Early Inspirations: Mignola & Poe, Masters of Shadow

If you were stranded on an island and could have with you one book & one film, which would they be? When we evacuated for Katrina, loading my small truck became a game of Tetris. We didn't pack the bed of the truck because we knew we'd be heading thru stormy weather, so we were extremely limited in what we could take away with us. We have three cats and one large carrier (another game of tetris, this time with claws), we packed our bag of 'important papers' (wedding license, birth certs., lease, loose photos, and the like), we packed a couple of days worth of clothes (who knew we'd be away for a month?), we packed our photo albums, cameras, hard drive & monitor, one portfolio, and one small bag of entertainment, including Hellboy trade paperbak #5, "The Chained Coffin and Others", which I had bought a few days prior to the mad rush out of the city. Stranded in a strange place, watching the horrors presented to us so lovingly by the media, eventually I retreated into the BPRD (Hellboy's Bureau for Paranormal Research and Development) and came out with a tale of my own. I had never heard of Jenny Greenteeth, and here are the panels that started it all, from a short story called "The Corpse"...(Mignola is a genius)...
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Another source of distraction: collected works of Edgar Allan Poe. I read "Ligeia", and the poem contained within (excerpts of which were also used as the opening narration for another Hellboy story). I read the poem again, and again, and knew that my Jenny tale would be stop-motion. Had to be. Just KNEW it, as if Poe were explaining this to me in his own words as we sat at a quiet table in a dusty little corner of my brain, sipping Jack n Cokes. Here's what he said:

"Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.
Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly--
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Wo!
That motley drama! --oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased forevermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!--it writhes!--with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.
Out--out are the lights--out all!
And over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
And the angels, all palid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm,
That the play is the tragedy, 'Man,'
And its hero the Conqueror Worm."


herself said...

Cool to read the Poe poem from your perspective at that time. Who knows what it is that speaks to our creative souls like that, a confluence of intuitive messages.

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