A small whale with a top hat and mustache drinks tea from a table placed on a larger whale, who's carrying an umbrella. Cover image created specifically for the webcomic "Whales Speaking Yiddish."

What Dr. Lecter does in his spare time?

You wouldn't think about it at first, but Hannibal Lecter can be a very humorous character. Whether you read Thomas Harris' books about Lecter or see one of the movies based on them, there's a streak of dark comedy that runs through them. The comic strip below parodies and riffs on that dark comedy: https://tapas.io/episode/1143161

Actors Who You Didn’t Realize Played Famous Roles

Someone else played James Bond before Sean Connery did in Dr. No. Someone else played Hannibal Lecter before Anthony Hopkins did in Silence of the Lambs. In a recent article for the Odyssey, I talk about these actors and others who played early versions of famous characters: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-actors-you-didnt-know-played-famous-roles  

How Different People See Evil in Stories

How do people decide whether violence is acceptable in a story? To make this broader matter, how do they decide whether sex scenes and other possibly disturbing material (I'll call this "difficult material" from now on) are acceptable in a given story? After all, some people have no problem enjoying stories that have difficult material, …

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