Tuesday, May 7, 2013

THE CANON 1: 50 Books That Created Modern Pop Culture

... with Music Player!


(of Genre Fiction)

Fantastic Journeys! Talking Animals!
Weird Science! Karmic Horror! Spirit Guides!
Space Travel! Dream Lands!
Meddling Kids! Pirates! Archers!

Mystery Realms! Power Queens! Changelings!
Detectives! Immortals! Wild Childs!
Time Travel! Mutants! Invisibles! Vampires!

Alien Invaders! Superheroes! Supervillains!
Space Opera! Dinosaurs! Robots!
Gender-Enders! Vigilantes!
Adventurers! Super Spies!

In chronological order, here are 50 key books where many of our modern legends come from...


The Basics, Dept.:
1) This is an entry primer for Speculative Fictions.
2) This is an Alternate Lit List for alternative seers.
3) Feed your mind and your aspirations will follow!

The Canon covers time
in three subsequent jumps:

The Canon 1 focuses across 800 BC to 1950, from the early legends through the 19th Century Classics to the Pulp Magazine era.

The Canon 2 focuses mainly on the 1940s to 1970, from the Golden Age to the New Wave Of Science Fiction. It also spotlights female and multicultural authors who deserve more illumination.

The Canon 3 focuses on the 1960s to 2000s, from the New Wave Of Science Fiction to today.

"Leads To" COLOR KEY =
  • TV show
  • Book
  • Comic
  • Music
  • Game


by Homer
(800 B.C.)

◼ The Lost Traveler.

The world as new worlds.
The journey of self: exile, temptation, identity, hospitality, redemption, fruition.

Leads to:
The epic journey, without and within.

▶▶▶ Sinbad in "One Thousand and One Nights, a.k.a., Arabian Nights" (compiled 1720s); Dante's "The Divine Comedy" (1320); Joyce's "Ulysses" (1922) ; Pound's "The Cantos" (1915-'62); Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" (1899); THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1924) ; Godard's LE MEPRIS (France, 1963); Kubrick and Clarke's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) ; Kirby's "The New Gods" comics (1971); Adams' "Watership Down" (1972); Haldeman's "The Forever War" (1974); APOCALYPSE NOW (1979); ULYSSES 31 anime (1981); Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses game (2000); the Coen's O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000) ; Jong's "Sappho's Leap" (2003); BIG FISH (2003); The Odyssey: Winds of Athena game (2006); Alvart's PANDORUM (1999); Fraction and Ward's genderflip "ODY-C" comic (2014); Scott's adaption of Wier's THE MARTIAN (2015); Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (2018).

Also Read:
- "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell (1949)

Additional Classics:

- "Epic of Gilgamesh" (c. 2100 BC)

- "Beowolf" (c. 700–1000)

- "Paradise Lost", by John Milton (1667)

- "The Pilgrim's Progress", by John Bunyan (1678)

- "Beauty And The Beast", by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (1740)

- "Fanny Hill", by John Cleland (1748)

by Daniel Dafoe

◼ The Lost Traveler Redux.

Art by N.C. Wyeth, 1920

Survival in the wilderness, of place and of self.
The modern journey parable that sets off all to follow.
(Including the underlying question: Where is the line between exploration and exploitation?)

Read a version illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

Leads to:

The genre 'Robinsonade'

▶▶▶ i.e., Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" (1726); "Swiss Family Robinson" (1812); Poe's "The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838); Verne's "The Mysterious Island" (1874); Kipling's "The Jungle Book" (1894); Well's "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1896);

Stackpoole's "Stacpoole" (1908); Golding's "Lord of the Flies" (1954); MISS ROBIN CRUSOE" (1954); the "Space Family Robinson" comic (1962); ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS (1964); 'Gilligan's Island' (1964); 'Lost In Space' (1965) ; Ballard's abstraction, "Concrete Island" (1973); 'Fantastic Journey' (1977); Auel's "The Clan of the Cave Bear" (1980); Coetzee's deconstruction, "Foe" (1984); ENEMY MINE (1985); Robinson Crusoe game (1987);

'Earth-2' (1994) ; 'Star Trek: Voyager' (1995) ; CAST AWAY" (2000); 'Survivor' (2000); 'Lost' (2004) ; Martel's "Life of Pi" (2001); Sjon's "From the Mouth of the Whale" (2008); Adventures of Robinson Crusoe game (2009); Weir's "The Martian" (2011); 'Lost In Space' (2018).

by Jonathan Swift

◼ The lost traveler with subtext.

Art by Stephen Baghot de la Bere, 1904

Allegorical journey.
The wide traveling gets deeper.
Swift responds to "Robinson Crusoe" with satire and sacrilege.

Leads to:

The First and Second Travels ▸▸▸
The size variations, love of nonsense words, and social subtext foreshadow "Alice In Wonderland" (1865) and "The Wizard of Oz" (1900); Butler's satiric "Erewhon" (1872).

The Third Travel ▸▸▸
Paltock's "The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins" (1751); Miyazaki's LAPUTA, CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986) .

The Fourth Travel ▸▸▸
"The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1896); "Animal Farm" (1945) ; Kelley's "Pogo" comic strip (1948); PLANET OF THE APES (1968) ; SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (2018).

the search engine YAHOO took their name from the book's invention of the term.

Gulliver's Travels card game (1960); Kūsō Kagaku Sekai Gulliver Boy video game (1995).

Also Watch:
-- GULLIVER'S TRAVELS animated (1939)

by Mary Shelley

◼ The Creature.

Art by Berni Wrightson, 1983

By the Mother of Science Fiction.
The angels and demons of the human heart.

A deeply soul-searching and poetic work of great moral and emotional complexity. The book and the movies are different universes.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Whale's FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) ; Matheson's "I Am Legend" (1954); Bobby Pickett's "Monster Mash" (1962); Herman on 'The Munsters' (1964); Lurch on 'The Addams Family' (1964); Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" (1972); Swamp Thing, The Patchwork Man, and Anton Arcane in "Swamp Thing" comics (1973) ; Aldiss' future sequel "Frankenstein Unbound" (1973); New York Dolls' "Frankenstein" (1973); THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (1973); THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) ; Parliament/Funkadelic's Dr. Funkenstein (1976); The Cramps (1976); WEIRD SCIENCE (1985); Frankenstein video game (1987); EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990); 'Argento Soma' anime (2000); SPECIES (1995); "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." comic (2012); SPLICE (2009); FRANKENWEENIE (2012) ; Frankenstein interactive fiction (2012); EX MACHINA (2015).

Also Watch:
Perfect double bill;
director James Whale's wonky warm-up and his excellent masterly sequel.

Perfect double bill:
the secret life of James Whale (Ian McKellan);
and the letter-perfect Mel Brooks homage that picks up on Whale's dark humor.

-- MARY SHELLEY (2018)
-- GOTHIC (1986)
Perfect triple bill;
a fine bio of the Mary and Percy Shelley;
Ken Russell's frenzied take on that night at the Byron and Shelley party;
and Kenneth Branaugh's breathless operatic take that actually, for once, adapts the real book.

Additional Period Classics:

- "Songs Of Innocence", by William Blake (1789)

- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", by Victor Hugo (1831)

- "The Three Muskateers", by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

- "The Count of Monte Cristo", by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

- "The Adventures of Susan Hopley", by Catherine Crewe (1841)
Months before Poe, the first Detective story was written by a woman, featuring three female investigators!
Read it free here.


◼ Horror and Mystery.

Art for 'Ligea' by Harry Clark, 1919

The father of Horror, Thrillers, Suspense, and Detectives.

Poe was a literary prism that lit a spectrum of new paths for future creators.
Be sure to read all the Mystery and Horror stories, some of the supernatural Comedies, and the novella "Arthur Gordon Pym".

Leads to:
The dark prism.

The influence of his short stories.:
"The Murders Of The Rue Morgue"/ "The Mystery Of Marie Roget"/ "The Purloined Letter" ▸▸▸ Sherlock Holmes , Hercule Poirot, and all slueths; all Mystery and Detective stories
"The Black Cat" ▸▸▸ foreshadows "Pet Sematary", "Cat's Eye", etc.
"The Gold-Bug" ▸▸▸ inspired "Treasure Island" ; ★ and inspired WWII code-breaking!>
"Ligea" ▸▸▸ VERTIGO
"William Wilson" ▸▸▸ foreshadows LOST HIGHWAY , MULHOLLAND DRIVE
"A Tale Of The Rugged Mountains" ▸▸▸ foreshadows LA JETEE and 12 MONKEYS

The influence of his novel.:
"The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838) ▸▸▸ leads to Jules Verne's sequel "An Antarctic Mystery" (1897); Doyle's "The Lost World" (1912); Burrough's "The Land That Time Forgot" (1918); Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness" (1936); Campbell's "Who Goes There?" (1938), THE THING (1951, 1982, 2011), PROMETHEUS (2012).

The Dark Eye video game (1995); Treasure Island: The Gold Bug game (2010).

TV Anthologies:
Poe's anthologies of dark short stories with macabre twists inspired classic shows like: 'Lights Out' (1946); 'Tales of Tomorrow' (1951); 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' (1959); Serling's 'The Twilight Zone' (1959); 'The Outer Limits' (1963); 'Night Gallery' (1969); Dahl's 'Tales of the Unexpected' (1979); 'The Ray Bradbury Theater' (1985); 'Tales From The Crypt' (1989); 'Goosebumps' (1998); Brooker's 'Black Mirror' (2011); 'American Horror Story' (2011); 'Channel Zero' (2016); Peele's 'Weird City' (2019).

by Charles Dickens

◼ Spiritual Redemption.

Art by Jessie Willcox Smith, 1910

The spirit in reflection and redemption.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Alcott's "A Christmas Dream, And How It Came True (1885); HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941); HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1943); Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) ; MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (1947); Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales (1952); NON E MAI TROPPO TARDI /It's Never Too Late (Italy, 1953); "Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1957); Bergman's WILD STRAWBERRIES (1957); Marlo Thomas' remake of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS (1977); HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978) ; Wender's WINGS OF DESIRE (1986); Gilliam's THE FISHER KING (1991); SCROOGED (1988); Gilliam's THE FISHER KING (1991); Brooks' DEFENDING YOUR LIFE (1991); THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992); GROUNDHOG DAY (1993); MEET JOE BLACK (1998) ; THE SIXTH SENSE (1999); THE OTHERS (2001); DONNIE DARKO (2001); Kon's MILLENNIUM ACTRESS anime (2002); ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004); 'Lost' (2004); 'Day Break' (2006); 'Doctor Who': "A Christmas Carol" special (2010) : Bermejo's "Batman: Noel" (2011); Simon, Simon, and Siegel's "Oskar and the Eight Blessings (2015); THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (2017); Christmas Carol interactive game (2018); 'Russian Doll' (2019).

Also Read:
- "The Perfect Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern (1939)
The inspiration for IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE . Read it free here.

Also Watch:
-- SCROOGE (1951)
Alastair Sim.
Love is life.

by Jules Verne

◼ The Fantastic Journey.

Art by Edouard Riou, engraved by Pannemaker, 1867

The Father of Science Fiction.
A prime text in the Hollow Earth/ Subterranean Fiction genre.

Leads to:

Science Fiction; Explorer adventures; Steampunk.

▶▶▶ Sand's "Laura, Voyage dans le Cristal" (1864); Alice's adventures underground (1865) ; Bulwer-Lytton's "The Coming Race" (1871); Burrough's Pellucidar/"At the Earth's Core" books (1914) ; JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (1959); The Mole Man in "Fantastic Four" (1961); Curtis Mayfield's song "Underground" (1971); 'Valley of the Dinosaurs' cartoon (1974); 'Land of the Lost' (1974) ; Grell's "Warlord" comic (1975) ; The Underminer in THE INCREDIBLES (2004); 'Doctor Who: "The Runaway Bride" (2006); JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (2008); 'Sancuary' (2008); KONG: Skull Island (2017).

Journey to the Center of the Earth Adventure text-based game (1978); Journey to the Center of the Earth computer game (1988).

by Jules Verne

◼ Space Travel.

Early first edition.

There are worlds beyond the world.
The moon is the stepping stone into the next stage of humanity.

Leads to:
Interstellar Science Fiction. Steampunk.

★ Humans actually landing on the Moon!

▶▶▶ Wells' "First Men In the Moon" (1901); Melies' A TRIP TO THE MOON (France, 1902) ; Żuławski's 'Lunar Trilogy' (1903); C.L. Moore's "Lost Paradise" (1936); DESTINATION MOON (1950); Clarke's "Prelude To Space" (1951); The Inhumans on the Moon (1965); Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" (1966); 'Star Trek' (1966); 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968); 'UFO' (1970); 'Space: 1999' (1975) ; 'Sailor Moon' (1991); APOLLO 13 (1995); Johnson's Clarke's "Ice" (2002); MOON (2009) ; HIDDEN FIGURES (2016); "Under a Brass Moon: Sci-Fi Steampunk Anthology" (2016); Weir's "Artemis" (2017); FIRST MAN (2018).

Foretells Mars Colonization stories like: Weir's "The Martian" (2011) and THE MARTIAN (2015); 'Mars' (2016); 'The First' (2018).

by Lewis Carroll

◼ The Dreamchild.

Art by John Tenniel, 1865

Drop habit roles, dig the Rabbit Hole.
Literary nonsense, lateral nuisance, luminant now since.

Read "The Annotated ALICE: the Definitive Edition" (2000), with both of the ALICE books, all the previous editions' annotations, and the original art of John Tenniel.

Leads to:
The absurdist journey.

▶▶▶ Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900); McCay's "Little Nemo In Slumberland" comic strip (1905); Barrie's "Peter Pan and Wendy" (1911); Tolkien's "The Hobbitt" (1937); de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" (1943); Batman's foe, The Mad Hatter (1948); The Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "I Am the Walrus" (1967) ; Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" (1967); 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' (1969); Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy" (1979); Anonymous' "Go Ask Alice" (1971); Jireš' VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (Czech, 1970); Gilliam's JABBERWOCKY (1977) and TIME BANDITS (1981); Alice in Wonderland computer game (1985); LABYRINTH (1986); Miyazaki's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988) and SPIRITED AWAY (2001) ; Moore and Gebbie's "Lost Girls" (1991); Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' (1991); THE MATRIX trilogy (1999) ; Batwoman and her opposite, Alice (2009); Gilliam's adaptation of TIDELAND (2005); Talbot's "Alice in Sunderland" graphic novel (2007); SyFy's reimagine 'Alice' mini-series (2009); Melancon and Lavey-Heaton's "Namesake" webcomic (2012); the 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' TV spin-off (2013); Tait's "The Looking Glass House" (2015); Maguire's "After Alice" (2015); Morden's "Down Station" (2016); Michael's favorite book in 'Star Trek: Discovery' (2017); Alice in Wonderland video game (2018); COME AWAY (2019).

Also Watch:
-- DREAMCHILD (1985)
Fictional take on the real Alice's relationship with Charles Dodgson.
-- ALICE (1988)
Experimental Polish animation film.
Elle Fanning is astounding.
Smart adult sequel.


by Jules Verne

◼ The Anti-Hero.

Art by Alphonse Marie de Neuville, 1870

Exploring strange new depths.
With the Anti-Hero as your host.

Read the re-translated text (post-1976), with the 25% of excised or censored text restored.

(Verne's French texts were first translated in America by a Christian zealot who mistranslated them badly, and chopped out scientific, political, and religious content. Those translations were standard in the USA for 100 years until recent re-translations and restorations.)

Leads to:

Actual submarines!

▶▶▶ 'Sea Hunt' (1958); 'Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea' (1964) ; the Andersons' 'Stingray' kids show (UK, 1964); FANTASTIC VOYAGE (1966); "Submarine Super 99" manga (1970); THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) ; 'The Return of Captain Nemo' miniseries (1978); THE BLACK HOLE (1979); INNERSPACE (1987); 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea video game (1988); THE ABYSS (1989); 'SeaQuestDSV' (1993); Nemo in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999) ; Nemo in FINDING NEMO (2003); 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo game (2009); MR. NOBODY (2009); the Microverse in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018).

Star Trek and Nemo:
'Star Trek': "Balance Of Terror" (S01/E14, 1966) ▸▸▸ 'Star Trek': Khan in "Space Seed" (S01/E22, 1967) ▸▸▸ STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) ▸▸▸ STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) ▸▸▸ STAR TREK: Nemesis (2001) ▸▸▸ Nero in STAR TREK (2009) ▸▸▸ STAR TREK: Into Darkness (2014).

Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" spun-off three graphic novels about Nemo's formidable daughter: "Nemo: Heart of Ice" (2013), "Nemo: The Roses of Berlin" (2014), and "Nemo: River of Ghosts" (2015).

Also Watch:

-- 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954)
Disney remade it in space as THE BLACK HOLE.
"20,000 Leagues" meets YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

by Lewis Carroll

◼ The Other Side, Inside-Out.

Art by John Tenniel, 1871

The parallel world, through a glass darkly.

Read "The Annotated ALICE: the Definitive Edition" (2000), with both of the ALICE books, all the previous editions' annotations, and the original art of John Tenniel.

Leads to:
The mirror universe.

▶▶▶ McCay's "Little Nemo In Slumberland" (1905) ; Seuss' "The Cat In the Hat" (1957); KINGDOM OF CROOKED MIRRORS (1963); Earth-Three in "Justice League of America" (1964); 'Star Trek': "Shore Leave" (S01/E15, 1966) with Alice, and the perverse "Mirror, Mirror" universe (S02/E04, 1967); the chess games and mind games on McGoohan's 'The Prisoner' (1967); the Counter-Earth of DOPPELGANGER /Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (UK, 1969); Adam Warlock vs. The Magus (1975); the Red Room and Windom Earle on 'Twin Peaks' (1990) ; physicist Robert Gilmore's "Alice In Quantumland" (1994) ; STARGATE (1994); 'Sliders' (1995); Ally's Adventure: Through The Glass game (2002); Gaiman's "Coraline" (2002); Gaiman and McKean's MIRRORMASK (2005); 'Fringe' (2008); Batwoman vs. Alice (2009) ; ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010); ANOTHER EARTH (2011); ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2016); 'Star Trek: Discovery' (S01, 2018).

by Jules Verne

◼ The Mysterious Island.

Cover art for the French first edition, 1875

Surviving on the lost island where mystery prevails.

Read a recent re-translation, such as the one by Jordan Stump (2001).

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Gillmore's "Angel Island" (1914); Golding's "Lord Of The Flies" (1954); THE STOLEN AIRSHIP (Czech, 1966); 'The Fantastic Journey' (1977); 'Fantasy Island' (1977) ; Benchley's "The Island" (1979); 'Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water' anime (1990) ; the Myst games (1993) ; Garland's "The Beach" (1997); 'Survivor' (2000); 'Lost' (2004) ; Return to Mysterious Island game (2004); Return to Mysterious Island 2: Mina's Fat game (2009); 'Westworld' (S02, 2018).

Also Watch:
Just to see Ray Harryhausen's effects.

Note: No one can film "The Mysterious Island" without turning it into "The Lost World" (i.e., dinosaurs). But then again, the film THE LOST WORLD (1925) kind of swiped the ending of "The Mysterious Island"!

by Mark Twain

◼ The Adventure Kids.

Art by Norman Rockwell, 1936

Kids go on an adventure, calamity ensues...

Leads to:
Meddling kids!

▶▶▶ Dirk's 's "The Katzenjammer Kids" comic strip (1897); Porter's 'Pollyanna' books (1913); the OUR GANG (a.k.a., 'The Little Rascals') comedy films (1922-'44); the Hardy Boys (1927) and Nancy Drew books (1930); Huey, Dewey, and Louie (1937); Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" (1951); Ketchum's "Dennis The Menace" comic strip (2015); Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" (1957) and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (1962); 'The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' cartoon (1968); Rush's song "Tom Sawyer" (1981); Donner's THE GOONIES (1985) ; EXPLORERS (1985); The Chase on Tom Sawyer's Island video game (1988); Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley (1997); 'Malcolm in the Middle' (1997); Rodriguez's SPY KIDS (2001); Sawyer's name on 'Lost' (2004) ; Abrams' SUPER 8 (2008) ; Vaughan and Chiang's "Paper Girls" comic (2015); 'Stranger Things' (2016).

by Robert Louis Stevenson

◼ The Pirate.

Art by N.C. Wyeth, 1920

Reprobates, scoundrels, plunderers, and cheats.
The language, characters, and imagery in this book are so rich it still astounds.

Read the exact facsimile of the 1920 edition, lushly illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. The ragged-edge pages feel like butter.

Leads to:

All pirate stories!

▶▶▶ Capt. Hook in "Peter Pan" (1911); "Dr. Syn, Alias The Scarecrow" (1915) ; Sabatini's "Captain Blood" (1922); Brecht and Weill's "Pirate Jenny" (1928); Blyton's "Five on a Treasure Island" (1942); Harrison's "The Stainless Steel Rat" (1961); the band name, Long John & The Silver Beatles (1960) ; Klingons on 'Star Trek' (1967) ; Han Solo in STAR WARS (1977) ; Williams' treasure hunt picture book "Masquerade" (1979); Treasure Island computer game (1987); TREASURE PLANET (2002); Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (2003); 'Firefly' (2002) and SERENITY (2005); Treasure Island video game (2009); Crighton's "Pirate Latitudes" (2009); Cline's "Ready Player One" (2011); Levine's "Treasure Island!!!" (2011); the prequel TV series 'Black Sails' (2014).

Also Watch:
Disney's first live-action film. Rich and glorious, very edgy.
The ending actually improves on the book.

by Howard Pyle

◼ The People's Defender.

Art by Howard Pyle, 1883

The proto-superhero.
Written and illustrated by Howard Pyle, the dean of American Illustration. He and his student, N.C. Wyeth, ushered the Golden Age of Illustration, from which all comic strip and comic book artists learned.

Pyle compiled all the free-floating ballads into the first cohesive Robin Hood narrative, redefining him from a sly thief to an ethical vigilante, which made him so popular for the modern age.

Leads to:

the Superhero template:
unique costume, hood, perfect skill, secret base, league of allies, moral code, arch-enemy, protects the good from the bad.

"Robinson Crusoe" + "The Merry Adventures Of Robin Hood" = Green Arrow's origin

▶▶▶ Stevenson's "The Black Arrow" (1888); The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905); Zorro (1919); Batman (1939); Robin, the Boy Wonder (1940) ; Green Arrow and Speedy (1941); Legolas in Tolkien's "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy (1954); Hawkeye (1964); The Huntress (1977) ; Moore and Lloyd's "V For Vendetta" (1982); Robin Hood video game (1983); Robin Hood's Quest video game (2007); Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" (2008) ; Merida in BRAVE (2012); Charlie on 'Revolution' (2012); 'Arrow' (2012); the Anonymous activists; Tauriel in THE HOBBIT film trilogy (2012); Hawkeye in THE AVENGERS (2012).

Also Watch:
Errol Flynn vs. Basil Rathbone, a whopping $2 Million budget, and grand color.
The STAR WARS of its time!
-- ROBIN HOOD (2010)
Gritty and nuanced, a template for 'Game Of Thrones'.
-- BRAVE (2012)

by Mark Twain

◼ The Holy Fool.

Mural detail from Missouri capitol building
by Thomas Hart Benton, 1936

Modern Literature.
The end of formality, the true voice of the self. Changed everything.

Leads to:

Twain's book dropped formality, enobled the lower class, thought in introspection, spoke in real vernacular, dealt with hard truths squarely, and bristled against injustice.

▸▸▸ Some examples:
Stevenson's "Kidnapped" (1886); London's "The Call Of The Wild" (1903); Montgomery's "Anne Of The Green Gables" (1908); Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God" (1937); Steinbeck's "The Grapes Of Wrath" (1939) ; McCuller's "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" (1940); Wright's "Native Son" (1940) ; Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" (1946) ; Salinger's "Catcher In The Rye" (1951); Golding's "Lord Of The Flies" (1954); O'Connor's "Wise Blood" (1952); Ellison's "Invisible Man" (1952); Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1960); Shabazz's memoir (with Haley), "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (1965) ; Hinton's "The Outsiders" (1967); Angelou's memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969); Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-5" (1969); Gaines' "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (1971); Haley's geneological narrative "Roots: The Saga of an American Family" (1976); Walker's "The Color Purple" (1982) ; Mathabane's memoir "Kaffir Boy" (1986); Morrison's "Beloved" (1987); Wolff's memoir "This Boy's Life" (1989) ; Fitch's "White Oleander" (1999); Flynn's "Sharp Objects" (2006); Mathis' "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" (2012).

▶▶▶ Grofe's "Mississippi Suite" (1926); THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955); OLD YELLER (1957); Daneliya's film sequel SOVSEM PROPASHCHIY/Hopelessly Lost (Russia, 1973); the Big River musical (1985); Clinch's "Finn: A Novel" (2007); Finn and Fionna on "Adventure Time" (2010) ; McQueen's adaptation of Northup's 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013); Finn in STAR WARS: The Force Awakens (2015) ; Coover's sequel "Huck Out West" (2017).

Also Read:
- "My Jim", by Nancy Rawles (2005)
Twain should have skipped the two stupid boys and written about Jim the escaped slave with more directness and dignity.
Thankfully, Nancy makes up for it with this beautiful, moving alternative.

Also Watch:
Subtly, an interpolation of the elements of "Huckleberry Finn", with a dash of Marquez or Castenada.

by H. Rider Haggard

◼ The Adventure Hero.

Paul Robeson from KING SOLOMON'S MINES, 1937

The Action Adventurer.
Inspired by "Treasure Island", it's the proto 'Lost World' genre book. First book about Allan Quatermain.

Leads to:

The ancient witch Gagool is the inspiration for Gollum from "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".

▶▶▶ Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (1936); "The Phantom" comic strip (1936) ; Capra's LOST HORIZON (1937); Lee and Kirby's Black Panther (1966); Crichton's "Congo" (1980); Lucas and Spielberg's INDIANA JONES movies (1981) ; Lara Croft (1996); Alan Quatermain in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999) ; 'Warehouse 13' (2009); the African Batman, Batwing (2011); King Solomon's Lost Mines game (2006); son James Lee Quatermain in Deadfall Adventures game (2013); granddaughter Alicia Quatermain: Secrets Of The Lost Treasures game series (2017).

Also Watch:
Paul Robeson, with top billing in 1937!
Very faithful, very good.
-- INDIANA JONES and the Temple of Doom (1984)

18) SHE: A History Of Adventure,
by H. Rider Haggard

◼ The Supranatural Queen.

Art by Lou Marchetti, 1949

The Lost World.
Introduced the otherworldy and ambivalent Queen with Ayesha, "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed".

Leads to:
All Lost World queens, princesses, and sorceresses.

▶▶▶ Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Mars (1912); La of Opar, in the Tarzan books (1913) ; Princess Aura in the "Flash Gordon" comic strip (1934); Hank's Fantomah comic (1940); Jadis the White Witch from the 'Narnia' books (1950) ; Tolkien's Shelob and Galadrial from "The Lord of the Rings" (1954); Solitaire from "Live and Let Die" (1954); Storm from the X-Men (1975); Daenerys Targaryen from 'A Game of Thrones' (1996).

Archeological adventures crossed with the supernatural, such as INDIANA JONES and the Temple of Doom.

Also Watch:
-- SHE (1925)
Silent film, totally faithful, with text cards written by Haggard himself.
-- SHE (1935)
From the makers of KING KONG, great art deco design and special effects, with Max Steiner score. Inspired Evil Queen in Disney's SNOW WHITE.
-- SHE (1965)
Hammer film, with Ursula Andress, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. Well-made.

by Robert Louis Stevenson

◼ Dual Personality.

Film poster, 1931

The tortured transformer.
Broken psyche made flesh.

A Poe story in all but author. Even the opening chapter recalls "The Murders in the Rue Morgue".

Leads to:
The fractured identity.

▶▶▶ Congo Bill and Congorilla (1940); Two-Face (1942) ; The Hulk (1962) ; PSYCHO (1960) ; Batman's nemesis, The Outsider (1966); Rose and The Thorn (1970) ; Man-Bat (1970); Kirby's The Demon (1972); ALTERED STATES (1980); the retelling, MARY REILLY (1996); Jekyll and Hyde in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999); 'Jeckyll' miniseries (2007); The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde game (2010); the 'Bates Motel' TV series (2013); SPLIT (2016); Jeckyll on 'Penny Dreadful' (S03, 2016); Hawley's 'Legion' (2017); MRS. HYDE (2018).

FRANKENSTEIN (1931) + "Jekyll and Hyde" = The Hulk

The 1941 film poster inspired Two-Face.

Also Watch:
The 'definitive version' with Fredric March;
great Pre-Code film, very daring and creepily erotic.


by Arthur Conan Doyle

◼ The Detective.

Art by Sidney Paget,
defining Holmes' look, 1904

The consulting detective.
Schools you like it's elementary.

Key novels:
All books and stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, unless noted.

1) "A Study In Scarlet novel (1887)
Definite influence from Poe's "The Murders of the Rue Morgue" across the first two Holmes books. Very funny when Holmes reflexively dismisses the Dupin and Lecoq stories, the characters that inspired him.

Also read:
- "A Study In Emerald", by Neil Gaiman (2003)
A short story crossing Holmes with Lovecraft.
Read it free here.

Also Watch:
-- 'Sherlock: "A Study In Pink" (S01/01, 2011)

2) "The Sign Of The Four novel (1890)
Leads to:
Plot facets in Sally Lockhart/"The Ruby In the Smoke", and Larsson's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"; the cocaine addiction in Meyer's "The Seven Per-Cent Solution".

3) "The Hound Of The Baskervilles novel (1902)
If the other stories are Poe mysteries, this one is more of a Poe horror. Like going from "Murder in the Rue Morgue" to "Fall of the House of Usher".

Also Watch:
The first Holmes film starring Rathbone and Bruce.
Basil is still the quintessential film Holmes, even with all the other greats. A fine film, very faithful.
-- 'Sherlock: "The Hound of Baskerville" (S02/E02, 2012)

4) Key short stories:

"A Scandal in Bohemia" (1891) The Woman.
▸▸▸ Also Watch: 'Sherlock: "A Scandal in Belgravia" (S02/01, 2012)
"The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" (1891) Smart fun.
"The Adventure of the Speckled Band" (1892) Impossible case.
"The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter" (1893) Mycroft.
"The Final Problem" (1893) Showdown with Moriarty.
▸▸▸ Also Watch:
- 'Sherlock: "The Reichenbach Fall" (S02/03, 2012)
- 'Miss Sherlock: "The Dock" (S01/E08, 2018)

"The Adventure of the Empty House" (1903) Return of Holmes.

Leads to:
All detectives, real and imagined.

▶▶▶ Miss Marple; Hercule Poirot; Nero Wolf; Phillip Marlowe; Sam Spade; Charlie Chan; Ellory Queen; Jules Maigret; Batman, the Darknight Detective; Detective Chimp; Lois Lane; 'Peter Gunn'; Honey West; Virgil Tibbs, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT ; 'Columbo'; 'Murder She Wrote'; THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE ; Will Graham in "Red Dragon" and the 'Hannibal' series; Agent Cooper in 'Twin Peaks'; Ezekial "Easy" Rollins; Dr. Laszlo Kreizler; Sally Lockhart; Alex Cross ; 'Angel'; 'Monk'; 'Veronica Mars'; 'House'; 'Numbers'; 'Cold Case'; 'C.S.I.', 'Lost Girl'; 'The Killing', 'Jessica Jones'...

▶▶▶ Many video games include: Sherlock Holmes: Hakushaku Reijō Yūkai Jiken computer game (1986); Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective game (1991); Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper game (2009); Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter (2016).

Also Read:
- "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution", by Nicholas Meyer (1974)
Meyer rejuvenated Holmes again with his bestseller, bringing historical context and smart revisionism, which was a crucial revolution.

Also Watch:
Fine adaption of Meyer's pivotal book.
Underrated classic, starring Christopher Plummer as Holmes. Its set-up foreshadows Moore and Campbell's "From Hell".

-- 'Sherlock' (BBC series, 2010)
Sherlock and John in modern London.
-- 'Elementary' (CBS series, 2012)
Sherlock and Joan in modern NYC.
-- 'Miss Sherlock' (HBO series, 2018)
A female Holmes and Watson in modern Tokyo.

by Oscar Wilde

◼ The Fountain of Youth.

Photo of Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony, 1882

Youth and consequences.
Brought literary cred to 'genre' fiction.

In the tradition of Poe and Stevenson.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' (1922); Garnett's "Lady Into Fox' (1922); Woolf's "Orlando: A Biography' (1928); Lazarus Long in Heinlein's "Methuselah's Children' (1941); de Beauvoir's "Tous Les Hommes Sont Mortels /All Men Are Mortal" (1946); Frankenheimer's SECONDS (1966); Ra's al Ghul (1971); ZARDOZ (1974) ; multiple Operas and Musicals; Verloona in "Starstruck" comics (1984); Masterson's "Picture Of Evil /a.k.a., Family Portrait" (1985); Ozymandias in "Watchmen" (1986); John Constantine in "Hellblazer", the "Dangerous Habits" arc (1991); 'Star Trek': The Next Generation, "Man Of The People" (S06/E03, 1992); Gaiman's short story retelling, "The Wedding Present' (1998); Self's modern interpolation "Dorian, an Imitation' (2002); Capt. Jack Harkness of 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood' (2005) ; THE FOUNTAIN (2006) ; YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (2007) ; Gillen and McKelvie's "The Wicked + The Divine" comics (2014); Dorian on 'Penny Dreadful' (2014); Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome game (2012); 'Fortitude' (S04, 2018).

Also Read:
- "Faust", by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1808-1832)
- "The Master and Margarita", by Mikhail Bulgakov (c. 1930s/pub. 1967)

by Rudyard Kipling

◼ The Jungle Boy.

Art by Maurice & Edward Detmold, 1903

The wild child.
The animal-talker.

Leads to:
Nature's children.

Rima the Jungle Girl (1904) ; Tarzan of the Apes (1912) and Korak (1917); Baker's Shasta Of The Wolves (1919); Dr. Dolittle (1920); Bomba the Jungle Boy (1926); Eisner and Fine's Black Condor (1940); Wambi the Jungle Boy (1942); Sabu's debut in Kipling's ELEPHANT BOY (1937);
'Kimba the White Lion' manga (1950) and anime (1965); Animal Man and Beast Boy/Changeling (1965); 'Star Trek', "Charlie X" (S01,E02, 1966); Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK cartoon (1967);
Kirby's Kamandi (1972); George's "Julie of the Wolves" (1972); Dahl's "The Boy Who Talked With Animals" (1977); 'Lucan' (1977); the Feral Kid in Mad Max II/THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981);
The Penguin in BATMAN RETURNS (1992); THE LION KING (1994); Vincenzo and Fosco's Elseworlds retelling, 'Superman: The Feral Man of Steel' comic (1994); Garu in Final Fantasy VI game (Japan, 1994); Hesse's "The Music of Dolphins" (1996); Loisel and Sternis' 'Pyrénée' comic (1998); Molly in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', "Time's Orphan" (S06,E24, 1998); Noa in Legend of Legaia game (Japan, 1998);
Martel's "Life of Pi" (2001) ; Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016); Serkis' MOWGLI: Legend of the Jungle (2018).

The Jungle Book game (1994); The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Run game (2016).

Also Watch:
Starring Sabu, who later had a few films playing Sabu The Jungle Boy.
-- 'Riki-Tiki-Tavi' (1975)
Kipling's short story animated by Chuck Jones.

by H.G. Wells

◼ The Time-Traveler.

Trailer still from "The Time Machine", 1960

The other Father of Science Fiction arrives.

Change your place in history. (Look, but don't touch anything!)

Leads to:
All time travel!

Before Wells' machine, stories dealing with time travel included: Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" (1819); Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" (1843); Carroll's "Sylvie and Bruno" (1889); Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1889).

▶▶▶ The Legion of Super-Heroes (1958) ; L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time" (1962); 'Doctor Who' (1963) ; 'Star Trek': "The City on the Edge of Forever" (S01,E28, 1967) ; SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980); Moench and Day's "Aztec Ace" comic (1984) ; Perry and Yeates' "Timespirits" comic (1984); BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy (1985); 'Quantum Leap' (1989); Evil Dead 3/ARMY OF DARKNESS (1992); 12 MONKEYS (1995); "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (1999); The New Adventures of the Time Machine game (2000); 'Samurai Jack' (2001); PRIMER (2004); A SOUND OF THUNDER (2005); The Time Machine: Trapped in Time game (2009); 'Terra Nova' (2011); LOOPER (2012); SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (2012); Vaughan and Chiang's 'Paper Girls' comic (2015).

Ray Bradbury's short story "A Sound of Thunder" (1952) introduced the idea of 'the Butterfly Effect', where any change in time will have unguessed ramifications across all following time.
▸▸▸ THE TERMINATOR films (1984); THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (2004); MR. NOBODY (2009); the Until Dawn game (2014).

Time Slips:
Uttley's "A Traveller in Time" (1939); Pearce's "Tom's Midnight Garden" (1958); Farmer's "Charlotte Sometimes" (1969), which inspired The Cure's song "Charlotte Sometimes" (1981); Gabaldon's "Outlander" (1991).

Also Watch:
Great! A fine HD print. Smart additions to the book's basic structure. The entire template for 'Doctor Who'.
Wells vs. The Ripper. Nicholas Meyer's dirctorial debut, with McDowell, Warner, and Steenburgen.
Underrated. Savvy updates and winks to the book and 1960 film. Directed by Wells' great-grandson.
Time is multilinear, love is unilateral.

- The 'Doctor Who' TV series (1963-'89; 2005-)
Timey Wimey!

by H. G. Wells

◼ Genetic Engineering.

Cover art for Lancer edition, 1968

Frankenstein's Menagerie.
Wells ponders the moral ramifications of genetic engineering through vivisection. This opens the door for all clone, virus, mutant, cyborg, and eugenics fiction to follow.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ The shunned society in Browning's FREAKS (1932) ; THE FLY (1958, 1986); Beast from the X-Men (1963); Star Trek: Khan Noonien Singh and the Eugenics Wars on "Space Seed" (S01/E22, 1967); PLANET OF THE APES (1968) ; Kirby's "Kamandi" comics (1972); Parliament's "The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein" (1976); Devo's quote, "Are we not men?" (1978) ; genetic dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" (1990); GATTACA (1997); vivisection in HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003) ; Blomkamp's DISTRICT 9 (2009); 'Orphan Black' (2013); Yanagihara's "The People in the Trees" (2013).

Also Watch:
Legosi, Laughton, and great lighting!

by H.G. Wells

◼ Invisibility.

Cover art for Pocket edition, 1956

Wells continues his golden run.
Scenes of the unseen.
A response to Plato's question, "Would you be moral if no one could see your actions?".

Leads to:

Actual invisibility!>

▶▶▶ The Shadow, in the shadows (1930) ; Gollum's ring (1937); THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (1940); Invisible Scarlet O'Neil (1940); Ralph Ellison's metaphoric "Invisible Man" (1952); the ID in FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956); the Legion's Invisible Kid (1960); Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman (1961) ; the Helicarrier in "Nick Fury" (1965); and THE AVENGERS (2012); the Romulan cloaking device on 'Star Trek' (S03/E02, 1968) ; NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T (1972); 'The Invisible Man' series (1975); 'Gemini Man' series (1976); Saint's "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1987); PREDATOR (1987); Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility (1997) ; Griffin in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999); HOLLOW MAN (2000); Simon in 'Misfits' (2009); Klosterman's "The Visible Man" (2011); Miles Morales, Spider-Man (2011).

Also Watch:
Starring Claude Rains, directed by James Whale between the FRANKENSTEINs.

by Bram Stoker

◼ The Vampire.

Cover art for Penguin Classics, 1993

The modern vampire.

A progressive turning point with its multi-textual narratives from various views, including letters, diaries, ship logs, articles, and dictation recordings.

Leads to:

Kipling's poem "The Vampire" (1922); Matheson's "I Am Legend" (1954);
'Dark Shadows' and Barnabas Collins (1966); 'Star Trek', "The Man Trap" (S01/E01, 1966); Polanski's THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967); Vampirella (1969);
VAMPYROS LESBOS (1971); Count von Count in 'Sesame Street' (1972); BLACULA (1972); Blade the vampire killer (1973) ; King's "Salem's Lot" (1975); Rice's "Interview With a Vampire" books (1976);
Vampire Hunter D (1983) ; LOST BOYS (1987); Kakinouchi and Hirano's "Vampire Princess Miyu" manga (1988);
'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' (1992 film/1997 show) ; Hamilton's "Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter" (1993); Elaine Lee's "Vamps" comic (1994) ; Hirano's "Hellsing" manga (1997); Mina Murray, the central character in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999);
Niles and Templesmith's "30 Days Of Night" comics (2002); the "Twilight" series (2005); Vampire Weekend; Sooky Stackhouse and 'True Blood' (2008); LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008); Marceline the Vampire Queen on 'Adventure Time' (2010); Dracula's Legacy game (2015).

Also Read:
- "The Vampyre" by John William Polidori (1819)
Inspired in the night of ghost stories with Byron and the Shelley's; only Mary and John wrote theirs down. Inspired Bram Stoker.

Also Watch:
Perfect double bill:
-- NOSFERATU (1922)
Stoker's story in all but name.
But what if the film NOSFERATU was actually true...?

-- DRACULA (1931)
-- VAMPYR (1933)
(Not based on Polidori's story.) Between UN CHIEN ANDALOU and ERASERHEAD... gothic surrealism.
-- Bram Stoker's DRACULA (1992)
Coppola's faithful adaptation.
Companion piece to Branaugh's 'Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN' (1994).

by H.G. Wells

◼ Alien Invasion.

Art by Edward Gorey, 1960

Distills all the previous into modern Science Fiction and Horror in one astonishing leap.

Leads to:

John Carter of Mars, Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles", Superman, MARS ATTACKS, Cthulhu, ALIEN, E.T., INDEPENDENCE DAY,
...and that's in the first twenty pages alone.

▶▶▶ To name a few:
Tolstoy's "Aelita" (1922); Lewis' counterpoint to Welles, "Out of the Silent Planet" (1938); Brackett's Mars books (1940); 'Marvin The Martian' (1948); Wyndham's "The Day Of The Triffids" (1951);
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951); INVADERS FROM MARS (1953); Clarke's "Childhood's End" (1953); the Martian Manhunter (1955); INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956); PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959); Vonnegut's "The Sirens Of Titan" (1959);
every alien invader species on 'Doctor Who' (1963); 'UFO' (1970); 'Kamen Rider' (Japan, 1971); the Kree-Skrull War in "The Avengers" (1971); MacGregor and Russell's modern sequel, "Killraven" (1973); Niven and Pournelle's "The Mote In God's Eye" (1974); Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977); O'Neil and Adams' "Superman vs. Muhammad Ali" (1978); "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds" concept album (1978); Adams' "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" (1979);
SUPERMAN II (1981); 'V' (1984); 'Fist Of The North Star' (Japan, 1984); Butler's "Dawn" (1987);
The X-Files (1993); Shyamalan's SIGNS (2002); Edginton and D'Israeli's sequel comics, "Scarlet Traces" (2002); Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005); DISTRICT 9 (2009); MONSTERS vs. ALIENS (2009);
ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011); 'Falling Skies' (2011); Whedon's THE AVENGERS (2012); the mockumentary The Great Martian War 1913–1917 (2013); EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014); Villeneuve's adaption of ARRIVAL (2016); JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017); The War of the Worlds: Andromeda game (2018); A QUIET PLACE (2018).

Also Watch:
Directed by George Pal.

by L. Frank Baum

◼ The Fellowship Journey.

Art by W.W. Denslow, 1900

Journey to Other-Realm.
Working together to save everything.
Keep your head, your heart, your goal, and your courage.

Read "The Annotated Wizard of Oz: Centennial Edition" (2000), with the original art of W.W. Denslow.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Bradbury's short story "The Exiles" (1949); Lewis' 'Narnia' books (1950) ; the Fellowship journeys in Tolkien's "The Hobbit" (1937) and "The Lord of the Rings" (1954) ; Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (1964); Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (1973); STAR WARS (1977); THE WIZ (1978) ; UNDER THE RAINBOW (1981); Farmer's sequel "A Barnstormer in Oz" (1982); Lynch's WILD AT HEART (1990); 'Sailor Moon' (1991); Ryman's parallel novel "Was" (1992); Maguire's "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" book (1995) and the 'Wicked' musical (2003); Henry Gale on 'Lost' (2004); del Toro's PAN'S LABYRINTH (2006); 'Tin Man' miniseries (2007); BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (2007); L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz game (2010); OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (2013); 'Emerald City' (2017).

Also Watch:
-- THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
This movie gets more wonderful every time you see it!
-- THE WIZ (1978)
Everybody should get included in dreams of a better world.

by H.G. Wells

◼ Astronauts.

Film still from "A Trip To the Moon", 1902

Interstellar travel.
So is this island deserted, or...?
What lies beneath.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Clarke's "Prelude To Space" (1947); DESTINATION MOON (1950); Eisner and Wood's "The Spirit" on the moon (1952) ; Tintin on the moon (1950-'53) ; Heinlein's many Moon stories ; Buzz Aldrin (1969) and his namesake, Buzz Lightyear (1995) ; APOLLO 13 (1995); the Justice League Watchtower (1997) on the moon; APOLLO 18 (2011); HUGO (2010).

Also Watch:
Double Bill:
-- A TRIP TO THE MOON (1902)
George Melies' fusing of Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" and Well's "First Men in the Moon", much to the two rivals' chagrin.
-- HUGO (2011)

Double Bill:
-- 'First Men In The Moon' (2010)
Written by and starring Mark Gatiss (co-creator of 'Sherlock'), a fine and faithful telling of the book that tips hats to the 1902 and 1964 films.

-- 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
One of the greatest films ever made, meant to be seen only on the theatre screen.
Majestic, breathtaking, and wondrous.

> 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - Its Transcendent Influence on all Pop Culture, with Music Player


by William Henry Hudson

◼ Rima the Jungle Girl.

Art by Nestor Redondo
for RIMA The Jungle Girl #1, 1974

Sister Nature.
The Earth Guardian.

Leads to:

★ Actual jungle guardians like Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey!

▶▶▶ Tarzan's family, Jane and Meriem (1912, 1917); Fantomah (1940) ; Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (1937) ; JUNGLE GIRL film and Nyoka comics (1941); Pantera Bionda (Italy, 1948); Shanna the She-Devil (1972); 'Jana of the Jungle' cartoon (1941); MARA OF THE WILDERNESS (1965); the companion Leela on 'Doctor Who' (1977); Vixen (1981) ; SHEENA (1984); Swamp Thing's family, Abby and Tefe Holland (1985); Pantha (1991); Jill of the Jungle computer game (1992); Tom Strong's family, Dhalua and Tesla Strong (1999); Rima The Jungle Girl in the First Wave comics (2009); Shuri as the Black Panther, and in BLACK PANTHER (2018).

> Jungle Girls

A film version of GREEN MANSIONS (1959), starring Audrey Hepburn as Rima, is currently unavailable.

by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

◼ The Costumed Crimefighter.

Merle Oberon and Leslie Howard

The first superhero was invented by a woman. Royalty, no less!

So far, women have barely existed within the books listed, usually only as ciphers, cameos, or muses; or outside of them as supported authors.
This breath of fresh air stars a complex and strong woman -Marguerite St. Just- in the lead. In solving the mystery of "the Scarlet Pimpernel", she proves smarter than the villains and equal to the heroes.

Leads to:
The superhero template refined:

▶▶▶ The man of means, the dual identity, a colorful alias, the disguises, the crusade on injustice, a league of allies, an arch villain, a love 'triangle'.

▶▶▶ Hero:
Zorro (1919) ; The Shadow (1930); The Phantom Detective (1933) ; The Green Hornet (1936) ; The Crimson Avenger (1938) ; The Batman (1939); James Bond (1953); Daffy Duck as The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950)!

▶▶▶ Hero:
Margo Lane (1930); Lois Lane (1938); Lana Lang (1950); Golden Age superheroes like Bulletgirl (1939), Hawkgirl (1940), The Woman In Red (1940), Miss Fury (1941), Phantom Lady (1941), Miss Masque (1946), and The Blonde Phantom (1946).

Color Names:
Stevenson's Robin Hood pastiche "The Black Arrow" (1888) and Orczy's "The Scarlet Pimpernel" led to comic book superheroes and villains with color names:
The Man Of Bronze, Doc Savage (1933); The Black Bat (1933); Blue Beetle I (1939); Green Lantern (1940); Green Arrow (1941); Blackhawk (1941); Red Skull (1941); Golden Girl (1941); Black Cat I (1941); Black Canary (1947); Red Tornado II (1960); Green Goblin (1964); Shrinking Violet (1961); Crimson Dynamo (1963); Scarlet Witch (1964); Black Widow (1964); Madame Rouge (1964); The Purple Man (1964) Black Bolt (1965); Silver Surfer (1966); Black Panther (1966); Black Manta (1967); Yellowjacket (1968); Black Racer (1971); Brown Hornet (1972); Black Orchid (1973); Silver Samurai (1974); White Tiger (1975); Blue Falcon (1976); Black Lightning (1977); White Queen (1980); the Lanterns, Emerald and Jade (1983); Blue Devil (1984); Booster Gold (1986); Grey Ghost (1992); Superman Red and Blue (1963/1998); Red Robin (1996); Violet Incredible (2004); Red Hulk (2008).

★ Thousands of lives were actually saved by this book, when it inspired many real-life heroes: such as Raoul Wallenberg, who smuggled out 15,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II.

Also Watch:

by J. M. Barrie
* (1911)

◼ The Magic Child.

Cover Art for "Peter Pan and Wendy", 1915

*(originally titled "Peter and Wendy")

The Canon mash-up.
When Barrie threw "Alice In Wonderland", "Last of the Mohicans", "Treasure Island", and "Robin Hood" into a gumbo!

Leads to:
The enchanted retreat.

▶▶▶ Leblanc and Maeterlinck's "The Blue Bird for Children" (1913); Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" (1926) ; P.L. Travers' 'Mary Poppins' books (1934) and MARY POPPINS (1964) ; Lewis' 'Narnia' books (1950); Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" (1963); Babbit's "Tuck Everlasting" (1975); the 'Never, Never Land' TV movie (1980); Spielberg's E.T. (1982); THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984); THE LOST BOYS (1986) ; HOOK (1991); Wendy in Moore and Gebbie's "Lost Girls" (1991) ; JUMANJI (1995); staging the original play in AN AWFULLY BIG ADVENTURE (1995); Peter Pan in Disney's Return to Never Land game (2002); PETER PAN (2003); DiTerlizzi and Black's 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' books (2003); 'Lost' (2004); McCaughrean's official sequel, "Peter Pan in Scarlet" (2006); the 'Once Upon a Time' TV series (2011); Anderson's "Tiger Lily" (2012); the prequel PAN (2015); Arnold's "Neverland" (2015); Maxwell's "Unhooked" (2016); COME AWAY (2019).

Also Read:
(in connection to Alice and Oz:)
- "Lost Girls", by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie (1991)

Also Watch:
Biopic about Barrie's creation of the book.

by Gaston Leroux

◼ The Disfigured Anti-Hero.

Cover art for first French edition, 1911

What soul lies beneath the mask?
A sloppy book with eternal ideas.

Leads to:
The masked marauder. The disfigured, outside or in.

Fantomas (1911); The Joker (1940); The Red Skull (1941) ; Doctor Doom (1962) ; Madame Hydra (1969); Blofeld in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1968); Doctor Phibes (1971); Leatherface in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974); Darth Vader (1977) ; Baron Karza (1978); Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN (1978); Jason in FRIDAY THE 13th (1982); Lord Humungous in THE ROAD WARRIOR (1982); The Mask (1987); Bane (1993); Mister Quimper in "The Invisibles" (1994); ICHI THE KILLER (2001); Richard Harrow on 'Boardwalk Empire' (2010); Amon in 'The Legend of Korra' (2012); Kylo Ren (2015); Dr. Poison in WONDER WOMAN (2017); The Voice of Rao on 'Krypton' (S01, 2018).

Christiane in EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1960); Negative Man from the Doom Patrol (1963); The Unknown Soldier (1966); Orion of the New Gods (1971); Jonah Hex (1972); "V For Vendetta" (1982) ; DARKMAN (1990); ABRE LOS OJOS (Spain, 1997), remade as VANILLA SKY (2001).

▶▶▶ Allain and Souvestre's criminal genius "Fantomas" was created simultaneously (1911); THE FACE OF ANOTHER (Japan, 1966); 'The Phantom of Hollywood' (1974); "The Phantom of the Opera" musical (1986) and its sequel "Love Never Dies" (2012); Kay's rewrite "Phantom" (1990); Meyer's Sherlock Holmes crossover, "The Canary Trainer" (1993); THE PHANTOM LOVER (Hong Kong, 1995); Forsythe's sequel "The Phantom of Manhattan" (1999); Mystery Legends: The Phantom of the Opera game (2010).

Also Watch:
Lon Chaney.
A Rock Opera by Brian De Palma.

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

◼ The Science Fiction Adventure Hero.

Art for first hardcover edition by Frank Schoonover, 1917

John Carter of Mars.
All 20th Century Science Fiction comes from this book.

A displaced hero, a fierce princess, super abilities, a wilderness world, champion for the rebel underdogs, fighting an evil empire...

Leads to:

▶▶▶ Tarzan (1912); Buck Rogers (1928) ; Flash Gordon (1934); Superman (1938); Conan the Barbarian (1932); Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" (1950); Martian Manhunter (1955); Moorcock's 'Kane of Old Mars' trilogy (1965); Herbert's "Dune" (1965) ; Adam Strange (1958); Roddenberry's 'Genesis II' pilot film (1973) and the 'Andromeda' TV series (2000); STAR WARS (1977) ; Corben's "Den" comics (1973); Heinlein's "The Number of the Beast" (1980); the "Warp!" play (1971) and comics (1983); AVATAR (2009) ; COWBOYS AND ALIENS (2011); Stanton's JOHN CARTER (2012).

Also Read:
- "Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation" by Edwin Lester Arnold (1905)
A precursor with similar concepts.

Also Watch:
-- JOHN CARTER (2012)
An underrated film that captures the original source.

by Arthur Conan Doyle

◼ The Lost World genre.

Dinosaurs in a secret world!

Leads to:
All lost primeval realms.

▶▶▶ Gilman's 'Herland' books (1915); Burrough's "The Land That Time Forgot" (1918); Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (1931); KING KONG (1933) ; Doc Savage and Hidalgo in "The Man Of Bronze" (1933); Hinton's "Lost Horizon" (1931) and Capra's LOST HORIZON (1937); Wonder Woman and Themyscira/Paradise Island (1941); Tintin in "The Seven Crystal Balls" (1944) and "Prisoners of the Sun" (1946); GODZILLA (1954); Grodd and Gorilla City (1959); DC's Dinosaur Island (1960); Ka-Zar and the Savage Land (1965); Gaskell's "Atlan" books (1965); VALLEY OF GWANI (1969); THE ISLAND AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD (1974); 'Valley of the Dinosaurs' cartoon (1974); 'Land of the Lost' (1974); Kirby's Devil Dinosaur (1978); McCaffrey's "Dinosaur Planet" (1978); Bradbury's anthology "Dinosaur Tales" (1983); Crichton's "Jurassic Park" (1990) and JURASSIC PARK (1993) ; Gurney's "Dinotopia" books (1992); David's 'Footprints Of Thunder' books (1995); Lara Croft, Tomb Raider game (1996); Bear's quasi-sequel "Dinosaur Summer" (1998); UP (2009) ; Grann's true story "The Lost City of Z" (2009); Sarah Maribu and the Lost World game (2010); 'Terra Nova' (2011); Grodd on 'The Flash' (S01, 2014).

Also Watch:
-- THE LOST WORLD (1925)

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

◼ Jungle Hero.

Art for first Pulp publication by Clinton Pettee, 1912

Animal Man.
Royal blood, primal heart.

Tarzan as a character and a mass success will chart out the next century of adventure heroes.

Leads to:
Rulers of the jungle.

▶▶▶ Bulldog Drummond (1920); Morgyn the Mighty (1928); Morgo The Mighty (1930); Tam, Son of the Tiger (1931); Doc Savage (1933) ; Kulafu (Philippines, 1933); Ozar the Aztec (1935); The Phantom comic strip (1936); Kioga, the Snow Hawk (1936); Ka-Zar (pulp, 1936); Sheena (1937); Jan of the Jungle (1937); Ki-Gor, the Jungle Lord (1939); Kaänga (1940); Congo Bill (1940); Yarmak (Australia, 1949); Akim (Italy, 1950); Kubert's Tor (1953); the Native American time-traveler, Turok, Son of Stone (1954); Frazetta's Thun'Da (1952); Smith raised by Martians in Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land (1961); Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle (1962); Animal Man (1965); Ka-Zar (comic, 1965); Black Panther (1966) ; B'wana Beast (1967); the "George of the Jungle" cartoon (1967); Anthro (1968); TARZANA, THE WILD GIRL (1969); Shanna the She-Devil (1972); Tono and Kono, the Jungle Twins (1972); Wolverine (1974); Van Allsberg's "Jumanji" picture book (1980); Indiana Jones (1981); Vixen (1981); Moore and Sprouse's Tom Strong (1999) ; Lord Blackstock in "Planetary" #17 (2003); inversed with Caesar in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011).

Art by Mark Summers, 2012

Also Read:
- "Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan", by Robin Maxwell (2012)
Everything retold from Jane's point of view.
The ultimate Tarzan book, finely researched and told.

Also Watch:
The chemistry of Tarzan and Jane is fantastic.
Endearing and sexy, particularly the uncensored Pre-Code version.

-- GREYSTOKE: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
The only real Tarzan movie ever made. Exquisite.
-- TARZAN (1999)
A surprisingly faithful Disney animated too smart, funny, and inspired to fail, even with corny songs.

-- WILD CHILD (1971)
Truffaut. True story.

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

◼ Pulp Hero.

Art by Joe Kubert, 1974

The Pulp paragon.
Basically invents the next fifty years of Pulp adventures in one book.

Leads to:
Modern Pulp Adventure.

Acts as a European secret agent, in a white suit, foiling card cheats and Russian espionage, while every woman falls for him

Bounds through Arabic streets, fights Arab "raiders" in the desert, finds the lost city of Gold

The tan man becomes a tribal leader while funding his world exploits with the jungle gold

by Sax Rohmer
* (1913)

◼ The SuperVillain.

Art by Vincent Sullivan, March 1937

*(in U.S.A., as "The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu")

The supervillain.
The Demon Other.
The Phantom Menace.

A bad book with worse influence. Rohmer encodes "Yellow Peril"> bigotry into an uber-villain stereotype that has fueled fiction (and real wars) for a century.>

Leads to:
Moriarty as demonization.

▶▶▶ Arch-Villain:
Lovecraft abstracted the Yellow Peril as Cthulhu (1928); Ming the Merciless (1934) ; The Shadow vs. Shiwan Khan (1939); Daredevil I vs. The Claw (1939); Jimmy Woo vs. The Yellow Claw (1956); James Bond vs. "Dr. No" (1958); Dr. Yen Lo in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962); Iron Man vs. The Mandarin (1964); Jonny Quest vs. Dr. Zin (1964); Galt on 'Star Trek': "The Gamesters of Triskelion" (S02/E16, 1968); Wonder Woman vs. Egg Fu (1965); Wo Fat on 'Hawaii Five-O' (1968); Batman vs. Ra's Al Ghul (1971) ; The Bakelite in Moebius' "The Airtight Garage" (1976) ; the young Baron Karza in "The Micronauts" (1978); Hark in "Planetary" (1998); Prince Xizor of the Black Sun in 'Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire' (1996).

Dragon Lady:
Rohmer's eroticization of the stereotype with Fah lo Suee, the Daughter of Fu Manchu, leads to The Dragon Lady in "Terry & The Pirates"; Madame Hydra; Talia Al Ghul; Lady Lotus; Lady Shiva; Lady Deathstrike.>

The Fu Manchu archetype dovetailed into the American propaganda narrative on Asian enemies like Emperor Tojo, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, and Kim Jong-il.

Gradually, played formula and rising awareness led to open mockery of the cliche.: Kerouac's pastiche "Doctor Sax" (1959); Dr. Yes on 'Get Smart' (2009); Fiendish Dr. Wu in BLACK DYNAMITE (2009).

Post-'60s creators directly challenged the stereotype to counter Rohmer's bigotry. When Marvel Comics liscensed Fu Manchu for "Master of Kung Fu" (1974), Doug Moench spent a decade turning the son Shang Chi into a riposte against all previous cliches. Alan Moore directly mocked Rohmer's hatred and Lovecraft's abstracted xenophobia by conflating them into the wry parody, The Doctor in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1" (1999). BATMAN BEGINS (2005) and its clone 'Arrow' (2011) play international hopscotch with their takes on Ra's Al Ghul and Talia, as does IRON MAN 3 (2013) with The Mandarin. 'Mr. Robot' (2016) blenderfunks tropes with their Whiterose. The Pulp cross-over book "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" (2008) completely rethinks The Shadow and Shirwan Khan inside out.

AgitProp II: The old "Yellow Peril" hate has mutated now into the fear of an 'Allah Peril', substituting a new bearded face to demonize.>>

Trading on the Bin Laden legacy, the recycled Rohmer Boogie Man narrative now guides '24' (2001), 'NCIS' (2003), 'Sleeper Cell' (2005), 'Homeland' (2011), Miller's "Holy Terror" (2011), ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012), AMERICAN SNIPER (2014), Clear Channel, Sinclair, Fox News, ...

by Johnston McCulley

◼ Zorro.

Original cover art for All-Story Weekly, August 9, 1919

Who was that masked man?
The fox.

This pulp novella caught Douglas Fairbanks' eye, who sharpened the character into the Zorro we know with his film, THE MARK OF ZORRO.

Leads to:

"Robin Hood" + "Scarlet Pimpernel" = Zorro

The Cisco Kid preceded Zorro, but as an outlaw in O. Henry's short story, "The Caballero's Way" (1907). He was then redefined in the Zorro mode as a masked Mexican hero on radio (1942) and the dawn of television (1949).

▶▶▶ The Shadow (1930) ; The Spider (1933) ; The Black Bat (1933); Batman (1939) ; Green Arrow (1941); Wildcat (1942); 'The Lone Ranger' (Radio, 1933/TV, 1949); 'The Cisco Kid' (TV, 1949); The Two Gun Kid (1962); 'Wild Wild West' (1965); El Gaucho (1980); THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987); THE MASK OF ZORRO film in "Batman: Year One" (1987); 'V For Vendetta' (1982/1988); Rodriguez's DESPERADO film trilogy (1992); 'Queen of Swords' TV series (2000) ; The Destiny of Zorro game (2009); the "Lady Zorro" comic (2014).


Also Watch:
Douglas Fairbanks.


R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots),
by Karel Capek

◼ Robots!

Poster for New York WPA stage production, 1939

Rise of the robots!
(Also, badly-written sexist crap! The concept outweighs the craft.)

Leads to:

▶▶▶ All robots, bots, androids, gynoids, droids, roboids, reploids, synthetics, automatons, cyborgs, borgs, mechas, surrogates, avatars, and replicants.

by Thea Von Harbou

The Future.

'Maria' from the film METROPOLIS, 1926

Maria, the ghost in the shell.
And the world of the future, seen by all eyes for the first time through cinema.

An early model for future histories, utopian and dystopic parables, and transhumanism tales.

Thea Von Harbou turned her book into the screenplay for her husband Fritz Lang's classic film, METROPOLIS.

Leads to:

▶▶▶ JUST IMAGINE (1930); Chaplin's MODERN TIMES (1936); Superman's city, Metropolis (1939); THX-1138 (1971); Levin's "The Stepford Wives" (1972); The Bionic Woman vs. the Fembots (1976) ; LOGAN'S RUN (1976); the design of C-3PO (1977) ; Ilia II in STAR TREK: The Motion Picture (1979); the Deco cloud city in STAR WARS: The Empire Strikes Back (1980); the futurist Deco skyscrapers in BLADE RUNNER (1982); Heinlein's "Friday" (1982); Gilliam's BRAZIL (1986); BATMAN RETURNS (1992); Motoko in GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995) ; the Borg Queen from STAR TREK: First Contact (1996); DARK CITY (1998); TERMINATOR 3 (2003) and 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' (2008); Eve from WALL-E (2009); METROPIA (Sweden, 2009); THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012); BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017).

Queen's "Radio-Ga-Ga" video (1984); Madonna's "Express Yourself" video (1989); Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" video (1989); Janelle Monae's "Metropolis" E.P. (2007) and "The ArchAndroid" album (2009); St. Vincent's "Digital Witness" video (2014).

Huxley's "Brave New World" (1932); Well's "Shape of Things To Come" (1933); Orwell's "1984" (1949); ...

Also Watch:
-- METROPOLIS (1926)
-- Osamu Tezuka's METROPOLIS (2002)

by Virginia Woolf

◼ Regeneration.

The Immortal.
Be yourself beyond boundaries.

Like Wilde's "Dorian Gray", another speculative fiction that brought academic credibility to ideas dismissed as 'genre' fiction.

Woolf's tale of an individual who transcends gender and social roles captures the true heart of what makes science/speculative fiction a serious, if not even better, literature: giving life to ideas, insights, and inventions that progress us forward, instead of conventional dramas of social constriction that formalize repression of the imagination or the self.

Leads to:

Regenerating identity.> > >

▶▶▶ Regenerate:
the regenerating 'Doctor Who' (1963) ; Wolverine (1974); Claire on 'Heroes' (2006).

▶▶▶ Gender Schmender:
Eowyn in Tolkien's "The Return of the King" (1955); Sturgeon's "Venus Plus X" (1960); le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness" (1969); Heinlein's Andrew/Elizabeth Libby in "I Will Fear No Evil" (1970); Russ' "The Female Man" (1975); Carter's "The Passion of New Eve" (1977); Tristan in "Camelot 3000" (1982); Shade the Changing Man becomes female (#27-29, 1992); ORLANDO (1992) ; Dax in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' (1993) ; Lord Fanny in The Invisibles (1994); Scott's "Shadow Man" (1996); Gaiman's short story "Changes" (1998); Orlando in "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999); Mitchell's HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (2001); The Shining Knight III (2005) ; Jordan's BREAKFAST ON PLUTO (2005); Almodóvar's THE SKIN I LIVE IN (2011); the cast in CLOUD ATLAS (2012) ; Missy in 'Doctor Who' (S08, 2014); Tony in 'Orphan Black' (S02, 2014); Nomi in 'Sense8' (2015); Shade The Changing Woman (2018); the regenerated 'Doctor Who' (2018).

Also Watch:
-- ORLANDO (1992)
Tilda Swinton.
- 'Doctor Who', (Season 11, 2018)
Jodie Whittaker.


◼ Science-Fiction Horror.

Poster art for Lovecraft-inspired gallery exhibit
by Jeremy Enecio, 2010

Dimensional demons.
Lovecraft's epiphany was to meld Poe's horror with Well's science fiction, an unholy hybrid with many tentacles.

His stories are a cohesive mythos about stellar demons returning to destroy everything using Earth as their portal. (More insidiously, it is Rohmer's bigoted xenophobia writ cosmological.)

Here are key short stories, and a novella.

"The Lurking Fear" (1922)
"The Shunned House" (1924)
"The Horror at Red Hook" (1925)
"The Call of Cthulhu" (1926)
"The Colour Out of Space" (1927)
"The History of the Necronomicon" (1927)
"The Dunwich Horror" (1928)
"At The Mountains of Madness novella (1931)
"The Haunter of the Dark" (1935)

Leads to:
Science Fiction Horror.

EC Comics: "Tales From the Crypt", "Vault of Horror", "Haunt of Fear", "Weird Science", and "Weird Fantasy" (all 1950).

The Necronimicon:
Lovecraft's fictional book of evil has infested popular culture.
▸▸▸ the Book of the Vishanti in 'Dr. Strange' (1963); Pratchett's parody, the Necrotelecomnicon, in the 'Discworld' books (1983+); the Necronomicon from EVIL DEAD (1981) to ARMY OF DARKNESS (1992) to 'Ash vs. Evil Dead' (2014) ; THE NINTH GATE (1999); THE BABADOOK (2014); Marvel's Darkhold book of Chton (1972), shown in 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' (S04, 2016).

H.R. Giger's art book "Necronomicon" (1977) was the direct inspiration for the design of ALIEN (1979).

Hell unleashed:
Howard's The Shadow Kingdom (1929); Derleth's Arkham House publishing (1939); INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956); THE HAUNTED PALACE (1963); Dr. Strange (1963); Vampirella (1969);
THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970); 'Night Gallery adaptions: "Pickman's Model" and "Cool Air"' (1971); Ghost Rider (1972); 'Kolchak, the Night Stalker' (1974); Stephen King (1974); Batman's Arkham Asylum (1974); ALIEN (1979) ;
DEAD AND BURIED (1981); THE THING (1982); John Constantine (1985); the adaption of Howard's RE-ANIMATOR (1985); Clive Barker and HELLRAISER (1987) ; Morrison and Yeowell's "Zenith" comic (1987); Neil Gaiman (1986); Dylan Dog (1986); Barr's "The Crow" comics (1989);
'Cast a Deadly Spell' TV film (1991); 'The X-Files' (1993); Carpenter's IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994); Hellboy (1993); BLEEDERS (1997); EVENT HORIZON (1997);
"Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham" (2000); Rennie and Irving's "Necronauts" comic (2000); the Manga stories of Junji Ito (2001); CORALINE (2002); Moore and O'Neill's spoof in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier" (2007);
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW (2010); 'Haiyore! Nyaruko-san' TV anime (2010); 'American Horror Story' (2011); Marvel Comics' "Cancerverse" story arcs (2011); 'Grimm' (2011); 'Supernatural: "Let It Bleed" (S0/E21, 2011); 'Lost Girl' (2010); Brubaker and Phillip's "Fatale" (2012); PROMETHEUS (2012) ; Goddard's THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012); PACIFIC RIM (2013); 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (2016); A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2016); ANNIHILATION (2018).

Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet game (1993); Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (2005); Call of Cthulhu (2018).

In recent years, Howard's inherent bigotries have been challenged by counter reinterpretations of the mythos: LaValle's novella "The Ballad of Black Tom" (2016); and Moore's "Neonomicon" (2010) and its prequel Providence" (2015).

Also Watch:
-- PROMETHEUS (2012)
At the mound of madness.

by Dashiell Hammett

◼ The Hardboiled Detective.

Art by Henry C. Murphy, Jr.

The Urban Detective.
Tough mug, wearied mind, wounded heart, quick wits.

The urbane Sherlock gives way to the urban shamus.

Leads to:
Hardboiled Noir.

▶▶▶ Film Noir (1930s +); Siegel and Shuster's Slam Bradley (1938); Eisner's "The Spirit" comic (1940); THE MALTESE FALCON (1941); CITIZEN KANE (1941); Reed's THE THIRD MAN (1949);
Alfred Hitchcock; SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950); Highsmith's 'Mr. Ripley' books (1955); VERTIGO (1958); 'Peter Gunn' (1958); Burroughs' "Naked Lunch" (1959);
Parker in "The Hunter" books (1962); Selby's "Last Exit to Brooklyn" (1964); 'The Fugitive' (1993); ALPHAVILLE (1965); POINT BLANK (1967); Deadman (1967); BULLITT (1969);
SHAFT (1971) ; SOYLENT GREEN (1973); CHINATOWN (1974); Moebius' "The Long Tomorrow" (1975); Judge Dredd (1977);
BODY HEAT (1981); BLADE RUNNER (1982) ; V.I. Warshawski (1983) THE ELEMENT OF CRIME (1984); Harry Palmer in "Starstruck"> (1984) ; Rorschach in "Watchmen" ; BLUE VELVET (1986); Public Enemy's name (1986); Dixon Hill on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' (1987); ANGEL HEART (1987); Adams' 'Dirk McQuickly' books (1987); WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (1988);
Agent Cooper on 'Twin Peaks' (1990); Miller's "Hard Boiled" (1990) and "Sin City" (1991); Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins (1991); Woo's HARD BOILED (1992); GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995); 7EVEN (1995); Tarantino's PULP FICTION (1994); Mann's HEAT (1995); the Coen's FARGO (1996); L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1998); DARK CITY (1998); 'Cowboy Bebop'(1998); FIGHT CLUB (1999); Azzarello and Risso's "100 Bullets" (1999);
Nolan's MEMENTO (2000); Max Payne game (2001); ROAD TO PERDITION (2002); "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy (2005) ; "Fatale" (2012); 'Boardwalk Empire' (2010); L.A. Noire game (2011); 'Jessica Jones' (2015); 'The Expanse' (2015); Christopher's 'Ray Electromatic' books (2015); BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017); 'Altered Carbon' (2018); 'Babylon Berlin' (2018).

Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, as the villains in the 1941 film version, directly inspired Jabba the Hut and Salacious Crumb respectively in STAR WARS: Return Of The Jedi (1983).

Also Watch:


Additional Period Classics:

- "The Postman Always Rings Twice", by James M. Cain (1934)

- "The Big Sleep", by Raymond Chandler (1939)

- "The Talented Mr. Ripley", by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

by William Wylie

◼ The Superman.

The main inspiration for Superman and superheroes.

New god or fallen angel? A meditation on unlimited power and the use and abuse of it.

Leads to:
The Super Human.

▶▶▶ Superman (1938) and his Fortress Of Solitude; Spider-Man (1962) ; Marvelman/Miracleman (1982) ; Dr. Manhattan in "Watchmen" (1986); Iron Munro (1987); UNBREAKABLE (2000) ; Chaykin's "Legend" (2005); 'Fringe': "Night of Desirable Objects" (S02/E02, 2009); CHRONICLE (2012).

by Maxwell Grant

◼ Hell's Angel.

Art by George Rozen.

The Vigilante.
Hell's methods for Heaven's ends.
Creates both the moral avenger and the bloodthirsty vigilante at once.

Leads to:
Who knows what evil lurks in the heart?

▶▶▶ Heaven's Demon: the moral avenger

▸▸▸ Doc Savage + The Shadow = Dent's The Avenger (1939); The Shadow + Zorro = Batman (1939) ; Fantomah (1940); The Spectre (1940) ; The Spectre + The Shadow = The Phantom Stranger (1952) ; The Question (1967); BILLY JACK (1971); Man-Thing (1971); Ghost Rider (1972) ; Etrigan The Demon (1972); Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan (1973); Wolverine (1974); Guy Fawkes + The Shadow = Moore and Lloyd's "V for Vendetta" (1982); Robert Smith + The Shadow = The Crow (1989); DARKMAN (1990); Lady Death (1991); Phantom Lady + The Shadow = Ghost (1993); Witchblade (1995); The Spider in "Planetary" (1998); Michael's 'Sisterhood' books (2003); Malmont's "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" (2007); 'Arrow' vigilante team (S06, 2017).

▶▶▶ Hell's Angel: the sociopathic killer

▸▸▸ Mr. A (1967); 'The Executioner' books (1969); DIRTY HARRY (1971); DEATH WISH (1974); The Punisher (1974); TAXI DRIVER (1976); Judge Dredd (1977); Deathstroke The Terminator (1980); Elektra (1981); The Vigilante II (1983); the Wolverine spoof Lobo (1983); The Comedian from "Watchmen" (1986); Cable (1986); Marshall Law (1987); Spider-Man + Deathstroke = Deadpool (1991); everyone in Miller's "Sin City" books (1991); Spider-Man + The Shadow = Spawn (1992); Azrael (1992); the parody Magog from "Kingdom Come" (1996); 'The Shield' (2002); The Blue Knight in "Astro City" (2003); 'Dexter' (2006).

by Kenneth Robeson

◼ The Man of Tomorrow.

Art by James Bama, 1964.

The Pulp superhero.
The supreme man.
Scientist, adventurer, crimefighter, athlete.

Leads to:
The modern Hercules. The action hero.

Doc Savage's group of skilled aides with disparate personalities -The Fabulous Five- are the original super-team, inspiring: Challengers Of The Unknown; the Fantastic Four; the Fearsome Five; Buckaroo Banzai And His Honk Kong Cavaliers.

Doc's arctic retreat for scientific experiments, the Fortress Of Solitude, inspired Superman's.

▶▶▶ Superman, his name Clark (1938), and the Fortress of Solitude (1958) ; James Bond (1953); Reed Richards and the Baxter Building (1961); Race Bannon in "Jonny Quest" (1964); Doc Samson in "The Hulk" (1971); Doc Caliban in Farmer's 'Caliban/Grandrith' trilogy (1969); Doc Phoenix in "The Oz Encounter" (1977); Zarkon and the Omega Team in Carter's pentalogy (1975); the adventurer Indiana Jones and his torn shirt (1981) ; Stevens' "The Rocketeer" comic (1982); The Adventures of BUCKAROO BANZAI (1984) ; BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986); Mr. Braunze in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1994); Doc Savage + teen fantasy = Lara Croft (1996); Doc Sidhe in Allston's two books (1995); Tarzan + Doc Savage + Superman = Tom Strong (1999) ; Doc Brass in "Planetary" (1999); Byrd's homage "Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom" (2003); Lord Kraven in "The League of Heroes" (France, 2005); Doc Savage in the First Wave comics (2009).

Also Read:

- "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril", by Paul Malmont (2006)
A fictional mash-up where Pulp writers Walter Gibson (The Shadow) and Lester Dent (Doc Savage), along with L. Ron Hubbard, H.P. Lovecraft, and mystery guests, fight to save Chinatown from a shadowy menace.

- "The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown", by Paul Malmont (2011)
The follow-up, where Heinlein, Asimov, de Camp, Hubbard, and special guests conduit Tesla's inventions to stop Hitler.

48) "Who Goes There?",
by John W. Campbell, Jr.

◼ The Thing.

1982 film poster, by Drew Struzan.

Alien infiltration.
The short story that inspired the THING films.
Read it free here.

Leads to:
Arctic horror. Alien changelings.

Leave it alone., dept.
The conceptual relay chain: Poe's "Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838) implied something unusual lay in the South Pole. ▸▸▸ Verne's sequel "An Antarctic Mystery" (1897) brought an expedition to find out. ▸▸▸ Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (1931) said something might be frozen in the ice. ▸▸▸ And his editor, Campbell, now shows why it should stay there.
Don't. Melt. Polar. Ice.

▶▶▶ Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" (1951); INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956); THE BLOB (1958); ALIEN (1979) ; 'V' TV series (1984); THE HIDDEN (1987); PREDATOR (1987); THEY LIVE (1988); 'The X-Files', "Ice" (S01/E06, 1993); 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', "The Adversary" (S03/E26, 1995); MIMIC (1997); The X-FILES: Fight The Future (1998); Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher" (2001); The Thing game (2002); 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007); PANDORUM (2009); PROMETHEUS (2012); HARBINGER DOWN (2015); 'Helix' (2014); INFINI (2015); 'Fortitude' TV series (2015); ANNIHILATION (2018); 'The Terror' series (2018).

Also Read:
- "The Things", by Peter Watts (2010)
Short story that parallels the 1982 movie, told from the alien/s point-of-view.

Also Watch:
-- THE THING From Another World (1951)
-- THE THING (1982)
-- THE THING (prequel to the '82; 2011)

by Richard Matheson

◼ The Contagion, and Zombie Apocalypse.

◼ Viral vampires.
The crucial shift from monsters created by the supernatural to monsters created by science.

Leads to:

Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" + "The Last Man" = "I Am Legend".

Richard Matheson's work has been adapted as: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957); 'The Twilight Zone', "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (S05/E03, 1963); 'Star Trek', "The Enemy Within" (S01/E05, 1966); Spielberg's 'Duel' (1971); Kolchak, 'The Night Stalker' (1972); Karen Black in 'Trilogy Of Terror' (1975); SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980); WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998); STIR OF ECHOES (1999).

Three official films were made from the novel: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964); THE OMEGA MAN (1971); and I AM LEGEND (2007).

Contagion: The book introduced the concept of viral apocalypse.
▸▸▸ Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain" (1969); King's "The Stand" (1978); Butler's "Clay's Ark" (1984); 12 MONKEYS (1995); Atwood's "Oryx and Crake" (2003); Vaughan and Guerra's "Y: The Last Man" (2002) ; [REC] (Spain, 2007); Soderbergh's CONTAGION (2011); RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011); 'Mars', "Contagion" (S02/E04, 2018).

Vampire virus:
'Ultraviolet' (UK, 1996); DAYBREAKERS (2009); del Toro's "The Strain" (2009); STAKE LAND (2010); 'The Passage' (2019).

Zombies: When George Romero couldn't get the rights, he changed the vampires to zombies with his NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968), redefining them into a new genre that still refuses to die.
▸▸▸ Cronenberg's RABID (1976); Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video (1983) ; Hooper's LIFEFORCE (1985); the Shadowrun video games (1989); Rob Zombie; the Silent Hill games (1999); Boyle's 28 DAYS LATER (2002); the Resident Evil game (1996) and RESIDENT EVIL films (2002); the Reavers in 'Firefly' (2002) and SERENITY (2005) ; "Marvel Zombies" (2005); "World War Z" (2006); SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004); the Black Lanterns (2009); "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (2009); ZOMBIELAND (2009); THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012); "The Walking Dead" comics (2003) and the 'The Walking Dead' TV shows (2010) ; Roberson and Allred's "iZombie" comic (2010).

> The Contagious Age: Overwhelmed by Vampires, Viruses, and Zombies in the 21st Century

by Ian Fleming

◼ The Spy.

Art by Pat Marriott, 1957

Bond. James Bond.

Leads to:
The Action Adventure Spy.

▶▶▶ The Spy Craze
'Danger Man' (1960); 'The Avengers' (UK, 1961); Prohías' "Spy vs. Spy" (UK, 1961); Modesty Blaise (1963); 'The Saint' (1962); 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' (1964); Black Widow (1964); 'Jonny Quest' (1964); Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. (1965); 'The Wild, Wild West' (1965); 'Get Smart' (1965); 'I Spy' (1965); 'Mission: Impossible' (1966); 'The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.' (1966); Matt Helm (1966); Our Man Flint (1966); 'The Prisoner' (1967); the 'Valérian and Laureline' graphic novels (1967); Secret Six (1968); Pureigāru / Playgirl (Japan, 1969);
'Lancelot Link' (1970); The Human Target (1972); Shang Chi and Leiko Wu (1973) ; 'The Six Million Dollar Man' (1973); le Carré's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (1974); THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1975); 'The Bionic Woman' (1976); Jimi Hendrix + James Bond = Sabre (1978);
Jon Sable (1983); 'MacGuyver' (1985); 'Remington Steele' (1982); the Metal Gear games (1987); "Ghost In The Shell" manga (1989);
LA FEMME NIKITA (1990); The Invisibles (1994); 'Aeon Flux' (1991) ; 'Harriet The Spy' (1996); Ethan Hunt and the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE films (1996); AUSTIN POWERS (1997);
Abrams' 'Alias' (2001) ; '24' (2001); SPY KIDS (2001); 'XXX' (2002); 'Kim Possible' (2002); Jason Bourne (2002) ; Johnny English (2003); the CODY BANKS films (2003); 'The Middleman' TV series (2006); 'Chuck' (2007); 'Fringe' (2008); 'Archer' (2009); THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE (Sweden, 2009);
'Nikita' (2010); HAYWIRE (2011); 'Person of Interest' (2011); 'The Bletchley Circle' (2012); IRON MAN 3 (2013); 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' (2013); KINGSMAN: The Secret Service (2014); 'Agent Peggy Carter' (2015); ATOMIC BLONDE (2017).

Also Watch:
-- all the James Bond films, from 1962 till now.

Everything Is Connected

These two books sum up most of this list,
while opening the past to new futures.

by Philip Jose Farmer

◼ Wold Newton.

Art by Richard Amsel, 1973

'All Pop Culture is true and interconnected.'

In the early 70's, 'genre' fiction and films were reevaluated as valid art forms when fans became scholars. Films were restored, comic strips and books archived, art houses packed, college courses taught.

Nicholas Meyer brought historical context and retroactive depths into his bestselling Sherlock Holmes revival, "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution". Phillip Jose Farmer went far wider: he pretended all the great heroes of literature were real and related, which he detailed in exhaustive family trees.

In essence, he took cues from comic book continuity, with its revisions and crossovers, and applied it to the literary and cinematic sources that had spawned those hero concepts, bringing it all full-circle. This 'Wold Newton' universe inspired continued waves of responsive revisionism in films, series, comics, and books for decades.

This is the first book.

Leads to:
The interconnected mythos of cultural history.

▶▶▶ Comics Redux:
"Justice League of America" #144, the interconnected origin (1977); Roy Thomas' "All-Star Squadron" of Earth 2 (1981); Chaykin's "The Shadow" (1986); George R.R. Martin's alt-superhero "Wild Cards" anthologies (1987); DC's Elseworlds graphic novels (1989); Moore and Gebbie's "Lost Girls" (1991); Ellis and Cassaday's "Planetary" (1998) ; Moore and O'Neill's "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman" (1999) ; Moore, Zander, and Ha's "Top 10" (1999); Marvel's "Earth X" books (1999); Willingham and Buckingham's "Fables" comics (2002); Cooke's "The New Frontier" maxi-series (2004); Moore, Moore, and Reppion's "Albion" (2006); "Fantastic Four: True Story" meets classic Literature characters, several from this Canon (2009).

▶▶▶ Comics Team-Up:
After the epochal "Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man" (1976) oversize comic, cross-company team-ups became an exponential event, spreading wildfire since the '90s.
Examples include:
"Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk" (1981); ; "X-Men/Teen Titans" (1982); "Magnus, Robot Fighter/Nexus" (1993); "The Punisher Meets Archie" (1994); "Ghost/The Shadow" (1995); "Superman vs. ALIENS" (1995); the Amalgam Comics which fused DC/Marvel icons into one, such as Doctor Strangefate and Iron Lantern (1996); "Star Trek/X-Men" (1996); "Superman/Madman" (1997); the long-delayed "JLA/Avengers" (2003); "Darkman vs. Army of Darkness" (2003); "Superman & Batman vs. Aliens & Predator" (2007); "Batman/The Spirit" (2007); "Batman/Doc Savage" (2009); "The X-Files/30 Days of Night" (2010); "Terminator/RoboCop" (2011); "Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who" (2011); "Robotech/Voltron" (2013); "Tarzan/John Carter" (2013); "Star Trek/Planet of the Apes" (2014); "Wonder Woman '77 meets The Bionic Woman" (2016); "Future Quest", in which all Hanna-Barbera cartoons meet (2016); "Barbarella/Dejah Thoris" (2019).

▶▶▶ Screen Team-Up:
'Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider' (1983); ZELIG (1983); WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (1988); FORREST GUMP (1994); the TOY STORY films (1995); the SHREK films (2001); 'Once Upon a Time' (2011); WRECK-IT RALPH (2012); THE LEGO MOVIE (2014); READY PLAYER ONE (2018); GLASS (2019).

52) DOC SAVAGE: His Apocalyptic Life,
by Philip Jose Farmer

◼ Wold Newton II.

1975 paperback with art by James Bama (foreground) and Walter M. Baumhofer (background)

Farmer expanded and refined his 'Wold Newton' cosmology with this second book.

He then extended his idea of interconnectedness to real historical figures in his "Riverworld" books.

Leads to:

Crossover contexts:
• Meyer put literature into real history.
• Farmer treated literature as a real history.
• Paul Malmont posited real writers living the pulp fiction they wrote, with "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" and "The Astounding, The Amazing, and The Unknown".

Pulp Team-ups:
DC's "First Wave" comics, with Doc Savage, Rima, The Spirit, The Avenger, and Batman together (2009); Dynamite's "Masks", teaming a pulp pantheon of The Shadow, The Spider, The Green Hornet, Miss Fury, and Zorro (2012).

Farmer brainstormed the path to retroactive Steampunk and Crossover rethinks:

Farmer's novel "The Other Log of Phileas Fogg" and the short story "After Kong Fell" (1973); Estleman's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes" (1979); Jeter's "Morlock Night" (1979), an early Steampunk book ; Meyer's TIME AFTER TIME (1979); Stevens' The Rocketeer (1981); Newman's 'Anno Dracula' books (1992); Mignola's 'Hellboy' comics (1993); Rennie and Irving's "Necronauts" comic (2000); 'The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne' (2000); Gaiman's "American Gods" (2001); Gaiman's "A Study In Emerald" (2003); Otomo's STEAMBOY anime (2004); the Lofficier brothers' annual "Tales of the Shadowmen" anthologies (2005); the Robert Downey SHERLOCK HOLMES films (2009); 'Da Vinci's Demons' (2013); Goss' "The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter" (2017).

By the twentieth century, with wider literacy, schools, and libraries, these varied books from across two centuries became a loose Canon of imaginative literature inspiring young people.

From these fundamental works they created the first Comic Strips, Comic Books, and Classic Films. Taken together, their ideas forged most of our Pop Culture today.


-- A TRIP TO THE MOON (France, 1902)


-- AELITA: Queen of Mars (Russia, 1924)


-- THE LOST WORLD (1925)

-- METROPOLIS (Germany, 1927)




-- THE MUMMY (1932)


-- KING KONG (1933)


-- THE 39 STEPS (1935)

-- FLASH GORDON serial (1936)

-- PÉPÉ LE MOKO (France, 1937)

-- BUCK ROGERS serial (1939)

-- REBECCA serial (1940)


-- THE WOLFMAN (1941)

-- CAT PEOPLE (1942)

-- THE BIG SLEEP (1946)



• "Little Nemo In Slumberland" comic strip, by Winsor McCay (1905)

• "Krazy Kat" comic strip, by George Herriman (1913)

• "Polly and Her Pals" comic strip, by Cliff Sterrett (1920s era)

• "Tintin" by Herge (1929)

• "Buck Rogers" by Philip Francis Nowlan and Dick Calkins (1929)

• "Flash Gordon" comic strip, by Alex Raymond (1934)

• "Terry and the Pirates" comic strip, by Milton Caniff (1934)

• "Prince Valiant" comic strip, by Hal Foster (1937)

• "Tarzan" comic strip, by Burne Hogarth (1937)

• "The Spirit" by Will Eisner (1940)

• "Superman" by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (1938)

• "Batman" by Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson (1939)

• "Wonder Woman" by William Marston and H.G. Peter, with Joye Hummel (1941)

• "Captain Marvel", by Otto Binder, C.C. Beck, + (1941)

• "Plastic Man", by Jack Cole (1941)

• "Miss Fury", by Tarpé Mills (1943)

• "Uncle Scrooge", by Carl Barks (1947)

• "Pogo" comic strip, by Walt Kelly (1948)

• "Peanuts" comic strip, by Charles Schultz (1950)

• the "EC Comics" line, by the usual gang of geniuses (1950)

Music Player!

200 songs inspired by the books above!
(in order according to the list)

Rockabilly! Swing! Psyche! Soul!
Garage Rock! Jazz! Reggae! Soundtracks!
Folk! Punk! Funk! Surf!

© Tym Stevens

See also:

- The Canon 2: 50 More Books That Created Modern Pop Culture!, with Music Player

- The Canon 3: 50 Recent Books That Created Modern Pop Culture!, with Music Player

- 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - Its Transcendent Influence on all Pop Culture, with Music Player

- How STAR WARS Is Changing Everything!

- The Big Bang of STARSTRUCK: The Roots and Branches of Lee and Kaluta's Space Opera

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