybrid Moments,“ is themed around the songs of the Misfits. (The other two are the Wu-Tang Clan one from Clash Books and the C.H.U.D. one from Crystal Lake Publishing). When I found out that this is the aesthetic of everything Weirdpunk Books publishes, I knew that I had to read everything. “Hybrid Moments” is only the first in the catalog that I plan to read this year.
“Hybrid Moments” is a literary tribute to the Misfits. Many of us have been fans of the Misfits for years and years. I have been a fan since my friend gave me a (now long gone) bootleg cassette tape of their songs for my birthday one year. (It was a copy of a bootleg show from ‘88 so the quality was piss garbage, I couldn’t understand many of the garbled lyrics, but I liked the way the sound made me feel.) Being someone who was into horror and a lot of weird cinema, I knew they were one of the groups for me. However, I was not a die hard fan outside of that tape. I had actually not listened to them for a decade before I started reading “Hybrid Moments,” so reading the stories and listening to the music again really brought me back to a younger version.
“Hybrid Moments” is a great collection, but like any anthology, there are stories that I really enjoyed and others took me some time to get through. With the themes of the Misfits songs varying, the stories vary as well. It is just common sense that some of them are more enjoyable than others, and my favorites might be your least favorites.
My top three:
“American Gods, American Monsters” by Jose Cruz.
Maybe this is because this is one of the first stories in the anthology, this is my favorite. The story surrounds a man who is trying to find a killer, Marylin Prescott Ford, a beauty queen that is also going around Florida murdering. This was a great cat and mouse story, and the payoff was satisfying. Now that I think about the way that it unfolds and the subject, this might be one of my favorite short stories I have read in awhile.
“Slice-and-Grab” by Mark Zirbel
Stealing body parts has become so lucrative that it is now a business. The narrator, an old-timer in the business, is breaking in a new employee, Kyle. This is a clash between the old school and new school, the story is quick and fun with a great ending.
“Helena Drive” Glen Damien Campbell
A man goes on a first date and tries to hide that he is a superfan of a TV show, “Helena Drive.” He feels embarrassed by his date learning, but the date goes well. When he follows her back to her home, he learns why the date went so well.
I am learning quickly that anything Sam Richard writes is amazing. His contribution, as editor and lifelong Misfits fan, “The Verdant Holocaust” is another story right up my alley about a secluded cult. Everything I have read of his seems to be a story that I would want to write myself.
As I go through this collection, looking for my top three, I realize that there are so many that I could have chosen, and my top three could be different depending on the day. There were a few I did not care for, but as a whole, this is a great collection and a great tribute to an awesome band from one of the most exciting publishers.