Do an author's Mental Problems Push Creativity Into Action?
Panel discussion with John Shirley (moderator), Adam Bolivar, Sean Branney, Benjamin Capps, Henrik Möller
From madness to depression to obsession, its application to the arts. B-story: Did HPL have psychological issues?
John Shirley is an author, screenwriter, television writer, comics writer, singer, and songwriter. He is the author of more than forty novels and eight story collections. He won the Bram Stoker Award for the horror collection Black Butterflies: A Flock on the Dark Side. His novels include DEMONS, CELLARS, IN DARKNESS WAITING, CRAWLERS, BLEAK HISTORY, A SONG CALLED YOUTH, and CITY COME A-WALKIN'. He wrote the first four drafts of the screenplay for the movie THE CROW, and is co-writer with David Schow. He has written TV scripts for Poltergeist: The Legacy, Deep Space Nine, Sinbad, VR5 and other shows. He has written animation for Iron Man Armored Adventures and was nominated an Emmy for a recent episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is a former Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention. His most recent story collections are Living Shadows, In Extremis, and Lovecraft Alive (his Lovecraftian stories collected by Hippocampus Press). He also wrote the first novel based on the TV show GRIMM entitled GRIMM: THE ICY TOUCH, and the game tie-in novels Bioshock: Rapture and Halo: Broken Circle. Black October Records has brought out an album of John Shirley's own recordings, BROKEN MIRROR GLASS. He performs with his band, THE SCREAMING GEEZERS.
Sean is a producer, actor, director and writer with the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society which he runs with his nefarious colleague, Andrew Leman. He was intimately involved in the creation of the motion pictures The Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer in Darkness, nineteen episodes of Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, and many other Lovecraftian projects. With his work at the HPLHS, he's created many other Lovecraftian entertainments. Sean also produces and directs live theatre in Los Angeles. He plays ice hockey and has four chinchillas.
Adam Bolivar is a dark poet, weird fiction writer and marionettist whose work has appeared on the pages of Black Wings, Spectral Realms, the Lovecraft eZine, and in anthologies published by Hippocampus Press, Chaosium and Eraserhead Press. His first book, The Fall of the House of Drake, was published by Dunhams Manor in 2015. His second book, The Lay of Old Hex, a collection of spectral balladry, is forthcoming from Hippocampus Press. Bolivar’s poetry has received acclaim from leading Lovecraftian scholar and critic S. T. Joshi, who has stated that it ”creates a sense of cumulative terror and strangeness easily rivaling the best work of contemporary weird fiction writers.”
Award winning filmmaker and stop motion animator Benjamin Capps came to Chicago after receiving his degree in Theatre from the University of Missouri, Columbia. While an undergraduate, Benjamin founded The Inner Below in order to produce his own experimental theatre, with an emphasis on expanding on Antonin Artaud's theories of Theatre of Cruelty. Having written, directed, produced and acted in numerous stage-productions, Benjamin transitioned to film-making, now having made nine short-films. Through character-driven, retro futurism and painstaking stop motion Benjamin creates surreal netherworlds which drag the viewer into another realm to face horrific creatures.
Henrik Möller is a Swedish underground filmmaker with over a hundred satirical short films to his credit. In the world of horror films he is mostly known for the Philip K Dick film festival winner "Inviting the Demon" and the H.P. Lovecraft film festival best feature winner "Feed the Light".