Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Scarecrows

In sweeping up the scraps of my research, I came across one more connection to make among Lee Brown Coye, "Sticks," and The Blair Witch Project. Then it will be time to move on.

A quote from "Sticks" (1974):
When he [Colin Leverett, the Coye character in the story] came across a scrap of board nailed to several sticks set into a stone wall, his darkest thought was that it might read "No Trespassing."
A quote from Planet of the Apes (1968):
Landon: Scarecrows?
Taylor: Let's see.
Is there a connection? You decide.


Text copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, March 2, 2015

Robert Bloch and The Blair Witch Project-Part Two

Like "Sticks" by Karl Edward Wagner, Robert Bloch's "Notebook Found in an Deserted House" is a story of the Cthulhu Mythos. I don't see much connection between Bloch's story and The Blair Witch Project, but there are similarities to stories by H.P. Lovecraft. That shouldn't come as any surprise, as Bloch was a member of Lovecraft's circle. In Bloch's story, there are deep wells as in "Pickman's Model," an altar or sacrificial slab of stone as in "The Dunwich Horror," and of course the menace of unknown creatures pressing in from the outside. (1) Some of those creatures are Shoggoths, and they are described in Bloch's story in horrifying verisimilitude.


* * *

I came to "Notebook Found in a Deserted House" by way of The Blair Witch Project. As I wrote yesterday, both are "found footage" stories. Bloch's story takes the form of a notebook, as the title explains outright, so it isn't really "footage." (2) A more inclusive term might be a "found artifact" story. (3) That brings me to a more interesting connection among "Notebook Found in a Deserted House," The Blair Witch Project, and the work of H.P. Lovecraft.

The "found artifact" story is old. The "found footage" story is new. What's new about it? The technology used to record the story. And when did that new technology come about? In the nineteenth century of course, in still photography (1820s), sound recording (1870s), the telephone (1876), motion picture photography (1890s), and radio (1890s). Here were true innovations. It could only have been a matter of time before they made their way into nascent science fiction. So what were the first "found artifact" stories involving those five technological developments? I don't know. That would make an interesting research project. (4) But in writing about The Blair Witch Project and "Notebook Found in a Deserted House," I thought of "The Statement of Randolph Carter" by H.P. Lovecraft (1920). Lovecraft's story is documentary, a transcript of a statement made by the title character, presumably to the police, perhaps even as a voice recording. (5) But the story turns on a piece of technology, a portable telephone used by the investigators in their exploration of a tomb. Without that piece of technology, the story could not have been told, and in that, I can see a connection, however tenuous, to The Blair Witch Project, made eight decades later. (6)

Notes
(1) Cap, the mailman, reminds me of the grandfather in The Lost Boys, who knows what's going on.
(2) "Notebook Found in a Deserted House" is a great title, guaranteed to pull in the curious reader. The title also serves as a framing device in the most economical way. I can think of one other title with multiple functions. There Will Be Blood is, at one and the same time: 1) A title; 2) A synopsis of the story; and 3) A movie review.
(3) A story told in the form of letters back and forth between correspondents is called an epistolary story. What is a story told in the form of a notebook called? A notatory story?
(4) Orson Welles' radio play "The War of the Worlds" from 1938 is a kind of "found artifact" story except there is no artifact: the story is broadcast live as it is happening. And it wasn't found, unless you found it on your dial. Maybe a more inclusive term is needed. The "documentary" story? That doesn't quite work, for a story can be documentary but not include any found artifact. The found aspect adds an irreplaceable dimension of mystery to a story. So found artifacts can be used in building a documentary story, as in "The Call of Cthulhu," thus making the story more mysterious and suspenseful. 
(5) Note the similarity of the title--as a kind of framing device or setup--to that of Bloch's story.
(6) Some added points: 1) We now have a new technology: computers and the Internet. So if new kinds of "found" stories originate in new kinds of technology, then there should be "found" Internet stories. I'm not sure it fits, but the closest I can come to that is the Slender Man phenomenon. 2) "Found" artifacts are a staple of pseudoscience: the image of a person, ghostly figure, alien, flying saucer, or cryptozoological creature in an otherwise ordinary photograph. So-called "rods" are a good example. 3) I don't know what connection there might be, but there is art, or so-called art, that consists of found objects assembled or labeled as something else. It should come as no surprise that the found object as art comes from the time of the Great War, in other words, from a time of decadence.


"Notebook Found in a Deserted House" was reprinted in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. Here is the cover of the 1990 edition, created by Jeffrey K. Potter.

Copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Robert Bloch and The Blair Witch Project-Part One

The Blair Witch Project (1999) was based on "Sticks" by Karl Edward Wagner (1974). Of that there can be little doubt. But were there other sources for the movie? Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Robert Bloch's short story "Notebook Found in a Deserted House":

"Many consider it to be a predecessor to the film The Blair Witch Project."

Many.

There's scholarship for you.

Presumably the people who write articles for Wikipedia have access to the Internet. You would think they could replace that many with a few names by doing a simple Internet search. So I did a simple Internet search and quickly came up with two names. That's a start. One is Michael D. Winkle, who wrote an article called "Tales of the Blair Witch Mythos," posted on a sketchy website in 2001, back when computer servers were made of stone and iron. Mr. Winkle's article is interesting. You might want to have a look.

Another of the many is Michael J. Tresca, who wrote a customer review of the anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos in 2006. I could go on down the line, but I'm not sure I would find the originator of the idea that The Blair Witch Project was based on or inspired by "Notebook Found in a Deserted House." The thing to do is to just see how they stack up against each other.

"Notebook Found in a Deserted House" is a short story by Robert Bloch. First published as the cover story in the May 1951 issue of Weird Tales, it has been reprinted many times since, including in the aforementioned anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. Coincidence or no, Lee Brown Coye was the cover artist for both magazine and book. I have read the story in a later edition of Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (1990), very generously provided by my friend Gandelyn.

As the name suggests, "Notebook Found in a Deserted House" takes the form of a notebook and is told in the voice of its author, a twelve-year-old boy named Willie Osborne. Willie lives with his aunt and uncle in the backwoods of New England, presumably in Massachusetts. (Arkham and Kingsport are both mentioned in the story.) Bad things start to happen and the boy is left alone in the house. There seems to be no escape for him and there the story ends. I won't give anything more away.

Bloch's story and The Blair Witch Project utilize a framing device. In "Notebook Found in a Deserted House," the title is the device, but there isn't any frame on the other end. Maybe it's only a half-framing device. In The Blair Witch Project, the narration inserted at the beginning and end of the film are the device. So there is the first similarity. But there are hundreds if not thousands of stories with framing devices. I read one the other day, "The Horror of the Heights" by Arthur Conan Doyle (1913), a story that also takes the form of a notebook kept by the protagonist. So maybe not much of a similarity.

Story and movie are also both told in documentary fashion, and in general the action takes place as the story is being told. (Both begin with scary stories of what happened in the woods back in the old days.) Both take place in the backwoods, and in both, the woods--inhabited by unknown and terrifying forces--represent a menace. That idea--that evil lurks in the deep, dark forest--goes back at least to first settlement and probably to the beginning of time. Witness "Hansel and Gretel" and "Young Goodman Brown."

In both tales, the narrators circle back to their place of beginning, but that's common in people who are lost, disoriented, frightened, or on the run. You might take that as a metaphor for life itself, for we all return or wish to return to the place where we began. Both stories end within the walls of a house, in the story, a deserted house, in the movie, a decrepit house. However, the deserted house is the last safe place, while the decrepit house is the place where horror still lives.

Finally, both "Notebook Found in an Deserted House" and The Blair Witch Project are "found footage" stories. In the case of the first, the "footage" is actually, of course, a notebook. I'll have more to say about "found footage" in the second and last part of this series.

That's it. That's as much as I can see. I think the similarities between Bloch's story and the film from half a century later are superficial and consist mostly of conventions of storytelling. That's not to say the moviemakers had not read "Notebook Found in a Deserted House," or that they were not inspired by it, but I don't see any hard evidence that they had or were.

To be concluded . . .

Weird Tales, May 1951, with a cover story, "Notebook Found in a Deserted House," by Robert Bloch, and cover art by Lee Brown Coye. Stories told by Bloch and Coye are supposed to have influenced the making of The Blair Witch Project. But could Coye have been influenced by Bloch's story in his tale of the Mann Brook house?
"Notebook Found in a Deserted House" was reprinted in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos in 1969.  Once again, Coye was the cover artist.

Text and captions copyright 2015 terence E. Hanley

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lee Brown Coye in "Sticks"

"Sticks" by Karl Edward Wagner was first published in the small magazine Whispers in March 1974. Described by its author as "shot through with in-jokes and references which the serious fantasy/horror fan will recognize," (1) the story falls, I think, into the category of the roman à clef, that is, a fictionalized version of real people and real events. A roman à clef would seem an impossibility in fantasy fiction, but as long as you can accept that the people and events are really, really fictionalized, you'll be okay. One of the most famous stories of this type in genre fiction is Anthony Boucher's murder mystery Rocket to the Morgue (1942).

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database considers "Sticks" a novelette. I would call it a short story, maybe a long short story, but not so long that you can't read it in half an hour or so. I read "Sticks" in Masters of Horror and the Supernatural: The Great Tales, compiled by Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, and Martin H. Greenberg (1981), in which it runs to nineteen pages.

"Sticks" opens along Mann Brook in the spring of 1942. A local artist, Colin Leverett, is on a final fishing trip before being drafted. In hiking down the valley, he finds patterns of stones laid out on the ground and, moments later, strange lattices of sticks everywhere he looks. Leverett comes upon a decrepit house and explores its interior. The walls inside are covered with "diagrams of the mysterious lattice structures," some "like a mad mural," others small, reminding Leverett of "cuneiform glyphics." (p. 307). The suggestion of writing is key to later developments in the story.

Leverett descends into a cellar seemingly too big for the house. It is constructed of "great blocks of gneiss that might support a castle." (p. 308) He wonders if the house was built upon a much older foundation. In the center of the cellar, Leverett discovers "a large tablelike bulk . . . . waist-high, maybe eight feet long and less wide." (p. 308) Feeling in the dark, he detects a groove along the edge of the slab, then "something cold and leathery and unyielding." (p. 308) It is at that point that a hand reaches out of the dark and grabs him. The face of his assailant passes through a beam of light. "It was a lich's face--desiccated flesh tight over its skull. Filthy strands of hair . . . tattered lips . . . broken yellowed teeth . . . and, sunken in their sockets, eyes that should have be dead but were bright with hideous life." (pp. 308-309) (2) Using his only weapon, Leverett strikes at the creature with his small, iron skillet. In so doing, he cleaves the lich's skull. Thus released, the frightened artists flees from the cellar, the sounds of pursuing footsteps lodged forever after in his memory.

"Sticks" goes on for eight more brief chapters, tying Lee Brown Coye's real-life experiences to local history, New England megaliths, colonial-era occultism, the Cthulhu Mythos, Wagner's own universe of Kane, and the small world of weird fiction. Coye is of course fictionalized as Colin Leverett, but August Derleth also shows up as Prescott "Scotty" Brandon, the editor and publisher of Gothic House books. H.P. Lovecraft is represented as well in the person of H. Kenneth Allard. There is a more obscure reference to the real-life local historian and author Andrew E. Rothovius (1923-2009) as the character Dr. Alexander Stefroi. On the whole, "Sticks" is creepy, but more than that, very clever in its construction. Lovecraft would have been proud and probably amused at what Wagner did with him as H. Kenneth Allard, of whom there is more than meets the eye.

* * *

In "Sticks," the fictional Lee Brown Coye is contracted by the fictional August Derleth to illustrate the works of the fictional H.P. Lovecraft. The artist struggles to make his work suitably weird and macabre until he remembers the sketches he made of the stick lattices of a quarter century before. His depiction of those stick lattices is what drives the story to its terrifying conclusion. According to the afterword in Whispers, Lee Brown Coye began drawing stick lattices in his work in the early 1960s. At about the same time, he wrote about his experience in his newspaper column "Chips & Shavings," and he tried to relocate the site of that experience from a quarter century before. But do Lee Brown Coye's stick lattices really date from the early 1960s? And are they really based on what he saw along Mann Brook in 1938? The illustrations below tell a different story.



These two illustrations are from Lee Brown Coye's first book, The Seventh Ogre. The book was published in 1932--note the date next to Coye's signature in the first illustration. Note also the sticks motif in the background of both images. I'm not the first to point these out. Luis Ortiz made note of them in his biography Arts Unknown (2005). The point is that Coye's illustrations for The Seventh Ogre predate his fishing trip along Mann Brook by six years. In other words, he was drawing stick lattices long before he saw them around a decrepit backwoods house in Chenango County, New York.

Lee Brown Coye's tale of being grabbed by a hand out of the dark is a mystery. That it shall remain.

Notes
(2) Lich is an old and very fine word for a corpse. It has been adapted to use in weird fiction and heroic fantasy, perhaps originating in the work of the "Big Three," Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and H.P. Lovecraft, all of whom were fond of archaic words.

Text copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lee Brown Coye (1907-1981)-Part Seven

Karl Edward Wagner remembered:
The story ["Sticks"] is really Lee Brown Coye’s and is about Lee Brown Coye, as the Afterword [in Whispers #3] explains. Coye had described the events upon which “Sticks” was based to me, and when Stuart David Shiff decided to bring out a special Lee Brown Coye issue of Whispers, I stole time from my final few months of medical school to write a story inspired by Coye’s experiences. “Sticks” is shot through with in-jokes and references which the serious fantasy/horror fan will recognize. I wrote the story as a favour (1) and tribute to Lee, and I never expected it to be read by anyone beyond the thousand or so fans who read Whispers. To my surprise, “Sticks” became one of my best known and best liked stories. It won the British Fantasy Award and was a runner-up in the World Fantasy Award for best short fiction. The story has been anthologized numerous times and translated into several languages. It was broadcast on National Public Radio on Hallowe’en 1982 and was to have been produced for the short lived television series, Darkroom. Not bad for an in-joke. (2)
Not long after the Lee Brown Coye issue of Whispers was published (in March 1974), Karl Edward Wagner and David Drake made the thirteen-hour drive from North Carolina to Hamilton, New York, to visit with Coye in his studio. Wagner described the sixty-six-year-old artist: "Coye [looked] like one of his own creations, long-bodied; cadaverously thin; brush of age-bleached hair that still showed traces of red; bright, lively eyes . . . ." (3) Eleven years before, in June 1963, Coye and two friends, John Vetter and Art Meggett, had gone looking for the Mann Brook site. In this June of 1974, Coye made a second expedition with Wagner and Drake. According to Coye's biographer, the trio of explorers found that the site had been "completely replaced with fresh forest and was now strewn with 'no trespassing for any purposes' signs." (4) The men turned back, instead visiting a local cemetery.

* * *

Coye received his copy of Worse Things Waiting, the first book published under Wagner and Drake's Carcosa imprint, towards the end of the year. At the first World Fantasy Awards (5), Wagner, Coye, Manly Wade Wellman, and Stuart David Schiff won a triple crown:

  • Worse Things Waiting by Manly Wade Wellman, illustrated by Lee Brown Coye, and published by Carcosa, won for best anthology/collection;
  • Lee Brown Coye won for best artist; and
  • Whispers, edited and published by Stuart David Schiff, won the special award in the "non-professional" category, no doubt in part for its Lee Brown Coye issue of March 1974.

In addition, "Sticks," written by Karl Edward Wagner, based on Coye's experience, and published in Whispers, was nominated for best short fiction. (The award went to "Pages from a Young Girl's Journal" by Robert Aikman.)

* * *

Then in his sixties, Lee Brown Coye continued creating illustrations for small press, fanzines, and Whispers. In 1976, Scribner's issued Dying of Fright: Masterpieces of the Macabre. Coye provided the illustrations for this oversized anthology, edited by Les Daniels. One of Coye's drawings for Weird Tales also appeared in Daniels' book Living in Fear: A History of Horror in the Mass Media (Scribner's, 1975).

In January 1977, Coye had a stroke and fell into a coma. Over the course of a year, he rallied and was able to draw again. In summer, Carcosa came out with Murgunstrumm & Others by Hugh B. Cave. That book won the award for best anthology/collection at the 1978 World Fantasy Awards. Once again, Lee Brown Coye was named best artist. Karl Edward Wagner was among the judges that year.

Coye's health continued to deteriorate. He had a heart attack in February and again in September 1981. The second one proved fatal, thus Lee Brown Coye died on September 5, 1981, at age seventy-four. His last original art was published in the fanzine Sorcerer's Apprentice in the year of his death. Karl Edward Wagner survived him, but was probably on a downward trajectory by then. His appetites caught up with him in the end, which came on October 14, 1994. Wagner was just forty-eight years old.

Next: Lee Brown Coye in "Sticks"

Notes
(1) Note Wagner's use of the British spelling, à la H.P. Lovecraft.
(3) Quoted in Arts Unknown: The Life and Art of Lee Brown Coye by Luis Ortiz (2005), p. 149.
(4) Ditto.
(5) Held in Providence, Rhode Island, October 31-November 2, 1975. Providence was, of course, H.P. Lovecraft's native city.

The World Fantasy Award, since 1975, presented annually at the World Fantasy Convention. Lee Brown Coye won two of these awards near the end of his life, for best artist in 1975 and 1978. Designed by the cartoonist (and last Weird Tales artist) Gahan Wilson, it of course depicts H.P. Lovecraft. Some have called it hideous. They sound like Lovecraft's mother, who helped ruin her son by calling him "ugly" (thereby providing the rest of us with nearly a century of entertainment in his work). I have read some of the suggestions for replacing Lovecraft's visage: a dragon, the One Ring, a wizard's hat, a unicorn. If it's a unicorn, I hope it's one with soft, big, brown, eyes and a long flowing mane and tail, preferably pink or purple, that you can comb. And a rainbow in the background!

The objection to the World Fantasy Award isn't really to the ugliness of the statuette. It's to the man whom it represents. I wrote last year about the idea that science fiction could be dying, if it isn't already dead. One possible cause for the moribund state of the genre is a plague of political correctness, a disease that always proves fatal. It's one thing for political correctness to infect science fiction. After all, science fiction, being about the future, and, at its extremes, about a perfectly ordered future, has a hard time separating itself from things political. But now the disease of political correctness appears to have passed to fantasy, a genre that is ordinarily far less political, and very often not political at all. Moreover, fantasy is often about freedom, the antithesis of the dystopia that the politically correct wish to impose upon all of us.

The controversy over the Lovecraft statuette has to do with the author's supposed racism. There is no question that Lovecraft wrote some pretty disagreeable things in his stories. There can't be any excusing those things. But the people who object so strongly to him and his work should look a little more deeply into the human psyche before spouting off. H.P. Lovecraft was a recluse and a pauper. His father more or less abandoned him. His mother called him ugly and in her neurosis clung to him. If he was not mentally ill, Lovecraft was deeply troubled, emotionally and psychologically (though his mental state improved later in life). He very seldom held a real job and was barely able to function in the real world. Although he married, he also abandoned his marriage and died childless, essentially of malnutrition. In short, Lovecraft was a man who lived in a kind of desperation; he was a man without power. I
n their desperation, people who are abandoned or improperly loved by their parents--who are unable to function in the world--who feel powerless, angry, fearful, or lonely--often lash out. Being or feeling powerless themselves, they tend to pick on those who are either far more powerful than they are (believing those people to be the cause of their problems) or who are weaker than they are, the way some people abuse or mistreat children, animals, and waitresses. H.P. Lovecraft may or may not have been racist. But to impute the power of the racist to him is silly. To believe that he was animated or motivated by racism is to misinterpret his life to the point of incompetence.*

One author has called Lovecraft "a malevolent clown." Well, that "clown" helped create and was the leading theorist of a genre--weird fiction--that is perhaps more popular now than ever. That "clown" created something August Derleth fashioned into "the Cthulhu Mythos," one of the most successful works of the imagination to come out of twentieth-century literature. That "clown" is acknowledged as second only to Edgar Allan Poe in his field. He has countless fans, admirers, and followers. His work has been taken up by prominent and successful authors. His stories have been adapted to movies, television, radio, spoken-word records, comic books, and games. And he has 
a major award (in the words of Ralphie Parker's Old Man) cast in his image. Scores of writers, artists, editors, and publishers have accepted that award over the past forty years without protest. I doubt that so many people are so willing to overlook the sins of a racist or of racism in general. In any case, S.T. Joshi has addressed the controversy far more cogently than I on his blog, called, accurately enough, S.T. Joshi's Blog, at the following URL:

http://stjoshi.org/news2014.html

My hope is that the disease of political correctness infecting not just literature but all of society recedes so that we might all enjoy once again a healthier condition.

-----

*Much of the evidence for Lovecraft's supposed racism rests on his story "The Horror at Red Hook," composed when Lovecraft was living in Brooklyn. There is real ugliness in the story to be sure, but it's clear to me that "The Horror at Red Hook" is an expression of extreme desperation and probably also of loneliness, fear, anger, and homesickness.

Text and captions copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lee Brown Coye (1907-1981)-Part Six

All things come to an end, and generations pass, one to the next.

H.P. Lovecraft died in 1937. Two years later, August Derleth and Donald Wandrei founded Arkham House so that his stories might remain in print. Derleth himself passed away in 1971, and though Arkham House went on, other men--a new generation--stepped into the gap. Karl Edward Wagner, David Drake, and Jim Groce started Carcosa in 1972 to continue Derleth's work publishing weird fiction in hardback. Stuart David Schiff, a fan and collector, created Whispers of Arkham, a magazine to continue Derleth's own title, The Arkham Collector. The lawyers handling Derleth's estate didn't like the "Arkham" part, so the title was shortened to just Whispers. Inside the inaugural issue of July 1973, readers could find an illustration by Lee Brown Coye. (1)

Stuart David Schiff was and is a writer, editor, publisher, fan, and collector. In the early seventies, he was a dentist in the U.S. Army and stationed in North Carolina, where he had occasion to meet David Drake and Manly Wade Wellman. Schiff enlisted Drake's help in reading submissions for Whispers. In ten years on the job, Drake (also an Army veteran) read hundreds of manuscripts from the slush pile. In 2006, he wrote: "I’m glad to have helped Stuart keep short fantasy fiction alive during the ’70s when there was little or no other place for it." (2) Whispers and its editor have won universal praise and accolades, including a World Fantasy Award in 1975 for a "non-professional" magazine. Schiff published Whispers in twenty-four issues from 1973 to 1987.

Four years before Whispers #1 came out, Stuart Schiff had visited Lee Brown Coye in his studio in Hamilton, New York, and came away with a few pieces of artwork and an appreciation for the artist. "Soon after starting the magazine," wrote Coye's biographer, Luis Ortiz, "Schiff decided to do a Coye issue." Cartoonist Gahan Wilson would write an appreciation of his fellow Weird Tales artist (despite not knowing much about him), while Karl Edward Wagner would finally be the writer to turn Coye's Mann Brook experience of 1938 into a piece of fiction. At a penny per word, Wagner would earn a whopping $81 for his effort, not enough, according to Drake, to "cover rent and groceries for the time it took [him] to write [it]." (3) Wagner asked his editor to send half that payment to Lee Brown Coye, without whom the story would never have been written.

Whispers #3, the Lee Brown Coye issue, came out in March 1974. Coye provided a cover and seventeen interior illustrations going back to 1932 and his work for The Seventh Ogre. Gahan Wilson came through with an appreciation, as did Stuart Schiff. David Drake contributed a short story, "The Shortest Way," as did G.E. Symonds. Filling out the last quarter of the magazine is Karl Edward Wagner's "Sticks," a story that immediately broke out of Schiff's small magazine to win the British Fantasy Award and a nomination for the World Fantasy Award, both in 1975. "Sticks" has been reprinted more than two dozen times in the last forty years. It has also been adapted to other media, including, of course, the movie The Blair Witch Project (1999).

To be continued . . .

Notes
(1) That illustration is not listed in Luis Ortiz's biography of Coye but in The Internet Speculative Fiction Database.
(2) "Whispers Magazine" by David Drake, Nov. 22, 2006, on his website, here.
(3) From "The Truth Insofar As I Know It" by David Drake in Exorcisms and Ecstasies (1997), available online on a poorly designed website.

Whispers #3, the Lee Brown Coye issue, published in March 1974 with cover art by Coye showing more sticks, which aren't very much different from the emblematic stick motifs in The Blair Witch Project.

Text and captions copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley