Shannon Reviews "Fearworms: Selected Poems by Robert Payne Cabeen"

Good horror books/poems/graphic novels are hard to come by.  I always feel like I’m constantly searching for quality stories that don’t leave me bored or unsatisfied.  As of late, I’ve run into a few really great books by authors Zach Bohannon and Jeremy Megargee but I needed more to whet my appetite. While attending ScareLA, I saw a booth that happened to be selling an awesome HP Lovecraft art piece.  I ended up not buying the piece but I struck up a conversation with Barbra and Bryant Dillon of Fanboy Comics.  They informed me that if I liked horror poems such as “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” I should read “Fearworms” by Robert Payne Cabeen.  I looked quickly at the book that they published, fell in love with the illustrations and was instantly curious as to what these poems would have in store for me.  After that, the rest was history. I finished reading “Fearworms” last night and I was absolutely giddy with excitement, it was that good! 

Before going into my review, I’m sure you are asking yourself, what is “Fearworms?”  Here is a quick synopsis for you: “Fearworms: Selected Poems” features Robert Payne Cabeen’s new and previously published poems - from the 1980s to the present.  These manically crafted word machines are visceral, psychological, haunting, and terrifyingly humorous, and they are guaranteed to leave readers squirming (sourced from Fearworms.com).  What I really love about “Fearworms” is that it seems to touch on almost all fears that people have.  For example, I hate clowns.  The first poem in this book is about clowns and let me tell you - it’s extremely unsettling.  Robert Payne Cabeen is a master storyteller and composes verses with little to no effort so that the poem sinks deep into your brain and never wants to leave.  I love the juxtaposition between the beautiful writing style and the horrifying story being told.

Not all the poems were as horrifying as the “Clowns” one.  Cabeen has poems such as “Rule 44″ which deal with human and robot interactions with a touch of lost love as well as the infamous “Krampus” poem to get us in the mood for Christmas cheer.  To round out this mix of horrifying and fun poems, Cabeen makes sure to add in supernatural elements and cannibals.  I mean seriously, how can you have horror poems without a few friendly cannibals?  My favorite poem in his selected works is “Whitestone Grove Hotel.”  That poem kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more.  I would love to read a whole story based around the Whitestone Grove Hotel and the individuals who come to stay and never seem to leave. With all that said, I would give my final review of “Fearworms” an 8/10.  The only change I would want to see would be with the shorter poems; I found that I had a harder time understanding them then I did with the larger ones, they seemed a bit too abstract.  Other than that, this book of poems is perfection and one that I will share with friends far and wide! 

For more additional information on Fearworms or to order a copy (you can even get a signed copy), check out the website www.fearworms.com or http://fanboycomics.ecrater.com/filter.php?keywords=fearworms+selected+poems&x=0&y=0

“Fearworms” can also be found on the following social media sites:

Facebook:  Fearworms: Selected Poems
Twitter:  @fearworms 

Additional Information:
“Written and illustrated by Robert Payne Cabeen (Tainted Treats, Heavy Metal 2000), this collection of horror poems and full-color artwork features cover art by Eisner-winning, Emmy-nominated artist Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin, Stray Toasters, The New Mutants).  Cutting close to the bone, Fearworms’ manically crafted word machines are visceral, psychological, haunting, and terrifyingly humorous.  From a cannibalistic clown convention to the antics of Krampus (the Christmas demon), Cabeen’s gristly tales offer madness and mayhem to readers who seek a glimpse into the frightful abyss, and they are sure to be loved (and feared) by fans who previously found horror and delight in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.”

For more information of Fanboy Comics, you can check them out at http://www.fanboycomics.net/ or on the following social media sites:

Facebook: Fanboy Comics
Twitter: @fanboycomix     

Till next time, stay creepy!

SM