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1  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: Under The Stairs: A DC Comics Podcast Talks Lovecraft on: December 15, 2012, 03:51:25 PM
Part 2 of Under The Stairs DCU's series exploring the connection between H.P. Lovecraft and DC Comics is up. Join host Mike Saint and myself as we discuss how Lovecraft's witch-haunted New England city of Arkham gradually became everyone's favorite holding cell for Batman's rouge gallery, amongst other fascinating topics.

As always questions and comment are welcomed at any of the contact points mentioned at the end of the episode or at Under The Stairs DCU's favorite Facebook page. And as always download the show from iTunes if you can!

Quicktime Link: http://llnw.libsyn.com/p/6/2/e/62e7aa5ca1c9b185/Ep7p2.m4a?s=1355603385&e=1355608458&c_id=5234150&h=eaf2bfdaf53f73918fb42b1b71880891
2  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: Lovecraftian Anime on: December 04, 2012, 04:20:54 PM
Chiaki J. Konaka, He also did Serial Experiments Lain, Didin't he?

3  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Under The Stairs: A DC Comics Podcast Talks Lovecraft Part 2 Up! on: December 02, 2012, 01:39:39 PM
Two of my friends - Mike Saint and Jordan Keane - have a really fun podcast they recently started on DC Comics and related media. Its called Under the Stairs DCU and you can find it on iTunes.

This past Saturday Mike and Jordan invited me on to talk about Lovecraft and his relationship to the DC Comics Universe. When we came together we realized that we had SO much info and SO much we wanted to talk about and review that we decided to turn it into a three part episode called "The Lovecraft Connection".

Right now just part one is up and its mostly an overview of Lovecraft's life and the origins of the Cthulhu Mythos. We do touch on the relationship between pulp magazines and comics, between Lovecraft's writing style and the narrative style of comic and I also read an exert from a letter in which Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel shares his thoughts on Lovecraft's work. We also talk about why tentacles are scary!

Here is a link to the part one episode: p.odca.st/5193061 You'll need Quicktime and there is a few seconds of silence at the very beginning. But also please download the episode from iTunes if possible, and of course if you like the show and like DC Comics try giving the other episodes a listen.

Also any feedback here on the forums or at any of the places Mike names at the end of the episode is very much appreciated. I liked to know how you guys feel I did talking about Lovecraft and his work since its something I want to do more of in the future.        
4  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Lovecraft and Machen in Christianity Today on: November 22, 2012, 10:44:17 AM
So I'm a little behind on the podcast because of having just started grad. school (Religious Studies M.A.) so I'm using Thanksgiving break to try and catch up. Anyway I just started The Willows arch today and noticed that this was the second episode where Chris and Chad have referenced Jonathan Ryan's article "Meaning to the Madness" (Christianity Today, Oct. 10, 2012 or @ http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/october-web-only/meaning-to-madness.html) contrasting Machen's "sacred terror" with and against Lovecraft's "cosmic horror". Chris and Chad made it sound as if there was already a raft of comments about this article on the forums but unless I'm over looking something I really couldn't find much - thus why I'm starting this thread.

If you haven't read Ryan's article I encourage you to because I think its worth a look. Afterwards check out this article by horror author and religious studies scholar Matt Cardin which is a rebuttal to Ryan's piece. It's called "Cosmic Horror, Sacred Terror, and the Nightside Transformation of Consciousness" (Oct. 22, 2012 @ http://www.teemingbrain.com/2012/10/22/lovecraft-machen-and-nightside-of-consciousness/).

And then even more interesting check out the subsequent debate which broke out in the comments section beneath Cardin's article between Ryan, Cardin and fellow horror fan/religious scholar John Morehead (who heads up the great website  TheoFantastique.com) about the issue of which writer is "scarier" and why. Really interesting stuff.

There was also a third article written by Garret Johnson titled "HP Lovecraft and Christian Thought" that was published at Hieropraxis.com (October 30, 2012) which serves as a half-way point of sorts between Ryan and Cardin/Morehead's views.    

Also on a related note I would like to say that having just listened to Part 1 of The Willows what grabbed me wasn't Chris' claim to not like Blackwood's story or Harry Potter but rather Chad's comment that the god of the Bible wasn't as scary as the old gods of other religions because he was all good.

Someone has not read their Bible! The god of ancient Israel, YHWH, is one of the most capricious and bloodthirsty deities there is and is credited as the source of both good and evil (Isaiah 45:7). Harold Bloom, in his excellent study Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine, compares YHWH's behavior and demeanor to that of one of Shakespeare's mad kings like Macbeth or Lear. German theologian Rudolf Otto in his book The Idea of the Holy infamously described YHWH as a thunderstorm; utterly amoral and full of pent up power that could be unleashed at any moment on anyone at anytime for no particular reason.

In case there are any Jews or Christians here I'm not saying this to be mean or nasty like Dawkins or Harris, I'm just pointing out what, to me anyway, is a fact about the nature and character of the god of the Hebrew Bible. As a whole YHWH isn't much different from other ancient gods like Baal, Marduk, Chemosh, Zeus, Odin, etc.... except for the fact that he is often even more unpredictable then they are.

The point being that the god of the Bible is perhaps one of the scariest gods there is and in many ways much more like Lovecraft's gods then many would think.  (See Matt Cardin's story "The New Pauline Corpus" in Cthulhu's Reign (2010) where he actually belabors this point)
5  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim on: November 22, 2012, 10:04:03 AM
One thing no body seemed to mention in this thread is that the producers of these summer blockbuster monster action movies specifically target young teen audiences.

 To them this is not a retreaded genre; it's all new. And, they crave violence and explosions and action, esp. young boys.

A real Lovecraft movie that was done as originally written would bore them.

I would say that summer blockbusters are really aimed at general male audiences regardless of age and to less extent at general audience as a whole.

I don't know what you think "a Lovecraft movie" is, but to my mind I think that you could get a fair number of movie goers to enjoy a decent cinematic adaptation of "The Dunwich Horror", At the Mountains of Madness or The Shadow Over Innsmouth. There is plenty of action in all three stories and sex in the first and last. I think because of the prose style people often miss just how dynamic and sexual Lovecraft's work is. Its the same way some Sherlockians I've encountered can't see pass the tedious police procedural aspect of Doyle's Holmes stories and pick up on the action that's going on between the lines; a fact which in turn leads them to reject the great Guy Richie Sherlock Holmes movies as being unfaithful in their portrayal of Holmes as an action hero. But that's a different rant or different thread....

My point is that I think a truly competent filmmaker like del Toro could work wonders with just about any Lovecraft story and make it appealing to a broad audience, or at least a larger audience then just hardcore horror fans.         
6  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / HPL as a character in Mythos Fiction on: October 03, 2012, 01:13:15 AM
So I'm sure we've all read at least one Mythos story that has turned Lovecraft into a character within his own mythology. Typically this involves either 1) characters in a Mythos story mentioning Lovecraft explicitly (like in Derleth's "The Dweller in Darkness”) with the suggestion being that he knew about the horrors of the Mythos and tried to warn people by writing about them OR 2) Lovecraft as a character either overtly or under a pseudonym or just unnamed. This second option has been popular for a lot of comic book writers and artists who have turned Lovecraft into something of a monster-slaying hero.

Anyway I'm trying to make a list of every story I can think of that features Lovecraft as a character in any way. This is what I have so far and obviously the reason why I'm posting this here is because contributions to the list are welcome....  

July 1928 – “The Space-Eaters” by Frank Belknap Long
   HLP as a character named Howard

September 1935 – “The Shambler from the Stars” by Robert Bloch (Dedicated to HPL)
   HLP as unnamed character

December 1936 – “The Haunter of the Dark” by HPL (Dedicated to Bloch)
   Sequel to “The Shambler from the Stars”  

March 1937 – Lovecraft dies

August 1937 – “The Terrible Parchment” by Manley Wade Wellman (Dedicated to HPL)
   Lovecraft is referred to explicitly

November 1944 – “The Dweller in Darkness” by August Derleth
   Lovecraft is referred to explicitly

September 1950 – “The Shadow from the Steeple” by Robert Bloch
   Sequel to “The Haunter of the Dark”

October 1957 – “The Lamp of Alhazred” by August Derleth & H.P. Lovecraft (posthumously)
   HPL as a character named Ward Phillips

1980 – “Black Man with a Horn” by T.E.D. Klien
   The protagonist is based on Frank Belknap Long and refers to Lovecraft explicitly

June 1996 – “To Mars and Providence” by Don Webb
   HLP, as a child, is the protagonist and turns out to be the spawn of the Great Old Ones

November 1996 – “Live Bait” by Stanley C. Sargent
       Sequel to HPL's “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” refers to HLP explicitly and in the end it is revealed that he wrote the original story at the request of Robert Olmstead.

December 2000 - February 2001 – “Necronauts” w/ by Gordon Rennie art by Frazer Irving
   HPL as protagonist fighting Great Old Ones

June - September 2002 – “Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained” w/ by Peter Lenkov art by Frazer Irving
   HPL makes a cameo as a child, his stories came from seeing Fort battle real aliens  

March 2004 – Lovecraft written by Keith Giffen and drawn by Enrique Breccia
   HPL as protagonist fighting Great Old Ones

April - September 2009 – “Atomic Robo: The Shadow from Beyond Time” w/ by Brian Clevinger art by Scott Wegener
   HPL turns out to be a vessel for the Great Old Ones

April - November 2009 – “The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft” w/ by Mac Carter art by Tony Salmons
   HPL as protagonist fighting Great Old Ones

July 2010 - February 2011 - "Neonomicon" w/ by Alan Moore art by Jacen Burrows
        HPL is explicitly mentioned and it is suggested that he knew about the reality of the Mythos
7  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: Black Wings of Cthulhu, Edited by S.T. Joshi on: August 29, 2012, 02:43:00 AM
I'm glad to see others feel the same way about these stories that I do and are also raising the question as to how these are Lovecraftian or Mythos stories exactly. I wish Joshi would have included introductory essays to each story the way Price does in his anthologies so as to explain/justify why they are included.

I also haven't read any further in Black Wings because I got a hold of a copy of Shotguns vs. Cthulhu about a week ago and so far every story I've read in there has been good if not brilliant. It really washed the bad taste of Black Wings out on my mouth. If you can get a hold of a copy of Shotguns vs. Cthulhu I highly recommend it! 
8  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Black Wings of Cthulhu, Edited by S.T. Joshi on: August 21, 2012, 12:36:45 PM
Has anyone else here picked up S.T. Joshi's much hyped anthology of Mythos fiction Black Wings of Cthulhu? It's now available in both the UK and the States and I bring it up because I picked it up about two weeks ago and am about half way through it and am hating it. This is seriously some of the worst attempts at Mythos or Lovecraftian fiction I've ever read. The atmosphere is wrong, the tone is wrong, the underlining philosophy is wrong, the stories either aren't scary or are scary for the wrongs reasons. I'm really wondering if some of these authors have actually ever read Lovecraft and I'm especially baffled that this whole thing was put together by Joshi who has been so hard on horror authors in general and Mythos writers in particular that I figured a collection put together by him would be nothing but the cream of the crop, but instead it's some of the worst I've ever read.

Here's what I've read so far.... (Some Spoilers)

"Engravings" by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. - A short story about a man trying to beat the clock to deliver a package to a mysterious man named Mr. Phoenix. The story does a good job of capturing the frustration one feels when running late for an important meeting and it seems as if everything in creation is trying to get in your way. However that's the only complement I can give it. It otherwise fails at conveying Lovecraftian cosmic terror and the out of left field ending feels more like something from 1987's Angel Heart then anything HPL ever came up with.

"Copping Squid" by Michael Shea - This story, set in a modern day urban ghetto, starts off with an interesting set up and then goes nowhere with it. The reveal at the end is also identical to author Donald Burleson's Mytho tales "The Eye of Hlu-Hlu" but not as chilling.

"Passing Spirits" by Sam Gafford - This story is more of a spoof then an actual Lovecraftian tale but is overall pretty good. Basically imagine the movie 50/50 (2011) only replace Seth Rogen's character with HPL's ghost and you've got it.

"The Broadsword" by Laird Barron - This story has some good creepy moments in it and is well written over all but it belongs in an Arthur Machen tribute book more then an HPL one. There is also a scene where the protagonist is taken into some sort of sub-dimensional underworld which had I been an editor I would have strongly advised against it as it reads like a deleted chapter from Lovecraft's "The Mound", and we all know what a winner that story is.

"Denker's Book" by David J. Schow - This was also one of the shorter stories in the book and largely forgettable. It seems to be riffing on Lovecraft's "From Beyond" but honestly it was so poor that recalling anything else about it right now is beyond me.... heh

"Inhabitants of Wraithwood" by W.H. Pugmire - Pugmire is a pretty well known contemporary Mythos writer but this may be the first story I've ever read by him. He's obviously got some serious chops when it comes to prose but as for the story itself it just wasn't very interesting. It's basically "Pickman's Model" meets "The Picture of Dorian Gray" but in reverse with regard to the later. Hopefully anyone reading this book will have read both of those works and as a result will see the ending coming not long after having begun the piece. Not bad but not great either.  

"Howling in the Dark" by Darrell Schweitzer - Schweitzer is the editor of the much contested anthology Cthulhu's Reign which Mythos fans either seem to love or hate. I love it but didn't find Schweitzer's own tale from that collection - "Ghost Dancing" - to be amongst the best. This story here is.... just confusing. I'm honestly not sure what it was about. Nightguants maybe? Again not very Lovecraftian either way. In fact it almost feels more like an adult version of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.... and no not in the way the Spike Jonze film was.

"Lesser Demons" by Norman Partridge - This is seriously the worst story I've read so far. I really have no idea how it got picked for this book as it doesn't read like Lovecraft at all. It's almost the antithesis of Lovecraft. It reads like the screenplay for the next Resident Evil movie only with Milla Jovovich's character having been replaced by a craggy old backwoods gun loving sheriff. The story opens with the sheriff holed up in a cabin in the woods. He explains how a few weeks ago the world we know ended and was overrun by "bloodfaces" (aka ZOMBIES!) and then gradually other monsters who burst out of the bloodfaces' chests. None of these monsters are particularly Lovecraftian and include such creatures as a bear turned inside out, a minotaur with dreadlocks and some giant spiders with rat faces as well as your standard issued bat-winged, hoofed and horned demon at one point. Basically the sheriff and his deputy end up hiding in the woods occasionally venturing into town to get some supplies and lots and lots of guns. The deputy is more intellectual and wants to understand what happened to the world so he's given some books dealing with the occult. Yeah given, as in the author comes up with the laziest most nonsensical way for him to acquire some random books on occult lore. They're in the backseat of a car. Yeah..... Anyway the sheriff disapproves and tells the deputy that there's no point in all the book learning, they just need to hole up with plenty of ammo and sooner or later, after they've killed all the monsters, everything will go back to normal. But the deputy refuses to stop so the sheriff eventually shoots him. Yeah..... So in the end the military shows up and shoots all the monsters. The sheriff and the soldiers stand around for the last couple pages yucking it up about how all those scientists and scholars back at HQ are fools for trying to figure out how to fix this problem with books and charts. They know how to fix the problem; Aim and Fire. And that's the end. The happy ending. I think this might qualify for what Lovecraft called "bland optimism" but it also reads like a huge endorsement for the NRA. Terrible.

"An Eldritch Matter" by Adam Niswander - The shortest story in the book and the most pointless. It reads like the climax of a body horror movie and nothing else.
9  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: Shotguns v. Cthulhu on: August 21, 2012, 11:06:08 AM
I got my copy from GenCon in Indianapolis last weekend. Steve Dempsey was there and he signed it. Since I've already heard Chad's fantastic story "One Small Valuable Thing" I went ahead and read Chris's story "Snack Time". It's a Hounds of Tindalos story and I always enjoy a good Hounds of Tindalos story and this most certainly is one.

I'm looking forward to digging into the rest of the book this week and I'll report back here with what I think of the rest of the stories.   
10  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Original Fiction – One Small, Valuable Thing on: July 26, 2012, 11:26:12 AM
SPOILER: It has a happy ending.

Yeah in a The Sixth Sense kind of way....

Seriously though this is a great piece of work.
11  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim on: July 26, 2012, 04:35:43 AM
Yeah, that's it.  But with decade-long trend of comic book super hero movies, man they're all the SAME STORY!!  Don't people get tired of seeing the same story/different hero every freakin' summer?  Ugh. 

You might as well ask "Don't people get tired of seeing the same story/different hero since the dawn of time?" Isn't that what Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces is all about, how every story literally is the same story told over and over again?

As a species we find repetition comforting. We like to have certain myths continually reaffirmed.

As for del Toro's Pacific Rim, I'm super excited about this film and have been running a very comprehensive thread on it over at the Classic Horror Film Boards: http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/44013/Guillermo-del-Toro-s-PACIFIC-RIM-2013---Comic--Panel-Footage

I've been a Kaiju film fanatic my whole life, so the idea of del Toro - who is one of my top three favorite directors - doing a Kaiju movie thrills me to no end. Unfortunately for anyone here hoping that del Toro will work in some Lovecraftian angle that issue has already been addressed by the director in an interview with Total Film in which he said: "We made a point not to go too Lovecraft because Lovecraft is so different from the Kaiju mythology. Kaiju have very distinct mythology. You have reptilian kaiju, you have flying kaiju, you have crustacean kaiju...." 

Honestly I can't understand some of the comments here saying disparaging things about del Toro. The man is a genius, is wholly committed to the sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre and has never made a bad movie. I think del Toro would have no doubt done wonders with Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.

As for Tom Cruise, he's one of the most versatile actors in history having worked in every genre from horror (Interview with a Vampire), action (Mission Impossible), comedy (Tropic Thunder), period piece (The Last Samurai), sci-fi (Minority Report), drama (Rain Man), thriller (Vanilla Sky), musical (Rock of Ages), and many many more. He's also one of the most decorated actors in Hollywood. I mean you need a separate Wikipedia page just to list all the awards he's either won or been nominated for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Tom_Cruise

I think if del Toro wanted to cast Cruise in ATMOM he's obviously knows what he's doing and you couldn't find many actors more talented. Plus he's a Scientologist, so he already believes in alien gods who once ruled the Earth and inadvertently created man. I mean come on that's perfect....   
12  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: Lovecraft Comics Reading List on: July 26, 2012, 04:04:26 AM
Definitely check out Hellboy, it's my favorite American superhero related comic book series. The two volumes that have the most direct Lovecraft influence are Vol. 1 Seed of Destruction and  Vol. 5 Conquer Worm. But also check out the individual stories "Goodbye Mr. Todd" and "The Whittier Legacy" which are also very Lovecraftian.

More so then Hellboy proper however, check out Hellboy's sister book B.P.R.D. This series is much more straightforward in it's Lovecraft influence and is also one of the best damn comics on the market today, bar none. But start and the beginning and read in order. This is not a series you can just jump into....

I also second the recommendation for Moore's The Courtyard and Neonomicon.

Lastly I highly recommend 2000 A.D.'s Necronauts by Gordon Rennie and Frazer Irving in which Lovecraft teams up with Charles Fort, Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini to stop The Illuminati from releasing the Great Old Ones. Oh yeah and The Illuminati is headed up by Charles Lindbergh.     
13  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: Lovecraftian Anime on: July 26, 2012, 03:47:47 AM
If you're looking for Lovecraftian influenced anime let me recommend the series Demonbane (2004).

Set in Lovecraft’s own witch haunted city of Arkham in the 1920s, Demonbane follows detective Kuro Daijuji whose life changes forever when he meets a mysterious girl named Al Azif, who turns out to be the living personification of Lovecraft's dreaded Necronomicon. Al (as she's called) is being hunted down by the nefarious occult group The Black Lodge who want to use her for their own diabolical purposes, so she consigns herself to Kuro and makes him into her master (even though he knows next to nothing about magic).

The first agent The Black Lodge sends after them is (a guitar playing) Dr. Herbert West. A magic duel breaks out between Kuro and West and West ends up summoning a giant robot called a Deus Machina. Al tries to summon her Deus Machina, Aeon, but is unable to, instead locating one called Demonbane. The two make due and pilot Demonbane into battle and win.

It turns out that Demonbane belongs to the Haddo Organization which is attempting to thwart the schemes of The Black Lodge. To this end Kuro and Al becomes agents of Haddo Organization.

Eventually The Black Lodge starts sending more agents after Kuro and Al, each of which have their own Deus Machina. So yeah this is basically a mecha anime.

Aside from the story being set in Arkham, Al being the Necronomicon and Dr. West being a recurring character, other Lovecraft related elements include an appearance by just about every major grimoire featured in the Mythos, some of them personified as girls like Al, some just as books. Some of the Deus Machina are named after Mythos creatures; one is called Byaknee for example. The Powder of Ibn Ghazi is used to make magically infused bullets. Episode 5 is based around "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (in fact that's the name of that episode) and at the end of that episode Kuro and Al have to use Demonbane to fight Dagon himself. Other Great Old Ones who actually appear include: Cthugha, Ithaqua, Nyarlathotep (who of course is always scheming), and of course The Big C himself. There are some other Lovecraft allusions but to talk about those would be to give away certain plot twists.

Also I've read that Kuro's name is a reference to British Cthulhu Mythos author Brian Lumley's paranormal investigator character Titus Crow, because "Kuro" is the Japanese word for "black" and Crows are black birds, so....

Like Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos, Demonbane's entire 12 episode run (it's not a long series) can be watched on Crunchyroll.com in Japanese with English subtitles. Currently there is no American DVD release.

Also look out for the work of Japanese horror writer Chiaki J. Konaka who is known for infusing his projects with Lovecraftian touches.

He was the head writer on the mecha anime The BIG O (1999-2003) which is set in the future following an apocalyptic fallout which has forced western civilization to revert back to the 1920s, albeit with certain technological advantages such as android maids and, of course, giant robots. Robot battles aside The BIG O mostly involves people digging into the past trying to uncover what happened to cause the apocalyptic fallout that forced human civilization to end up in the present state it is now. Of course as in any Lovecraft story digging up the past never turns out well. In particular however check out The BIG O Season 1 Episode 7 “The Call from the Past” which contains a number of shout-outs to Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” including an aquatic enemy mecha called Dagon.

Konaka also worked on Toei Animation’s popular dueling monsters TV series Digimon, originally as a scenarist on the second season writing two major side-story arches, one of which involved the child protagonists trip to the “dark digital ocean” where they are threatened by the Deep One-like Scubamon and the Cthulhu-shaped Dagomon who they serve.

Konaka later became the head writer for the third season of Digimon, known as Digimon Tamers (2001). As Anime News Network critic Hope Chapman notes, due to Konaka’s Lovecraft fueled influence Digimon Tamers is by far the most frightening, and at certain points disturbing, season of Digimon ever produced. The central antagonist of the series, a sentient computer virus called the D-Reaper, certainly owes a lot to Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones in both conception and execution. In addition to this there are Lovecraft related references peppered throughout Digimon Tamers including references to Miskatonic University and a mysterious organization called Hypnos (from Lovecraft’s 1922 short story of the same name) which commands a pair of weapons called Yuggoth (from Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness”) and Shaggi (from Ramsey Campbell's 1964 short story "The Insects From Shaggai" based on an idea of Lovecraft’s).

Digimon Tamers is my favorite season of Digimon for many reasons, not just the Lovecraft references. An English dub of it aired on Fox Kids in the early 2000s but is currently unavailable on DVD. You can watch the entire series on Hulu however in Japanese with English subtitles, which I recommend anyway.

Lastly, even though it's not anime, let me just mention the tokusatsu series Ultraman Tiga (1996), part of Japan's long running (since 1966) Ultraman series. The last three episodes of the series were written by Konaka who based them upon Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" and "Out of the Aeons". Basically R'lyeh rises from the deep and darkness consumes the earth. Ultraman has to go to the island and fight the Elder God Ghatanothoa (from "Out of the Aeons") and save the world. It's great.  Ultraman Tiga was dubbed and broadcasted on Fox Kids in the early 2000s and is available on DVD in the United States in Japanese with English subtitles.                   

14  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: The Doom that came to...Gotham? on: July 26, 2012, 02:57:35 AM
I thought I'd drag this discussion back up from the grave, what with the new Batman movie being out and all....

I wonder what Lovecraft would have made of Bats. Maybe he'd think he was a Nightgaunt...

I seriously doubt that Lovecraft would have thought much of Batman at all. First off I can't see Lovecraft being at all impressed by the medium of comics. He probably would have thought them utterly inferior to prose literature and only something for the illiterate.

Had he lived to see Batman movie into the realm of film serials I'm sure he wouldn't have been impressed by those either. In a letter to Donald Wandrei, Lovecraft gives his opinions of some contemporary horror movies he's seen. Amongst them is The Bat (1926). This film was actually a big influence on Batman creator Bob Kane and involves a man dressing up like a bat and also using a bat signal, the main difference being that he's a criminal rather than a hero. Anyway, Lovecraft says the film bored him to tears, so yeah I find it unlikely he would have been interested in The Batman either.

Probably his greatest Batman work is Gotham by Gaslight. It's an Elseworlds book (takes place outside regular canon) where Batman operates in the late 1890's and is persuing Jack the Ripper, who has fled England for America. Incredible one shot book. I highly recommend it.

Actually Gotham by Gaslight is the first Elseworlds book, written before DC even had the Elseworlds label. Mignola really invented the whole concept with Gotham by Gaslight. And yes I recommend the book too.

Also check out the Batman: Brave and the Bold animated series episode "Night of the Demon" which uses elements of Gotham by Gaslight (Victorian era Batman vs. Jack the Ripper) and throws in Sherlock Holmes and Etrigan the Demon for good measure.



15  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: What got you in to Lovecraft? on: June 24, 2011, 12:53:02 PM
I got into Lovecraft in late middle school - early high school thanks to number of things coming to my attention all at the same time. One was that I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and became a life long fan. I bought a book called the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Monster Book which talked about all the monsters in the series and where in mythology they came from and there was a whole section on how Lovecraft had influenced Joss Whedon and the other writers of Buffy more than in other source in their conception of the demons in the series.

Around that same time I started reading the books of satirist Christopher Moore. Moore's first book was Practical Demon Keeping and makes overt references to the Cthulhu Mythos and Lovecraft.

This was also around the time that I started reading Hellboy comics which, of course, also have a great deal of overt Lovecraftian influence.

So basically, the day I started piecing together those bits of dissociated knowledge I found myself opening up a terrifying vista of literary reality, and my frightful position therein of falling absolutely in love with it. Some might say that I've gone mad from the revelation and should flee from this deadly light into the peace and safety of less morbid literature and if this is crazy I think I'm very happy to continue dwelling here.       
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