Archive for December, 2011

A Holiday Treat — The (Physical) Hypnosis in Media Collection

As a spe­cial Hol­i­day present, I present the (phys­i­cal) Hyp­no­sis in Media col­lec­tion in its semi-entirety.

The book­shelf unit here holds the main part of the Col­lec­tion. As you can see, it is divid­ed in half, with the left half hold­ing fig­ures and art­work behind the glass doors, larg­er books and fold­ers below, and the doors below hold­ing the media ele­ments that don’t fit any­where else. The right half holds most of the fic­tion and non­fic­tion books. As you can see, the book­case is by no means large enough to hold every­thing, as there are parts of the col­lec­tion on the floor before it.

This is the upper part of the left half, which has the fig­ures and art­work. On the upper shelf you can see the two fig­ures from the Silent Screams fig­ure line, from the movie “The Cab­i­net of Doc­tor Cali­gari” on the top, along with the Princess Ariel fig­ure, and small­er toys with hyp­not­ic themes in the mid­dle. At the back of the low­er shelf as a ani­ma­tion cel of Hyp­no­tia from the “Iron Man” ani­mat­ed series, sev­er­al dozen Hero­Clix fig­ures in the low­er left and my lat­est acqui­si­tion, the Ring­mas­ter mini-bust, in the cen­ter. The box­es on the right con­tain a num­ber of stereo­typ­i­cal hyp­not­ic foci, includ­ing sev­er­al crys­tals and even a cou­ple of hyp­no-disks. The Hero­Clix fig­ures are a large but not com­plete of all of the char­ac­ters with hyp­not­ic or mind con­trol abil­i­ties, includ­ing Pro­fes­sor X, Sat­urn Girl, Super-Goril­la Grodd, the Pup­pet Mas­ter, the Mad Hat­ter, etc.

The fold­ers and note­books on the shelves below the  glass doors con­sists of the results of research projects car­ried out in the past, includ­ing the mate­r­i­al behind the search for ‘Secrets of the Sleep Mer­chants’ detailed else­where, a set of pub­lic­i­ty pho­tographs of Pat Collins and details of her life, com­ic strip and book col­lec­tions and ref­er­ence mate­ri­als, small­er mag­a­zines and pam­phlets that might get dam­aged if put else­where, the two records released by Pat Collins, as well as any­thing that does­n’t fit in any­where else.

The fic­tion part com­pris­es rough­ly 200 pieces, includ­ing sev­er­al col­lec­tions, dou­ble-stacked on the first two shelves and in front of the non-fic­tion stacks on the third shelf.  The non-fic­tion sec­tion also con­tains rough­ly about 200 books, not includ­ing the var­i­ous pam­phlets and book­lets that are in anoth­er book­shelf. These books are strict­ly hyp­no­sis relat­ed: there is a sep­a­rate sec­tion for media ref­er­ences, such as indices and ref­er­ence books on var­i­ous TV series, movies, etc.

This is by no means the com­plete col­lec­tion: there is a stor­age case with sev­er­al dozen video tapes else­where that I am slow­ing dig­i­tiz­ing and con­vert­ing to DVD for­mat, along with the comics col­lec­tion stored in the garage, as well as the reg­u­lar fic­tion col­lec­tion that takes up most of anoth­er bed­room / library. All in all, I esti­mate I have some­where in the range of 500 — 600 books, over 250 comics and dozens of mag­a­zines and papers in the col­lec­tion prop­er and maybe anoth­er cou­ple hun­dred books and I can’t even guess how many comics elsewhere.

This Week in Comics — 2011/12/21

Its Mind Con­trol / Mem­o­ry Manip­u­la­tion week in the Bat­man uni­verse as the Leviathan sto­ry­line con­tin­ues past the hav­oc of the Flash­point and into the “52” era and the Birds of Prey bat­tle an ene­my who uses inno­cent (and not so inno­cent) indi­vid­u­als not only as unwit­ting spies but bombs as well.

Batman: Incorporated #1

The post-52 Bat­man: Incor­po­rat­ed sto­ry­line seems unchanged from the pre-52 era, a con­tin­u­a­tion of Bat­man’s quest to dis­cov­er the truth behind Leviathan, a ruth­less inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tion. To that end, Bat­man start­ed fran­chis­ing the Bat­man name inter­na­tion­al­ly, build­ing an army of crime fight­ers across the world to bat­tle and equal­ly world-wide threat.

This issue is a spe­cial issue with two sto­ries, both writ­ten by Grant Mor­ri­son, so expect weird­ness espe­cial­ly of the mind-warp­ing kind. The first sto­ry is about an exclu­sive girl’s school that is actu­al­ly a school for crim­i­nals, espe­cial­ly assas­sins and killers. Bat­girl, the daugh­ter of a for­mer Bat­man foe, infil­trates the school to dis­cov­er it had been tak­en over to pro­duce mind-con­trolled killers for Leviathan. The sec­ond sto­ry con­sists of a weird­ly con­fus­ing sequence of the same con­fronta­tion played over and over with dif­fer­ing results, until at last the final result reveals the true iden­ti­ty of the leader of Leviathan and its true purpose.

Birds of Prey #4

The sto­ry opens with the Birds of Prey (con­sist­ing of Bat­girl, Black Canary, Katana, Poi­son Ivy and Star­ling) rid­ing an out-of-con­trol train with sev­er­al unwit­ting (and one wit­ting but not com­pli­ant) bombs aboard, ready to be men­tal­ly trig­gered by hear­ing a nurs­ery rhyme. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the one vic­tim who is aware of her state is Black Canary, who is saved from death by a good right to the jaw from Starling.

How­ev­er, the real sit­u­a­tion is more insid­i­ous: the oth­er peo­ple weren’t walk­ing bombs, they were walk­ing, unwit­ting spies. Every­thing they saw and heard was unde­tectably trans­mit­ted to the orga­ni­za­tion called the Clean­ers (who use invis­i­bil­i­ty suits) and run by some­one named Choke, who was the men­tal voice that was about to kill Black Canary. A very angry Poi­son Ivy used her own spe­cial way with men to get the infor­ma­tion the team want­ed about the loca­tion of the Clean­ers and Star­ling described exact­ly where that loca­tion was. Each team mem­ber used their own spe­cial abil­i­ties to enter the Clean­ers head­quar­ters. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, what they found was a room full of sud­den­ly not-so-invis­i­ble Clean­ers and the mys­te­ri­ous voice telling them:

That won’t be nec­es­sary. Wel­come to the Cage.
I’d explain …
… but you won’t remem­ber any of this anyway.

The issue ends with the Birds of Prey stand­ing out­side, with Star­ling won­der­ing “Uh … What was I just saying?”

Doing What I Love Doing — Media Research and Queries

This evening I got some­thing that I not only like doing but wish I would get more of in the future: a request for infor­ma­tion about a par­tic­u­lar media item involv­ing hyp­no­sis. As a result, I was able to learn a lit­tle more infor­ma­tion about this item than I pre­vi­ous­ly possessed.

The item in ques­tion was a sto­ry from the adven­ture / crime / detec­tive com­ic strip “Rip Kir­by”. Rip is a detec­tive in the ‘old school’ pat­tern of the ‘think­ing man’s’ detec­tive although as an ex-Marine he was pret­ty good with his fists or a pis­tol. Assist­ing him was his ‘gen­tle­man’s gen­tle­man’ but­ler Desmond (who was a for­mer safe­crack­er.) Rip Kir­by was cre­at­ed by Alex Ray­mond in 1946 and was in con­tin­u­ous pub­li­ca­tion until the char­ac­ter retired in 1999.

All the per­son mak­ing the request had was a gen­er­al descrip­tion of the par­tic­u­lar sto­ry line, but it was one that I was famil­iar with. As a result of the minor bit of research, I was able to deter­mine the exact pub­li­ca­tion dates for the story.

The sto­ry involved a woman, Made­line Mes­mer, who was inex­plic­a­bly win­ning as a casi­no owned by a friend of Kir­by, who asked him to inves­ti­gate. As you might expect from the wom­an’s name, she was a pow­er­ful hyp­no­tist who used post-hyp­not­ic sug­ges­tions to help her win at black­jack. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for Miss Mes­mer, she also attract­ed some unwel­come gang inter­est and ulti­mate­ly found her­self iso­lat­ed because of the mis­use of her powers.

The sto­ry was pub­lished from June 11, 1979 through August 8, 1979, run­ning only 60 days, mak­ing the sto­ry very short in com­par­i­son to oth­er sto­ries. It did, how­ev­er, has sev­er­al scenes of Miss Mes­mer wield­ing her hyp­not­ic skills on sev­er­al peo­ple, includ­ing Rip and Desmond. By strange coin­ci­dence, I hap­pened to see a col­lec­tion of the ear­li­er com­ic strips (mid-1950’s) at a local com­ic store just a few days ago and had won­dered then when the strip would appear: now that I know exact­ly when it was pub­lished, I expect it will be sev­er­al years before this par­tic­u­lar one will be reprint­ed. And it was all because some­one had a ques­tion for me to answer.

Hypnotic Beauty — Victoria’s Secret

Some­times serendip­i­ty pro­vides the mate­r­i­al for the blog, and this is one such case.

The name and com­pa­ny Vic­to­ri­a’s Secret is not one I should have the describe: suf­fice to say this is just the sort of thing I would expect from them.

Victoria’s Secret Hypnotic Beauty

The prod­uct here is a com­bi­na­tion of eye shad­ow and lin­er, lip­stick and blush make­up, with a def­i­nite Mor­roc­can / Indi­an theme to the pack­ag­ing and the col­ors themselves.  How­ev­er, I can­not deter­mine from the ref­er­ences whether this was a 2011 or 2010 release, and I haven’t had any luck find­ing it list­ed on the Vic­to­ri­a’s Secret online cat­a­log. Of course, it may have been released for a spe­cif­ic time peri­od (Fall) so it might not be in the cat­a­log at this time no mat­ter which year it was released.

Of course, this kind of pack­ag­ing tends to rein­force the stereo­types sur­round­ing hyp­no­sis (and I think I need to cre­ate some­thing that types that phrase auto­mat­i­cal­ly for me, giv­en the num­ber of times I use it) and female beau­ty, espe­cial­ly when it involves the eyes. This trope of a wom­an’s hyp­not­ic eyes has its roots not only in the folk­lore about “the evil eye” and its evo­lu­tion into the vam­pire’s mes­mer­ic gaze and the con­cept of “the eyes are the win­dows of the soul” but also in ele­ments of the seduc­tive ‘vamp’ who bewitch­es men, a trope that which goes all the way back to Bib­li­cal times and thereabouts.

Ref­er­ences:

The Ringmaster — Marvel Mini-Bust

The Ring­mas­ter (and his Cir­cus of Crime): is there ever a group as sor­ry as these crim­i­nals in all of comics? A tru­ly sec­ond-tier vil­lain and his hench­men who prob­a­bly are the joke of the super-vil­lain community.

… inevitably, the Ring­mas­ter and his Cir­cus of Crime end up being defeat­ed by what­ev­er Mar­vel Super-Hero hap­pens to be attend­ing the show.

Which appears to be just about every super-hero. from Dare­dev­il to Spi­der-Man to Howard the Duck: they were even defeat­ed by Pow­er Pack! Still, you have to admire the man’s deter­mi­na­tion (or just plain stu­pid­i­ty) for com­ing back again and again.

But this post isn’t about the char­ac­ter, its real­ly about the mini-bust sculpt­ed by Troy McDe­vitt (seen above) which is the lat­est addi­tion to the col­lec­tion. After all, the char­ac­ter is so icon­ic that it cer­tain­ly deserves a place in the col­lec­tion, espe­cial­ly when I found it at the comics store Fri­day after­noon, on the sale rack. Not that the char­ac­ter was that unpop­u­lar as to have (or not have) a fol­low­ing, it was dam­aged, so I got it for 90% off. The dam­age? One of the Ring­mas­ter’s trade­mark droop­ing mus­tach­es is com­plete­ly bro­ken off. I could some­how find a way to repair it so I’m not that wor­ried: besides, I’m not like­ly to have it out of the box.

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