Nightmare Fuel, Issue 209

Nightmare Fuel, Issue 209


The driveway didn’t LOOK icy. 

Temperatures had been above freezing for several hours.

The roads were wet but clear.

But, as I walked out to the car in order to go grab my kid a milkshake from Sonic, I stepped on the one stubborn, unmelted, near invisible ice patch in my driveway. I crashed. And I crashed hard. I managed to twist myself (I can’t say intentionally) in such a way that I didn’t smash my face into the corner of the brick column next to the garage. But I did smash the back of my head into it. My arm got all jacked up. My back, which was already in bad shape this week, took the brunt of the fall. 

I sprang back up, leaving my car keys in the drive where they stayed for the rest of the rainy night, and hobbled back into the house. 

The rest of the night was spent in excruciating pain. My back was locked up tight. My arm was bleeding all over. My head had a nasty dent in it. But the worst of it had passed by morning. 

Here, my friends, is where I started to write about all the thoughts that have popped into my head since that fall. What if I hadn’t twisted (involuntarily or otherwise) the way I did? What if the corner of the brick post had struck me right in the center of my face?

I say I started to write about it because I stopped myself. Where I went with it was simply too dark and disturbing for me to ponder at the moment. Yes, if I were writing about some fictional character, I might explore the fall in gruesome detail. But this is me we’re talking about! I’m one of my favorite people! So, I quickly deleted the paragraphs of nasty details and existential dread. 

How much is too much?

How far is too far?

For me, right at this moment, I think I found it. 

Hello, dear friends! I’m Cullen Bunn. I’m a mean old spider, and getting punched in the head by a house cannot stop me. Welcome to another issue of NIGHTMARE FUEL. Let’s get some damage done, shall we?

Getting work done these week has been a challenge. My son was part of the Missouri All-State Orchestra which performed during the Missouri Music Educators Association conference this week. The conference was held at Margaritaville in the Lake of the Ozarks. Because he was also providing violin accompaniment to a school choir, he had to go up a little early. So, first thing Tuesday morning, while my back and arm were killing me from the fall the night before, we drove to Margaritaville. And since his actual conference didn’t start until the next day, we spent the night (and most of the next day) hanging out there. Cindy and I came home, but three days later we drove back to see him perform. I was able to knock out a lot of busy work, yes, but writing was a little more difficult. 

Still… worth it to hang out with Cindy and Roman and watch Roman perform with the orchestra.

Next week will be a bit of a snarl, too, because there are some family responsibilities, what feels like a thousand Zoom meetings, and a one-day convention on the schedule. 

Speaking of conventions, I’ve been looking at stock for upcoming shows. I don’t have a lot left, so I’m going to be ordering a bunch of books this week. It’s always a bit of a puzzle, figuring out the right mix of product that will sell at conventions. I dislike breaking down the table and packing books at the ned of the show, so I don’t want anything left at all when everything is wrapped up. This year, even though I’m only doing a few shows, I’ll be carefully monitoring what I bring, what sells, and what doesn’t. 

I can’t remember if I mentioned the BEYOND MORTAL trading cards yet or not. Years ago, Brian Hurtt and I did a postcard set for THE DAMNED that we made available only at conventions. I love those kind of limited offerings. So… this year I’ll be making a limited run of trading cards based on my upcoming superhero/horror book BEYOND MORTAL. We’ve been testing out some designs, but they will look something like this:

Pretty cool, huh?

I hope to have the sets ready by Planet Comicon, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. 

You might remember that LONG HAUL, the horror book I’m doing with Heath Amodio and Andrea Mutti is coming out soon from Storm King. It’s an OGN full of dread and violent action. Storm King put together this terrific trailer for the book. Give it a look and make sure to tell your favorite bookseller that you want a copy! It comes out on February 21, and you do NOT want to miss it.

We’re getting down to the wire on COPYCAT. Just a few days left. How many days? Well exactly:

By the time this newsletter comes out again, it will be TOO LATE to support this cool graphic novel. I hope you’ll consider supporting the book and telling your friends all about it and encouraging them all to give it a shot.


Sarah, a talented ER nurse, has the unique ability to diagnose her patients with just one touch. Unfortunately, her power comes at a painful cost, as she suffers the same agony as those she cares for. When a mysterious woman named Emma dies in her arms, Sarah inadvertently leaches Emma’s extraordinary superhuman ability to fight. Sarah is then hunted by Emma’s killers, forced to leach more and more powers from an onslaught of superhuman assassins to stay alive. With any luck, she’ll survive long enough to solve Emma’s murder, and bring them all down.

Week Four of horror trivia is upon us! This time around, we’re tackling science fiction and horror. 

I messed that one up a little at the very beginning, but this is a live-fire/live-and-learn scenario, so that’s all right! I think the questions are solid, challenging, and fun! Enjoy! And don’t forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

A new Archic Comics horror one-shot has been announced! 

From Archie Comics:

The classic character Bingo Wilkin gained an all-too terrifying new fandom in last year’s THE CULT OF THAT WILKIN BOY comic from the Archie Horror imprint. This April, we follow Bingo’s terrifying journey into the depths of fame with a new installment, CHILLING ADVENTURES PRESENTS… THE CULT OF THAT WILKIN BOY: INITIATION.

“I’m so excited to have the chance to write a new Bingo story,” Bunn said. “INITIATION stands completely on its own as a fun, dark little horror tale. But, for those who have read THE CULT OF THAT WILKIN BOY, it continues the tale of deviltry and supernatural shenanigans in an exciting way. Returning to this world, I wanted to tell a tale that was a natural progression for Bingo but was also an amplification of the nightmarish horror that surrounds him.”

THE CULT OF THAT WILKIN BOY: INITIATION, with an open-to-order variant cover by Robert Hack, inks by Ben Galvan, colors by Matt Herms and lettering by Jack Morelli, releases April 24 in comic shops nationwide and will be available for pre-order in comics shops on January 26.

I heard from my friends at Yellowbike Films that production of a new micro-short horror film I wrote should begin in just a few days. I can’t wait to see this thing… and to share it with you! I have a handful of these micro-shorts I’d like to have produced in the very near future. 

In honor of this one (called WATHING) getting underway, I thought it might be a good idea to share my previous short film SWUMPWATER (from Pop Films) for those who haven’t seen it!

I’ve been having little nightmares all week. Just quick little flashes. Sometimes, the dreams are snippets of conversations gone wrong. Sometimes, glimpses of strange figures. Sometimes, just bursts of strangeness. These dreams last just a second or two, just long enough to wake me up, never enough to really latch onto. I’ve never had dreams like this before. It just dawned on me, as I write this, that maybe they have something to do with the fall. I hit my head pretty hard. Maybe I shook some bad thoughts loose.  Or maybe the fall just scared me on some deeper subconscious level. Or maybe they’re just related to stress. They’re new, though, and they’re not a lot of fun.

I’m gonna ride them out for a bit and see where they take me. 


In 2010, Brian Hurtt had a gallery showing of THE SIXTH GUN at Star Clipper in St. Louis, Missouri. Original art for every page of the first arc was displayed along with the color versions. 

Banner - weekly obsessions

Cindy and I finished REACHER, and I thought the season was great. I’m already looking forward to the next one. I also started (finally) THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. I’m only a couple of episodes in, but I like it. Tonally, it is VERY different from Flanagan’s other shows, which I loved, but that’s not a bad thing. In addition, I stared watching SCAVENGER’S REIGN, which is like a HEAVY METAL/Moebius mind-trip that I love.  

Banner - things to come
Banner - events

All events are subject to change at a moment’s notice, but here is where I’ll be appearing in the next several months!I 

February 3, 2024 - ARTCON, Neosho, Missouri

May 31 - June 2, 2024 - TREMENDICON, Springfield, Missouri

Banner - where to find me

THE SHOCK SHOP - My online store, where you can find exclusive covers you can only get directly from me!

PATREON - Here, I post a serialized novel, a serialized comic book, short stories, and other cool materials.

CULLEN'S AMAZON STORE - Listen! If you have a local comic shop or bookshop, PLEASE visit them and order your books from them. If you don't have a shop, though, or if you can't get my books from your local bookseller for some reason, this Amazon shop has tons of options. 

THE CULLEN BUNN DISCORD SERVER - A place for fans to hang out and talk about comics, books, movies, games, collecting, and whatever else strikes their fancy.

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