I first met “Romano” while in my senior year attending Stephen F. Austin high-school. We were both dishwasher / prep-cooks at Magnolia Cafe on South Lamar. I quickly discovered he is one of the most driven writers I’ve ever met. I’ve watched him spend hour upon hour, day upon day, for months and years, writing by hand and typing into computers the myriad fantastic adventures filling his imaginative mind.
Our friendship lead us to work together on a variety of audio, video and print projects, as well as the odd event now and then. Steve has come a long way since my first meeting with that already accomplished writer, director and storyboard artist. He’s befriended and worked with
Stephen has a vast and rapidly growing body of work ranging from “Comic Book Soundtracks” to published (and unpublished) books, comics, teleplays, graphic novels, soundtracks, faux vintage retro movie poster art, and even package designs for movie related memorabilia. He has also created and hosted some of the funnest and exciting events I’ve ever attended. Check out the growing list (at the bottom of this post) of amazing projects and events that Stephen Romano has produced over the years.
Here’s is Stephen’s good friend Don Coscarelli (producer of such films as Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep) raving about Black Light …
A Spotlight on Black Light from Don Coscarelli
Black Light is a fantastic book…freaky too. The basic concept is that “sensitive” Buck Carlsbad, using his ability to manipulate a spectral vision called “Black Light,” can see ghosts everywhere. Born with an innate talent to capture and subdue spectres, called “The Pull”, Buck uses this skill to stalk and run down the spiritual remains of the most vile humans on earth. But it gets better. Once he finds these malevolent spirits still haunting this mortal coil, Buck pulls them, right down his throat, into his guts and digests them. But it keeps getting better! Then Buck regurgitates the remnants of this spiritual muck into a silver urn and buries it six feet under. These evil Caspers are laid to rest permanently after Buck nails them with the Black Light treatment.
The authors have created a high-energy, fast-paced story that moves from the dark underbelly of Austin through glitzy Hollywood on a white knuckle express straight through hell, by way of Vegas. Some fantastic characters follow the action including Darby, a man Buck has previously killed. Darby is what’s called a “Walker,” a half-living ghost who is always hovering near Buck with pithy advice usually just when he most desperately needs it. Buck also hooks up with Bethany Sin an idolized vision of what Britney Spears might have been. The authors herein posit a fascinating concept which is, what if the genuine entertainment superstars a la Bono and Elvis, were born with the psychic ability to connect with their audiences. In Black Light this power is called “The Gift” and when Buck meets Bethany a potent mix of passion and hallucinatory telepathic lovemaking ensues.
Don Coscarelli is an American film director, producer and screenwriter best known for horror films. His credits include the Phantasm series, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep.
Read the entire review here at Mulholland Books: A Spotlight on Black Light from Don Coscarelli | Mulholland Books.
But first be sure to read about Stephen’s dedication of the new book …
Stephen Romano Dedicates Black Light
to Warrant’s Jani Lane
There’s bad magic and good magic.
Good magic is when you finally manage to quit smoking and something cool happens to you the same week–like winning twenty bucks on a lottery ticket. Bad magic is when someone quotes your latest poem in a movie about clumsy people, then you fall into an open sewer and die. Someone, somewhere, said comedy was a little like that. I think it might have been Mel Brooks. Life is like that, too. Cool and cruel. Strange and simple. Full of lessons that hammer home important truths and oozing with evil shit that just doesn’t make any sense at all. And sometimes it gets even stranger.
Case in Point:
Earlier this year, I wrote a book called BLACK LIGHT in collaboration with a couple of swell guys named Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. It’s about a supernatural private eye named Buck Carlsbad who vomits up ghosts. (Trust me, it’s cool.) When “the boys” and I were first brainstorming Buck’s adventures, the impetus was always on making things as interesting and original as possible, within the framework of a traditional thriller/ghost story. Old chestnuts jazzed up with a few new bells and whistles. I’m a big fan of eighties glam metal. Patrick used to live down the street from Don Dokken. They say write what you know, yes? It seemed like a natural idea to make our hero a relic of the headbanger decade, an ancient walkman filled with killer tunes attached to his waist and his head lodged firmly in the past. It seemed even cooler to give Buck a poltergeist sidekick who would give him constant shit about his “lousy taste” in music. We decided in our further infinite wisdom that Buck’s constant plight would be summed up in a particularly popular tune from the era, entitled “Down Boys.”
It was the luck of the draw, really. I’d been on a bit of a Warrant kick during the writing of BLACK LIGHT, though none of us had much cared for the band back in the actual day. They were the ‘second wave’ of mega-hyped, overproduced MTV hairspray rockers who floated in on the heels of groundbreakers like AC/DC, Judas Priest, Motley Crue and Van Halen, and not many people in the “hardcore” crowd took them very seriously. Even I have deeper obsessions, and Patrick and Marcus tend to have more “serious” music on their minds most of the time.
Read the rest here:
An Incomplete List of the Works of Stephen Romano:
- MAXXIUM SOUND (Audio book/Comicbook Soundtrack),
- SHADOWHAWK: THE SECRET REVEALED (Audio Book/Comicbook Soundtrack),
- INVASION OF THE MUTANOIDS (Novel),
- BATTLEJACK AND LAZERPUNK (Graphic novel. Unpublished.),
- TO LUCIO FULCI: A SYMPHONY OF FEAR (Tribute album),
- CANNIBAL FEROX/ZOMBIE (Soundtrack/tribute album),
- THE BEYOND (Graphic novel/soundtrack),
- LUCIO FULCI MEMORIAL FILM FESTIVAL (1999-2001),
- PHANTASM-ANIA (Film festival),
- PHANTASM: OVERMINDS (Comic series),
- PHANTASM (Novelization, editor),
- HALLOWEEN RETURNS TO HADDONFIELD (Comic/magazine/tribute album),
- PHANTASM (Remake, screenplay, un-produced),
- PHANTASM FOREVER (Screenplay, un-produced),
- ESCAPE FROM FREAK MANSION (Screenplay, unproduced),
- MASTERS OF HORROR: INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD (Teleplay),
- THE RIOT ACT (Short story collection),
- BUBBA NOSFERATAU: CURSE OF THE SHE-VAMPIRES (Screenplay),
- SHOCK FESTIVAL (Illustrated novel),
- REMEMBER THE ALAMO (Documentary, producer/director),
- BLACK DEVIL DOLL (Novelization),
- SHOCK FESTIVAL: THE DVD (Companion 3-disc set),
- STARCRASH (DVD release, co-producer, commentator) … and much more to come.