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The Three Fat Frogs

    "But that's a whole 'nother story." (c)

These are edited illustrations of "The Three Fat Men", a revolutionary fairy tale by Yuri Olesha (1924).
As someone said, "It's funny, if somewhat scary, how when you're a kid you don't really see even explicit political propaganda in your favorite books."


The Three Frogs -- The Three Fat Men
Franz Bonaparta -- Dr. Gaspar
Johan/Anna -- Tutti/Suok/the doll
Red Hindenburg -- The Balloon Seller
The Magnificent Steiner -- Prospero the Gunsmith
Roberto -- The officer at the Star Square

Illustrators: M. Dobuzhinsky, L. Vladimirsky, V. Goryaev. (originals)

    После долгого перерыва начался перевод второй части новеллы "Другой монстр" (Another Monster).
На данный момент готова 12-я глава: http://erichspringer.blogspot.ru/2016/08/another-monster-chapter-12.html
"To write, is also not to speak.
It is to keep silent. It is to howl noiselessly."
© Marguerite Duras

    This panel, that appears when Dr. Gillen explains Johan to Dr. Tenma in Volume 05, Chapter 33 (Episode 19), is a direct reference to the "Lipstick Killer"; famous for leaving a message scrawled in lipstick at a crime scene.


    On December 10, 1945, Frances Brown, a divorced woman was found dead in her apartment 611 at 3941 North Pine Avenue, Chicago. The killer had entered the apartment late at night by jumping from a fire escape to her bedroom window, six stories above the ground. She had been shot in the head and a knife was driven so deeply into her throat that the point came out the other side. Although she was an attractive woman and was found nude, she had not been sexually violated.

    Chief of Detectives Walter Storms noted that there were similarities between this and the Josphine Ross (first victim) murder. The body had been carefully washed and the wounds closed. Both apartments had been ransacked but, in both cases, little was taken.

    But on a wall next to her bed, police found something that has since become legendary. Written in the victim's red lipstick were the words:

For heavens
Sake catch me
Before I kill more
I cannot control myself

    Was it a cry for help or was the murdered taunting the police?

    William Heirens was named responsible for that crime, as well as two other brutal murders.
    He was born in 1928 in Evanston, Illinois, but grew up in Lincolnwood, a suburb of Chicago, during the Great Depression. His parents had been in the floral business, but lost it due to the state of the economy. His father, George, was an odd-job laborer who often spent the small earnings he made on socializing with his friends. His mother, Margaret, worked at a bakery and often had to leave him and his three years younger brother, Jere, with babysitters. William was reportedly a loner and enjoyed playing with technical things, such as chemistry sets and toy airplanes, and also liked drawing and repairing old clocks. In order to escape the out-lashes of his parents' troubled marriage, he would usually leave the house and hang outside.

    As Bill neared adolescence, the Heirens' neighbors began experiencing thefts. Women's undergarments started disappearing from clothes lines and, later, from bedroom dressers. Bill was squirling them away in secret hiding places. He soon outgrew his fascination with women's panties but he did not outgrow the thrill he got from committing burglary. He graduated from stealing women's underwear to stealing cash, furs, jewelery, guns, knives and more. When the cops arrested him the first time, they recovered an estimated $3500 worth of loot.

    Heirens differed from most juvenile delinquents in that he was utterly secretive in his life of crime. He never ran with a gang or bragged about his exploits to his friends. For Heirens, crime was not an adolescent rite of passage, it was a compulsion. A psychiatrist who examined him for the Juvenile Court termed it "neurotic stealing."

    He was a very athletic burglar. The cops at Townhall Station called young Heirens a "human fly" for the death-defying feats of acrobatics he employed in getting into apartment windows on high floors. He would jump from one building to the window of an adjacent building, far above the ground, with seemingly no fear. He had an amazing ability to climb sheer walls; he used to refer to this as "muscling up walls."

    He also set fires at many of the apartments he burglarized and he had another special trademark: he often defecated in the apartments. He would leave feces in the middle of the floor. He later said that, when he had an urge to go out and commit a burglary, if he went to the bathroom first, the urge would sometimes go away.

    For him, crime was an outlet for his suppressed sexuality; he claimed to feel physically sick when he touched a woman. At the age of 11, Heirens claimed to have witnessed a couple making love. He told his mother, who then told him that all sex was dirty, and would lead to diseases. While kissing a girlfriend he burst into tears, and proceeded to vomit in the presence of the girl.

    In 1945, when Heirens was 17, the Lipstick Killer murders began.


The cover of this Shock Illustrated #2 (February 1956), fictionalizes the note,
but shows how powerful an effect it had on the public, even ten years after Heirens was arrested.

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[adultswim] Another Monster

   As you might have already noticed, there is no thread dedicated to ‘Another Monster’ novel on adultswim anymore.

I’m sad to report that adultswim moved their forums to a different server (I guess they were tired of paying Lithium to host the boards and moved to nodebb). Although we were promised that they would port over the old posts at least as archives, they not only have not done that, they have made almost zero progress on making the boards even navigable.

   Thanks to Gina who backed up the thread right before the move, I was able to completely restore it. Hundreds of posts, links and even black/yellow design everyone is used to.


   Read and enjoy.

   Moreover, you can leave new comments: go to the 11th page, scroll down and choose a method (anonymously, name/url or via livejournal, blogspot, etc.); press “publish”.

Prague: The Continuity of Parks

    Volume 10, Chapter 80-81, 86 / Episode 41, 44

    Grimmer arrives in Prague and begins investigating a man by the name of Mikhail Petrov who was once the headmaster of Kinderheim 511, the institution he is trying to gather information on. Grimmer is constantly questioning Mr. Petrov about 511, but Petrov refuses to answer on any of his questions, telling him to leave him alone. Grimmer says that he is not going to leave him alone until he gets the truth from him.

    The next morning, a few men came to the hotel, Grimmer stayed at. They were claiming to have a package from Petrov, but Grimmer knew that was a lie and escaped before they broke in. Grimmer later went to his apartment, when he came to conclusion that Petrov holds a group of children under his care, after he noticed a different couple of kids, everytime he met him.

1. Mikhail Petrov

(the background, trees, fence, benches)


(the same place nowadays)


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Anna's Flowers

    Episode 48 (Vol. 11 Ch. 95): Johan's efforts to acquire the tape lead him to Suk's mother, who allows him to see it and copy over a message for Tenma. He brings her a gorgeous bouquet.

Azalea (Rhododendron)

    There are two types of flowers. The first one resembles either Lilium or Azalea (Rhododendron).

    Some species of rhododendron are poisonous because of a toxin called grayanotoxin in their pollen and nectar. People have been known to become ill from eating honey made by bees feeding on rhododendron and azalea flowers. Xenophon described the odd behaviour of Greek soldiers after having consumed honey in a village surrounded by Rhododendron ponticum during the march of the Ten Thousand in 401 BC:
    "When the greek army was said to be retreating from an unsuccessful invasion of the Persian Empire, while passing through Trebizond, the soldiers discovered that the woods they were passing through were filled with bee hives, which honeycombs were dripping in honey. Naturally the troops eagerly consumed as much honey as their stomach could tolerate. As a result of this honey binge, they all suffered adverse effects in the form of vomiting, and diarrhea. Many unable to stand on their own to feet… Some dropped to the ground, hundreds of them laid appearing to be dead, others appeared to be violently drunk or acted as if insane. Luckily enough, by the fourth day they had recovered and the Persians had not discovered their vulnerable predicament."

    In 67 BC, 334 years later, Pompey the Great of Rome embarked to defeat the King of Pontus, Mithridates VI. Part of Pompey's army camped in the same area near the Black Sea coast of Turkey where Xenophon's army had been poisoned. History repeated itself. Locals gave Pompey's troops honeycombs. The soldiers reportedly suffered lethal casualties. The suspect rhododendrons are Rhododendron ponticum and Rhododendron luteum (formerly Azalea pontica), both found in northern Asia Minor. This time, the Pontic army learned of their predicament and massacred Pompey's party. It took Pompey an additional three years to defeat the Pontic army.

    For many years, many cultures have attempted to use Grayanotoxins from Rhododendron chrysanthum to treat rheumatism and gout. Such attempts were accomplished their goal but were complicated with severe (hallucinogenic and laxative) side-effects and, in some cases, death. Finally a pharmaceutical company in Germany was able to isolate the particular Grayanotoxin, Grayanotoxin I, to successfully treat high blood pressure.

Queen Anne's lace
Didiscus caerulea

    The second flower seems to belong to Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family. The plants which belong to this family are often used as greenery and a filler in bouquets.
    This may be:
1. Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota). Queen Anne's Lace, also called "wild carrot," is a common plant in dry fields, ditches, and open areas. It was introduced from Europe, and the carrots that we eat today were once cultivated from this plant.
Queen Anne’s lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England, who was an expert lace maker. Legend has it that when pricked with a needle, a single drop of blood fell from her finger onto the lace, leaving the dark purple floret found in the flower’s center.
    Queen Anne's lace may also refer to plants with flowers similar to Daucus carota, including Ammi majus, Ammi visnaga and Anthriscus sylvestris.
2. Blue Lace flower (Didiscus caerulea).



    In the anime the bouquet was composed of white lilies and yellow roses. The third flower looks similar to mimosa, but it's impossible to say for sure.

99 Luftballons

    "99 Luftballons" (German: Neunundneunzig Luftballons, "99 balloons") is an anti-war protest song by the German band Nena from their 1983 self-titled album. An English version titled "99 Red Balloons", with lyrics by Kevin McAlea, was also released after widespread success of the original in Europe and Japan. The English version is not a direct translation of the German and contains somewhat different lyrics.


    While at a June 1982 concert by the Rolling Stones in West Berlin, Nena's guitarist Carlo Karges noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft (referred to in the German lyrics as a "UFO"). He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector.

    The lyrics of the original German version tell a story: 99 balloons are mistaken for UFOs, causing a general to send pilots to investigate. Finding nothing but child's balloons, the pilots decide to put on a show and shoot them down. The display of force worries the nations along the borders and the war ministers on each side bang the drums of conflict to grab power for themselves. In the end, a 99-year war results from the otherwise harmless flight of balloons, causing devastation on all sides without a victor. At the end, the singer walks through the devastated ruins and lets loose a balloon, watching it fly away.

    The English version retains the spirit of the original narrative, but many of the lyrics are translated poetically rather than directly translated: red helium balloons are casually released by an anonymous civilian into the sky and are registered as missiles by a faulty early warning system; the balloons are mistaken for military aircraft which results in panic and eventually nuclear war.

Wolfgang Grimmer's Books

    Episode 40 (Vol.10 Ch.78): In Dresden, Wolfgang Grimmer travels to a local nursery home. He is allowed by the principle to copy the old archives regarding data about the welfare system of former East Germany. Grimmer claims to be a freelance journalist, who in fact, investigates about child abuse and psychologically reprogramming and promises that he will write an article that will bring the truth to light. Grimmer also says that the next location where he heads is Prague, in Czech Republic…

    In the manga, the old archives looked like a bunch of folders with unreadable squiggles on them; in the anime, they were replaced with books for some reason. My target was to encrypt their titles.


    Grimmer is reading the article "Z Pelhřimova k pitné vodě" dedicated to the Želivka River – the key drinking-water source for Prague-Capital and Central Bohemian regions. It was published in Hospodářské noviny, August 10, 2004. As you already know, Hospodářské noviny is a daily newspaper in Prague, the Czech Republic.
    The first episode of the anime was aired April 6, 2004; and the episode 40 – February 1, 2005.

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An Unopened Door

    "Let's see, when was the last time I met Franz Bonaparta... It was the summer of '81 or '82. He looked oddly refreshed. And in the doorway as he was leaving... he turned to me and said... "How about this story? The door that must not be opened"... So I asked him. Is it paradise behind it? Does a monster come out? And he said... "No... you can't open the door, so there is no point"... And he laughted and left. That was the last time I saw him."

    Door, 11 Rue Larrey (1927), the door in the studio on Rue Larrey in Paris, where Marcel Duchamp lived from 1927 to 1942. Since his studio was too narrow, the artist created a corner door which served two doorways (between the studio and the bedroom, and the studio and the bathroom). The door could be both open and closed at the same time, thus providing Duchamp with a household paradox as well as a practical space-saving device.

Prague. Tram №7289

    The Prague tramway network is traditionally the backbone of the city's public transport system. Despite the development of the metro from the 1970s and the continued expansion of the bus network, trams continue to perform a central role, carrying broadly one third of passengers. With a route length of over 140 km and a fleet of over 800 trams, it is one of the world's largest tram systems.

    1. Outside. The tram car №7289 from the Monster opening is Tatra T3 SUCS built in 1989. It belongs to Žižkov tram depot and is still used to carry passengers. So, if you happen to be in Prague, don't miss your chance to take a ride.


    2. Inside. The Nostalgic Tram no. 91 is a Prague historic tram that runs on weekends and holidays from April through mid-November. Vintage tram cars dating from 1908 to 1924 trundle along a special route, starting at the Public Transport Museum and going via stops at Prague Castle, Malostranské náměstí, the National Theatre, Wenceslas Square, náměstí Republiky and Štefánikův most to finish at Výstaviště.
    You can get on and off at any stop, and buy tickets on board (ordinary public transport tickets and passes are not valid). The tram leaves every hour from 12:00 noon until 5:30 p.m.