Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Old comics and DIY censorship

In the past week, what with being forced to stay at home in isolation and all that, I decided to put some order in the growing pile of books, magazines and other papers that are slowly but steadily taking possession of my house.
We have been on a permanent state of warfare with a rat, in the last few weeks, and piled-up paper is not a good thing.

And in this way, while digging on a long-forgotten shelf, I found a few re-issues of old volumes of L’Eternauta, an Italian magazine that in the 1980s published color and black and white comics by Argentine and other Spanish-language artists and the occasional American or French story. It was built along the same lines of Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal, and it was the gateway for many long-standing passions of mine – first of all for artists such as Carlos Trillo or Juan Jimenez, or Vicente Segrelles.

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Back from Lovecraft Country

So last night I saw the last episode of Lovecraft Country, the HBO series based on Matt Ruff’s book. And while I found some episodes to be below par, all in all I must say it was a nicely satisfactory adventure.

Granted, I believe “Lovecraft purists” (whatever that means) will find the series objectionable because it is not “properly Lovecraftian” (whatever that means), the same criticism that is usually leveraged at the scenarios for The Call of Cthulhu, the roleplaying game. And it’s a fair criticism, and a few episodes of the series do feel like write-ups of someone’s Call of Cthulhu games. But hey, they certainly were good games I’d have loved to sit through.

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Horror and adventure

There is a very attractive call for stories that cross horror with adventure, and when I saw it I thought “Ah, that’s a job for me!” … but in two days I doodles a lot, and came up with nothing.
Which is disheartening, because… well, because writing is my job and my idea of fun, and I have always loved adventure.

So I started going through all the resources I had about adventures.
And here is what I found that got me writing.
I thought I’d share.

Now that the adventure angle is covered, I’ll just need to add horror.
And I’ve found an idea in that direction, too, inside this video.
I’ll keep you posted.


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Geishas, real women, and Lovecraft Country

It was weird, in a way, watching the sixth episode of Lovecraft Country, last night. One of the two best episodes in what I still feel like an uneven series, fraught with some “typical” HBO problems, Episode Six is set in Korea during the Korean War, and centers on a local girl in love with American movies, and serving as a nurse in an hospital. I won’t say more not to spoil you the fun.

What made the experience surreal was that I had spent part of the day,so to speak, in Korea – first, re-watching the classic Train to Busan for the next episode of the podcast I co-host with my friend Lucy, and secondly because I’ve been reading a very interesting book that puts everything in a different perspective.

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All set for Halloween

This morning, a rather surprised-looking delivery guy dropped in front of my door a crate containing a Kickstarter Exclusive box of Tales of Evil, the all-Italian horror boardgame designed by my friend Antonio Ferrara, and produced by his Escape Studios.

Tales of Evil is a boardgame inspired by books like It and TV series like Scooby Doo and Stranger Things – in it, you can play one in a gang of meddling kids, exploring an old dark house.
It is heavy on pop culture references and has its tongue firmly in cheek.

An interesting mix of boardgame, choose-your-adventure book, roleplaying game and alternate reality game, Tales of Evil is absolutely gorgeous and, in the English edition, is masterfully translated.
Just sayin’.

Now I know what we’ll do on Halloween night.


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An idea for a new series

Ideas are everywhere. Last night I was recording the new episode of my podcast, Paura & Delirio, about the 2001 French movie Brotherhood of the Wolf, by Christophe Gans. And as we were chatting about the two leading ladies on the movie, my friend and partner in crime Lucy enthused about the blade-tipped fan used by Sylvia (Monica Bellucci), and we both lamented the fact that the main character at the end decides to go away with the pretty but rather insipid Marianne (Èmilie Dequenne) instead of accepting the offer to work as a secret agent for the Vatican teamed up with Sylvia.

And I pointed out I’d pay to watch a series of movies – or a good, high budget TV series – based on that concept.
Or, missing that, write it.
No, really, follow me…

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