FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Killer Crabs!

‘In the Depths of the Dark Continent; or, The Vengeance of Van Vincent’Brave and Bold: A Different Complete Story Every Week, No. 109, selection from front cover, Jan. 21 1905, Shea, Cornelius, published by Street and Smith: New York, USA

In this fictional account of a lost civilization, two of the explorers, Jack and Joe, are set upon by “monstrous creature[s] resembling a crab," whose massive, bullet-proof claws prove to be suitably terrifying.[1] Once the crustacean threat has been handled by means of gunfire, a new foe attacks the protagonists. Seen in the background of the cover image, this rhinoceros-like animal is felled in the same manner as the crabs.

The adventure story utilizes and enhances the danger perceived in animals, largely through their size compared to humans. In everyday life, crustaceans hardly pose a threat to humans. The pincers hold potential for damage, but only when enlarged to the gargantuan size as depicted in the story. Rhinos also have great potential for damage in their strength and size, but can be incredibly docile. The illustration focuses on the aggression of the fictional beasts with the reaching claws of the crabs and the angry, furrowed brow and raised horn of the rhino.

 

References

[1] ‘In the Depths of the Dark Continent; or, The Vengeance of Van Vincent’, Brave and Bold: A Different Complete Story Every Week, No. 109, p. 17, Jan. 21 1905, Shea, Cornelius, published by Street and Smith: New York, USA

 

Sudden Attack by Rodents

'Terribles Complications', from Poilu un de 12 Ans, No. 112, selection from front cover, c. 1924, Galopin, Arnould, edited by Albin Michel, published by Louis Bellenand: Paris, France

Vicious rodents, some the size of cats, set upon a group of fugitives underground. Here again, the size makes these beasts more terrifying than the average rat. Moreover, their great numbers make them a formidable threat, and their relentlessness creates a scene of horror and alarm, aided by the fearsome darkness of the setting. A flashlight, in fact, initially scares off the rats and offers a brief respite from the attack, further differentiating the rogue rodents from the virtue of light.