Night to Dawn Magazine Reviews

front cover for Night to Dawn 26, coming out in October, 2014
Hi Barbara. I wanted to tell you I really enjoyed Marge Simon’s poem, The Mystical Visions of Therese. And I was completely blown away by Lee Clark Zumpe’s werewolf story Dark Timber. Awesome.  ~ Todd Hanks 8/14


NIGHT TO DAWN 23 by Todd Hanks

Hi Barbara, this is Todd Hanks. Great issue! Lots of strong stuff, I especially liked the story Harvest of Grief. I was not expecting that ending in any way. Painted quite a picture. I think David Transue is doing a great job on his illustration. That knight picture was neat.
Just received the new issue of Night to Dawn and wanted to thank you for the contributors copy and the nice little check (we don’t see that very often in this business!). Nice slick format with good diversity of material. I’ll be letting everyone on my Facebook page know of its availability. Once again thank you for accepting my gruesome little offering! ~ Pierre V. Comtois
Rajeev Bhargava

Rajeev Bhargava

NIGHT TO DAWN 22 by Rod Marsden

Night to Dawn is a semi-annual horror magazine put out by Barbara Custer. She goes to some effort to get the best stories, poetry and artwork from around the world. Though an American publication, it often contains stories from as far afield as Australia.

Starting out as primarily a vampire magazine, Night to Dawn has spread its black wings of late into other areas of horror. Tales dealing with zombies, ancient gods, and the Egyptian dead are now most welcome. Egyptian horror has, in fact, appeared in issues 21 and 22. As for what kind of story fits into the magazine, there’s everything from your classic romantic undead piece to a salute to Joe R. Lansdale’s Dead in the West.

Since 22 is the latest issue (It is dated October 2012 but I have an advance copy), I’ll pick out my favorite stories, poetry and illustrations within to give you an idea of the quality of Night to Dawn magazine.

The front cover to 22 is an eye catching red and gold. The illustration by Marge Simon appears to be reminiscent of the Roman era and puts me in mind of a female Roman vampire story I read ages ago. The back cover by Teresa Tunaley shows a female vampire with blood on her lips. The way her eye lids are painted, she might be off to some mardi gras celebration somewhere in the world.

In the editor’s section we learn about the latest round of books being published by Night to Dawn. They include Desk Job by Rod Marsden, City of Brotherly Death by Barbara Custer, and Tom Johnson and James Reasoner’s Jur: a Story of Pre Dawn Earth.

Of the interior illustrations, I am drawn to the third eye effort by David Transue (page 14), the all teeth and eyes freak out by Denny E. Marshall (page 32), and the zombied out mardi gras spectacular by Chris Friend (page 40).

In poetry there’s Tod Hanks’ splendid though traditional take on the vampire, Concubines of the Vampire (pages 6 and 7), Fatale by Cathy Bryant (page 14) which has a nice, bouncy rhythm, and Christmas Eve by Chris Friend (page 39) which is a delightful bit of fun with the spirits of the dead.

Of the tales I liked Rajeev Bhargava’s Mirror, Mirror on my Cellar Wallbest. Here we have a touch of Greek mythology with a modern take on a particularly monstrous legend.

Coming up a close second is The Harlots of New Chapel Row by a writer going by the name Horns. It is a “to be continued” tale of bloody intrigue where lust and keeping up with your mates already goes terribly wrong.

A very close third is The Triangle by Derek Muk which hauls out the Bermuda Triangle for inspection. The suspense builds up in this one making it well worth the read.


I’m just writing to thank you for the beautiful copy of Night to Dawn that arrived today. Such a wonderful alchemy of fiction, poetry and art! I’m doubly delighted to have made it in now I know how high the quality is.

Thanks and best wishes,

Cathy Bryant


Hi Barbara, Todd Hanks here. Great issue. I’m just getting ready to start the short stories. I’ll get back to you on them when I read them. I like Marge’s cover. Juan uses that technique also, that is use in Manga and Anime a lot, where you make the eye of the character closer to the viewer intentionally larger to give an illusion on the head turning. The back cover is rather sublime, looks great. My favorite poem was Ringletted Sprite. My favorite illustration was David Transue’s picture with the hearts and skulls and the man and woman. Both Juan and myself thought Elizabeth Pierce did a real good job on the illustration on page 51.


Dearest Barbara,

First and foremost, I would like to convey my good wishes and heartiest prayers for your husband, dear Mike’s good health and recovery.  Today, I received my copy of the latest Night to Dawn, Issue 22 and was overjoyed and excited.  The magazine is growing from strength to strength in every edition.  It’s a really colourful issue this time and I wanted to capture that moment when I received it through the post this afternoon and took some snaps which I am sending you.  I look forward to seeing my stories “Lucky” and “Strange New World” in the next issues to follow.  I am also working on new illustrations and stories for NTD which I will send you in my next emails.  Once again, heartiest thanks for everything.

yours sincerely,



Hi Barbara, this is Todd Hanks again. You have a really, really tight set of stories in this issue. I haven’t read all yet, but I’ve liked every one so far quite a bit. The insect people story was very good as well as the Little Miss Jukebox story. The story Vengeance of the Alpe had that fairy tale feel that is right down my alley. But why I wanted to write now is that I was incredibly impressed by the story Whispers. That is one of the better stories I’ve ever read in modern day pulp. Unbelievably cool.


Hi Popple,
Here are my latest Comments for NTD #20. > Tom
Night To Dawn #20 arrived several days ago, and it is packed with more great reading material. My favorites authors are back with new tales of horror, and the artwork is equally stunning. I’m glad to see my buddy, David Transue contributing more art now. I’ve been a fan of his wildlife paintings for many years, as well as his science fiction art.
I think my favorite illustrations in this issue are still those by Elizabeth Pierce. Her art just seems to grab me in every issue!
I’ve been busy with my novels and short story collections, and haven’t had a chance to write anything for Night To Dawn recently, except book reviews; and I have several more ready for next issue. Hopefully, I’ll find time to write another Soul Stealer yarn for Issue #22. In the meantime, I’m enjoying all the great stuff the rest of you are writing, so keep it up!
Hey, I’ve got an idea for Barbara. Remember the old EC Comics, with  their Crypt Keeper, or whatever it was they called the old gal who brought us those eerie tales? One of our artists needs to draw an evil personage for Barbara to use on her Pickings & Tidbits Page, and we need a cool name for her. Hostess of The Dead, or something creepy like that. What do you think, Popple?
Tom Johnson
> August 28th

Great looking issue, Barbara! Cover looks great front and back. The artwork looks good. I really liked the poems by Lee Clark Zumpe, especially Long, dark corridors. The second stanza of that poem really has something. ~ Todd Hanks

Hi Barbara
Love, love and love latest Night to Dawn. Very happy. Liked the artwork of Denny Marshall. Kind of voodoo inspired.
Best (!!!!!) Chris

Hi Barbara!

It’s simply stunning! What a great job you’ve done on design and choices for interiors (fiction/poems, art!)

Thanks so very much. It’s such a nice feeling to be part of NTD! I’ll share it with my daughter and family this weekend. ~ Marge Simon

Okay, the eyes set off the front and back covers of Night to Dawn #19. Marge Simon and Teresa Tunaley both provide strong imagery in their art of the eyes! It’s what you first see, then it’s difficult to move your attention away from those eyes. When you do, you’re always drawn back to those eyes. They are both frightening and wonderful at the same time.

Night to Dawn continues to excel in imagery and content, and everyone can be proud of their work in this issue. I was happy to see my old friends back, writers and artists I have known for many years. Although I struggled to pick a favorite from the front and back cover, it was near impossible, but I finally went with Marge Simon’s wonderful art on the front, followed closely by Teresa’s back cover. Lots of great interior art as usual, but the piece that attracted me the strongest was Elizabeth Pierce’s illustration on Page 72, titled “Vampire in my Bed.” Elizabeth continues to draw the human form, especially women, magnificently.

The writers are all up to their usual excellent standards. It’s always great to read new stories by JoAnna Singer, Lee Clarke Zumpe, Derek Muk, Rod Marsden, and Gerald Browning, authors I’ve read for several years now and they never let me down. It’s always great to see new writers joining the ranks, like Mario Kesh Navar, Adnane Rehane, Thomas LeBeau, and Luke Campen, as well as the new artists! Hmmm, I think maybe I should have put Mario Kesh Navar in the category or writers I’m very familiar with. Her Egyptian tale of death in this issue makes you want to read it a second and third time to absorb it fully.

So, for all the regular and new contributors in issue #19, again, you have given me a few hours of pleasure, and it was well worth the long wait between issues.

Tom Johnson

I don’t know how Popple does it, but she manages to get a copy of Night To Dawn in my mailbox just before the weekend. I think it’s a conspiracy! Sure enough, again I found the latest issue of Night To Dawn arriving in the mail this morning. Issue #18 looks to be another winner!

The front cover by Marge Simon and the back cover by Teresa Tunaley were both eye-catching, and are typical of the professionalism we have come to expect from Popple and the artists associated with NTD. The blue cover on front sets off Marge’s art perfectly, while I thought the bat creatures gave us an eerie back cover by Teresa. This is what a magazine should look like! All I can say is, Fantastic!

There is a lot of great artwork in the interior this time. I am familiar with David Transue’s paintings, and would love to see his art in color instead of b&w. But my favorite interior illustrations this time come from Elizabeth Pierce again. Her piece on Page 68 takes the prize for this issue. It made me want to be that bat flying in the window! A close runner up was her illustration on Page 88! I was also taken with the great black and white work of Juan McGowan on Page 25. He has placed the light and shadow perfectly in the drawing! I hope to see more art from him in future issues. All of the artists have contributed some great artwork for this issue, and I’m merely selecting my favorites from personal choice.

It’s good to see all the regulars present in the current issue. It’s always a pleasure to read stories by Rod Marsden, Lee Clark Zumpe, Derek Muk, and the continuing novel by Gerald Browning. Some new comers are present, as well as some familiar friends from past issues. Some names are noticeably absent, and sadly missed, but we have an excellent line up of talent in this latest issue, and Night To Dawn continues to be one of the best horror genre magazines in the field today.

Congratulations Popple on another outstanding issue!

Tom Johnson

Seymour, Texas


Hi Barbara,
Stunning! comes to mind. It’s gorgeous! I like your new artist, too (b/w). Poems look great, and I look forward to reading them all, as well as the fiction. I know Todd Hanks, so I’m tickled he got the lead piece. Very good! ~ Marge Simon

Hello Barbara, hope everything is well. I got the new Night to Dawn, and I think it was a great issue. I haven’t read everything yet, but I was real impressed with Marge Simon’s poem Vampyre Tale. That first like about tits and vinegar is a scorcher. I was also thinking that Chris Friend would make a good Children’s fantasy book illustrator. Anyway, I wrote a new vampire story the other night I thought you might like. And I was wondering, I notice you are publishing book. I’ve got a forty poem vampire book with nine illustrations from Juan and a really sharp cover he illustrated. It is vampire romance, edgy, erotic in parts but not explicit, and I think the imagery is pretty experimental. If you are interested, please let me know. Thanks- Todd Hanks


I just received a copy of the fall issue of Night to Dawn.  Looks great.I posted it on my blog and Facebook.
I also received a very positive review from a lesser known, but still important review. site.
Link to actual review site below.


Tom Johnson
I received my copy of Night to Dawn #17 on Friday, just in time for the weekend, so had an enjoyable read for during the bad weather! The first thing I noticed was the new names in this issue. Popple continues to bring in top talent for the magazine, both in art and text. All of my old favorites are still present, but I’m saddened that Ricky Cooper is still missing. I always look forward to his stories! But there isn’t a dull story in this issue, so I’m not about to pick any favorites. Let’s just say, everyone is still in top form, and keep ’em coming!
I will go out on a limb with the art, though. The first thing I noticed was that back cover by Teresa Tunaley. All I can say is, fantastic! The coloring is superb, and the concept hilarious! That big monstrous bubble-head floating in the swamp with long tongue, menacing fangs, and many eyes was just gorgeous. I immediately checked out the artist’s website, and looked through her galleries. She is very talented. Some of your writers looking for cover art should look over her website. However, after saying all that, I think Elizabeth H. Pierce’s b&w illustration on page 13 is my favorite piece of art for this issue. I love that drawing, and would absolutely love to see it in color! Her illustration of the girl on page 76 is also very good. Elizabeth’s drawings depict the human figure very well, and her art is catches the eye.
All I can say to everyone involved is just keep doing what you’re doing. Night To Dawn continues to be in a class above all the rest, and the reason is Popple and YOU!

Dear Barbara, I just wanted to say thanks very much indeed for sending me my copy of Night to Dawn Issue 16 with my check and published poem. I was really impressed by the sheer size of the book and its glossy cover. I showed it around to my family and friends who were all admiring it. I would definitely like to pursue my writing for Night to Dawn. I look forward to hearing from you. Once again, thank you very much indeed.
Yours sincerely,
Rajeev Bhargava.

Issue #16 arrived in my mailbox this week, and the first thing that caught my eye was that stunning cover on a brown background. Marge Simon has given us a wonderful front cover, while Kevin James Hurtack’s back cover is also quite masterful! I love this new look Lulu printing gives Night to Dawn. The magazine has gone from a fanzine to a very professional publication under the stewardship of Barbara Custer.
There were several outstanding interior illustrations this time, but the one that stood out for me was Elizabeth Pierce’s illustration on Page 14. What can I say? I love horses!!!
So many great stories this time, it’s hard to pick one favorite, so let me just say how nice it is to see Donald Sullivan back with The Grimm Valley Vampire, Rod Marsden’s Undead Reb Down Under, and Gerald Browning’s Cornered. They continue to fascinate with their writing, as does Derek Muk’s The Boogeyman. Some new names that add flavor to this issue are Drew Arrants and Cat LeDevic. Cat adds a little French flavor, I might add (Ah, how I miss Paris!), and I hope we see more from these new writers in future issues! Rounding out the issue are great stories by Jamie Eyberg, Robert Lamb, and Wayne Summers. JoAnna Singer never disappoints, and I’m starting to watch each issue for her stories. “Late Night Justice” was another topnotch entry by her! Noticeably missing was my good friend, Ricky Cooper. I hope he will be back soon. I always look for his stories in every issue!
Lots of nice Reviews to round out another fine issue, and I am sure the poetry is all topnotch. I just don’t feel qualified to comment on it. I’m afraid I wouldn’t know a good poem from a bad one. So I’ll let someone else comment on that segment of the issue this time. I did hate to hear of the passing of poet, William B. Vogel. His work will be missed by all of us. Suffice it to say, Popple has another winning issue on her hands!
Tom Johnson

The cover by Marge is alright. If nothing else it is very bright. The printing is of a good quality. It could sit nicely in any bookstore. It has a professional look.
I am sorry to learn about one of the mag’s poets passing away. It is a double blow when the poet has been with the mag such a long time. I believe I have complimented William B. Vogel III on his work in past years. I know I wasn’t the only one to have done so. The choice of which of his poems yet to be published to use to send him on his way must have been difficult.
I know the choice was not easy when it came to my friend Don Boyd. There is a lot of art, quite a few stories and poems of Don’s that may now never see the light of day at least in my life time. A fistful of his friends wanted to publish The Best of Don Boyd but certain legal issues prevented us from doing so. It was a sad business. I am glad I have two sisters that won’t allow that situation to arise when it comes to my work.
William B. Vogel III tended to remind me of the more macabre poets that traipsed around England and Scotland in the Victorian age. I studied them at college in Bathurst when I was getting my first degree many, many years ago. It seems only fitting that this particular modern day poet had William Blake as part of his name. (Most people would know William Blake the Victorian poet from his poem Red Dragon.)
In any event, I will claim “Blood Charm” on page 49 as the best send off choice for Vogel III. It is very nicely done. I will also say that “Ode to Steven King” by Cathy Buburuz sits well beside it. Though describing Steven King it might also be considered a description of all who work in horror, especially psychological horror. In this respect it also describes Vogel III. Was this the reason for such juxtaposition I wonder? The illus. by Marge was an excellent touch.
Of the stories I thought “The Hero” by Tom Johnson the best. Here there is a great sense of place and time. I also thought “The Boogeyman” by Derek Muk and “Late Night Justice” by JoAnna Senger good value.
Thank you for the ad and numerous mentions in the mag concerning Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand. Check out my videos on YouTube sometime. I go under the name vampirebirdie.
I’m glad you have “Undead Reb” in this issue. Apparently there’s also a Johnny Reb vampire in the popular television series Blood Lines. It might make for a nice coincidence for some readers. Mind you, my collection of Johnny Rebs are sailors from the American South and not Confederate army men.
All up, a pretty damn good issue,
Rod Marsden

Dear Barbara,
Kudos on the fresh look of Night to Dawn.  I feel so happy to be a part of this magazine.  It is such an honor to be among old friends like Tom Johnson, Ricky D. Cooper, and Rod Marsden.  It’s like coming to a reunion!
I was up pretty late last night reading and I am not ashamed to say that I slept with a night light that evening.  The artwork by Elizabeth Pierce is haunting to say the least.
I read the new books that will be (or have already been) released by Night to Dawn Books.  Is it possible to have your new publishing house print the finished edition of Addicted?  What can I do to have you and/or your staff take a look at my novel to see if it meets your high expectations?
Thank you for reading.

Dear Barb,

The lay out on the new issue is awesome. Please send me ten more copies.

Ricky D. Cooper

Barbara, I love the new look of the magazine. The cover and back page is great! Thanks for the publication- Todd Hanks

This is just to let you know that my copy of Night to Dawn 15 arrived safely.  It looks as if I’m going to have hours of pleasure reading it.  I’ll probably use the cheque as a bookmark as the bank will charge more to cash it than it’s worth, but thanks anyway.
Karla Dearsley

The front cover was good. Unusual back cover. Kevin Hurtack once more proves to be the neo-primitive, the punk illustrator of the horror set.

The Reminiscence of a Triple Twin of Terry by Cathy Buburuz was a very different type of story to land in what is basically a vampire mag. There is always the desire to branch out. I suppose venereal disease, breeding with a purpose and bloodlines have all been connected at one time or another with the reasoning behind the creation of 19th Century vampire tales. Seduction for the purpose of blood, even bloodline is still very much a part of present day vampire lore.

The Night Gallery reviews read well especially the one by Barbara Custer concerning Dark Changeling by Margaret L.Carter.

Of the short stories my three favourites this go ’round are The Night Has Teeth, And I Have Found Them by Hillary Lyon, Ennui by Shauna Roberts and Jungle Terror by Tom Johnson.

The Night Has Teeth has beautiful descriptive passages. It also puts a new slant on the old myth that the undead must be invited in some way into a home in order to be able to enter. Ennui shows the loneliness of a certain type of immortality and Jungle Terror is a great adventure tale.

Of the poems The Grave by Todd Hanks is the best. It is simple but catchy. All muscle and no fat on the bones of them there lines…

Of the interior illustrations I liked best the one on page 73 with the kissy-face vampires by Elizabeth and the cryptic illustrations by C. Friend on page 90. The subtle hint at vampirism on page 11 by Charles Fallis is also worth mentioning as is the nicely rendered piece of nastiness by Elizabeth on page 19.

Another fine issue. Oh, and thanks for running my story, ‘Five O’Clock’. It was my farewell to my mother who passed away in February last year. My collection of vampire stories, Undead Reb Down Under, continue to be available through and There are major tales in there dealing with major cities and major vampires not likely to be seen elsewhere due to length.

There’s also a novel by yours truly coming out soon, Disco Evil, involving an undead person coming to terms with a promise made in the ’60s but not kept in the ’70s and definitely forgotten coming onto more modern times. ‘Make love, not War’ says it all. As you might have guessed, promises made and eventually forgotten can make a certain vampire very angry as well as somewhat heart-broken. What is love anyway? Perhaps it is a concept of the past belonging to another, kinder age or perhaps, like the vampire, it is eternal.

Rod Marsden, March, 2009

Hi Barbara.

how’s it going? Got the latest issue. Thanks. NTD 15 looks great!!!! Nice glossy cover and nice design and layout inside. Is my story “All Hail Satan!” still under consideration?

thanks, Derek

Hi Barbara!

I’m so tickled to read this from Tom. Makes my day!

Would you be wanting more for consideration? I’ll be happy to provide some selections. It’s ironic, because I couldn’t find a home for that one –though at the time, you weren’t using color art.

I agree with Tom that this issue really looks spiffy! Outstanding, thanks to you as well.

All best!



  1. Received issue 24. Hanks’ Vampire Winter was a highlight I could relate to. Here in Australia we are getting out of winter. Nice write-up on The Infernal Buddha. The tease for Steel Rose was a good idea. Art work by Denny Marshall on page 77 is kinda freaked out but ultimately an interesting take on the vampire as a demon or the demon with vampire tendencies.

  2. For those who enjoy art, they need to check out Teresa’s website for a wide range of illustrations! I believe she also did covers for Chipawa Books some years back.

  3. Teresa, thanks! Glad to hear you enjoy! Looking forward to more of your poetry also.

  4. Hi Barbara
    The postie bought me issue `18 this morning… I love the cover and lay out in this issue..
    Im off to get a coffee and tuck into some of these juicy stories and poems… As always I love looking at the artwork…great job everyone! 🙂

  5. Im so looking forward to reading issue 18.. On the island pretty much all the publications we get are in Spanish, although readable NOT THE SAME!! we dont get anything of this quality.

    Reading a great publication like this, as well as getting great comments from contributors makes it all worth while!! thank you Tom 🙂

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