Imagine if it had been William Shakespeare, England’s greatest playwright, who had discovered the truth about the Great Old Ones and the cosmic entity we know as Cthulhu, rather than the American horror writer H P Lovecraft. Imagine if Stratford’s favourite son had been the one to learn of the dangers of seeking after forbidden knowledge and of the war waged between the Elder Gods in the Outer Darkness, and had passed on that message, to those with eyes to see it, through his plays and poetry… Welcome to the world of Shakespeare vs Cthulhu!
The first to hit the news, of course, was Zombie Elvis. To the delight of loyal fans and conspiracy theorists, he emerged from his Memphis tomb looking very well-groomed for a corpse, hips dipping and swaying as he tried to walk. Security cameras and cell phones caught his first steps, right up until he began feeding...
You’ve probably seen the #Frankenstein200 tag floating around: Mary Shelley’s seminal gothic horror novel Frankenstein is celebrating its bicentennial.
And by that, I mean a bunch of people around the world are celebrating a book they love, a book they find important and a book that brought a bunch of us to a little estate near the Swiss village of Hermance to talk about Frankenstein’s echoes through history, pop culture, bioethics, artificial intelligence, science fiction, film and well… life.
One of the things I started thinking about was how far the myth of Frankenstein and his Creature had spread in pop music. Thus, a list of Frankensongs. Because I believe there isn’t a single aspect of culture not influenced in some way by what Mary Shelley created...
Two hundred years ago, in the Cologny manor known as the Villa Diodati, five young Romantics gathered for a summer so rare and beautiful that it has transcended the ages from literary anecdote into pop culture lore. Full of sex, drugs, and the nineteenth century equivalent of rock and roll, the discussions and adventures experienced by Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dr. John Polidori, and Claire Clairmont during the summer of 1816 lead to the creation of two literary legends, Polidori’s The Vampyre and of course, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
"The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" first aired May 21, 1945, on The Weird Circle.
Thoughts Before Listening
Ok seriously though, how can this not be good, it’s called "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" for heck’s sake, at the very least this should be about a disembodied ghost toe that comes back to haunt people and that is just rad as fuck. I am scared though.
"Aunt Emmy", first aired November 15, 1955, from the series The Clock.
Thoughts Before Listening
It has sometimes been my wont to believe like the dickens that something is going to be good simply because I think the title is rad. This rarely works out because why would it. I have chosen to listen to Aunt Emmy for exactly this reason. I am stupid.
First, that The Wake is simply too stuffed full of interesting things to talk about that I couldn’t possibly cover them all in the few hundred words I have, and second, that all I really wanted to talk about was the colouring.
Colourists get so little attention in the comic book world, yet their contribution is staggering and undeniable. What Matt Hollingsworth brings to The Wake (written and pencilled by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy respectively) draws out many of the themes of the book and lays them right on the page, hidden in plain sight. What’s more, The Wake is a book that illustrates the different effects colour can have excellently by neatly dividing itself into two parts - the first horror-inflected and the second full of high-stakes adventure.
At this point I’d like to say that The Wake is a book that really benefits from being read cold and with little knowledge of the twists and surprises that are waiting.
Unfortunately that makes it pretty hard to talk about without giving it all away. So I urge you, if you don’t want the surprises ruined for you, stop reading now and go read the book - you have been warned.
So, what do you do if you're a famously an infamously sexy vampire heroine with a werewolf boyfriend and a snooty butler looking to make a fresh start?You move to Los Angeles, rent an enormous gothic mansion (via an ad on CraigsList) and get yourself a whole new wardrobe.
That's the starting point for a new series of Vampirella, and the biggest change is the most obvious: the classic Trina Robbins-designed costume - famous from the walls of seedy comic shops the world over - is gone. As our heroine gets settled in to her new life and deals with unexpected intruders and internet infamy we also begin to discover a monstrous threat looming over a group of unsuspecting movie extras. The plot, as they say, thickens...
And on the subject of vampires in comics, we have a (lengthy) 3&1 segment on that very subject...