Like a lot of roleplaying games, Undertale asks you to become a child. When you fall down a hole into an underworld populated with monsters, your path seems clear: set off on a brave journey across a hostile land, destroy the evil monsters you meet along the way, and emerge a hero.
Then, almost immediately, you meet a monster who doesn't want to fight. Its name is Whimsum and it is very frightened, ready to burst into tears at the mere sight of you. So it's your choice, hero: do you spare it or cut it into pieces?
Welcome to Undertale, a game where every battle is a choice between the complex morality of compassion, and the simplicity of the sword.
Other monsters you encounter are more aggressive, but just as complicated. One is simply depressed, weeping tears that drip down the screen and wound you drop by drop. One is deeply insecure and just wants someone to laugh at its jokes. One lovingly coats you in lava, believing for all the world that its fiery ministrations are healing you. Another, you're told, simply has a hard life.
Whatever else a monster is in this world, it's also a person, and every foe you encounter has its own fears, anxieties, and dreams. Maybe they're attacking you, as bullies and trolls often do, because they're hurting as well. Or maybe they're attacking you because they've always been told that monsters and humans are enemies, and that they're supposed to kill each other. Read the rest
Those are the words of James Lamsdell of Yale University, author of a study on the nasty thing.
The creature grew to 170 centimtres (5ft 7in) and had a dozen claw arms sprouting from its head, as well as a spiked tail. Geologists at the Iowa Geological Survey found 150 pieces of fossils about 18 metres under the Upper Iowa river, part of which had to be temporarily dammed to allow them to collect the specimens. Scientists at Yale University determined they were a new species from about 460m years ago when Iowa was under an ocean.
The study was published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. It's like reading about a very complex fossilized puzzle.
Despite the fragmentary nature of the material, the comprehensive representation of the morphology allows Pentecopterus to be reconstructed (Fig. 20). The taxon bears a number of similarities to Megalograptus, including the typical megalograptid guttalate ornamentation and a number of features of the prosomal appendages, notably the randomly-oriented armature on the distinctly swollen podomeres of appendage IV and the narrow gnathobase bearing multiple rows of small teeth on the coxa of appendage V…Read the rest
The newly described eurypterid Pentecopterus decorahensis from the Winneshiek Lagerstätte is the earliest described representative of the group, pushing our knowledge of Eurypterida back some 9 million years to the Darriwilian in the Middle Ordovician.
If you are traveling through the San Francisco International Airport during the next four months, don't miss the exhibit Classic Monsters, featuring fantastic items from the collection of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, on view in the Terminal 2 gallery of the always-fascinating SFO Museum. The artifacts include vintage movie props, toys, and original paintings by Basil Gogos that appeared on covers Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.
Above: Vampire Armand Tesla’s head before and after it melts in The Return of the Vampire starring Bela Lugosi, 1943.
Below: Frankenstein toys and memorabilia c. 1960s–70s; Wolf Man makeup test bust made for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein starring Lon Chaney, Jr., 1948; Dracula toys and memorabilia c. 1960s–70s; Mummy painting c. 1969 Artist: Basil Gogos.
Mars Attacks! was a lurid, horrifcally gory series of Topps bubble gum cards produced in the 1960s. Makeup artist Marla Malone created this wonderful face painting tribute to the genius of artist Norm Saunders, who painted the Topps Cards. Watch the video below.
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Stefano Prima is not content to make rings and stalks sporting everyday taxidermy eyeballs -- rather, his pieces sport fanciful reptile irises, vertical goat-slits, terrifying basilisk pupils and even square pupils. Read the rest
In 1966, Topps issued a series of "Frankenstein Valentine Stickers" that have only improved with age. Read the rest
Hollywood Makeup Lab is not a beginner’s monster makeup book. The projects are mainly for people with experience making molds and prosthetics, and who are familiar with airbrushing and different kinds of makeup. But a beginner who wants to make a killer Halloween character can learn a lot from going through this book, which covers color theory, bruises, burns, zombies, aging, hair, bald caps, fangs, and tattoos.
In 2005, MST3K's Mike Nelson published Goth-Icky: A Macabre Menagerie of Morbid Monstrosities, part of the Pop Ink series -- it's a gorgeous graphic tour of four-color monster art that were pulled from the archives of the Charles S. Anderson Design Company. Read the rest