Penny Dreadful versus The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Penny-Dreadful-Vanessa-Ives

[EDIT: I penned a running review series of Penny Dreadful season three for the Victorianist. Click here for direct links.]

This article contains (very) minor spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen Penny Dreadful or read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you may want to steer clear.

When the Showtime/Sky television series Penny Dreadful was announced, many fans and critics accused it of plagiarising Alan Moore and Kevin O’Niell’s comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It does, after all, feature a very similar cast of characters and draw from similar nineteenth-century texts, especially if you count the abysmal film adaptation from 2003. Both mashups feature characters plundered from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, though LoEG showrunner Mina Murray is replaced by her father Malcolm (played by Timothy Dalton) in Penny Dreadful, as the unofficial ‘leader’ of the band of monsters. Sir Malcolm Murray, like LoEG’s Allan Quatermain, is a hunter and explorer who spent much of his life in Africa.

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Giving the Past a Photographic Afterlife

I’ve long been a fan of Jo Teeuwisse’s Ghosts of History project, where she overlays present-day locations with old archive photographs. I’m also a big fan of the recent trend where contemporary artists insert monsters and pop culture icons into thrift store paintings. In that same trend, while researching my current chapter, I came across the image series ‘Dancing with … Read more

Everything is a Remix

This week I’d like to share a short, four-part documentary on remix culture that I recently watched (for free) over on the ‘Everything is a Remix’ website. Not only is it brief, well-researched, entertaining, and well-edited, it also offers an excellent introduction to my own research, which focuses specifically on how studying remix culture changes the way we look … Read more

Victorian Monsters? Strategies of Appropriation in the Neo-Victorian Mashup

This post originally appeared on the Victorianist, the postgraduate blog of the British Association for Victorian Studies, on 18 May 2015. It is reposted here with the kind permission of the editors. I should probably preface this post by admitting that I’m not a real Victorianist. The Victorians were one of my undergraduate passions, and … Read more

The Lighter Side of Apocalypse

Today’s post will be quick, as I’m in the middle of conference mania, and also of a major overhaul of my thesis focus and methodology. Because I’m a bit tired of both monsters and the Victorian at the moment (hard to believe, I know), this week I decided to briefly share a couple of somethings … Read more

Anatomy of a Cover

We’re always told that we should never judge a book by its cover, but the truth is that a lot of work goes into making sure we do. A cover generally gives us an immediate idea of the genre, register, and target audience of a book. A good cover will also generate excitement and interest, … Read more

On the Front Lines Between ‘Funny’ and ‘Offensive’

Seeing as today is April Fool’s Day (or April Fools’ Day, as Wikipedia pointedly suggests I should be apostrophising it), and most of the commentary on the day’s festivities seems to border on despair and desperation, I thought it might be fun to post something about the uses and limits of humour. The line between what’s … Read more

The Good, the Bad, and the Book Trailers

Happy World Book Day (a few days late, and also only in the UK and Ireland)! This week’s post will be a short one, because I’ve got a big deadline on Friday that I should be focusing on, but I’ll try to start you off on an interesting trajectory. Naturally, the part of Book Day most people … Read more

Translating Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This week I spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out which literary monster mashups had been translated into which languages, as well as how and by whom. This turned up all kinds of interesting information – for example that Quirk’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters are the most … Read more

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer

For my PhD research into monster mashups, I’ve ended up reading a lot of things with cheesy titles. Jane Slayre, Wuthering Bites, Grave Expectations, Mr Darcy, Vampyre – I could list them all day. Compared to these, Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer isn’t too bad, but it’s got the same gleeful level of camp and (ir)reverence for … Read more