This Live Giant Squid in Japan is Not a Kaiju!

Ladies and gentlemen in the Land of the Rising Sun, there is no reason to activate the Kaiju Emergency Alert System!

Sure, this monstrous squid was spotted swimming just offshore last week, but it is a perfectly normal animal. Yet appearances are extremely rare because it lives so deep in the ocean, making the creature practically mythical! And this one’s appearance would be rare if it happened anywhere except Toyama Bay, because giant squids have been confirmed to have visited those waters no less than 16 times! However, this latest sighting and recording is by far the clearest footage on record!

Get this: Scientists who have examined this footage have declared this specimen of the genus Architeuthis to be just a juvenile!

Seeing the beastie live and up close, it’s not hard to sympathize with the sailors of old who were inspired by this terrifying creature to trade stories of the legendary kraken!

Speaking of which, has anyone read the 2010 novel Kraken by the brilliant China Miéville? It prominently features an Architeuthis. It’s a wonderfully layed fantasy mystery that is equal parts a study of gods and human(?) monsters and also questions which particular religion’s apocalypse will end the world.

Read it! Architeuthis would be proud of you.

Fun Variant Covers for ‘Doctor Who’ Comic Books

Titan Comics will be releasing some oddball (in a good way) variant covers for its various officially licensed Doctor Who comics shipping in January and February, drawn by an artist who goes by the name Question No. 6.

The titles are:

DOCTOR WHO: TENTH DOCTOR #2.6
In stores Jan. 13
Cover C by Question No. 6

DOCTOR WHO: ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.6
In stores Feb. 3
Cover C by Question No. 6

DOCTOR WHO: TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.2
In stores Jan. 13
Cover D by Question No. 6

The Fourth Doctor Returns — to Comic Books!

The Fourth Doctor returns to comics with his greatest companion, the intrepid Sarah Jane Smith, in an all-new five-part miniseries from Titan Comics, Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor.

Set in Victorian England, “Gaze of the Medusa” is written by Gordon Rennie & Emma Beeby and illustrated by Brian Williamson. According to the synopsis: “A mysterious woman commands a hidden army in a house of the blind. Scryclops stalk the streets… and something alien and terrible screams from prehistory — with a hunger that cannot be satisfied!”

Tom Baker played the Fourth Doctor onscreen from 1974-’81, while Sarah Jane was portrayed by the late Elisabeth Sladen.

Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor #1 will be released in March 2016.

James Bond is Back — in His Own Comic Book Series!

The latest James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, SPECTRE, opens in the USA on Friday, and today 007 returns to comics for the first time in decades with the release of Dynamite Entertainment‘s  James Bond 007 #1 by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters (Wolverines and Batwoman).

Ellis has penned an original story based on the character as depicted in Ian Fleming’s original books, not the very different character who evolved on the movie screen. The first story arc sees Bond investigating a mysterious organization behind a new drug hitting the streets — an investigation that has already seen the death of agent 008.

Ellis had a few interesting things to say to website i09 about the new series:

“This is the Ian Fleming Bond—the Bond of the books, a direct commission from Dynamite Comics and the Ian Fleming literary estate. The single real difference is that I’ve set it in the present day, having expressed that preference to the estate because I didn’t want to do period pastiche. Beyond that, you should consider it as taking place somewhere in the last half of the Fleming canon.”


Continue reading

George R.R. Martin Ponders the End of ‘Game of Thrones’

grrmonthroneSure, the HBO version of Game of Thrones has caught up to the books and George R.R. Martin should be home, typing as fast as his fingers will go to het to the end of his epic fantasy series. We all agree there.

But the bearded author was nevertheless in New York over the weekend to attend the Staten Island Yankees‘ “Meet George R.R. Martin Night.” There, he took a moment to at least muse about the end of the books when The Observer asked if plans to kill off everyone in the end…

“I haven’t written the ending yet, so I don’t know, but no. That’s certainly not my intent. I’ve said before that the tone of the ending that I’m going for is bittersweet. I mean, it’s no secret that [J.R.R.] Tolkien has been a huge influence on me, and I love the way he ended “Lord of the Rings.” It ends with victory, but it’s a bittersweet victory. Frodo is never whole again, and he goes away to the Undying Lands, and the other people live their lives. And the scouring of the Shire — brilliant piece of work, which I didn’t understand when I was 13 years old: ‘Why is this here? The story’s over?’ But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that’s the kind of tone I will be aiming for. Whether I achieve it or not, that will be up to people like you and my readers to judge.”

Season six of GoT premieres on HBO next year.

Notes on Lovecraft’s ‘At the Mountains of Madness’

madnessnotesHere is a page of history for my fellow lovers of H.P. Lovecraft: a page of his notes made while writing the novella At the Mountains of Madness, one of his finest works — and one of my favorites.

These notes were made on an envelope that Lovecraft unfolded; he wasn’t doing too well financially in 1931, so he was saving paper. Good thing, too, since ATMoM wasn’t published until 1936.

Lovecraft made about seven pages of notes, and this one details the anatomy of the Elder Things, just one of the mind-bending creatures from the story. If you’ve never read it, you definitely should. The entire text is available here for free. You will doubtless recognize a number of elements that have been ripped off homaged by lesser writers ever since.

‘Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom’ — the Movie

A series of graphic novels spun around the supposed adventures of a young H.P. Lovecraft has been published by Arcana, and somehow I didn’t know about it! Not only that — one of the books, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, has been adapted by Arcana Studios into an animated film!

Here is the teaser trailer:

Looks like a lot of fun. The 3D animation seems to have some kind of weird, disorienting effect — or is that just me? I like it, though.
Continue reading