This is Professor Wilmarth and your friendly neighborhood Cthulhu welcoming you to another journey within the world of the macabre and the strange. In this season’s issue, we have several tales of impersonations, body snatching, switcheroos, and tales of other dimensions.
First, we have everyone’s favorite immortal, Henry Sinclair, working with the Man in the Baltimore Coat and Alan Quartermain attempt to prevent an entity from another dimension taking over one of two presidents in Dead Presidents in the Castle. Following that we have Mark Twain’s train woes in Mistaken Identity. Next is H.G. Wells’ The Stolen Body where a man’s body is stolen by demons as he was astral projecting. Lisa Deschenes brings us the latest in her Salem Cemetery Series with a tale of what happens to a man who tried switching a car on a devious young woman in Roy. Pohl brings us a groundhog tale filled with horrid ads in The Tunnel Under the World. Last but not least, we have Philip K. Dick’s The Father-Thing as a bunch of kids fight the neighborhood dad who has been cloned by aliens.
Some stories touch on historical facts and others you will hope are just pure fiction. Let’s see if you can figure out all the connections between the tales. Who knows, you might even find more than I reveal at the end of our installment from Arkham: Tales from the Flipside.
Cthulhu is shedding, he might not be sitting on the bar below. That might be his old skin? If so, he might just be behind you with his fork and knife in his hand.
Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin is bringing us a new world set in the Pines Barrens of New Jersey. No, not greasy Italian mobster monsters, but Trolls!
Starting in 1638, New Sweden was established in the Pines on the Delaware River. The Swedes brought over Norwegian mountain trolls as slaves to clear the land and build their houses. Some escaped!
For centuries now they have roamed the woods of the Pines. Trolls as big as a pine, but just barely keeping their heads below the tree line. They walk under the sun due to a protective lining that covers their eyes that prevents them from turning into stone.
They’re sometimes mistaken for the Jersey Devil (a Gastornis not to be mistaken for anyone in the Leeds family); because anything that is tall and strange gets mistaken for this popular mythical creature… Only Hulton sees them for what they are.
In this chapter of Chris’ Book of What the Fuck we look at three artists who all died on 1,23. Albrecht Durer, Gustove Dore, and Salvidor Dali all died on my birthday. All four of us have a macabre sense of art and all of our surnames end in D. Click on the image below for the video and see our art and learn more about us.
Back in the 17th century, a family of trolls came over as slaves to serve in the Swedish Colony in the NJ Pine Barrens, till they escaped deep into the woods. Since then they have been seen on many occasions, but nobody believes the people who claim they exist. This is the tale of one man who has become friends with them and the adventures he has with the Trolls. Come back to read his stories and see if you believe him. I wonder if you have seen them too…
Pirates and Howard Pyle’s Brandywine School of Illustrators on Chris’ Book of What the Fuck. We look at how Pyle created our modern take on pirates. Also, we look at work from his students like N.C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, and Violet Oakley. Plus we reveal an unknown secret from the Revolutionary war!
More flute at Double Trouble State Park. Site of an old sawmill and cranberry bog operation. Years ago, my family had their post and beams cut here for our living room by kids who were in a juvenile detention program, teaching them a trade for when they are released. The area got its name because when they had set up the mill, a beaver blocked damned up the river not once, but twice. Been coming here since I was a teenager, but within the last two years, I come here twice a week to play the flute to those people hiking through. Mark and his wife are some regulars.
I have been running through these woods since I was 5. This moraine leads back to a rivulet running between two ponds, separated by a bridge and the ruins of a pump house. On this raised area are some Bull Pines surrounded by a circle of forked top Pitch Pines; some local Lenni Lenape landscape. By the age of the pines, this might be one of the oldest Native lots in the area. After the Natives, or during their time here, General Lacy’s workers would ply these waters for a bacteria that grows under the peat in the pond, which would make iron. If you see an oil slick on the water, there is iron below. Along the river leaving the second pond, there are wooden railings in the dirt the bog workers could stand on, harvesting the bog iron. The river leads to the third pond where you can still see the impression in the hill where their forge was, and the beach is littered with iron. Well, anyway, enjoy the flute! A mixture of Japanese Zen flute with Native American stylings that put emphasis on the quality of silence, its length, and contrasting approaches on how the silence is broken connote the style. Very relaxing and tranquil.
Some of Chris Dowgin’s Zen-Native American flute playing to bring on mindfulness to turn of the Century NYC and Manchester, England street scenes. Plus, at the end is the original Wizard of OZ from 1910. Something useful to relax and put you to sleep.