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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There and Back Again: Or, What I Learned About Pop Culture at the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio

And we’re back! After a long and much-needed holiday in the USA, I’m in Cardiff and working on my thesis again. My post this week is going to be a long one, and it’s going to contain a strange mix of topics (religion, politics, and popular culture), so consider yourself forewarned. Those of you who follow me … 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

The Giving Tree

Happy Earth Day! In between conference prepping and submitting a revised chapter of my thesis for review, I took a few minutes to re-read one of my favourite childhood books: Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. All things said, it’s not really a cheerful story. A boy and a tree love each other and have happy times playing … Read more

5 Reasons The Giver is Still My Favourite Young Adult Dystopia

So. After a week’s hiatus due to a bout of the flu, I’m back (sort of). I watched a lot of Netflix while in bed, mainly Adventure Time, which I’m even more excited about since I discovered it’s post-apocalyptic, and I picked up some digital downloads for entertainment as well. One of the films on my … Read more

RIP Terry Pratchett: Where the Falling Angel Met the Rising Ape

Terry Pratchett’s publisher just announced that the Discworld author, who spent many years struggling with Alzheimer’s, has passed away. He was only 66. I have no words at the moment to express the loss that I – or that many other fans – will feel at this moment. I can only offer my heartfelt thanks for the many … 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

‘Everything is Awesome’ is the Anthem of Our Age

So the Oscars were on over the weekend. And although The LEGO Movie may have been snubbed in the nominations for Best Animated Feature, it was very present in the evening’s rendition of ‘Everything is Awesome’, which included Oscar statuettes made out of LEGO blocks and a heavy metal interlude by Will Arnett (as Batman): … Read more

Our Zombies, Ourselves: A Lecture with J. Halberstam

At guest lectures I usually come prepared to fully understand about half of the references made, and get excited about one or two particular sound bytes. Not so at Jack Halberstam’s lecture on Zombie Humanism at the End of the World (originally titled ‘Our Zombies, Ourselves: Queerness at the End of Time’), kindly hosted by the Cardiff … Read more

Popular Culture and the English Language (Meh)

A little while back the Oxford English Dictionary’s always-delightful blog had a special feature on a certain pop culture phenomenon: The Simpsons. This piece, written by English professor Michael Adams, talked about a number of the words The Simpsons has brought to the English language, but two in particular stood out: d’oh and meh. Aside … Read more