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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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Inexpensive cosplay ideas

Some cosplayers go to great lengths and expense to recreate iconic characters from movies, books, news, and comics. Not this guy… Thanks to Alexander Kravets and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Remember the Lowcostplay guy from Thailand who creates crappy cosplays using stuff he finds at home? Turns out, he has a serious competitor in Russia. Alexander Kravets from Moscow explores deeper levels of ridiculousness by recreating popular movies, TV scenes, games, or pictures of celebrities using only the things that he can find around him.

Alexander discovered his passion for cosplay in 2015 and since then he’s been brightening the days of almost 55k followers on Instagram. He calls his work zero-budget, “suitable” cosplay which he creates using stuff any person would be able to find at home: frying pans, hair dryers, various food products, towels, toys, household items or even his dog. Who says eye-catching costumes have to cost a fortune?”

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

Low Budget Cosplay

 


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Meet the Monsters – Imps

MtMheader

Meet the Monsters is a web series providing background on the mythological creatures featured in MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES.

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IMPS

According to German mythology, imps are lesser goblins who often seek humans on whom to commit mischievous, not evil, acts. Imps are described as small, wild and willful; in some cultures they are synonymous with fairies. They are sometimes depicted as unattractive small demons. Although immortal, imps could be harmed with magical weapons or kept out of one’s house with magical wards.

There’s a certain pathos associated with imps, as their mischief is meant to attract human attention and friendship, but typically produces the opposite effect. Even in “successful” situations, the imp remains true to its nature, and continues to play pranks on its human host. Hence the term “impish” is often used today to describe someone who is a trickster or practical joker.

imp01Given their quasi-demonic appearance, some believed that imps were servants of witches and warlocks, sometimes known as familiars. Such familiars, in the form of the all-too-common black cat, black dog, or toad, were considered proof of witchcraft during the era of witch hunts.

imp02Imp legend in some cases associates imps with a container or object. Some imps were kept within a container, like a bottle or lamp. Others were not contained within, but magically bound to an object like a sword or jewel.

Imps appear in the games Forgotten Realms and Dungeons & Dragon, and in the books THE BOTTLE IMP by Robert Louis Stevenson, LIVES OF THE NECROMANCER by William Godwin, THE IMP AND THE CRUST by Leo Tolstoy, The Oz series by L. Frank Baum, MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES and WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY by Henry Herz.

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From Robert Louis Stephenson’s THE BOTTLE IMP by William Hatherell

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Meet the Monsters – Hydras

MtMheader

Meet the Monsters is a web series providing background on the mythological creatures featured in MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES.

mgnr

HYDRAS

According to Greek and Roman mythology, the Hydra of Lerna (aka Lernaean Hydra, or simply Hydra) was a multi-headed snake-like water monster. The Hydra’s counterpart in Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian mythology was a seven-headed serpent. The Hydra’s lair was the spring of Amymone, a cave at Lerna lake in the Argolid region of Greece. The Hydra served as a guard for Lerna lake, which was considered an entrance to Hades’s underworld.

 

hydra02The Hydra was the offspring of the monsters Typhon and Echidna (herself half snake and half woman). These two begat other famous monstrous spawn, including Cerberus (the three-headed dog who guarded the gates of Hades), Chimera (part lion, part goat, and part dragon), the Sphinx (a monster with the body of a winged lion and woman’s head), the Nemean lion, and the Caucasian Eagle (who subsisted on a daily diet of Prometheus’s liver). Imagine the family dinners…

hydra03The seven labors of Hercules began with him slaying the Hydra’s sibling, the Nemean lion. Hercules second labor was to defeat the Hydra. According to legend, Hercules approached the spring of Amymone and fired flaming arrows into the cave. As Hercules cut off heads from the Hydra, he discovered its rather disturbing ability to grow back two heads in place of a severed one. Hercules’s nephew Iolaus suggested using fire to cauterize the Hydra’s neck after each decapitation to prevent regeneration. This gruesome innovation succeeded. Finally, Hercules dipped his arrows in the Hydra’s poisonous blood. He subsequently put those poison arrows to good use fighting the Stymphalian Birds, the giant Geryon, and the centaur Nessus.

hydra04Hydras appear in the movies Jason and the Argonauts and Hercules, the fantasy miniatures game Warhammer, and the books BIBLIOTHECA by Apollodorus, PERCY JACKSON: THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan, and MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES by Henry Herz.

Interestingly, two real-world animals now bear the names of hydra and echidna.


Gustav Moreau’s 19th-century depiction of the Hydra

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Pollaiuolo’s Hercules and the Hydra (c. 1475)

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Caeretan black-figure hydra (c. 346 BC)

 


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Delightfully Macabre Disney Heroines by Jeffrey Thomas

This is my favorite Disney heroines homage to date. Who knew they were so evil? Collected by Donna Dickens at http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/delightfully-macabre-disney-heroines

The awesome artwork is by Jeffrey Thomas at http://jeftoon01.deviantart.com/

1. Snow White – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

2. Blue Fairy – Pinocchio

Blue Fairy - Pinocchio

3. Cinderella – Cinderella

Cinderella - Cinderella

4. Alice – Alice In Wonderland

Alice - Alice In Wonderland

5. Wendy – Peter Pan

Wendy - Peter Pan

6. Aurora – Sleeping Beauty

Aurora - Sleeping Beauty

7. Maid Marian – Robin Hood

Maid Marian - Robin Hood

8. Ariel – The Little Mermaid

Ariel - The Little Mermaid

9. Belle – Beauty and the Beast

Belle - Beauty and the Beast

10. Jasmine – Aladdin

Jasmine - Aladdin

11. Nala – The Lion King

Nala - The Lion King

12. Pocahontas – Pocahontas

Pocahontas - Pocahontas

13. Esmeralda – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

14. Megara – Hercules

Megara - Hercules

15. Mulan – Mulan

Mulan - Mulan

16. Jane – Tarzan

Jane - Tarzan

17. Kida – Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Kida - Atlantis: The Lost Empire

18. Tiana – The Princess and the Frog

Tiana - The Princess and the Frog

19. Rapunzel – Tangled

Rapunzel - Tangled


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Eight reasons why Karl Urban is bad-ass

I just watched the movie Dredd, and I have to say that Karl Urban is bad-ass. Beyond being a wonderful actor for action roles, he has managed to outdo his Lord of the Rings co-star Orlando Bloom in terms of appearing in a range of fantasy, sci-fi, and other big movie franchises. Let’s take a look, shall we? Here are eight reasons why Karl Urban is bad-ass:

vaako

Lord Vaako in Riddick (2013) and Chronicles of Riddick (2004). He’s got a necro-mullet, black armor, and a triple-headed halbard. Plus Thandie Newton and Alexa Davalos.

Star Trek (2008) Directed by: J.J. Abrams

Dr. McCoy in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek (2009). OK, so he’s not the fighter that Kirk and Spock are. But he’s still got that wry wit. Plus Zoe Saldana

dredd

Judge Dredd in Dredd (2012). His unrelenting Sly Stallone imitation, a voice-activated gun that fires bullets, high explosives, incendiary, and armor piercing rounds. Plus Olivia Thirlby.

blackhat

Black Hat in Priest (2011). No, that’s not a typo. He’s a vampire – a rare evil role for an actor who typically plays good guys. And, no surprise, he wears a beat-up black hat.

grimm

John Grimm in Doom (2005). Plus the BFG 9000. The most powerful weapon in the Doom video game, it fires giant balls of green plasma. It can clear entire rooms of foes, and is often an instant kill if a target takes a direct hit from the projectile.

kirill

Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy (2004). CIA officers are paying $3 million for the “Neski files,” documents about the theft of $20 million seven years earlier. Kirill originally frames Jason Bourne by planting his fingerprints and proceeds to kill the agent and the source, stealing the files and money.

eomer

Eomer in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and The Two Towers (2002). He becomes King of Rohan upon Theoden dying in battle. “I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.”

caeser

Julius Caesar in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1996-1998) and Xena: Warrior Princess (1996-2001). I suspect it is to his everlasting embarrassment that he also played a blond, winged Cupid. Oh the horror!

This post can also be viewed at the San Diego Children’s Book Examiner.