Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monster Finish


Before we take leave of my “Month of the Nerd II” and, tomorrow, begin my “Month of Rock!” let us pause to acknowledge that nerdiness and nerdy topics are not necessarily at odds with the spirit of rock n’ roll — witness songs like “Monster Hospital” by one of the coolest bands of this decade, New Wave-influenced Metric.

Speaking of monsters, comparably awesome, albeit admittedly far less hip, is this montage of cool Godzilla moments set to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla.” I loved Godzilla even before Star Wars — and dinosaur rock even before New Wave.

Speaking of beloved beasts, late and lamented Seavey family dog Uber sprang to my friend Paul Taylor’s mind recently when he saw a new Pepsi ad that simply says “UberGood” with Pepsi symbols as the o’s. Here’s hoping all the strange monsters in our lives prove as friendly as Uber — and none of them as terrifying as the monster at the end of the book that Grover unconvincingly tried to tell us was only him in that notorious children’s book, after begging us page after page not to turn the next one.

That book remains scarier than anything done to me by all the monster movies I’ve seen and horror stories I’ve read since, something people looking to create powerful new nerd material might want to consider.

One last monstrous-beast note: Be careful what you wish for. Last weekend, mere hours after I posted an entry mentioning my curiosity about what the monster called Swarm — a sentient cloud of bees — would look like in the upcoming Spider-Man stage musical, a game shop near Union Square was reportedly shut down and its workers trapped inside by thousands of swarming bees at its door, not a routine occurrence in Manhattan, and one that required the intervention of the NYPD bee expert, who must not get a lot of calls like that.


Ali T. Kokmen said...

I also found “The Monster at the End of this Book” scary as a kid–and still appreciate its terrors as an adult. Probably my first experience with Authentic Dread. I caught a glimpse of a copy of a book-and-CD edition (or similar value-added package) on display during Book Expo America and felt a bit of that pit-of-my-stomach fretting from my childhood…

If bees swarms are now something to worry about, does that mean that Colony Collapse Disorder is resolved?

Todd Seavey said...

You know, you might well have stumbled upon the green plot that Taymor plans to make central to the musical. That would be very European, non? (Actually, I shouldn’t implicate the French, since Sarkozy just appointed a climate-change skeptic to a high position — but still.)

I believe the World Health Organization just released a statement about possible implications of the bee die-off, and strangely (aside from the usual byline and organizational boilerplate), it simply said: “Ssssssswwwwaaaarrrrm!”

Todd Seavey said...

Speaking of comic books and economic implications, Christine Caldwell Ames points out this awesome “Ecocomics” blog about precisely that:

The May 29 entry addresses a complaint I had — as a guy who was always more of a sci-fi nerd than a superhero fan at heart — even as a child and intended to address in my own sci-fi and superhero stories if I ever wrote any as an adult: Why doesn’t the whole world change once something like Iron Man technology emerges?

(Real answer: comics aren’t good sci-fi — and aren’t really trying to be, of course. As some essay I read once put it: You can try all you want to make comics grittier and more realistic, but at the end of the day superhero stories still obey something more akin to dream logic, or at best myth logic. Grant Morrison understands that, which is why he doesn’t mind comics being nuts, particularly his own.)

Todd Seavey said...

In other bee swarm news, sadly: