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  1.  (4328.221)
    @mlpeters: I think you've accidentally stumbled on the physical embodiment of our difference of viewpoint on this.

    You hate the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

    Whereas I used to proofread them.

    :-) Seriously.

    And I mean, you'd read my comic — I've created a whole vocabulary of Latin and Greek 'scientific terms' for various traits of supernatural creatures for Dr. Morrow to use: "Pneumasynthesis" is the process of metabolizing the energy of living things (especially life force), "phobophagy" means feeding on fear, "latrivores" feed on worship, "esthesiovores" feed on the physical sensations of others (pain, sexual pleasure, etc)... Which is very much my thing, and probably not at all yours.
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    I thought the Latin stuff in your comic was a cool touch - didn't know it was more than that. I'd keep doing that, if I were you because it makes you special.

    On a more self-interested mode, it also means we can share any cool research, because it's clear we'd use it to such different ends.

    I actually think that's kind of cool -- you handle one end of the spectrum and I'll do the other... and readers can buy both:)
  2.  (4328.223)
    @kimieye: "why do you recognize a vampire in Literature?"

    That is, indeed, a really good question.

    I feel like the Dracula idea has really defined what "vampire" means in contemporary culture, and to call something in literature a "vampire" it needs to be something that resembles Dracula and the folklore he was based on — an undead bloodfeeder, probably with at least a few of the strengths and weaknesses we commonly associate with post-Dracula vampires.

    If something isn't a bloodfeeder, I have trouble calling it a vampire. But if something's a bloodfeeder but isn't "undead" — I'm still going to recognize it as a vampire if it has enough vampiric strengths and weaknesses, the same way I can go along with "zombies" in zombie movies who aren't undead, but look and act close enough to what I expect from a zombie movie.

    How far can something go from that baseline, without me going "That's not a vampire?" I don't know.
  3.  (4328.224)
    @mlpeters: Yeah, I like the faux-Latin stuff too (although all the terms used in First Incision are actual medical and biological terminology — the fake stuff is a recent development). And Witch Doctor is definitely a project it makes sense for.

    I do find it interesting that, although we completely fail to see eye to eye on how specific we should be in our terms, this whole thread seems to have pushed both of us into getting better educated about the folklore. (And there's definitely been interesting folklore I've found that I thought I should share with you, because I thought you might appreciate it.) I think as long as we can avoid trying to explain our viewpoints to each other, we're fine. :-)
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    @Brandon and kimieye
    To me, Dracula is late to the party, though that's from a folkloric perspective, rather than literary... Dracula is where Stoker picked and chose from various version, throwing out what didn't work for his story, emphasising things that did.

    Dracula is the defining literary version of a vampire, so my natural instinct is to look elsewhere and dig deeper - -and if what I come up with doesn't fit standard ideas of what a vampire is... all the better:)

    With all the mention of Bram Stoker's creation, we shouldn't forget that his is not the first literary vampire, even if it's the most popular... there was Varney the vampire... an early "penny dreadful" and Le Fanu's Carmilla -- the source for most sexy vamps, complete with veiled lesbian overtones...
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    "And there's definitely been interesting folklore I've found that I thought I should share with you, because I thought you might appreciate it."

    Same here. Do you know my website ( A contact e-mail link is on the website. We'd come to different conclusions, but sharing of raw data might be interesting. We could swap reading lists. Currently I've been researching more mythology, witchcraft and faery-lore than monsters, but there's a lot of overlap.
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    I may have to look you boys up online...faux latin comics and websites...


    I think that though he is the standard for "New" vampires Dracula has always been a bit of a "frankenstine creature" if you catch my meaning, especially seeing as we cannot exclude Hammer Horror's impact on his image.

    He has I think supplanted poor Lillith as the birth place of vampire.


    Good start... I think as I stated above we all live in the shadow of the good count...
    but I'm personally flexible on the blood thing, truly old and powerful vampires sometimes no longer need it. Also Old Gods like Kali Ma and Sekmet where both blood drinkers and are scholastically associated with the vampire but I think it would be hard to recognize them as such or associate them more than superficially.

    Also one of the great tragedies of my education is that I never learned to swear in latin, so good for you!
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008

    Harlan Ellison had a short story which featured "emotional" vampires though I can't remember the title perhaps "Try A Dull Knife"? And Bunnicula and The Celery Stalks at Midnight were mentioned earlier up thread. I think Big Black Kiss made me think about vampires differently.
  4.  (4328.229)
    @mlpeters: Cool. Your website is timing out on me, but I sent you a PM on Panel & Pixel.

    @kimieye: I'd argue that even if some vampires eventually get to the point where they no longer need blood (and I was just reading about a Bosnian vampire that turns into a normal human after seven years... only to turn back into a vampire when it dies), the blood-feeding was still by and large an important stage in their development.

    (And my comic is online here. The first, "demo" issue is, in fact, about vampires, and a different interpretation of vampires than I've personally ever seen. Though after all the reading this thread has got me doing, I've decided the idea that there's one, single species of vampires in the setting needs to go.)
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    @Brandon Cyphered

    I had never head about Witch Doctor until this discussion, but i just clicked through and read your online sample and, well, it's pretty awesome!

    Your extradimensional parasite take on it is now my 2nd favorite variant, after the Peter Watts versions I linked to upthread.

    Beyond that, it's really well written and the artwork is lovely!
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    Big black Kiss looks amazing....

    so dose he....

    @Brandon Cyphered
    some drink other fluids like semen...
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    @Brandon -- I'm not on P&P anymore. If my website's acting funny (possibly snow causing power disruptions near the server...? My site isn't very demanding -- dial-up friendly, with no flash or anything - -just standard html and jpegs...) you can try me on myspace, where I'm mlpetersartist.

    I need to look at more of your comic. I've only looked at enough to know I like it and to plan on buying a print copy when there's opportunity... I have dial-up (myspace is hell on dial-up, but I manage -- it's more or less obligatory to have a myspace...).
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008

    I just had a horrible thought of a vampire bunny drinking semen -- yuck and EEEE -youch!
  5.  (4328.234)
    @oddbill: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Sounds like you enjoy science-inspired rethinkings of monsters like I do. (And that's sort of the whole point of the series.)

    @kimieye: As I said, I personally draw the line as bloodfeeding, because that's what I think of when I hear "vampire."

    (Plus I've just spent a week and a half compiling global beliefs about creatures that drink blood or other bodily fluids, steal your breath, eat your soul, suck your breast milk, eat excrement, feed on sexual energy, or have otherwise been described by one person or another as 'vampires.' I've got over 200 entries, and not one of them so far is a corpse that rises from the grave to drink semen. Rising from the grave to eat cow dung, yes — but not semen. You asked about our personal views of what constitutes a vampire, and mine continues to be "undead bloodfeeder," no matter how many encyclopedias of monsters I comb.)
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    trust me on the seman bunnies....
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
    This Captain's Wife could probably find a use for those.
  6.  (4328.237)
    (@mlpeters: Okay, I MySpaced you.)
  7.  (4328.238)
    Huh. I just noticed something.

    When both Dracula and Night of the Living Dead were first released, both creators neglected to copyright them properly, putting them both immediately in the public domain (or at least in the public domain in the U.S., in Dracula's case.)

    I can't help but wonder if that's part of what led to both of their respective impacts in culture. It certainly made it easier to do works based on them.
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008 edited
    As a seamans granddaughter I appreciate that one immensely.

    @ Brandon
    Vampires By Bob Curran (on google books)
    Says that semen drinking vampires where the cause of nocturnal emissions. but you need to go to Asia for that one.
    nothing about bunnies though...
  8.  (4328.240)
    @kimieye — One of the books on vampires I was reading recently talked about how Westerners studying folklore in different parts of the world have tended to not be very careful about what they call "vampires," "demons" etc. in other cultures. And that many of the beliefs that have been called such in books bear little resemblance to the usual Western usages of the word, and instead obscure the nature of the actual beliefs themselves.

    I really wish I'd written the quote down, or at least made a note of which book it was in. I didn't realize it would end up coming up so often later. I'll definitely keep an eye out for that now.

    I don't know about vampire rabbits, but the Rom/gypsies of Europe believed that most objects could turn into vampires, including garden implements and pumpkins.