A clay figure of the golem of Prague, with emet ("truth") written on its chest.

Monster of the Week: The Golem

In honor of tonight being the fifth night of Chanukah, this week’s monster comes from Jewish folklore. The golem is truly a classic of the ages — though its early incarnations date all the way back to the Talmud, its enduring relevance shows in the many pop cultural tributes that we still see in media […]

A jolly old man with a long white beard. Holly leaves and pine cones are woven into his hair.

Monster of the Week: The Holly King

How are you doing, dear reader? Hanging in there? It’s been a ferocious year, to be sure, and this time of year always brings a hearty dose of chaos and coldness – well, at least if you live in the northern hemisphere’s temperate zone, which I do and so you’re just going to have to […]

The Abominable Snowman from Rankin/Bass's claymation movie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Monster of the Week: The Abominable Snowman

It’s the most wonderful time of the year— —yeah, no. I don’t know about where you are, dear reader, but here in Chicago it’s starting to get cold. And there are plenty of things that are wonderful about this time of year, but weather is not one of them. I would even go so far […]

The most iconic scene from My Neighbor Totoro: a huge grey and white bear-like creature waits at a rainy bus stop with two children

Monster of the Week: Totoro

He’s big, he’s loud, and he’s the most iconic character to come out of any of Studio Ghibli’s films. He may even be the most recognizable anime character anywhere in the world. So what is it about Totoro that’s so appealing? Let’s start with his story in Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. The movie begins with […]

He's an adorable little pink puffball -- and he's hungry.

Monster of the Week: Kirby

Well, for those of us in the US, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and can I just say — where the hell did that come from? Where did the month of November go? I mean, besides imploding into a gaping maw of cosmic depression about the state of the world — that should account for, like, ten […]

Monster of the Week: Cranium Rats

Last week I had the chance to pick up the latest Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition sourcebook, Volo’s Guide to Monsters – with a name like that, how could I pass it up? – and whoa man does that book make me want to gather up a group of unsuspecting players and hurl eldritch monstrosities […]

These plague doctors have great bedside manner with their creepy hoods and long-nosed bird masks

Monster of the Week: Plague

hhhrkkk blrghfghgl ugh happy November, everybod— *achoo* So, uh, I did technically survive Halloween (and most of the World Series while adjacent to the Cubs storm — if you never hear from me again, game seven is probably what did me in). But it’s gonna be a short one this week, because I’m a little worse […]

A very cute black cat! (She's mine. You can't have her.)

Monster of the Week: Black Cats

Well, folks, it’s that time of year. Carved up pumpkin faces blink out from your neighborhood doorsteps, the local thrift and costume stores are mobbed with Halloween shoppers, and chances are you’ve already seen more than a few witch-with-cat lawn ornaments. It is the time of the black cat. Let me be honest – I […]

Ah, the fearsome intellect devourer: a brain on four legs.

Monster of the Week: Intellect Devourer

Continuing in this month’s lead-up to Halloween, this week’s monster is a spooky pick from Dungeons and Dragons. You could say that it’s a zombie’s best friend. That’s right: BRAAAAAINS. It’s literally a brain on legs. Well, I guess a zombie’s best friend would be a brain that stays put and just lets itself get […]

These scarecrows don't look happy.

Monster of the Week: Scarecrows (Doctor Who)

It’s that time of year, folks – the first leaves have started to turn, pumpkin spice is flowing through our veins, and Halloween is on its way. October’s monster posts are sure to be a real treat (or trick), so let’s kick things off in the Halloween spirit with some spooky scarecrows. Scarecrows rank up […]