Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Books: A TVCU Quickie

What's a quickie?  See this blog.

Today, I'm going to talk about stories from print, in the context of a site dedicated to television crossovers.

This site is indeed centered around TV crossovers, but we do not exclude other valid crosses into other mediums, such as film, video games, comics, and books.

I tend to only mention literature when there is a cross with television or film involved.  Other writers in the crew tend to focus more on literature, and their blogs are pretty popular, so what do I know, right?

The first blog I covered was in fact about a literary character.  I discussed Tarzan's role in the Television Crossover Universe, but because of my focus on television and film, it was probably one of my worst blogs I've written.  Which is sad, because Tarzan is awesome.  But his television and film TVCU appearances are very limited.  There's the crossover between the 70s cartoon and the Star Trek cartoon, and then a bunch of minor references occasionally thrown into TV shows and films that are mostly iffy.

However, there is much more to Tarzan in the TVCU.

But there's a few reasons I don't write about literary characters.  First, it's been done, and I don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel.  Second, you write what you know, and honestly, TV crossovers is my area.  I'm not as well read as I wish I were, and have no desire to write about subjects of which I am ignorant.

So yes indeed, literary characters do indeed exist in the TVCU, even if they don't get mentioned as often.  But they do get mentioned.  I suggest if you're curious about reading about your favorite literary character in the TVCU, enter the character or book in the search box and see what comes up.

Over in the TVCU forum, we do discuss literary characters in the TVCU.  Please join in.

Toby O'Brien discusses the Literary Universe here.

TV Tropes and Wikipedia of Literary Crossovers:

  • The 1995 novel H: The Story of Heathcliff's Journey Back to Wuthering Heights crosses over the two Bronte sister classics Jane Eyre and Wuthering 
  • Long before the Marvel comics put two Robert E. Howard barbarian heroes together, Howard himself did it: in the Bran Mak Morn story Kings of the Night, Kull of Atlantis makes a special guest appearance. He and Bran team up against the Roman Legions invading Britain.
  • In literature, some authors also engage in crossovers by including characters from different novels they have written in one particular volume; L. Frank Baum did this regularly, and Michael Moorcock frequently uses this device – particularly in his Eternal Champion series of novels, which establish a vast 'multiverse' populated by numerous different characters, many of whom appear in different novels and even different genres. 
  •  Kim Newman is another author who frequently uses this device, as does Stephen King
  • The works of James Branch CabellJ.D. SalingerWilliam FaulknerMargaret LaurenceThomas PynchonKurt VonnegutMordecai RichlerEdgar Rice Burroughs and Isaac Asimov also 'crossover' with each other, linking different characters and settings together over a number of different works.


Bonus.  Here are some book related entries from my upcoming book, the Horror Crossover Universe!

Release Date:  1818 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
The Story:  Dr. Victor Frankenstein believes he has discovered the secrets to reviving the dead, and goes about creating a creature out of dead bodies in which to bring him to life.  He succeeds, but the creature is very animalistic and childlike in nature and goes on a rampage.
HCU Comments:  This is not the same Dr. Frankenstein from the Universal films, nor is it the same monster.  Victor was the first Frankenstein to create a monster, but many of his own family as well as scientists not part of the family would go on to duplicate the process.  Some of those Frankensteins would also be named Victor, but they shouldn’t be confused for the original.  I will make my best attempts throughout this book to make distinctions as to identifying the particular scientist and monster in each story.  The MONSTAAH website does a great job of identifying some of these family members and monsters, branching off of the essay by Mark Brown called House of Frankenstein which can be found at  This method is a great way to reconcile the contrary versions of Frankenstein that all seem to coexist in the Horror Crossover Universe, the same way that the theories on Dracula help account for different versions of the Vampire Lord.

Release Date:  April 1, 1819 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  The Vampyre
The Story:  A young Englishman meets Lord Ruthven, and afterwards they seem to continually encounter death, which the englishman, Aubrey, suspects is Ruthven’s doing.  When the pair are attacked by bandits, it appears as though Ruthven is mortally wounded. Before he dies, he asks of Aubrey that he not tell anything he knows of Ruthven for a year and a day.  Some time later, Ruthven returns alive and well into Aubrey’s life, and begins to court Aubrey’s sister, whilst reminding the lad of his promise.  The stress drives Aubrey to die of a nervous breakdown, and his sister is wed to Ruthven, found the day after the wedding drained of her blood ,and Ruthven is gone.
HCU Comments:  This book is known as being the first romantic literary vampire tale (to at least find success to survive history). Ruthven will return to crossover many times, and there is a fictional book called the Ruthvenian, which is a bible of vampire knowledge, which stems from the basis that Ruthven was real, thus any appearances of this book is considered a crossover with Lord Ruthven.  I should also mention that in an episode of the television series Angel, Angel claims that this book was actually based on him.  Considering the manner of which Angelus (as he was known in 1819) behaved, needing to toy with his victims psychologically, he might be telling the truth.  It is plausible that Ruthven was an alias used by Angelus. However, I will continue to consider Angel and the Vampyre as separate series for crossover purposes.

Release Date:  1820 (Setting is 1790)
Series:  Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Story:  Schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with bullyish Abraham Van Brunt for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel.  Abraham constantly plays pranks on Ichabod to make him look bad.  Ichabod is very superstitious, and at one particular party, Abraham takes advantage of this to relate many of the local ghost stories, including one of a Hessian soldier whose head had been lost by a stray cannonball.  Ichabod leaves the party and finds himself chased by a rider whose head is not on his head but in his saddle. After quite a chase, the mysterious rider throws his head at Ichabod.  
HCU Comments:  Irving leaves the story up to interpretation.  The next morning, a smashed pumpkin is found next to Ichabod’s trampled saddle, discarded hat, and wandering horse.  However, later tales that are in the HCU seem to support the notion that the Headless Rider is a phenomenon that occurs whenever a rider loses his head, though not all Headless Rider ghosts are the same ghost.



Here are some of the more recent posts regarding books in the TVCU discussion forum.

Recently in Supernatural, a revised version of Wizard of Oz was crossed in, that contradicts any previous incarnation.  Fortunately, it's been established that there may be more than one Oz, and more than one girl who later got called Dorothy by writers.

The third episode of ONCE UPON A TIME: WONDERLAND has the Red Queen looking through a book of horrors to threaten Alice with. One of these horrors is the Sarlacc, which she states would take thousands of years to digest her. This places the world of STAR WARS into the same multiverse as ONCE UPON A TIME.

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