Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative

Home Of Swords, Sorcery, Superheroes, Sonic Screwdrivers, Supernatural Scares, Star Stuff, Sci-fi, Smeg, and Silliness

Friday, 28 December 2018

Ahead Of New Year's Day's Resolution, Let's Look Back At This Series Of Doctor Who...


Last Christmas Before The Apocalypse: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Zombies Ate My Brain!


2019's big push on PROJECT Z got a major boost this Christmas with horror - and particularly zombies - being one of the major themes of the presents I received from family and friends.

Not only did Rachel get me the first seven seasons of The Walking Dead on Blu-Ray, but Paul got me Guts (a critical guide to the show) and Rachel's parents gave me the new, Blu-Ray, extras-laden, edition of the original Night Of The Living Dead (along with similar discs for Carnival Of Souls and Quatermass And The Pit).


The other big theme of the year turned out to be Batman, ranging from the amazing Blu-Ray box set of the legendary animated series, and The Long Halloween graphic novel, through to a beautiful, pocket-sized collection of the first few hundred covers of Detective Comics and a kawaii Q-Pop of the Dark Knight himself.

Rachel, candidly, admitted that she went "over budget" on her gift buying this year - but you don't hear any complaints from me!

I suspect, for the next few years, with the double blow of buying a new house and Brexit, Christmas's may become a bit more Dickensian, so let's continue to feed the beast and make hay while the sun is still shining...

Teaser Trailer Transports You To The Fantastic Plastic World Of Playmobil...


When her younger brother Charlie suddenly disappears into the magical, animated universe of Playmobil, Marla embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to bring him home.

Setting off on an incredible journey through new and exciting themed worlds, Marla teams up with various strange and heroic companions, including: Del, a crazed food truck driver; Rex Dasher, a suave and fearless secret agent; a loyal and endearing robot; a hilarious fairy-godmother, and many others!
Arriving in UK cinemas on August 9.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Book Of The Month: Mary Poppins


While I realise this will probably get me barred from serious literary circles, I have to say that I prefer the 1964 Disney musical of Mary Poppins to P.L. Travers' original 1934 book.

Although it begins with the arrival of Mary Poppins, on the east wind, to 17 Cheery Tree Lane and ends with her departure, on the west wind, some months later, the book isn't so much a traditional story as a series of vignettes.

These episodes are designed to show how strange - and magical - life now is for the Banks' children that Mary Poppins is looking after, but there's little sense that this is an on-going narrative, except for the passage of time.

The episodic nature of the book is highlighted by the fact that very few elements appear more than once (e.g. Bert - here a match seller rather than a chimney sweep only appears in a single chapter, and is mentioned by name in the final chapter).

And Mary herself, as well as being portrayed as extremely vain, is a lot harsher - and slightly more sinister - than the character Julie Andrews presents us with in the beloved movie.

There's a beautiful kind of foreshadowing - and suggestion of Mary's "Otherness" - in the fact that every strange character (human, animal, or supernatural entity) she meets in the book already knows who she is and treats her with a great deal of respect.

Unsurprisingly, there's also a lot about her that reminded me of The Doctor (from Doctor Who), from her peculiar, often ethereal, mannerisms and attitudes, to her strange abilities (e.g. being able to communicate with anything and everyone) and accoutrements (such as her bottomless carpet bag).

But she's also the queen of gaslighting, frequently dismissing the children's enquiries about their recent wild adventures with her as figments of their imagination, or dreams.

Although the majority of the chapters can be read as dark morality tales, there's only the mildest suggestion of any growth in the two oldest Banks children, Jane and Michael, and the adults barely feature at all in the stories.

While each adventure - or story - Mary Poppins and the children are involved in is strikingly different, in many ways it's like an old television show, where each chapter almost hits the reset button so the ones between her arrival and departure can be read in any order.

The Bird Woman is the one of the moments in the book that will be most familiar to fans of the film, but this is chapter is also one of the shortest, being extremely shocking and sad when you realise that the Bird Woman has severe mental health issues, and doesn't live the "romantic" life that Michael believes she does.

The clash of fantasy and reality is probably the core theme of Travers' book.

And as the book goes on, the magical adventures getting weirder and weirder, building up to a Planet Of The Apes-like sequence in London Zoo after dark where human stragglers are caged for the entertainment of the animals, who now freely walk the grounds.

But tucked in here is a wonderful speech by a Hamadryad (king cobra), the ruler of the animals in the zoo, predating Carl Sagan's "star stuff" quote by decades:
"We are all made of the same stuff, remember, we of the Jungle, you of the City. The same substance composes us - the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star - we are all one, all moving to the same end."
Stars are recurring motif in the book, and a symbol of magic, appearing in The Dancing Cow story, the episode with the seemingly immortal Mrs Corry and her two large daughters, and, perhaps, most strikingly in the Christmas Shopping chapter when the children meet Maia, one of the Pleiades stars come to Earth to get her celestial siblings festive treats.

It's easy to see the appeal of the magical Mary Poppins to Walt Disney, but it's also easy to see why he didn't want to make a straight adaptation.

Mary Poppins is a delightfully quirky book. I'm glad I finally got round to reading it, and there are certainly plenty of memorable scenes and characters scattered throughout.

But, sorry book lovers, my Mary Poppins lives on the silver screen.

"An Area Which We Call The Twilight Zone!"

My handsome bunny in his holiday home - where he'll be staying for the next few weeks

We have entered a strange Twilight Zone where, although we are still living in our current home, most conversations revolve around us being in our new home (which often involve me piping up, Eeyore-like, to remind everyone that all our moving plans could still go tits up, as nothing has been signed and sealed yet, it's all still "subject to contract").

The most concrete evidence of this strange transition period for me has involved Barney the bunny.

As ever, he came with us to spend Christmas at Rachel's parents, but, for the first time, when we left he stayed.

The idea being that, because he doesn't always enjoy the travelling, we will next bring him back when we are in our new home and he has a posh new hutch - and run - in the garden (his old hutch has seen better days and is way past its 'last legs').

But it's weird to think that when I get up tomorrow morning, my first duty won't be to go into the garden to feed and water the bunny.

The times they are a-changin'

Santa left Barney a hat and scarf, should he want to go outside in the cold!

Full List Of The 51 Titles Available On Free Comic Book Day 2019...



Get more details on all the books here.

WEEKLY WORLD NEWS: You Know What They Say... Bigfoot Means Big Love!


Spare a thought for Bigfoot as you're chilling in a post-Christmas stupor, he's out there in the wilderness, looking for love and trying to avoid hunters.

This week's selection of headlines from Weekly World News all focus on the monstrous Bigfoot, and are all dripping with inspirational potential for gamesmasters running contemporary campaigns that deal with life outside the perceived norm.

This is prime material, for instance, for Bloat Games' Dark Places & Demogorgons or more government-centric, X-Files-style adventures.

Titans Finally Arrives On Netflix In The UK On January 11...


Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Artist Appreciation: Phil Noto


Thanks to Calvin at The Cave Of Cool for originally sharing these variant cover treasures.

We Are Our Own Worst Enemies...


Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Us, from Monkeypaw Productions, stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway.

Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family.

After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers (Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. Us pits an endearing American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

Writer and director Peele produces for his Monkeypaw Productions alongside Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Monkeypaw’s Ian Cooper. Us will be released by Universal Pictures this March, 2019.

Weird Wednesday...


Tuesday, 25 December 2018

WEEKLY WORLD NEWS: Christmas Special!


What better gift could the gaming world receive on Christmas Day than a selection of seasonally-themed inspirational headlines from the Weekly World News?

We have Satan waging his war on Christmas and the discovery of the real Santa to offensive Christmas cards and disturbing presents... surely an enterprising gamesmaster can find some nugget of an idea for an adventure hook or an outré NPC in this seasonal bundle?

The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told...

Thor: Love & Thunder (2022) + Dr Who (2022)

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