Episode 268 of the Letters Page: Writers’ Room: Tome of the Bizarre Vol 4 #60-61

Bizarre tales that might seem a bit arcane.


What’s this? A second, secret cover that Adam neither drew nor even mentioned on stream yesterday? Diabolical!

I have to assume that’s Grimm’s Critical Event or something, then. I mean, this whole to-do has “DE event setup” written all over it, but still.

So Grimm created Scholar of the Infinite? How interesting!

90% Cacao Visionary XD

So Grimm’s weakness is being a hack writer. :V

Oh man, I do love being on the same meme wavelength as Adam. :smiley:

Argent Adept, literally the red-headed stepchild of magic stuff.

Clearly, this is where Nightmist goes, “It’s mistin’ time!”

…We’re not gonna find out his name, are we?

That was absolutely wild.

“Oh, children aren’t people, Adam!” -Christopher Badell 2023

Damn, churro knocked it out of the park with this letter.

I love when Christopher starts laughing before he’s even started the bit. :smiley:

Guise isn’t genderfluid, just regular fluid. :slight_smile:

Never thought I’d say this, but that’s a good Beastie Boys impression.

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You never reveal the name in this sort of instance; a wise writer knows it’s almost always going to be more disappointing than what the audience was expecting.


:purple_heart: I had a lot of fun trying to write in character


I just assume they’re saving the name reveal for Disparation, though we’d only see it if this was his regular event and not his critical.

Plus I feel like the name reveal being underwhelming would play into the greater reveal about Grimm being a failed writer who just copies better stories. And it leads to more intrigue when it shows up somewhere unexpected, especially if the characters don’t know about it while hardcore fans do.

I mean… personally, there’s only been a few times when the whole “true name” thing has actually worked for me. One would be the Dresden Files, where it’s linked to how the person says their name, and linked to the self image, with the downside of them having expiration dates when it comes to humans because of how much we change constantly.

The other was a fantasy series I read some time back (can’t remember if I ever finished it, life was weird back then) where “true names” were more often than not expressed in things like musical notation. I like this one a lot, because trying to label a person, a soul, with mere mouth noises will always fall flat.

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The only time I’ve seen the identity of a powerful mysterious figure live up to the hype was (coincidentally enough) the Storyteller in Owlcat’s Pathfinder video games.

I’m also reminded of Planescape Torment which very intentionally had you as the Nameless One searching out the main character’s memories, and in the end he hears his real name but you don’t.

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Minor quibble for Adam: Neither Paul Bunyan nor Pecos Bill were real people; they’re entirely fictional folk tale characters. Davey Crockett would probably have been a better example!

But as for the story itself - yes, this was amazing. Shame Guise was busy and couldn’t apply his own brand of nonsense to the story. I’m imagining him getting thrown out of the comic alongside Visionary and just… coming back. Because he can do that. Gradually getting Grimm’s blood pressure up while the serious heroes did serious things, maybe even starting the Scholar’s interest in him over the next little while.

Count me in the “his real name doesn’t matter” camp; the idea of it is more important.


Pecos Bill is a made up character but Bunyan is thought to be based off of an actual lumberjack Fabian Fournier.

As for Grimm’s true name I’m also of the feeling that it doesn’t matter and revealing it would only diminish it.


Twist: He comes back as Real Guise. And he brought his lawyers. Rest of the book is just page after page of legalese in increasingly tiny type. :slight_smile:

Bunyon was indeed inspired in part by Fournier, and is at least as real as, say, Robin Hood or King Arthur. Sadly, he did not actually stand 63 axe handles tall.


One of the things that makes American Folklore so specifically amusing to me is that we have this whole thing of taking real-life people and turning them into these wild and crazy larger than life legends.

The real Robert Johnson just got good the plain old fashioned way from a combo of innate talent honed by determined practice, but the story is what made him from a music genius into an outright legend.

(Like, we still do this now after all; what is stuff like the Dark Brandon meme If not that category of exaggeration?)


Right? I’ve speculated that because the Americas didn’t have it’s own set of myths, but rather second hand stuff from cultures of origin (well… the European descended Americans, anyway, First Nations have their own rich cultures and myths, but that’s theirs to tell), that a lot of larger than life portrayals of real people is sort of a proto-myth. So things like 1776 and Hamilton will likely, in another century or so, be similar to the stories about Washington and the cherry tree.

Now if only we had more stories about Nat Turner and John Brown than Boon, Crocket, and Bowie… but that’s a personal thing, for me.


I know offhand John Brown does at least live on in the annals of poetry and folk music.

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I think I must be in the minority here, as I find Grimm less and less compelling the more I learn about him. He wants to control what the heroes do…but only to make them act out European-American folklore tales…and all for the ultimate purpose of destroying reality? He just seems like a mind-control villain with a schtick bolted on to OblivAeon-lite as a way to raise the stakes. It’s fortunate that Sentinel Comics isn’t already crowded with Threats to All Reality, because you can only have that come up a certain number of times before it gets tiresome. But then that is coupled with my least favorite kind of villain story – mind-controlling the heroes, which I dislike because it’s almost always depicted with nothing its victims can do to struggle against it and the only narrative solution comes from some deus ex machina source. I hope his deck presents an engaging puzzle to solve, at least.


You do in fact tend to intentionally be in the minority of offering reasons to be negative about whatever most people seem to like.

You’re not alone. He was more interesting when he was more mysterious, as is often the case with villains.


I think there’s different takes here.

I agree that the reveal of who he actually was, was a little uninteresting, but I liked his actual overall shtick that Trajector is criticizing.

I like loads of stuff in Sentinel Comics. There’s also stuff in there I dislike, which comes naturally as they are building out an entire comic publisher’s backlog. That’s been more true of the newest additions, for whatever reasons; maybe it’s just that C&A naturally included the most wide-appeal stuff earlier in their product development and that happens to be more what appeals to me. :man_shrugging:t3: I thought contributing my opinion would add something new to the discussion. Oh, well.


Trajector, the pattern I noticed has been a long-standing pattern with you over the years, not merely recently.

Particularly egregiously when it comes to the Rambler Foes episode, where you were told over on Backerkit by multiple people that your Aeternus views were seen as being in bad faith, yet you came over after seeing that response and repeated them here anyway.

This is the realization I think I’ve come to lately. There have been recent additions that I don’t particularly like, but I like that they added because it’s more similar to real-world comic books (the werewolves and demon twins, for example). They certainly did start with the more popular stuff in EE, which could cause this feeling of seeming to only add stuff from areas of comics that are less popular.

As for Grimm, I really like his gimmick as a silly comic book villain gimmick. I wouldn’t read the books, but I think it’s really funny that he is so powerful and decides to do something so silly. Hopefully it makes for an interesting deck!