March 8, 2011
Hey look, it’s another shirt from Threadless! Clearly inspired by The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, “Kraken Snackin’” depicts the fate that befalls so many unfortunate sailing vessels. There’s a lot to like about this design; the blood-red tentacles, the massive disc of the full moon, the snapping rigging lines, the tiny airborne sailor…but I think my favorite detail is the lone parrot winging its way to freedom.
Guys and Girls Tees (Asphalt Regular Fit) still available in all sizes for $20. Buy it now from Threadless!
February 1, 2011
I know I already have T-shirt Tuesday, but among the countless links I’ve been amassing are several amazing examples of tentacle-y tattoo art. I’ll probably still make a t-shirt post later, but for now, please enjoy some fine cephalopod ink!
by Deno at Circus Tattoo in Alcorcon, Madrid www.myspace.com/denotattoo
“kraken” by Iain Burke
by Damien Rodriguez
January 11, 2011
Hey there! It’s the first post of 2011, and what better way is there to kick off a new year than with a new Threadless shirt? Here we have a grizzled and scarred mariner somberly reflecting on the Kraken that destroyed his ship…that or it’s not tobacco in that pipe!
$20 Black Regular Fit Guys Tee, still available in all sizes at this time. Buy it now from Threadless!
Also, while I’m here, I thought I should mention that the last Threadless shirt I featured–“Quick! Disguise!”–is currently on sale for a mere $10!
October 7, 2010
Adventures Into The Unknown was a horror comic published by B&I Publishing/American Comics Group. It ran for 174 issues from Fall 1948-August 1967. Cover art for the series depicted pretty typical horror fare—ghosts, vampires, zombies, dinosaurs—but monstrous cephalopods were given the spotlight on three separate occasions. Enjoy.
Does the Sargasso Sea exist? And does this legendary graveyard of ancient ships contain a dread, eerie secret too terrible for the mind of man to encompass? Thrill to a story that dares to tell all…”The Derelict Fleet”!
Is that Perry Mason?
Who knows what dread horrors the fathomless ocean depths may hide? Here’s a pulse-pounding story which tells of the KRAKEN–an awful being which rose from out of the unknown itself–and how science struck back against the fearful onset!!
“Laser bathysphere” is totally going on my Christmas wish list. Also, I had no idea the Kraken looked like Zombie Betty Davis!
Nemesis—pitted against terror from the deep! It’s all in the great thriller…”The Case of the Tittering Texan!”
I have no idea what Texas, or tittering, for that matter, has to do with this octopus.
August 18, 2010
Here we have another of this year’s birthday presents, and I’ll be posting a full review eventually. China Miéville crafts staggeringly original and brilliantly twisted fantasy stories, and, so far, Kraken is continuing this trend.
The Story So Far: Billy Harrow is a curator (an expert mollusc preparator) at London’s Darwin Centre. When he discovers that the museum’s prize Architeuthis specimen has mysteriously vanished, Billy finds himself thrown into a secret world of myth and magic where a cult of squid worshipers are just one of many factions trying to own the impending apocalypse.
May 26, 2010
This dramatic scene takes up pages 12 and 13 of Brightest Day #1. (The cover date is “Early July 2010,” but it actually came out a few weeks ago.) The size limitations of the blog don’t really do this splash page justice, but you should be able to tell that there is something not quite right about this monstrous squid, and I’m not talking about its unrealistic size. It appears to be dead, or, rather, undead. Now for some context…
Brightest Day is DC Comics’ follow-up and continuation of last year’s epic Blackest Night event. These stories spin out of the Green Lantern titles, but they pretty much span the entire DC Universe. I’m not going to try to summarize everything (if I even could), but, basically, the dead were brought back through the power of mysterious black rings. These vile Black Lanterns—superpowered zombies, essentially—wanted nothing less than the destruction of all life. Among there number was Aquaman, who had died in the pages of Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #1 (the 2007 revamp of the title, which itself was the spawn of yet another big DCU event). Blackest Night ends not only with the defeat of the Black Lanterns, but with the resurrection of a select number of previously deceased characters, including Aquaman.
This brings us to the Brightest Day mini-series and issue #1. Aquaman and his wife Mera are attempting to rescue a group of children from the clutches of pirates. Aquaman calls on a giant squid for assistance, but to his horror, the titanic animal that answers his summons is a rotting undead monster. In fact, all the sea life that Aquaman calls end up being zombies…which is exactly what happened back when he was a Black Lantern. So, what is wrong with the newly alive King of the Sea? Presumably this is one of the many mysteries that will be answered during the course of the series.
Brightest Day #1 is written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi. No less than five different artists are credited, so I’m not sure if this page was penciled by Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Adrian Syaf, Scott Clark, or Joe Prado.
A few comments on the squid itself…Aquaman referes to it as a “giant squid,” but this leviathan is obviously no ordinary Architeuthis. Its arms are lined with hooks, not suckers, so maybe it’s actually supposed to be a Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis) instead, but still…this thing is freaking huge! I think that “Kraken” is as close to an identification that we can make. It is only a comic book after all…
November 30, 2009
Welcome to the 1st Annual Indie Squid Kid Holiday Shopping Guide!
Every day this week I will feature the best new products for the cephalopod enthusiast in your life. In most cases, these will be products that I don’t own (yet…hint, hint) and haven’t previously reviewed. To kick the week off, we start with one of my favorite subjects…TOYS!
Part of Imaginext’s new Ocean line, and of course it’s the one piece I haven’t been able to find yet.
List Price: $6.00 — Buy on Amazon.com (but it will be cheaper if you can find it in a retail store.)
This set combines four different pieces that are usually sold separately. It not only includes the Ocean Squid (see above), but it also comes with a green plastic ammonite (one of the Ocean Boat’s accessories).
List Price: $74.99 — Buy on ToysRUs.com
Spotted at my local Target store, this set includes not only an awesome three-headed sea dragon, but a Tylosaurus (from Imaginext’s discontinued Dinosaur line) and a repaint of Sea Blade the Octopus from their Pirate line.
List Price: $29.99 — Target in-store exclusive.
This is yet another example of something I haven’t been able to track down in the store. Safari’s Incredible Creatures are larger scale (and more detailed) than the Wild Safari line, but are made of softer plastic and are comparable in price.
List Price: $10.99 — Buy on SafariLtd.com
There’s a lot of talk about pirates versus ninjas, but if we learned anything from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the pirate’s natural enemy is actually the cephalopod.
List Price $39.99 — Buy on Amazon.com
Also still available: Mega Rig Squid Sub
List Price: $19.99 — Buy on PlaymobilUSA.com
List Price: $10.99 — Buy on PlaymobilUSA.com
List Price: $10.99 — Buy on Amazon.com
September 30, 2009
The first incarnation of DC Comics’ The Brave and the Bold ran for 200 issues from 1955-1983. Originally it was an anthology series featuring adventure tales set in ages past and starring characters like the Silent Knight, the Golden Gladiator, and this guy—the Viking Prince. Issue 24, which featured two Viking Prince stories, would be the last to follow the original swashbuckling format. The title’s next 25 issues were used to test out new characters and concepts (such as a little team called the Justice League of America, which debuted in Brave and the Bold #28), and after that it featured a rotating roster of superhero team-ups.
So back to issue #24, the cover (drawn by comics legend Joe Kubert) depicts Jon, aka the Viking Prince, and his wife Asa struggling against a giant cephalopod of indeterminate identity. Considering that the Viking Prince stories were set in 10th century Scandinavia, I think it’s safe to describe this monster as a Kraken. I don’t know if this is a scene from one of the stories in the issue or if it was created just for the cover…it can be difficult to track down detailed information on these old comics.
The Viking Prince still shows up every now and then in modern DC continuity, most recently in the 2008 mini-series The War That Time Forgot.
September 5, 2009
Leviathan is a young adult steampunk alternate history novel by Scott Westerfield. If the book trailer can be believed, it will feature a plethora of awesome things, such as war squids and zeppelin whales. It is being published by Simon & Schuster and comes out on October 6th.
July 16, 2009
Mattel’s Matchbox Monsters was a 2006 toy line that paired diecast vehicles with plastic cryptids (well, sorta). There was a snow plow with a yeti, a pickup truck with a giant bear, a van with a reptoid/swamp monster, a Jeep with a “T-rex bone monster,” and the best of all, a hovercraft with a Kraken. (You can see photos of the entire set here.)
Now it has been well established that hovercraft are awesome. This one claims to be a “Nautical Research Vessel”, yet it has a massive harpoon cannon on the foredeck. That’s pretty awesome, I guess, but it begs the question, what kind of research requires a harpoon? (Other than “What can we harpoon today?”) I suppose it could be used to defend their hovercraft from the deadly Kraken…
This particular Kraken (which seems to be officially called the “Black Kraken Monster”) resembles a cross between an octopus and a squid. Its head and tentacles are arrayed in a very octopus-like pose, but it’s head extends into a long squid-like mantle. It appears to have only seven arms, and each ends in pointy club. The mantle ends in a similar arrowhead point, so it almost seems as though it might have been intended to be an eighth tentacle. It has malevolent red and yellow eyes, purple spots OF PURE EVIL.
More recently, the Kraken figure has shown up in the Matchbox Hitch ‘N Haul series, specifically the Wild Water™ set. The Kraken is now being called a Giant Squid, and it is joined by a shark and scuba diver. The hovercraft has been replaced with an (infinitely less interesting) SUV pulling a jet ski on a trailer. The squid has been repainted a sort of purpley-blue and, in case you were wondering, the SUV is a Chevy Suburban.
There is also this variant version with a powder blue squid, shark, and diver, a red jet ski, and a Land Rover Freelander.