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.
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…
May 3, 2010
It’s been quite a while since I posted anything out of my own collection of cephalopodabila (yeah, I’m pretty sure I just invented a new word there), but that is not because I am out of stuff to post. Heavens no! While it’s true that my current state of unemployment has encouraged me to do a lot of “virtual collecting” recently, I still own plenty of awesome ceph-stuff that hasn’t made its way onto the blog yet.
This 500 piece jigsaw puzzle was produced by Iron Crown Enterprises in 1997 as part of their Middle-Earth Puzzles series. “The Way Is Shut” depicts a very octopus-like interpretation of the Watcher in the Water, Tolkien’s tentacled lake monster from The Fellowship of the Ring. (Well, it appears to have at least twelve arms, but but it still resembles an octopus more than anything.) This version of the Watcher is by artist Ted Nasmith and was originally produced for ICE’s Middle-Earth Collectible Card Game.
January 6, 2010
At long last, Dr. John Zoidberg makes his debut appearance on Indie Squid Kid!
I don’t know the identity of the artist who did this, so I have to assume it was spontaneously generated by the Internet just to make me happy.
Thanks to my brother-in-law Alec for sending this my way!
November 18, 2009
The year is 1939, and a Spanish fishing boat has made a strange catch—a metal man whose glass-domed head contains a floating human skull. The only identifying mark on it is the numeral 13 carved into its forehead. No sooner has this mysterious mechanoid been hauled out on the deck than the ship is attacked by a one-eyed, tentacled monster from the deep. Their new accidental passenger grabs a harpoon (and, later, an anchor) and leaps to the crew’s defense. I won’t reveal how this epic battle ends, but I will remind you that this comics isn’t called “One-Eyed Squid Monster 13.”
Who is Robot 13? Where does he come from? He doesn’t know, but he plans to find out.
R13: Colossus! is the first publication of Blacklist Studios. It is written by Thomas Hall with art by Daniel Bradford (who also did cover version B. Check out more of his work on deviantART!). Issue #1 hit the comic shelves this summer, and it looks like issue #2 just came out.
Look for it at your local comic book shop or order from www.blackliststudios.com.
September 24, 2009
September 11, 2009
Dragon*Con has been over for nearly a week, which is plenty of time for the Internet to help me find all (well, nearly) the cephalopod-themed costumes from this year’s menagerie of the weird. Enjoy.
Davy Jones ( Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) from the Dragon*Con parade.
Netherworld squid monster.
Ursula the Sea Witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
The Fruity Oaty Bar commercial from Joss Whedon’s Serenity come to life!
MINDstyle’s “Stephen Le Podd” con exclusives.
It’s this guy! He’s back!
September 4, 2009
Like I said yesterday, Dragon*Con is this weekend, and I am rather bummed not to be in attendance this year. The con is more than just a science-fiction or comic book convention, it is a chaotic multi-media/multi-genre extravaganza celebrating every corner of geeky popular culture. Here is but a small tentacled taste of Dragon*Con from the past few years. All photos are from my Flickr account, unless otherwise noted.
Photo by Foenix
Photo by Futuregirl_LeahRiley
September 1, 2009
August 16, 2009
Here is the contents of yesterday’s mystery package—a specimen of the seldom seen terrestrial cephalopod commonly known as the Tufted Cuddlestache. Natalie Metzger is the world’s leading expert on Cuddlestache biology and natural history, and the following account is from her website, The Fuzzy Slug (where you can also see one of the only known photographs of a Tufted Cuddlestache in the wild):
Extremely rare and elusive, the Tufted Cuddlestache is native to the dense temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. It was believed that they were hunted to extinction for their luxurious mustaches, which were used in the making of novelty stick-on mustaches and eyebrow replacements. However, while searching for Sasquatch in the remote backwoods of Washington state, field scientist, Dr. Crumpen Von Ludwig, stumbled upon a small surviving population of the Tufted Cuddlestaches. Little was known about them as the last known living specimen died in 1910. He discovered that they were quite friendly and unafraid of man. Whether that was from isolation, or natural behavioral traits, studies so far have been inconclusive. Since this great discovery, a breeding program has been established by Washington State University in order to help restore wild population numbers and to gain valuable knowledge about the behavior and biology of these wonderful creatures. Currently, wild numbers are still very low (estimates are somewhere around 20 breeding pairs) and the Tufted Cuddlestache is listed as critical on the endangered species list.
In addition to being a reknowed cuddlestache-ologist, Natalie is also an artist, cartoonist, and photographer. She designed the Indie Squid Kid logo, and the famous “Bourbon Drinking Squid.”