Peripheral Attention

Ever since we started Reckoning of the Dead, which even in its infancy is receiving some Internet notice, I’ve seen that Metropollywog gets a few daily views. Not a lot, just two, three, or maybe four, but some. I don’t regularly update this site because Reckoning takes a lot of work and I generally don’t have time to spare. So the views go unnoticed, or rather, noticed but not responded to.

It’s like poking a corpse. Is it really dead? Will it rise up? Might it spring to “life” like a zombie?

Doubtful, but here are a few thoughts just to appease those who take the effort to randomly check in.

Reading: This summer I acquired a small load of Chaosium fiction, compilations of a few of the Mythos writers organized by subject (stories concerning the Orient Express for example) or author (like stories by Pierre Comtois). Most of these came my way through various used bookstores I visited, and somewhere along the line I got a copy of Robert E. Howard’s Mythos tales, Nameless Cults. I’ve been reading it at night before falling asleep. Honestly, it’s not great. The compilation is a nice piece of work, and the notes and introductions by Robert M. Price are very good, but the material itself . . .

It made me realize that it wasn’t so much Howard’s written Conan stories that I fell in love with as a lad, but Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Tony DiZuniga’s adaptations of those stories for Marvel Publishing’s Savage Sword of Conan magazine. Thomas’ written scripts cut the dross from Howard’s often repetitious stories, and Buscema’s pencils and DiZuniga’s inks are wonderful, beautiful illustrations. Nameless Cults is essentially the same story retold by Howard ad infinitum – an Aryan protagonist defeats a subhuman, “dark” enemy. Yes, those thoughts you are thinking are correct. In a modern context the stories border on repulsive.

There are hidden gems, like the note Howard wrote to Lovecraft that inspired the One-Page Scenario “Suicide Hour,” but it’s mostly bad, and I wonder why I continue to read it.

Writing: All I can say is that its a scenario for Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed., its working title is “Plague,” and it will be for sale (cheap!) at some point soon.

Playing: I’m blessed with a full schedule of upcoming games. While this week is mostly a prep week, on Saturday I’m running “Horror on the Orient Express” for our long-term campaign group (still needs a name), Monday I’m running the second half of “Suicide Hour” for the Monday night gang at our local comic book store, and Wednesday I’m playtesting “Plague” for the Wednesday Night Wombat group.

And I would like to my wife, KC Ryan, for letting me pour this much energy into gaming. Thank you sweetie!


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