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An Interview With Simon Loxley

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Seeing This Goodly Vessel Read Before Us

We were struck recently by this, the thought of a more mature, more modern Anthony Monday becoming a library page. Not in a brick-and-mortar library but behind the wheel of a bookmobile. This was followed by the disturbing thought of Miss Eells behind the wheel. She’s driven before, of course, but the mere thought of such activity only brings her clumsiness to the forefront.  Throw in Emerson Eells and a talking dog (Brewster?) and you might have a clever, coterie of crime-solvers.

That we were considering bookmobiles was because two fans of John Bellairs wrote to us this month to promote their project: a mobile bookstore. The vehicle is named Jolene Lenore, the project is called the Road Virus, and it plans to specialize in fringe literature:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Where's There: Hagia Sophia

Mother Ximenes' Handbook for Grade School Nuns features a section on things Catholic students should know, one fact of which is that a priest is living in the walls of Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul, Turkey (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 107).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What's What: Diagonal Architecture

The Cathedral of Saint Gorboduc, among its many wonders, is one of the few churches that features examples of diagonal architecture (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 34).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Who's Who: Saint Goar

Some local figure named Goar has a thing for baptisms for those crossing the Rhine River (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 66-9).

Friday, October 14, 2016

Time Capsule: Hastings, Under Norman Circumstances #1066

Lewis Barnavelt reads about Halley's Comet appearing over England during the Norman Invasion (The Sign of the Sinister Sorcerer; 19).

Monday, August 15, 2016

What's What: L'Osservatore Romano

The publication L'Osservatore Romano issued a statement about the investigation into whether Floradora should be declared a saint (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 83).

Friday, July 15, 2016

Who's Who: Dean Husk?

"And who, may I ask, is Dean Husk?" The Question Box Moderator may be asked an assortment of oddball inquiries but this time he’s out to ask one of his own (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 49-50).

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Memoriam: Alfred O. Myers

For those of you that have enjoyed the biographical bits and pieces that we've come up with over the years at Bellairsia, you must tip your hat, as we do, to John Bellairs's friend, Alfred Myers.  Myers was a New Yorker by birth but whose family had moved to the Chicago area.  Myers attended Notre Dame as a business major and during his freshman year decided to share a bit of newly-found trivia:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Where's There: Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The White Sepulchre of Armbruster, Pennsylvania, is the home base of the Knights of the White Sepulchre, a semi-militant arm of the church, whose home organization is a plaster cast of this major Christian pilgrimage site [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 100].

Monday, May 30, 2016

Skellig Michael Awakens

CBS News recently discussed the popularity of Skellig Michael, an island in the Atlantic off the southwest tip of Ireland, after being featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The island, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is now being stormed by fans of the Jedi.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What's What: Prayer for Fair Weather

The Moist Heart missal lists several prayers for Mass, including this one that counters the previous Prayer for Rain and instead asks heavenly guidance to parch the mushy earth [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 119).

Friday, April 15, 2016

Who's Who: Lyndon Johnson

During Pope Paul VI's 1965 visit to the United States this president met him in New York City [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 30].

Friday, April 1, 2016

Killer Robot Eyes, Ranked

The Eyes of the Killer Robot
(1986) turns thirty this year. In this tale, we learn that an insane inventor, Evaristus Sloane, created a fiendish, baseball-pitching robot in the early years of the 20th Century.

Professor Childermass, Johnny Dixon, and Byron "Fergie" Ferguson travel to Stark Corners, New Hampshire, and find the 50-year-old machine in pieces. Packing the contraption into the prof's car, the three re-assemble the man-shaped machine at a party back in Duston Heights.

Here are the two glass eyes of the robot, ranked.

Proof Reading: 6 Misspelling of "Sorcerer's Skull"

John Bellairs wrote books and humor articles, Brad Strickland has written books, radio plays, poetry, and more - and they've all misspelled their fare share of words.

What title has seen the most misspellings? We'd wager The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull (1984). Here are six ways other people have written the title over the years.

7 Foods Cooked Up By Professor Childermass

We all know that after a long day teaching history at Haggstrum College that Roderick Childermass drops the “professor” bit once he arrives home and instead plays the part of a chef, whipping up ooey-gooey greats such as sacher tortes and black forest cake.

Who hasn’t been a just a little bit jealous of his friends when you read about the items they get to try - and apparently quite often, too?

So what seven delicious foods will the prof cook up next?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thou Art Welcome

We've highlighted fan art over the years and today we welcome another piece. John Rego of Boston tells about his creation:
This piece was for a school assignment were I created a book cover illustration for the book "A [sic] House with a Clock in Its Walls".

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Gorey Fixation

Edward Gorey has popped up in a few places this week. First there's a play about the life of the notoriously private auteur debuts May 3:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Where's There: Boboli Gardens

Da Vinci's unfinished work, Saint Sebastian Dying in a Bed of Zinnias, was inspired by the effeminate Pope Ganymede V prancing around in this famous park [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 62].

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Old Joke Peddler (Oh, goody!)

We were looking for something to post this February 29 and this article at the AV Club about Tom Lehrer surfaced this afternoon.  Perfect!  We were told a number of years ago that Lehrer (at right in photo) had a fan in Bellairs who listened during his undergraduate days at Notre Dame. Al Myers, Bellairs's good friend from those days, says Lehrer’s first album, featuring Fight Fiercely, Harvard, was played endlessly in the dorm rooms. Leap over to the AV Club for some reading and listening:

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Note of Thanks

Five years ago, yes, our brains hurt a lot when we realized a full decade had passed by. We said we’d shoot for another five and, for better or worse, those five years have ticked by (what a surprise). That brings us up to fifteen years that Bellairsia has been online promoting the works of John Bellairs. We can only hope that those of you who have been along for the ride have found it as enjoyable and worthwhile as those of us behind the scenes have.

Monday, February 15, 2016

What’s What: Baltimore Catechism

During the spring session of Vatican III an elderly American bishop got the idea that a nuclear cataclysm had occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, having misinterpreted the discussion of this text [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 93].

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Survey: Your Favorite Richard Egielski Artwork in "Letter"

Richard Egielski created 14 full page illustrations for The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring, and, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, we want to know which one is your favorite.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Time Capsule: January 20, 1996

Let’s say you’re an tech-savvy, undergraduate education major and you want to contribute something new and unique to the World Wide Web thing all the kids are talking about. How does one go about that? 

First, boot-up the dial-up modem. Next, use Netscape Navigator or American Online ("Welcome!") to search the 100,000-or-so existing pages to figure out whether someone else has anything on that topic. If you find something interesting, make sure your mouse trackball is clean so you can roll the pointer into place and click the image that appears on your 640x480 resolution monitor.

It seems an archaic ritual but that’s how it was 20 years ago when the CompleatBellairs first went online and helped bring the books of John Bellairs and Brad Strickland into the digital age.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This Is My Birth-Day

We celebrate the 78th birthday of author John Bellairs. It's not a platinum anniversary (close: 70) but 78 is the atomic number of that metal. And that's your trivia for the day.

Cheers, John.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Who’s Who: Charles Dudmer

The powder room for men at the nameless Catholic Montana Women's College is at the residence of this individual [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 75].

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sweet Fidgeta, Deliver Us!

We’re celebrating fifty years since the publication of Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies and a half-century of John Bellairs as the famous author.