6 min read

Guest Host Amy Chase

Stone Soup Digest 03.08.2024
Guest Host Amy Chase

Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I usually share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Right now, some brilliant authors are taking over the digest while I deal with a bunch of thorny life stuff!  Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.

This week, I’m thrilled to hand over the digest to guest host Amy Chase! Amy (she/her) is a comics and prose writer from Southern California, best known for her work with Archie Comics’ robust horror publishing line. She specializes in tales of the fantastical, frightening, and funny, and has been featured in anthologies like Escape from Bitch Mountain, Let Her Be Evil, Fantastic Frights, and more. Amy has also worked on officially licensed projects for brands like Dungeons & Dragons, My Little Pony, and Ghostbusters, among others. When not writing, she can be found taking care of her two blue dart frogs (can I get a hell yeah?), working on her next Halloween costume, and playing roller derby under the name Tuffy the Vampire Skater. She is simply radical as hell, and I’m delighted to bring her to your inboxes today – but before she takes the wheel, I wanted to recommend a couple of things she’s written. I think you’ll love these (I know I did)!

Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe of Horrors: Fresh Meat by Amy Chase, Ryan Cady, Federico Sabbatini, Liana Kangas, and Chris Panda

Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe has been around for what feels like forever… but how? In this thrilling horror anthology, we learn just how Pop’s infamous malt shop came to harbor such evils and the cursed deals he makes to ensure his doors always stay open. From the full creative team that brought you last year’s successful Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe of Horrors, we learn the nefarious origin of the beloved hometown haunt, with stories filled with shady business deals, carnivorous plants, and the horrors of small business ownership.   

Google Play | Bad River Website | Find a Local Comic Shop

Ravenloft: Caravan of Curses by Amy Chase, Casey Gilly, Silvia Califano, and Sarah Stern

Welcome to Ravenloft and the Domains of Dread, where horrors lurk around every corner and each day is a new nightmare waiting to unfurl. Join the Crone and her gang of misfits as they travel through these dark realms helping people break curses that have been placed on them... for a price. An oversized one-shot containing four terrifically terrifying short stories from writers Casey Gilly and Amy Chase and an adventuring party of amazing artists. 

Google Play | Bad River Website | Find a Local Comic Shop

That’s all from me for this week. Take it away, Amy!

- Gailey

The Sustainable Sourcing of Edible Soccer Players

(Spoilers ahead!) Over the holidays, I finally watched Yellowjackets. And, boy, it’s frustratingly good. Now that I’m in S3 hiatus hell with the rest of the Wiskayok faithful, I’ve been diving into behind-the-scenes details from production. I love looking behind the scenes of horror media – probably stemming from the fact my grandfather was a zombie extra in Return of the Living Dead Part 2. But the thing that keeps coming up in articles and interviews is how they made “Luau Jackie” or “Jackie-fruit” for that Season 2 feast. Humans are capable of great feats of creativity, and I’m never going to look at jackfruit and rice paper the same way again. Kudos to the cast for stomaching the whole sordid scene.

How Many Licks Does it Take?

She’s Iron Maven. She’s Natalie Scatorccio. She’s a certified rocker badass. I recently saw Juliette Lewis and the Licks perform in Ojai and Hermosa Beach, CA, and she is nothing short of electric. As a character actress, she becomes something else entirely while throwing her body and soul into the music. It’s inspiring and vicariously exhausting in equal measure. Even though they broke up, reunited, and went on hiatus, these shows were a heartening reminder that you can find your way back to your passion projects even after putting them down. The audience will find you, so just make art that excites you first and foremost.

If you haven’t heard her music already, I recommend tracks like “Hot Kiss” and “Pray for the Band Layota.”

I Wish I Still Had My Bionicles

Outside of comics writing, my day job is in the collectibles industry. I am not immune to coveting things. I got swept up in watching the fantasy of folks hoping to pull the fabled One Ring card from the recent Lord of the Rings Magic the Gathering set. Recently, a Goodwill store found a rare 14-karat gold Kanohi Hau Bionicle mask, and it was a real case of “they almost didn’t know what they had.” And how badly I wish I happened upon it in the wild, as wildly improbable as that would be. At least, I wish I still had my normal, cheap plastic Bionicles from back in the day. They’re not $18,000 valuable, but they were some of my favorites. My toys, comics, and old gaming accessories are an investment in nostalgia and whimsy, and stock is always rising. Plus, physical media rules.

The Hottest Singing Vampires Since Buffy

Okay – the hotness part remains to be seen, but I’ll try anything once. I saw the Beetlejuice musical at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway and it absolutely ruled. But does every movie need a musical adaptation now? I’ll admit this one has interesting creatives at the helm, including David Hornsby from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Rescues on music and lyrics. Apparently a workshop preview was mounted in late February, but no reactions or further details are out there. I’m really rooting for these vampires not to suck.

“Mah Boi” and Other Dated Internet Memes

On the nostalgia kick, a game group called Seedy Eye Studio (heh) has produced a pretty decent pixelated platformer called Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore. It’s a loving homage to the old Zelda CD-i games of internet ridicule legend (you know the ones), but sincerely executed. I haven’t had time to put my mitts on it, but I’ve watched some playthrough and it’s goofy, solidly built, and well rendered for following in the infamously bad footsteps of its spiritual predecessor. What shines most is that the team clearly had fun making it, which, as I’ve said before, is what matters when hitting that creative grind.

Amy Is Reading: Out There by Kate Folk

With a focus on the weird and eerie forces that lurk beneath the surface of ordinary experience, Kate Folk’s debut collection is perfectly pitched to the madness of our current moment. A medical ward for a mysterious bone-melting disorder is the setting of a perilous love triangle. A curtain of void obliterates the globe at a steady pace, forcing Earth’s remaining inhabitants to decide with whom they want to spend eternity. A man fleeing personal scandal enters a codependent relationship with a house that requires a particularly demanding level of care. And in the title story, originally published in The New Yorker, a woman in San Francisco uses dating apps to find a partner despite the threat posed by “blots,” preternaturally handsome artificial men dispatched by Russian hackers to steal data. Meanwhile, in a poignant companion piece, a woman and a blot forge a genuine, albeit doomed, connection.

Barnes & Noble | Bad River Website | Local Library | Find an Indie Bookstore

Winter 1917. After years on the run from a dangerous cult, twenty-three-year-old Sasza and his father have established themselves among the Odonic Empire’s ruling class. But there’s a problem: Sasza is a vampire, and vampires aren’t supposed to get involved in human governance. What the aristocracy doesn’t know, after all, cannot hurt them. Unfortunately, Sasza is far more involved than a stealth vampire should be. Not only does he work to quell the rumors of the vampires’ responsibility for an unsolved massacre, but his lover is also the pro-proletariat Ilya, the Empire’s Finance Minister, who tries to recruit Sasza into the same cult hunting him. Then—the Emperor declares war against the Vampire States. Diplomacy has failed. Sasza quickly learns that he will do anything to preserve peace–including giving in to the monstrosity he spent so many years concealing from even himself.   

Barnes & Noble | Bad River Website | Local LibraryFind an Indie Bookstore

Thanks for taking the wheel this week, Amy, and congratulations on the upcoming release of Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe of Horrors!