Less Than Pulp, Issue 9
“I tried not to let these things affect me. They affected me quickly and obviously.”
- Richard Laymon
Hi. I’m Lucas Mangum. This is the 9th issue of Less Than Pulp, a newsletter for fans of my work. You can catch up on previous issues right here.
I’m typing this on a Friday morning. I usually start working on my newsletters on Friday and finish them on Sunday. After that, I schedule them to go live Monday morning. I say all this because it can make timelines weird. For instance, after I finished writing last week’s newsletter, I drove to Mahoning, Pennsylvania to meet Lloyd Kaufman. I also saw my friend Jackie Mitchell, a great writer with a long history in the business.
The venue was a drive-in theater that shows old cult movies. It’s tucked away off a rural road and run almost entirely by volunteers. I love seeing work like this, people putting so much into something they love simply because they love it.
Uncle Lloyd, as Kaufman is affectionately called by fans, seemed well, mellowed out even. I guess he has a right to be at nearly eighty years old, forty-nine of which he has spent making trashy, low-budget films with a tremendous amount of heart. He was soft-spoken and kind. He told me to watch my step as I got on stage to pose for a picture with him and repeated his number one rule for making movies, which is “Safety to humans.” This, of course, made me smile. It was my first time meeting him, and it couldn’t have gone better.
I hadn’t seen Jackie since Killer Con 2019, so it was nice to catch up. We talked everything from her friendship with the late, great Richard Laymon to losing loved ones to right-wing radicalism to her time doing publicity for movies in the 90s. I tried gifting her a copy of DIGITAL DARKNESS, but she insisted on purchasing it from me because she’s a real one. She also handed me a folder full of her short fiction which I read in my spare time in the subsequent days. I hope these stories see the light of day; she’s got literary sensibilities that I worry our genre is slowly losing.
I spent most of the week caring for my daughter and trying to see old friends. We’re only here for another eight days, so I want to get as much quality time in as I can.
On Monday, a longtime friend who I met working at Borders way back in 2005 came over with her son, and our kids got to play. My son and hers are only about a year apart and got along immediately, bonding over GOO-JITSU action figures and MINECRAFT. Wild how kids can make friends so easily.
On Wednesday, I met up with a couple of dudes from the local writing community. One of them hit me with crazy good news I still can hardly believe. I wish I could announce it on their behalf, but they swore me to secrecy. All I’ll say is you never know when the right person is going to see your work. It can even happen when you think the publishing business has long passed you by.
On Thursday, I went to my friend Manderson’s house and watched horror movies in his basement. We watched KILLER MOON (a British cheapie that was impossible to follow while we talked over it) and THE SENTINEL. I read the novel on which the latter is based earlier this year and loved it. The movie was pretty cool too. I’m surprised I’d never seen it.
He and I have been doing some variation on this activity for almost two decades. He’s one of my oldest friends, and probably one of my closest outside of immediate family. He and his partner are expecting their first child next month, so I gifted him with a onesie and a copy of HAND, HAND, FINGERS, THUMB by Al Perkins, which is a classic of children’s literature, every bit as good as the work of Dr. Seuss. He gave me an authentic piece from the cabin where the original EVIL DEAD was filmed and a nice note thanking me for my friendship.
Not much writing got done this week, but I can live with that. Mental health and family come first, no matter what the hustle hucksters tell you.
Here’s a photo of me from the event in Mahoning.
No episode of MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN PODCAST this week. Jeff and I needed a break. We’ll be back next week with TOXIC AVENGER II.
That’s it for now. Take care, everyone.