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Surreal Thursday: Beware The Spider !

Well this Surreal Thursday brings together a number of topics and cross-inspirations. There is no cross dressing, but there are disguises. Now one of my fellow bloggers, George – She Kept A Parrot, mentioned that I haven’t done any weird stuff lately. Recently George commented on the cobwebs in a Lemony Shots post  that was titled Oil Can Collection (beautiful compositions, check them out).  Well synchronicity weaved a web of happenstance and what should show up on our window screen, but a rather huge spider.  It was on the outside of the screen but was casting a wonderful shadow on the inside.   Now that created the perfect opportunity to capture some interesting shots for some surrealizing ( I know, bad pun) images.

The large spider  reminded me of the swollen foot I had in late June. While doing some yard work I seemed to antagonized a creature that bite/stung me. My foot did swell a bit and several people suggested that it was a spider bite.  I acquired no powers from this encounter, but I did not end up climbing the walls from discomfort either. Spiders are getting larger as the milder winters have allowed them to survive and continue growing. Perhaps this larger size has increased the potency of their bites.

Ah, The Spider’s Shadow, now there is a title for Pulp Magazine tale.  Plus it mentions  two significant Pulp Magazine heroes, The Shadow and The Spider. For more on The Shadow see my post, Existential Friday: MEMENTO MORI & The Fruit of KnowledgeThe Spider was a Pulp Magazine hero, Richard Wentworth that was specifically created (1933) to compete for the same target audience as The Shadow.  Creepier and more violent, The Spider wore an elaborate disguise that included fangs, a fright wig of long witchy-hair , and a hunch back. The Spider also carried a thin silken line (his “web”) which had a breaking strain of several hundred pounds.  One distinguishing feature of The Spider was his “calling card.” Wentworth often left a red-ink “spider” image like a drop of blood on the foreheads of the criminals that he slew so others would not be blamed for his crimes.   His portrayal  on the magazine cover was more in keeping with the romantic masked hero.

Dynamite Comics, which has recently began publishing The Shadow in comic-book form has also followed with a version of the Spider. The designs have been created by Alex Ross. It was inspired by the movie serial.

The tradition of the masked  figure who takes on evil and fear by becoming the image of  fear is very powerful, at times horrific, while at other times dashing and romantic.  The Scarlet Pimpernel is a literary template of this  figure. It is obvious that these figures hold a powerful influence on us. After all Both The Shadow and The Spider influenced the creation of  The Bat-man and all comic-book superheroes . The connection to The Amazing Spider-man who climbs walls and uses webbing  can be traced to these early pulp figures. The following images are intended to suggest some of the mystery of the mask and the spider that holds our fascination, even in this era. The colours imitate the lurid bloody pulps.


13 responses

  1. I know, I did click “like”, didn’t I? NO, I hate spiders. 🙂 They’re worse than eyeballs … unless, of course, you show their eyeballs…

    August 17, 2012 at 4:09 am

    • elmediat

      Thanks George. Your courageous visit to the blog is most appreciated. Also great idea for another surreal post, eyeballs and spiders. 😀

      August 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

  2. Surreal Thursday has never let me down. Or any of the days you post. The spider images are cool and the comic history is right down my alley.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

    • elmediat

      Glad you enjoyed this one Walter. “Blogger-man, Blogger-man. Does whatever s blogger can.” 😀

      August 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

  3. Michelle Gillies

    “Beware the spider”, indeed! For some reason beyond comprehension spiders love to bite me. House spiders, cottage spiders, water spiders, big ones, small ones…they seek me out and nibble on me. This year was the first time I had to get medical attention for a spider bite because the swelling was spreading and wouldn’t stop. Perhaps you are right that they are getting bigger and less vulnerable. All I know for sure is that they are everywhere and they will find me and I see them very much as you say “lurid bloody pulps” all the time. These pictures are very real to me.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    • elmediat

      I was was quite surprised by the swelling of my foot. I have suffered stings from bees & wasps, and bites from ants without having to seek medical attention or have any reaction such as the one I had in June. Some people seem to have a propensity for attracting certain kinds of insects/creatures. My maternal grandmother had an anxiety about snakes that stemmed from an early childhood experience. She had a radar about spotting them and family members said at times she seemed to be a magnet for attracting them.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm

  4. Wonderfully weird! Thank you very much for mentioning my oil-can post. I actually have a real fascination and even a fondness for spiders, which I’ve somehow passed on to my 4-year-old daughter. Just today she was peering into a web on our porch at the furry creature in the middle saying “What a cutie pie!” 😀

    August 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    • elmediat

      Thanks Lemony. Your daughter will love Hagrid’s pet. 🙂

      August 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      • Ha ha ha! 😀 You always manage to crack me up more with each comment. How do you do that?!

        August 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      • elmediat

        It is an affliction . I am often pun-tied. 😀

        August 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm

  5. Your images (and description) remind me of a spider bite I had last year. We suspect it might have been from a brown recluse (because we had seen a few of them around our last apartment) and it caused a fist-sized welt on my leg which lasted for longer than I had initially hoped! Dun dun dun! Fortunately none of the spiders we’ve seen around our new apartment look nothing like that… (I have to admit the B.R.’s freak me out a bit).

    August 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    • elmediat

      Sounds nasty. I never heard accounts of spider bites until quite recently. First in southern Ontario, then up here. News reports claim it has to do with the migration of spiders from the states and the mild winters allowing native spiders to increase there size and their territorial aggressie behaviour.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

  6. Spiders don’t bother me much. Worms and slugs are another matter.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:56 am

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