Bio

JOHN WOOLEY is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 25 books. They include his two newest, Shot in Oklahoma, a history of made-in-Oklahoma movies for the University of Oklahoma Press that was recently named Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History for 2011 by the Oklahoma Historical Society, and a biography of horror-movie director Wes Craven, The Man and His Nightmares, for John Wiley and Sons. Other recent works include his novel Ghost Band; The Miracle Squad, a graphic novel reprinting – with the addition of new material – the comic-book series he did with artist Terry Tidwell in the 1980s; Forgotten Horrors Vol. 5: The Atom Age and Forgotten Horrors Comics & Stories, the latest volumes in his ongoing series with co-authors Michael H. Price and Jan Alan Henderson; The Home Ranch, written with famed Osage rancher John Hughes; and From the Blue Devils to Red Dirt: The Colors of Oklahoma Music, one of only three books commissioned by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and a finalist for the 2007 Oklahoma Book Award.

Wooley’s earlier horror-fantasy tale, Dark Within, was a finalist for the 2001 Oklahoma Book Award for Best Novel, and his first, Old Fears — co-written with fellow newspaper writer Ron Wolfe — was optioned by both Wes Craven and Paramount Pictures and is currently optioned by former Paramount vice-president Brian Witten. Other recent works include the Rogers State University centennial book, 100 Years on the Hill and Starmaker, written with country-music impresario Jim Halsey.

Current projects include a history of the Cain’s Ballroom – the legendary Tulsa venue where Bob Wills perfected and disseminated the dancehall music that came to be known as western-swing — and the play Time Changes Everything, a story of two imaginary meetings between Oklahoma music icons Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie. Written with Thomas Conner and featuring the Red Dirt Rangers, Time Changes Everything has been staged at the Folk Alliance in Memphis, Tenn; SummerStage in Tulsa; OK Mozart in Bartlesville; and in Bristow, Muskogee, Ponca City, and Woodward, Oklahoma.

He currently serves as guest curator for the Oklahoma History Center exhibit Oklahoma@the Movies, which opened in May 2012.  His duties included writing and narrating a short documentary for the exhibit that tells the story of drive-in style movies through the career of Tulsa actor John Ashley.

Wooley also penned the script for the made-for-TV movie Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective, the award-winning independent film Cafe Purgatory, and the recent documentary Bill Boyce – Money Actor, along with writing comic books (including the Plan Nine from Outer Space graphic novel), trading cards, and thousands of magazine and newspaper stories, most of them in conjunction with his work as the music and horror-movie writer for the Tulsa World, a position he held from 1983 through most of 2006. From the early ‘80s to 2009, he wrote well over 100 pieces for the horror-movie magazine Fangoria.  He is currently a contributing editor and columnist for Oklahoma Magazine and a lecturer in the American Studies Program at Oklahoma State University’s Tulsa campus, where he has taught classes on horror movies, Oklahoma music and films, and rock ‘n’ roll history.

He is also the producer and host of the highly rated Swing on This, Tulsa’s only western-swing radio program, heard every Saturday night on NPR affiliate KWGS (89.5 FM).

Wooley was chosen to write Roy Clark’s coffee-table-style tour book, celebrating his 60 years in show business, and to emcee the Will Rogers Rotary Club’s “Good Ride, Cowboy” event, honoring Garth Brooks – where Brooks told the crowd, “you might not know it, but John Wooley is a star.”

As a result of his efforts on behalf of his state’s music and musical figures, Wooley became, in 2003, the first writer to be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was also an inductee into both the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame, the latter for his comic-book writing.

 

WRITING CREDITS

BOOKS (AS WRITER)

 

– The Home Ranch, with John Hughes (as-told-to autobiography of well-known Oklahoma rancher, Mullerhaus Legacy, 2011)

 

– Forgotten Horrors Vol. 5: The Atom Age, with Michael H. Price and Jan Alan Henderson (film commentary and interviews, Cremo Studios, 2011)

 

– Shot in Oklahoma: A Century of Sooner State Cinema (movie history and commentary, University of Oklahoma Press, 2011). Named Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History for 2011 by the Oklahoma Historical Society.

 

Wes Craven: The Man and His Nightmares (biography, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011)

 

– Starmaker, with Jim Halsey (major rewrite and update of Jim Halsey’s How to Make It in the Music Business [2000], Tate Publishing, 2010)

 

– 100 Years on the Hill (history of Rogers State University, HAWK Publishing Group, 2009)

 

– Forgotten Horrors 4: Dreams that Money Can Buy, with Michael H. Price (film commentary and interviews, Midnight Marquee Press, 2007).

 

– Roy Clark: Celebrating 60 Years of Picking & Grinning (text for Clark’s deluxe 60th anniversary tour book, Roy Clark Productions, 2007)

 

From the Blue Devils to Red Dirt: The Colors of Oklahoma Music (music history and commentary, HAWK Publishing Group/the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, 2006).

Finalist for Oklahoma Book Award.

 

Ghost Band (novel, HAWK Publishing Group, 2006)

 

Voices from the Hill: The Story of Oklahoma Military Academy (history, HAWK Publishing Group, 2005)

 

The Big Book of Biker Flicks, with Michael H. Price (film commentary and interviews, HAWK Publishing Group, 2005)

 

Forgotten Horrors 3!  Dr. Turner’s House of Horrors, with Michael H. Price and George E. Turner (film commentary and interviews, Luminary Press, 2003)

 

– Awash in the Blood (novel, HAWK Publishing Group, 2001)

 

 – Dark Within (novel, HAWK Publishing Group, 2000). Finalist for Oklahoma Book Award.

 

– Jim Halsey’s How to Make It in the Music Business, with Jim Halsey (biographical/motivational/how-to book; HAWK Publishing Group, 2000; also released as 3-CD recording by Halsey Records, 2002)

 

Forever Lounge, with Thomas Conner and Mark Brown (subtitled “A Laid-Back Price Guide to the Languid Sounds of Lounge Music,” and featuring essays and commentary; Antique Trader Books, 1999)

 

Hot Schlock Horror  (film commentary and interviews; Dreamtrip Press, 1992)

 

Death’s Door, with Ron Wolfe  (horror novel, Dell/Abyss, 1992; HAWK Publishing Group, 2000)

 

Full Moon, with Ron Wolfe, writing together as “Mick Winters” (horror novel, Berkley, 1989)

 

Old Fears, with Ron Wolfe (horror novel; Franklin Watts, 1982; Berkley, 1984; HAWK Publishing Group, 1999; German edition, Wer hat Angst vorm Schwarzen Mann?  published by Goldmann in 1991.)

 

 

BOOKS AND A BOOKLET (AS EDITOR)

 

– Super-Detective Flip Book: Two Complete Novels, with John McMahan (two pulp detective novels, Reverse Karma Press/Off-Trail Publications, 2008)

 

Thrilling Detective Heroes, with John Locke (collection of pulp detective stories, Adventure House, 2007)

 

Roscoes in the Night, with John Gunnison (collection of R. L. Bellem’s pulp detective stories, Adventure House, 2003)

 

At the Stroke of Midnight  (collection of John K. Butler’s pulp detective stories; Adventure House, 1998)

 

Robert Leslie Bellem’s Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (collection of R.L. Bellem’s   pulp detective stories; Popular Press, 1983)

 

Skylab II Souvenir Brochure (assistant editor; published and distributed by the USS New Orleans while I was stationed aboard the ship, 1973)

 

 

BOOKS (AS CONTRIBUTOR)

 

Another HOT Oklahoma Night: A Rock & Roll Story, compiled by Larry O’Dell and Jeff Moore (article; Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009)

 

Doctor Coffin: The Living Dead Man (introduction; Off-Trail Publications, 2007)

 

Red Dirt Anthology (memoir; Red Dirt Book Festival/Oklahoma Humanities Council/Pioneer Library System, 2004)

 

– FANGORIA Masters of the Dark, ed. Anthony Timpone (interview; HarperPrism, 1997)

 

The Listener’s Guide to Audio Books, by John Wynne (reviews/commentary; Fireside/Simon & Schuster, 1995)

 

Midnight Journeys, ed. Davi Dee & Bill Allen (short story; Ozark Triangle Press, 1995)

 

Blood Feast: The Screenplay, by Herschell Gordon Lewis (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1991)

 

Plan 9 From Outer Space, original screenplay, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990)

 

Spicy Western Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990)

 

Spicy Mystery Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990)

 

Spicy Horror Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990)

 

Spicy Detective Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction, Eternity Publishing, 1989)

 

Intro 8: The Liar’s Craft, ed. George Garrett (poem; Doubleday Anchor, 1977)

 

 

 

MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES (AS WRITER)

 

Bill Boyce: Money Actor (also producer) (30-minute documentary, world-premiered at Tulsa’s Circle Cinema, 17 Nov. 2007)

 

Cafe Purgatory (also co-producer) (feature, world-premiered at the Fort Worth Film Festival, October 1999, receiving Crowd Pleaser Award)

 

Hauntings Across America (documentary narrated by Michael Dorn, The Entertainment Group/Video Vacation, 1996 — aired as Halloween special on the Learning Channel, 1997)

 

Sourdough, Beefsteak & Beans (TV special starring Red Steagall, The Entertainment Group/Americana Television Network, 1995)

 

Still Swingin’ (also associate producer) (musical documentary narrated by Red Steagall, The Entertainment Group/VCI Home Video, 1994; reissued with extra footage, 2005)

 

Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (aka The Raven Red Kiss-Off) (made-for-TV feature starring Marc Singer and Tracy Scoggins, The Entertainment Group/Fries Entertainment, 1990)

 

Quiet Night in the Country (with Vern Stefanic, screenplay sold but never produced, VCI, 1986)

 

 

PLAYS

 

– Time Changes Everything, with Thomas Conner (one-act, first table reading held at Woody Guthrie Free Festival in Okemah, OK, 2008; debut performance June 25, 2009, at the Liddy Doenges Theatre, Tulsa Performing Arts Center, as part of the SummerStage festival. Stagings since then have been held at the Folk Alliance in Memphis, TN; the Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City, OK; OK Mozart Festival, Bartlesville, OK; Roxy Theatre, Muskogee, OK;  Woodward Arts Theatre, Woodward, OK; Poncan Theatre, Ponca City, OK; Freeland Performing Arts Center, Bristow, OK; and a return engagement for two nights at 2010’s  SummerStage.

 

Cafe Purgatory (one-act, debuted at Heller Theater, Tulsa, OK, four scheduled performances plus an extra performance added by popular demand, 1996)

 

 

RADIO PLAYS

 

– Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (performed on “The Electric Theater” from NPR affiliate KWGS-FM in Tulsa, OK, 1988)

 

 

SONGS

 

“Gone Away,” written with Steve Ripley and Tim DuBois and featured on the CD Ripley (Audium Records, 2003). This was also the first single from the disc.

Also recorded by Bill Anderson with the Oak Ridge Boys, featuring some new lyrics by Anderson, released January 2012. 

 

 

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (AS CREATOR AND WRITER)

 

The Miracle Squad (graphic novel reprinting first four Miracle Squad stories, with new material, Pulp 2.0 Press, 2012)

 

The Twilight Avenger (nine issues, Miracle Comics [1996], Eternity Comics [1988-90] and Elite Comics [1986])

 

Tor Johnson, Hollywood Star (one-shot, Monster Comics, 1991)

 

– Plan 9 from Outer Space: Thirty Years Later (three issues, Eternity Comics, 1991)

 

The Miracle Squad (eight issues, Apple Comics [1989] and Upshot Graphics [1986-87])

 

The Uncanny Man-Frog (two issues, Mad Dog Graphics, 1987)

 

 

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (AS WRITER)

 

Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (four issues, Eternity Comics, 1991)

 

Plan Nine from Outer Space (one-shot movie adaptation, Malibu Graphics, 1991)

 

 

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (AS CONTRIBUTOR)

 

– Forgotten Horrors Comics & Stories, by Michael H. Price and John Wooley, with Jan Alan Henderson (reprints Tor Johnson, Hollywood Star with new introduction, Cremo Studios, 2011)

 

– Scream Chills Illustrated, by Michael Aitch Price and the Customary Culprits (script, Midnight Marquee Press, 2009)  

 

Southern Fried Homicide, ed. Michael H. Price (script, Cremo Studios/Shel-Tone

Publications, 1998)

 

Death Rattle (scripts, Kitchen Sink Press, No. 4 [1996], No.’s 15 & 17 [1988] )

 

Grateful Dead Comix (scripts, Kitchen Sink Press, No. 5 [1992] and No. 2 [1991]; my story for issue No. 2 also appeared in the 1992 Hyperion Press collection of the same name)

 

Baseball Comics No. 2 (script, Kitchen Sink Press, 1992)

 

Images of Omaha No. 1 (script, Kitchen Sink Press, 1992)

 

The Comics That Ate My Brain (text, Malibu Graphics, 1991)

 

The Hollywood Detectives (pulp-comics reprints) (text and contributing editor, Malibu Graphics, 1991)

 

Dirty Pictures — The Naughty Art of the ‘30s Pulps, No.’s 1-3 (pulp-illustration reprints) (text, Aircel Comics, 1991)

 

Spicy Adult Stories, No.’s 1-4 (illustrated pulp-story reprints) (text, Aircel Comics, 1991)

 

The Best of Spicy Tales (pulp-comics reprints) (text and contributing editor, Malibu Graphics, 1990)

 

Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective — Lights! Camera! Murder! ( comic-strip reprints, movie tie-in) (text, Malibu Graphics, 1990)

 

Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu (comic-strip reprints) (text, Malibu Graphics, 1989)

 

Spicy Tales Collection (pulp-comics reprints) (text, Malibu Graphics, 1989)

 

Spicy Tales, No.’s 1-10 (pulp-comics reprints) (text, Eternity Comics, 1988-89)

 

The Best of Horror and Science Fiction Comics, No. 1 (comic-book reprints) (text, ghosted for Bruce Webster, Webster Publications, 1987)

 

The Doomsday Squad, No. 4 (script, Fantagraphics Books, 1986)

 

The Foozle, No. 3 (script, Eclipse Comics, 1985)

 

Conservation Comics, No. 1 (co-writer, educational publication from Wa-Ro-Ma Community Action Agency, circa 1981)

 

Eerie No.’s 32 and 41 (scripts, Warren Publications, 1971 and ‘72)

 

 

TRADING CARDS

 

Mamie Van Doren (boxed set of 37) (compiled and written, Kitchen Sink Press, 1994)

 

Confidential (boxed set of 36, tracing the history of America’s first scandal magazine)

(compiled and written, Kitchen Sink Press, 1993)

 

Hot Schlock: Schlock Bikers (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1992)

 

Hot Schlock Platinum: Schlock Horror (44-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1992)

 

Hot Schlock: Women in Crime (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1991)

 

Hot Schlock: Science Fiction (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1991)

 

Hot Schlock: Schlock Horror (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1991)

 

 

MAGAZINE AND NEWSPAPER WORK

 

I’ve written hundreds of articles and the occasional short story for dozens of magazines, most of them connected with some aspect of popular culture (including Rolling Stone, which published a poem of mine in 1980, and, much more recently, a bylined piece in TV Guide).  My biggest markets in this area have been the horror-movie magazine Fangoria, for whom I have written some 100 pieces, and the record-collectors’ magazine Discoveries, to whom I sold more than two dozen major stories. I was also a columnist for Baby Boomer Collectibles from 1994 through 1996, and for the film collectors’ publication The Big Reel from 1979 through 1984.

I have also written for the website cmt.com, and created promotional material for recording acts Cross Canadian Ragweed, the Red Dirt Rangers, Steve Ripley, Asleep at the Wheel, Doug Moreland, Tracy Lawrence, Billy Parker, and Stonehorse.

From 1983 through most of 2006 I was an entertainment writer for the daily paper The Tulsa World, specializing in country music, horror movies, jazz, and the more oddball manifestations of pop culture. In that capacity, I’ve written several thousand articles, reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces.