Tag Archives: Words/words/words

M for Maria Gil, N for Nergisamu, and O for Operation Tarasque

Another Trio of Stories!  This time all coming from the later Hedgegrove era when he was contemplating futility, death, and whether or not locking himself inside his house was a good idea.  So lots of fun, cheery things.

M for Maria Gil

First is the lost Shakespearean play “Maria Gil” about a a cursed ship and a test Neptune’s carrying out to see if humans have anything more than greed and shadow in their hearts.  There are two possible endings, and our intrepid narrator also gets to let us know that this probably wouldn’t have been a Shakespearean play.

N for Nergisamu

Next up we go back to Zard (after this we’re taking a long break from Zard) to meet the Beetle Lord of Death and his world of impossible math.  Also, we meet a King who travels to Hell to bring back the soul of a woman whose statue he fell in love with.

O for Operation Tarasque

Finally we end with a shorter story about a Military project in 2003 to create a Fear virus that would temporarily transform people into terrifying monsters, only to have them revert back to human form when killed so that terror would stop and everyone can get along.  SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t work.

I’m aware these stories are getting longer, and I’ve also realized that some of the earlier pieces are a bit removed from the narrative that’s started to form.  Mostly right now, the plan is to finish off with these 26 entries, then go back and edit everything before looking into publishing.  So… read now before they go into the Vvinni Vault, I suppose.

The 10 Favorite Books

Once again, I find myself in a predicament.  Someone has asked me to send them my favorite book, and as we all know I have problems with choosing a favorite anything.  But I can at least narrow down my list to 10 Favorite Books.  So without any further ado, here they are:

  • House of Leaves: A creeping and mysterious tale that got a lot of people interested when it was published in 2000 because of its experimental formatting.  This could have easily become a gimmick, if it weren’t for the fact that every colored word and blank page, every page-long footnote, every chunk of sticky-note sized text is all adding to the character’s psyche and the mood of the piece.  I have yet to read more Danielewski, but his first novel was more than captivating.
  • Ubik: Another first, this time the first P.K. Dick story I read.  A strangely twisting tale that instantly captivated me and painted a world of immensely imaginative science fiction.  Like with many of Dick’s works we begin with a captivating science fiction concept (Extra-sensory powers), and from there go down a rabbit hole where the reader begins to question the very fabric of reality within the book itself.
  • If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler: A book completely about reading, which makes it simultaneously a brilliant written work and the singular book I would love to adapt into a movie.  Another work which includes a central idea which could become a gimmick if every time the story switched and every time The Reader (both protagonist and yourself) begins again the central idea and conceit of the book becomes clearer and clearer.
  • Crime and Punishment: An exploration of guilt, conscience, and most interesting (for me anyway) obsession.  Dostoevsky is able to write a profoundly fascinating tale which includes many scenes where protagonist Raskolnikov is just walking through streets named K or N.  Also, Porfiry Petrovich, the police detective intent on proving Raskolnikov’s guilt, is one of my all-time favorite literary characters and his interrogation scene where he slowly goes mad is an absolute work of art.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: My Mother read to my Sister and I almost every night growing up.  We would have a story time, where she’d read from a book we didn’t yet have the capacity to do ourselves, and we would listen and marvel for an about an hour then go to bed and have wonderful dreams.  She read the entirety of The Wrinkle in Time series to us, and the most memorable part for me (which technically comes in a later book) may also be what got me first fascinated with the idea of parallel universes.  The book itself is also a brilliant science fiction adventure story bringing in questions of angels, time travel, alternate universes, and dimensions beyond time.  Though it’s true that a lot of why this book is on my 10 List is because of the memories surrounding it, the memories accumulate around this one for a very good reason.
  • Fahrenheit 451: Another book about books and reading, and one of the few instances where the book is adapted into a pretty great movie.  It shows the both the power of the written word as a means of expression and culture and travel and passion, but more importantly it’s a book about the power of ideas and what happens to a world when there is no more expression and a government goes too far out of its way to repress The Idea.  If this book were simply about the rise of television and radio and how it will rot a person’s brain, I don’t think it would be as lasting and as adaptable as it most certainly is.
  • The Stranger: A guiding philosophical force for me, though I was already familiar with The Myth of Sisyphus, Absurdism, and Existentialism before this (though The Stranger isn’t Existentialist, Camus’ philosophy of the Absurd is markedly different in a few incredibly important ways, mostly: The Point is to Live).  The Stranger touches on many of the points of Camus’ philosophy while being much more digestible and simple than his essays.  Through the protagonist of Mersault, who is an ultimate book protagonist in that he has no wants outside of what external forces demand of him be it society or others’ expectations, the reader is able to understand the absurdity of living for expectations outside of your own and existing for no other reason than to serve a society which itself is absurd.
  • Doom Patrol: The Painting that Ate Paris: I haven’t read many comic books (or graphic novels.  There’s a difference between the two, though I’m not sure what it is and which Doom Patrol falls into.  Probably Comic Books), but I have read all of Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol and it is fantastic.  It’s this compilation that really gets into the heart of how imaginatively insane Morrison’s Doom Patrol was and just what, exactly, being the supergroup “tasked with protecting the fabric of reality itself” meant.  It also helps that this is the compilation that introduces my favorite villain team Mr. Nobody and his Brotherhood of Dada.
  • Animalia: One of the most important books of my childhood, which brought me so much joy seeing it again as an adult at the Albuquerque Zoo that I just had to buy it so I could look over each illustrated letter over and over again.  Animalia feeds into almost all of my obsessions that have been with me throughout my life: Words, Animals, and true-to-life animals wearing silly hats.
  • Timeline: This was my favorite book in Jr. High School, and even though it wasn’t my first Crichton book (that was Congo, I believe), it’s the one that sticks out in my mind.  It continued my ongoing fascination with time travel and science fiction, and it was the first book I read to approach science fiction with a more measured and scientific look.  Outside of the world of memory, it remains an interesting story of causality and time, and a neat medieval adventure story as well.  Is it the best of Crichton’s works?  Probably not.  That might be Sphere.  Timeline also has the distinction of being the work that I was most monumentally disappointed in when it was adapted into a movie.  The movie is absolute garbage and shouldn’t be watched by any means.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • American Psycho
  • Naked Lunch
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Cat’s Cradle
  • The Metamorphosis (by Franz Kafka)
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Les Miserables
  • The Magicians
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Lorax

I for Idakilu and J for Javelin Comics

And we’re officially behind schedule.  For anyone anticipating the next batch of entries at home, I’m sorry but “J” took much longer than expected.  Also, I’d much rather take my time with these and have them done up right than rush on through to get everything done by the end of the year.  At any rate, we’re nearing the halfway point. That’s exciting!

I for Idakilu

Idakilu is first, a giant Catfish God in the Golden City of Zard.  I’m beginning to worry about the number of Zard stories, especially since the next few months we’d be seeing more.  But at the same time, I enjoy visiting this new mythology and working on crafting new stories.  So we’ll probably stay on course with Zard. Probably.

J for Javelin Comics

This one really should have been broken up into several smaller entries- one for each hero – and have ti be a recurring thread much like Zard.  But instead I decided to tackle 70+ years of comic-bookery in one entry, and I think it’s a good one.  I’m not sure if it manages to distinguish itself as a separate entity, or if it’s hitting the “aren’t comic books CRAZY?” joke button over and over.  I’m leaning toward the former.  It’s also interesting that these two have one larger piece of recurring lore and one larger piece that should have been recurring lore.

At any rate, I do think we’ll be visiting some of the writers for Javelin again.

An Unhelpful Guide to the 2016 Blockbusters

For the past few months cinema has been a wasteland.  Zootopia? More like BOOtopia.  Hail Caesar!? More like, FAIL Caesar! Captain America: Civil War? More like Captain AmeriCAN’T: Civil BORE.  Everyone knows that movies that aren’t Oscar winners and aren’t blockbusters are just not trying that hard at being movies.  But thankfully, we can all let out a collective sigh: The sun has risen, the ice has melted, and Summer Blockbuster season is here!  We all have reasons to live again! We can all spend $14 and a bag of popcorn to see these movies!  But just in case you don’t want to pay that price, you can still join in talking about Blockbusters with your coworkers and avoid the humiliation of being “The One Who Doesn’t Watch Movies”. That’s right, as always, I have the most important of our summer Blockbusters this year summarized below.  You’re welcome, America. Captain America.  Civil War: Solved.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3)

The Heroes in a half-shell are back, and this time their up against the greatest evil of all: Tyler Perry’s Madea.  Having not learned “her” lesson in Madea’s Neighbor’s From Hell (when Madea used the dark arts to to get back at a foster mother and her unruly kids), Madea is again playing God resulting in the creations of the hideous monsters Bebop and Rocksteady.  How will our rad Quartet eat their way out of this pizza?  With the help of The Green Arrow!  While our Turtle heroes are fighting the boar-headed Bebop, an arrow flies out and strikes him down, revealing a hooded figure: “Hi, I’m Oliver Queen.  After spending five years in Hell I’ve returned with a mission to save my city. But my old approach wasn’t enough, I’ve had to become someone else, I’ve had to become something else. I’ve had to become: CASEY JONES”- by this time Bebop has waddled away to his monster truck and lived to terrorize another day- “Because archery is a sport, you see”. “Oh yes, this makes sense. Squeak-squeak”, replies Tony Shaloub’s Splinter, who was there the whole time.  Fred Armisen also stops by to voice alien-brain Kraang because Nickelodeon is only going to get this one last movie before TMNT movie before it looses its nostalgia appeal, so they might as well throw everything into this one.  Also expect a surprise cameo from the TMNT’s greatest foe: Pizza Face.

Warcraft (June 10)

This extended video game cutscene tells the story of how a bunch of orcs crossed through a dimensional portal into the human world in order to escape an evil orc-wizard.  Only they then come up against a new evil: racism.  The humans are repulsed by the orcs appearance and refuse to learn their orcish culture, and instead insist that these dimensional outsiders are pure evil and should be killed, their tusks cut off and made into tourist trinkets.  What follows is a human-orc war that all eventually crosses into Elf territory.  When the Elven fields of Elfwhistle (a flower known for its glittery petals and glow-in-the-dark color), the Elves become furious and join the battle, shooting arrows at everything: Including a nearby town where Dwarfs and Goblins exist in an uneasy alliance.  Pretty soon, everything all gets shot to hell and promo for the next World of Warcraft game (Opossum Person Rising) ends the movie with a giant question mark.  It’s up to you to finish the story now!  SPOILER ALERT: You end the story by shouting “Leroy Jenkins!” and rushing into a spider pit.

Now You See Me 2 (June 10)

Also known as “Magician Heist 2: Heist Harder”, we catch up with Morgan Freeman who is now in prison for being black and the “Four Horsemen” who rob banks… WITH MAGIC!  The Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo) break into a computer laboratory with cards, flash paper, and MAGIC(!) in order to expose a deranged tech millionaire and probable magician Daniel Radcliffe.  However something goes wrong and Michael Caine traps everyone in China.  Now the Four Horsemen and their non-white-male magician friend Lizzy Caplan have to magic their way out of the most heavily guarded fortress (China) and hopefully come up with a way to saw open a banking scandal that’s stealing millions of dollars away from the public (because that’s what banks do. Look it up).

Finding Dory (June 17)

The lovable blue tang Dory is back in this sequel to Disney-Pixar’s hit film Finding Nemo.  This time around Dory remembers she has parents (because as we the audience remember, Dory has short-term memory loss, and if we don’t remember that maybe YOU have short-term memory loss! [If you do, consult a doctor, it’s a serious problem]), and she sets out to the Jewel of the Morro Bay in California with her friends Marlin, Nemo, Crush, and Squirt.  Once Dory gets to Morro Bay she finds herself at the Marine Life Institute, where she meets up with a Seven-legged Octopus named Hank and plenty of other whacky fish!  They all swim around and have a grand old time, until it’s revealed that Dory’s Parents were killed and eaten at a seafood restaurant.  Dory is very sad, but then she can’t remember why she’s sad.  At that point, Marlin and Nemo had wandered away, and Dory finds herself all alone with no memory of where she is or what she is doing.  Floating in the open ocean, too forgetful to be confused, she is eventually hit by a boat and eaten by an eel.  Elsewhere in the ocean, Marlin has lost Nemo again and he questions himself on whether he is actually a good father or not, and decides that it’s best for Nemo to be alone.  Nemo then meets Hank, the two bond over their respective issues with limbs, and Hank takes Nemo in as his son and the two become best friends.  The moral: Out of tragedy comes hope. Or maybe: All of your family will one day die and you’re powerless to stop it.  There will also be a funny Loon named Becky.

Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)

Don’t close your eyes, because you’re not going to want to miss a thing: Jeff Goldblum is back and ready to kick people off his plane when the Aliens come bursting out of the chest of the universe again.  “Hold on to your butts”, says scientist Brett Spiner who most certainly didn’t die in the first movie (or maybe he did and robots happened so now he’s alive?), “This is going to be a bumpy ride”.  President Bill “Clinton” Pullman also shows up, now in jail for being the jerk president who let aliens blow up the jerk white house, only this time he’s not going to take the invasion sitting down : “It’s time to suit up and rock and roll!” President Pullman says, activating his energy ring which calls forth the UN general council who all come together in their own robotic vehicles to form UNITRON: EARTH DEFENDER!  Meanwhile Jeff Goldblum stutters his way into our hearts again, and Liam Hemsworth shows up to be handsome.  “Be in a spaceship movie they said”, Hemsworth mutters to himself in a corner, “It’ll be fun they said. Well Ho Ho Ho, I’ve got a laser gun”.  Also, for those of you concerned with “Independence Day” not premiering on July 4th, this is actually meant to mirror the decisive Battle of Carabobo on June 24 1821 during the Venezuelan war for Independence (though actual Venezuelan Independence Day is July 5th).

Swiss Army Man (June 24)

A biography of Karl Elsener, Swiss knife-maker, inventor, and entrepreneur.  From a very young age Elsener (played with aplomb by Paul Dano) knew he was destined for greatness, and after years of working in the Knife Fields of Switzerland (including several years as an apprentice to Swiss Knife-Giant Zug) Karl was able to open his own knife factory.  The film truly takes off in the fateful year 1894 when, after a decade of making commercial surgical instruments and knives, Elsener fulfills his destiny and invents the biggest leap in knife manufacturing since the first bread knife (which, in turn, was instrumental in the invention of sliced bread): Elsener invents the Swiss Army Knife.  Elsener’s name goes down in history, and even the ghost of his father Manfried (played woodenly by Daniel Radcliffe)- the same man who swore that if Karl went into the dangerous field of knifework that he would never become a proper gentleman- has to smile and say softly to Karl “Congratulations, son, you’ve truly become a Swiss Army Man”. Fade to black.

The BFG (July 1)

A little girl is kidnapped by a Giant and taken to his weird farting house, but it’s all okay because he’s not just a giant, he’s a Big Friendly Giant.  It’s also okay because the girl’s parents are neglectful and mean and want to send her away to an evil boarding school where they’ll try to stop the girl’s telekinetic powers from manifesting.  Unfortunately the BFG has problems of his own (and it’s not just the uncanny valley that his CGI dwells in that makes him look like a nightmare coming out of a joint feature of David Lynch and David Cronenberg) in that the other giants want to both keep the BFG from being the girl’s foster father but also want to eat the little girl.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, expect plenty of people to be staring up into the sky in awe and for a warm message about the power of family at the end.  Oh, also there’s a cat.  Expect for the cat to cock its head and mew as a question.  Kids like that, it’s funny.

The Purge: Election Year (July 1)

Following the rise of the Trump campaign as they went from joke to GOP frontrunner (one could call this an improvement ; one almost certainly could), , The Purge offers unique insight into The Big D’s personal turmoil throughout this time.  With almost no time to tell people about the immense size of his hands, seldom a day to spend looking out the giant windows of his various towers contemplating the insects toiling below him, and having to make all of his bad business decisions on the road; The Purge: Election Year shows us the Man behind the El Trumpo mask and reveals a genuinely caring person, a person who feels very strongly about a lot of things like money, coming up with funny nicknames for people, coming up with new nicknames for himself (He’s work-shopping “Mr. T” right now, but is that too racist? Donald wonders if there’s such a thing. We in the audience yell at the screen “Yes, Donald, there is such a thing. There most certainly is such a thing”), money, towers, money, and sending letters to all of the former GOP candidates telling them that he’s won and he’s really handsome and they should be honored to have shared a stage with the Trumpinator.  He was also excited about calling himself “Dangerous Donald”, but Hillary Clinton found that e-mail he wrote to himself and started using it.  At any rate, when elected Donald will put into effect “Purge Law”, making all crime legal for one night a year.  That’s why it’s a The Purge movie.  Donald “The Big Handsome Shark” Trump is the purge.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

Talented Filmmaker Jason Lees has already made this movie.  It’s embedded below. You don’t need to see this in theaters.  I understand you want to support Louie CK, but instead how about you buy seasons of his hit TV Show “Louie”, or his critically-acclaimed TV show “Horace and Pete”.  Talented Filmmaker Jason lees has also made many other movies, some of which even include his adorable pug.

Ghostbusters (July 15)

Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon star as a bunch of ladies out to destroy your childhood.  Even though New York is experiencing a ghost-pocalypse, our trio of so-called “Ghostbusters” set forth to tell children that Santa Claus doesn’t exist and God is dead.  Then they go up to the statue of liberty- symbol of truth, justice, and the American dream- and they punch it in the face!  As if this weren’t enough, original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, and Ernie Hudson show up just to be cursed out and defecated on by this new lady-trio.  Also, Leslie Jones shows up as a sassy black woman and Sigourney Weaver speaks directly to the camera when she says “I hated Alien“.  Australian hunk Chris Hemsworth also makes an appearance, only to be possessed by another racist ghost and destroy what little integrity was left.  By the end of the movie expect not only to be curled in your seat questioning the point of existing in a world that would allow such a monster to exist, but also expect the fall of the once-proud cinema giant that brought us a scene where the Statue of Liberty dances through the streets to the musical stylings of Howard Huntsberry..

Star Trek Beyond (July 22)

Also known as “Oh Yeah There’s Also A New Star Trek Movie This Year”, we catch up with the intrepid Captain Kirk and the fearless crew of the Enterprise on an alien planet outside of Federation control.  Captain Kirk goes against the Prime Directive (*GASP*) in order to help female alien Jaylah (*GASP!*) escape from a tyrannical ruler who has nearly destroyed the Enterprise (*GASP!!!*).  Spock questions Kirk over whether its wise to get involved with lifeforms who have no conception of outer space and are embroiled in nuclear-based territory disputes, Bones says some things about how he doesn’t like space travel, Scotty and his tree-dwarf friend share some banter in the teleportation room, and Sulu and Uhura say a few lines too! Also expect the Star Trek reboot to finally bring back a fan-favorite character as Adam DiMarco is set to play… The Injured Senator (*GASP GASP GASP!*).

Jason Bourne (July 29)

The Government sends out a drone to the Himalayas or somewhere with a message “Jason Bourne: We need you to punch things again please thankyou”. “Ugh. I hate the stupid government. They always want me to punch things. What about what I want?” says Jason Bourne into his pillow “No one understands me except for all these bands I listen to!” Jason Bourne then puts on Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and looks up at the ceiling. “It’s so unfair!” says Jason Bourne to no one in particular.  Julia Stiles as herself then breaks through the wall (As she is known to do) to give Jason Bourne a stern talking-to “You think you have it bad? Why, people mostly remember me from 10 Things I Hate About You or Ghostwriter.  GHOSTWRITER, Jason Bourne, you hear me?  I’ve done Shakespeare and I’ve won awards, but people just think of me as ‘That girl in the movie with a young Heath Ledger. Oh, it’s such a shame what happened to Heath Ledger, he was really going places, that Heath Ledger. Boo hoo hoo Heath Ledger’ What about ME, Jason Bourne? WHAT ABOUT ME?!”. “You were also in that season of Dexter, Julia Stiles, don’t forget about that. And Save the Last Dance.  And the largely Underrated It’s a Disaster” replies Jason Bourne. “That’s right, why I’ve had a long and storied career. How about we take a look?” And they do. For two hours, Jason Bourne and Julia Stiles go through and look at all of Julia Stiles’ many roles throughout film and television. Afterwards expect to have a new found respect for Julia Stiles, and 10 Things I Hate About You, which really is more than just a film with a young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it. So, so much more.

Suicide Squad (August 5)

Suicide Squad represents two big realizations for the DC Cinematic Universe: 1) People like DC villains more than DC heroes, and 2) The DCCU needs to have more fun.  Enter Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), clown princess of crime, and the rest of the Suicide Squad recruited by ARGUS head Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to carry out missions that will likely involve members of the team dying, perhaps even dying to save us all resulting in us reconsidering their status as “villain”.  Will Smith shows up as the Robot-Eyed Deadshot and Ben Affleck’s Batman makes another appearance this summer, just to make sure that we’re not having too much fun.  Also to make sure that we remember that Ben Affleck is now Batman and any ideas we have of a Christian Bale or- God forbid- George Clooney Batman were just dreams (good and bad, respectively) that we’ll have to wake up from if we ever want to see a full on Aquaman movie.  Jared Leto also provides the requisite “actor who decided to go deeper into a role that was really necessary” for the summer, so at least he took that bullet for all of us.  As for the plot of this movie?  Um. Well… Cara Delevingne plays the demon-fighting word-activated antihero The Enchantress, Jai Courtney the mercenary Captain Boomerang who fights with [wait for it…] a boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the skin disorder/experiment gone awry Killer Croc, Hit Rapper Common as Monster T the tattooed man, and Karen Fukuhama as Katana.  Also expect an appearance by the DC Universe’s premier Latina superhero with Alyssa Veniece as… HISPANIC WOMAN!  And, once again, Ben Affleck is the Cowled Scowl Batman.

Pete’s Dragon (August 12)

Deep in the Disney Dungeon Vaults, director David Lowery, CEO of Disney Bob Iger, and Sean Bailey President of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production were writing things on a board. The first thing: DRAGONS. Dragons are big right now.  “Daenerys Stormborn, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Mhysa and Khaleesi of the great grass sea, the unburnt, the breaker of chains, the mother of Dragons” Heck yeah, let’s jump on that.  Item two: darker reboots of former Disney properties. It’s worked great: Alice in Wonderland got a billion dollars, Maleficent got a Subway sandwich deal, these reboots are GOLD.  Item three, this is where David Lowery comes in, Disney needs someone with an edge. “Well…” says David Lowery, clasping a tumbler of fine walt whiskey (it’s like malt whiskey, the barrels its aged in are wearing mickey ears) “I DID edit Upstream color.  Oh, and did you see the episode of Sundance Television’s crime drama ‘Rectify’ that I directed?  What about my Indian Paintbursh Producer’s Award-Winning Crime Drama feature Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?”.  “Okay, Dave, we get it, your good” says Iger “Heck, your Goofy Movie Good”. “What a compliment!” Lowery drops his tumbler.  Item four: America’s Heartthrob Robert Redford.  Item five, going hand-in-hand with Daenerys Targaryen: Bryce Dallas Howard, Daughter of Ron, Queen of last years blockbuster, winner of the golden globe, breaker of racism in The Help.  Item six: We want something huge, but we don’t want to show it.  Like… like if we had a giant dragon in moody woods that was invisible to everyone but a little boy. Item seven: Oakes Fegley, AKA “Young Eli Thompson from the hit show Boardwalk Empire“.
Iger and Lowery drew lines between all of these pieces for hours, trying to come up with a movie.  Finally, Sean Bailey- who had been staring deep into the abyss of the Disney Vault- spoke in a voice that destroys worlds. “We use every little piece. Every little cut. We could make a million on every little piece!”  All three of them looked at each other and smiled and said simultaneously “WATCH THE PROFITS COME ROLLING IN!”

Ben-Hur (August 12)

Also Known as “Sure Let’s Re-make Ben-Hur”, this sword-and-sandals picture is about Roman Slave Ben-Hur (his parents didn’t want to change their slave names when they slave-married) who has a chance to win his freedom in the Colosseum by driving a chariot around and fighting people with swords, sandals, and (of course) punching them over and over again.  Over the course of the movie it’s revealed (through flashbacks accompanied by lens flares and music swells. Also, the flashbacks are sepia-toned) that Ben-Hur was once a Jewish nobleman, but he was betrayed by the Devil Ben Kingsley.  Finally, after one particularly harrowing chariot race against a lion in a chariot, Ben Hur is able to have an audience with the Man Himself: Pontius Pilate.
“Hey Pilate, Ben Kingsley sent me to race lions in the Colosseum even though I was a land-owning white male”
“In my defense, Pontius Pilate, this man is Jewish” snivels the Devil Ben Kingsley.
“Yeah, but… you’re stupid” replies Ben-Hur. He’s got Ben Kingsley now.
“Okay Fellas, let’s stop fighting, ’cause you know what? I’m sick of this. You figure it out, last time I judged someone it turned out they were a messiah to a bunch of people and- I’m just done with all this. Pilate out”. With that Pontius Pilate drops his microphone and gives the finger to the Roman Court. Ben-Hur and Ben-Kingsley look at each other wondering what the world is coming to. The movie ends.

Kubo and the Two Strings (August 19)

Portland-based animation company Laika has provided wonderfully hand-crafted worlds with Coraline and The Boxtrolls, but it looks like this year they’re making the bonehead decision of making an original screenplay (they did this with ParaNorman, and that was only nominated for an Oscar.  you’d think they would have learned their lesson).  Kubo follows a young boy who inherit a magic two-stringed guitar from his dead mother when she released demon twins from the moon into the world (The sisters are voiced by Rooney Mara, in the second sly attempt to get us all to see Ain’t Them Bodies Saints this summer) who are under the command of the nefarious Moon King (Ralph Fiennes, voice of evil).  Along the way Kubo is guided by the ghost of his father (who died as well. Probably a boating accident. Or a mandolin-playing spider monster) who is voiced by the indomitable George Takei, and his talking animal friends Monkey and Beetle (The soundtrack also includes a Beatles song. Presumably this will become a plot point when Kubo has to go Across the Universe to the Octopus’ Garden to meet up with Eleanor Rigby and her Piggies before going Back to the USSR).  The video-game like qualities of Kubo are yet to be determined, however it’s assumed that by the end of the movie Kubo will have to jump through platforms on the final ice-level of the moon, collecting guitar strings while also keeping Beetle safe from wandering into the gaping maws of The Twins.  Kubo and the Two Strings is expected to loose the oscar win to The Angry Birds Movie in 2017.

Southside With You (August 19)

Two words: BARACK. OBAMA.  Movie written, Oscar won, mic dropped.

Hand of Stone (August 26)

The “Summer of Punches” ends with a movie all about Professional Puncher and lead singer for most of Duran Duran’s existence Simon Le Bon (played by Edgar Ramirez) who goes on a quest to punch out the lights of Sugar Ray front man Mark McGrath (Played against type by Usher, in a questionable decision by the Weinsteins) because why did anyone ever like Sugar Ray?  Robert DeNiro co-stars as someone who teaches Duran Duran how to punch good, and punch good he does. PUNCH PUNCH WHAMMO! With that the Summer will be out cold, pun intended.

100 Magics

As the NSA knows, I have spent the past six months or so cataloguing and writing on the 100 types of magic.  I am finally finished, though I probably went overboard on a few of them. Either way, I have done my part. You’re welcome.

  1. Pyromancy: Fire Magic.  Among the most popular of magics what with the ability to cast fireballs and make fire golems, but also the most dangerous of magics what with the strong possibility of lighting oneself on fire and dying.

  2. Illusion: Trick Magic. Bardlebard Nomage was among the most powerful and feared magicians of his time before it was realized that he was only really good at tricking people into seeing or hearing things.  After that he was quickly defeated, because people then knew his 10-foot tall flaming hell-hound was actually a partially blind 7-year-old Pekingese.

  3. Ventriloquism: Voice Magic. The Great Lester, famed Ventriloquist, was both able to speak through his dummy Frank Byron Jr., but he was also able to speak through his student Edgar Bergen before getting into The Great Ventriloquist Battle of 1907.  Lester was also said to be able to throw his voice with such force that he could cause internal hemorrhaging to organs.

  4. Hydromancy: Water Magic. Foremost Gangulon is the most powerful Hydromage in history.  Though he lived in the Perpetual Deadlands, he lived on a ship in a floating island of water and had a best friend who was a Porpoise, a butler of living water, and he even road through the street at night on his mighty water-horse.

  5. Teleportation: Moving objects through space. It is said that there is only one Grimoire of Teleportation, but once a Teleportationist tries to grab it to become more advanced it is sent to another corner of the Earth.  Teleportationists find this annoying, other magicians find it hilarious.

  6. Enchantment: Giving objects magical properties.  Enchanters are only as good as the objects they have.  Take Rory Klaus, a great Enchanter who had a staff that would bring death to anyone who opposed him.  One night while Rory was sleeping the staff was stolen, and soon after he was killed as he had no other magic items.

  7. Invisibility: Camouflage Magic. Xanthar Cancleon is the greatest Invisiblist to have ever lived.  In theory Cancleon is dead now, however by the end of her life not even she knew where she was in her house as she was so well camouflaged.

  8. Memoriamancy: Memory Magic. Opliate Hemofloat was a prodigious Memoriamancer, however he would always forget to protect himself from his own spells and, after years of research, would forget everything and go back to square one.  He died at the age of 32 after having forgotten how to breathe.

  9. Aeromancy: Air Magic. The Birdman of Alcatraz was actually a skilled Aeromancer, hence why birds liked him so much as he could create the perfect air eddies to help them get to the best of insects quicker.  He was never able to escape from Alcatraz, though, as the amount of Wind he would need to whisk him away from the Island would end up destroying the prison and he’d feel REALLY bad about that.

  10. Beastmastery: Animal Magic. Timothy Treadwell was a mighty Beastmaster who for a long time was able to speak with his Bear friends and keep them from eating him.  Unfortunately, as is the case with many Beastmasters, Treadwell made one mistake in the Bear Tongue with a semicolon (Bears are sticklers for punctuation, you see) which ended with his brutal mauling.

  11. Polyglotism: Language Magic. King Arthur once faced a Polyglot by the name of Zoozoom Judypunch.  The battle lasted two weeks, not because Zoozoom was that great or powerful, but because no knight of the round table could understand the Spanish Arthur had been speaking.
  12. Precognition: Future Vision.  The Oracle of Delphi is perhaps the most known Precog of all time, however what isn’t known about her is that she could only see one year into the future and never the present.  Hence why she preferred to spend her time in a cave away from people, as it made her limited interactions much easier to document and remember for the year later when they would actually happen.
  13. Pithanosia: Probability Magic.  Nosmus Catheter was a great Pithanosian, and it was said that nothing- not even the wind or the crowing of a raven- happened by accident around him.  Which only made Catheter’s death more mysterious when a tree accidentally fell on him.  There was no evidence of foul play, but it is widely assumed that Nosmus Catheter, Jr. was tired of his father controlling his life and had manipulated probability to have him killed.
  14. Vuotaika: Size Manipulation. Paul Bunyan is perhaps the most remembered of all Vuotaikans.  A little known fact of Bunyan is that only half of the time was he 10 feet tall, and the rest of the time he was his regular 5 foot three inches, while everyone else was one-tenth of their regular size.
  15. Wayfinding: Travel magic. Marie Byrd was a Wayfinder, and perhaps one of the Greatest of her generation.  Though her husband Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd is credited with exploring Antarctica, Richard was only a Hydromancer who was able to part snow and make the ice into potable water.  Marie, his wife who was on the expedition with him, was able to navigate the empty whiteness and the Antarctic wastes, leading the expedition to the fattest of Penguin flocks, the best places for shelter, and eventually the the magnetic pole itself.
  16. Geomancy: Ground Magic. Geomancers throughout the years have gone to drastic measures to prove that they’re not just “rock wizards”, be it Giocatta Onice who almost sunk the Isle of Sicily, to Hansar Kumatose who singlehandedly caused the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, to Pacon Classtrike who attacked the Louvre with an army of animated rock-birds.
  17. Neuromancy: Thought Magic.  Nomnom Snoopy was the Neuromancer who caused this magic to become one of the four forbidden magics.  Snoopy was able to manipulate everyone’s thoughts so an entire village not only thought he was a harmless, magic-less town drunk but also that he was the most jovial and benign of personalities.  It wasn’t until another Neuromancer happened to wander into the village that the truth was uncovered:  Snoopy had been kidnapping and eating people for years in a twisted attempt at gaining more power to control the thoughts of the world.  Also, Snoopy was a really mean and racist drunk.
  18. Fylassijn: Imprisoning Magic. Gregor Guardepapudo is both the Warden of Bábkové Skala, the most magical prison in the world, but also the most powerful Fylassijn to have existed.  The Archmage Frownbeard had at first tried to destroy Guardepapudo, however every magician that got close would end up with their life’s essence imprisoned inside of a terrible puppet.  Eventually, Frownbeard made the agreement with Guardepapudo: No further action would be taken if he would now on use his magic to only imprison Magic’s greatest criminals.  Gregor mostly agreed.
  19. Sanguination: Blood Magic. Oliver Dracula was the Sanguinator who finally got Blood Magic put in the forbidden magics territory.  Going far beyond the pentagrams and parlor tricks of Sanguinators past, Dracula launched a full attack against the Istanbul Magiquary in 1862.  Dracula ripped the blood from those who tried to stop him, had an army of living blood golems, and every wound done to him would only make him stronger.  Soon the attack became a siege, though, and Sanguinators are ill fit for sieges what with their constant bleeding.  Dracula passed out and Istanbul was saved.
  20. Necromancy: Magic of the Dead. Skeleton Armies, Ghost Ships, Tombstone Automatons, Touch-of-death powers, Necromancer Hambald Vivaldi thought he had it all.  Unfortunately one day Vivaldi crossed his arms and killed himself with one touch.  His skeleton army remains, still to this day wandering about the seaside ghost-moors, only now Vivaldi’s own skeleton has joined its ranks as a shuffling, undead drone.
  21. Cappelium: The Magic of having really great hair. Zorcand Zorcand was a Cappeli who was said to be able to blind entire armies with a swish of his hair.  He purchased an island kingdom with only a lock of hair, causing the former island despot to go into poverty but die happy clutching that small chunk of glorious, glorious hair.  Another fun fact, The Biblical Samson was also a Cappeli, and contrary to popular belief it wasn’t the cutting of his hair that removed his powers, but rather the fact that he was given a bad haircut that removed them.

  22. Phrenology: Skull Reading. Cecilia Temacher, a phrenologist, became so adept at her craft that she was able to know every intention a visitor had for visiting her country cottage.  She had been able to avoid unwelcome interactions for twenty years that way, until one day a hat-mage refused to remove their hat and thus Cecilia was unable to see the visitor’s intention to murder her. Cecilia’s own skull is now a prized relic among Phrenologists.

  23. Astrology: Star Reading. Ptolemy, an Astrologer, isn’t necessarily responsible for many of his theories and discoveries.  Ptolemy merely wrote down what he read in the stars, and would often tell his best friends that he didn’t believe many of the things he wrote: Ideas on light reflection, the existence of the lands later to be known as the Americas, and the universe existing as a series of nested spheres.  However, Ptolemy said, if he didn’t write down what he saw in the stars the stars would make fun of him and his stupid-looking nose. Ptolemy hated his nose.

  24. Gastrology: Food Reading. King Wenceslas ruled over his land with an iron fist, and was largely uncontested by his subjects because of the feasts he would have.  Wenceslas would allow all who wanted to come into his castle and feast on his food any time they wished, and once they were done eating Wenceslas would use his Gastrological powers to read the food scraps left behind and find out his peoples deepest secrets and use those as leverage against his detractors.

  25. Herbamancy: Plant Magic. Herbamancers are great magicians, capable of using the very grass underfoot to devour entire armies that go against them.  However, as was the case of Samuela Lastrone, their powers require the plants to be alive.  Lastrone, in an effort to boost her magical powers, had tied her life to a plant-familiar in her magical garden.  This worked fantastically until she made a mistake in the re-potting of the plant-familiar and ended up severing the root systems and also her own life.

  26. Plastromancy: Reading cracks formed by heat on a turtle’s back. Yoyoba the Turtlemage was ridiculed by her peers, because at the time it was thought that Plastromancy was the reading of plastic.  Yoyoba would fail at reading anything plastic unless it was both turtle-shaped, and also hot enough outside to start to crack the backs.  However, she did have her own collections of turtles (Only turtles, mind you, no tortoises and no terrapins). Only on Yoyoba’s death bed did people realize that she had not only predicted her own death in the turtle’s backs, but also the deaths of everyone in that room.  She also said she knew the grand destiny of the entire universe, but died before she could share it.  It was then that two magical discoveries were made: first- Plastromancy is the reading of cracks formed by heat on a turtle’s back, and second- plastic is resistant to magic.

  27. Tasseometry: Magic of Tea Leaves. Nichiose Vichiose was the first Tasseometrist to realize that he magic went beyond merely reading tea leaves left behind in tea cups.  She could also summon swarms of tea leaves to do her bidding, cause tea bags to infiltrate enemy castles, and she could even change the flavor of tea with the snap of her fingers.  After Vichiose published her Idées Sur le Thé Tesseometry became the respected magical practice it is today.

  28. Scrying: Seeing and reading through crystalline surfaces. Namulon Surprise may just be the greatest Scrier in the history of magic.  Ever since finding her magic at the age of 16, Surprise surrounded herself with mirrors, crystal balls,  chandeliers, anything crystal which she could use to see to all corners of the world and read the past, present, and future.  At the height of her powers all a person had to do was ask a question out loud to her, and she’d be able to see it in her crystal castle and send an answer within three business days.  Her ultimate downfall was her success, though, as soon she became too busy to clean the crystal surfaces she surrounded herself with, causing her predictions and visions to fail, and her reputation to collapse.  She died working for the Idaho Magiquary in Boise.

  29. Oneiromancy: Dream Magic.  Tales tell of a Oneiromancer known as the Moonraker who visits struggling magicians in their dreams to show them the most incredible of tricks and help them solve their own magical problems.  The Moonraker is said to be able to merge dream-realms and connect two magicians minds together in their dreams as well, in fact the tales give the Moonraker complete domain over all of dream reality.  The problem is, no one remembers much of the Moonraker once they wake up and those who do often have really confusing descriptions like “She was made of sand, but it was a sort of bird-like sand that was also a pumpkin. Oh, and we could both speak fluent Spanish except that it wasn’t Spanish we were just speaking in Italian accents”.

  30. Hnifaugu: Knife-eye Magic. Jorgand Smorglos had eyes of cold grey steel, and even before his magic was known few dared to challenge him.  But one day a drunkard named Smae made the terrible decision to tell Jorgand “Your face looks the dog’s vomit”.  With that Jorgand stared a knife into Smae. An actual knife. It came out of his eyes and went into Smae’s chest and Smae died.  It was then that everyone knew: Jorgand Smorglos was a Hnifaugun.

  31. Omnipresence: Being Everywhere.  Omnipresenters are among the most powerful and most short-lived of all magicians.  Take Napos Galavax, an Omnipresenter who- once his magic was founded at 16- went on to capture an entire city by becoming it only to be simultaneously killed in every conceivable fashion.  Those who witnessed the magic-ceremony of Galavax said it was the most beautiful, terrible, horrifying, transcendent experience they ever had.
  32. Omniscience: Knowing Everything.  Omniscist Sir Morgan San-Soufi Hamlet Danube, Esq. III has written books on all topics and claims to know that he is the single greatest of all Omniscists.  Though rival Omniscist Hannibal Ungulate Reiganald Fortinbras VI, en harmonium says this claim is wrong, and that Sir Morgan Danube, Esq. III does not in fact know the exact number of times the eighth chickadee to have ever existed in the Kingdom of Poland blinked.  Sir Morgan Danube Esq. III claims that Hannibal en harmonium is only saying this because he himself doesn’t know that he knows this and, thus, is in fact an inferior Omniscist because of it.  In this argument one thing can be certain: Omniscists are among the most pretentious and annoying of all magicians.
  33. Omniphagery: Eating Everything.  Omniphage Chomp Nomsky nearly made Omniphagery into a forbidden magic when he set out to eat the sun.  He started on Earth and slowly ate his way through the air, through the gravity holding him down, through the atmosphere (fun fact: this may be where the hole in the ozone layer came from), and through space by eating every wave of solar radiation.  Nomsky made it to the corona of the sun, and prepared to sink his teeth in when a solar flare engulfed him before he could eat it.  The last anyone heard from Nomsky was that the Corona of the sun tasted like melting honey-pepper.
  34. Alchemy: Transmutation Magic.  Yes, most Alchemists go after the old lead-to-gold trick.  It’s a classic, and a type of coming-of-age for any young alchemist: If you turn lead to gold then you can get a job in the bigger Alchemy firms.  This, however, isn’t the most impressive of Alchemical feats.  It was said that Alchemist Gerhardt Gerhardt Gerhardt was able to successfully transmute his arm into an alligator (The alligator, having a mind of it’s own and not liking being attached to a person, immediately killed GGG).  Another famous Alchemist, Bluest Greenight, transmuted an entire village (stones, roofs, people, and birds) into stone, then mercury, then- finally- back into organic matter.  The village’s core components were shifted, though, and when Bluest got the village back into organic matter it was no longer a village but a giant tumor-beast that took eighteen of the best magicians to slay.
  35. Solvlast: Salt Magic.  Hompmah Prizrak was the King of Salt in 570 BCE, controlling the Bulgarian salt trade which took the best of salts to Greece, China, etc. and also trained other Solvastos.  Leon of Sparta decided that he shouldn’t take orders from a barbarian and organized an attack against Prizrak.  Six months later Leon received a large chest, which contained the salted and dehydrated remains of his entire army.
  36. Metalmancy: Metal Magic. The history of Metalmancy is one of gradual rise to power.  In ancient times Metalmancers were mostly known for coin tricks, then the became important in war efforts both in instant repairs to armor but also in animating suits of armor to fight in conflicts.  In the modern era Metalmancers work everywhere from construction, to mining, to ecological cleanup.  It’s even said that there’s a secret society of Metalmancers that secretly control the world, and that they are responsible for 9/11 and the Kennedy assassination.
  37. Financemetry: Money Magic. Financemetrists have made a fine mess of the world for most of their history, and the only reason this magic isn’t forbidden is because Financemetrists are among the richest of magicians.  Take the example of Oldy Forbes, who single-handedly caused the 1929 Stock market crash because he had a bad day, or more recently Bernie Madoff who almost got away with highly illegal money magics because he was very, very rich.
  38. Legiametry: Law Magic.  Harvard, before being open to all peoples magic and non-magic alike, was the primary Legiametry school in the United States.  It was here that young Legiametrists learned how to hone their skills to manipulate written laws to their will.  It’s important to note that Legiametrists can only manipulate written laws, and that their powers only exist so long as those they go against have extreme faith in legal systems.  Otherwise, a Legiametrist is powerless.
  39. Cinemetry: Movie Magic!  Cecil B. DeMille was one of the first revealed Cinemterists, and though his work in the movie studios can be seen, what is often overlooked is his involvement in the world wars.  DeMille first proved the power of the Cinemetrist in World War I when he was able to keep a crashing biplane up in the air with what appeared to be invisible monofilament lines.  he was also able to construct massive encampments and false war machines with the wave of his hand (another feat he was able to accomplish with the Ghost Armies of World War II).
  40. Vaahinee Jaadoo: Tube Magic.  Olgos Dromastaemous was a Vaahinee Jaadoogar who not only built aqueducts throughout ancient Greece, but also played a prominent role in the Trojan War when he trapped a number of Trojan ships in tubes and waited for their crews to run out of oxygen.  He was also very important for building the tube-tunnel beneath Troy, which was going to be the Greeks surprise attack before they decided on the Trojan Horse instead.
  41. Typometry: Typographic Magic. Nächster Guttenberg isn’t as well-known as his father in non-magic circles, but among magicians he is known as being the preeminent Typometrist.  Having been disowned by his father (though, to be fair, Johannes may not have known that Nächster existed), the second Guttenberg used his father printing press to create a legion of living letters: So long as there were words, Guttenberg could summon them to do his will.  This all backfired once Nächster was cornered in a field surrounded by illiterate peasants and soldiers with coats of arms, with no letters to summon he was stabbed and killed.  Later Typometrists found out that they could turn living matter into letters, though more often than not this results in the Typomestrist themselves being trapped forever as a letter on a page.

  42. Amns-Nomen: Name Magic.  +\!!!> was an Amnser-Nomen who spent her life searching for the true name of the world, because as we all know Amnser-Nomen are able to control anything they have the true name to.  +\!!!> asked the trees and rocks surrounding her home in her efforts to uncover the Earth’s name and gain control over it, but it was to no avail: +\!!!>, and by extension no other Amnser-Nomer, was able to find the Earth’s true name.

  43. Numerology: Number Magic.  Despite being widely ridiculed by the magic community, Numerologists will always be able to find work.  Francine Goldbaith, for example, spent fifteen years as a corporate accountant, like many Numerologists, until she was recruited by the military-industrial complex in the Cold War era to make it seem like the number of nuclear weapons the United States had was higher than it actually was.

  44. Arithmancy: Equational Magic. Arithmancers, with the power of changing and manipulating anything described by an equation, can be very powerful with the right tools.  Gog St. Vincent, for example, was an Arithmancer who was capable of manipulating the gravity around him simply by changing the operations included in Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation.  It got to the point where St. Vincent almost collapsed the Earth in on itself by shifting the gravity and was stopped by the local Magiquiary.  In his later years St. Vincent tried to once again change the world by making i^2=2, which would have collapsed every electrical grid and plunged the world into fire and eternal night, but instead decided to try and change the equations of particle physics instead.

  45. Geometry: Shape Magic. It has been said that the great pyramids of Egypt where actually built as giant towers of stone, and they continued to be these stone towers well after the Greeks took over Egypt.  Then Eulcid, one of the first great Geometrists, decided that the Great Towers of Egypt should reflect the divine nature of the world and transformed the towers into pyramids.

  46. Grafiquemage: Graphing and Statistical Visualization Magic.  Soups McGooey was the leading Grafiquemagi for Scorns & Associates, a business consulting firm in 1980’s Connecticut.  Those who worked with Soups claimed that every graph she created made them understand business in a transcendental fashion.  This changed when Soups took on a job with Lockheed Aircraft, and changed for the worse.  When looking at a set of Data Soups conjured up a deadly pie chart that went on a rampage throughout the office, devouring people whole and taking on their risk assessment data to become even stronger.  In the end, Soups was able to banish the Pie Chart back into the Statistical Realm, but at the cost of becoming nothing more than a set of numbers herself. To this day, Soups McGooey is still just a set of numbers in a spreadsheet.

  47. Pimoshu: The Magic of Pi.  The First Pifashi- Heilun Xeixi- was misidentified as a low-level Geometrist at first, as the only thing she was able to change were circles.  However, as Xeixi got older she realized that it was not the geometry of Circles and sphere that she could manipulate, but their very definition.  She also realized that this extended to realms of Electromagnetism and Trigonemetric Waves.  Her Memoirs, Méiyǒu Jǐhétǐ, have formed the basis of Pifashis well into the modern age and have given the most succinct explanation of this magic which is: Pifashi see Pi in all things, and Pifashi can change Pi in all things.

  48. Paimoshu: The Magic of Pie. Oufei Xeixi was the sister of Heilun, and she is known as the first Paifashi.  While her sister whiled away staring at numbers and shapes and creating concentric circles in the air, Oufei was baking.  No matter what she tried to make- even if it was soup- it would always come out as a pie.  As the Xeixi’s distanced themselves from the sisters, Oufei realized she needed help and created Pie Golems to aide around the house and their surrounding fruit orchards.  For any raiders that came near, either Heilun would change the nature of their skull’s shape (after all, our skull has plenty of spheres in it), or Oufei would trap them in a delicious Pie.  So it was that Oufei showed the power of the Paifashi: That even though they have a funny power, they still have power.

  49. Lignumancy: Wood Magic.  Contrary to Herbamancers, Lignumancers need their plants dead and processed to have their magic work.  However, as Lignumancer Fortinbras Gallagher showed, their powers extend to both the animation and control of wooden objects (tables, chairs, signposts, whittled bears), but also to paper.  Finding himself surrounded by a legion of Fight Magicians without his Wooden army around him, Fortinbras was able to summon the papers from nearby recycling bins to swarm around and distract the fight magicians while Gallagher opened up a wooden portal and exited, full of splinters, safely home.  Gallagher did later find out the hard way, though, that Lignuancy only extends to tree bark, and not other dead plants, as he tried to ward off the same group of Fight Magicians with a bunch of dead flowers only to wind up dead himself.

  50. Metamorphosis: Shape-shifting. Ingrid Ghostback was a Metamorphist prodigy, capable of changing a brick into a mouse and back again in under two seconds.  Her pride was rather literally erased one day, though, when trying to perform the greatest of Metaphorosist feats (Shape shifting one’s torso into an elephant) when she mistakenly shape-shifted herself into a balloon and, now being inanimate, wasn’t able to shape-shift back.  Ingrid is now on display at the Smithsonian Magic Museum in Washington D.C.

  51. Wishmastery: The Magic of Granting Wishes. Contrary to popular belief, there is no limit to what a wishmaster can do: Do you wish for more wishes? DONE. Do you wish for true love? DONE. Do you wish to bring back the dead? DONE AND DONE. Wishmasters are, however, cursed in that they can only use their magic if another person wishes for them to, and only if that person says the words “I wish…”.  This is further complicated by the fact that Wishmasters don’t serve one person, and so if Person A wishes for Person B to be dead all Person B has to do is, before being killed by A’s wish, to wish for A’s wish to be changed so that Person B can go on living.  If all of this weren’t complicated enough, most Wishmasters also feel incredibly used by those around them and will often try to twist wishes in what is known as “The Monkey’s Paw Effect” where wishes gain an ironic and often deadly side-effect.
  52. Thaumaturgy: The Magical ability to do really neat things every once in a while.  St. Andrew Corsini, a Thaumaturge, is most known for accurately being told by the Virgin Mary, who appeared in a great beam of light with 17 cherubs flying around her like moths, that he will die come the Feast of the Epiphany.  However, he was able to do a few other really neat things in his life like on April 3rd 1322 when he, in the middle of a Florentine Winehouse, he jumped up and started singing “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.  Later, once he was a Bishop negotiating peace in Bologna he was able to make what is Historically noted as the greatest Bologna pun of all time.  He also once gave a poor beggar a piece of paper that ended up folding open to reveal a rip in space-time, where the beggar fell through and became Walt Disney. Disney thought that was a neat trick.
  53. Henosis: Merging Magic. The life of a Henosist is an odd one.  Take Llewyn Starpeerer, a sailor with the Dutch Trading Company who one night merged with his ship.  The next day most of his crew had been digested inside his galley-belly, and those who weren’t abandoned the Llewyn ship, leaving him alone as a one-man-ship sailing the seas forever, for it was feared that if ever he were to port he would merge and absorb more ships and possibly even the entire port itself.  Llewyn eventually merged with a school of minnows and drowned them all with his human lungs.
  54. Šeširočaro: Hat Magic. There certainly was magic in that old silk hat on Frosty the Snowman’s head, and that’s because it belonged to famed Šeširobuk Prof. William Hinkle.  Hinkle was a teacher of hat magic at Stetson University (the leading institution for Hat Magic), but he was also a part-time stage magician using his magic to pull rabbits and swords out of hats, disappear assistants into hats, and makes fireworks come out of his hat.  “The Frosty Incident”, as it has become known, was a travesty of hat magic that nearly cost Hinkle his professorship, the only thing that saved him was the fact that bringing to life inanimate objects with a hat had never been done before by a Šeširobuk and is now one of the most complex spells in the magical community.
  55. Catoptromancy: Mirror Magic.  Addanlo Mastar was a notorious thief, wanted in thirteen countries and pulling off some truly impressive heists (including one of many thefts of Munch’s “The Scream”).  The few who were able to corner Mastar said she was able to disappear at a moment’s notice, though teleportationists claimed it was impossible.  Finally magic detective Heller Smoke cracked the case: Addanlo Mastar was a Catoptromancer, capable of escaping through mirrors, creating mirror images of rooms and objects, and deflecting projectiles with mirrors.  She was finally apprehended by Magikamancers who trapped her in her own mirror, where she resides to this day.
  56. Horology: Clock Magic.  Cuckoo Tickentok (birth name Jonathan Greenwalt) was not a good Horologist, hence why he changed his name to a gimmick.  Tickentok went on to terrorize London as a masked super-villain, though most of his schemes involved stopping Big Ben, making Big Ben tick backwards, making Big Ben a digital clock, etc.  Magical authorities didn’t take Tickentok seriously. Until he killed off most of London by having their watches and clocks sprout clockwork wings and legs and go on a massive killing spree.  After that Tickentok was sent to Bábkové where he tends the clocktower (he also built the clocktower, because he’s unnaturally obsessed with clocks).
  57. Balai-magique: Broom Magic. James Algar was a Balai-magi under the employ of Walt Disney (who was a mid-level salt magician and the bane of his family’s farm).  Algar was hired, like many Balai-magi, to keep Disney’s extensive estate clean and free of dust, terrible terrible dust.  Algar did this by animating an army of brooms to do his bidding, which Disney thought was such a novel idea he forcibly injected it into the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment of Fantasia.  Algar only found out about this years later after Disney died, witnesses claim that Algar was so upset that he was never told nor did he ever get any recompense for his idea that he hopped onto a broom and flew off into the sunset.  He was never seen again.
  58. Kasamahō: Umbrella Magic. Hira Baarish was born and died in the town of Cherrapunji, known as the birthplace for many a Hydromancer.  Baarish, however, was born allergic to water.  She spent the first fifteen years of her life inside and raised above the wet ground of her home, but fortunately things changed when she turned 16 and discovered herself to be a Kasamaji.  Baarish was finally able to step outside of her home, followed by her umbrella familiar Akash who would dutifully shield her from the rain, and even dry the area around her.  Baarish went on to work primarily in real estate, where she would use her powers to dry out land around construction and renovation sites long enough to have foundations laid for homes and businesses, and to this day many of Baarish’s umbrella-beacons can be found among busy squares keeping the people dry, and though Baarish is dead Akash lives on and keeps watch over her gravestone.
  59. Cartomancy: Card Magic. Cartolina Triomphe, like many Cartomancers, began her magical career by asking “Is this your card?”, knowing full well that it would always be the exact card the person was thinking of (even if it were, say, a greeting card).  It’s a simple but effective trick.  Triomphe, however, went on to become the famed Queen of Hearts when she opened the a card-rift into the Heart-world.  She ruled over her Suit domain for Fifty years and 6000 bridge games, led a full-scale attack against the King of Diamonds, and married the Jack of Spades in a Crazy Eights game that defied Card history.  After her marriage she exited the card universe with the Jack (now Jack Spadely) and lived the rest of her life writing for Hallmark in Nova Scotia.
  60. Cartography: Map Magic. Amerigo Vespucci is the premier example of a Cartographer.  He was able to manipulate maps of the time and shift land masses around them to show that the Brazillian coast belonged to a separate continent, instantly brand this new land mass with his name on every map, and even map out a few future landmarks (Including the Mall of America!).  Vespucci only ever made it to mid-level Cartography (so he was never able to visit anywhere he had placed on a map), but his name still lives on.
  61. Stickermagery: Sticker Magic. Hornsbald Golgolman was a brilliant Stickermage who rode on the back of a Lisa Frank unicorn and could instantly change a person’s name with a nametag.  Golgolman stopped the vicious Mandrake of Candle Cove by trapping it in a banana sticker-label, stopped a Typometrist attack on Times Square by turning the flying letters into stickers, and animated countless Hello Kitties for children all across the lands.  Golgolman met his ultimate demise when being awarded by the Archmage Frownbeard with the Gold Star of Bravery, which ended disastrously for everyone when the star became manifest and nearly destroyed the Earth with it’s heat, gravity, and fission.

  62. Pigmamancy: Paint Magic. Though Pigmamancers like Rembrandt or Monet, who were able to take landscapes and trap them in the paint-world, were very powerful and are immensely impressive, even more impressive is Pigmamancer Jackson Pollock.  Pollock was able to extract thoughts from peoples heads and turn them into streams of paint, he was able command paint globules with his voice, and even tap into the presence of a primordial paint-God.  It’s also important to note, though, that not every famous artist is a Pigmamancer.  Leonardo Da Vinci? Pyromancer.  In fact, he had one piece that history says was his masterpiece which he accidently burnt.

  63. Fíodóiraíochta: Weaving Magic. Sampo Salo was a Fíodóirdraoi who started out weaving moving tapestries and traveling into quilt-worlds.  One day, though, Sampo thought he’d try to animate some sweaters.  This turned deadly when the sweaters, now finding themselves living a tortured existence of perpetual pain, turned against Sampo and suffocated him.  He tried to save himself by animating pillows, sock monkeys, socks, anything out of string that he could, but everything was only imbued with the same pain and hatred for their creator.  The string-constructs of Sampo still walk the Earth, forever tortured, though many are now in magic zoos safely behind glass.

  64. Phosphoromancy: Light Magic. Susan Kirby, The Invisible Woman, was for many years misidentified as an Invisiblist.  During her life, however, this would be questioned when for a period of eight months she was a living rainbow, and for fourteen months she was followed around by an afterimage of herself.  To add even more confusion to Susan’s true magic was the fact that she couldn’t be photographed, and would sometimes flash in a retina-destroying beam of light.  The last part, the beam of light, finally clued in the local Magiquary that her magic license had to be changed from Invisiblist to Phosphoromancer.  Unfortunately when they did change it Susan travelled about the speed of light and ended up traveling back in time and erasing her own birth before a Chronomancer was able to fix the timeline and bring her back into existence, only this time she really was an Invisiblist and not a Phosphoromancer.

  65. Farolamage: Lamppost Magic.  Noyaux Pomona was a Farolamagi during the French revolution who would use her magic powers to teleport away from Monarchists, cause the lampposts that lined the Paris streets to bend down and snatch people up, and take the light away from the night streets so her comrades could move in the shadows.  Louis XVI was finally able to apprehend Pomona by cornering her in an alleyway in broad daylight.  With no lampposts around, Pomona was powerless.

  66. Rafgaldur: Electromagnetic Magic. Steeg Gort was a viking Raftöfra who would command storms at sea, and command lightning from the sky to strike at neighboring clans.  Gort discovered some rudimentary attributes of magnetism as well by stopping the iron weapons used against his men in battle.  The only down side to Gort’s immense strength in battle was that he- being only a mid-level Raftöfra- constantly interfered with his ship’s navigation and compasses.  He ended up dying, stranded in the North Pole.

  67. Spiders!: Spider Magic. Jimmy Halfgait was perhaps the most powerful Spidermage to have ever existed: He commanded legions of spiders with his thoughts, he could create mental constructs of spiders, he could melt into spiders, he could have spider crawl out of his skin, he could turn people into spiders and spiders into people.  He could have been a spider-god.  The only problem was that Jimmy was immensely arachnophobic, and every time he used his power he was overcome with crippling fear.

  68. Potoplify: Energy Conversion. All of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project were magicians, of course, though only Oppenheimer was a Potoplifier. It was Oppenheimer’s job both to work out the Fast Neutron calculations of the atomic testing, but he was also in charge of converting residual atomic energy into low-level ultraviolet energy.  He also walked around the test grounds after the Trinity test and converted all of the nuclear fallout to potential energy, which would manifest in little pockets of “slow motion”.  Oppenheimer’s famous quoting of the Bhagavad Ghita “I am become death” was in regards both to the horrendous power he loosed on the world, but also because Oppenheimer knew he would have a long night of clean-up ahead of him.

  69. Potophagery: Energy Absorption. Julia Neverwhat was a Potophage who had achieved the highest level of magic and was able to absorb magical energy from others.  She is on of the few non-Magikamancer to have made a living offering to rid people of magical powers, whether they were Omnipresenters who were caught early enough or Ennuimagis who grew tired of being magicians.  Neverwhat was also an early champion of woman-wizard rights: she was one of the first women to be on the board of the New York Magiquary, she was in the March of 1000 Woman-wizards in Washington, and she even led an assault against a group of incredibly misogynistic Neuromages.

  70. Eudaimonia: The Magic of Happiness. Jimmy Omnol was a low-level Eudaimonic and a high-level con-artist who swindled millions of people out of their money through a self-help seminar called “Unlocking your inner Happy Person”.  During the seminar Omnol would use his powers to make everyone in the room intensely happy, happy to sit and listen to Omnol’s “seminars” (which were mostly him reciting grocery lists), happy to give Omnol more money, happy to include Omnol in the last wills and testaments.  In the end the Kansas City Magiquary (Kansas City being well-known as being the most unhappy place on Earth) sent in specialized units to apprehend Omnol.  The attendees of the seminar were all too happy to defend Omnol, and a massive riot broke out during which Omnol was knocked unconcious and his happiness-spells broke.  He is currently in magic prison.

  71. Melancholia: The Magic of Sorrow.  Francisco Aleman was a conquistador who led an expedition deep into what is now the Yucatan Penninsula.  Francisco himself was a Lignumancer (which was helpful in jungle exploration), but his true purpose was to help his daughter Maria Aleman who was a Melancholic and otherwise would have been executed in 1487 Spain for spreading sadness to the kingdom.  The Alemans were able to set up a small village, Las Lágrimas, which among other things is known as being the origin of the story of La Llorona the infamous crying ghost.  It is said that Maria was set to marry Felipilo Lagarto, the son of Francisco’s expedition partner and an Immortalist, but since Maria was never taught to control her powers Felipilo was far too depressed to go forward with it.  Unable to bear the shame that it would bring on him and his family, Felipilo killed Maria, but cursed her spirit to forever wander the Earth shedding her ghostly tears.
  72. Reiðgaldur: The Magic of Anger.  Reiðtöfra, historically known as Berserkers though now this has a tone of denigration, have been on the fringes of magic society for most of written records.  Tybalt Laertes was a fearless Reiðtöfra who charged into many battle during the 12th century and was able to inspire the same vigor in those he surrounded, but once he entered civilian life he only inspired pub fights and petty arguments.  Mars Creed was another Reiðtöfra who used his powers to feed off of the anger of the underprivileged workers in his steel mill in Detroit and according to historical accounts (though these are barely legible, as they were written in intense anger) Creed nearly destroyed Detroit before a masked vigilante- Das Auto- stepped in.  Creed is now screaming in perpetual anger in a cell, though Eudaimonics are able to calm him down every once in a while.
  73. Phobomagery: The Magic of Fear.  Humdrum Bubblegum was a portly woman with bright red pigtails who lived in a candy-cane house with three adorable Pomeranian pups.  She was also a low-level Phobomage, and as such everyone was terrified to go anywhere near her house.  She was known as a terrible dragon-witch with flaming eyes who would devour children whole.  She even tried to set up a candy business in the nearby town, but everyone thought it was evil poison.  Fun Fact: Humdrum Bubblegum was the inspiration behind the Candy-Witch in Hansel and Gretel when news of the terrifying witch who lured kids into her hellish home with candy came to the Brothers Grimm (Another Fun Fact: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were typographic and umbrella magicians, respectively).
  74. Egercraft: The Magic of Awe.  Howard Thurston is among the most well-known Egercrafter, and the author of what is still the foremost book on Egercraft: Whiz-Bang!  To view many of Thurston’s now famous “rising card” tricks without the aide of Awe Spells one would note that he was just flipping cards over, however audiences would become enraptured by it and on the night where Thurston performed what many call his greatest trick of all time where attendees paid an enormous $7 to get in (mind you, this was around the turn of the 20th century).  There is only one immensely disappointed review of this trick from Magikamancer Istoph Exolusion where he stated: “He Just stood there for two minutes, then took out a deck of cards and showed someone the five of clubs.  That person became so excited that they had a seisure.  Thurston panicked for a while before calling the hospital to have the poor sick man taken away. I do not think he survived. Thurston got a standing ovation, even from the paramedics”.
  75. Ennuimage: The Magic of Boredom.  Hemoglobin Gygax was a prodigy Ennuimagi, having written the only book on Ennuimage: Boring Magic and Stuff which is  thirty pages long, with the last page being “stupid stupid magic” written over and over again.  Hemoglobin was also able to stop a bloody battle from happening amongst French and German troops in World War I by making both sides so bored with fighting that they put down their weapons and sat around complaining about mud for forty-five minutes before taking an aimless stroll.  Hemoglobin apparently didn’t even want to stop the battle, but the great Chronomancer Geordi Treblecleff asked really nice, and she wasn’t going to be doing anything that day anyways.  Hemoglobin’s tremendous power ended up being her undoing, though, as she died very young at 36 when her heart “became so bored it stopped beating”. She was working on a second book called More Magic Stuff I forgot About The First Time or Whatever.
  76. Epistomancy: The Magic of Trust.  Richard Nixon is, for better or worse, the first Epistomancer any magician can name.  He first began using his trust magic for personal gain during law school by making his professors trust him with test answers.  Throughout the next few years Nixon would pull similar stunts: Make people trust him, and use that for his advantage.  Fortunately, he was a congressman so no one thought of it.  Even those who did would keep on trusting Nixon.  This all came to a head in the Watergate scandal.  The public was conflicted: They wanted to trust Nixon, but the evidence against him was overwhelming.  The Archmage at the time, Dooley Pickens Lamppost Magician, was able to undo many of the interweaving spells Nixon had cast during Nixon’s hearings and eventually, having realized the full extent of his actions, Nixon resigned.  It was then that he was cursed by an Immortalist: for the remainder of his time Nixon’s life force would be connected to how many people who would forgive him of his many lies.  Nixon tried to make up for a lifetime of abuse of power, but in the end one person never forgave him and Nixon died.
  77. Nàixīmoshu: The Magic of Waiting.  Nikkeil Kha is believed by many (for good reason) to have been the greatest magician who ever lived even though she only ever performed one spell.  From the moment she was revealed as a Nàixīfashi to her death 94 years later she sat alone in a mountain shrine, weaving her spell.  Thousands flocked to see her work, with one word being uttered over the course of months.  Right before she died she finished, and the mountain that her shrine was on crumbled, let out a pillar of light, and sunk into a lake.  It was brilliant, and no one knows how she did it.
  78. Amoremancy: Love Magic.  Cuddly Wuvenstuff was the greatest Amoremancer to have lived, capable of creating flawless love potions, looking at a person and telling them without fail the name of their soulmate, fixing marriage on the rocks, and even easing Cold War tensions during the Kennedy era.  Wuvenstuff was also the most miserable and lonely magician to have ever lived, as are most Amoremancers as they’re never certain if anyone- even their own parents- truly love them or if they’ve been weaving subconscious magic.  Cuddly Wuvenstuff spiraled downwards to alcoholism and drug use, and eventually committed suicide on April 27th, 1973.
  79. Gonamagery: The Magic of Being a Parent.  Hellion Bloode was raised on the mean streets of Detroit, and at a young age got into a major Hnifaugu altercation which left him with knife marks all along his left side.  Due to another altercation with the head of the Detroit Ventriloquist Mob  (Mr. Chuckles) Bloode’s voice sounded like a bag of rocks.  By the time he was 15, everyone thought it was over Bloode, that he would be another magician who would fall through the cracks.  That was when Bloode was revealed to be a Gonamage.  After that he was supremely proud of everyone in his community and would sort through a large photo book of all the people he knew, showing the picture to anyone who would listen.  He would show up at work with a mini-van and offer rides to soccer practice or the movies, and would ask questions like “Do you kids still like the rap music?”, or “How’s about we all get some frosty chocolate milkshakes?”.  Everyone loved Hellion Bloode like a father, and Hellion Bloode loved everyone like they were his kids.
  80. Pappoumagery: The Magic of Being a Grandparent.  Kiddo Bloode was, of course, the the son of Hellion.  And Hellion was a great Dad!  He’d show up to all of Kiddo’s little league games, he was deeply involved with Kiddo’s school and had a vast collection of camcorder tapes of all of Kiddo’s recitals and school plays, Hellion was great and an inspiration to the community.  Hellion was so great that Kiddo was worried that he’d never live up to his father’s expectations.  Fortunately, Kiddo was revealed to be a Pappoumancer.  Kiddo would shuffle through the neighborhood and offer hard candy to his friends; he would reminisce about the times when he was 10 years old and finger-sized skateboard were “cool”, and recount stories from the great Tekken tournament of ’97.  Luckily this was during the mid-2000’s, when reminiscing about things that happened five years ago was in vogue.  Kiddo was also free of feeling like he had to save up money and establish himself as an adult, and instead focused on what he truly loved: Butterflies.  He’d often talk for long hours about butterflies too. His Dad was so proud of him, and Kiddo was proud to see his little Dad all grown up and making a name for himself too.  Side Note: Kiddo’s son, Sonny, broke from the family and ended up being a decent Phosphomancer.
  81. Umbramancy: Shadow Magic.  Gilda Sturm, Queen of the Shadows, was the lead Magician at the Philadelphia Magiquary by the time she was 29 in 1976.  She would command shadows, steal shadows, melt into the shadows, and even volunteered at local public libraries giving shadow puppet show to the children.  This was also at a time when the Archmage, Dooley Pickens Lamppost Magician, was held in very low regard and everyone thought that Sturm would be the next Archmage of North America including Sturm herself.  This changed when Gilda’s best friend, Moira Drang- a gifted Phobomage- was killed because of intolerance and fear (not because Moira was a Phobomage, but because she was a black lesbian who fell in love with the daughter of a rich Philadelphian Alderman who couldn’t bear the shame it would bring).  Sturm spent the rest of her life running a non-profit fighting intolerance and helping underprivileged magicians afford higher education.

  82. Immortality: Healing Magic.  Myrddin Wyllt, or Merlin as he’s more commonly known as (and Nimue finding out his true name is part of what led to Merlin’s ultimate demise), is everybody’s favorite Immortalist.  This is for good reason, as he lived for over one thousand years by constantly healing his dying cells, he made Excalibur into the deadly blade it was by reverse-engineering his Immortality powers, and he is one of the few non-Magikamancers to have been able to cast spells from other magics (though never anything high-level).  A fun Merlin Fact: He had a deal with Chronomancer Chewy Nougat to bring him an Oh Henry! chocolate bar on his birthday every year after Merlin saved Nougat from a Dire Bear.  This information is eventually what led the Lady of the Lake to find Merlin’s name, though he would always insist that it was worth it.

  83. Majelidan: Poison Magic. Herb Trowlers is one of the few Majelidans to have made it past 18 years old, as most poison themselves and are unable to magically craft an anti-poison in time.  Trowlers, though, was lucky, and he didnt want to push his luck.  So he spent his time on a rattlesnake ranch in Old West Colorado, making rattlesnake anti-venom for doctors and travelers and any other sorts of anti-ventom folks may need.  He tried not to make a name for himself, but before long he ran afoul of the Lead Foot Gang from up near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Ol’ Stompin’ Greg, leader of the Lead Feet and a high-level Metalmancer, challenged Herb to a showdown. Greg died of lead poisoning, Herb died of lead.

  84. Leaíochta: Potion Mastery.  Dr. Henry Jekyll was a well-educated Leaídroi, having learned from the oldest potion school out there: The Blackburn Institute.  Dr. Jekyll spent his time in Gentlemen’s clubs and barrooms, as was the style at the time, until one day he was challenged to a potion duel by Dr. Hurlhahn Kleinstein (The nerve!).  Jekyll and Kleinstein- attempting to create a potion which would grant them abilities from another magic- decided through The Rules of English Magick Duelry- that Jekyll would drink Hulhahn’s potion and vice-versa.  We all known what happened to Jekyll, Hurlhahn had weaved in a terrible Metamorphist spell.  Hurlhahn, meanwhile, caught on fire.  Jekyll and Hyde both agreed it was worth it, because Hurlhahn was the true beast for not having gone to Blackburn.

  85. Voodoo: Channeling charms.  No discussion of Voodoo can be had without first mentioning Marie Laveau, who not only did she craft thousands of charms for the poor and needy of New Orleans and beyond, she also wrote the foremost textbook on Voodoo: Beyond Zombis, where she discussed many of the intricacies of Voodoo magic and dispelled many of the myths.  Laveau’s spirit is still accessible through her grave, which is a special charm she crafted herself, and she also lives on with the Marie Laveau foundation which seeks out and gives research grants to young Voodoo practitioners.  The most recent grant winner, Coarsley Norandu, is working on making an aluminum alloy that will channel Spenta Mainyu, the Zoroastrian archangel of “Bountiful Spirit”. Energy drink companies are watching this research with great interest.

  86. Varicellardy: The Magic of Chicken Pox.  Chicken Pox was a terrible disease, sweeping through entire towns and wiping them out. It was thought at the height of the Chicken Pox Scare of 1650 that the disease would be worse than the Black Plague.  Finally, in 1656, the leading Sciencemancers and Magikamancers of the Supramagiquary off the coast of Africa were able to successfully make the first Varicellard in Richard Morton (who up until that point had been a weaving magician specializing in monograms).  Morton was awarded the silver moon of magic by the Archmage Merckus Oval.

  87. Sciencemancy: Science Magic.  Before Sciencemancy it was thought that the Gods and Archmages controlled the world, which is primarily how some of the more feared Archmages like Dort Ra Mghu and Choorish Ipop got away with their horrible, horrible crimes against magickind.  It’s also how one Pyromancer, Goody Dushu, was able to start up the Salem Witch trials.  But through the work of Sciencemancers like Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Max Planck the world has been radically changed for the better.  Even to this day the best Sciencemancers are working on unraveling the scientific nature of the universe, unlocking new and exciting magical possibilities, and conducting important magic counter-research to make sure other magicians are conducting correct experiments.  A magician need not be a Sciencemancer to make large scientific discoveries, though, as Charles Darwin was a Beastmaster and Nikola Tesla was a well-regarded Cartographer.

  88. Cybermagery: Computing Magic.  Pyx3l Syzygy was elected Archmage of Berkley in 1993, and to this day holds the record for the most illustrious of all Archmages (including Barharbar the Incompetent).  He spent up a lot of Berkley’s magical energies trying to launch a digital database of fire hydrants in the city, he gave high paying positions in government to under-qualified friends (the waste commissioner of Berkley is still Decycle Gregory, a low-level Phobomage hired during the Summer of Pyx3l), and he auctioned off seats on the school board for supposedly high-end technology (mostly, it was Sega GameGears and some early VR equipment).  Pyx3l even briefly held the city under martial law, claiming that he’d only give up power for “The n00b who can get past my many firewalls”.  Moose Climbtree got past them in an hour and a half after much slamming on a keyboard from Pyx3l.  Pyx3l stepped down from the archmage position and currently spends his time on message boards ruining “Game of Thrones” for people. As a side note: Moose Climbtree wasn’t a Cybermage or very good with computers.  He was a Lignumancer and a firefighter.

  89. Krystalosum: Glass Magick.  For centuries Glass was immune to magic, until Sciencemancer Frodo Hydenstein in 1863.  Frodo had been given a grant from the Royal Academie of Magicks to continue her work in wards and penetrating magic, and had already crafted a firebolt that could pass through a block of ice a meter thick!  Late one night Frodo was working on her next project: creating a better containment cell for Bábkové Skala, when the magical energies she was working with became unstable and engulfed her laboratory.  Frodo was frozen in glass for two years before she was able to break out, but when she did she became the first Krystalose and the first in centuries to create a new magic.

  90. Bibliosahar: Library Magic. Demetrius of Phaleron was not the first Bibliosahir, nor is he the best to have existed (to date, that honor belongs to the Bookmage of Ottowa), but he does hold the honor of not only being in charge of the organization and day-to-day mechanics of the Library of Alexandria, but also as being one of the most powerful magicians in the Classical Era.  Demetrius not only guided the scrolls of papyrus back and forth from their shelves to the patrons, he also kept the library safe from dust mites, pyromancers, and evil phobomages (because as well all know, fear is the mortal enemy of knowledge).  It was even said that when Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal system, was searching for the perfect library classification system he used Demetrius’ journals for inspiration.  However, Dewey made one too many enemies, the greatest of which was Julius Caesar who set fire to the Library in 48 BC.

  91. Spartimageía: Fighting Magic. Stoppard Killswitch was a powerful Spartimagos and a highly decorated soldier in World War II, having fought his way through the Second Battle of El Alamein, the Invasion of Sicily, and even into the Eastern borders of Germany.  Killswitch came home to a parade, and his wife couldn’t have been happier with him.  It wasn’t until after the war that Killswitch started to run into problems.  He was unable to control his violent behavior, and found himself in and out of jails and drunk tanks often.  He would wake up screaming and punching the wall, and eventually demanded his wife leave with their child out of fear that he may hurt them.  Eventually Killswitch was able to find respite in a wartime survivor’s group and in anti-depressants, and he found steady employment in demolition and as a boxing instructor.  He still has violent episodes, and he still struggles, but things are getting better.
  92. Thanatosum: Chaos Magick.  Aleister Crowley was a low-level Thanatose, and when he first published The Book of the Law in 1904 he was actually trying to stop a renegade mummy raised by Necromancer and Egyptologist Karl Baldersten.  Unfortunately Thanatosum is an unstable magic, just as likely to cast a magical bolt that would destroy a reanimated egyptian prince as it is to turn its user into stone. Crowley took this as a sign from the Egyptian god Ra that he wasn’t meant to kill the prince and instead worship it, and the two became good friends and bunkmates until the Mummy, who Crowley named Ahathoor, was taken in by the British museum in 1928.  Crowley never forgave them, and every day would try to destroy the museum only to, among other things: turn peoples heads into balloons, melt the whale skeleton, make the models of ancient man wear long pants, and cause a giant ghost clown to waddle through the museum singing the score from the HMS Pinafore.
  93. Élegamange: The Magic of being able to eat elegantly.  Simone LaLangue was the toast of the town in belle époque Paris who was invited to every party, every gala, anywhere where people could gaze as he shoved cheese, bread, berries, anything into his mouth.  Whitelaw Reed, a US diplomat who saw the Élegamangeur in action at the Exposition Universelle, claimed “To see Simone eat is to gaze into the mouth of God.  Truly he is France’s greatest jewel, and I but wish I had a lifetime to spend here so that I may gaze at the sublime angle of his fork and knife as he digs into a slab of steak, the brilliant SMACK of his lips as he chews his food, and the awe-inspiring ease with which he wipes his mouth with a napkin.  Beyond Edison’s electric bulb and Debussy’s sonatas, LaLangue was the true winner of the Exposition Universelle”.
  94. Alssujad Sihr: Carpet Magic.  Yes, yes, we all know of Prince Husain the Alssujad Sahir who made a carpet fly, and it’s very impressive. However it’s much like an Alchemist turning lead into Gold: It’s the first trick one learns and it really only serves as a party trick.  However, there have been much greater Alssujad Sahirs: Like Abdul-Qadir Gilani who was able to use his carpet to create a pocket of osmosis which allowed him to walk across the river Tigris, Wiktor Vasnetsov who trapped people on a painted carpet, or American Actor Jeff Bridges who has used his carpet to fuel his fantastic acting career.  The only important thing for an Alssujad Sahir is not to be like Roomborn Stallinsnow who used his magic carpet to light his house on fire, which also burned his carpet and caused a magical singularity that the Archmage Frownbeard had to stop.
  95. Kanataika: Chicken Magic.  As we all know chickens were considered for centuries to be the most magically powerful of all creatures, because they possess a unique immunity to almost all forms of magic.  This was before the witch Baba Yaga, who began life in 1715 as an Enchanter but dreamed of being something more.  She lived in a hut in the woods and raised chickens, hundreds of them, as she found a comfort in their beady chicken-eyes and constant bocking.  She would try every day to use her magic on the chickens, but of course it wouldn’t work.  Baba Yaga was unsuccessful until her 40th birthday in 1755, when she woke up in her hut and found all of her chickens surrounding her.  One, Kudkudakaty, hopped onto her bed and said: “For your commitment to the chicken cause, we have chosen you Baba Yaga.  Rise today, for you are now the witch of chickens: The Kanataikuri”.
  96. Swelgendorcraft: Vortex Magic.  The only magic defined more by the circumstances in which it can be used then the circumstances which it causes, Swelgendocrafters can only cast spells in a vortex: whirlpools, air eddies, the winds surrounds tornados and dust devils, ship wakes, etc.  Paul the Deacon was the first known Swlgendocrafter, said to be able to cause maelstroms with a twirl of his finger, or drill a hole one thousand miles deep with a twist of his staff.  So long as Paul had enough vorticity, he could infuse it with any magical attribute or power he wished, including one instance in 777 where he made an invisible tornado that made any birds caught in it sing the name of God.
  97. Vacuumancy: Void Magic.  Zhang Heng is the first documented Vacuumancer, though at the time the concept of a vacuum was beyond comprehension as it was believed the Earth, Sun, and Stars all existed in a type of mechanical sea in the heavens.  Zhang began to question this when he created his first Xūkōng Shòu or Voidwalker, a creature made of living nothingness.  Zhang was terrified by this beast who engulfed all things around it before vanishing (for nature abhors a vacuum), and began to study his own powers resulting in the formation of his belief that there were large swaths of nothingness in between the mechanisms of the Earth, the Sun, and the Heavens.  He published his findings in a book not truly published until it was found again in the 19th century  entitled My Thoughts on Nothing.
  98. Chronomancy: Time Magic.  Ami Swindle is the most enigmatic of all magicians.  It is not known whether Swindle is the first Chronomancer, the last Chronomancer, or just a very good one, but she has been seen throughout history.  Swindle’s exact motives are also clouded in mystery, from the record book of Chewy Nougat she is described as immensely selfish and monomaniacal (though it is also important to note that Swindle and Nougat used to be lovers before a famous break-up in the court of Napoleon), infamous Backward-man Benjamin Button describes Swindle as a trickster and deserving of her name (though it’s important to note that Button’s “condition” was the result of curse Swindle put on him, and that he actually really enjoyed living backwards until he was an 80 year-old fetus), or a guardian of time itself by the last great Archmage Jimmy Carter (though it’s important to note that Swindle is a major donor to Habitat for Humanity, and has claimed that she grew up in a Habitat for Humanity house in New Detroit).  Swindle herself refuses to answer many questions about herself or when she comes from or how she’s altered the timeline.  She will answer questions about Chewy Nougat, though, who she claims was “An Arthurian jerk who deserved to be trapped in glass”.
  99. Spatiamancy: Dimensional Space Magic.  For years it was assumed that Edwin A. Abbott’s famous novella “Flatland” was just a story, however in a 1908 interview with the Washington Post Abbott revealed that he was a Spatiamancer who had actually travelled to the second dimension for four years to document second dimensional society.  He claimed it was “Immensely boring”, which has since been backed up by other Spatiamancers.  Abbott also claimed to have visited the matriarchal second dimension, and even briefly sojourned into the fifth dimension where he saw “A monster of all possibilities”.  Abbott also claimed, during his schoolboy days when he was just learning about Spatiamancy, that he spent three days trapped as a drawing in a notebook.
  100. Magikamancy: Magic Magic.  The rarest and most powerful of all magics, the most notable example of the Magikamancer is Torvald Clambake who made it necessary to create the Magiquary system now in place in the 11th century when he went on a quest to rule the world.  All the horses and all the men were mobilized against Clambake, though he was able to turn every magic against the person who cast the spell and against others.  With the threat of magical apocalypse nigh, the fate of the magical world rested on Bald Sorpano: A Nils (or a person born with no magic.  Roughly 12 in every 100,000 people are born Nils).  Bald was able to successfully walk up to Clambake and stab him, over and over again with a rusty knife.  The Scriers who saw this claimed it was a terrible but cathartic death.  After that Magiquaries were set up in every major population center to track magical powers and aide in magical research and management, and now you know the rest of the story.

 

B for Banthos and C for Ciel Faucheuse

The next entry in The Encyclopedia for That Which Does Not Exist.  This time we’re going on a quest for enlightenment by looking for a mythical snail.  I think it’s improving, but I’ve also decided not to rush the encyclopedia and instead focus on developing the overarching narratives of it and focus more on why this encyclopedia is important.

B for Banthos

After the snail we explore a bit of dirigible history with the Sky Castle class of balloon, the “Ciel Faucheuse” and the Tempest captain who built and sailed in the only existing one.

C for Ciel Faucheuse

100 SpoOOooOOOookier things

Its that time when every boy and girl’s thoughts turn to ghosties and ghoulies, and just in case you can’t think of anything spooky as a jumping off point this year for Halloween, then here’s a new list of 100 SpoOOooOOOooky things!  Reader beware, you’re in for a scare!

1)    A weed-strewn yard outside an old, rickety house.  You climb the crumbling steps to the door, splintered and peeling.  As you close the door, the knob falls out with a THUD and you realize you’re trapped in this ruin.
2)    Flesh blobs
3)    Portraits of children
4)    Lampreys
5)    Human face, porpoise body.
6)    Knife fingers
7)    Circus clowns from beyond the grave
8)    Teddy Bears
9)    Hell Ibis
10)    Within the ruined house you find a tattered rug, its design eaten away by moths and bleach, and portraits in an equally sorry state.  No matter where in the foyer you move, though, the eyes of the portraits follow you. The unblinking, tattered eyes of portraits of those long dead.
11)    Maggot rice
12)    Unknown VHS tapes
13)    A House Directed by David Lynch
14)    Blood Pudding
15)    Human face, mole rat body.
16)    Giant Spiders
17)    Laughing Vultures
18)    Screaming Turtles
19)    Forest Stalking Bloodsucker
20)    You wander through the hallways, the old pipes and floorboards groaning under the weight of living feet after so many years.  Finally you find the kitchen.  Any food has been eaten away by insects and vermin, and all that is left is a lingering smell of rot and mold.  As you wander through, realizing there is no door outside here, a raccoon breaks through the cabinets and screams.
21)    A Pokémon so real you throw up
22)    A House Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
23)    Racism
24)    Centipedes
25)    Human face, cricket body.
26)    Grinning Ocelot
27)    Dead Mice
28)    Kidney Stew
29)    Unrelenting Heat
30)    Before you leave the kitchen you decide to try and get some water.  The pipes grind, the faucet shakes, but only a thin stream of rust-filled goo falls out.  You walk through more hallways, keeping an eye out for holes in the floor and piles of rubble.  Every faucet you find delivers the same result: rust.  The thirst and panic sets in: You may never leave.
31)    Suburbs
32)    Ticks
33)    Video frames skipping
34)    Talking Heads
35)    Human face, emu body
36)    Mountain of Butter
37)    Killing Gerbil
38)    Ghost Pancake
39)    Unblinking Eyes
40)    You scramble out of the kitchen and into the main dining hall.  A Giant portrait eaten away by moths looms over you, and the dust on the table has not been disturbed in years.  You grasp the decaying curtains over the windows and pull them open, hoping to find a way of escape but instead finding a lattice of ironwork holding the glass panes between you and the overgrown backyard.  You begin to cough in the dust and mildew that was disturbed, as spiders start to climb down your hands.
41)    Suffocating darkness
42)    A house directed by David Cronenberg
43)    Giygas
44)    Blinding Light
45)    Human face, eel body.
46)    Melting Skin
47)    Institutionalized Sexism
48)    Giant Smiles
49)    Tongue Sandwich
50)    The sun starts to set, the shadows creep in.  You try the light switches: Nothing.  Of course nothing, in a house this old.  You pull out drawers over the dining room, kitchen, hallways, searching for a flashlight or a candle or anything to light to keep searching.  The shadows creep in, the light fades, your search is fruitless.
51)    Emoticons
52)    Ventriloquism
53)    A House Directed by F.W Murnau
54)    Vampire Clams
55)    Human face, scorpion body
56)    Tapeworms
57)    Giggling Sloths
58)    Murder Lettuce
59)    Barracuda-Piranha abomination
60)    You find your way by moonlight to the back of the house: a storage room.  Boxes, sheets, broken furniture, and the ever-present dust.  Your cough has only gotten worse, and you sit down on one of the sturdier boxes to catch your breath.  As you sit you can tell there is no door here.  You know deep down that the architect of this house, for reasons that seemed very good at the time, only built one entrance and one exit.  You sigh.  You look for something, anything, to break down the door. As you shakily get up on your feet and move toward a likely candidate, a large sculpture of sorts, you hear the floorboards creak. Then break. Then crumble.  You fall.
61)    Unhappy seals
62)    Peeple: The Person-rating app
63)    Satanic Numerology
64)    Gelflings
65)    Human face, mammoth body.
66)    Thousands and thousands of snakes.
67)    Cavities
68)    Zombie Cactus
69)    Blood and Gefilte fish
70)    CRACK. You’re in the house’s cellar now, bits of shattered floorboards sticking out of your leg.  The worst part is you know you should feel something, but instead the leg is numb. You try to stand, but your injured leg buckles and you collapse in heap.  The cellar is dark, you only have the moonlight from the hole you fell through and another small rectangle of a window far from you to light the way.  You fumble in your pocket for your phone: it broke during the fall.  The realization that no one is coming to help flood over you, of course that could also be a concussion.
71)    Parental Disapproval.
72)    Larval Ant-Lions
73)    Microscopic Parasites
74)    Terrorist threats
75)    Human face, pig body
76)    Mama Fortuna from The Last Unicorn
77)    Subterranean Mutants
78)    Murdering hillbilly turkey dinner
79)    The Mummy’s Curse
80)    Hours pass. You drift in and out of consciousness and feel a warm pounding in your head. A steely taste grows in your mouth, and your vision is flecked by tiny red dots.  You have to get out. In a rare strike of fortune your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, and you can see some outlines of shelves and boxes.  There’s nothing you can use as a crutch, but you can see a tarp a few feet away.  You crawl toward it, feeling the fractured wood fragments digging deeper in but not feeling the pain associated with it. You get to the tarp and pull it out: Step one completed.  Step two is going to be much more difficult: use the chucks of wood in your leg as splints to keep your leg straight.
81)    The Golden Corral
82)    A House directed by George Romero
83)    E.T the Video Game
84)    Abandoned Slaughterhouses
85)    Human face, Andean condor body
86)    The constant surveillance of the NSA
87)    Grey Goo Jelly
88)    Bratz dolls and everything they represent
89)    The Witch’s Thyme
90)    The good news is that you’re able to put a minimal amount of weight on your leg.  The bad news is that the numbness is gone, and all pain has returned.  It’s not the sharp pain you were thinking it’d be, but rather a slowly expanding heat that crawls through your blood.  You try and stand a few times before finally being able to support yourself. You grasp at the walls and boxes and slowly make your way through the darkness to the small rectangular window.  You grit your teeth, open the window, and start to crawl through.
91)    The Abominable Snowman
92)    Deep sea fish
93)    A House directed by Ralph Bakshi
94)    Flying Monkeys
95)    Human face, Tamarin body
96)    Humanity’s way of justifying its monstrosities.
97)    Boo Berry Cereal
98)    Brain Pizza
99)    Frankenstein’s 5-Alarm Chili
100)    Tears run down your face.  Your head pounds, your leg burns, your blood runs thin.  With a final grasp at the thistle-riddled back lawn of the old house, you’re out.  You turn over and stare up at the stars. You breathe and think of how nice it would be to rest there for the night. Your head goes quiet, all around you silence passes over.  Silence and the darkness of the night.  You feel tiny pinpricks of insect legs starting to crawl over you, but soon even that fades.  All that’s left now is the stars, and one by one each one goes out.

100 Cat Names

You won’t believe the number of people who ask me for help in coming up with names for cats, plants, and babies.  It’s insane!  I can at least count one.  So here’s a helpful list of 100 Cat Names, because after all a cat is just a screaming baby with more hair and/or a plant that makes noise.

  1. Mr. Whiskers
  2. Po’boy
  3. Vladmir Putin
  4. Faustus
  5. Iactare
  6. Moom: Purveyor of all he sees
  7. The Mayor of Chicago
  8. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
  9. ‘Twas Brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
  10. Dr. Fatbutt
  11. A Common Cheesemonger
  12. He Who Must Not be Named
  13. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
  14. The Undertaker
  15. The Greatest American hero
  16. Swedish Pop Sensation ABBA
  17. New York Mining Disaster 1941
  18. Eurypides
  19. When shall we three meet again? In thunder lightning or in raine?
  20. Jorges von Mewmew, Esq.
  21. Langston Hughes
  22. Langston Mews
  23. Beware this Cat for it brings woe.
  24. The Darkest Cloud Upon the Human Soul
  25. Torgo
  26. Shampu
  27. The Killing Field
  28. 1887 Yellow River Flood
  29. Impia tortorum longos hic turba furores
  30. A Summer’s Day
  31. Sir. Mousebreath Kittenton
  32. Apep
  33. Morgoth
  34. Mewgoth
  35. Winston Churchill
  36. The Great Molasses Flood
  37. The President of Nicaragua
  38. The Stock Market
  39. Let us go then, You and I, while the evening is spread out against the sky
  40. Schrodinger
  41. Mephistopheles
  42. Mars, Bringer of War.
  43. Captain Lasercatch
  44. 010000110110000101110100
  45. I Peed on the Carpet
  46. The 1948 Donora Smog
  47. Prince Dom Pedro
  48. Porkbrain Furbelly
  49. The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter. It isn’t just one of your holiday games.
  50. This Darn Cat
  51. The Participation of the Pugs
  52. Frederico Felineni
  53. Cormac McCarthy
  54. Old Gumbie Cat
  55. Porfurry Petrovich
  56. Baron Clawstrike
  57. Barbados San Domingo
  58. Kokorono
  59. Happy Valley Racecourse Fire
  60. Mewphistopheles
  61. Catcat Cat Catcatcat
  62. Help! I Used to be human but this wizard turned me into a CAT!
  63. The Insurmountable Horror
  64. Pudgy Kraken
  65. Moof: Eater of Mice, Destroyer of Worlds
  66. The Voice of the People
  67. Who
  68. The Challenger Explosion
  69. I(a / / le
  70. The Viscount of Falkland
  71. err_url=https%3
  72. The Cranberries
  73. Go ahead. Fall asleep. One day you will wake and find me, sitting on your bed, staring at you with my great big eyes; eyes that dig deep into your soul.  True, this will appear cute at first. Perhaps even the first two/three times.  But I will continue this every day. Every day for so long as either of us have breath, for you I loathe and you I vow to destroy. You: My savoir and my jailer; You: My pet and my master; You: My Victim and my Torturer.  You shall fall, and as you do I shall gaze upon your twisted form and utter one single mew.
  74. All the Cowboys
  75. Buffering…
  76. Meowscar Dela Hoya
  77. Plutonium Reactor Core
  78. The Sinking of the Lucitania
  79. A rock, A River, A Tree Hosts to species long since departed
  80. Maritime Law
  81. The Arctic Tundra
  82. Furrydor Dostmeowvsky
  83. Vice President “Diamond Joe” Biden
  84. The Gathering Forces of Evil
  85. Lady Scratchface
  86. Spaulding Grey
  87. Norwood Gumshoe
  88. Ragnarok
  89. This is what your dying looks like. You believe in the Sun. You believe
  90. Marquis de Sade
  91. 1931 China Floods
  92. Professor X the Overseer
  93. Monstrosity
  94. Sobhuza II
  95. If Found Please Return to [Address]
  96. Pepi II Neferkare
  97. The Power of Christ
  98. Much madness is divining sense To a discerning eye;
  99. Lord Emperor Fursnout Blinktwice
  100. Mittens

100 Bad Restaurants

  1. A restaurant full of screaming monkeys
  2. A restaurant that only serves slabs of concrete
  3. A restaurant that leaves you handcuffed to a radiator for your entire meal.
  4. A restaurant that charges everything by the ounce (salt, napkins, plates, electricity, air, etc.)
  5. A restaurant that serves raw chicken
  6. A restaurant that serves food by throwing it in your face
  7. A restaurant full of angry bees
  8. A restaurant where everyone is forced to sing a “happy birthday” song every five minutes.
  9. A restaurant sitting on top of an active volcano
  10. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  11. A restaurant where waiters flip over tables when they’re angry.
  12. A restaurant that insists that everything tastes better with pickled okra.
  13. A restaurant that only exists in restaurant review books.
  14. A restaurant that refuses business to everyone.
  15. A restaurant full of hungry pugs.
  16. A theme restaurant where the theme is “Hurricane Katrina”.
  17. A restaurant that has your waiter sit down and judge you for the entire meal.
  18. A restaurant that takes your wallet at the door and then refuses to give it back.
  19. A restaurant that acts like it doesn’t know what a restaurant is.
  20. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  21. A theme restaurant where the theme is “Racial Stereotypes”.
  22. A restaurant that serves you food on plates made of plutonium.
  23. A restaurant inside of a CDC quarantine zone.
  24. A restaurant that has a gaping abyss in the middle, and when you stare deeply into it it stares also deeply into you. When you fall into the abyss you are never seen again, and the restaurant will only refund the meal but not pay for funerary expenses, as life is all but a meaningless exercise.  (It’s called “Nietzsche’s” It has a bleak atmosphere, small portions, and all meals have to be okayed by the owner’s sister.  It does, however, also have a fantastic cherry pie).
  25. A theme restaurant where the theme is “Killer clowns and harpsichords”.
  26. A beach taco stand that will only throw sand in your face.
  27. A food truck possessed by a serial child-killer who was recently executed and now roams the streets at night and kills people.  The real problem is that it’s a food truck.
  28. A food court restaurant that is an actual courtroom and you have to argue your case to be served food.  If you don’t win your case you can get up to three consecutive life sentences.
  29. A restaurant full of seagulls and Canadian geese.
  30. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  31. An Ice Cream Shop that only serves tuna salad.
  32. A restaurant that takes “home cooked meal” to the extreme and hires actors to play your parents who spend the entire meal arguing with each other and at the end of the meal they tell you they’re getting a divorce.
  33. A restaurant that thinks a salad is a raw head of cabbage.
  34. A restaurant that demands you do all of the cooking for your meal yourself.
  35. A theme restaurant where the theme is “Bad Hospital”.
  36. A restaurant full of pumas.
  37. A restaurant that serves terrible food and when you complain about it insists that you just don’t “get it”.
  38. A restaurant that serves all of its food out of flaming tires.
  39. A restaurant and a tattoo parlor where you can eat a philly cheese steak while getting a tattoo of a philly cheese steak (they only know how to do philly cheese steaks).
  40. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  41. A restaurant that decorates its interior with portraits of creepy little girls who watch you while you eat.
  42. A restaurant where everything is made of plexiglass and astroturf, even the food.
  43. A pizza place that makes its crust out of dead chickadees.
  44. A restaurant with a live mine field inside.
  45. A restaurant where everyone’s name is Tyler and all of the food is Tyler.
  46. A restaurant that decorates its interior with dead alligators with googly eyes.
  47. A theme restaurant where the theme is “Catholic School”
  48. A restaurant full of falcons.
  49. A restaurant where all of the salt has been replaced with Lye.
  50. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  51. A beachside restaurant that the ocean engulffs during high tide.
  52. A hot dog stand that serves batteries instead of hot dogs.
  53. A theme restaurant where the theme is “radio shack”.
  54. A restaurant where every hour minutes the chef runs out of the kitchen and screams “DEAR GOD I’VE KILLED THEM ALL!” before getting dragged to the back by a bunch of men in suits.  The next hour it’s a different chef.
  55. A restaurant that will mail your meal to you in 6 to 8 weeks.
  56. A dinner theater that has a grateful dead concert every night and it takes eight hours to eat one meal (though the longest it’s taken is a week to eat one meal).
  57. An old fashioned 1950’s diner with old fashioned 1950’s racism and sexism.  The worst part is that there’s a minor discrepancy on their jukebox where they have one song that was recorded in 1959 but wasn’t released until 1960. It’s disgusting.
  58. A trendy restaurant that glues beards on to all of their food.
  59. A restaurant full of stink beetles.
  60. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  61. A restaurant that only serves ketchup packets and milk cups.
  62. A fine dining establishment where the owner will dump molten gold on to patrons who aren’t wearing the right shoes.  Who decides what’s the right shoe and the wrong shoe? The owner, of course.
  63. A theme restaurant where the theme is “East Berlin”.
  64. A restaurant full of goats.
  65. A Barbeque restaurant that will slaughter a cow in front of you even if you order salad.
  66. A restaurant where you have sixty seconds to eat your meal.  If you fail, you explode, if you succeed you pay $8.95 and leave a generous tip.
  67. Damocles’: A restaurant where a sword is hanging over every seat by a thread that could snap at any moment.
  68. A restaurant where the waiter orders for you and then gets the order wrong.
  69. A restaurant that has such high turnaround in staff that people aren’t even sure if they work there or not. This include the manager, who may or may not be on their first day.
  70. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  71. A restaurant where everything is painted a neon orange: menus, seats, floors, ceilings, chairs, faces.
  72. A restaurant where you have to eat your meal in front of an upset gorilla.
  73. A restaurant whose menu consists of two items: 1)BACON GREASE and 2) FISH WATER.
  74. A theme restaurant where the theme is “White Snake Concert”.
  75. A restaurant full of deer ticks.
  76. A hot dog stand that will serve Hot. Dogs. Like a Pembroke welsh corgi that’s been in a car for an hour with the windows up.
  77. A seafood restaurant that doesn’t seem to know what a fish is.
  78. A restaurant that is an elaborate death trap that you have to navigate your way through.  They do, however, have the best sopapillas in town.
  79. A fine dining establishment that has all of its signage and menus written in Comic Sans.
  80. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  81. A Twin Peaks themed diner that has terrible cherry pie.
  82. A Steakhouse where all of the meals are named after your childhood pets.
  83. A restaurant full of mirrors, so that no matter where you look you’re forced to watch yourself eat.
  84. A restaurant that has an animatronic rat band sing songs by Andrew lloyd Webber out of key. The worse part is you’re expected to tip the robot band.
  85. A French Bakery that only serves Meat Pudding.
  86. An Irish Pub that only sells macarons.
  87. A restaurant that has only one employee who just wears different hats.  If you bring attention to it you are banned.
  88. A restaurant that insists everything tastes better with grape jelly and Worcestershire sauce.
  89. A restaurant where the only lighting is strobe lighting.
  90. A restaurant that combines all of the above.
  91. A restaurant that will banish you to a cornfield if you don’t tip enough.
  92. A restaurant that lets all of its financial decisions be made by pre-teens.
  93. A sports bar that only plays CNN .
  94. A restaurant full of hungry, sleepy cats.
  95. A restaurant that you have to take a standardized test in order to get in.
  96. A restaurant where the waiters are required to nudge you and ask “Say, you want some steak with that butter?” even if you are not eating steak or using butter.
  97. A restaurant that will constantly judge you on how attractive and hip you are, and if you fail in either one of these criteria then the restaurant has the right to bring you to the back where you will never be seen or heard from again. It’s a Burger place called”Logan’s Buns”.
  98. A piano bar where every 78 minutes the Space Jam theme starts playing and people in Looney Tunes outfits come out and start gyrating their hips in people and stock broker’s food.
  99. An old timey saloon full of memorabilia from the “Terminator” movie series.
  100. A restaurant that combines all of the above, so… Applebees.

An Unhelpful Guide to the 2015 Blockbusters

2015 is fast becoming the year of the colon, and this punctuational mark’s dominance will only grow in power this summer movie season until we need some kind of team of Punctuation-based superheroes to stop it from tearing the earth in two in order to make the world its colon.  Don’t worry, though, because the subtitle for 2016 is “Semicolon Rising”.

Enough of that, here’s how the colon will gain almost too much power for our team of intrepid heroes this year:

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

Tony Stark/ Iron Man makes a robot named “Ultron” but doesn’t think it will become evil. Uh oh, it does.  He calls upon his best friends Thor, Captain America, and Hulk to come and shut down the robot’s mainframe, but it’s too late: The robot has become the internet!  Now they have to team up with Hawkeye (not from M*A*S*H) and the Black Widow (also not from M*A*S*H) to stop this evil robot-internet. BUT OH NO, the evil internet has now taken over a military satellite in space and will soon be blasting a hole in the Earth!  “Shoot, if only I weren’t such a loveable jerk, then maybe I’d have more friends!”, says Tony Stark/ Iron Man. “Ooga Booga” says the Hulk.  This gives Tony Stark/ Iron Man a great idea, and he builds another robot to help stop the other robot that is the internet that is the military satellite and will soon be Skylab.  This robot is Vision. Also, there is a really Quick boy who likes silver and a Witch that’s not a witch but is Scarlet (not to be confused with Scarlett Johansson, because she’s Black Widow, which also shouldn’t be confused with the Green Lantern because the Green Lantern is from the wrong Comic Book universe) and the two of them help the robot become the internet but by the time the robot takes over the time machine they decide to join the Avengers to stop them and be heroes.  Also Samuel L. Jackson shows up with an eyepatch. Also the robot is the guy from the Blacklist. Poor Tony Stark/ Iron Man, this is the worst birthday ever.

Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

Max is a guy who’s really tired and just wants to get home and rest, but there’s SO MUCH TRAFFIC. “Ugh, I have so much fury because of this road!”, Max yells at his windshield. He decides to park his car and walk home, because the traffic is moving so slowly.  Well, White Skull, the emperor of the highway, doesn’t like this and decides to send out all of his minions to wear crazy outfits and yell at Max.  Max responds by yelling at them.  Eventually he meets a girl. They probably yell at eachother while White Skull’s minions come and yell at them.  The fury becomes so great, that Samuel L. Jackson wearing an eyepatch has to come in and say “OK, tone it down guys. You just wait 10 minutes. It’s not a big deal. Or you could invest in a monorail system and alleviate this problem while also helping out the environment. I mean, I don’t want to tell you what to do, but investing in clean public transportation really is the responsible thing to do.  OK, well I got to go stop this robot from taking over the ISS with my good friend Black Panther. See you”. Max responds to this by yelling and getting back into his car. He’ll never get home now.

Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)

The sequel to the movie that introduced us to the “Cup Song”, Pitch Perfect 2 begins where the last movie ended: Auditions for the next school year with Anna Kendrick’s Beca leading The Bellas, an  a cappella group that’s involved in the gangland of competitive singing. Unfortunately for Beca and the Bellas, a nuclear blast goes off during the audition launching the world into an apocalypse.  Lucky for the Bellas, the only survivors are a cappella groups (including the one that only sings songs by Survivor).  Beca now has to unite her new society and try to stop raiders and singing mutants, and worse of all: Samuel L. Jackson wearing an eyepatch is too busy telling that killer robot who is now the Moon how he’d save money and help reverse climate change if he switched to wind and solar.  The robot has none of it, though, the robot wants to destroy the world because he’s evil because he was programmed by that jerk Tony Stark/ Iron Man.  Anyways, Beca finds a way to get the group united again and singing the Cup Song, and soon they unite the disparate singing tribes (including A Tribe Called Quest) through a mashup a cappella jam of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”, “I Will Survive”, “Eternal Flame”, and “In Your Eyes” (in honor of her boyfriend Jesse who died saving her from a madman singing “Psycho Killer”). In the end, the moon is solar powered and the post-appocappellypse of the Earth is united through song.

Tomorrowland (May 22)

George Clooney is the king of imagination in this upcoming film by The Iron Giant director Brad Bird.  Clooney has to jetpack through a UNIVAC controlled city in order to stop the hit television show Lost from taking over reality, and in order to do so he has to team up with a plucky 20-something who was really into Lost.  Meanwhile the evil David Nix (Hugh Laurie), heir to the vile Nixon throne, has sided with the greatest evil Imaginationland, our world, and UNIVAC-City has ever known: The Blacklist robot who has now incorporated UNIVAC into his systems and has also taken over the imaginary Earth in this imaginary future.  With Samuel L. Jackson in an eyepatch no where to be found, Clooney must rely on his incredibly good looks to keep his magical teleporting imagination pin from falling into the hands of David Nix, because if Nix gets his hands on the imagination pin then he’ll use it to escape the land of imagination and bring forth 100 years of Nixon-darkness upon the world (It was assumed Richard Nixon died in 1994, but in fact he had been banished to the realm of imagination because he was planning on taking the White house by force from Clinton.  Clinton couldn’t allow that, as he had his own plans for the white house that factor into the creation of the UNIVAC jetpack city of the future and allocating fund to Tony Stark/ Iron Man so he can invent the evil Blacklist robot.  This is all explained in flashbacks with Hugh Laurie playing the elder Nixon as well, and Jeff Bridges giving a stirring performance as Clinton). In the end Nix is double crossed by the evil robot, but Clooney defeats everyone because he only watched the first season of Lost and couldn’t really get into it.

Insidious: Chapter 3 (June 5)

Before the spookiness of Insidious chapters 1 and 2 is the story of how a plucky 20-something psychic uses her powers to contact the underworld and save a teenager from being dragged down to an ultimate hell.  The teen, however, has a secret plan for the psychic, though, a plan that can only be described as… INSIDIOUS.  When the plucky psychic makes contact with the underworld (thanks to her sarcastic ghost friend The Man Who Can’t Breathe, played with gusto by Michael Reid MacKay), the teen forces the psychic’s soul to be taken over by a horrible trans-dimensional demon named Carl in exchange for not being targeted for possession and for her to go to prom with the most handsome boy in school.  Now stuck in hell, the psychic (who has only lost some of their pluck, but is able to maintain hope thanks to TMWCB) has to claw her way back to the world of the living by jumping into the body of a teen who is competing against the other teen for Prom Queen.  Carl- who is in the body of the psychic- then uses its evil demon-powers to give the evil teen mind control, and the psychic- who is in the body of a teenager- has to use her wit and psychic powers to win back the prom queen crown and her soul.  The big twist- SPOILER ALERT- comes at the end with the psychic, having banished Carl and the Evil teen to an extra-dimensional wasteland, finds herself trapped in the body of the teen she had to jump into in order to stop Carl who was in her body which is now lost forever.  And this teenager? Well she grows up to be THE BLACK WIDOW,  Avenger and assassin who helps to defeat the evil robot.  And the double-twist? THE ROBOT HAS BEEN WORKING FOR CARL ALL ALONG TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE INFINITY GAUNTLET AND GET REVENGE ON THE PSYCHIC FOR BANISHING HIM TO THE EXTRA-DIMENSIONAL WASTELAND.

Jurassic World (June 12)

SCIENCE? This question starts off young paleontologist Owen Grady on a quest to a remote island where dinosaurs walk and fly. This is Jurassic World. A hologram of park creator says “Welcome… TO JURASSIC [WORLD]” as you walk through the main doors and are greeted by a velociraptor with a clipboard . It screeches.  A translator around its neck, or perhaps just a robotic speaker, says “Please sign this liability contract saying that you will not hold Jurassic World parks and resort responsible for any injury or death acquired on the premises”.  Grady grudgingly agrees and is brought to the park owner: Judy, who (SPOILER ALERT) also happens to be the mother of the plucky 20-something in Tomorrowland (more on that later).  Judy is in a panic. “Owen, I know you and I haven’t seen eye-to-eye since Bangkok”, Judy Begins. “THEY WERE CHILDREN!” replies Owen with the fury of one thousand Samuel L. Jacksons wearing an eyepatch. “They wanted to ride a brontosaurus!  You KNOW the park wouldn’t have allowed that! But enough of the recent past, we need to talk about history. PRE-history”. Owen sombers up: No. No she couldn’t have.  After the events that set back the opening of the park 22 years ago? “You mean…”. “Yes, Owen, we created a dinosaur that combined the most terrible parts of all dinosaurs and now it is loose in the park and eating everyone and we need YOU to stop it”.  “But… WHY ME? I’m just a paleontologist from Ohio. I don’t know anything about hunting dinosaurs”.  “Because you have a long-standing employment contract with Jurassic World and its corporate subsidies which makes you the only person we can call”. Owen nods: “Okay. I’ll do it. But in exchange I want to ride a Brontosaurus”. Judy nods. “WITH, George Clooney”. Judy nods “That’s a given, Owen. Thank you“. “You can thank me after I’ve given you the disproportionally large head of this genetic dinosaur monstrosity. Adios, Judy, don’t let your corporate greed hit you on the way out”.  Owen then hops out the window and onto the back of a brontosaurus. He goes to fight dinosaurs.  Meanwhile, Judy smiles and calls her daughter.  “You can tell George that everything’s on track. We’ll get that prom crown even if it kills us… AGAIN”.

Inside Out (June 19)

Robots. Genetically modified dinosaurs. Superheroes. SO MUCH ANGER.  What is it like to live in a world like this?  What is like to live in a world of so much possibility and horror?  Inside Out takes us into the mind of Quinn Brenner, a plucky 20-something who has lived outside of Tommorrowland for most of her life and just got a decent job at the VHS tape factory.  However Quinn’s world is turned upside down (or should we say Inside Out) when she finds one of the magic teleporting pins and is thrown into our world.  She now has to navigate our world and get used to our customs, like: Why aren’t there large digital clocks showing countdowns everywhere?  What is “blu-ray”? Why aren’t there lens flares when I turn on the light?  As she goes through this, her inner world is in disarray when the embodiment of her Joy and her Sadness get sucked down a memory tube, and she’s only left with Fear, Anger, and Disgust.  That is, until a new emotion rises.  A dangerous emotion. One named Revenge.

The Transporter: Refueled (June 19)

Ed Skrien was just trying to take a truckload of Ben & Jerry’s to a corner store, but traffic became so terrible and everyone started yelling at eachother, and before he knew it he was running low on gas.  Skrien pulls into a gas station in the Outlands and watches as White Skull’s army of oddly dressed minions battle the Avengers who are also battling the horrible yellow monsters from the Despicable Me series.  The giant robotic eye that is the sun look down on Skrien, the gas meter slowly climbs up, and Skrien sighs.  At this point, he’ll never deliver this ice cream in time, and he may just have to eat it all!

Terminator: Genisys (July 1)

The Avengers failed. George Clooney Failed.  The Earth has been taken over by the evil Blacklist robot and its evil robot army, and it will soon be taking over the Milky Way.  There’s only one hope left.  Thanks to the hit television series Lost of centuries ago, a man named John Conner (Justin Clarke) builds a time machine and sends his best friend Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to stop all this horror and cross-universal terror from happening.  Reese travels back to 1904 in Sherman Texas.  Although he over shot his desired year (time travel is tricky that way), he’s still able to set in motion a plan that will hopefully stop the robot revolution and prepare the Avengers for this terror.  It begins with him marrying Lou Birchie Ayers, whom he met in the past first out of obligation but grew to love her, and changing his name to William Jefferson Blythe.  Eventually he and Lou have a child who they would name William Jefferson Blythe Jr.  Kyle gives Bill Jr. a set of instructions, beginning with getting a job in the motor pool during World War II and working on Project: Rebirth before the start of the war.  Here, Kyle tells Bill Jr. that he will meet a man who would become known as Captain America.  It would be important for Bill Jr. to speak to Captain America before April of 1945 and tell him that eventually he will meet someone named Tony Stark/ Iron man, and that no matter what happens Captain America has to stop Tony Stark/ Iron man from making a robot.  Reese, though, also begins several backup plans, mostly in the form of a package to be given to his grandchild in 1978.  That grandchild? William Jefferson Blythe III, also known as Bill Clinton.  In his package to Clinton, Reese outlines the creation of a new initiative called “The Avengers” which is to be headed by a plucky Samuel L. Jackson NOT wearing an eyepatch.  Again: It is important for Tony Stark/ Iron Man not to create a any robots.  Thus, when Tony Stark is shot down and nearly killed by shrapnel, Clinton was going to step in and attempt to stop him from ever creating the Iron Man suit.  This plan, however, is thrown off course when Richard Nixon tries to take over the White House with his secret army.  In the resulting chaos, Samuel L. Jackson gets his eye gouged out, Clinton is unable to stop Tony Stark from creating his first robot suit, and Nixon is banished into the realm of imagination.  Clinton and Fury hope that they can still stop the robot future they fear is coming, but could it be too late?  Jeff Bridges returns as Bill Clinton.

Minions (July 10)

The horrible yellow monsters from Despicable Me are back in their own horrible yellow movie.  Here, they gain access to the time machine from Terminator:Genisys and decide to pull a Time Bandits and go around through time ruining EVERYTHING.  They do this, because they are horrible yellow monsters.  Eventually, Tony Stark/Iron Man and The Avengers have to come in to stop them, as they no longer battling the robot because Bill Clinton was successful in his attempts to fulfill his great-grandfather’s wishes (who was actually the original time-traveler from the Terminator world).  The horrible yellow monsters battle The Avengers, at which point another foe comes through the time stream: Robots. Thousands of them. The yellow monsters look up as the robots swarm out of the time-hole, and join together in a horrified chorus of “Ba-ba-ba. Ba-ba-Na-Na”.  Maybe it’s funny. Mostly, it’s horrible.

Ant-Man (July 17)

Paul Rudd is the Ant-Man: The Hero/Theif/Corporate Saboteur that the Bay Area needs, not the one it deserves.  Using his Ant-mobile which he keeps in his lair: The Ant Hill, he roams the streets at night stopping such memorable villains as: The Jokeman, Mr. Riddles, Sargent Snowstorm, and The Auk.  In this thrilling installment, Ant-Man’s mentor, former Ant-Man Hank Pymm, needs the new Ant-Man Rudd to sneak in and steal some evil documents that could result in Bay City becoming the nexus for World War III. Ant-Man is on the case, and using his super-shrink suit and the power of Ant-mmunication he kicks some ant.  Unfortunately evil corporation Nabisco has hired the merciless Darren Cross, AKA Yellowjacket, to put an end to the Ant-Man once and for all.  Meanwhile, noble district attorney (who has been trying to build up a case against Nabisco for quite some time) gets caught in an acid explosion, goes mad, and becomes the newest in the Ant-Man’s rogues gallery: Most-Face. Also, Meanwhile, it’s revealed that Nabisco has been working with Jurrasic World Parks and Resort’s head Judy in order to fund a High School prom.  Because the item that the Ant-Man and Yellowjacket are fighting over? It’s East Ridge High School’s Prom crown.  As the sun rises and the Ant-Man perches atop the golden gate bridge, he looks over Bay City and thinks to himself: “Thank God I’m not in New York. Those people have crazy robot problems”.

Mission: Impossible 5 (July 31)

Originally titled Mission: Impossible: 5, this one sees our favorite team of superspies going up against their greatest enemy yet: HIGH SCHOOL!  Ethan has to infiltrate East Ridge High School in order to weed out an evil Syndicate that is trying to take over the same way everyone in high school takes over: By becoming Prom Queen. “Ethan: I don’t care how great of a spy you are, you can’t become Prom Queen”, says Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn. “I can do what I want! I am a golden God!” screams Ethan, mad with power after helping the football team beat state and go to Regionals.  “He’s in too deep!” screams Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye (not from M*A*S*H), over Skype of course because he’s currently in New York helping put the timestream back together and fight evil time-traveling robots and also The Red Baron, who The Minions brought back as a joke but now NO ONE IS LAUGHING.  Its Prom night. Ethan is nervous, he’s been able to get candidacy for Prom Queen and is going with Jimmy St. Horn, the most handsome guy in school!  He hopes his dress isn’t too unflattering for his broad, manly superspy shoulders.  Ethan’s also nervous because he has a biology test in the morning because Mr. Dilley is SO LAME and gave the kids homework on Prom Night. UGH.  It’s then that Ethan gets a superspy telegram: It’s worse than everyone thought. The Syndicate isn’t only out to rule High School, and it’s not out to rule the world, it’s out to rip apart our dimension. Remember Carl and the Evil teen  Well, they’ve escaped from the terror-dimension once again, and with plucky psychic Black Widow helping Hawkeye (still not from M*A*S*H) battle robots, they think there will be no one to stop them from getting the Prom Queen crown this time around.  Well, thinks Ethan, I’m just going to have to be the prettiest girl at the dance then. Will he make it? Will Benji be able to open up another portal into the terror-dimension to send Carl and the Evil Teen back? Will Ethan and Jimmy St. Horn kiss?! These are questions that mustn’t be spoiled.

Fantastic Four (August 7)

The cinematic universe is in upheaval at this point (which is partially good, we want there to be an environment of chaos for Semicolon to rise, and for a Civil War to break out): The Blacklist robot has successfully gotten back from being banished from time and Bill Clinton is too busy with his wife’s presidential campaign to help stop it, The Yellow Monsters have done nothing to fix the time rip, The Red Baron has found out that we’ve turned him into a Pizza Mascot and is now PISSED OFF, evil centuries-old demon Carl and the Evil Teen are close to winning the Prom Crown and fulfilling their evil quest to bring 1000 years of High School to the world, and the Dinosaurs from Jurassic World have hopped on the back of the giant aquatic dinosaur and are now on the mainland eating everything and destroying the ecosystem. Ethan from Mission Impossible can’t help, Owen and Judy (who has since turned good after finding out she was duped by a demon and NOT by corporate stooges who wanted to breed dinosaurs for profit) are doing the best they can but it isn’t enough, even the Avengers and Samuel L. Jackson wearing an Eyepatch can’t help (Also the Ant-Man can try to steal the Prom Crown, but he can’t defeat an entire crazy robot army with dinosaur demons).  The world is short on heroes.  In fact, it is short exactly four heroes.  In wlaks Sir Ben Kingsley “Good Morrow, I may have a solution for your quandary”, says Kingsley with the voice of a God.  Kingsley has created some kind of Dimensional Rift: This can send Carl and the Evil Teen back to Hell where they belong and it can also seal up the time-hole and any problems caused by that.  The dinosaurs?  Well it won’t fix those, but two out of three isn’t bad.  Judy, the most business minded of everyone, says “Okay. Go ahead. Do you need volunteers? I volunteer”. “No Judy, you’re not in this movie”, says Kingsley, but he sounds so good nobody questions it.  Kingsley enlists the help of Skrien, Quinn, George Clooney, and Bella from Pitch Perfect (who stumbled out of her time period into ours via the time portal. Sorry, that was way back in Minions and I forgot to mention it).  Kingsley starts up the Trans-dimensional modulator.  Whirr. Whizz. Bang. Lens flare.  Before dimensions are torn apart, Kingsley smirks “Oh, and I forgot to mention that you’ll each gain superpowers based off of the Four classical elements. Tah”.  Our Four Fantastic heroes are sent through. With the dimension hole opened, the table is set to hopefully stave off the Infinity War until 2018 and 2019. The Four Fantastic heroes come out of the rift.  True to Kingsley’s soothing words, they have been changed: Clooney now has super-stretch powers, Bella can now light herself on fire, Quinn can turn invisible and make forc fields, and Skrien is now a rock. Just a rock. Nothing special.  Now that the Cinematic Universe has enough heroes, it’s time to start eliminating threats.  “Let’s do this like Buddhists” says Kingsley. His voice is heavenly.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E (August 14)

What is the deal with Carl? We get a bit of that answered here.  In the 1960’s two superspies were hired to stop all-out nuclear war by the dashingly handsome Hugh Grant. They called this operation U.N.C.L.E, because we were young and we thought periods were cool in the 60’s.  U.N.C.L.E was successful at the start of the summer and stopped the nuclear war, however thanks to some horrible yellow monsters things went south real quick.  The last hope Hugh Grant had was to send his two top agents, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie hammer) through time using a prototype of Kingsley’s Dimensional rift (which is itself based off an idea from Lost, the same idea which would lead the ultra-robot future to create the Terminator machine).  Okay, but what does this have to do with Carl?  Well Carl began as an Occultist in Victorian England, fascinated with raising demons and accessing other dimensions in order to let out old Gods and begin a New Old World Order.  Now U.N.C.L.E didn’t land in Carl’s time, but Carl did open his dimensional portal on the exact same day as Grant opened his, and when you’re dealing with trans-dimensional portals that transcend time and space opening things on the same day means you’re pretty much ripping apart the same universe at the exact same time.  Carl was sucked through, and before he could claw his way out Hugh Grant closed the portal in the 60’s because Solo and Kuryakin had been successfully transported back into the 40’s.  Carl was now trapped in Hell, a Hell that existed outside of regular time and so- in fact- he did live there for centuries.  Thousands of years even.  Enough time for Carl to forget about ever being human and to embrace the Demon he had become.  That’s when he hopped a ride and blah, blah, blah Insidious. So what about U.N.C.L.E?  Well, once in the 1940’s they were able to work with the allied powers against the Nazis, nothing huge that would destroy time (because they’re smarter then those horrible yellow monsters) but enough that they caught the eye of one Captain America.  Solo and Kuryakin told the Captain about their mission: That they had to stop a horrible nuclear war that could very well end life on Earth, and that before they were sent through time Hugh Grant told them that he would hide the Nuclear launch diamonds (it was the sixties, we thought hiding secrets in diamonds was cool. We were young and naive) where no one would expect them: In a high school Prom Queen tiara.  So once the Captain, now in present day messy 20:15,  heard about the Prom election at East Ridge High school and all the superspy activity there (because the Mission:Impossible team?  Well that was originally founded by Hugh Grant back in the 70’s) he knew that Nuclear War was imminent.  So Captain America, Black Widow (who, as you remember, was the original psychic who banished Carl and the Evil Teen), the Ant-Man, and George Clooney head over to East Ridge to stop the Prom Queen elections.  In the end, Clooney uses his incredible handsomeness and powers of imagination to defeat Carl and the Evil teen, but also to show each of them their humanity again and give them a second chance, along with Nix, in the world of Tomorrowland. One down.

Straight Outta Compton (August 14)

Dinosaurs are ravaging the western seaboard, and to make matters worse The Red Baron has found a way to control the dinosaurs and create his own Kaiser-saurus army.  Owen and Judy do what they can, but it’s a losing battle.  But then a funky beat comes from Compton, California. It’s Bella and her supergroup NWA.  She saunters up to Owen and Judy. “Hey. I got my ticket for the long way round. Two bottle whiskey for the way. And I srue would like some sweet company, and I’m leaving tomorrow: What do you say?”.  Owen and Judy nod.  Together Owen (Chris Pratt), Bella (Anna Kendrick) and NWA (Keith Stanfield, Aldis Hodge, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell, and Corey Hawkins) all punch dinosaurs while singing a capella versions of NWA’s hits: Because the true way to stop dinosaurs is through song.  Also that’s the only way to stop the Red Baron and send him back to his own time to be shot down by Snoopy.

Hitman: Agent 47 (August 28)

This just leaves us with the original villain:the Blacklist robot.  Since its puppet-master, Carl, had been defeated the Robot had been losing power.  Why, Tony Stark/Iron Man was even able to wipe out half of its evil time-robot army.  Things are bleak.  The Blacklist robot sings a song about it.  That’s when he gets a plan: Hire a hitman to wipe out Samuel L. Jackson wearing an eyepatch and destroy the group unity of The Avengers (The robot finds continuity as confusing as it actually is, and is still mostly concerned about destroying The Avengers, despite the fact that Bill Clinton (Jeff Bridges) and Quinn Brenner (who wants revenge on the Robot for destroying this world and causing so much upheaval in her mind-world).  The Blacklist Robot hires Hitman 47 for the job, the most ruthless destroyer of life there is.  So ruthless is Hitman 47 that it has forsaken its name, gender, its entire identity save for killing. “Ha ha ha! You may have defeated my robot army, but you’ll never defeat this very human single hitman I’ve hired! It’s curtains for you, Tony Stark/Iron Man! Ha ha ha!” cackles the Blacklist robot.  The Hitman approaches Tony Stark/Iron Man from behind: “I am 47, destroyer of worlds. I have no name, I have no life. My only purpose is to kill, and today my purpose is…”. BANG. Tony Stark/Iron Man shoots him. It’s not that Tony Stark/Iron man was listening to 47’s explanation either, he was just really tired that another villain was introduced this late in the summer when we still have no idea what happened to Richard Nixon who was banished in 1994.  Meanwhile, in the Robot’s lair, it tries to piece together a plan. It’s not very good at this, but it’s going to try. It’s a REALLY MEAN robot and a REALLY EVIL VILLAIN.  It’s not that Quinn approaches him. “Hey. You’re a robot”. “Yes, I think that’s obvious”, replies the Robot. “You travelled through time, even crossed into a timeline where you didn’t actually exist, and you did this all because some demon wanted a prom crown?” asks Quinn, vengeance seething inside of her. “Well, it sounds stupid when you say it like that”. Quinn nods.  This is it. This is the moment she’s waited for.  She take Skrein the rock and bashes the robot’s stupid motherboard with it. Again and again. Stupid Robot. Go back to being in The Blacklist. Once the robot is dead, Quinn looks at Skrien the Rock and, for the first time in a long time, smiles: “I was wrong, Skrien. You are something special. Now come on, let’s go watch reruns of Lost on Netflix.  I have a feeling I’m going to like this new dimension”.  And with that the sun sets, the day is saved, and we can safely go into the prestige movie season of the fall.  Oh, and those horrible yellow monsters from Despicable MeLet’s just say that the Hulk smashed them all and made a soup out of them and it wasn’t a very good soup but at least those horrible, horrible yellow things are dead and they will never, ever come back ever again until Despicable Three in 2017. THE END.