Peter Crowther

George Moody

January 3, 2014

Indulge me while I take a few minutes to talk about George Moody.


Hey, come on, now . . . just stick with me for a few minutes.

I met George at a comicbook fair in the Griffin Hotel in Leeds more than 30 years ago. Like me, he was wandering around the stalls with his chum, Paul, drooling over the books pinned to the wall. I watched the pair of them and it was clear they were interested in the same stuff that I was: silver age DC comics, in other words. Perfect!

Perfect? Why’s that, Unca Pete?

Well, see . . . at the time, I had a massive comicbook collection that included every DC and Marvel title (plus most Dell, Gold Key, Harvey, Archie Charlton and many others) stocked solidly from November 1959 through into the 1980’s . . . and also at that time, I was in desperate need of additional income. Thus I had gone to the fair in the hope of finding a potential buyer. And here were two of them! I approached them and asked if they were interested in seeing my books with an interest in buying some. They said yes and they followed me out of Leeds to my house in Harrogate, about 15 miles northward. Nicky provided cups of tea and pieces of cake all round while George and Paul perused the several thousand comics neatly stacked in strict number and title order on the shelves. Paul was pretty shrewd but—

Shrewd, Unca Pete?

Kept his cards close to his chest.


—but not so George. Nosirree. Each time George encountered a favourite issue, he kept letting out howls like to put Lon Chaney to shame while, with each such expulsion, Paul gave George a glare or a kick in the shins. Sometimes both. The upshot was they put together a good-sized pile and we agreed a price. Believe me, that transaction lifted Nicky and me out of the mire. And subsequent meet-ups continued in much the same.

Is this going anyplace, Unca Pete?

Yes. Be patient.

That collection pretty much went . . . most of it to Paul and George but other stuff finding its way to similar homes. But fortunes do come and go and as things improved, well, I re-bought much of the stuff I hadn’t wanted to let go in the first place. And the main part of that stuff, for the record, was just two titles from DC: Mystery In Space and Strange Adventures . . . which I built up to within just four issues short of full runs (all four, incidentally, being copies of Strange Adventures).

The relationship with Paul and George continued and, as we hope will be the way of all friendships, it blossomed along the way. So we wind it all up to now—

Is this where it’s going, Unca Pete?

This is where it’s going. For several years now, Paul and George and I have gone out to dinner once a month . . . just to talk about comics. Oh, plus books and movies and old TV shows . . . but mainly comics. And then, around three years ago, George started looking a little peeky. I don’t know who mentioned it first between me and Paul but it was mentioned . . . and eventually we decided we had to say something to George. Was he okay? That kind of thing. Well, as you may have guessed, George was not okay. A particularly unpleasant illness was giving him a tough time but, George being George, he dismissed it and ordered his food as the conversation moved on to the likes of Blackhawk, Superman, Tomahawk, Rip Hunter and, most of all, Adam Strange, who, thanks to the zeta-beam, was the star of the space-lanes, multiple saviour of the planet Rann and the beloved of Alanna. There’s his photo, see . . . and that’s an issue of Mystery In Space. And the lead story is called Menace of the Aqua Ray Weapon’. Hoo hah!

I’ve read some of those stories, Unca Pete.

Yes, you have. I read them to you. Anyway, George put up a good fight. But, you know, once you step up into the ring with this particular opponent—the one that George was facing, I mean—there’s only so many times you can keep slugging when the bad guy just won’t lie down . . . in fact, the disease actually keeps on getting stronger until, well, it just squeezes all the life out of you.

This what’s happened to George?

Yep. George slipped away with a minimum of fuss a little after 5 am on Monday morning, 30 December. He was just 62 years old.

Are you very sad?

Yes, I’m very sad. And so is Paul—Paul in particular, in fact. Remember, Paul and George have been friends since they were around 5 years old.

Oh. That’s . . . that’s more than fifty years.

That’s right. A long time. So, we’re going to miss George’s quick-fire test questions about titles and stories in the halcyon long-ago days of DC’s glorious Silver Age . . . and we’ll miss those lycanthropian howls and growls—

Is that a word, Unca Pete? Lycanthropian?

It is now. We’ll miss those howls and growls of pure unadulterated joy each time the talk turned to something that held special interest for George . . . and we’ll miss seeing the expressions of horror on the faces of the other diners in the restaurant when they spun around in terror as they prepared to face whatever creature had snuck in.

But it was just George.

It was just George.

So that’s pretty much all I wanted to say and I’ve said it on behalf of both Paul and me. Cos we loved that nutty guy and we’ll miss the heck out of him. But he won’t care.

Won’t he?

Nah. He’s hanging out with the big guys now . . . Carmine and Julie and all the other writers and artists from the bygone great years of the American comicbook; and they’ll be telling him stories and drawing him pictures and . . . and if you just pull that window open right there, just for a second, and . . . can you hear?

Is it the wind?

It sounds like the wind, sure . . . but, no; I reckon it’s just George getting excited. He’s hopped off of the zeta beam and, for the first time in a few years, he’s okay . . . feeling fit and frisky.

Now I’m sad, Unca Pete.

Hey, don’t be. George wouldn’t want that. Celebrate his life . . . just the way all these other folks who are reading this eulogy are going to do. We’ve all of us—well, we fortunate ones—we’ve all got a George. They make us happy. And it’s been a real pleasure and honour for me to have known him.

Well, you can, you know.


Read one of the comics he so loved.

Can I read the one about the aqua-ray weapon?

Well, okay. But take care of it, okay?

Okay G’night, Unca Pete.


And good night to you, too, George, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Happy trails, mate.

Pete Crowther 

New Year’s Eve, 2013


Rick Hautala

March 22, 2013
It’s been a bad few days. First the news that someone I admire is critically (probably terminally) ill, then the death of Jim Herbert and now, just today, I heard from Glenn Chadbourne that my good friend and New England frightmeister Rick Hautala died yesterday (Thursday 21 March).

The last I heard from Rick was a few weeks back when he asked if I'd consider blurbing a new venture for him: Star Road . . . a collaborative SF novel with Matt Costello. Boy, what a joy it was reading that baby!...
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Happy New Year

January 11, 2013

Ah, if you just popped in from the latest PS Newsletter. I bid you a wintry welcome!

You’re probably all jazzed up with the news of our Anniversary Editions of Christine and Pet Sematary and so you should be: we’re working on all kinds of things to make them really special. It’s a tough call to single out novels from Steve’s stable that stand proud of all the others and I don’t propose to try doing that with these two because we’ll all of us end up in a massive argument. But I ...

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Countdown Time In Outer Space

December 21, 2012
Some years back, I started a little series of barroom stories set in a two-flight walkdown just a stone's throw from Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel. I've done four novelettes now, collected into a book under the bar's name (THE LAND AT THE END OF THE WORKING DAY) and I have to say they've been well received.
They're all on the whimsical side (like me, I suppose) but one of them -- 'Cliff Rhodes and the Most Important Journey' -- is wilder than the others. The gist of these tales is pretty straig...

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Not a day goes by that I don’t spare a thought to Ray Bradbury

December 14, 2012
The chill is setting in, guys so I figured this week you could do with something to warm up the old heart-cockles (whatever the heck they turn out to be!).

Not a day goes by that I don’t spare a thought to Ray Bradbury and his work . . . but then, that’s not just as a result of his departure to that big mid-west in the sky. Nope, not a bit. My mind has wandered of its own accord into all things Bradburian pretty much every day since I discovered THE ILLUSTRATED MAN aged 11.

So it was a grea...

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Guardian write up

November 12, 2012
I’m not really big on tub-thumping but I’m gonna break with tradition today cos I figure I’m not really yada-yada’ing about me but rather I’m directing folks’ attention where it should go.

As you may have noticed, Lavie Tidhar’s Osama was fêted a few days back with the coveted World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. And rightly so. PS Publishing put out the hardcover edition last year and I guess we’re enjoying some of the reflected glory. That’s great. Feels good. People are no...

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Ghosts With Teeth

September 26, 2012
Every once in a while, I come down to start work and discover a pleasant and totally unexpected email from a happy bunny customer. Actually, to be honest, we have a lot of happy bunny customers here at PS Towers (indeed, as I’ve said on many occasions, our customer base is the most loyal and generous in the biz) but it’s the ones that come for my own work that really strike home.

This one—from a fellow author who is also an actor of some considerable repute—came just a few days ago whe...
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The turnover of seasons

September 7, 2012
There are two special times each year for me—well, to be absolutely honest, there are hundreds and maybe even thousands of them . . . but you know what I mean. Things that happen that foretell of a significant change . . . that kind of thing. And one of them happened this week the way it always happens.
    There’s a place barely a mile from the crumbling turrets and ornate edifices of PS Towers that features a collection of animals and birds and fish (not to mention an ice cream parlour o...
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July 13, 2012
Hey, you know the old chestnut about remembering where you were when you heard that JFK had been murdered (yeah, murdered; ‘assassinated’ always sounds to me like a kind of veiled justification)? Well, as time has gone by, there’s the whole 9/11 thing as well . . . and I’m guessing that if I were to ask my mom and dad where they were when war (that’s WWII, history buffs) was declared then I’m betting they’d be able to tell me to the second.

Touchstones. That’s what things lik...

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Ray Bradbury

June 7, 2012
I just heard the news--Ray Bradbury died this morning.

I really don't know what to say but I just wanted to say something. I wouldn't be doing any of this—not the editing, not the writing and not the publishing—if it hadn't been for Ray. But you don't need me to tell you; you feel the same way yourselves, I'm sure. It's the same way everyone else who has ever dreamed or loved or looked up into the night sky and just plain wondered feels right now. Just absolutely damned awful and totall...

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