Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Boutonnière for beginners

The boutonnière - a fresh-cut flower worn on one's lapel - is one of the most outrageous style statements a traditiontal-minded male can make. As such, it is probably only a question of time before a certain droopy-eared Lord will make the plunge.

(John Steed sporting a boutonnière)

But when, like Lord Bassington-Bassington, one moves in circles where even a jacket can be seen as a bit excessive (and let's not even mention His Lordship's penchant for bow ties...) it can be a bit daunting to show up sporting a boutonnière. One needs some way to practice, to ease into it.

So thank Heavens for The Knottery, a Canadian company that produces beautiful felt flowers for one's lapel. The flowers are as beautiful as any boutonnière, but the discreet fabric and size makes them less ostentatious.

Being a sucker for the classics, Lord Bassington-Bassington went for the red rose version. A solid neofolk pick, we'd say. But with a price of just 8 US dollars for such a beautiful, hand-made item, there probably isn't really any excuse for getting other colours as well.

But this is when the challenges start. How do you match these flowers to your pocket hankies?

Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to tip his hat to some rather amazing French brothers for bringing these flowers to his attention.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Happy birthday HPL!

Happy 122nd birthday, O Gentleman of Providence!

Study of Grandpa Theobald by Kim Holm. Who seems to be still alive. Those Basset assassins sure do shoddy work.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

To pick(man) a fight

As these Chronicles have previously reported, Bergen-based comic artist Kim Holm has been working on an expanded version of his excellent adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story Pickman's Model.

The new edition, which has just fallen into the paws of Lord Bassington-Bassington, has several new pages which seem to be chiefly devoted to studies of the architecture of Boston. This is a great enhancement to the story, and it's not just because nothing builds the Lovecraftian atmosphere like some proper New England brickwork and gambrel roofs. For Pickman's Model as written by Lovecraft is, of course, a long monologue and Mr. Holm's previous adaptation suffered a bit from this. But with the updated edition the monologue is broken up a bit. There is less talk, more thatch, and things start to really work.

This is a Lovecraft adaptation as it should be: Faithful yet creative. It captures the Gentleman of Providence's bleak vision perfectly. In fact, this might well be the best adaptation of a Lovecraft story that Lord Bassington-Bassington has seen, and His Lordship is a somewhat compulsive collector of Lovecraftiana.

The proper release is at the end of August, through online shop Indyplanet. There is little information online so far, but Mr. Holm's own website could also be a place to find relevant information soon.

It is hard to recommend this book enough. Not only is it eminently worth having, but one can also support a true graphic artist. An artist who have even done some excellent studies of Lord Bassington-Bassington, and who is also involved in other matters Lovecraftian.

That said, this release does not come without a bit of drama.

The press release - in Norwegian, and not available online - includes a somewhat oblique shot aimed at none other than Lord Bassington-Bassington himself, as explained by Mr. Holm, in the postcard below.

We realize that this is in Norwegian and needs a bit of inside information for outsiders to work out what's going on, but in short, Mr. Holm has mentioned Michel Houellebecq's description of Lovecraft as a misanthrope in the press release. As Mr. Holm knows full well that we here at the Chronicles disagree with Houellebecq's thesis (Lord Bassington-Bassington maintains that Houellebecq's book about Lovecraft is an attempt to reshape Lovecraft in the french writer's mould) Mr. Holm is clearly anticipating a fight.

"Bring it on?"

Indeed, Sir! Lord Bassington-Bassington is about to dispatch a team of highly trained Basset assassins - so-called Bassassins - to Bergen. His Lordship recommends that Mr. Holm start glancing over hs shoulder when he is out and about. Well, over his shoulder and then downward, as Bassets are low-slung. So, in case the Bassassins fail in their task (Bassets are known to be a bit hard to motivate) all this awkward glancing is sure to give the damn cartoonist chronic back problems. Hah!

(A Basset assassin - Bassassin - preparing for his mission. Picture by Josh Latta.)

Friday, 17 August 2012

Fortean tidings

There are many things that Lord Bassington-Bassington feels the need to investigate closer, but hasn't gotten around to for lack of time (or due to sheer laziness). One of the things near the top of His Lordship's list is to take a closer look at the Fortean Times and the man whose name it bears, Charles Fort.

Lord Bassington-Bassington's reservations towards both man and magazine is largely a question of doctrine. On one hand, His Lordship loves everything that is weird and doesn't fit into established views of the world. As such, Mr. Fort's chronicling of unexplained phenomena is right up the alley in front of Bassington Manor.

On the other hand, His Lordship is a skeptic and therefore refuses to believe in anything that doesn't fit into a beaker.

The reservations, however, were recently trumped by three factors.

The first is that Lord Bassington-Bassington has been re-watching The Whisperer in Darkness, a film that, despite some initial disappointment, His Lordship has learned to enjoy. In this, Charles Fort makes an intriguing appearance.

The second is that with a theme issue dedicated to the undisputed master of the ghost story, M.R. James, and a cover like this, how can a poor Hound resist?

The third, and most important factor, though, is that it would border on the criminal for Lord Bassington-Bassington to ignore the work of someone with such a magnificent moustache as that of Mr. Fort.

So a magazine is in the mail, it seems.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Spectatorial spectacular

Lord Bassington-Bassington is notoriously bad at keeping up with the pace of the modern world. Not only is he chronically behind the times, he is also often out of sync with the seasons. This leads to posts talking about tweeds in late May - the time of year, even here in the North, where woolen clothes can safely be put into the cupboard for the summer.

So as Fall approaches up here in the North, Lord Bassington-Bassington naturally finds himself obsessing about footwear more appropriate for summer. Well, perhaps one could say that His Lordship is ahead of his time, and already planning next summer's wardrobe.

The co-respondent shoe - Americans call them spectators - is quite a foppish shoe. And as Lord Bassington-Bassington is a rather foppish Hound, it seems inevitable that His Lordship will at one point get a pair of spectators. So here, after some online research, are some of the long-eared one's favourites.

The Gerrard model from Crockett & Jones seems a safe bet, as Lord Bassington-Bassington is very pleased with the Oxford shoes he already has from C & J. But they are perhaps a bit on the dressy side?

Herring Shoes provide excellent shipping service, and Lord Bassington-Bassington has had a great experience buying from them. But buying shoes online is risky for one such as His Lordship, whose paws are starting to suffer from his preference for formal footwear with leather soles. But anyway - the Herring Jekyll is a more sober take on the spectator.

The Jekyll model, naturally, comes in a version called the Hyde as well.

A big issue in considering a spectator is what style blogger Simon Crompton points out, namely that it is a shoe that is hard to get to work with anything. So perhaps something like the Loake Sloane is easier to wear. It certainly feels less formal.

Even more wearable is the Lemmy two-tone shoe from what must be considered Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite footwear outfitters (yes, His Lordship is aware that this might be a sign of dubious tastes).

Well, the research has been quite inconclusive so far. Which is possibly just as well. For as a thoroughbred Nordic canine, Lord Bassington-Bassington should know that the sort of footwear to be considering now that fall is just around the corner are a pair of rubber boots.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A rerûn(a)

French label Autre Que are working on a limited vinyl re-release of the Fire + Ice record Rûna. In Lord Bassington-Bassington's perhaps not so humble opinion, Rûna is a record that really deserves the luxury treatment.

They're now accepting pre-orders, it seems.

Monday, 13 August 2012

A Columbian canine

Bassets have of course played an invaluable role in cultural history, and quite a few of them have made appearances on television. But few Bassets have become greater media stars than the trusty partner of famous TV detective Columbo. This canine, with the simple, elegant name of Dog, was an important part of one of the most popular and critically acclaimed detective series of all time.

This study of Dog and his detective sidekick comes courtesy of the fabulous Tini Malitius.

Well, Lord Bassington-Bassington thinks there's room for another video, in which Dog displays typical Basset Hound superiority.

Friday, 10 August 2012

In defense of traditional marriage

As a somewhat Conservative fellow, Lord Bassington-Bassington is a staunch supporter of the institution of marriage. But unlike some Conservatives, His Lordship has virtually no objections to same-sex couples being joined in matrimony, as long as certain traditional standards are upheld.

Lord Bassington-Bassington could come up with some lengthy explanation of why His Lordship feels this way. Such an explanation would mention how extending marriage rights to same-sex couples will strengthen their unions, let sexual minorities express their love, undermine the most negative aspects of gay culture, and so on. In short, make society more stable and life better for everyone. But truth be told, what it boils down to is what can be seen in this picture from the marriage ceremony of Mssrs Smalley and Bonnette.

For Lord Bassington-Bassington, the real question of same-sex marriage is this: If we can't have same-sex marriages, how else are we going to get weddings where both parties wear bowler hats?

And what could possibly be more traditional than the wedding picture below?

The wedding pictures are reproduced with permission from the happy groom and groom. Many happy returns, gentlemen.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A cultish approach

(Photo courtesy of Tom Eileen, who also filmed this live set of the band)

This is just small post to remind readers - and Lord Bassington-Bassington himself - that one of His Lordship's favourite bands in recent years have a new album coming soon. They're touring, too.

Some teasers are available on that Internet thing.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The art of contemporary heraldry

When the World’s Coolest Librarian makes one of his regular visits to Lord Bassington-Bassington, it is usually the start of some terrific (and slightly nerdy) adventure. Yesterday was no exception, when The Librarian gave His Lordship a short introduction to the subject of contemporary heraldry. Contemporary Canadian heraldry, to be exact.

As His Lordship takes a keen interest in the invigoration of old traditions, Lord Bassington-Bassington was all ears (and when one is a Basset hound, there are a lot of ear to be!)

His Lordship could only agree with The Librarian that heraldry needs more exposure in the media. And as the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles is, at least in the loosest sense, part of the media, we will shoulder our responsibilities and hereby bring our readers a selection of some of the coolest Canadian coats of arms.

Dr. Missao Batts is a lady with an appreciation of felines, and a love of music (surely something we here at the Chronicles can relate to). And as for the good lady's last name, well, look at the wings of the cat...

While Mr. Pierre Masse's love of music gets combined with the national animal of Canada.

And Mr. Howard Berlind Ripstein shows what a superb coat of arms one can create when one is a military serviceman descended from Jewish bootleggers.

But the highlight for Lord Bassington-Bassington is, for obvious reasons, the coat of arms and flag of radio broadcaster Douglas Graeme Bassett.

In His Lordship's mind, this short run-through of contemporary heraldic masterpieces leads to one inevitable conclusion: It is high time for the Bassington-Bassingtons to create a coat of arms of their own. Perhaps The Librarian could lend a helping paw?