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Shoggy Evolution. The Shoggoths are ten years old this autumn. They burst into my life at the end of a particularly interesting October in 2008, evolved from a Japanese frog that then became my third Cthulhu. But the Great Old Dreamer subsequently acquired a more traditional shape, with tentacles and claws and wings and all things properly Cthulhian.
The Shoggies were in them very brief early days cast in the role of minions of the catnapper of R’lyeh, but almost immediately became self-regulating and took a life of their own, which event delighted me no end. Mind you, it helped that I had re-read At the Mountains of Madness again and finally made up my mind that the Shoggoths had had such a bad press, up to that moment, because H.P. Lovecraft was barking up the wrong tree, the silly old xenophobic bugger.
To cut a long story short, the Shoggoths were re-cast in the part of heroes. My kind of heroes: freedom fighters, rebel slaves, free radicals; a regular bunch of protoplasmic Maroons one and all.
They’ve come a long way since then. They have established their uniquely personal world and taken over mine. They have made art and music, written poetry, developed the Shoggy Brotherhood Tango and invented their own highly unorthodox version of Sumo wrestling. They have morphed into ill-behaved sub-atomic particles, starred in remakes and alternative versions of several movies, including Battleship Potemkin and Spartacus and posed for famous paintings like Velazquez’s Las Meninas and Goya’s Los fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo. Rosie has even written a sequel to Lenin’s What Is to Be Done?
They also triggered a stampede of Lovecraftian spoofy pastiches (collectively renamed Myffos), so that not only Shoggies emerged but also Cthulhus, Shub-Nigguraths, Old Ones, Deep Ones, Yithians, a Mother Hydra, a GorgoMormo and a Yog-Sothoth or two. They have been the best compost my mind’s garden has ever known. They continue to grow and multiply, with no signs of exhaustion in sight.
Happy birthday, my rubbery darlings.
Scribe’s Note. As well as the customary birthday card, I break my own rule of never posting anything longer than the mini rants that often attend my doodles and I’m posting a link to the rejuvenated version of an uplifting, stirring account of how the beloved monsters came into my life, all those ages ago, in another time and another place and when the wench I then was is now not exactly dead but certainly closer to the grave that she’s ever been. Sic transit gloria Gorgon. 🙂
The story so far.
The full graphic version.

Sinners and Saints

Ivan the Horrible. Aka The Russian Plot (La trama rusa.)
Here, have a sort of anti-saint to pray to or curse fluently whenever anything goes wrong in your lives. For it’s now official: Russia in general and Putin in particular are responsible for all the ills that plague this feckless world. This, and that “burden of proof” or “innocent until proven guilty” are things of the past (along with privacy and freedom of speech). Our dear leaders have usurped rights and privileges once the strict preserve of emperors or popes and now, when they speak they speak ex catedra. So, if they say that the Russians did it, that’s good enough. Why bother with evidence and forensics and CSIs when you can just pontificate as you please and the people, or at least the Guardian, the BBC and El País, will say Amen?
I said that this Russophobia saga would run and run and run, didn’t I?
Have a grand weekend!
Lobby. There’s a new Wise Old Snake in the hood. Very powerful, very big medicine. The frail webby tadpoles have come to plead her support and a favour or two. Make Exxon Mobil vanish without a trace, I shouldn’t wonder.

Walks on the Wild Side

In the Forest. Oops Ibn Niggurath, our fearless traveller and adventurer, has hit the road again with his faithful companion, Meena the Wee Worm. Today they have reached the forest of the Numinous Muffin Trees where they’ve come upon sundry residents of that most sheltering and comforting of jungles: four refugees from the Great Catalan Catastrophe, an itinerant Unhappy Frog, the twin sister of the White Bird of Moderate Doom and one of the many wise Sneaks (-not-snakes) that are to be found habitually in any place where subtle and sensitive creatures relocate to escape the horrors of End Days Crapitalism and its huge discontents. Meena thinks they should stay a while, as the escalivada at the local inn is unsurpassed and the scrambled Shantak Bird’s eggs ain’t half bad either.

Monster Morals

Vindication. Last night the monsters were restless. I could hear them shuffling around in the cellar, muttering indistinct mutterings, so I went down to see what was going on and to suggest some hot chocolate to soothe their savage breasts. The New Arrival was going into one, that’s all. In the end I made coffee for everyone and joined the bash. We all like the New Arrival very much.
This is for the Chagossians, who never ever again will see their beloved Diego Garcia and will die of broken hearts in some shoddy shanty town in Mauritius. And for the Australian Aborigines -or First Australians, take your pick; they still are being slowly but relentlessly exterminated as you read this.


Mystic Squid. Say hello and goodbye to Mitzy the squid. Until yesterday she was quite an ordinary squid, doing her squiddy bit in the watery depths. But last week she had an epiphany whilst watching the latest global warming denier’s rant on YouTube. So, she decided that the oceans were becoming far too uncool to stick around and then and there decided to opt for transcendence. That is, she grabbed ink sack, egg bag and her latest brood and initiated the process of sublimating to a higher, quieter and more rewarding state of being. She’s nearly there, although her redirected electromagnetic field is still a wee bit thin. But before the day is out she’ll be SomeWhereElse. We all wish her and her offspring much fun, happiness and a long, groovy life. And wish we could do the same, of course.

One Heart, One Mind

Red Twins & Co. I have nothing more to add to the collective wisdom of the young misses and their pals. Well, perhaps an extra cheer or two for don Julio, light of my life, pillar of my sanity, rescuer of my Blues and all that. Wake up, people!


Shoggy Bears. The Mad Muse strikes again, Bumba help us all. And although the pic bears (pun not intended) no relation whatsoever to the subject, I dedicate it to my family and friends in Barcelona who today, September 11, sodding Diada Day, must be suffering from horrible, hardly containable urges to grab the matches and take to the streets to incinerate a few yellow ribbons. I could dedicate it to myself, for that matter, since I feel as strongly as they do about this disgraceful caper that has divided the country in two and spoiled the fun of and for nearly everybody, with the exceptions of: 1) the indepes, who are all having collective stiffies just thinking about how virtuous and superior they are, and 2) the Chinese shop owners, who are making a killing selling cheap estelades and tacky yellow ribbons and silly T-shirts with even sillier slogans. Happy Diada, then, xiquets. May the senseless chickens you have set free to riot and destroy come home to roost on your thoughtless doorsteps sooner rather than later.
Please note that the Shoggies have sprouted temporary ursine feet and partial claws to appear more bear-like. But this is a private joke between me and Hayao Miyazaki so I’ll disclose no more

Monster Dialectics

Boo2. I was going to translate the diatribe of Boo2, a cousin of the wee monster of a few weeks ago, but I’ve reconsidered. His language is hardly fit for a respectable site such as this and his terms of abuse can flay skin off folks’ backs even at such cybernetic remove. So here’s the gist of his lament instead. He says, basically, to stop it at once! That Them Who Ought to Stop It are making everybody miserable, and ruining the planet, and killing all the joy out of life, and stealing his rightful job of scaring people. And, worse sin of all, they are upsetting his little monster-dryad mate, who’s very young and vulnerable. He also says that if Boris Johnson had any decency he’d auto-euthanize right away.
Now you might think that, foul language included, this is a very long proclamation for such a small speech bubble, but MonsterTalk is even more concise than Latin and German put together. A little goes a long, long way. And this particular dialect is even more tersely summarizing that most. So use your imagination if you’re in the mood for some highly colourful vituperation. Then double it and you’ll roughly approximate the fire and the passion of Boo2’s harangue.
Have a fab weekend.

Home Remedies

Bug Patrol. Been a tad fragile lately, so I recruited the Bug Patrol to come and lend a claw or two in the fight against The Blues. Since these chappies never travel alone, they brought their friends and relatives and all in all we hand a grand, righteous groovy time of it. Please note the presence of the Celestial Sardine and Manu, the Bird of Reason, both absent from my neck of the wood for quite a while because they are both in great demand elsewhere; the Sardine for her outstanding skills as an all-’round entertainer and Manu simply much needed, end of. If you ever get overwhelmed by the uncommon amount of politico-mediatic bullshit floating about right now, drop me a line and I’ll send the merry brigands your way. Free of charge, por la cara. There. Have a maaarvelous week.
And here’s today’s lesson of my very own Spanish for Beginners:
With this picture you can explain to a child what the Right is all about: you climb to the top standing on everybody else’s things and if you see that you’re going to topple and bust your ass you snatch the the flag and use it as a parachute.
And a wee “obituary” to cheer you up.

Welcome to ZombieLand!

Wee Chaps. Here’s one of those helpful thingummy bobs that are as good for one thing as for the next: pandemic Russophobia, subservient approval of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, uncritical belief in phantom chemical attacks, “floods” of refugees paranoia… you name it. If everybody is at it, it must be true, right? Well? I mean, even the representatives of the Master Races* say so! At which point I recall my dad’s comeback when, once, I pestered him beyond endurance with a (possible dumb) request, and he said no again, and I cried, in my childish despair, “But everybody’s getting one!” He turned his soft brown eyes on me and said, very quietly and serenely “And if one day everybody decides to run headlong into the sea and drown, will you follow them, too?” I was never the same after that. In as much as dads can ever rock, my dad rocked.
*Just in case you woz wandering what a Master Race looks like, here’s a helpful link to a wee sample. NB. There’s lots more in the same vein in that YouTube page. Have fun!
And in the best BBC/Guardian style, here’s the other side’s version:
So much for the much feted Patreon, then, innit?