Video games are a frequent hobby of mine but something I talk about very infrequently on this blog, especially over the last couple of years. Nevertheless, every once in a while I play a game that really grabs me with its story. Not simply in how well it tells this story, but the ways the story is integrated with the video game medium itself.
In Bloodborne, developed by From Software, you play as a foreigner who has come to Yharnam, a labyrinthine city of Gothic/Victorian architecture, seeking the miraculous blood healing of their Healing Church to cure an unspecified malady. Your character also seeks something known as “paleblood,” though what this is isn’t explained. Upon signing a contract and receiving a transfusion of strange blood your character becomes a Hunter—people made exceptional by “blood ministration.” When you awaken after the transfusion you are alone at dusk on the night of a hunt, when Hunters and citizens alike take to the streets to hunt the Beasts that plague Yharnam. You have no choice. A Hunter must hunt.
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
Lovecraft Country is a 2016 horror novel by Matt Ruff, which I have been looking forward to reading for quite some time. I enjoy otherworldly forces and eldritch beings, but what especially drew me in was how this book appeared to be marrying these ideas with a real-world source of fear and suffering (as most good horror does). In this case, it is the world of Jim Crow America from the perspective on an ensemble cast of characters from two Black American families.Read More »
This contains major spoilers for the main Hellboy series
Late last week I finally accomplished what I’d set out to do about six months ago: I finished reading all twelve volumes of Hellboy by Mike Mignola. It’s a series I’d been slogging through for the past six years, barely acquiring and reading a volume each year, if that. I started over again with volume one, Seed of Destruction, back in October and went from there. This isn’t a review of the series, but a personal look back on and it sharing some feelings I have about it as a whole, having read them all as close together as I could manage.Read More »
By Mike Mignola (Story & Art); John Byrne (Script); Mark Chiarello (Colours); 2004
Summary from Goodreads
When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar.Read More »
Beginning in March, I fell down an interesting rabbit-hole while casually reading articles on TV Tropes, an online database of storytelling tropes. For some reason I was continually coming back to sections about eldritch abominations and Lovecraftian lore.Read More »