Last night I went to an event at the La Luz de Jesus gallery in Hollywood sponsored by the local chapter of Horror Writers of America. (Thanks to saycestsay for the tip!) They had horror readings, horror movies, and horror art. I thought the readings were great, especially a darkly ironic piece from the point of view of Santa Claus’s son, which depicts Santa as an abusive father who wants his son to take over the family business. The horror art was impressive too. There was a great painting entitled “Ghost Ship” of a skeletal pirate crew. I would have bought it, but unfortunately I don’t have $10,000 to spare right now. The most disturbing piece was some sort of holograph where depending on how you looked at it, you saw either a peaceful office scene or an airplane crashing through into the office. I met a bunch of cool new people too, including one of the stars of Return of the Living Dead.
The gallery connects to a shop called Wacko, which sells books, records, action figures, bric-a-brac, and novelty items of all varieties, all with sort of a goth/counterculture/Hawaiian theme. (Yes, Hawaiian. Don’t ask me.) It is probably the second strangest store I’ve ever entered. (The strangest is Comme de Garcons in Chelsea, Manhattan. It edges out Wacko only because it’s not trying to be strange, merely trendy, but it still comes across as positively creepy and extraterrestrial.) They even carried action figures of some of my favorite writers, such as Shakespeare (Hamlet), Edgar Allen Poe (“The Raven”), and Jenna Jameson (How to Make Love Like a Porn Star).