Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Ten Years of TMtV: Guest Blog: A Scholar and a Gentleman—My Mate, Andy

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Anthony Hogg to TMtV as part of the 10 year celebrations. When I discussed the idea of Guest blogs with those involved in this event I never really gave them much instruction. Obviously it had to be about vampires and I may have pushed them towards certain areas (David and his love of Carmilla, for instance, and Anthony, as a vampirologist, towards the significance he saw of this blog in vampire studies) but the remit was incredibly wide. I say this to explain that I did not commission Anthony to produce such a glowing article as the one below, but I am touched by and grateful for it. Anthony explains how we met in his article and so all I need to do is hand over to him.

Andy’s blog is one of the reasons I write online today. As mentioned in my inaugural entry for Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist (1): “I can tell you that the purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts and resources on things vampiric. It was largely inspired by Niels K. Petersen's brilliant Magia Posthuma, Andrew M. Boylan's comprehensive Taliesin Meets the Vampires, Curt Purcell's wonderful The Groovy Age of Horror and the layout of The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire.”

Much like many of his fans, we befriended each other through blog comments and mutual respect for each other’s work. Eight years later, and Andy’s blog still manages to floor me. How the hell does he do it? 2,863 blog posts and counting (2), most of them reviews—how’s that even possible? If Andy’s not in the Guinness Book of Records for most vampire films ever watched (and reviewed), he bloody well should be.

I’ve even resorted to playing a game with him I like to call “Have You Watched…” Basically, if a vampire film or TV show comes up in my Facebook newsfeed that I think must be too new or obscure, I tag him and say something like “How about this one, Andy?” Nine times out of ten, he’s not only seen it, but reviewed it.

Just the other day, I tagged him on a post sharing a YouTube upload of the 1979 “Vampires” episode of BBC program Play for Today. Yep, he’d seen it (3).

Andy’s also a great sparring partner because his vampire pop culture knowledge is virtually unparalleled. We’ve never come to blows, instead bouncing research and ideas off each other (who do you think came up with “Ten Years of TMtV”?) (This is true – Ed.)

He’s made some interesting finds, too; like an article he wrote for my website about a pre-Stoker supernatural connection between bats and vampires (4). I couldn’t really dispute it beyond refining my view (5) on the subject: “it seems Stoker was the first writer to represent a vampire—an undead, bloodsucking corpse—changing into a bat. In that respect, he retains his title to inventing an original trope.”

After doing a few reviews for my site, I felt it was necessary to bestow Andy with official reviewer status on my site. If someone offers me a vampire book to review, and he hasn’t covered here (a bloody rarity), I ask him to review it for my site. Not only does he do it, but he gives me something very soon after too. The guy’s a total pro and faster than lightning.

What I haven’t mentioned, and really should by now (because I told him I would), is his work’s significance to vampire studies; vampirology. You’ve probably noticed Andy’s tendency to discuss a film or book’s “lore” in reviews. Like me, he’s a sucker for vampire lore, but the significance of him discussing it, is that his blog essentially operates as a giant vampire lore compendium/encyclopedia.

If you cobbled all his reviews together, you’d probably have the largest pop culture vampire lore repository known to Man. Andy’s blog is what Tim Kane’s otherwise fairly good The Changing Vampire of Film and Television: A Critical Study of the Growth of a Genre (2006) could have been; a much more thorough overview of evolving vampire tropes.

Who else could draw upon something as relatively obscure as Robert Southey’s poem “The Old Woman of Berkeley” to refute a director’s claim (6) that he’d made “the first film to EVER feature a witch/vampire hybrid”?

So far, Andy’s only written one non-fiction vampire book, The Media Vampire: A Study of Vampires in Fictional Media (2012), but he really should write more. Here’s hoping he does. People with Andy’s level of comprehensiveness and professionalism are both inspiring and incredibly hard to come by; it should be treasured accordingly.

Even if Andy never does write another vampire non-fiction book, his blog still stands as a fantastic legacy in its own right. Happy tenth anniversary, mate, and here’s to many more!

1. inaugural entry for Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist: Anthony Hogg, “Just a Quick One,” Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist (blog), July 30, 2008, accessed Feb. 29, 2016,

2. 2,863 blog posts and counting: Andy Boylan: “Ten Years of TMtV,” Taliesin Meets the Vampires (blog), Feb. 25, 2016, accessed Feb. 29, 2016,

3. he’d seen it: Andy Boylan, “Play for Today: Vampires - Review,” Taliesin Meets the Vampires (blog), Sept. 11, 2011, accessed Feb. 29, 2016,

4. a pre-Stoker supernatural connection between bats and vampires: Andy Boylan, “Stoker and the Bat,” Vamped, April 5, 2014, accessed Feb. 29, 2016,

5. refining my view: Anthony Hogg, “Bats Before Bram,” The Vampirologist (blog), April 6, 2014, accessed Feb. 29, 2016,

6. refute a director’s claim: Andy Boylan, “No, Witchula Will Not Be the First Witch/Vampire Hybrid Film,” Vamped, Jan. 11, 2016, accessed Feb. 29, 2016,

Anthony Hogg is a vampirologist who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He’s also the editor-in-chief of and writes The Vampirologist and Did a Wampyr Walk in Highgate? blogs.

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