Sunday, October 26, 2014

Update

Update: The publisher tells me the e-book version of the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia should be available in approximately two weeks and the paperback version in approximately a month. It will be available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. A lot of people have asked about it being in local bookstores. That's the publisher's call, but I believe it's not financially feasible and a bit risky for a young publisher and a new author to mass produce copies for a local market. Anyways, while you are waiting for the book, every day in October on my Facebook page I am posting an excerpt from the book that somehow relates to Halloween. On the Television Crossover Universe blog, each day, one of the oldest posts is being updated to incorporate information from the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia. And finally, on Halloween, check out the 18thWall website or tumbler. They will be posting a list of my 24 all-time favorite horror movies.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Those Who Live Long Forgotten: The Crossovers Between the Covers

Myths never die.

They cough away into obscurity, and settle into the comfortable spot just beyond our vision.

You would never believe the little girl with the too-big smile is the queen of vampires, no, no. Nor would you believe that the two semi-homeless women who list around New York in time with the tide are the remains of the two great monsters, out for revenge. You certainly wouldn't believe the master detective spent his final days in a cramped, black-ops prison.

No, you wouldn't believe a word of it.
 
Except, of course, for the fact it's printed in a very attractive book and sold for a very attractive price. Today, I've had the great pleasure of releasing my first book, Those Who Live Long Forgotten. Surprising no-one at all, the book is stuffed to the brim with crossovers.
 
Join me as we dig down deep and examine the stories in this collection.
 
 
Please note that two of these entries--the entries for "Ruin: The Rise of the House of Karnstein" and "Imprisoned, Half-Dead: A Syllogism"--are taken directly from Robert Wronski's upcoming book The Horror Crossover Encyclopedia. Thank you, Rob, for letting me borrow from your work.
 
THOSE WHO LIVE LONG FORGOTTEN “THE MIRROR” (SHORT STORY BY HANNAH LACKOFF)
Release Date: October 2014 (setting is divided between Once Upon a Time, Nazi Germany, and the present day)
In-Story Crosses: Bloody Mary (folklore), An (Hannah Lackoff (see Notes)), and Snow-White (Grimms’)
Authorially-Implied Crosses: See Notes
The Story: In three tales spun around a single magical mirror, we find the true origin of Bloody Mary (far bloodier, and far more horrifying than ever imagined), we find the events of Snow White occurring yet again (An and the seven protectors, escaping Hitler’s grip), and the origin of the woman who may one day be Snow-White’s own Evil Queen.

Notes: An is explicitly similar to Snow-White and, considering the mirror in every story is meant to be the same magical mirror, she could be a reincarnation of Snow-White (or, in my preferred explaination, cosmic recurrence is inacting the story once more).
Bloody Mary is an endlessly popular folklore figure. If you need to know where she comes from, ask your mirror.
Though left largely unstated, the unnamed woman who whispers “Mirror, mirror on the wall” is likely the true Evil Queen.
For further crossovers: in her introduction, Lackoff states, “And what if all of these mirrors in every fairy tale was the same mirror?  What if all the glass, all the reflective surfaces were all part of something larger; an amorphous, transformative something that moved between worlds, influencing and meddling and sowing seeds of lust and envy and doubt?” In her introduction, she explicitly mentions the mirrors—and, sometimes, “mirrors”—in the myth of Narcissus, “Snow-White” (which is promenantly featured in this story), “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Snow Queen,” and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.
If this is indeed the very same mirror—or fragments of the mirror—from “The Snow Queen” the mirror is was constructed by a very high-ranking demon. “One day, when he [the demon] was in a merry mood, he made a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever. The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach, and the people became hideous, and looked as if they stood on their heads and had no bodies. Their countenances were so distorted that no one could recognize them, and even one freckle on the face appeared to spread over the whole of the nose and mouth. The demon said this was very amusing. When a good or pious thought passed through the mind of any one it was misrepresented in the glass; and then how the demon laughed at his cunning invention.”
This is only speculation. The true origin of the mirror, however, remains to be seen.
 
THOSE WHO LIVE LONG FORGOTTEN “RUIN: THE RISE OF THE HOUSE OF KARNSTEIN” (SHORT STORY BY RO MCNULTY)
Release Date: September 2014 (setting is contemporary)
Series: Carmilla
The Story: A teacher gets too close to one of his charges. Too bad she's a vampire. . .
Notes: According to the author, this is the original Carmilla, risen again. Providing further evidence that this vampire is the same Carmilla, her "name" is Marcia Lisle, a near anagram for Carmilla. She previously used this tactic in "Carmilla," where Carmilla itself was an anagram for her birth name, Mircalla. Like all old ladies, she's set in her habits.
 
THOSE WHO LIVE LONG FORGOTTEN “IMPRISONED, HALF-DEAD: A SYLLOGISM” (SHORT STORY BY JAMES BOJACIUK)
Release Date: September 2014 (setting is late spring 1957)
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Horror Crosses: The War of the Worlds
Non-Horror Crosses: Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, The Prisoner (see notes)
The Story: A secret faction of what is presumably the British government fakes Sherlock Holmes' death and imprisons him on a faraway island. He plots his escape.
Notes: Holmes mentions how his friend Peter would find his faked death to be deplorably acted. This is an invention of William S. Baring-Gould in Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, who had Holmes trained in acting and disguise by an old friend, "Lord Peter." "Lord Peter" has no relation to Dorothy L. Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey. 
 
 
The methods used in the capture of Sherlock Holmes are identical to those suffered by Number Six in The Prisoner (a kidnapping disguised as death). The site in the story is still under construction. Perhaps Holmes was one of the early prisoners held in the village, though his escape was much more successful.
 
The story is intended to explain how Holmes could "die" in 1957, but be quite alive when he met the men from UNCLE in The Rainbow Affair and Batman in "The Doomsday Book."
 
Initially, there is a second prisoner held on the island. Although he dies when one of Holmes' plans backfires. He begs for his life by crying "I told you where Ogilvy's papers were! I told you!" Ogilvy was the well-known astronomer who first sighted the bursts from Mars. It would seem that, before his death, he wrote at length on the curious explosions, then--possibly--wrote some further notes after the initial landing. The British government was proactive in covering up the Martian War, and by 1957 seems all too ready to lock up anyone who claims to remember the war, whether they bargain for their freedom or not.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In case anyone missed it, you can purchase Those Who Live Long Forgotten at Amazon and at Smashwords.
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Update

A lot of people have been asking me if the book is out yet. It's not, and right now it's in the publisher's hands. The best I can say is that it will be out SOON. I'm hoping maybe in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I can give you a little bit of information. The book is being published by 18thWall Productions. The cover artist is Abigail Larson. There are forwards written by James Bojaciuk and Ivan Ronald Schablotski. The book will be available for sale through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other potential distribution channels.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The methodology of the Television Crossover Universe

Connecting the Dots

The Television Crossover Universe exists on the premise that many television and other fictional series coexist within the same shared reality because of valid crossover connections. A series can only be brought in by being connected to something already in. But to do so, I had to start with a center. For this project , I chose I Love Lucy because that series was the first television series that would have crossovers. So with that series being the center, the dot connecting begins. Since that series is in automatically, anything that crosses with the series is then brought into the Television Crossover Universe. Then, everything that crosses with that next group is brought in. And so on and so forth.

Objectivity of Inclusion and Exclusion

My rules for inclusion and exclusion are not based on my likes and dislikes. It is based on whether the dots can be connected back to the center point, I Love Lucy, via valid crosses. I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I have not yet found a valid cross to bring Brooklyn Nine-Nine into the Television Crossover Universe. On the other hand, I am not a fan of Boy Meets World, but I had to mention that Boy Meets World has crosses that bring it in.

Theories

This project’s goal is observe and report. Every story happens the way we read or see it. But sometimes more than one story that have valid crosses can contradict each other. For that reason, theories are needed to reconcile those contradictions. To keep to the project goal, most theories are created only using in-story information that can support that theory. However, sometimes I will really stretch things in the blog, such as the Zed Anomaly. I'm considering revising that blog and others to incorporate a stricter set of guidelines as employed in my books, the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia (on sale soon from 18th Wall Productions) and the Cartoon Crossover Encyclopedia (in progress).

Draculas: Soul Clones and Sons of the Dragon

When it comes to Dracula, I do not count every version of Dracula as being part of the same series stemming from Bram Stoker’s novel. There are so many different and contrary versions of Dracula out there. The way I divide up Dracula into series is by the author or the particular film or television series he comes from. Thus, Dracula (novel) refers to the character from Stoker’s novel, and he is different than Dracula (Universal), Tomb of Dracula (Marvel Comics), or the Dracula from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Live Action Television Series). Because they are all separate series, the inclusion of one version of Dracula does not imply the inclusion of all versions of Dracula. Each series has to find its way in separately through valid crosses.

There are two theories based on in-story references from series that have been crossed in that support the idea that each of the Dracula series is not the same character. The first is the soul clone theory. This is a theory I first learned from Chuck Loridans which is utilized in his MONSTAAH website. In the blog post for Dracula, the soul clone theory is discussed in great detail, but essentially, it involves vampires that had been turned by the real Dracula, and also hypnotized and possessed by Dracula, so that they become an amalgamation of their own personality and Dracula’s.

The second theory involved the Sons of the Dragon, a theory of my own, also based on in-story information. In this theory, Satan created emissaries on Earth. These would be vampires, turned directly by Satan rather than another vampire. The word “dracula“ means “son of the dragon” and Satan has often been represented by a dragon. In a way, this would make Draculas the anti-popes. Combining the two theories, Bram Stoker’s Dracula would be a Son of the Dragon, who then went on to create soul clones.

The Frankenstein Family and Their Monsters

I take a similar methodology with Frankenstein. Just as with Dracula, every version of Frankenstein is a separate series. The theory to support it is a bit simpler. The Television Crossover Universe concept is that Victor was only the first of many of the Frankenstein Family to create monsters. Thus, not all Frankensteins are the same, nor are the monsters. This theory comes from an essay by Mark K. Brown, used on the MONSTAAH website, and supported by in-story information.

Animated Series

Some animated series get brought in. There are certain considerations for cartoons. If it involves a world where most of the population are anthropomorphic talking animals, it can’t fit in the same world as Law and Order or All in the Family. Likewise, any cartoon where characters don’t age doesn’t work. In some cases, if the animated series seems to have a valid cross, but has the problems I mentioned, I have placed them in alternate realities within the larger Televisioin Crossover Multiverse. Other times, in the case of aging, I may break down an animated series into parts and only include the relevant crossover portion.

Comic Books and Super-Heroes

There are a lot of valid crosses that connect to comic books, including those with super-heroes. Those crosses, especially from DC and Marvel, have a number of complications. Besides the aging issues mentioned with animated series, there is the issue that comic book universes are worlds where super-heroes are public, as well as alien invasions, monsters, magic, etc. In most television series, the world appears on the surface to be as mundane as the real world (thought slightly more dramatic or humorous), with most people disbelieving in anything paranormal. Another issue is that with certain companies like DC, there have been multiple reboots creating multiple versions of the characters, and with crosses connected to all versions. When it comes to comics stories connected to the Television Crossover Universe, I’ve had to make some restrictions. First, even if super-heroes existed, they must have worked secretly. Also, to take aging into consideration, they would have only operated for ten to twenty years before retiring. Finally, in the case of characters like Superman and Batman, who have several different versions crossed in, I use the concept that the original heroes had sons who carried on the heroic tradition.

Television Crossover Multiverse

Some stories are specifically stated to be alternate realities. Others just don’t fit in the main Television Crossover Universe for continuity reasons. For that reason, some stories with valid crosses end up as divergent timelines, parallel universes, or pocket dimensions.

Reverse Canon Incorporation

When a series in “crossed in”, the entire canon of that series is incorporated into the Television Crossover Universe. But the reverse is not necessarily true. Though I’ve incorporated Law and Order, I doubt NBC will feel that Phineas and Ferb is part of same universe as SVU.

Not Just the Facts, Ma’am

This blog is filled with factual information. However, having said that, as a former ghostwriter for textbooks, I did not want this to be dry and boring. That’s not my style. So as a warning, occasionally I have thrown in a bad joke or offered my biased opinion on a certain story or series.

The Format of the Posts

All posts are uniformly written for clarity of information. Here is the breakdown of the format.

  • Usually, if I have any announcements, whether about the post being read, the TVCU blog in general, or any other projects of the TVCU, I will put those write at the top of the page. Sometimes in blue, except when I forget.
  • Next I will introduce the post, discussing the subject's brief history and my own thoughts on the subject.
  • Then we get to the chronology. The chronology is written from a fictional historical point of view, as in when the stories took place, rather then when they were produced in the real world. The chronologies not only detail all the crossovers of that subject, but will often tie in other important chronological information about the characters of the series. When I update a post, I don't create a new post, but simply just edit the pre-existing one and then share it on social media to let people know it's been updated. For a while, updates were in blue. But I got lazy. If you see blue, it's now meaningless. Updates may not be in blue. Also, when I remember, apocrypha is in red. There are some entries in the chronology that are regarding fan sites, our own fun attempt to incorporate fictional versions of the TVCU Crew into the TVCU. I try very hard to let readers know what is apocrypha.
  • Following the main chronology for the subject is a list of other realities applicable to that series.
  • Finally, at the bottom, I will throw in my final thoughts or make a final attempt to be funny.













Monday, September 29, 2014

What’s a crossover?

Something that always surprises me when I try to discuss what I write about is that a lot of people do not understand what a fictional crossover is. I felt that before reading the Television Crossover Universe, I had best explain what it is.
The term crossover can be used in a very general way, or in a more specific way.
In a broader sense, a crossover can be any combination of two separate series. This can include mashups. An example of this would be a story or even a picture with Dirty Harry Potter, combining the character of Dirty Harry played by Clint Eastwood with the boy wizard from the J.K. Rowling books.
It can also be a story that couldn’t possibly exist within the canon of the series involved. One example was the Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue animated special. This combined many famous cartoon characters, but presented them all as toys brought to life.
For my purposes, what I consider to be a valid crossover is one where two series are combined in a way that demonstrates that both series separately coexist within the same shared reality. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one great example of this. Several cartoon characters from several different animation studios owned by different companies appeared within the same story, in a manner that did not contradict their individual canons. Thus, we were able to deduce from the evidence of the film that characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny actually existed in the same universe, even if they had seldom crossed paths.
In the live action world of television, crossovers are used often as marketing gimmicks. A great way to get people to watch a new show is to have a character from a more well known series appear. Detective Munch was a character from Homicide, who guested on Law & Order, and then became a regular on Special Victims Unit. He also appeared on X-Files and Arrested Development. Thus, all of those shows coexist in the same reality. The Bluth family lives in a world where Mulder is uncovering conspiracies because of Detective Munch.
Of course, crossovers can be more subtle. Angel is in the same universe as Buckaroo Banzai and the Alien franchise because the fictional companies from those series are clients of the law firm from Angel. Fictional companies and products, such as Oceanic Airlines or Morley Cigarettes, can provide a link to add series to a shared reality.

For more specific examples of what counts and doesn’t count as valid crossovers for the purposes of my writing projects, see tomorrow's post on Television Crossover Universe Rules for Inclusion in the Television Crossover Universe.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Why crossovers?

I first became aware of the fictional crossover/shared reality concept when I was five years old. As my family was about to embark on a drive from Massachusetts to California, my father gave me my first comic book to keep me occupied, and it was an issue of the Marvel Comics adaptation of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. This is the first time I was able to comprehend what was going on here, on a significant level. All these characters from their own cartoons were appearing together, as part of the same reality, thus placing all their previous cartoons in the same reality.
From that point on, I started becoming more aware. As I started reading more comics, I noticed how all the DC characters lived in one world while the Marvel characters lived on another, and I mostly only bought team and team-up books. Of course, once Superman met Spider-Man, my mind was blown again.
I also started to notice cartoon events like the annual networks previews shows that would combine all their cartoons in the same universe. And I would also notice the live action shows. Facts of Life characters appeared on Diff’rent Strokes. Mork had met the Happy Days gang and Laverne & Shirley. Trapper John M.D. had been on MASH. Maude was related to Edith Bunker and George Jefferson used to be Archie’s neighbor.
Around the age of eight, I started keeping track of these various shared realities, particularly focusing on live action and animated television. I started lumping them into groups based on their crossover connections. When I was 12, I bought my first book about the history of television. It was an encyclopedia style with entries on every television series, and one of the appendixes was a list of crossovers and spin-offs. I was both excited to see crossovers I had previously not known of, but also to find some crossovers I had found were not listed. Inspired by the DC Multiverse, I started to coin the groups together as the Television Crossover Multiverse and started to label them individually as TVCU-1, TVCU-2, etc.
When I grew up and left for the army, I left my notebooks behind, and they were destroyed in a flood. However, I continued to keep track of crossovers and recreated my groupings in a word document.
In 2001, as I was exploring the internet, I came across a few websites that perhaps changed my life. They were all crossover related sites, and for the first time, I discovered that there were other people like me who also kept track of such things. I had thought I was the only one.
Thanks to social networking, I eventually got to be friends with some of these other people who share my hobby, and the sharing of ideas eventually led to the creation of our own discussion group, the Crossovers Forum, on Facebook.
The forum became more popular than I expected, with lots of active discussions, and I was inspired to finally turn my notes into something tangible and public, the Television Crossover Universe blog. I didn’t really expect anyone to read it, and was just trying to get my ideas out there, but to my pleasant surprise, people did read it, and others began contributing to the blog.
Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but fiction was not my strength. Finding that I do have a strength in researching and discussing crossovers, I decided to try my hand as writing a book about fictional crossovers, and should it be successful, continue with a series of books.

So why crossovers? I can’t really explain why. It seems to be something that you either get or you don’t. For me, it became an obsession from an early age, and one that only grew stronger over time. I hope when you read this blog, you will feel my love for the subject.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Projects: Past, Present, and Future

PAST

I've just submitted my first book, the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia, to the publisher.  It's estimated to be released in early to mid October.  It takes a similar approach to this blog, but is focused only on horror and goes into much greater detail than these blog posts usually do.  If you are a fan of posts on this site covering topics like Scooby-Doo!, H.P. Lovecraft, Zombies, or other horror related material, you just might like the book.

PRESENT

In the next few months, I'll be updating some of the older blog posts here and writing new ones as well.

FUTURE

I'm already working on the next book.  It's similar to the last one, but instead of horror, I will be writing about cartoons.  I'm shooting for a 2016 release.  If you are a fan of posts on this site covering topics like My Little Pony, Offspring of Zed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or other animation related material, you just might like the book.  (Note that the Zed theory will not be part of the book.  But the shows involved in that blog post will.)