Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Twin Peaks Soap Opera

I just finished watching all of Twin Peaks. I also watched the Twin Peaks movie “Fire Walk With Me”, which disappointed me in the same way as the Matrix sequels, explaining mysteries that were better left unexplained. When I finally get back to Call of Cthulhu or some other Pulp RPG, Twin Peaks (the TV show) is going to be my template. Twin Peaks made me understand how important soap opera elements are in my favorite stories. I never thought of myself as a soaps fan, but after watching Twin Peaks I looked up Soap Opera Digest, and found that their editors are tracking the latest developments on Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Lost, even Stargate: Atlantis!

I then discovered Soap, the Soap Opera RPG. It is diceless and involves plot tokens, which again pushes me away from CoC and more in the direction of Pulp RPGs I’ve mentioned before like Savage Worlds and Spirit of the Century.


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Another Cthulhu Tattoo


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That’s what pulp king Robert E. Howard writes in this collection, The Black Stranger and Other American Tales. I just finished this short story collection and the gems are the amazing Weird West and Old South ghost stories. The Western stories bring in Howard’s love of American Indians, and really make the tales vivid.

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Park Slope was the source of all of Lovecraft’s horror! Here is where he lived with his future ex-wife.

H.P. Lovecraft spent his formative writing years in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. From a thoroughly researched Brooklyn Eagle feature story:

W. Paul Cook, H.P. Lovecraft’s old friend and sometimes publisher, summed it best in memorial: “To the very end of his days he hated New York with a consuming passion. I mean the city itself, not the many good friends he had there. But it took the privations, trials and testing fires of New York to bring his best to the surface.”

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gloomI just got to play Gloom tonight at InkNerd‘s house. You can probably tell from his blog, he and his wife are really cool. The game was fun — it was like someone made a card game out of Edward Gorey’s The Ghaslycrumb Tinies. And sometimes when we maimed or killed people off, we made up little poems or stories!


Edward Gorey has entire blogs devoted to him, so I won’t say more except that later I’m going to review the scary children’s mysteries of John Bellairs, whose books were originally illustrated by Gorey.

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The Complete Persepolis


I had no idea Persepolis was a story of war and terror. From the commercials for the animated movie, I thought it was just about being a girl in Iran. It is, but her girlhood coincided with the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. She manages to tell a story simultaneously from a child’s and an adult’s perspective making it by turns funny and tragic. The characters (her actual family) are very memorable. It is bittersweet, funny, and full of love and despair and I can recommend this book to pretty much everyone.

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five_fistsI just finished The Five Fists of Science. by Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders. It’s an entertaining story, like  a Steampunk Ghost Busters by E.L. Doctorow. It’s a comic adventure about Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla stopping J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie from summoning a Cthulhu-thing to destroy New York City. Personally, I prefer historical fiction to leave the actual figures in the background and invent fictional main characters. Like in this book, Thomas Edison goes on a hunt for the Yeti in Tibet, which has nothing to do with either the story or the historical Edison. If it hadn’t been Edison, I would have thought it was just an interesting sidebar. The Batman book Detective No. 27 was more my style, with an old-timey Bruce Wayne as the main figure and Teddy Roosevelt and others making appearances lasting just a few panels.

The writing and art are pretty good, and it’s a quick read. Actually, now that I count it, it’s actually 100 pages long! — it just wasn’t very memorable. It’s mainly inspired me to find more pulp science fiction.

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