Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Big Book of Madness

 Crazy people create amazingly bizarre notebooks and journals filled with distilled insanity.  That's a trope that shows up in a variety of novels and movies, with varying degrees of believability and effectiveness.  John Doe's obsessive journals are one of the highlights of "Seven", helping to push the film to even higher levels of weirdness.  A great recent example is the journal discovered in HBO's "True Detective".  It ups the strangeness quotient of an already bizarre case by generously dipping into the territory of "The King in Yellow".

That's what I was thinking about when I stumbled on this thread on Reddit.  KingTycoon created a scrapbook built on the idea of a modern Dungeons and Dragons style spellbook.  In that context, looked at by gamers in an RPG discussion forum, it's an interesting project.  Outside of that, it's the kind of thing that leads to calls to the police.  The pages are filled with seemingly random things linked together by images and scrawled writing.  You can almost see the thought process of the person behind it, and it's downright bizarre.  Which, of course, means it's awesome.  Check out the full album.

Crafting something like this is time consuming, but you can't beat the impression it makes.  A couple of hours, a stack of old magazines, and next thing you know you've got your own Big Book of Madness.  The mashup nature of it's presentation makes is easy to incorporate clues and story background.  Best of all, it just gets better with time.  Add a few pages whenever you have a few hours and the weirdness just keeps growing.

1 comment:

CoastConFan said...

Henry Darger spent 43 years compulsively writing a series of private stories and made accompanying illustrations of a fantastic nature. The major part of the work was, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. While not “insane” they were certainly obsessive and encompassed a writing mania.


Although not the work of a madman the Voynich Manuscript is a book with vividly drawn plants and animals with an unknown script in an unknown language. It had been previously dismissed as a sham, the work of a modern hoaxer and the like for decades. New scholarship may show it to be a medical book about Central American plants and their uses written in the 1500s.


An image Google of Voynich manuscript will turn up a number of lavishly illustrated pages with the unknown text.