HEXES the sometime spectra, Very Late March 2015 Edition

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POST-PUNK ICONS REIMAGINED AS MARVEL HEROES

A.V. Club reports:

Brazilian Artist Butcher Billy has reimagined a number of post-punk and new-wave icons as Marvel superheroes (he did DC earlier), and the results, a few of which are below, are perfect. Siouxsie Sioux turns into the Scarlet Witch, Mark Mothersbaugh becomes Iron Man, and John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) turns into a scowling, bird flipping Wolverine. While it’s interesting to think about how these icons’ personalities would mesh with each superhero, it’s also interesting to think about how much better or worse each of these musicians would be at being superheroes than their fictional counterparts. Would Billy Idol-Thor even be worthy of carrying Mjolnir? Does Spider-Ian Curtis have the wherewithal to keep dealing with the Green Goblin day in, day out? Is Hulk-Morrisey somehow more mopey than Bruce Banner? Knowing how insane comic book mythology is, the answers to these questions and more are probably already at a comic book shop near you. — Eric Lindvall

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Terminus Dream Swarm (Drax Version)

by WIZARDS TELL LIES

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The Life Work of Juan Diaz

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An episode of the mega-shitty Alfred Hitchcock Hour that actually does not suck! Based on a story by Ray Bradbury!

Young Juan Diaz gives cemetery caretaker Alejandro 40 pesos to rent a burial plot. He soon falls fatally ill, and warns his wife, Maria, to not let Alejandro cheat her out of the two-year lease for which he paid. One year later, Alejandro asks Maria for more money, or he will disinter Juan’s mummy and place it in the catacomb. Maria and her son Jorge sneak into the catacomb, and frighten Alejandro as they walk Juan’s mummy out of the cemetery. Alejandro asks Ricardo, the Chief of Police and Maria’s brother-in-law, to confiscate Juan’s mummy from the Diaz home, but Ricardo refuses. Maria puts Juan’s mummy on display as a tourist attraction. Written by Lewis Amack

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FIRE WOMAN: The Concept!

Fire Woman composite

I always have dozens of half-baked story ideas flying around inside my head at the same time, and sadly few of them ever see completion. Most of them just fade away, replaced other bonehead ideas that will also never bear fruit.

But one of them stuck w/ me, for a curious reason: because I could never figure out what the fuck it was actually about. I was enamored with the concept of a series of stories—or a comic series—called Fire Woman, the title coming from an affectionate appellation shared by me and a friend, a song by The Cult, and a fictional band I created for my previously mentioned friend, see below. Smashing image by Ellen Rogers.

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Fire Woman! I couldn’t let it go, even though I didn’t have a single scene or character etched in my head. I kicked around a “fallen Goddess” comic book storyline in which I would do my very best to imitate Neil Gaiman’s Sandman but it never took hold. Frustration!

Then, in recent weeks, it all came together.

The concept: instead of continuous story w/ a stable of returning characters, each installment of Fire Woman would be a self-contained stand-alone episode, akin to an anthology series. Ah, but each episode would always contain certain elements to be reinvented each time. The elements would be:

• A woman in danger, which would focus on some aspect of her personality

• Fire (obviously)

• and the inclusion of a fictitious old tattered comic book called Fire Woman which would serve as a talismanic object and inspire each story’s heroine to victory.

Which would be VERY hard to do again and again—but I like the challenge. It would be so wonderful! The freaky way the beat-up Fire Woman comic would have to be inserted in the story every time. I dig it.

Anyway, that’s the concept.

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RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

ghoulnextdoor offers:

Exercise music for the cold of heart and the sluggish of blood.*
Image: Image: Oltretomba Colore #73

Track List:
Zombie, Natalia Kills | Shallow Grave, The Birthday Massacre | Phantasmo, Asmodeus | Run For Your Life, The Creepshow | Coffin Rocket, Dead Vampires | Tonight, There Will Be No Survivors, Zombina and the Skeletones | Maneater, The Koffin Kats | Tomb Of The Zombie Queen, Sasha & The Shamrocks | Blind, DANCE WITH THE DEAD

I am having a difficult time putting together a workout playlist because I pretty much can’t stand the artists and lyrical content of most music that’s good for making the blood pump faster. Ideally I want music that *sounds* (beatwise, I guess?) like Ke$ha, or Lady Gaga or Rhianna, but they should be singing about hexes and mummies and changelings and poison gardens and grave robbing.  Why does this not exist? Not everybody wants to hear songs about being all up in the club, or whatever.

SO this is what I have got so far, but it’s not even close to what I want, and I would love suggestions. Also, I’m sure people are going to mention bands like The Cramps, and they’re great, but I mostly try to keep my playlists current to artists within the last 10 years or so.

You’ll notice that I have included a fair amount of psychobilly/horror punk (I guess you could call it), but I am not overly attached to that genre; it’s just that these folks are the only ones singing about the things I want to hear.

Criteria: must be fairly recent (last 10 years or so), must have a driving beat that would make someone want to propel themselves forward, must have a macabre/monstrous/witchy vibe.

Let me know what you’ve got!

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Total Solar Eclipse

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Key & Peele – Substitute Teacher

Thanks, Malcolm!

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Катюша (Katyusha)

This video is a single channel trailer for a three channel video piece based on material collected at Pyramiden, a mining community established by the Soviet Union in the Svalbard territory in the high Arctic. At its peak Pyramiden was home to more than 1000 miners and their families. It was evacuated in two days in 1998 leaving a ghost town. The three channel version of “Katyusha” will refer to three characters. The “Guide” takes the form of a grey sea bird, the Northern Fulmar. As the piece progresses we discover clues to the identity of two “Lovers”, a ballet dancer and a basketball player. The elaborately painted floor of the basketball court in Pyramiden is a central motif, as is the abandoned ballet studio in the northern most corner of the town – once the most northerly ballet studio on earth.

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FIRE WOMAN #41 by The Creep in the Art Dept (nsfw)

A blast from the past, circa 1978.

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“I don’t know art—but I know what I like!”

The Head of Pablo Picasso

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ANGRY MORON #6

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Our Moon Is An Alien UFO Spaceship Parked In Orbit Around Earth, UFOlogists Claim

via inquisitor.com

Moon

UFOlogists have proposed that the moon, believed to be a natural satellite of Earth, is, in fact, a huge spaceship, a gigantic UFO, parked in orbit around the Earth by an advanced technological civilization.

The proposal that the moon is an artificial satellite of Earth, specifically an alien spaceship, a massive UFO, parked in orbit around the Earth, is known as the Spaceship Moon Theory, Artificial Moon Theory, or Alien Moon Theory.

According to proponents of the Spaceship Moon Theory in the UFO community, there is evidence to suggest that the moon was built by an alien civilization with science and technology much more developed than ours.

The Spaceship Moon Theory claims that the moon, as an alien UFO parked in orbit around the Earth, has a hollow inside. In other words, the moon is a hollowed-out artificial structure containing an underground base serving also as the interior of a gigantic UFO spaceship.

Much, much more at inquisitr.com
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MOONBASE ALPHA BLUEPRINTS
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 MOON GODDESS
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SELENE was the Titan goddess of the moon. She was depicted as a woman either riding side saddle on a horse or in a chariot drawn by a pair of winged steeds. Her lunar sphere or crescent was represented as either a crown set upon her head or as the fold of a raised, shining cloak. Sometimes she was said to drive a team of oxen and her lunar crescent was likened to the horns of a bull. Selene’s great love was the shepherd prince Endymion. The beautiful boy was granted eternal youth and immortality by Zeus and placed in a state of eternal slumber in a cave near the peak of Lydian Mount Latmos. There his heavenly bride descended to consort with him in the night.

A number of other goddesses were also associated with the moon, however, only Selene was represented by the old Greek poets represented as the moon incarnate. Other Greek moon goddesses included Pasiphae, the Leukippides, Eileithyia, Hekate, Artemis, Bendis, and Hera (who sometimes doubled for Selene in the Endymion myth).

via

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WATER EVERYWHERE

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The New York Times reports:

Oceans trapped under ice appear to be pretty common in the solar system and one of them, on a small moon of Saturn’s, appears to be quite hot.

This week in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists reported evidence for hydrothermal vents on the Saturnian moon Enceladus, with temperatures of its rocky core surpassing 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) in spots. The discovery, if confirmed, would make Enceladus the only place other than Earth where such chemical reactions between rock and heated water are known to be occurring today — and for many scientists, it would make Enceladus a most promising place to look for life.

“The most surprising part is the high temperature,” said Hsiang-Wen Hsu, a scientist at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and lead author of the paper. “But that’s the number we could derive.”

Meanwhile, in a paper published Thursday in The Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, another team reported signs of another under-ice ocean, on Ganymede, the largest of Jupiter’s moons. Scientists are already convinced that there is a large ocean, also covered by ice, on another Jovian moon, Europa. NASA’s Galileo spacecraft had also found hints of hidden water on Ganymede and on another of Jupiter’s moons, Callisto.

The new research, using the Hubble Space Telescope, fits with the earlier hints. “This is now stronger evidence for an ocean,” said Joachim Saur, a professor of geophysics at the University of Cologne in Germany and the lead author of the Ganymede paper.

“Surprising is the understatement,” Christopher P. McKay, a planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., said of the multitude of watery moons.

“After spending so many years going after Mars, which is so dry and so bereft of organics and so just plain dead, it’s wonderful to go to the outer solar system and find water, water everywhere,” said Dr. McKay, who studies the possibility of life on alien worlds. He was not involved in either of the papers.

For the Enceladus findings, Dr. Hsu and his colleagues based their conclusions on minuscule dust particles that NASA’s Cassini spacecraftencountered as it approached Saturn and after it entered orbit. Instruments on Cassini determined that the particles, less than a millionth of an inch in diameter, were high in silicon but had little or no metals like sodium or magnesium. Dr. Hsu said the dust was probably silica, a molecule of one silicon and two oxygen atoms, the building block of the mineral quartz.

The researchers were also able to trace the dust to Saturn’s E Ring, and the material in the E Ring originates from Enceladus, from plumes that emanate near the moon’s south pole. “That’s the circumstantial part of the work,” Dr. Hsu acknowledged.

They performed laboratory experiments to see which conditions could produce the silica particles. The result was alkaline water, with a pH of 8.5 to 10.5, heated to at least 194 degrees. The results fit in with findings last year by other scientists who suggested that Enceladus concealed not just pockets of water but a sea at least as large as Lake Superior.

The mystery is how the interior of Enceladus, just 313 miles wide, grows that hot. A moon that small probably does not have enough radioactive elements at its core to provide continued warmth. A chemical reaction between water and rock called serpentinization could also provide some heat, but the primary mechanism is probably the tidal forces that Saturn exerts on Enceladus.

“The amount of energy being dissipated currently, as well as the location of heating, is not well understood,” said Terry A. Hurford, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “So it is possible that heating can bring water to those temperatures locally.”

The earlier evidence for an ocean on Ganymede came from magnetic measurements during flybys by the Galileo probe, which suggested a conductive layer below the surface. Ice is not a good conductor. Saltwater is. But the readings could also be explained by oddities in Ganymede’s magnetic field.

In the new research, the Hubble telescope scrutinized Ganymede for seven hours. It could not see below the surface, but it observed the shimmering lights of Ganymede’s auroras. As Jupiter rotates, once every 10 hours, its changing magnetic field causes the auroras to sway. If Ganymede were frozen, computer simulations showed, its aurora would sway by 6 degrees. But the salts of an under-ice ocean would generate a counteracting magnetic field, and the auroras would sway by only 2 degrees.

The auroras swayed 2 degrees. “It was exactly like all our computer modeling and all our theory predicted,” Dr. Saur said. “It was right on.”

The scientists are now applying the approach to Io, a fiery world that certainly does not have an ocean of water. But it might have an underground ocean of magma that would similarly dampen the swaying of auroras. The technique could one day be used to explore planets around distant stars and see if they, too, might have oceans.

As a place for life, Ganymede is less promising, because the ocean looks to be sandwiched between layers of ice and not in contact with rock. By contrast, Enceladus appears to possess all of the necessary ingredients — heat, liquid water and organic molecules — and a future probe could analyze the water by simply flying through the plumes.

“My mantra now is follow the plume,” Dr. McKay said.

By

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DRACULA WON’T DANCE

Dracula wont dance

“But why not?” they asked.

“Because there is no Moon tonight,” the Count replied. “When there is no Moon, there is no dance.”

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Antropophagus by Mater Suspiria Vision

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THE AWAKENING | GOBLINFRUIT STUDIO

In 2011’s maddening and baffling THE AWAKENING, the lovely Rebecca Hall goes racing through a haunted boarding school looking for ghosts…

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Only to find…

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… a curious creation by GoblinFruit Studio | Carisa Swenson!

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Okay, maybe not, but it sure looks that way!

It’s Carisa’s birthday tomorrow, Friday the 13th! Drop her a line on twitter. Tell her Drax sent ya.

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HEXES the sometime spectra (nsfw)

HEXES_march_2015

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CERES

Ceres near approach

Ceres is seen from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on March 1, just a few days before the mission achieved orbit around the previously unexplored dwarf planet. The image was taken at a distance of about 30,000 miles (about 48,000 kilometers).

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles (61,000 kilometers) from Ceres when it was captured by the dwarf planet’s gravity at about 4:39 a.m. PST (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California received a signal from the spacecraft at 5:36 a.m. PST (8:36 a.m. EST) that Dawn was healthy and thrusting with its ion engine, the indicator Dawn had entered orbit as planned. “Since its discovery in 1801, Ceres was known as a planet, then an asteroid and later a dwarf planet,” said Marc Rayman, Dawn chief engineer and mission director at JPL. “Now, after a journey of 3.1 billion miles (4.9 billion kilometers) and 7.5 years, Dawn calls Ceres, home.” In addition to being the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet, Dawn also has the distinction of being the first mission to orbit two extraterrestrial targets. From 2011 to 2012, the spacecraft explored the giant asteroid Vesta, delivering new insights and thousands of images from that distant world. Ceres and Vesta are the two most massive residents of our solar system’s main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The most recent images received from the spacecraft, taken on March 1 show Ceres as a crescent, mostly in shadow because the spacecraft’s trajectory put it on a side of Ceres that faces away from the sun until mid-April. When Dawn emerges from Ceres’ dark side, it will deliver ever-sharper images as it spirals to lower orbits around the planet. “We feel exhilarated,” said Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). “We have much to do over the next year and a half, but we are now on station with ample reserves, and a robust plan to obtain our science objectives.” Dawn’s mission is managed by JPL for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. Ceres Big Follow Dawn’s progress and discoveries.

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NIGHT GALLERY

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In the last six months I’ve suffered from intense insomnia so I’m usually awake at 2:30 in the morning—which is when retro-minded local channel METV unspools episodes of Rod Serling’s ultra-dark anthology series, Night Gallery, a show I hadn’t seen since I was a child and at the time scared the living shit out of me. The opening theme used to terrify! If you haven’t clicked the youtube link above, do it. Right now. Man, that music? The images? Even the type design! Then again, I was a frail child. Anyway. There’s something really strange and fascinating about Night Gallery 40 years after the fact: the curator of The Gallery, Mr Serling, wrote a mere a handful of original and adapted scripts that are jaw-droppingly b-a-d. Which is fairly bizarre. Serling was arguably a true and passionate visionary in television, his Twilight Zone episodes still play surprisingly well. Yet a mere decade later his meager Night Gallery scripts are—at best—less than compelling and—at worst—head-scratchingly laughable. (In fairness: Night Gallery was at the end of Mr Serling’s career, and on camera he is visibly in poor health. But that doesn’t change the fact that the scripts he provided for the show truly sucked.) MOVING FORWARD. I wanted to include Night Gallery in this edition of HEXES because of the mega-creepy paintings in each episode by Tom Wright.

c582665428317910b0673ac9a9a9f384 daughter-of-darkness2 tumblr_mnvh4hd7Wc1re11g7o1_1280 You can watch every episode of NIGHT GALLERY on HULU for free.

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JIM STARLIN

was easily the most influential comic book writer and artist to me when I was growing up, more than Lee, Kirby, Matsumoto, Tezuka, Nakazawa, Okazaki, Moore, Ellis, Ennis, Gerber, anybody. 4e3b6190654b2a623edae53ec9b8f13f

YAH. See what I’m talking about?

The early to mid-seventies was a fabulous time for Marvel Comics. DEATHLOK, KILLRAVEN, HOWARD THE DUCK, TOMB OF DRACULA— it’s like the entire editorial department were all stoned! But my favorite was easily

JIM STARLIN’S WARLOCK

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“For I am the SAVIOR, The GODSLAYER, The DEMON,

The AVENGING HAND OF LIGHT…

ADAM WARLOCK!”

Um, yeah. This was not Spider-Man. This was trippy, strange, experimental—even existential. Adam Warlock had to commit suicide to prevent himself from becoming the arch-villain whom he would ultimately become thousands of years in the future. It was weird and strange and heartfelt, and beautifully drawn.

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Absolute Interruption

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On the morning of March 11, I lost more than three thousand words I had written for both Jim Starlin’s Warlock and the following segment, Porn. They were complex sentences hard-fought for complex ideas, and I find myself so dispirited by this loss that I just can’t return to the mental battlefield in an effort to recapture/rewrite them. I guess I’m just a big wimp. I’m sorry. But I’ve other shit to attend to, and I must move forward.

The remainder of this edition of HEXES will be purely visual. Apologies.

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MUSIC

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The Tides of Men’s Souls Belong to Me by ghoulnextdoor

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PORN

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WITCHCRAFT

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THE PLOT AGAINST THE GIANT Illustrations by Maxim Peter Griffin

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adolfdraxYes copy

Yes, yes—I’ve mentioned this project several times in the last six months and I still refuse to talk about it. But that doesn’t mean I’m able to resist sharing the gorgeous work of Maxim Peter Griffin, whose work and wanderings dazzle on a daily basis. You really should follow him; he is endlessly energetic, and he will lead you down amazing and wondrous paths.

The story? Okay, twist my arm. Here are some clues.

It is a story about Adolph Hitler. (Duh, ya think?!)

The story takes place between 1939 and 1945.

The title and source comes from a poem by Wallace Stevens.

THE PLOT AGAINST THE GIANT

First Girl

When this yokel comes maundering,

Whetting his hacker,

I shall run before him,

Diffusing the civilest odors

Out of geraniums and unsmelled flowers.

It will check him.

Second Girl

I shall run before him,

Arching cloths besprinkled with colors

As small as fish-eggs.

The threads

Will abash him.

Third Girl

Oh, la…le pauvre!

I shall run before him,

With a curious puffing.

He will bend his ear then.

I shall whisper

Heavenly labials in a world of gutturals.

It will undo him.

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My Muse rises behind me in a swirl of smoke and ropes. Her lips kiss my neck. “Just write it, Drax. Just do it.”

Okay, okay, okay.

I will begin again.

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