Monday, August 31, 2015

Crossover Cover: Angel Spotlight: Wesley

Charles Gunn asks Fred Burkle for the slime analysis on “the Illithid case.” Illithids are the mind-flayers from the Dungeons and Dragons games, thus making the various D&D realms alternate realities to the CU.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crossover of the Week

Jim Anthony comes out of retirement when he is tasked by the N.Y.P.D. with capturing the Black Bat, who has been framed for murder. Anthony was recommended to Commissioner Warner by FBI agent Dan Fowler, with whom Anthony has worked before. Anthony also tells Warner, “A famous member of my fraternity once said that pertinence is purely a matter of perspective.” The Bat attacks a group of criminals at the wrecked Comet Club, which was once owned by a man named Suydam, who died in 1921 in the same fire that destroyed the club. Gangster Gentleman Jack Schulz has a penthouse in the Shandor Building.
Short story by Josh Reynolds in Black Bat Mystery, Volume 2, Airship 27 Productions, 2012. The Black Bat and Jim Anthony appeared in the pulp magazines Black Book Detective and Super Detective, respectively. FBI agent Dan Fowler’s stories appeared in G-Men Detective. Fowler and Anthony previously met in Erwin K. Roberts’ story “Neighborhood in Peril” and Reynolds’ tale “Proof of Supremacy.” The fellow sleuth quoted by Anthony is either Sherlock Holmes or C. Auguste Dupin. Suydam is a relative of Robert Suydam from H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook.” The Shandor Building is from the movie Ghostbusters. Anthony must have permanently resumed his adventurous career after this, given his appearances in “The Carolingian Stone” and other stories.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Crossover Cover: Return of the Dugpa

Ravenwood battles the Dweller on the Threshold, the former chief agent of the benevolent White Lodge, now an inhabitant of the Black Lodge, served by a group called the dugpas. Ravenwood is aided in his battle with the Dweller by a shadowy figure called the Dark Eminence. Actress Anne D’Arromanches grew up in an orphanage in the Midwest, where she was placed by her mother, who only spoke French. Ravenwood, “the stepson of mystery,” appeared in stories by Frederick C. Davis in the pulp magazine Secret Agent X. The Dweller on the Threshold is from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel Zanoni. The White Lodge, the Black Lodge, and the dugpas are from Talbot Mundy’s novel The Devil’s Guard. David Lynch and Mark Frost utilized the Dweller, the Lodges, and the dugpas in their television series Twin Peaks. The Dark Eminence is the Shadow. Anne D’Arromanches is meant to be Ann Darrow from the classic film King Kong. Harris reveals the Shadow planted the idea into director Carl Denham’s mind to ask Ann to star in his film shot on Skull Island. In his book The Eldritch New Adventures of Becky Sharp, Harris identified Ann as the daughter of Lord Eugenides (a Tarzan analogue) and Becky, a character from William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. The chronology of Lord Eugenides’ exploits does not fit with the timeline of the Tarzan novels, which combined with other conflicts with the established CU history of characters such as Captain Nemo and Irene Adler places The Eldritch New Adventures of Becky Sharp in an alternate universe. The Ann Darrow/Anne D’Arromanches of the CU is probably Becky Sharp’s daughter by John Gribardsun, the time-traveling future Tarzan seen in Time’s Last Gift.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Crossover Cover: The Young Sherlock Holmes Adventures

A graphic novel set in a steampunk universe in 1905 that more closely resembles a Dickensian 1870s. In the story “The Head of the Hydra,” a college-aged Sherlock Holmes is approached by Felix Leiter, who indicates he might wish to consult Holmes in the future. Leiter’s card reads Criminal -----ation Agency. This Leiter must be a counterpart to CIA agent (and later Pinkerton) Felix Leiter from the James Bond novels. We can assume the full second word in the name of the Agency is “Investigation.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crossover Cover: Price Tag Attached

New Orleans private eye Burleigh Drummond and Police Detective Jodie Kintyre investigate the theft of a marble heart and the murder of its seller. Westmoreland’s P.I. Burleigh Drummond is the grandson of Philip Marlowe, and therefore a Wold Newton Family member. Jodie Kintyre is the partner of Dino LaStanza, a cop featured in a series of novels by de Noux. This crossover brings LaStanza and Jodie into the CU. Half-Cajun, half-Sioux cop John Raven Beau appeared in the LaStanza novel New Orleans Homicide before spinning off into his own series of novels. De Noux’s story “Little Known New Orleans Mysteries” establishes his ’40s P.I. Lucien Caye exists in the same universe as Jodie.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Crossover Cover: King Crime!

In this Dan Fowler story by D.L. Champion, Fowler cracks a case that begins in Newkirk City. Newkirk City was also the setting of “Alias Mr. Death,” a novel by Champion serialized in nine chapters in Thrilling Detective in February–October 1932. Two more Mr. Death stories by George Fielding Eliot appeared in 1939. Since Dan Fowler is in the CU, so is Mr. Death, aka James Quincy Gilmore, Jr., who took on the guise to battle the Murder Club responsible for his father’s death.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Crossover Cover: Sargasso

The first issue of this magazine devoted to William Hope Hodgson contains two short stories with crossovers. In William Meikle's "The Blue Egg," Carnacki accompanies Captain Gault on a voyage to acquire a blue jewel that has a powerful pull on those who come in contact with it. Captain Gault, an unscrupulous seaman and smuggler, appeared in his own series of stories by Hodgson. This story takes place in autumn, "not long" after Carnacki and Gault’s first meeting in Meikle’s story "Carnacki: Captain Gault’s Nemesis." In Pierre V. Comtois' "A Question of Meaning," a
group of cultists travel to the Night Land, a future incarnation of the Dreamlands ruled by the Elder God Nodens. This tale connects Hodgson’s novel The Night Land (which represents one of many possible futures for the CU) to the Cthulhu Mythos.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Crossover Covers: Death's Head Berlin

It is mentioned that three people have recently left Germany: Mr. Norris, Herr Issyvoo, and Sally Bowles. This novel is the first of three Inspector Lohmann books by Jack Gerson. Lohmann is from Fritz Lang’s films M and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. The three individuals who have recently departed Germany appear in two short novels by Christopher Isherwood collected as The Berlin Stories, the basis for the musical Cabaret. Norris is from Mr. Norris Changes Trains, while Issyvoo (a fictionalized version of Isherwood himself whose surname was mispronounced by the Germans) and Sally Bowles appear in Goodbye to Berlin.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Crossover of the Week

 An old man seeking a younger fellow who claims to be Doctor Omega remarks, “A Morlock would feel right at home in this neighborhood.” The older man, who is also known as Doctor Omega, carries a robot head in a hatbox that he acquired in the future, in the city of Metropolis. His companion Fred is mentioned. The two Doctors’ carriage is driven by Eugene Papillon. The duo discovers a card bearing the name Maupertuis. The older Omega refers to Lecoq and “that Marple woman.” The Omegas find themselves pursued by robed men that appear to be followers of the Ubasti. The elder Omega tells the younger how a wave of radioactive turbulence separated him and his traveling companions, and asks if he has been to Quinnis in the fourth universe. The apparent Ubasti cultists work for Baron Oscar Maupertuis. Omega refers to a suppressed account by Watson. They are attacked by the robed men, who turn out to actually be Red Lectroids. The younger Omega shows his elder namesake a crystal, which the latter identifies as from Metebelis-Three. The young Omega regains his memory of traveling to the Moon, where he met one of the Lunian Immortals, and realizes that he is really balloonist Antoine Gerpré. Omega recognizes Maupertuis as Ozer, one of many immortals claiming to be the Wandering Jew. Omega departs with Helvetius, his fellow traveler in space and time.
Short story by Travis Hiltz in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 10: Esprit de Corps, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2013; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 16), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2015. Doctor Omega is from Arnould Galopin’s novel of the same name, as are Fred and Helvetius. The Lofficiers’ translation and adaptation of Galopin’s book implied that the Doctor was the Crossover Universe counterpart of the time and-space-traveling Doctor from the television series Doctor Who. Quinnis in the fourth universe is mentioned in the Doctor Who serial “The Edge of Destruction,” while Metebelis-Three is from the serials “The Green Death” and “Planet of the Spiders.” The Morlocks are from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. The robot and the city of Metropolis are from Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. Doctor Omega visited Metropolis in Hiltz’s story “The Robots of Metropolis” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 7: Femmes Fatales, 2011.) Lecoq is Emile Gaboriau’s sleuth. Eugene Papillon is from Gaboriau’s novel Monsieur Lecoq. Baron Maupertuis is mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Reigate Squire”; here, he is conflated with Ozer from Paul Féval’s novel The Wandering Jew’s Daughter. “That Marple woman” is Agatha Christie’s detective Miss Jane Marple. The Cult of Ubasti is from the serial The Return of Chandu, and has also appeared in Hiltz’s stories “The Treasure of the Ubasti” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 6: Grand Guignol, 2009) and “In the Caves of the Serpent” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 8: Agents Provocateurs, 2011.) The serial was based on the radio series Chandu the Magician, which spawned a spin-off, Omar the Mystic. After being separated from Omega, Fred found himself in the year 1776, where he also encountered Red Lectroids, as seen in Hiltz’s tale “What Lurks in Romney Marsh?” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie En Noir, 2012.) The Lunian Immortals and Antoine Gerpré are from Alfred Driou’s book The Adventures of a Parisian Aeronaut in the Unknown Worlds, which has been translated by Brian Stableford for Black Coat Press.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Crossover Cover: Army of Darkness/Reanimator

Ash Williams time-travels to March 1922 from 2012 and meets Herbert West, who is later revealed to be the same West whom Ash has met before, having used the Necronomicon Ex Mortis to travel back in time. Ash previously met West in the stories Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator and Prophecy. Jay Lindsey notes “This one takes some wrangling, since the implication is that the 2000s West is the one from Lovecraft’s original story. Since the Cthulhu Mythos timeline I generally refer to claims that West disappeared in 1921, I propose that the 2000s West attempted to use the Necronomicon to visit his ancestor, but due to some temporal quirk, missed his demise and ended up with amnesia, assuming the identity of the previous West.” Although the latter-day Herbert dies in this story, he is later resurrected via sorcery and returned to the 21st century via unrevealed means, as referenced in the Reanimator miniseries.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Crossover Movie Poster: Casper

Dr. Raymond Stantz unsuccessfully attempts to make Casper and his uncles leave the mansion they are haunting. Father Guido Sarducci also appears. Dr. Stantz is from the movie Ghostbusters and its sequel, as well as the cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. Since the Ghostbusters are in the CU, this crossover brings in a version of Casper. Father Guido Sarducci is a character created by comedian Don Novello, who has portrayed him in several TV series (including Blossom, Married…with Children, and Unhappily Ever After) and specials.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Crossover Cover: Terovolas

Dr. Abraham Van Helsing travels to Texas to deliver the cremated remains of Quincey Morris to his brother Coleman, encountering werewolves in the process. Van Helsing twice refers to an adventure he had with his colleague Hamish and his famous friend, the Great Detective. Apparently Van Helsing prefers calling Dr. John Hamish Watson, Sherlock Holmes’ best friend and biographer, by his middle name. The afterword describes how Erdelac discovered Van Helsing’s papers at the University of Chicago in 1997. The papers had been earmarked for the Ravenwood Collection. The Collection is named for Abner Ravenwood, Indiana Jones’ archaeology professor at the University of Chicago and the father of his future wife Marion. Among the names listed in the acknowledgments are Dr. Byron McFynn Jr., History Department, Marshall College, Connecticut (the school Indy taught at); Professor Stanislaus Laff, History Department, Empire State University, New York City, New York (the college attended by Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man); and Professor William Wallace Spates III (the grandson of Professor Alfred William Wallace Spates from Erdelac’s Merkabah Rider books, himself based on a reference to “Spates’s catalog” in the movie Ghostbusters), Special Collections, Miskatonic University, Arkham, Massachusetts (the site of numerous Cthulhu Mythos stories by H.P. Lovecraft and others.) Quincey Morris’ body being recovered and cremated does not fit with the events of P.N. Elrod’s novel Quincey Morris, Vampire, which Win included in the original volumes, and so this book, while very good, unfortunately cannot be included in the CU.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Crossover Cover: Monster Hunter Vendetta

Monster Hunter International (M.H.I.) continues to battle against the Old Ones. Trip Jones buys a fantasy novel by L.H. Franzibald in a hotel gift shop. A shoggoth appears, and one of the books in M.H.I.’s library is a tome written by a Mad Arab, which contains information on Shoggoths. M.H.I. has worked with Britain’s Van Helsing Institute. Agent Franks is revealed to be a Frankenstein creation, though constructed by the historical alchemist Johann Conrad Dippel. The Yith are mentioned. The Old Ones, shoggoths, and the Yith are all from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, as is the Mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred. His book is the Al Azif, better known as the Necronomicon. L.H. Franzibald is from Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik’s web comic Penny Arcade. The Van Helsing Institute must be named in honor of the monster hunting Van Helsing family, originally from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Johann Dippel is established as an ancestor of the more infamous Frankenstein clan in several sources.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Crossover Cover: From a Drood to a Kill

Eddie Drood takes action when his beloved, Molly Metcalf, is abducted by the Powers That Be to take part in the Big Game. Appearing or mentioned are: the Merlin Glass, the London Knights; MI 13; the London Knights, Kayleigh's Eye, the Nightside, Saint Jude's Church, Strangefellows, Walker, Dead Boy, the Night Times, Castle Inconnu, Harry Fabulous, John Taylor and Shotgun Suzie, and the Hawk's Wind Bar and Grill (all from Green's Nightside series); Area 52 (probably the same one seen in the titular Image Comics miniseries); an old 1930s Hirondel (the same fictional car driven by Simon Templar, the Saint); Queen Mab (from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet); King Oberon and Queen Titania, and Puck (from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream); the original Fantom of the Paris Opera (from Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera); Charlotte Karstein, the Wilderness Witch (possibly a relative of Carmilla Karnstein from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's vampire tale "Carmilla"); Castle Frankenstein (from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and its many adaptations and sequels); the Ninteen Sixties Black Beauty (from the 1960s Green Hornet television series); a shocking pink Rolls-Royce (Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward's car, FAB 1, from the Supermarionation show Thunderbirds, which takes place in the 2060s; presumably the Droods acquired the car through time travel, and possibly dimensional travel as well); the only occasionally successful Lotus submersible (from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me); Julien Advent (from the Nightside books, but a thinly-veiled version of the title character of the television series Adam Adamant Lives!); Shadows Fall, Bruin Bear and the Sea Goat, and Old Father Time (from Green's novel Shadows Fall); the Carnacki Institute and Catherine Latimer (from Green's Ghost Finders series); Deathstalker (the protagonist of another series of novels by Green, which take place in an alternate future); Jason Royal (a thinly veiled version of the main character of the British television series Department S and Jason King); Lady Gaea (aka Gayle), Carrys Galloway, the Waking Beauty, and Bradford-on-Avon (from Green's novel Drinking Midnight Wine); the Doormouse and his House of Doors (from the Nightside series, though the Doormouse is a member of a group of hippies turned into mice first seen in Drinking Midnight Wine); Robot Archibald (meant to be Robot Archie, who appeared in the British weekly comic book Lion); knock-off Hyde (Dr. Henry Jekyll's formula from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, used as a drug); Martian Red Weed (from H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds); and smoked black centipede meat (from William S. Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crossover Cover: The Emperor of America

Naval officer Drake Roscoe enlists the services of a Pinkerton-like detective agency headed by Ned W. Regan. Roscoe later became a Secret Serivce agent and recurring foe of Rohmer’s villainess Sumuru. Regan also appeared in Roscoe’s first appearance in the series, Sumuru, as well as a series of short stories featuring a stage magician turned detective called Bazarada, which were presented as a short novel in Salute to Bazarada and Other Stories. At one point in “Salute to Bazarada,” Bazarada impersonated a Scotland Yard Inspector named Grimsby. An Inspector Grimsby appears in Rohmer’s The Dream Detective, featuring occult detective Moris Klaw. Since Sumuru and Klaw are in the CU, so are Roscoe, Regan, and Bazarada. Rohmer’s story “Bazarada,” reprinted in the 1970 Ace paperback The Secret of Holm Peel, features a Spanish adventurer in the time of Queen Elizabeth I named Don Sanchez Bazarada, presumably the magician’s ancestor.

I had a great time at FarmerCon this weekend. Win and Michael Croteau and I ironed out some plans for the books. I'm only going to be adding a couple more entries to the manuscript, since we're going to start moving forward and readying them for publication. Ideally, we'd like to have Volume 3 out around Christmastime and Volume 4 in time for next year's convention. Also, my good friend Art Sippo interviewed me about the books for his podcast, Art's Reviews, with some input by Win as well, so I will post the link to the interview here when it's up on Art's site.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crossover Cover: Demolition Angel

Carol Starkey investigates a bombing. John Chen appears, and Samantha Dolan is mentioned. Serial bomber Mr. Red eats at Big Kahuna Burger. Big Kahuna Burger has appeared in several films, most notably Pulp Fiction; this reference brings the events of this novel into the CU. Carol Starkey would go on to appear in other books by Crais. John Chen and Samantha Dolan are from Crais’ Elvis Cole novel L.A. Requiem.

For the record, I will be attending FarmerCon/Pulpfest from Friday until Sunday, and may or may not post here while I'm in Columbus. However, I will post a convention report on my personal blog, Diary of a Madman, when I return.