MONSTER BRAINS (and why I have monsters on the brain)

The image at right is from an old comic cover by L.B. Cole (circa 1940 or so) and comes to me courtesy of one of my favorite image blogs, “Monster Brains.” The Cole pictures are particularly wonderful, but Monster Brains always has something good. Do yourself a favor and subscribe today.
Earlier today I had an epiphany of sorts. I was looking at the Cole images on Monster Brains and just enjoying their lurid wonder. Later I went to my therapist (yes, I go to a therapist) and he and I spoke about how I take personal responsibility for the feelings of others (and how that’s not a good thing) and subconsciously seem to believe as though other people’s unhappiness is my fault.
Later, I thought back on a conversation with an ex-girlfriend where she was somewhat taken aback by the fact that I was always writing short stories in which one of the characters would transform into a ‘monster’ (not literally, like a werewolf, but they would transform in their behavior and their might be some outward sign of that transformation… like a story in which a guy had a big boil on his forehead — or another story where a man wakes up to find that someone has attached a dog’s head to his body right next to his human head). I was also always drawing weird shit and admiring pictures like the one at top right… or medieval art (particularly scenes of hell or mythological creatures)… or Indian art (like this image of Kali), etc., and she was saying, “What is it with you and the monsters?”
This is where the epiphany comes in. I think the fascination with monsters comes from identifying with the monsters. Now that it occurs to me, I am shocked that I never thought about it before. Weird, huh?

2 Comments on “MONSTER BRAINS (and why I have monsters on the brain)”

  1. WHEN A BAD THING HAPPENS TO ONE WE LOVE, SOMETIME A LOOK IN THE MIROR REVEALS THE MONSTER ISYOU. TIME FOR CRY……………

    HAHAHAAAHA JUST KID! EAT ALL THE PEOPEL, MONSTER – RRRAAAAAAAAAAAAARRARRRAAAAAAAR!!!!1

  2. ClawCarver says:

    I'm no therapist, but maybe it comes back to Lovecraft's “Outsider” who looks (at first uncomprehendingly) in the mirror and sees that he is very much the monster. If you're a monster you're an outsider, so when you feel like an outsider, you identify with the monsters. Off the top of my head I can think of several I've identified (or at least sympathised with) – the Groke in the Moomin stories, the cave troll in the Fellowship of the Ring movie, the Rancor in Jedi, and the dinosaurs in Flesh, or The Valley of Gwangi, or Jurassic Park. (In fact, all dinosaurs wherever they appear, and especially when they're eating people…)

    Have you read John Gardner's “Grendel”?


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