November 10, 2010
This is a panel from the beginning of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2 by Grant Morrison (art by Frazer Irving). This mini-series, the final issue of which came out today, follows a time-displaced Bruce Wayne as he claws his way back to the present day, experiencing various time periods along the way. This Lovcraftin mass of incandescent tentacles is a (the?) Hyper-Fauna, an interdimensional beastie that appears to be connected to the Ancestor Box, an alien device used by Darkseid (a major supervillain, basically the god of evil) to send Batman back in time, rewrite his continuity, and turn him into a living weapon that will destroy the universe on his return…or something like that?
Honestly, that’s where I get kind of hazy on the whole thing. The Return of Bruce Wayne is the culmination of Morrison’s epic run on various Batman titles, a sprawling web of stories that are densely packed with layers upon layers of references to the Caped Crusader’s entire 71 year history. So, as you might imagine, it’s a tad hard to follow at times. That being said, it’s totally worth the extra effort needed to drill down into it all. For anyone willing to take the plunge, I recommend checking out these annotations. And these.
August 21, 2010
Yesterday marked the 120th anniversary of the birth of H.P. Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu Mythos. I’ve been working my way through the collected stories of Lovecraft all summer, and you can hear some of my thoughts about them on the Random Signal Droidcast, Episode 004: Lovin’ Lovecraft. Also, in case you missed it, be sure to check out last year’s Cthulhu Week.
July 21, 2010
“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
-H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
This is Jacen Burrows’ wrap cover for Neonomicon #1. Written by Alan Moore and published by Avatar Press, this tale of modern Lovecraftian horror is the sequel to Moore’s earlier series The Courtyard. I think this book came out today, but I haven’t been getting out the comic shop as regularly as usual these days, so I could be wrong. Despite the amazing Cthulhu-licious cover, I didn’t pick it up today because I had a crap load of back issues waiting for me in my subscription folder. I’ll keep my eye out for the trade paperback compilation of the series, however.
Avatar Press is an independent American comics company that was, for many years, best known for publishing so-called “Bad Girl” comics. However, they’ve currently expanded their scope to include creator-owned titles by some of the biggest names in the field: Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Frank Miller, and, of course, Alan Moore. Find out more at AvatarPress.com.
Seriously, Alan Moore and Cthulhu..what else could you ask for in a comic?
Now for something completely different…
Also sighted today at Chapel Hill Comics, this giant plush octopus! I didn’t see a price or manufacturer on it, but it was at least two feet across and ridiculously soft. I’d like to imagine that Alan Moore snuggles up to one just like it when he’s writing his squelchy tales of cosmic horror.
June 16, 2010
Speaking of podcasts…the newest episode of Skeptic Magazine’s Monster Talk podcast is out, and it’s all about the mythos and monsters of H.P. Lovecraft. In the show, Lovecraft scholar Robert M. Price discusses the life, works, and cultural impact of the master of cosmic horror. Additionally, biologist PZ Myers (of the Pharyngula blog) talks about the biology of cephalopods and how they served as the inspiration for Lovecraft’s most famous creation. (Spoiler Alert: it’s Cthulhu.)
The episode is a little over 1 hour long, and I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. Of course, I have quite a bit of extra time on my hands these days (in theory at least), so I’m sure I can block out some time for one of my favorite topics!
You can download the episode (June 16, show 019) and read the show notes here.
Monster Talk is a skeptical look at the creatures of cryptozoology and folklore. Hosts Blake Smith, Ben Radford, and Dr. Karen Stollznow interview scientists and other experts about the science (or lack thereof) behind the word’s legendary beats.
You can subscribe to Monster Talk for free via RSS or iTunes.
December 9, 2009
North 40 is a mini-series published by Wildstorm (an imprint of DC Comcis) and written by Aaron Williams with art by Fiona Staples. It debuted earlier this year, and the sixth and final issue hit the comic shop shelves last week. I’ll have to admit that I haven’t read this series yet, but I am in love with Fiona Staples’ covers. I definitely intend to pick up the trade paperback once it comes out. (Although at this time no publication date for this has been announced.)
Set in fictitious Conover County, somewhere in the American Midwest, North 40 brings Lovcraftian horror to the heartland. Given that I plan to read the series eventually, I have deliberately avoided reading very many details about the story, but what little I know intrigues me—mysterious characters, terrifying monsters, and, of course, tentacles.
December 2, 2009
Sorry for the slap-dash nature of this post. I’ll fix up the formatting and add more description to each book when I have a little more time.
Anyway, because Wednesday is normally devoted to comics, let’s start our book list with a few graphic novels.
adapted and Illustrated by Gary Gianni
In addition to the fully illustrated adaptation of Verne’s sci-fi classic, this beautiful folio-sized hardcover includes H.G. Wells’ short story “The Sea Raiders” (which features an encounter with a Giant Squid) and an introduction by Ray Bradbury.
List Price: $24.95 — Buy on Amazon.com
Cthulhu Tales (2008-2009, BOOM! Studios)
written and illustrated by various authors/artists
List Price: $15.99 per volume
by Jane Austin and Ben H. Winters
List Price: $12.99 — Buy on Amazon.com
Mall of Cthulhu (2009, Night Shade Books)
by Seamus Cooper
List Price: $13.95 — Buy on Amazon.com
by Mark Norman
This is the oldest book in this list, and the only one that doesn’t appear to be currently in print. However, this is pretty much the definitive source book for cephalopod identification, and a must have for any serious cephalopod enthusiast.
List Price: $69.95 — Buy on DiveSeekers.com
The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss (2007, University of Chicago Press)
by Claire Nouvian
List Price $60.00 — Buy on Amazon.com
List Price: $15.95 — Buy on Amazon.com
Other titles in the series:
20,000Leagues Under the Sea: A Pop-Up Book (2008, Sterling)
by Sam Ita
List Price: $26.95 — Buy on Amazon.com
November 23, 2009
All month long Ape Lad (aka Adam Koford) has been remixing Twitter’s new default avatar, and today he has transformed the cute little birdie silhouette into R’yleh’s most famous resident.
November 17, 2009
I’m still in an eldritch sort of mood after yesterday’s post about Lil’ Cthulhu, so for today’s T-shirt Tuesday here is another cuddly take on the sleepiest Elder God.
Teach The Controversy is a division of Amorphia Apparel (just like the previously featured Sir Critter). Riffing off of the Discovery Institute’s campaign to promote Intelligent Design, Teach The Controversy has a T-shirt for just about any crackpot theory you can think of—Atlantis, Reptoids, Time Cube, Young Earth, 2012, and much more!
Like all Amorphia shirts, “Cthulhu” is available in a variety of styles and color combinations. The basic tee is $15.99, and for a little bit more you can get it as an American Apparel shirt, as well as a hoodie or a messenger bag.
November 16, 2009
I’m all tuckered out from Action Figure Week (not unlike Lil’ Chtulhu after his big day!), so I’m jumping on this adorable Lovecraftian bandwagon.
P.S. “The Crawling Chaos” is totally going to be Kid Indie Squid Kid’s new nickname! (Once he finally learns to crawl…which should be any day now…)