What 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.
Believe it or not, I was being restrained when I colored this.
What do you get when an Aquarian Age mad scientist plays mix and match with the corpses of a bunch of Hippies?
The color helps but I still think I should have drawn a background. Live and learn.
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.
Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Cassilda: Indeed it’s time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!
Is there a hollow earth/subterranean worlds story that doesn’t feature some sort of natural light source to stave off the dark?
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.
We are very tiny creatures in a very very very very big universe.