James Aquilone was raised on Saturday morning cartoons, comic books, sitcoms, and Cap’n Crunch. Amid the Cold War, he dreamed of being a jet fighter pilot but decided against the military life after realizing it would require him to wake up early. He had further illusions of being a stand-up comedian, until a traumatic experience on stage forced him to seek a college education. Brief stints as an alternative rock singer/guitarist and child model also proved unsuccessful. Today he battles a severe chess addiction while trying to write in the speculative fiction game.
James is the owner of Monstrous Books, the writer of the Dead Jack, Zombie Detective series, and the editor of the anthologies Classic Monsters Unleashed, Shakespeare Unleashed, and the Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary graphic novel.
He's won a Bram Stoker Award and two Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.
Suffice it to say, things are going much better than his modeling career.
From the blood of Macbeth and the ghosts of Hamlet, to the dark fantasy of The Tempest and the twisted love of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare Unleashed reimagines the Bard’s greatest works as short horror stories…as well as horror sonnets.
With new stories by Joe R. Lansdale & Kasey Lansdale, Ian Doescher, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, Lee Murray, Gemma Files, Tim Waggoner, Lisa Morton, Gene Flynn, Philip Fracassi, Gwendolyn Kiste, and others.
Dark sonnets by Linda D. Addison, Alessandro Manzetti, Jessica McHugh, Sara Tantlinger, and Lucy A. Snyder, among others.
And an introduction by Weston Ochse.
KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
An anthology comic celebrating the classic TV show. With stories and art by Steve Niles, Gabriel Hardman, Kim Newman, Nancy A. Collins, Jonathan Maberry, Dan Brereton, Jerry Ordway, Julius Ohta, J.K. Woodward, and Colton Worley.
Edited by James Aquilone.
Available as a 48-page one-shot, a 188-page graphic novel, and deluxe 248-page edition with 10 prose stories.
Published in late 2022.
Our Kickstarter raised more than $110,000.
CLASSIC MONSTERS UNLEASHED contains dark, scary stories about your favorite monsters and will be written by the biggest names in the horror genre — including Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Linda D. Addison, F. Paul Wilson, and many others.
Edited by James Aquilone.
Published July 12, 2022 by Crystal Lake Publishing and Black Spot Books
"An eclectic mix of tributes to the Golden Age of Monsters." —Ginger Nuts of Horror
DEAD JACK 1
JACK WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR DUST—MAYBE EVEN SAVE THE WORLD!
Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device kicks off a wild and irreverent fantasy / horror series following the exploits of a zombie detective and his homunculus frenemy. In the fast-paced novel, the drug-addicted zombie detective and his shapeshifting sidekick battle and outsmart supernatural creatures, from tough-guy leprechauns to sex-obsessed shark women and insane bat gods, in a hellish, alternate New York City of the 1940s.
DEAD JACK 2
A SOUL IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE!
In the second book in the Dead Jack series, the zombie detective hits rock bottom, bingeing on fairy dust and formaldehyde 24/7. Reluctantly, he sets out with a fellow zombie, the narcissistic Garry, to find his long-lost soul. But a new threat emerges: a neo-Nazi group that hunts down the depressed corpse, believing his sidekick Oswald has the power to capture all the souls in Pandemonium. Again, the wicked world needs saving, but this time can Jack also save himself?
COSMIC HORROR! LOVECRAFTIAN MADNESS! FAIRY DUST!
In the third book in the Dead Jack series, eldritch terrors threaten to invade Pandemonium. Meanwhile, Jack and Oswald’s relationship is at the breaking point over the homunculus’s newfound powers. Can Jack and Oswald stop the Old Gods before they kill each other?
The paperback also includes illustrations and two bonus short stories: “Dead Jack and the Case of the Creepy Cryptid” and “Dead Jack and Oswald Meet Frankenstein.”
DEAD JACK 3
MADNESS & MAYHEM
This collection has everything! Sassy robots, bloodthirsty spirits, a guy who's forced to watch TV and eat nachos, superheroes who are lame, a story about a zombie who searches for meaning in a world plagued by humans. If you like to laugh, there's a hysterical story about a redneck telepath who tortures a poor schlub for no reason.