Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Incidental Poetry: Wikipedia Edition

Typing Monkey publisher S.L. Kreighton blustered out of his office to alert us to the following: Look up the word "chthonic" on Wikipedia and you'll come across this wonderful sentence at the end of the opening paragrah.

"It evokes at once abundance and the grave."

Whoever wrote that, thank you. It's possible the best thing we've ever read on Wikipedia, no matter what it's about. We read it over and over and in our head, it's always in the voice of Sir David Attenborough.

If it isn't grabbing you in the same way it did for us, please know that Kreighton showed us this passage while he finished a sleeve of Oreos.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We'll be right back after these messages

Summer officially arrives any minute now, opening a few buttons on her blouse while she eats a popsicle. You're going to get plenty of windows-down, tube-topped, sun-burnt and beat-heavy tunes coming at you for the next couple months.

But at some point amidst all the brightness, you'll have that sad feeling built into everything around us that cannot last. And you'll feel like a teenager and want to hear something like this:

[courtesy of SeaOvJapan, and yes, the title is really spelled that way]

Look Over Here

We love good visual art as much as anybody who has at least one eyeball and a heart. The comic and fantastic is were the fun stuff tends to live. As such, we gravitate toward those places.

There are many good art blogs out there cataloging these things, so please spend some time at Monster Crazy and Monster Brains, where you are likely to lose hours at a time just taking it all in.

Now that that's out of the way, we must point you to the work of Christopher Mitten, an artist and illustrator working in comic books. He's been at it long enough to have a crackerjack resume but we just learned of him and are looking forward to reading some of the books he's worked on.

Stylistically, his work recalls Bill Sienkiewicz and Mike Mignola. And like the former, it's especially fun to see what happens when Mitten interprets iconic characters from sci-fi, horror and pop culture past.

His Skeletor will erase any memory you might have of the silly Filmation toy commercial cartoon from the '80s. That's a villain to be feared kids.

And don't you just love Mitten's fin-enhanced Creature from the Black Lagoon?

Mitten is launching a new site soon, so keep looking at his Tumblr, where we guess he'll post more in the meantime.

["Creature from the Black Lagoon" illustration by Christopher Mittens 2011. Copyright applies, so don't copy it without attribution, ya dig? Commissioned by Ashcan Allstars for a Universal Monsters theme.]

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Reflections of Little Green Men

Just two days before Ray Bradbury died, we read Lauren Miller's essay "The Cosmic Menagerie" from the Jun 4/Jun 11 issue of The New Yorker.

Her piece traces the earliest depictions of extra-terrestrials in literature, how those depictions reflect the cultures they were dreamt up in, and how that in turn reflects on us. You should absolutely read it.

Her writing reminded us that we have been seriously deficient in making good on promises to read more of Ray Bradbury's writing. Then the man himself departed this world for another and we felt strange about the coincidence.

Imagine our further beweirdment when we flipped forward several pages and found a short essay in the very same issue written by the Martian Chronicles author himself.

Bradbury's "Take Me Home" is exactly the kind of work that makes him an American treasure. In just one page he captures the magic and melancholy of childhood wonder like he's catching fireflies in a jar. If ever there was a link to click on, this is it.

[Edward Gorey illustration swiped from The New Yorker]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Exit Mr. Bradbury

He had to go sometime. His short stories are always worth reading. Dig into the novels.

[Image courtesy of Poe Foreward]

Friday, June 1, 2012


"For You who loves the folklore" says the tagline on the music blog Rare World and Folkore Music. [Caps theirs. --ed.]

We figure that's us, so we dug in and oh boy, what a spread! Some of the download links are expired, and the posts are about as sporadic as The Typing Monkey's. But those complaints don't even register when there's so much there to explore.

If you don't loves the folklore, perhaps you are a bold and daring media consumer who enjoys listening outside of your comfort zone. Click, scroll, read, download, listen, repeat. The blog's contributors (Varvaras, apelsin and Folklore Maniac) are doing the Lord's work.