Home » Night Stalker re-issue features Mark Dawidziak essay [Exclusive]

Night Stalker re-issue features Mark Dawidziak essay [Exclusive]

Kolchak Full

The news is out. A new edition of the original novel Kolchak: The Night Stalker, is on the way from Monstrous Books. But Wicked Horror just picked up an exclusive detail you might not have heard. The hardcover reissue of the original Jeff Rice novel will include an all new essay by Kolchak expert Mark Dawidziak.

Longtime fans know that in 1972 Kolchak: The Night Stalker, the original TV movie, transfixed audiences. The film became the highest-rated TV movie in U.S. history and spawned the cult TV series starring Darren McGavin.

The TV movie’s screenplay was written by horror legend and novelist Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) but it was based on an unpublished novel by Jeff Rice. The original novel was released in paperback the following year.

The all-new essay by Dawidziak will focus on Rice, who is far less known than his creation. Dawidziak is the author of The Night Stalker Companion: A 30th Anniversary Tribute (Pomegranate Press, 1997), so he brings his deep knowledge of the material and the late author Rice to the volume. Rice passed away in 2015. Shortly after his death, Dawidziak noted the novel and subsequent film’s impact and influence on later projects saying: “…we’ve all probably been touched by this writer in some way or another.”  

Bram Stoker Award-winning editor and writer James Aquilone and Monstrous Books acquired the print rights to Kolchak and will be releasing the new limited edition of the original, cult novel, including all of its components including the end notes and bibliography. In the original book, Kolchak is the narrator and includes his research details as well as the core narrative.

The  deluxe hardcover edition will also feature an all new foreword by writer and actor David Dastmalchian (Count Crowley; Late Night with the Devil), an all-new afterword by writer and producer Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), and a cover and spot illustrations by Russ Braun (The Boys). The Monstrous Books edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker will be funded via a Kickstarter campaign, with a limited print run of 1,973 copies.

“Kolchak and the world created by Jeff Rice has been such a huge inspiration to the person and storyteller that I have become,” said David Dastmalchian. “From my comic, Count Crowley, to the characters, films, and series I love creating, there is always a glow of the ghost of our loveable pain-in-the-neck reporter. Grateful that James and the Monstrous Books team are doing such amazing work in their effort to bring this fantastic narrative to people around the world.”

“Kolchak the Nightstalker was one of the early inspirations in my writing career,” said Rodney Barnes. “The opportunity to be a part of Kolchak’s 50th anniversary was truly an honor. And the beautiful collection of stories James Aquilone assembled is the perfect statement of appreciation for this iconic character.”

In the Kolchak: The Night Stalker novel, the corpses of young women – many of whom are working night jobs – are discovered, drained of blood, with unusual puncture marks on their necks.

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Kolchak Full

“Reporter Carl Kolchak was television’s first paranormal investigator and his determined search for the truth directly influenced a generation of seminal TV shows including Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” said Aquilone, who edited the award-winning Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary graphic novel. “Jeff Rice was a Las Vegas-based journalist by day and a novelist by night and his original novel is set on the streets of the country’s gambling mecca. It’s a thrilling, pulpy read and our plan is that this new edition of the original novel will usher in a new era for Kolchak books.”

The limited-edition hardcover will feature painted edges and a sewn-in bookmark.

Each person who supports the limited-edition hardcover tier will receive a Kolchak fan club membership card, which will also have a Kolchak Press Badge on the other side. To support the project, visit Kickstarter.

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Written by Sidney Williams
Sidney Williams is an author and comics writer. He's a former full-time journalist and has conducted hundreds of celebrity interviews.
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