Saturday, June 17, 2017

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #87

Peripheral RALPH BATES acted in TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA with--


 Primary CHRISTOPHER LEE, whose initial outing as Dracula in HORROR OF DRACULA falls (unlike TASTE) into the combative mode.

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Primary MATT BATTAGLIA acted in two UNIVERSAL SOLDIER sequels and episodes of CHARMED, TIME TRAX, and SUPERBOY.

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Primary PATRICK BAUCHAU (right) acted in A VIEW TO A KILL, MEGA SHARK VS. KOLOSSUS, and episodes of ALIAS, as well as voicing an episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED.





THE COLLOQUY OF MONOS AND UNA (1939)

The most I can say for "Monos and Una" is that it does seem, like "Silence-- a Fable," to be taking place in a "real" fantasy-world. Monos and Una were once living human beings, and they meet in the afterlife following the destruction of the entire world.

Suffice to say that otherworldy profundities were not Poe's strength.

WILLIAM WILSON (1839)

I don't have much to say about WILLIAM WILSON. I've heard it said that it belongs to the subgenre called "the doppelganger story," which was apparently popular in this time-period.

Since there's no independent verification that the narrator really does have a lookalike who dogs his tracks and ends up dying at the narrator's hands, this seems more of "phantasmal figuration" than an outright marvel.

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1839)

With USHER Poe reaches the zenith of his talent for creating bizarre buildings, inasmuch as "the House of Usher" is possibly the best known "haunted house" in literature, with the possible exception of Hawthorne's "House of the Seven Gables." Even the "Castle of Otranto," which began the Gothic genre in Europe, is not as well known to modern audiences.

In addition to the weird aspects of the house-- which the unnamed narrator sees as surrounded by unearthly vapors-- the story also deals with a "weird family" of a brother and sister who are the last of their line. It's debatable as to whether Madeleine and Usher share the incestuous heritage seen in other Poe couples, but this would IMO be an adequate explanation as to why Roderick allows his sister to be entombed, even though he knows she's a cataleptic.

I was amused by this section, in which Poe tries to invalidate Kant's theory of the Sublime:

 I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows—upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day life—the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.

All of which proves that Poe didn't read Kant's CRITIQUE OF JUDGMENT with any real attention, or he would have recalled Kant's explicit determination that the Sublime can only rise in a viewer of mysterioso phenomena if he the viewer feels safe and removed from any possible consequence. The narrator doesn't feel safe, so why should he feel sublime? But then, Poe was not exactly in Kant's class as a philosopher, so no surprise there.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

MONSTER MASHUPS #16



One of the best "monster mash" comics-series was BONEYARD, published in its own title from 2001 and 2009. It revolved around the humorous mishaps of ordinary guy Michael Paris, who inherited a plot of land from a relative, only to find that it was inhabited by various strange creatures-- a leather-jacketed werewolf, a pint-sized demon with delusions of world conquest, a talking raven, a witch, a living skeleton, and, most importantly, a sexy vampire named Abbey Abrahms (as in "Bram" Stoker, natch). Not surprisingly, a romantic relationship develops between Michael and Abbey. Though the series ended with issue #28, artist Richard Moore happily gave the feature a fitting end. Some of Moore's jokes are fairly corny, but he shows a greater talent for winsome characters than the majority of mainstream comics-creators.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #86

Primary FLORENCE BATES (not shown) acted in a couple of episodes of the 1950 DICK TRACY teleseries.

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Primary JEANNE BATES (left) played "Diana Palmer" in the PHANTOM serial and acted in an episode of WONDER WOMAN.



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Primary KATHY BATES acted in DICK TRACY and voiced "the Sea Hag" in a 2004 POPEYE short.


Friday, June 9, 2017

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #85

Primary JASON BATEMAN appeared in one episode of KNIGHT RIDER and voiced a few animated characters, like "Hermes" in JUSTICE LEAGUE.


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Primary JUSTINE BATEMAN played two separate characters on LOIS AND CLARK.

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Peripheral  ALAN BATES acted in ARABIAN NIGHTS with--



Primary JOHN LEGUIZAMO of SPAWN.

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Peripheral BARBARA BATES acted in NIGHT IN PARADISE with--


Primary DOUGLAS DUMBRILLE of JUNGLE QUEEN.