Posts Tagged ‘Monster’

‘Twas Brillig…

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

The poem Jabberwocky seems to be an exercise in language – the point is you’re never supposed to see The Jabberwock, The Slithy Toves or the Frumious Bandersnatch, they just live in your imagination as uncanny, twisted and shadowy possibilities. Of course Tenniel did illustrate the poem, presumably just because he wanted to draw a cool weird monster. So that’s exactly what I did.


Big Red Monster

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The Guardian Of Forever is, I’m sure, the proper name of that big doughnut thing that Kirk went through to go back in time to bang Joan Collins. It’s also apparently the name of something I previously knew as “big red monster”. Halfway between The Creature From The Id in Forbidden Planet and Ridley Scott’s Alien, it stalks our heroes (and some Imperials that they’re forced to join forces with) in an ancient underground city.

The story World Of Fire starts with Luke, Leia and the droids stealing a ship from an Imperial base, accompanied by a girl called Mici who a) I always got mixed up with an ex girlfriend of Han’s called Katya who actually appeared in Annual #1 b) occasionally wears a metal bikini of the sort you would see in Conan comics and Dungeons & Dragons supplements, and c) never appears again, and doesn’t seem to serve any purpose other than to wear a metal bikini and confuse me.

It’s Infantino art again, but it’s not quite as good as his earlier stuff set on that waterworld. Having said that, when these comics were being published I was at the height of my “in love with Carrie Fisher” phase, and seeing “her” in skin tight shiny spandex certainly did stuff to my impressionable seven year old psyche. She’s something of a bitch, here, it has to be said, constantly belittling Luke for some reason. Maybe that was the attraction?

The sympathetic (ish) Imperial troops are a nice touch, even if most of them end up as cannon fodder for the crazy space beast. It’s a wonder the surviving Imperial officers were never bought back in later stories, as they eventually returned to The Empire, but I guess the fact that this story never appeared in the US version of the comic sealed their fate.


All (actually, just some of) The World’s Monsters

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Dungeons & Dragons used character archetypes and creatures from other works of fantasy literature, folklore and mythology,  but TSR created a number of unique monsters, that have since embedded themselves in popular culture to some extent – and rather than that sort of immaculate reality that Tolkien was going for, we get adversaries that are created solely to present interesting things for players to fight – some are downright surreal. So alongside orcs, dragons and werewolves we also get the following:

Frequency: Rare. That's pretty lucky

Rare. That’s pretty lucky

The Beholder is a gigantic evil floating ball covered in eyeballs, that each shoot death rays. A chilling premonition of surveillance culture, or a goofy monster that looks like something dreamed up by an eight year old? Brought to a mainstream audience in the “classic” Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series, but it’s appeared elsewhere, in Big Trouble In Little China, and Futurama. Pretty much the mascot of D&D, it’s like Mickey Mouse, but lethal and insane.

Some of the original D&D monsters were based on a set of bizarre plastic toys  from Japan that belonged to Gary Gygax’s kids. The Owlbear is, as the name might suggest, a bear with the head of an owl, for the simple reason that it’s the nearest thing that resembled a particular model.

Owlbear - hopefully if there's a "Revenant 2"...

Owlbear – hopefully if there’s a “Revenant 2″…

A Gelatinous cube is perhaps inspired by the 1958 sci-fi “classic” movie The Blob. It roams around dungeons, dissolving people. Presumably related to The Black Pudding, The Yellow Ochre and that thing that killed Tasha Yar.

I don't think you're ready for this jelly

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly

Fighters clad in chainmail or full plate needed to look out for the Rust Monster, a big tentacled armadillo termite thing, which loves metal more than Jack Black. At least the wizards were safe.

Chesty LaRue

Chesty LaRue

It’s hard to imagine how The Mimic evolved in any universe, but in all likelihood, a wizard probably did it.