Sunday, July 9, 2023

Crossover of the Week

Autumn 1898


Erik's current Angels of Music (Kate Reed, Lady Yuki, and Clara Watson) are hired to bring an end to the Théâtre des Horreurs, whose gruesome plays may not be staged. Appearing or mentioned are: Henry Wilcox; the Diogenes Club; Jacques Hulot; La Vie Francaise; the Persian; Morpho; Berma; Phroso; Bertrand Caillet; Eugene Mortain; Charles Pradier; General Assolant; Père de Kern; Georges du Roy; Dr. Orloff; Gustav von Aschenbach; Madame Mandelip; Place Frollo; Max Valentin, aka Maximilian the Great; Janus Stark; Malita; the Marquis d’Amblezy-Sérac; Aristide Forestier; Les Vampires; the Suicide Club; Frédéric Larsan; Inspecteur Juve; Dr. Johannes; the Grand Vampire; Sultan the Gorilla; Rollo the Knife-Thrower; and “a strange figure...wearing the headdress and golden death-mask of a pharaoh.” 

Story by Kim Newman in Angels of Music, Titan Books, 2016. Erik and the Persian are from Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. Kate Reed, a “deleted” character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, also appears in Newman’s Diogenes Club series, and has a counterpart in the Anno Dracula Universe. The Club is from Doyle and Watson’s “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.” Lady Yuki is Yuki Kashima, the title character of Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura’s manga Lady Snowblood. Clara and Eugene Mortain are from Octave Mirbeau’s novel Torture Garden. The surname Watson is derived from Pierre Chaine and André de Lorde's Grand Guignol play based on the book. Père de Kern is from Mirbeau’s Sébastien Roch. The Marquis d’Amblezy-Sérac is from Mirbeau’s Un Gentilhomme. Henry Wilcox is from E. M. Forster’s novel Howards End. Jacques Hulot is an ancestor of Monsieur Hulot, a character created and played by French comedian Jacques Tati. La Vie Francaise and Georges du Roy are from Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel-Ami. Morpho and Dr. Orloff are from the movie The Awful Dr. Orloff. Berma is from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Phroso is an ancestor of Phroso the clown from Tod Browning’s film Freaks. Madame Mandelip and Malita are from Browning’s movie The Devil-Doll. Bertrand Caillet is from Guy Endore’s The Werewolf of Paris. Charles Pradier is from Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre’s Fantômas novel Le Magistrat Cambrioleur. Inspecteur Juve is Fantômas’ archenemy. General Assolant is from Humphrey Cobb’s novel Paths of Glory. Gustav von Aschenbach is from Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. Place Frollo is named after Monseigneur Claude Frollo from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Valentin is from the movie Le Jour Sè Leve; his first name and stage name are derived from his equivalent in the American remake, The Long Night. Janus Stark is a Victorian escape artist and crimefighter who appeared in the British comics Smash and Valiant. Aristide Forestier is from Cole Porter’s musical Can-Can. Les Vampires are from Louis Feuillade’s titular serial. The Grand Vampire is the title of the gang’s leader. The Suicide Club is from Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story of the same name. Frédéric Larsan is the alias used by Rouletabille’s father, the criminal Ballmeyer, in Gaston Leroux’s The Mystery of the Yellow Room. Dr. Johannes is from J.-K. Huysmans’ Là-Bas. Sultan the Gorilla is from the movie Phantom of the Rue Morgue. Rollo the Knife-Thrower is from the movie Mad Love. The “strange figure...wearing the headdress and golden death-mask of a pharaoh” is a reference to the title character of the serial Belphégor. However, Simone Desroches, the villain's alter ego, was born in 1902, so there must have been an earlier wearer of the mask. 

This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which will be published by Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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