LPP Says Farewell to Fangoria Editor in Chief Chris Alexander

Photo credit: Fangoria

Photo credit: Fangoria


I read the news today oh boy…

Chris Alexander is moving on as Editor in Chief at Fangoria. You can read his departure announcement here, which is a masterwork of self-congratulation. I believe I am even included in the line about “colourful enemies”, of course that could just be my delusions again.

Without question I believe Chris left a profound mark upon Fangoria. He rejuvenated it from some truly dismal years where Tony Timpone was really struggling with a vision and the company was going through a bankruptcy. He brought a vitality back to it which I feel was infectious. I know, I was infected by it for 3 years of my life where I wrote for him. He came off a Young Turk, eager to shake things up and not afraid to bloody some noses. He has a style and a charisma that is undeniable and he has a work ethic which is tireless. He’s the Biggie Smalls of horror media – everyday hustling. There is a real blue collar vibe to the guy – he called us “working class writers” once and that is definitely true about him. Beneath all the flash and the sizzle and the comedically large ties there is a guy with his nose to a grindstone, working the phones and turning in copy.

His copy wasn’t dull workaday stuff either – putting substance aside there is a real melody to his wordplay. It is exuberant, enthusiastic. It wants to show you things it thinks are really cool.

These are all reasons I respect Chris Alexander.

His tenure hasn’t always lived up to the hype, nor I believe to his own best intentions. Chris also represents an era of severe ethical struggle in media – the convergence of old print media and the new digital era and all the pitfalls that come with it. How Alexander navigated many of these ethical issues is the legacy I’d like to highlight here. His tactics were certainly unconventional so why don’t we take a quick look back at some of the greatest hits of Chris Alexander – Media Ethics Edition. Throw this song on in the background and let it gestate.

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Never Say Never – An Epilogue of Sorts







It’s been almost 2 years to the day since Lianne Spiderbaby crashed after defrauding her way into the hearts of horror nation and foot fetishists alike. Not even 2 years since Chris Alexander was caught comparing himself to Eurohorror masters in his own magazine under a flimsy pseudonym. Since the editor of the biggest horror mag in the world slandered this writer so recklessly and mendaciously. Since Tim Lucas mounted a short and ridiculous defense of Spiderbaby and destroyed his own credibility in the process. Even less since Charles Band tried to fool you into buying “authentic” Wizard big box VHS covers.

A lot of weird shit has gone down in the interval.

So where are we at today? What is the state of the union?

Mike White gives us the update on how Rue Morgue attracts web attention on social media.

Are you fucking kidding me?







2 years later almost to the date and we’re just straight up using web writers work without permission as clickbait. 2 years later and we still haven’t dealt with how web content is produced and how web writers get the shaft one way or the other.

The needle didn’t even quiver an inch, Horror Nation.

So that’s where we are, a dismal 2 years post-Spidergate.

Focus on that and let it gestate.


Signing off,


Dave Pace





I hadn’t intended to really wallow in this one because officially this blog is done and I’m trying to move on to other projects but old habits die hard and I reached out to Rue Morgue editor Dave Alexander for his take on things.

What followed was a pretty interesting conversation and one that I am really glad Dave and I can have and be mature and respectful about it. Let’s say I’m not worried he’s going to run to Facebook to tell everyone I can’t write.

Anyhow, he raised some concerns about the piece and I think they are concerns worth hashing out so I’ve invited Dave to chat with me about them in a more public forum than email so readers can get the benefit of it as well. This is a really busy time of year in terms of getting the mag together so we haven’t managed to set anything in stone yet but hopefully soon I can let people know when and how that might be happening.

To  address one of the big issues Dave had I want to be clear that prior to posting this piece I did not seek comment from anyone at Rue Morgue. Best practices are to at least try to get a comment or response from the subject of a story, that didn’t happen in this case.

Now let me tell you why.

This wasn’t my original reporting, this was Mike White’s. This post is a comment on original reporting done elsewhere. If there are problems with the original reporting that are amplified by my commentary, mea culpa but the responsibility for that is with the reporter who broke the story. Mike should have sought comment from RM and I am 100% willing to extend him the benefit of the doubt because I believe Mike operates as a straight up guy. It’s possible Mike went to publisher Rodrigo Gudino for comment, who I am told hasn’t been available the last few days. It’s also possible Mike went to Online Editor Andrea Subissati and got no response because that was my experience also – I emailed her right after I emailed Dave and to date haven’t received any response. It’s also possible Mike didn’t want to tip his hand and risk RM scrubbing all the posts that would have constituted the evidence of the story. Not all that crazy an idea when you consider the shennanigans people get up to on the internet, but of course we would like to think RM is better behaved than all that.

The other reason why is that this piece is intended as a meta-commentary. If you look at it you can see it is designed to show how one can link to content from another outlet or creator, add their own commentary and not detract from the original piece or try to siphon off an audience that you aren’t really entitled to. You never get the full gist of the story looking at my post alone, you need to click through to Mike’s site to get the complete picture. I don’t repeat Mike’s work, I build on it by contextualizing it in terms of a “state of the union” type look at where we are now in terms of media ethics in the horror game.

I tried to use this to demonstrate what best web practices can look like and why you need talented, thoughtful writers on your web team to build that connective tissue and make it your own. Too often web writers are unpaid throwaways or not writing at all – they are simply reposting content made by others like we see in these examples from Rue Morgue. Talent can take a stale repost that diminishes the work and turn it into something which enhances and supplements the original article.

Finally though, I’m not sure what kind of comment from Rue Morgue would dispell the bad vibes I got from seeing this practice in the wild. It’s all there in glorious black and white and there isn’t much I can conceive of in terms of justifying the practice or really mitigating against the harm. The only thing that could be done is to accept responsibility and lay out what they are going to do to fix the problem moving forward. This doesn’t mean the typical process of seeking comment should be overlooked of course, just that in this case being one step removed from the original reporting and with the circumstances being so prima facie out of line that my (fairly mild) condemnation here would still apply regardless of what they had to say about it. Could I have taken that extra step to contact the mag and assume Mike hadn’t already done so? Sure I could have and maybe a future me would have, but I didn’t at the time and for that I regret that Rue Morgue feels I was unfair.

Here it is though – Mike’s story is factually correct. It’s all right there in the Facebook posts and Rue Morgue’s website. Nobody got their facts wrong and any comment from Rue Morgue would be simply their response, which is important particularly since we still don’t know how they intend to handle the issue but it would not materially change the nature of the story or the facts therein.

The talk Dave and I shared over this has been interesting and something I’d very much like to bring out into the light because it encourages us to think about these issues and will hopefully foster a culture that cares about these issues. The net result is better experiences for readers and that is a huge part of my mission as a writer and commentator. I feel Dave Alexander shares these values as well and this kind of dialogue is part of what gets us to the next level in all this horror business.

So there it is. An update on a post that is longer than the post itself. Strange times but there we be. News on our chat will be forthcoming and I really hope Dave can participate. Stand by mutants!


Scratched in the Wall of a Cell in the Prison of Ideas


If you want to know the future of online media, imagine a boot stomping a human face…forever.

Valleywag does some excellent commentary on the big cash influx into web content distributor Buzzfeed.

I’m just going to pull some key quotes which ought to concern you:

Already, most of BuzzFeed’s revenue is derived from BuzzFeed Creative, the company’s 75-person unit dedicated to creating for brands custom video and list-style advertising content that looks similar to its own editorial content.

It is not a content company—it is an attention company.

Social media accounts for 75 percent of BuzzFeed’s referral traffic, according to the company.

Here is what really gets me though – the seething contempt moguls like Marc Andreessen have for a media that actually does its job and acts as an amplifier of truth about power structures that permit the people impacted by those power structures to better understand them and make more informed choices about them.

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Writer Profile – Mike White

Mike White channels Godard. Photo credit: Stacey Walters

Mike White channels Godard. Photo credit: Stacey Walters

One of the things I want to do in order to inject some more positivity into this blog is to start talking with writers and commentators in the scene and letting people get to know a little more about the people whose work is helping inform their understanding of the cinema landscape. I am going to be shooting out questions to writers I know an writers who catch my eye so watch for it, I think this will be a fun series.

I think it’s fitting to start with Mike White, not because he was the guy who blew the whistle and told what he knew about Lianne Spiderbaby, not because he busted out Quentin Tarantino over a decade before for lifting influences for Reservior Dogs from the relatively obscure City on Fire, not because he’s been on the front lines of incredibly in-depth and knowledgeable commentary on film through his blog, his Cashiers du Cinemart ‘zine and his Projection Booth podcast.

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Fangoria Legends – Rob Zombie UPDATED

rob zombie legends

This week it was announced that the Fangoria Legends: Rob Zombie special issue was finally ready and shipping out. It had been expected to ship in May and many upset Fango readers have taken to Facebook and the comments on the Fangoria website to voice their discontent with the delays.

Well, fans can stop all their bitching and moaning because it’s finally ready!

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Real Talk

This is long and all over the map. I leave it exactly as I wrote it so forgive the fact that it is sloppily written. It’s just my thoughts directly on the page.


I’ve been meaning to write this I just didn’t really know how. It bothered me for so long I delayed writing anything here at all for a long time. I wanted to explain some things about myself that I think are important to understanding who I am and why I write this blog. So what didn’t I know how to do then? What hung me up? Fear.

All different kinds of fear. One of the strongest among them is the fear that if I were to be very open and honest about what is going on with me I’d be rejected and dismissed. I have so much internal conflict over what I share with people – I get a lot of anxiety over it. I sometimes feel like putting yourself out there too much is a low instinct. That there is some magical way to promote your work and engage the people around you that can’t be seen as shallow and insincere that I just haven’t discovered yet.

So this post is about confronting that fear by just getting it all out and hope people understand. I can’t continue otherwise. I’m going to say what is on my mind and it might not all make sense but I feel a need to do it because the record doesn’t feel straight to me.

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Fangoria Musick Presents – The Music of Chris Alexander, Editor of Fangoria


In this posting from the spring, Fangoria announced a step into the music distribution game. It’s an interesting move and frankly I’m not going to hold it against any publication to look for alternate sources of revenue or ways to attract people to the brand. It’s tough out there folks and haven’t you heard print is dead yet? In a marketplace that keeps trying to convince the public you’re a relic of the past you need to fight tooth and nail sometimes to keep going. I get branching out and trying things like this.

Here is what I don’t get and it is the point at which I am off the Fangoria Musick bus:

Rather than use the auspicious occasion of the launch of the Fangoria Musick label to announce a release from either a classic master or a newly discovered talent deserving of the spotlight, Fangoria instead uses the moment to allow editor in chief Chris Alexander to pump his own personal brand. That’s right, the first release from Fangoria Musick will not be lost recordings of Fabio Frizzi or a bleeding edge wunderkind plucked from the basement – it will be the music of Chris Alexander. Of course.

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Nobody Else Is Going To Speak Up For Your Conscience For You

I posted this to Facebook recently and decided it should have a more permanent home here because it really accurately sums up where my mind is at these days.


Even when you know so much of the shit around creative success is a grand illusion woven together with the fear and insecurity of your fellows, even when you have seen how fraudulent, ugly and fucked up it can be first hand, you have to constantly be on guard about it because you can forget really fast. That’s the power of this stuff, that’s how seductive it can be. Even with your eyes wide open the game manages to talk to a part of you that you want to pretend doesn’t exist – that vain, ego-driven motherfucker, that guy who just wants to be accepted somewhere finally, the guy that wants attention more than to be skilled at what he does.

You forget you know the game counts on you to be that guy so it can take advantage of you for one second and the hooks can get in you. Next thing you know you can’t trust yourself, rationalizing motherfucker that you are. Things start to become blurry, your motives start to be become questionable but the success starts coming. People start wanting you to do things, you start to get opportunities, you watch your peers get swept up in it all too and goddamn if it doesn’t look like fun. Suddenly a life you didn’t really think was possible for yourself seems much less far away and the things that might bridge the gap suddenly seem much less distasteful. That’s the point I think you give in to that part of yourself or you have what is probably an extended nervous breakdown.

So in my own small way I think this sums up where I’m at right now. I didn’t like who I was when I had those stars in my eyes, when people filled my head with grand illusions. Those same people call me a hack and a failure today. So never forget that people in this media business know how to talk dirty to your inner egomaniac asshole so you’ll always be ready to compromise yourself. Just do good work and listen to your conscience because out there, you’re the only person who is going to want to hear from your conscience. Nobody else is going to speak up for it for you.

Rue Morgue Magazine Completes Transparency Survey

Recently I announced that LPP would be conducting a survey of the top North American genre print publications. We asked the following magazines 25 questions about their business so we can better understand how they operate:


Rue Morgue

Horror Hound

Famous Monsters of Filmland

Video Watchdog

Today I am pleased to report that Rue Morgue is officially the first outlet to return their results and return they did, answering all 25 questions which qualifies them for the Gold level recognition. From now until the end of the year I will be using this data to build stories that should shed light on various aspects of the horror mag business – from diversity in the workplace to revenue breakdowns to placement rates for internships. The goal is to use this data to do a kind of reporting on the industry that I don’t believe has ever been done before and that’s exciting.

At the end of the year I commit to publishing the raw results for all to see and dissect. By then we should have explored at least a story or two on every question on the survey.

It’s important to note that the results are self-reported and must be evaluated with a critical eye – LPP will attempt to validate the information gathered but it must be kept in mind that there is an element of an honour system in place here. Pack your grains of salt when reading and always ask questions.

That said, our sincere thanks to the team at Rue Morgue who compiled this info for us and did so in a very timely fashion. I happen to believe that it says a lot about a company if they are willing to be open with the public and critics alike. In this day and age the model is so much more about obfuscation and spin or flat out freezing out people who aren’t willing to play the PR game. To have one of the biggest players in the game participate in our first go-around with this idea is very encouraging.

To the other companies who received the survey and haven’t responded yet: The bar has been set at Gold. Your move.


xray vision GOLD


* In the interest of full disclosure I have a couple of story pitches and a news item in with Rue Morgue currently. More on that soon.

The Legend of the Overfiend


It’s 11:30 PM EST on Friday May 23rd 2014 and I am in a crowded hotel conference room packed with fans attending a panel on one of the most infamous anime films of all time. I’m not really sure what I expected the experience to be like but it is dark and humid. I am seated next to a giant fan that is basically just circulating this miasma of boy-sweat around the room. I am surprised to see a fair contingent of women here, people keep stealing glances at them whenever possible.

A beanpole of a kid begins to introduce the panel. I wasn’t sure what we’d talk about when it came to this movie and as it turns out, there isn’t any discussion happening. Instead of an expert panel Q&A or just a fan talk about the film we are just going to settle in and watch the complete uncensored version. Without further spectacle the remaining lights are shut off and the crowd settles in for a few hours of demons tentacle-raping schoolgirls to gory deaths.

Not really what I expected but I’m in for the long haul.

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