Book of the Day! HALL OF HISTORY BERMUDA’S STORY IN ART!

Hall of History Bermuda’s Story in Art Hardcover – 2011 by Graham Foster

An essential gift for anyone who has visited or plans on visiting Bermuda!

I have been to Bermuda. I have been to the Commissioner’s House, which is one of the highest points in Bermuda and looks out over the ports, and incoming tourist ships, like a lord looking over his domain.

It is a stunning multi-floor living, breathing, part of history… and work of art all at once. 

There are so many amazing things about that building, and all the history and import crammed into it. From rooms of priceless coins, to rooms of birds, to rooms of canons and the implements of war. To the architecture itself that swoops over and above and around you, all the towering ceilings, the marble, the limestone, the pillars, the hand wroth wood, the massive windows, the airy, beautiful verandas, with the salty breeze coming off the sea, blowing in. The building is at once a work of art, gilded with beautiful architecture of a bygone age of pomp and circumstance, and also a massive and imposing monolith of war. 

So much glory, in one building.

And one of those glorious things, you can just make out in he picture above.

It is a mural, a massive, massive mural, years in the making, that leads up, and up the main hall and the main stairs, And is astounding. It is hundreds of years of Bermuda History, of an island that for 800 miles in every direction… is all alone in the night. It is the history of that magical, beautiful, mysterious, at times foreboding island… done in vibrant colors, and verdant hues.

The absolute overwhelming detail of that mural, is JAW DROPPING. It can not all be taken in in one visit, or likely even in a dozen of them. 

Thankfully in 2011 the artist created a book, a massive tome, befitting the massive mural it covers.That book was sold out when I visited Bermuda in 2014. I wish I had it when I was there, it would have been a great compliment to my tour of not just the Commissioner’s House, but Bermuda in General.

There are now a few copies of this increasingly scarce book, (when copies become available people are snagging this book and putting it away in their private collections) currently available.

If you are a fan of art, plan to visit Bermuda, or have visited Bermuda and want a great reminder of your cruise/trip, this is the book for you. Also makes a great gift for that traveler in your life.

Get your copy here!

Purchases thru the link, earn this blog always needed pennies, but more than that, you get a work of art, that may just be the most stunning coffee table book you will ever own.

11 of the best Cosmic Horror or Hodgsonian or Wellsian Horrors Films! And why it is a misnomer to call them Lovecraftian.

Cosmic Horror is a favorite of mine, and in this post we dive into my favorite Cosmic Horror films.

Now, first there are a lot of misinformed people who will term cosmic horror, as Lovecraftian horror. That is incorrect.

I know why people do it, because they are ignorant of the facts, and they are regurgitating a myth that other misinformed or downright mendacious people have propagated.

So this post I hope to clear it up.

Cosmic Horror, is not Lovecraftian Horror.

The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Vol. 1

 

The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Vol. 2

 

 

House On The Borderland HC by Corben and Revelstroke

While it is a field HP Lovecraft flourished in, he was not the creator of the genre, he was just one of a pretty impressive field. Arguably if you want to lay the mantle of father of Cosmic Horror at any writer’s doorstep, William Hope Hodgson, 1908 Author of THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, would be way before Lovecraft, and even before him would be the great HG Wells who in many ways created the concepts of not just science fiction and the hopefulness of space with THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1901), but also the concept of the horrors of space and man’s smallness in the face of it, with THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1898).

H.G. WELLS SEVEN NOVELS

 

We forget exactly how prolific and staggering and broad a writer HG Wells was. He created whole genres and fields of thought and whole colonies of lesser writers formed around a single one of his ideas. Such is the case with Cosmic Horror, arguably every writer you can name doing ‘cosmic horror’, including Lovecraft, is simply playing in the shadow of a single HG Wells story.

A single HG Wells’ paragraph.

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
― H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

That is the heart of every short story Lovecraft would do, the dread from beyond, distilled into a single concise paragraph.

Lovecraft and others spent entire careers mining just that one idea of Wells, nothing wrong with it, but let us not get things crooked.

Father of cosmic horror, Lovecraft is not.

The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Chartwell Classics)

The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Chartwell Classics)

 

And while I appreciate Lovecraft’s writing, the truth is, he is an author who was never in his life… anything more than a niche little known writer, for niche little known magazines. He is more popular in death, than he ever was in life.

Again the same can be said of many very good writers.

However, unknown in his lifetime, that can not be said of HG Wells.

HG Welles was, without argument, one of THE greatest writers of his time, and arguably remains today, over a hundred years later, still the single most influential writer in the English language, since so many writers from both science fiction and horror and fantasy , can trace their lineage to him, and continue to build on his concepts.

So rather than people slapping Lovecraftian on anything remotely resembling cosmic horror, it would be more aptly called Wellsian horror, if you want to go to the source.

Plus HP Lovecraft, being the poster child for racists, makes him a writer I can do without over glorifying. From all documentation he was a pedantic, overblown writer and person, assuming airs beyond him, the racism and class-ism all were affectations of his aspiring to a nobility, when he was not a noble man.

He is a bit like Poe, a writer I adore, but who was also a vicious, insufferable human being (per his writings, correspondences, reviews), who railed against the world for its idiocy in not recognizing his nobility, and talent as a writer, during his life. 

A modicum of humility and honest perspective in either man, would have made them far better human beings, but perhaps their writing would have suffered.  Who knows.

That said Lovecraft (like Poe) is a very good short story writer (he is not as good as Poe, but he is a very good writer), and I think several of his short stories deserve their acclaim. But guys and gals, there have been great Cosmic Horror writers before Lovecraft, and a hell of a lot since.

 

So let us stop slapping Lovecraft’s name, which I will admit is a bloody cool name, on anything remotely resembling cosmic horror.

Now, there can be films that are specifically Lovecraftian, they deal with specific Lovecraft creations, but these Lovecraftian films are just a subset, or a sub-folder, of the larger main folder… that is Cosmic horror. So a Lovecraftian film by definition is a cosmic horror film, however a cosmic horror film, is not necessarily a Lovecraftian film. It can be a Chambersian film, or a Hodgsonian film, or Biersian film, particular subsets of Cosmic Films. Kinda like how every Raven is a Crow, but not every Crow is a Raven.

So now that that is cleared up, please feel free to educate anyone you see using the term Lovecraftian Horror, on all cosmic horror (even creators oft just lazily grab a catchphrase that people know). Tell them call it just Cosmic Horror, or call it Wellsian Horror.

Okay , onto the films:

COSMIC HORROR FILMS:

  • THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOONDark Side Of The Moon, The [Blu-ray]
  • THE THING (1982)
  • III : THE RITUAL (2015)
  • THE VOID (2016) – the filmmakers even have characters named after Lovecraft characters, however it largely feels more like an ode to John Carpenter, rather than the writings of Lovecraft.
  • EUROPA REPORT
  • THE ENDLESS (2017)
  • LIFEFORCE
  • Lifeforce [Blu-ray]
  • 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
  • IT (1990)
  • IT LIVES
  • POSSESSION (1981)

 

Now here are actual Lovecraftian Films:

  • IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994)
  • DAGON
  • THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)
  • THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE (Upcoming Richard Stanley film) (2019)
  • FROM BEYOND (1986)
  • RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

Podcast of the Day : LEVAR BURTON READS

How you begin a work week I’ve found is important.

I began this day and this week with a new pocast LEVAR BURTON READS. and what a wonderful way to begin, especially the episode I chose, the lyric and insightful Levar Burton reading a short story from one of my favorite writers, cherished satirist, frontiersman, and Americanist (in the charming Mark Twain definition of such a word) Percival Everett.

Levar Burton reads ‘Graham Greene’ by Percival Everett.

http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com

https://art19.com/shows/b8dbdce1-2c32-42d2-ad58-6956a0c6b31c/embed?playlist_type=playlist#

A great podcast and a great read!

Podcast of the Day : KNIFEPOINT HORROR

KNIFEPOINT HORROR PODCAST– This sporadic Horror audio podcast, KNIFEPOINT AUDIO, is a gem. These no-preamble, largely unadorned narrative tales of unease and the weird and eldritch, deliver some of the strangest and most captivatingly written and performed audio dramas on the net.

Very reminiscent of the best of Old Time Radio, particularly shows like the excellent BEYOND MIDNIGHT and the classic LIGHTS OUT, When it’s great, KNIFEPOINT AUDIO Is very great. Three standout and highly recommended episodes are THE CORPSE and POSSESSION and PRESENCE.

All three will make believers out of you, not in the supernatural but in the PODCAST! Highly Recommended!

A 58-Year-Old Grandmother Was Imprisoned For Showing A Movie!?

There are some places where you can almost hear… time marching backwards.

Places I wouldn’t suggest moving a family to, or supporting by paying taxes, tribute to.

Places, communities where the whiff of yesterday is strong, and unappealing in the air. Where fear and bigotry and unequal policing covers up communities that are no longer ‘officially’ separate but still vastly unequal under the law.


EAST HIGH SCHOOL in Columbus Ohio is allegedly the school at the center of turning a seemingly simple disciplinary matter into an absurd and Kafkaesque criminal matter. A 90% white high school (according to their face-book page) and the surrounding community at the center of throwing a Black substitute teacher, a 58 yo Grand Mother, into prison for showing a well known mainstream horror movie, THE ABCs OF DEATH to a high-school Spanish class.

Judge Charles A. Schneider is allegedly the judge that handed down the sentence.

Without doubt the choice of film is questionable, and ill-advised, but to first cost a woman her job, and then to be worthy of the courts time, much less a sentence of prison is patently absurd and outrageous.

First this film is not a porno or a snuff film or even a SAW type movie, it’s a bit less salacious than that. A variety of directors, each taking a letter and illustrating a horror story around it. The film has moments of being well done, and moments of being truly tasteless and boring and inept, but in the 21st century shows very little that a class of high-schoolers had not been exposed to. The film is on most streaming services for free, so arguably most of the kids in that class had already seen the movie.

So while without a doubt the choice of showing a horror film, even an alphabet themed one in a Spanish class is not just ill advised but, let’s say it, crossing the border into stupid; stupidity last time I checked wasn’t a crime. If it was, seemingly many of the staff, administration, and parents involved in making this particular molehill into a mountain, would likewise be facing prison time.

So what can you do? Well it’s seemingly a done deal. But what about next time.

Well if I’m a parent I would like to know what part the school played in the above scenario? And if it had been a straight out of college blond 20something female teacher, who had done likewise… would there even have been a reprimand much less her losing her job, and facing criminal and archaic obscenity charges?

Add to that would this Blonde 20-something teacher up on obscenity charges have been tried by a jury made up of primarily of people of different ethnicities than her? And if all this was the case would she have been found guilty? And if found guilty would the judge have mandated prison time rather than a suspended sentence?

And if the first answer that strikes you to all the above hypothetical questions is no, than perhaps what is happening in Columbus, Ohio is far less to do with obscenity laws, and movie quality, and questionable teaching skills, and more to do with ethnicity, prejudice, mob mentality, and a lynching 21st style. With the media and the courts as the rope.

To learn more go here:

http://fantasticfest.com/news/entry/a-58-year-old-grandmother-was-imprisoned-for-showing-a-movie.-lets-get-her

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/5/sheila-kearns-ohio-teacher-gets-90-days-in-jail-fo/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/06/she-showed-a-horror-movie-to-high-schoolers-and-now-she-s-going-to-jail.html

GRAPHIC NOVEL Round-Up! Mark Waid’s THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK!

GRAPHIC NOVEL Round-Up! Mark Waid’s THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 1 and Vol 2

hulkwaid1
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 1 – Collects issues 1 to 5, written by Mark Waid. The first three issues do a nice job of introducing Waid’s status quo of a Banner utilizing SHIELD to help him achieve the scientific greatness that being the Hulk has denied. The cost? Making the Hulk into an agent of SHIELD. So lots of interesting ideas in the first three issues, unfortunately the last two issues stumble. The art by Leinil Francis Yu is exotic, intriguing, chaotic and all this combines to be sometimes impressive, sometimes muddy and confusing. Grade : The hardcover at a retail of $24.99 for 5 issues, translates to $5 per issue. So grossly overpriced even if the book was great, and great it isn’t. So worth renting or reading it from your local library, but not worth buying. C+.

hulkwaid2
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 2 – Collects issues 6 to 10, and suffers from the opposite issue of Vol 1, here the first three issues, drawn by Walter Simonson I found uninteresting, and the artwork a far cry from Simonson at his best. Completely forgettable. The final 2 part story stars Daredevil and sports far better art by Matteo Scalera and a far more intriguing story. GRADE : C-. Worth reading for the last two issues, if you can borrow it for free, otherwise just pass.

If you disagree with my assessment and want to try or buy it yourself, especially to find options to buy it well below retail go here:

Indestructible Hulk, Vol. 1: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Indestructible Hulk, Vol. 2: Gods and Monster

Podcast of the Day: SModcast 259 The Walrus and The Carpenter MP3

Podcast of the Day

SModcast 259_ The Walrus and The Carpenter

I’m not a Kevin Smith fan, which is to say I don’t dislike his work, I’m just not particularly interested in it.

I probably like him more as a Comic Book Writer than a filmmaker, so that said his various podcasts, imbued with his Clerks/film sensibilities humor, generally isn’t my cup of tea.

But there are two recent episodes in his podcast stream that I need to give kudos to, and one of them is episode 259 of SMODCAST titled… THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER.

Stick with it past the frat boy opening, and once he gets into the titular story you will think either one of two things, either this is stupid and turn it off, or (the surprising reaction I had) that this is achingly laugh out loud funny.

Listen for yourself and decide, and I’d be curious what your reaction turns out to be. 🙂

You can find the episode here.

Brought to you by my MONARCHS OF MAYHEM Indiegogo campaign.

If you like this blog, definitely go view and support our MONARCHS OF MAYHEM campaign. There are only a few days left and we only need a 147 of you to contribute at the $35 level to make the book happen! We can do it! 🙂

Go view it and support it here! Thanks!

http://igg.me/p/437605/x/2628928