The Good Doctor – Black and White

FuManchuBWWhat the hell, I thought, I’ll draw Fu Manchu. Not because I’m a fan. He just seemed fun to draw.

My exposure to the character of Fu Manchu is pretty limited. I’ve had to two experiences with him.

I first encountered him in the original Master of Kung Fu comic book series. The protagonist, Shang Chi, is the son of Fu Manchu. He discovered that his father was evil and so turned against him. Fu Manchu is THE villain for most of the early issues in the series and, frankly, I got tired of him. He was a bad guy who wore out his welcome.

I met him again a few years ago when I watched The Mask of Fu Manchu. I watched the movie because Boris Karloff was playing Fu Manchu and I wanted to see how he pulled it off. A friend of mine describes the film as “charmingly racist” and, from my whiteboy viewpoint, I would agree. Fu Manchu is portrayed as evil but, it seems to me, he had a good reason to hate white folks. The white protagonists are dull, smug and sure of their superiority. Fu Manchu might be a bad guy but he had style and imagination. I got the impression that Fu Manchu had once tried to fit in with Westerners and was rejected merely because he wasn’t white. I enjoyed the movie.

Neither version of Fu Manchu, however, was compelling enough to me to make me want to seek out the original novels or see any other films. As far as I know, the character has only been gotten yellowface portrayals by white actors. Maybe if an Asian actor played him, in a film written and directed by Asian, I’d give the character another try.

 

 

Wilbur’s Little Friends – Black and White

WilbursPetsBW

I’ve always felt sympathy for Wilbur Whateley. He was a smart guy in town full of ignorant, inbred hillbillies. Not nice ignorant, inbred hillbillies either. If being intelligent wasn’t bad enough, he was also half … something not of this earth, not of this galaxy, not of this plane of existence. Even if he’d tried to get along with his neighbors there was only so much sharing he could do with them before they discovered how much he wasn’t like them.

He was also young. He was only eighteen years old when he died. He might have been nine feet tall with a full beard but he was barely an adult. If he was sure that he had no place among humanity, it makes perfect sense that he’d want to call his “real” father to come get him – and cleanse the world of all those unwelcoming homo sapiens.

Even then he might not have felt he measured up. After all, he could still pass as a human being. His twin brother looked more like his father. When Yog-Sothoth came through the gate Wilbur couldn’t know if It would reject him for being too much of this Earth.

The King In Yellow – Black and White

KingInYellowBW

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.

Surrilana Vistas – Black and White

SurrilanaVistaBW

Morgo the Mighty takes place in a series of massive caverns located beneath the Himalayas. Each cavern is lit by a different degree and spectrum of light. The deeper one goes into the caves the brighter the light becomes. The explanation of where the light comes from is a bit ridiculous but probably no more so than the idea of a series of massive caves, teeming with life, located beneath the Himalayas.

If I ever do manage to do a rewritten and illustrated version of the story I plan to have the light originate from a different source than in the original novel. That source will probably be no less ridiculous than the source in the original.