Some sad news from the indie horror world to pass along today, as we have learned of the passing of horror author and the world’s first blind director, Joe Monks.
Monks, a long-time friend of Horror News Network, was the cofounder of the cult indie comic Cry for Dawn, a comic which he created along with Joseph Michael Linsner, and published through their Cry Dawn Productions label.
In the early nineties Monks created CFD Productions where he pumped out horror titles including NightCry, Tales of the Dead and Reverend Ablack. In 1998 Monks constructed Chanting Monks Studios and launched an array of titles including Night Terrors, Ripperman, Blood for the Muse Chillville, Doc Behemoth, Night Terrors, Wulf and Batsy, Zacherley’s Midnite Terrors, and Gory Lori. Throughout Monks’ comic career he has worked with many talented creators including Bernie Wrightson, Basil Gogos, Ken Kelly, Dan Brereton, and Brian Michael Bendis.
Sadly in 2002, Monks lost his sight due to diabetic retinopathy. While learning to navigate a new world, Monks was adamant that this would not get him down. Shortly thereafter, Monks went to work on a feature film titled The Bunker, which tells the story of a senator’s daughter who gets kidnapped while he is running for re-election. In 2007 Monks revealed the first trailer for the film and in 2010 he launched a Kickstarter campaign to get some final funds to release the film.
With the film on the festival circuit, Monks received the Achievement in Cinema award at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, Florida. Just a few short years later, The Bunker was released on DVD by Commodity Films in 2011. Nothing sums it up better than a quote by Monks himself: “Blindness may take your sight, but it cannot steal your vision.”
We here at Horror News Network send our condolences to Joe’s family and friends.