Paul McComas's Best Reads of 2014

December 29, 2014

UnpluggedAuthorShotMy name is Paul McComas, and I came to Evanston in 1983 after growing up in Milwaukee; these remain my two favorite cities. I’m the author of five books: two short-story collections, Twenty Questions (1998) and the award-winning Unforgettable: Harrowing Futures, Horrors, & (Dark) Humor (2011); two novels, Unplugged (2002) and Planet of the Dates (2008); and the award-winning novella Fit for a Frankenstein (2013), coauthored by Greg Starrett. My next two books are also collaborations: Logan’s Journey, a sequel-novel to Logan’s Run, coauthored by LR author William F. Nolan; and Edgar G. Ulmer: A Life on Film, coauthored by David Luhrssen. Since 1998, I’ve taught writing, literature, and film at multiple levels and numerous sites, including the University of Chicago and Northwestern, Lawrence, and National-Louis universities. I founded the teen-suicide-prevention program Rock Against Depression, and I serve on both the National Leadership Council and the Speakers Bureau of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. I enjoy writing songs and playing bass and guitar in a couple of benefit bands, but most of all I enjoy spending time with my wife Heather and our rescue greyhound, Sam.

1) Accidentally on Purpose by Michael York (1992)

Always one of my favorite actors, Michael York has in recent months become a crucial collaborator (we’ve co-founded a charity program) and a dear friend. He’s also become one of my favorite authors. I’m currently reading his fine 2000 collaboration with Adrian Brine, A Shakespearean Actor Prepares, but have finished and thus can fully and enthusiastically endorse his 1991 autobiography Accidentally on Purpose. Continue reading “Paul McComas's Best Reads of 2014”

An Interview with Paul McComas and Greg Starrett: Men of Monstrous Ambitions

October 19, 2013

FIt For A Frankenstein

Paul McComas wears many hats…as well as the occasional half-head Frankenstein’s Monster mask.  McComas is the author of two novels and two short story collections, and the editor of two short-fiction anthologies.  In addition, the Evanston resident is an award-winning indie filmmaker, a teacher of writing, literature, and film, and a performance artist of no small repute.  His latest project is the novella Fit For A Frankenstein, co-authored with his long-time friend, Greg Starrett.  This is the first book for Starrett, a resident of Munster, Indiana, and the founder of Veidt Radio Theatre.

Fit For A Frankenstein pays homage to Universal Studio’s monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s, as it follows Ygor’s and the Monster’s increasingly zany quest for a size 66 X-X-Long suit. Logan’s Run author William F. Nolan recommends it for any reader with “fond memories of the iconic Monster.”  On Saturday, October 26, McComas and Starrett will perform scenes from the book, answer questions, and sign copies for anyone brave enough to venture to the Community Meeting Room at 3 p.m.  We recently overcame our fears, and sat down to talk with the co-authors about their monstrous collaboration.

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Beam Yourself Up to SciFi FanCon Evanston!

June 2, 2011

Other worlds and future fantasies will abound at the Evanston Public Library’s SciFi FanCon which lands on Saturday, July 30 from 2-3:30 pm.

This free event will feature a wide range of activities and programs, including a meet and greet with keynote speaker and Chicago Reader Critic’s Choice author Paul McComas, who will also read from his new book, Unforgettable.  The  Chicago Tribune has called Mr. McComas’ live readings “urgent and mesmerizing” and the Chicago Sun-Times has said “no one is giving author readings as lively.”

Get your fingers ready for retro video games, your brain ready to investigate the science behind science fiction, your taste buds ready for space age refreshments and your body ready to wear Steampunk jewelry created by local EPL teens.

And if that wasn’t enough, EPL’s famous book sale room (Best Used Book Sale – Chicago Reader) will be open with sci-fi and fantasy books galore!

Comic fans will not be forgotten as Jim Mortenson of Evanston’s Comix Revolution will be selling his wares along with a comic and sci-fi/fantasy book swap.

So beam yourself over to the Evanston Public Library’s Community Meeting Room at 1703 Orrington on July 30 at 2pm for future-fantastic time.  Call 847-448-8600 for more information.


An Interview with Paul McComas

April 28, 2011

Author Paul McComas will read at EPL on May 5th at 7 p.m.

Paul McComas has creative energy to burn.  An award-winning filmmaker, dynamic performance artist, and a mean punk bassist to boot, McComas is perhaps best known for his two acclaimed novels – Unplugged (2002) and Planet of the Dates (2008) – as well as for editing the short-fiction anthologies First Person Imperfect (2003) and Further Persons Imperfect (2007).  Now the Evanston author has added to his impressive artistic resume with his ambitious new genre collection Unforgettable: Harrowing Futures, Horrors, & (Dark) Humor.  Comprised of McComas’ fifty best speculative-fiction, horror, and dark-comic works, Unforgettable is an entertaining and enlightening thrill ride described by Logan’s Run author William F. Nolan as “a literary tour de force… that will leave you breathless.”  On Thursday, May 5th, you can hear Mr. McComas read from Unforgettable when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m. along with fellow author Tim W. Brown.  In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via email about the genesis of Unforgettable, the joys of dystopian worlds, No-Budget Theatre, his band The Daves, collaborating with Nolan on the forthcoming Logan’s Journey, and much, much more.

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