Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spiderman Vs ... the Lovecraft Mythos?

You be the judge.

Below are both parts of the 1970 Spiderman cartoon. The plot could be considered Mythos, and while the drawing is sparse, and the dialogue stilted, it has some merits. There are "yig" creatures, froggish creatures, and caricatures of perhaps Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu. As it is ultimately revealed to be an invasion of a nightmare unreality, this may also fit one version of the Mythos. If nothing else, it may strike some of you as nostalgic.

The Youtube color has not held up. I also find that the actors oddly pronounce "dimension" as "dimensia (dim-en-shu)", and once mispronounce "secreted (see-creh-ted" as "secreted (see-creet-ed)". The entire item lasts roughly 19 minutes.

A little research shows that Lin Carter was involved in the story plot (see below).

part 1

part 2

Episode Cast and Crew
Stars Paul Soles Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Peg Dixon Mary Jane Watson/Betty Brant/Polly/Sue J. Jonah
Paul Kligman J. Jonah Jameson/Jake/Additional Voices
Bernard Cowan Narrator/Additional Voices/Dr. Magneto/Cowboy

Ralph Bakshi

Ira Turek
Lin Carter
Fred Halliday

Linwood Vrooman Carter originally from Florida, was a stalwart at fan conventions, and an erstwhile artist and poet prior to the Korean War. Afterwards, he landed solid jobs in advertising and editing, eventually becoming a star with L Sprague de Camp in promoting sword and sorcery, a rebirth of Robert E Howard for better or worse. Apparently, Carter landed at least a one season writing gig with the animated cartoon, and Chrispy recalls that Carter was an ocassional contributor to the feature magazine sized Marvel Conan comic in the 70's.

Halliway, I find little on. He was a comic writer (Spiderman comics and at least this episode) and a cooperative on the controviersial adult rated Felix the Cat "The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat" (1974)

1 comment:

Luis G. Abbadie said...

I think what you took as a mispronounciation of "dimension" as "dimensia" may be actually the name of the fifth dimension, "Dementia-5".

The Lin Carter connection has shocked me! There must be a very interesting story behind this episode. There are actually three versions of it! The art, characters and plot were -if I remember right- recycled from an equally-nightmarish episode of another cartoon, Rocket Robin Hood: (the cat always creeped me out terribly for some reason)

Somebody told me that the episode was recycled a third time for yet another cartoon, but I don't remember which one it was, Hercules maybe.

Uncharacteristically for me, I hadn't thought of it in Lovecraftian terms until now. But I am even more intrigued by the entire development -just why was this weird episode used again and again? How did Lin Carter get involved?


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