The mystery solved!

Sam Gafford
http://www.angelfire.com/me5/lordshazam/
lordshazam@yahoo.com

So who is this crazy nut named Lordshazam?? After years of investigation, we can now reveal the truth!

Born on November 4th, 1962 (“a day that will live in infamy”), Sam Gafford gave little indication that he would grow into the near-omnipotent being known as LORDSHAZAM!

His childhood was spent in relatively normal settings. In fact, little is actually known about his childhood but the Great One himself has been known to say that “absolutely nothing of interest happened during my childhood except that I once met Jack Guilford who is known primarily from the great film, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM”.

Early in life, the great Lord S developed interests in several areas including true crime (“I once wanted to become a detective until I discovered that you couldn’t enter the police department at that level and actually had to start in the street. I wanted to be matching wits with Moriarty, not bumbling about like Lestrade”), Jack the Ripper, comic books, horror literature, several particular authors (including H. P. Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, Arthur Machen, William Hope Hodgson, Poe, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James, Philip K. Dick, Ambrose Bierce), horror movies, television (“I spent practically my whole childhood watching television and there is little trivia about 1970's television that I cannot answer... I’m not sure if that’s something to be proud of or not!”), music (“Blues music in particular, I’m big into Stevie Ray Vaughn, George Thorogood, Elmore James, Johnny Lee Hooker, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray, and the old Delta Blues players and I am also a huge Beatles fan and, I am ashamed to admit, was a very enthusiastic Runaways fan in my youth”), science fiction (television, books, and movies), history, sequential art (“big influences on me are Bernie Wrightson, Michael Kaluta, Barry Windsor Smith, KIRBY, Ghastly Ingles”), art (Bosch, Escher, Dali), old time radio, Abbott & Costello and more!

Since his early life, comic books played a big part in the life of this enigmatic hermit. “I’ve wanted to work in comics for as long as I can remember. I’ve always drawn but I think of myself more as a writer who draws than an artist who writes. My biggest influences in comic book art have been Jack Kirby and Bernie Wrightson. I am currently doing research on the work of Jack Kirby in hopes of writing a critical analysis of his incredibly important work and the impact he had upon this media. I am currently also working on producing my own line of comics as well as writing many strips for other small comic companies in the hopes of getting my work noticed.” Interested parties are encouraged to click on the Comic Book Work and Art sections of this website to see examples. A serious comic book collector, the crazy one admits to having a large comic collection but is always on the look for more books. “My brother, Karl, started me in on comics at a young age by letting me read his collection. Being ten years older, he had a lot of the early DC’s and Marvel’s so I got to see the Silver Age of Comics from the beginning.”

For many years, Lord S has been a member of several small press groups and has published his own small press comics. Often writing and drawing the work (“because I can’t find anyone crazy enough to do it for me”), he has produced several issues and looks forward to producing many more. “I totally believe in the small press because I believe in the need for a training ground for new talent where they can learn their craft without being exposed to national scrutiny. Plus, small press provides an amount of editorial freedom that you cannot get anywhere else. You can literally do anything you want to do in small press and there is no one telling you no. That’s a great thing!” Check out the Zines section to learn more!

Another strong influence was the life and work of H. P. Lovecraft. “I discovered Lovecraft, like so many others, when I was in high school and his themes of outsideness and alienation scored big with me. After that, I read everything by Lovecraft that I could and began actively contributing to the burgeoning Lovecraft critical circles. I belonged to the Esoteric Order of Dagon Amateur Press Association for many years and contributed articles and reviews to such magazines as LOVECRAFT STUDIES and CRYPT OF CTHULHU and FUNGI QUARTERLY. From there, my interest spread to other classic horror writers.” You can read several of these articles in the Reviews section and the Articles section of this website.

For many years, the strange one ran Hobgoblin Press which was a small press publisher that specialized in publishing works by several of these classic writers. In particular, he has been involved in the revitalization of interest in the work of William Hope Hodgson. WHH was a writer who, during his short life (he died in 1918 in WWI), created some astonishing creative speculative fiction. This unique personality had been, at various times, a merchant seaman, a physical culture teacher and lecturer, a pioneer in sea photography, a soldier and, of course, a writer. Readers who are interested in learning more should check out the Hodgson page.

When it comes to television and movies, the media guru has definite tastes. “My favorites in these areas are the Universal Monster Movies, Hammer horror movies, 1950's BEM movies, all BAD horror and SF movies as well as classic shows like NIGHT STALKER, X-FILES, STAR TREK, BABYLON 5, SIMPSONS, PRISONER, SPACE 1999, DR. WHO, AVENGERS, LOST IN SPACE (I got to meet Johnathan Harris from LOST IN SPACE a few years ago and feel that my life is complete now!) and I’m big into the cartoons of my era like SPACE GHOST, MIGHTY HEROES, UNDERDOG, BULLWINKLE, FLINTSTONES (especially the ones with the Great Gazoo!), Bugs Bunny (of course), and more! I am a creature of television!”

What’s in the future for this crazy creature who obviously must have too much time on his hands?? “I’ve got many projects in the planning. Including my comic and magazine work with Excaliber Press, reviving Hobgoblin Press, and working on my writing and artwork. There’s a lot still left to do.” Watch this website for updates on these and many other exciting projects!

So what do you think about all this?? Send this crazy wabbit an email and let him know!