Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Meet the Herdebog Trought

This will be, from now until I change it I suppose, is to be my new profile image (along with a new title graphic too, it seems). It looks more like me than the previous illo - and it also happens to be a sneek peek into Book 2.

Which makes think of a question for you all:

What or who is your favourite monster of all time?


madbomber said...

gday mate,

Good question. Is it possible to have one favourite monster when there are som many, and so many different contexts?

As a pure straight up monster nothing is better than the daemonic Balrog of Tolkiens design. Fire breathing, wings, horns, terror inspiring and HUGE! What more could you seriously ask for in a monster?

If we consider humans that have monsterous characteristics, then I'd have to say Hitler.

Or a monster that a kid could love, then it has to be Elmo.

this list could go on...

BTW I went looking for books the other day, and when I was in shops i made sure to face all yours so their covers were to the front and lifted them up to eye level...I really find it annoying that certain books get marketed unfairly so I had some fun undermining the 'dirty' business. hehe.


Femina said...

Ooh, good question. Not technically a monster but I think I'd have to say The Fly. Let me add that I have never even seen the film, but had the 'help me!' bit described to me when I was about 11 and it freaked me out so much I had nightmares - and thus won't see the film. Ever.

And if we're talking monstrous humans I'd have to say Medea. Actually I sympathise with her but I like seeing her slow descent to madness and infanticide.

meli said...


Definitely. All that lovely stuff in Job.

Anonymous said...

Fravorite monster of all time?
well i'd have to say a Vampire but they're not exactly 'monsters' by your standards...
so probably a Werewolf or a deamon that posesses people...

you should do a poll to see what monster people really like (maybe put it in your book?)

Read2live said...

My favorite monster of all time would most likely have to be a(the) demon; only for the simple fact that they use their cunning to beguile their prey and then (if necessary) use brute force. It is much more frightening to find yourself tricked by something/one you thought harmless then hearing it come for you in the distance..

D.M. Cornish said...

Frightening indeed Read2live; evil does not come darkly with a grim backing track, it approaches smilingly telling you it is your friend.

madbomber said...


If you don't see the evil coming, you can't be scared. That's surprise, or shock.

If you constantly ponder all your friends being 'evil' and thinking they will turn on you, this then is classified as paranoia.

A scarier prospect is knowing something nasty is coming to get you, and realising you can do nothing to get away. This also opens up the possibilities for bravery.

cheers Bomber

D.M. Cornish said...

Ah, Mr Bomber, nicely put, sir.

I hope you're not thinking I'm saying friends are evil or advocating paranoia. Frogs and toads, no!

Rather I am positing that folks ideas of evil often tend towards the pantomime: black cloaks and obvious, hand-rubbing wickedness. But I wonder if true evil tends to comes to us pretending very much like it is our friend, all persuasive arguments and sweet guile, leading us on the wrong paths to our destruction, lulling us conscience to the warnings until the cosequences of our actions are inescapable.

I am thinking, for example, of the "party friends" offering you drugs, calling you boring if you don't do as they do and all the time only ultimately giving you death.

Might that not be a most wretched evil right there?

In stories illeuctable threats are, as you rightly say, excellent opportunities for bravery - I use them all the time.

And oh! the tension of reading about a protagonist who unknowingly befriends someone we know to be a "snake" but they do not. "Look out!" we cry, eager for more to the last possible moment the hero realises their danger and flees.

Hmmm... heavy stuff for ol' Monster Blog Tattoo.

madbomber said...

gday mate,

I said it was a good question.

I wouldn't call friends that lead someone down the wrong path evil. There is some inherent 'danger' in doing these things, but in the end it is the person's responsibility to ensure they do the right thing.

Life is a battle, you can either give in to the dangers that are all around, and claim it was the devil. Or you can suck it up, and do the better thing.

I take exception to the idea that some of my own friends are evil because for a small part of their lives, they partook in unacceptable behaviours.

This isn't evil, its just a bad choice by a relatively good person. Who may or may not have been influenced by another relatively good person.

Of course i agree with the idea that an evil character should not always be the darkly clad, fellow cackling away to himself as he plots and plans...but in childrens stories this cliche is still prevalent.

I think you are describing characters like Poundich, who at first appeared to Rossamund as someone he could trust, yet in the end we discover he is a 'bad guy. He's not the devil in disguise though, he's just a dodgy bloke, and I would say these are more dangerous.

My own real life monster is one of those types! Hitler was Persuasive, and powerful yet utterly evil. He managed to corrupt an entire nation, and his evil has not been forgotten.

What a can of worms you have opened! Its good to get the mind going though.

cheers Bomber

D.M. Cornish said...

Can of worms, indeed!

I reckon you've hit the nail on the head. I'm with you, when it comes to everyday folks I do not believe in "Goodies" or "Baddies" - just people making bad choices or good choices in turn.

I too take exception to the notion that me (or mine) might be evil just because of some of the poor choices I (or they) have made... and I have made some real duds.

At the same time is it right to refuse something just because it makes us uncomfortable?

Yet I have to ask myself if we're relatively good, then we must also be relatively bad?

What a horrid idea!

Yet to take my original example; is my hypothetical "friend" truly loving me by offering me drugs? And if this isn't love then what is it? If my friend is not loving me in this then what is he doing and how should I regard him? He might be the nicest guy otherwise, but how do I judge his actions here? Surely we cannot think of them as good? And if they're not good then what are they?

If a "good" person does bad things are they "good" any more? If a "bad" person does good, are they any longer "bad"?

Who decides this anyway? Sure one human can't look at another and call them evil? We're all in the same boat in the end aren't we?

Hard hard stuff.

This is what bakes my noodle as I write MBT and the people therein. We might think Licurius as a "baddie". Certainly when he had his hands about Rossamund's throat he isn't coming off in the best light. Yet if he was by your side driving away some murderous nicker, you'd think him the best fellow in the world I reckon.

What about Europe? As far as the common morality of Hc folks goes, she is doing right, doing good even, by slaying the Misbegotten Schrewd. Yet did the Schrewd deserve his end? Rossamund does not think so and judges accordingly. Who has the right moral position here?

Who decides?

Hard hard stuff.

Thank you so very much for engaging me, Mr Bomber.

madbomber said...

I'm sure that any 'friend' that is offering illicit substances doesn't mean to corrupt you. They may be oblivious to the fact that what they are doing is wrong.

This makes me think of people that have brain damage, or other brain impairments - like autism. These people may do things that are unacceptable, but if they kill someone is it evil?

There is a lot to say about those people that can do things they know are wrong, yet do them despite this. It's all in the mind-set. Of course as you say every person will have a differing view on what is or isn't right, and who are we to say.


Femina said...

If I may wade into this briefly...

There seems to be a problem here with definition, I think. Must something have evil intent to be evil? If I offer you peanuts knowing that you are allergic to them, and you die, my actions might be considered evil. If I offer you peanuts and have no idea that you're allergic AND am too careless to ask you, you still die but are my actions still evil? Careless and stupid, yes. Evil? Perhaps not.

However, I also feel that evil often - if not usually - wears a disguise. Perhaps the most cunning disguise of all is the belief that there IS no evil; or that evil must always be of the murderous-intent variety. Take Europe for an example... she slays monsters and is regarded a hero because the common belief is that monsters are the enemy. The evil is not in Europe's actions so much as in the mindset behind them - it's the belief that one species is morally superior to another and therefore deserves to live while the other dies. And the REAL evil there is in the lie that this belief is right and true. It's a hidden evil that's not seen as evil because everyone believes it to be okay. Evil wearing a disguise.

The question that this leaves me with, then, is who decides what is evil? Definitions change from culture to culture, and within cultures too depending on your worldview. If humans decide what is evil and what is not they will never agree and so evil becomes relative... and ignored.

Anonymous said...

Deep. This has given me a lot to think about...

Anonymous said...

im stumped
as far as im concernd evil
is a person doing something that they know will ultimatly cause pain ... im not talking punch in the arm pain . im talking family in ruins life destroid

then again a person canot be blamed for there views as they probably have a reason for thinking such.

eg. someone told them of a experance or they have the experance

in the end
i think you must come up with your ouwn clasification for evil

as i said ... stumped
bit rambling
but im only 17

D.M. Cornish said...

I agree with your first point, Giantfan.

I reckon if a person walked into their own home to find some other has tied up their family and friends and was about to hurt them, this person walking in would not need to convene a UN council to discuss the nature of what is good and evil to know that what was happening to their family was a bad thing.

But what if the person and his family are traffikers in live-harvested human organs and the fellow tying them up is a policeman?

From the policeman's point of view the poeple he has arrested are the "baddies", from the person walking in and his family, the policeman is the "baddie".

I don't think definitions of evil, of wrong, are arbitary, but most certainly people's perspectives on the wrongs occuring will differ greatly.

And if I do something bad in ignorance, they may have some excuse because of that ignorance but surely the thing I have done is still bad.

Maybe it is time I stopped.

meli said...

I read a v interesting book once called The People of the Lie, by M Scott Peck (I think). It was my parents' book, lying around. I must have been about 14. He's a psychotherapist and the book included examples of people he'd treated who he had got a sense of being in some way evil. He reckoned evil always has something to do with deception - including self-deception. Not sure if this makes much sense but I've never forgotten it.

Cos a monster like Grendel, as you would admit, is only evil in the eyes of the people he's gobbling - from his perspective he's just eating his dinner.