August 6th, 2010

Kzin Faceplant Video

So I've never been big on home movies, but I do have some footage of my cats the day we brought them home from the pet store. Here's a short clip which includes Kzin executing the most epic kitten faceplant of all time:

I'm afraid that in all the intervening years, Kzin has yet to do anything that tops this.

Forgotten '80s Cartoons - Inhumanoids

So I just got an email from my friend Josh, who I haven't seen since high school. He and I went to Day Care together when we were little kids, and he remembers my early Cats in Victory books, and mentioned that he once bought an Inhumanoids action figure that I made. I've been meaning to post something about sadly neglected '80s cartoons, and his email motivated me to write up an entry on Inhumanoids. It's not really "forgotten," since it still has fans and fan sites and stuff, but I definitely get a lot of blank stares when I bring it up, whereas everyone remembers He-Man, Transformers, ThunderCats, G.I. Joe, etc.

Inhumanoids is basically G.I. Joe meets H.P. Lovecraft. It's about a team of scientists who wear power armor suits and who battle giant indestructible subterranean monsters. Incidentally, it has got to be one of the scariest children's cartoons ever made. I'm astounded/eternally grateful that this was ever shown on Saturday mornings on American television. By far the scariest thing about it is the dinosaur-headed monster "D'Compose," who has an exposed ribcage that he can swing open and shut in order to imprison hapless humans against his pulsating mass of internal organs:

D'Compose Inhumanoids

He also has a corrupting touch that can transform anyone into a giant zombie monstrosity who shrieks, "I am one with D'Compose!":

D'Compose Inhumanoids

D'Compose Inhumanoids

D'Compose Inhumanoids

Seriously, I just re-watched this scene (toward the end of this clip) and it still gives me the creeps.

There was also a plant/slime monster called "Tendril," who's basically a dead ringer for Cthulhu:

Tendril Inhumanoids

He wasn't as scary as D'Compose, but it was kind of creepy how any part of his body could grow into a whole new Tendril monster if you weren't careful. Actually, given how overt the Lovecraft influence is here, I wish someone would've clued me in to that -- I could have discovered Lovecraft fifteen years or so before I actually did.

The leader of the Inhumanoids is Metlar, though I always thought he looked pretty lame -- sort of a werewolf in scale mail. He's really powerful though, and ages ago the non-human good guys were able to imprison him by having two guys with an electromagnetic superpower just start blasting him, and not relent for thousands of years, since he's indestructible:

Metlar Inhumanoids

I always found that really disturbing too, the thought of these two guys straining for countless years to keep this horrible monster at bay, both of them knowing that they'll never be free of this obligation, never have any sort of life except standing in this cave, striving with evil, knowing that if their concentration or willpower ever flags, it'll be the end of everything.

...Or so they think, because it turns out that the mad scientist Blackthorne Shore is able to learn enough about these guys' electromagnetic superpower to be able to construct a power armor suit that gives him the same ability:

Blackthorne Inhumanoids

His sinister plan is to manipulate the Inhumanoids and achieve global conquest. Though what always disconcerted me most about Blackthorne wasn't his evil schemes, but his mastery of science. I mean, imagine you're these two guys who've been blasting Metlar 24-7 for the past few eons, and you have to keep doing it because you're the only two who possess this incredible superpower, but then you find out that some mere human who's an inconsequential 35 years old or whatever has come along and put together a freaking machine that can do everything you can do, only better. For whatever reason that plot development always gave me an almost vertiginous feeling about the potential of technology that was just as scary as the giant monsters.

Sympathy for the Devil Anthology

Here's the latest anthology from Night Shade Books, Sympathy for the Devil, edited by Tim Pratt and featuring another fantastic cover by David Palumbo.

Sympathy for the Devil Anthology Tim Pratt

This book includes the story "MetaPhysics" by my good friend Elizabeth Glover, which first appeared in Realms of Fantasy and which was her first fiction sale. I suggested it for inclusion in this book (via the online recommendations page) only to learn later that about four of my friends had already done the same.

Also, the acknowledgments page for this book cracks me up: