Folktales are important. They teach us about the many faces of good and evil. They teach us about ourselves and the foibles of humanity. They are cautionary. They pique the darkest recesses of our imagination to scare us into making wise decisions. Fanbase Press, with its #StoriesMatter initiative, is inviting yours truly and all of its staff to dig into why stories matter to us, and in broader strokes, what they mean to our culture, our history, or whatever the story inspires us to talk about. With Folklords, I can’t think of a better writer or a better story to begin delving into this goal.
Horror is a genre that needs to be broken down into more apt sub-genres to be truly understood. From the slasher to the psychological horror, it's a genre with countless deviations. But, then again, sometimes, there are stories that can be described as pure horror. There's no subset or distraction - just the creeping horror that has been with us since primordial times. That's how I'd describe Road of Bones.
I’ve really been dragging my feet on Stranger Things lately. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to get around to watching season 3, and I’ve utterly failed to keep up to date on the latest comics. I’d just about given up trying to catch up when Stranger Things: Zombie Boys caught my attention. Its small scale reminded me of the tight scope of the first season I’d originally fell in love with, and I decided to give it a chance.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my favorite fictional universes - about what science fiction specifically means to me. It might be because the Skywalker saga came to an end, and that was one of the big stories that first captured my imagination when I was no older then 6. There’s Ray Bradbury, the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra, Alejandro Jodorowsky, to name a few. Amidst those few and far between, one name from recent years continues to find space in my mind, and that is the words and worlds of Matt Kindt.
I've spent a lifetime skittering along the edges of the Magic: The Gathering franchise. Just about everyone I known has carried a deck with them at one time or another, and I’ve dabbled with the lore on more than one occasion. In the past, I’ve bounced off of it because of the sheer size and complexity of that lore, but recently I’ve been doing a bit of reading up on the franchise and decided I wanted to give it another try. As luck would have it, Magic: The Gathering - Chandra seemed like the opportunity to do just that.
There are times in this life when what you really need is to see classic movie stars fighting Nazis in the Golden Age of Hollywood. During those times, The Fuhrer and the Tramp is there for you. And if, for some reason, that’s NOT what you need—check again. I think you might need that.
Previously on… Hellmouth #3: After a brief separation, Buffy and Angel are reunited. While the two may not necessarily have gotten off on the right foot, it’s safe to say that Buffy is not thrilled about seeing Angel’s true face. Sadly for Angel, it’s not something that a good orthodontist can fix.
America is widely considered an odd place to live, especially to those who don't live within its borders. Undiscovered Country ups the ante with a speculative, future version of the United States that has locked off its borders, both figuratively and literally, with a massive wall that has made the land a black box, with no information about it going in or out.
Oof, wow. Issue 9 of Grek Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis’ Ronin Island is particularly heartbreaking. They begin the issue with a flashback, reminding us of Hana’s background. She’s the daughter of a poor Korean farmer living on a secluded island with a mixture of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people and cultures. 20 years prior, the Great Wind swept across the land and killed almost everything in its path, except for the people on the island. As much as they are supposed to be a community, living and thriving together, racism and classism still exist. Hana takes the brunt of both, but she’s reminded by an elder that she has her place and will be the one to make it better.
The Winter Solstice has come and gone, but Hellboy and his friends are bringing their Winter Special to us in the New Year. I’ll take any new tidbits to the Hellboy mythology whenever I can get it.