« Knock it off, squiddo! You couldn’t make a class-B horror picture on earth — you’re not even good for a milk shudder! Better skeddadle, or I’ll tie your tentacles into a bow! »
Tentacles are no cause for levity, you say? Ha! Their place in all manner of spoofs and parodies (and other silliness) is ensured. Peppered with a barrage of puns (never undersell puns, please!), whimsical tentacular entanglements abound in literature… err, comic literature, at any rate, and that’s good enough for me.
Even some 100 years ago (well, a little less), some unfortunate octopus could easily become a Figure of Fun if he wasn’t careful.
I can’t mention équivoques and wordplay without mentioning Pogo, Walt Kelly‘s keenly intelligent comic strip. Sadly, this was the only appearance of Octopots, as far as I know (and I long to be corrected).
In the competitive world of jokes in bad taste, the man from SRAM probably takes the cake. It’s lucky that he has no qualms about hitting females, or the world would be doomed… although his mirthless monologue would probably kill the creature with sheer ennui.
On the other hand, Superman‘s creative insults can easily shame a thin-skinned Tentacled Terror (was his spaghetti-and-meatball crack some sort of early Flying Spaghetti Monster reference, even though the latter was only officially created in 2005?)
There’s probably no need to write a panegyric on Leonard Brandt Cole, 1918-1995. (But did you know he had a doctorate in anatomy and physiology?) The first thing that springs to mind is his use of primary colours over frequently black backgrounds, what he referred to as “poster colours”. Indeed, most L.B. Cole covers would, and occasionally do, make great posters. Going into biographical detail, one might also mention his publishing company, Star Publications, founded in 1949 and singled out in Fredric Wertham’s 1954 exposéSeduction of the Innocent for the “grisly” nature of its published horror titles. Then there’s his work as art director and editor at Dell in the early 1960s… but as usual, I’ll let others get to the nitty-gritty of his life and career. Here are some of my very favourite L.B. Cole covers, in chronological order.
« An avid science fiction fan, Cole was known for slipping in sci-fi elements even when they weren’t appropriate, such as rocket ships and ray guns appearing on the covers of Captain Flight Comics and Contact Comics. Both titles were supposed to be devoted to contemporary aviation. » (source) Fuck being appropriate, I say!
Welcome to the first Tentacle Tuesday of 2018. Exciting, isn’t it?
Since it’s currently chillingly cold outside (or so the weather networks tell us), let’s bask in a bit of warmth and visit some exotic places where heat reigns supreme all year ‘round.
What’s the first thing to do on a vacation? Take a leisurely walk, of course. However, I’d advise against venturing into a swampy forest. Some people never listen to sage advice, however…
I’m quite fond of Harry Harrison as a writer, but as an artist he seems to have been rather middling. Although advertised as a « saga of terror », Rebirth is an intriguing story in which the « horrible slug-white creatures » are actually far more likable than the regular humans, who are back-stabbing, greedy assholes. Not that the plot makes much sense.
Okay, so a walk through a forest didn’t pan out quite as hoped. Let’s take a soothing dive into welcoming, warm waters. Did I say “welcoming”? Perhaps a little *too* welcoming.
“The Creeping Scourge”, credited to the Iger Shop (that my spellchecker keeps correcting to “tiger shop”), a comics packager that was officially known as the Eisner and Iger Studio, is an entertaining romp with babes in bondage, wild natives, cat fights, blood sacrifices, etc. For example:
For the botanically-minded, a vacation is a fine opportunity to admire some heretofore unseen exotic plants. Take a look at this sweet little flower:
That’s it for our little holiday pleasure trip – come to think of it, I’ll remain where it’s cold and snowy, thanks.
Welcome to Tentacle Tuesday! We now have an official logo for T.T., courtesy of my husband and fellow blogger. It’s brand-spanking new, so here it is in a fairly high resolution.
Give him a round of applause… oh, what’s that, it’s hard to applaud with tentacles? Okay, a round of « squish, squish », then.
Let’s begin (proper) with « The Thing on the Roof », adapted by Roy Thomas from a story by Robert E. Howard. The latter was a member of the renowned Lovecraft circle, so the Chthulian vibe of this is no accident. It’s illustrated by Frank Brunner, who does a bang-up job – the man was asked to draw the love child of a dragon and an octopus, and he did not disappoint!
Continuing in a similar vein (but fast-forwarding 40 years), here’s a terrific story from Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #19 (September 25th, 2013) which is so chock-full of tentacles that it could be a post all by itself. Written by Lovecraftian Len Wein and illustrated by Demonic Dan Brereton, it ranks as one of the top Treehouse comic stories as far as I’m concerned… but then I might be slightly biased. Or possessed by Chthulhu, whichever.
I couldn’t help but post at least three pages of this story – hell, I was tempted to post it in its entirety – but I’ll let you do the work. Go read the whole thing here.
And to wrap up, let’s go back half a century or so, to the Miss Horrible Entity 1954.
What I want to know is who, upon being startled by a cephalopod cyclops with vampire fangs and one very bloodshot eye, describes it as an “entity”? “Monster”, sure, even “beast” or “demon” or “creature”, but “entity” (defined as “a thing with distinct and independent existence” by Webster’s)? If you’re going to be *that* stuffy, maybe you deserve to get eaten.