Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CENTIPEDIA: YOUR GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF THE BLACK CENTIPEDE

BLOOD OF THE CENTIPEDE EDITION
(Some material taken from Wikipedia.) 

1.) "Bloody" Mary Jane Gallows ("born" 1892) is the Black Centipede's dearest friend and arch-nemesis. Mary Jane is a tulpa (a thought construct given independent life) who was created by Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper, in a truly bizarre series of events described in "Forty Whacks," the first section of Creeping Dawn: The Rise of the Black Centipede. She is more amoral than outright evil, and has a great fondness for the Centipede, though her criminal antics often put her at odds with him. The two have an ongoing, albeit intermittent, sexual relationship which neither of them can quite fathom.


2.) Detective Lieutenant Stanley Bartowski is the head of the City of Zenith police department's Unusual Crimes Division. He and the Centipede are almost friends, though Bartowski often looks askance at the masked man's use of violence against criminals. The two met during the strange affair of Doctor Almanac, an episode chronicled in Creeping Dawn: The Rise of the Black Centipede.

3.) William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) was an American business magnate and a leading newspaper publisher. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887, after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Hearst is credited with the creation of yellow journalism — sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. He created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world. In the wake of the Black Centipede's disastrous raid on the headquarters of Doctor Almanac in 1933, Hearst took it upon himself to rehabilitate the masked man's public image. He did so by way of favorable news stories in his papers, a best-selling pulp magazine, a successful Hollywood motion picture ("Blood of the Centipede"), and other means-- some of them unethical, immoral and highly illegal. Hearst and the Centipede despise one another.


4.) Frank Nitti (January 27, 1886 – March 19, 1943), also known as "The Enforcer," was an Italian American gangster. One of Al Capone's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all strong-arm and 'muscle' operations. Nitti was later the front-man for the Chicago Outfit, the organized crime syndicate headed by Capone. His position within the syndicate had become extremely precarious by the latter part of 1933, and Nitti began secret negotiations with Zenith's short-lived crime czar Doctor Almanac in an effort to save his own hide ("Creeping Dawn"). When Almanac fell, Nitti became indebted to the Black Centipede for his life and position, and now serves as the hero's "inside man" in the mob.

 

5.) Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) — known as H. P. Lovecraft — was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction. In the 1920s, Lovecraft became friends with the teenage boy who would later become the Black Centipede.





6.) Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 – disappeared 1937) was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross,awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was also a member of the National Woman's Party, and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1933, Earhart formed a friendship and informal partnership with the Black Centipede ("Blood of the Centipede").



7.) Woodrow Wilson Tannenbaum aka Baron Samedi (born April 1, 1913) is a notable African-American Voodoo practitioner and gangster. He was named in honor of Princeton University President (later U.S. President) Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Born into a show business family, Tannenbaum spent his early years on the vaudeville circut. He became a major gang boss in the City of Zenith in the year 1933, in partnership with the bizarre criminal known as the Stiff.

 


8.) Patience and Prudence (birth dates unknown) are an enigmatic pair of young women who worked for the Zenith crime lord known as the Stiff for several years in the 1930s and 40s. They appear to be identical twins, though one is black and the other white. Nothing is known of their origins. They were rescued by the Stiff and Baron Samedi from the despicable Doctor Almanac, who had subjected them to torture and mutilation in an effort (unsuccessful) to bend them to his will. ("Funeral For a Fiend," Pro Se Presents #8) Patience and Prudence are the ultimate "fixers." They can do anything that is necessary to resolve any situation. It is unknown whether they possess any occult or psychic powers. Both girls are mute, having had their tongues cut out by Doctor Almanac.



8.) Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle (March 24, 1887 – June 29, 1933) was an American silent film actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter. Starting at the Selig Polyscope Company he eventually moved to Keystone Studios where he worked with Mabel Normand and Harold Lloyd. He mentored Charlie Chaplin and discovered Buster Keaton and Bob Hope.

In September 1921, Arbuckle attended a party at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco during the Labor Day weekend. Bit player Virginia Rappe became drunk and ill at the party; she died four days later at a sanitarium known for performing abortions. Arbuckle was accused by a well-known madam of raping and accidentally killing Rappe. Arbuckle endured three widely publicized trials for manslaughter. His films were subsequently banned and he was publicly ostracized.

Arbuckle worked hard to rebuild his career after he was acquitted. In 1933, he was selected by William Randolph Hearst to direct "Blood of the Centipede," a motion picture about the popular masked crime fighter.

9
.) Aleister Crowley (12 October 1875–1 December 1947), was an influential English occultist, mystic, ceremonial magician, poet and mountaineer, who was responsible for founding the religious philosophy of Thelema. In his role as the founder of the Thelemite philosophy, he came to see himself as the prophet who was entrusted with informing humanity that it was entering the new Aeon of Horus in the early 20th century.

Born into a wealthy upper class family, as a young man he became an influential member of the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He would go on to found his own occult society, and eventually rose to become a leader of Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), before founding a religious commune in Cefalù known as the Abbey of Thelema, which he led from 1920 through till 1923.

In 1933, Crowley met the Black Centipede in Hollywwod, California. The details of that meeting can be found in Blood of the Centipede, the second volume of the masked crime fighter's memoirs.


 10.) Lon Chaney, Jr. (February 10, 1906 – July 12, 1973), born Creighton Tull Chaney, was an American character actor. He was best known for his roles in monster films and as the son of famous silent film actor, Lon Chaney. He is notable for portraying Lennie Small in "Of Mice and Men" and Larry Talbot in "The Wolf Man." He died of heart failure at age 67 on July 12, 1973 in San Clemente, California.

Chaney portrayed Jack the Ripper in the 1933 film "Blood of the Centipede."

 11.) Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956), commonly known as Bela Lugosi, was a Hungarian actor of stage and screen. He was best known for having played Count Dracula in the Broadway play and subsequent film version, as well as having starred in several of Ed Wood's low budget films in the last years of his career.
The Black Centipede was an ardent admirer of Lugosi's work, and the two men had a brief but memorable encounter during the filming of "Blood of the Centipede" in 1933.

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