Saturday, December 31, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #43

I accidentally got some of my tracings out of alphabetical order. Oh well, no one's reading it anyway.

_________

Primary ADAM ARKIN (not shown) has one relevant credit, an episode of the 80s teleseries HARD TIME ON PLANET EARTH.

 _____________


Primary ALAN ARKIN acted in THE ROCKETEER and played the title hero in the spoofy RETURN OF CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE.

______________________


Peripheral RICHARD ARLEN acted in THE CRAWLING HAND with--



Primary TRISTRAM COFFIN, best known for many serials, of which I'll first invoke KING OF THE ROCKET MEN, his only "superhero."

_____________________

Primary GEORGE ARLISS may have been the oldest actor to play a "quasi-superhero:" he was in his late 50s when he did his final role, DOCTOR SYN. 

______________________


Primary PEDRO ARMENDARIZ SR. (left) acted in CAPTAIN SINBAD and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

____________________

Primary PEDRO ARMENDARIZ JR. acted in LICENSE TO KILL and both Banderas ZORRO movies.

________________

Primary HENRY ARMETTA (left) acted in 1934's THE BLACK CAT.


____________________

Peripheral ARMIDA (far left) acted in JUNGLE GODDESS with--



Primary GEORGE REEVES, the first TV SUPERMAN.


SILENCE-- A FABLE (1835)

"Silence" is another prose-poem, less allegorical than "Shadow." The story takes the form of a tale told by a creature known only as "The Demon" to an unnamed listener. The Demon speaks of the sights he beheld in a "dreary region in Libya, by the borders of the river Zaire," but what he describes seems entirely otherworldly-- a forest, whose trees rock back and forth even though there's no wind, and water-lilies that "sigh" to one another.

A stranger appears in the region, and chooses to sit down upon a large rock. The Demon watches the morose-looking man from hiding, marveling at his godlike appearance, and also notices that for some unvoiced reason the word "DESOLATION" is written into the rock. After the man sits there a while, the Demon takes offense at his unwavering stoicism, and "curses the elements." The man stays where he is despite a great storm, so then the Demon resorts to a "curse of silence." This causes everything, including the sighing lilies, to cease making any sound. The curse also causes the letters in the rock to change so that they read, "SILENCE." The unnamed man on the rock listens for any sounds, finds none, "shudders," and then flees the region, never again to be seen by the Demon.

In the last paragraph, the presumably human narrator reacts by finding the story "most wonderful," even exceeding the tales told by "sybils" and "iron bound volumes of the Magi." However, he can't laugh, as the Demon can, at the predicament of the man in the story. The Demon curses the listener as well, but nothing happens, except that a lynx wanders out of a nearby tomb, lies down at the Demon's feet, and looks up at him-- at which point the story closes.

Since at one point the listener alludes to Allah, it's probable that Poe was seeking to duplicate the effect of certain tales in the Arabian Nights that portray realms of imponderable mystery. In this he succeeds, for even though the strange region is supposedly in Libya, it seems like a wholly unreal place, governed by its own poetic laws. Rather than "horror" or even "proto-science fiction," "Silence" is a story of otherworldly fantasy. It bears a family resemblance to William Beckford's novel VATHEK, which also takes place on Earth but visits weird otherworldly realms.

SHADOW-- A PARABLE (1835)

This is the first Poe story that resembles the notion of the "prose poem," which has no Aristotelian complication as such, and exists only to paint an unusual mood.

The basic scenario looks forward to "The Masque of the Red Death." It's narrated by an individual who styles himself "the Greek Oinos," and when the story opens, Oinos and six unnamed men are seen sitting in a room getting drunk, while Zoilus, a man of their former acquaintance, lies dead of plague. A strange shadow enters the room, and speaks to them:

And the shadow answered, "I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal." And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell duskly upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.

This sort of mood-piece, with its emphasis on a "vague and formless" shape, possibly influenced H.P. Lovecraft's conception of his formless terrors, though HPL's terrors weren't usually direct representations of Death.

KING PEST (1835)

This story is unusual in that it's the first time in a short story that Poe attempts to deal with characters who are not aesthetes or aristocrats. That said, the author chooses to take a third person viewpoint, as in 1832's METZERGERSTEIN, in contrast to his well known first person narration.

The story follows the comical misadventures of two drunken sailors, "Legs" and "Hugh," rambling about London during the "chivalrous reign of Edward III" (the early 1300s). Too drunk to notice where they're going, they ramble into a district marked off as contaminated by plague. The sailors don't encounter anyone suffering actual plague, though the district is full of "fetid and poisonous smells." They blunder into a building described as "the stronghold of the pestilence," where they find six beggars celebrating with various spirits. The beggars, all of whom have comically freakish appearances, have all given themselves lofty aristocratic titles, and their chief has identified with the plague itself by calling himself "King Pest." The sailors manage to throw the celebration into chaos before they run off, carrying one of the female beggars with them.

The tale seems more like a sketch than a narrative, whose main point is to contrast the low-class drunks with the equally inebriated beggars, who have assumed lofty titles and speak in a much more elevated tone. It utilizes the tropes that I've labelled "freakish flesh" and "weird families and societies."

HANS PFAALL (1835)

This story begins with the titular character descending in his balloon into the town of his native Rotterdam. He drops off a manuscript of his incredible balloon-adventures, and then departs. The remainder of the story is the citation of everything Pfaall claims to have done in the manuscript, concluded by the authorities' verdict that it's a hoax.

In contrast to the later "Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," which resembles "Hans Pfaall" in structure, there's no strong evidence that the balloonist's tale actually took place. The theme and content of Pfaall's story, in which he takes to the air to escape his creditors and gets close enough to the moon to view its native inhabitants, has more in common with similar moon-travelling japes by Cyrano de Bergerac. However, in its approach Poe's story looks forward to hard science fiction, in that Pfaall constantly buttresses his story with details about his progress, his methods for preserving the air in the balloon, and so on. Verne, whose debt to Poe is well attested, shows a similar mania for detail.

Another contrast to "Pym:" the detail in "Pfaall" is largely boring, in part because a modern reader can't for a moment entertain the idea of a balloonist flying to the moon. I judge the story to be "uncanny" because of the suggestion that, even if his narrative is a lie, Pfaall may have actually experienced something in the heights, given the singularity of his appearance. In addition, Poe's physical description of Pfall is the first of many times when the author portrayed characters as weird-looking freaks:

The balloon (for such no doubt it was) had now descended to within a hundred feet of the earth, allowing the crowd below a sufficiently distinct view of the person of its occupant. This was in truth a very droll little somebody. He could not have been more than two feet in height; but this altitude, little as it was, would have been sufficient to destroy his equilibrium, and tilt him over the edge of his tiny car, but for the intervention of a circular rim reaching as high as the breast, and rigged on to the cords of the balloon. The body of the little man was more than proportionately broad, giving to his entire figure a rotundity highly absurd. His feet, of course, could not be seen at all, although a horny substance of suspicious nature was occasionally protruded through a rent in the bottom of the car, or to speak more properly, in the top of the hat. His hands were enormously large. His hair was extremely gray, and collected in a cue behind. His nose was prodigiously long, crooked, and inflammatory; his eyes full, brilliant, and acute; his chin and cheeks, although wrinkled with age, were broad, puffy, and double; but of ears of any kind or character there was not a semblance to be discovered upon any portion of his head. This odd little gentleman was dressed in a loose surtout of sky-blue satin, with tight breeches to match, fastened with silver buckles at the knees. His vest was of some bright yellow material; a white taffety cap was set jauntily on one side of his head; and, to complete his equipment, a blood-red silk handkerchief enveloped his throat, and fell down, in a dainty manner, upon his bosom, in a fantastic bow-knot of super-eminent dimensions.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #42

Primary DARIO ARGENTO, writer-director of horror-films, had a minor role in INNOCENT BLOOD.

__________________

Primary CARMEN ARGENZIANO played a dual role on STARGATE SG-1 and roles on several other relevant TV shows.

 _____________________

Primary ALUN ARMSTRONG acted in KRULL, SLEEPY HOLLOW, and THE MUMMY RETURNS.

______________________

Primary BESS ARMSTRONG voiced "Clio" in BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES.


______________

Peripheral LOUIS ARMSTRONG acted in CABIN IN THE SKY with--


Primary REX INGRAM, the genie in the 1940 THIEF OF BAGDAD.


________________


Primary R.G ARMSTRONG acted in PREDATOR and played "Pruneface" in 1990's DICK TRACY.


___________________

Primary ROBERT ARMSTRONG acted in 1932's MOST DANGEROUS GAME and 1933's KING KONG.

_____________________

Primary TODD ARMSTRONG acted in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS  and an episode of THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO.




_____________________

Primary WILL ARNETT voiced "The Missing Link" in MONSTERS VS, ALIENS and appeared live in 2014's TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, among other credits.


________________

Peripheral DESI ARNAZ (center) acted in the fantasy FOREVER DARLING with--





Primary LUCILLE BALL (left), in her only relevant perf in 1951's THE MAGIC CARPET.


________________

Primary DESI ARNAZ JR. (left) acted in the "electronic superman" teleseries AUTOMAN.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #41

Primary EVE ARDEN acted in PANDEMONIUM and THE MAN FROM UNCLE.


______________

Primary ROSITA ARENAS acted in such Mex-horror films as THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY.

____________________

Primary LEE ARENBERG acted in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series and in the 2000 flop DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS.


___________________


Primary ASIA ARGENTO acted in XXX.






Friday, December 23, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE #40

Primary SUSAN ANTON has one credit, Elinore of WIZARDS.

__________________


Peripheral LAURA ANTONELLI acted in DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE GIRL BOMBS with--




Primary VINCENT PRICE, whose first of many credits here must inevitably be "Egghead" from  BATMAN.


_______________

Primary GABRIELLE ANWAR has a couple of credits, such as IF LOOKS COULD KILL.

_________________

Primary APOLLONIA  (not shown), using the name "Patty Kotero," has one credit, an episode of KNIGHT RIDER.

___________________

Primary SHIRI APPLEBY acted in a couple of episodes of XENA and a BATMAN BEYOND cartoon.


___________________

Primary CHRISTINA APPLEGATE has just one credit, CATS AND DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE.



____________________


Primary JOHN APREA appeared in various TV shows, particularly playing an invulnerable man in WONDER WOMAN.



____________________

Primary ANNE ARCHER acted in the 1974 MARK OF ZORRO.
















Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXXIX

Primary FRANCESCA ANNIS acted in DUNE and KRULL.


_______________

Peripheral SUSAN ANSPACH acted in THE DEVIL AND MAX DEVLIN with--


Primary BILL COSBY (left), the titular actor in LEONARD, PART 6.



________________


Primary ADAM ANT acted in WORLD GONE WILD and BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES.



________________________


Primary LYSETTE ANTHONY acted in KRULL and assorted TV shows.



__________

Primary TONY ANTHONY acted in TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS.












Saturday, December 17, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXXVIII

Primary TIGE ANDREWS played "Kras" in the STAR TREK episode "Friday's Child."


_____________________

Peripheral TOD ANDREWS acted in BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES with--


Primary VICTOR BUONO, famed for several relevant roles, beginning with "King Tut" on BATMAN.

__________________


Peripheral sister-act THE ANDREWS SISTERS appeared in HOLD THAT GHOST with--





Primary EVELYN ANKERS (middle), also in TARZAN'S MAGIC FOUNTAIN.



_________________

Primary HEATHER ANGEL voiced "Mrs. Darling" in 1953's PETER PAN.



____________


Primary VANESSA ANGEL acted in HANSEL AND GRETEL: WARRIORS OF WITCHCRAFT and episodes of STARGATE SG-1.



________________________


Peripheral PIER ANGELI (left) acted in THE SILVER CHALICE with--




Primary JACK PALANCE, whose foremost credit here is the 1989 BATMAN.



_________________


Primary JENNIFER ANISTON voiced one relevant credit, "Galatea," on Disney's HERCULES cartoon.



__________________

For the first time since starting this solo game, I get to cite a Primary under her own heading, after having used her as a Secondary tracing (see above)

Primary EVELYN ANKERS, still in TARZAN'S MAGIC FOUNTAIN.



__________________

Primary MORRIS ANKRUM (far left) battled THE GIANT CLAW.



________________

Primary ANN-MARGRET acted in MURDERER'S ROW.