Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, October 19

The inimitable allure of witchcraft is considered by a skeptical writer. The history of the Devil in comics is examined. And nine of the weirdest horror films from Italy are listed just in time for Halloween. It's Airy Monday, our weekly take on magic and religion in pop culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Vampires get all the fans, but anyone familiar with D&D knows a lich is just as deadly an undead overlord. But it's not always so easy running a dungeon, as this amusing web comic shared by Kotaku details.

What draws so many people, even those normally averse to the supernatural or divine, to magic? Is it just the power of suggestion? Or is it something more? In this article for New York Magazine, Alex Mar describes her own experience investigating American witchcraft and how she found herself enamored despite her skepticism.

As far as pop culture villains go it's hard to get bigger than the Devil. Besides featuring as the moral opposite of the Abrahamic God, Satan's also made his way into all number of popular depictions of magic and religion, including the comics world. Comics Alliance takes a look at all the different ways the Devil's been feature in comics, from Marvel's Mephisto to DC's Lucifer to Spawn's Malebolgia.

If there's one genre that benefits chiefly during the autumn season (and October in particular), it's undoubtedly horror films. But while most of us are chiefly familiar with American horror films there's a whole library of flicks from other countries with classics of its own as well as a couple which are just... odd. Sci-fi and fantasy website io9 takes a look at nine of the "weirdest" from Italy.

Lastly, we consider the implications of "forced" diversity and whether it really constitutes "pandering" as has been claimed by some. The Mary Sue's Joseph Cain talks about some of the most notable cases in recent years where efforts to increase diversity in the cast of popular media resulted in a backlash.

Top image by John Buscema and George Roussos

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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