Corpus Libris

Corpus Libris

I quite enjoyed this video by Jacco Kliesch inspired by #bookface and made in collaboration with Stadtbibliothek Erlangen, the public library in the German city of Erlangen, and I think you will too. Happy Friday!

The Green Knight

The Green Knight

Hey, it’s a random Thursday in February. Let’s all watch the trailer for everyone’s favorite 14th-century Arthurian legend, The Green Knight.

As I said over on Twitter, this looks weird enough I might actually drag myself to a theater to see it. (A rarity these days.) I have to admit I’m a sucker for almost everything A24 releases these days (The Lighthouse, Hereditary, Lady Bird, The Witch, Ex Machina, The Lobster, the list goes on and on), I think Dev Patel is great, and I find David Lowery​ intriguing. Plus, I’m getting Holy Mountain/Tale of Tales vibes from this teaser, which is not a bad thing.

What do you think?

Color Out of Space

It’s Just a Color…

The Colour Out of Space is arguably one of the best—if not the best—H. P. Lovecraft stories. Plus, this is directed by cult-filmmaker Richard Stanley. (I highly recommend his film Hardware and the documentary Lost Soul, which tells the story of Stanley’s attempt to create a film based on H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau.) And to top it all off, this is being produced by the folks who made Mandy—one of my favorite campy horror flicks!

I’m sold. Sign. Me. Up.

Four Notes

Four Notes

What do Gregorian chants, Lion King, Star Wars, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Shining have in common? The Dies irae. A particular little four-note melody from early Minor Mode chants which pop-culture has coopted as the music of suspense/death/horror. Vox breaks it down, and it’s fascinating:

Why Early Cartoon Characters Wore Gloves

Why Early Cartoon Characters Wore Gloves

Ever since I first read it, historian Jason Steinhauer’s excellent 2017 essay “History is Not There to be Liked” has been rattling around in my head. His point of perpetuated myths often becoming more potent than reality has stuck with me. What we think of as normal can often have an unpleasant past obscured by more palatable lore or legend. It can be difficult for a culture to decouple the truth from its feelings toward a beloved myth.

Those thoughts cropped up again (around a less sober topic, surely) after I watched this excellent video from Vox on the reasons why so many cartoon characters wear gloves and the unfortunate connection between early animation and minstrelsy. It’s a nice bit of investigation around the craft of animation and the historical connations therein—worth checking out.

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

The Faux-Language of Piracy

The Faux-Language of Piracy

Ahoy, matey! I know we’re still a few months away from International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but I came across this great video from Cheddar examining the dialect of the foul-mouthed buccaneers from the Golden Age of Piracy.

While we have all heard of walkin’ the plank and dead men tellin’ no tales, the stereotypical language we often associate with those scurvy sea dogs is more myth than reality and heavily influenced by popular culture. You can find out more by watching the video below.