Amongst the many things distracting me in the last few months has been a website called Mangafox. It’s a site dedicated to’scanlations’ of manga series- scans of the originals translated and re-lettered by volunteers. It’s not legitimate, of course, but hey.
As I have a long standing interest in erotic comics I went looking for stuff in the Adult category. Two in particular got my attention. Koibana Onsen is the ongoing tale of an inn which specialises in erotic romantic getaways- and the various hang-ups of the staff. Itoshi No Kana is a paranormal romance which inspired a story idea from me.
Itoshi No Kana, according to the scanlators, means My Lovely Ghost Kana and concentrates on the relationship between the eponymous ghost and Daikichi. As the story opens Daikichi, whose name ironically means lucky, has lost his job and home and taken to squatting in an abandoned apartment block. Here he meets Kana, the ghost of the girl who committed suicide in the room he has chosen to inhabit. Their relationship soon becomes intimate, rescuing each other from their respective hells.
There’s a lot of sex in the first Kana book- the second is more concerned with their growing connection with the outside world- and it’s a lot of fun as well as being very hot. This is despite Japanese censorship rules which mean genitalia aren’t explicitly depicted- there’s a lot of allusion and, when that runs out, erections are often reperesented by a bar of white space.
Itoshi No Kana is a naughty example of the manga subgenre known as Magical Girlfriend. The MG can be an alien princess, witch or hot demoness who makes life complicated for some hapless protagonist. Most often, the protagonist and MG never get to consummate their relationship, continuing through endless scrapes punctuated by panty shots and other tittilation (aka fanservice). Kana ignores the rule of delayed gratification to tell a different story.
I’ve been tempted to do something Magical Girlfriend-y, on and off, for a while and Itoshi inspired me again. So I’ve started the tale of a young man who bumps into a girl who isn’t there as he crosses an old bridge. Having knocked her back into the physical world he becomes her lover and they embark on an exploration of hauntings, beasts and Boggles, all the while tracking down the man who killed her.
I see an episodic series, short stories with different monsters each time, but with an overall arc- the story of the ghost’s murder and revenge. The main characters’ sex life- and the mating habits of were-creatures, vampyres and assorted ghoulies- would be a major part of the stories. Not often enough to warrant the label of Paranormal Erotica (a popular genre on Amazon), but regular and hot nonetheless. So I’m going to do this series under my Garth Owen pen name, I think.
The first story in the series is tentatively titled The Girl On The Bridge and I’m 6000 or so words into it, using it to flesh out some details of the back story and world. I’m far too easily distracted by other ideas and stories I want to work on, but I hope to have this one finished soon.
Biggles and the casual racism, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
We bought a lot of old books recently, including a few Biggles tomes. Biggles in the Blue was only lightly racist, with its references to "coloureds" and negroes. But five pages into Biggles Flies Again we get this little outburst from Algy- "Jungle Airways Limited, Joy Rides for Niggers, Flip-Flaps for Cannibals," when pondering running joy-rides in Guiana.
It was a more innocent time……
Pills, thrills and bellyaches, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
One of yesterday’s buys was a tray of pill and trinket boxes. Every one of them was quite lovely. And there were a lot of them, this is just a sample.
The boxes shall be going up for sale over the next week or so. Check out this page to see them.
Another piece of history we’ve come across in amongst a load of other stuff in a lot. Having bought a lot of demi-johns last week I spotted the ammo tin which was bundled with them. These tins can be useful for storage and are worth a few pounds each. This one, however, had an interesting label on the side, proclaiming it to be from the Experimental Stores and contain 3 inert Merlin warheads for trials on a range near Glasgow.
The Merlin 81mm smart mortar round was a weapon developed a little too late. It was a fire and forget homing round which would seek out tanks at the end of its trajectory and guide itself in for the kill. Teams could fire the projectile from 4 miles away and at the top of its flight it would start scanning for targets- moving tanks for preference, what might be stationary ones as second choice. It was intended to be fired at the masses of Soviet tanks expected to roll across Western Europe should the Cold War go hot, and be more accurate and effective than just lobbing bombs and hoping.
The Merlin was considered superior to other guided or “smart” mortar bombs being developed at the same time if only because it would have been fired from a standard piece of kit rather than requiring its own dedicated launcher. Apart from the fall of the Berlin Wall rendering unlikely the conflict for which it was developed there were also issues with getting the electronics small and reliable enough. It only ever got to the testing stage, which is where this case is from.
You can own this piece of military history, because the case is for sale in the Spinneyworld eBay shop.
This document was issued to Warrant Officer W Papworth on November 5th 1945. The full text of the document reads-
KNOW YE MEN THAT:
We BORE, King of the Northpole and
The Land of the Midnight Sun – Do hereby declare that:
Warrant Officer Papworth. W.
did in this year 1945 with Our permission cross the Souther Boundary of Our
Realm – THE ARCTIC CIRCLE – in latitude 66° – 33 N for the purpose of
visiting Us and Our Queen Aurora Borealis and to chase the wicked Huns from
By virtue whereof, We Bore, call upon all our subjects – Laps, Eskimoes,
Polar Bears, Blondes, Reindeer, Sea Lions, Whales and other Creatures of the
Frigid North, to show him due deference and respect.
Disobey under pain of Our Royal displeasure.
Signed This Day 5th Nov 1945
on Our Royal Iceberg.
[There’s a signature which has sadly faded]
Comd. of the Royal
Arctic Frontier Guard.”
The certificate has been framed to be displayed (the hook is actually and old ring pull araldited to the back) and must have hung in some proud veteran’s home for many years before I found it in amongst an auction lot along with copies of The Arctic Times- the most Northerly English language newspaper in the world. It’s not a grand official document of the war, but tells us something about the humour of ordinary soldiers sent to serve in far flung corners of the world.
This and other cool stuff can be found in the Spinneyworld shop.