Author Stephen King's appearance at the Sewickley Academy Rea Auditorium Wednesday night was an opportunity to tell some stories (funny and scary, some funny-scary). It was a fundraiser for Sewickley's Penguin Bookshop, part of his 12-city tour on behalf of independent stores.
King waxed nostalgic about his previous trips to Pittsburgh ("and I'm just so glad to be back"), which began with his collaboration with George Romero. Mr. King wrote the screenplay for the anthology film, "Creepshow," and Mr. Romero directed it onscreeen.
The latter even talked Mr. King into playing the part of a hick who makes an unfortunate, otherworldly discovery. In order to make a fake Steve head, special effects guru Tom Savini needed to make a plaster cast, and the process was as claustrophobia-inducing as one might imagine.
Still, when it came time for actor E.G. Marshall to have a similar cast done, King showed up to watch someone else suffer as he had.
"I have never told this in public before," he said, laughing, "but I don't care; he's dead and I'm alive."
As the plaster set, he said, Marshall motioned for a pad and pencil he'd placed nearby before the procedure began. "He writes in capital letters BOURBON," King said. "They got an eye-dropper and Tom Savini himself got it to him."