Friday, April 21, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: April 21


Taped on this date in 1969: Episode 741

As Szandor and Barnabas crack open the tomb of the original Laura from the 1700's, to find it empty. At Collinwood, Barnabas finds a telegram from Alexandria and then encounters Quentin. Barnabas questions him on Alexandria, brandishing the telegram as evidence that something happened there. Reading it, Quentin asks Magda if Laura has occult power. Magda disavows it. At the cottage, Quentin visits Laura, asking why she has returned. He threatens her with the telegram, revealing that it is from the police in Alexandria.  In it, they confirm that Laura died there in 1896 ... death certificate to follow.

A Ben Franklin T-chart, with plusses on one side and minuses on the other, would go on for about three feet in assessing Laura Collins. It’s a… um, challenge. Recounting the positive feels like apple polishing, gee, Mr. Curtis, sir. Listing the negative feels grouchy and critically parsimonious. A bit like kicking a cute puppy, albeit one on fire. She is the show’s first monster, and that’s important to note when Barnabas comes up in conversation as a huge and original risk for the show. In some ways, because her brand of monstrosity was wholly original, with no built-in market nor familiarity, she was a bigger risk than bringing in the vampire. Yes, I know that there is everything kinky and transgressive about a seductive night dweller, and that equals production risk a go-go. But this is a flame spirit who wants to set children on fire! Some would argue that this is equally uncouth. Why did they cook her up as a character, so to speak? A pretty blonde stealing your kids was a crazy cross-section of 1960’s, domestic threats. It actually gets even more disturbing. It’s one thing to mate and kill. It’s far darker to mate, and then kill the resulting progeny. The fact that she’s a “new monster” makes her difficult to label, and that means that two storylines lose copious airtime to just explaining the villain over and over. However, the cleverest part of Laura is that she is going after Louis Edmond’s kids. Few things would get him to show fatherly concern (and Roger only barely does). This is one of them.

Happy birthday to Broadway actress, Isabella Hoopes — the elderly Edith "Grandmamama" Collins from 1897! Born in 1893, Ms. Hoopes lived to 1987, a fact that astounds me.  It’s also the birthday of Blue Whale regular, Tom Gorman, who also played Mr. Prescott, Vicki’s gaoler in 1795. He did double duty in/from that era as Ezra Simpson, one of the ghosts who served at the trial of Barnabas when the spirit of Trask walled him up in 1968. Although Gorman was many years older than David Selby, but both hailed from Morgantown, WV. 

Hulu hemorrhaging more DARK SHADOWS episodes

Hulu, the once-mighty purveyor of DARK SHADOWS streaming media, will soon be losing almost all of the series. It's DS catalog has been slowly dwindling since November when it axed six "seasons" of the show, leaving behind an awkward mess. DVD collections 1 and 2 are currently available (and appear to be surviving the upcoming purge), as are collections 15-19. That's a gigantic hole in the catalog, a hole that will continue to erode in the as-yet unspecified future when 15-19 are dropped from the service.

I don't know how much longer these "seasons" will be available. Hulu's interface merely lists them as "expiring," and none of the mainstream news services that track Hulu's changing monthly catalog from have made any mention of DARK SHADOWS. But when you see the word "expiring" plaster across 200 episode listings on the app, it's probably not a good sign.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: April 19

Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 479

 As Lang is about to operate, Barnabas arrives, frightened that his vampirism is returning. Lang reveals his plan to transplant Jeff’s face onto the creature awaiting Barnabas' life force. Barnabas knows that with Jeff’s face, he will never be able to hide the monstrous choices made by the real man who wears it. Lang uses Barnabas’ sense of love for Victoria and fear of destroying her as a vampire to gain his assistance. Barnabas, tortured, begins to leave when Victoria arrives, looking for Jeff. Lang leaves to misdirect her. Alone with the bodies of Jeff and the creature, Barnabas hears her fear of losing Jeff. This is too much for him. Galvanized into heroism and moved by her right for love — even for Jeff Clark — Barnabas releases Jeff from his bonds. The time has come, he decides, "to say enough."

Lang returns to find Barnabas refusing to allow Clark to be Lang’s victim. Jeff overhears their debate. Barnabas suggests that they tell Jeff he is simply delusional. Jeff, actually awake, springs up with a scalpel. Lang claims that it could be another murder on his conscience, and that he will descend into madness. Jeff, confused, is again knocked unconscious by Lang, who says that he will be dead soon. Lang returns Jeff to the table. Barnabas suggests that Julia can hypnotize Jeff into forgetting the events in the lab. Julia can keep Lang’s secrets, and Barnabas knows that he can use Julia’s dark past as leverage to ensure her silence. As Jeff comes back to consciousness, he calls for Vicki. Barnabas calls for Julia only to find himself staring down the barrel of Lang's gun.

Show of hands. I think a fair number of us are here because we enjoy taking DARK SHADOWS too seriously. I know I do. Having said that... There are only five or six episodes of DARK SHADOWS that truly matter to the arc of the story at its most essential. Of those, this may be the most important. No kidding. To invert what's said in THE DARK KNIGHT, "You either die a villain, or you live long enough to see yourself become a hero." Sometimes that takes over 170 years. Just a single year after Willie staggered into the Blue Whale, bitten and humbled — and one year after Joe discovered the calf drained of blood — we find Barnabas saying “enough.” If you want the one episode in which Barnabas reclaims his true sense of self and discovers a sense of grit that he never knew in early 1795, it’s this. For me, this is where Barnabas changes and the series changes. Is it because he’s no longer a vampire? No. I don’t think so. And will he backslide? Many times. But if you’re looking for the true Barnabas Collins, episode 479 is where he lives. 1968 needed him. And so does 2016.

Barnabas Collins makes his four-color debut

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of Barnabas Collins on DARK SHADOWS. To celebrate the occasion, The Collinsport Historical Society is spending the week looking back at the "introductions" of the character in various media.


By 1969, everybody wanted a piece of DARK SHADOWS. The television show was a pop culture phenomenon, with Jonathan Frid's likeness appearing on everything from Halloween costumes to the sleeves of Top 40 albums. With children of all ages going nuts for Barnabas Collins it seemed like a natural to translate DARK SHADOWS into a four-color comicbook. There was only one problem:

Formed in 1954, the Comics Code Authority was a blight on the comics industry and set the medium back decades. It was the end result of a congressional witch hunt, which alleged that comics were turning America's youth into a bunch of drug-crazed, homosexual criminals. In order to appease congress, the industry agreed to create the Comics Code Authority, a self-governing body that would make sure icky material no longer found its way into American comic books.

It was a pretty shitty deal.

The larger publishers began to abuse their power almost immediately, creating "rules" designed to muscle some publishers out of the industry. EC Comics is the most famous victim of the code, which brought an end to its lines of horror and crime comics. Among the subjects declared off limits by the CCA were zombies, werewolves and vampires.

So when DARK SHADOWS became a thing, Marvel and DC were unable to pick up the license for the series. Third-tier publisher Gold Key had no such problems because they were not members of the CCA. They were among the few publishers to opt out of the deal and continued publishing whatever the hell they wanted.

At the start of 1969, Gold Key added DARK SHADOWS to a roster that already included STAR TREK, TARZAN and BORIS KARLOFF: TALES OF MYSTERY. While I admire Gold Key's magnificent pair of brass balls, I wish I could say their bravado was worthwhile. Their comics kinda suck.

The first issue of DARK SHADOWS hits the ground running, summarizing Barnabas Collin' background in a single page. From there, the comic begins to introduce a cast that includes a red-headed Angelique, Willie Loomis and Dr. Julia Hoffman. The tale is a lot more elaborate than it needs to be and told with the manic aggression of a pathological liar: It feels as though the story is being made-up as it goes along, ending as soon as the creators hit their required page count.
Here's a thumbnail synopsis of the story, titled "The Vampire's Prey": Two college kids visit Collinsport to investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of their ancestors, one Reverend Trask. Barnabas is naturally concerned because he bricked up Trask in the walls of his home many years earlier and is concerned the kids might find him out. Angelique intervenes to make his life miserable and bad things happen. And these "bad things" are surprisingly boring.

The biggest problem with Gold Key's DARK SHADOWS comic is an utter absence of character. If you were to read the comic's dialogue out of context you'd have a difficult time trying to figure out who was supposed to be saying it. It's not only faceless, it's propped up by artificial drama: The characters spend the duration of the issue shouting at each other, no matter how relaxed the situation. Literally every line of dialogue in this issue ends with either an exclamation point or a question mark. Adding to the story's false sense of urgency is Barnabas' insistence on running everywhere he goes.

Still, the book sold well enough, even outlasting the original television series by several years. But you won't find a lot of "art" in the series, despite its healthy run. While other publishers hired writers and artists with a desire to lift the medium from its illegitimate status, Gold Key had other ideas. Their books were just "stuff" produced to satisfy market demand and are only interesting today as relics. I wish things were otherwise. Perhaps in a parallel time fans got to read a DARK SHADOWS book created by folks like Steve Ditko, Michael Fleisher, Gene Colan and Roy Thomas ... in their primes, no less.

Here's a photo of an adorable kitten to help offset whatever depression might result from that previous paragraph.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

You won't know the facts until you've read the fiction

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of Barnabas Collins on DARK SHADOWS. To celebrate the occasion, The Collinsport Historical Society is spending the week looking back at the "introductions" of the character in various media.


It took a while for the DARK SHADOWS marketing machine to start generating Barnabas Collins merchandise. Dan Curtis Productions had an agreement in place with Paperback Library since the start of the series in 1966, which had produced a handful of short pulp novels focusing on governess Victoria Winters. But it wasn't until the end of 1968 until the publication schedule was able to add Barnabas Collins into the mix.

Cover for the 1968 U.S. edition.
Author Dan Ross (writing here under his wife's name, Marilyn) was one of the most prolific hack authors of the 20th century. Using more than two dozen pen names, he churned out hundreds of novels before his death in 1995. Unfortunately for readers, Ross lived in Canada — which didn't broadcast DARK SHADOWS during its original run on ABC. Consequently, Ross' DARK SHADOWS novels have little to do with the series beyond names and situations.

The pulp fiction version of Barnabas Collins is very different from his television counterpart. The character makes his debut in the appropriately titled installment "Barnabas Collins," a story that mostly ignores the continuity of the previous books. It begins with a hastily written wrap-around story that provides only the vaguest of links to the prior entry: On a dark and stormy night at Collinwood, governess Victoria Winters is reading a family history she discovered on a book shelf in the mansion. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard fills Victoria in on the missing gaps of the narrative, which involves her grandmother and a cousin from England named (ta-da!) Barnabas Collins. The story then leaps backward to the early part of the 20th century, where we meet ancestors Jonas and Margaret Collins, and their disabled daughter, Greta.

Barnabas maintains the usual cover story: He's the descendent of an American ancestor who migrated to England a century earlier and is interested in exploring his roots. This cover story masks his real intentions: Greta's bears an unfortunate resemblance to the lost Josette, and Barnabas hopes to woo her.

From there, things get really gross.

Cover for the 1976 German edition.
While TV Barnabas was content to kidnap and abuse Maggie Evans, Pulp Barnabas is setting up Josette Franchises all over Collinsport. His intentions on Greta are almost innocent when compared to his dealings with other women in the novel. Barnabas is slowly killing a young servant at Collinwood, who he has visiting the Old House each night for a little Josette cosplay and/or blood letting. Barnabas also has the owner of a private orphanage in town in his thrall, and has set his sights on a third Josette: An underage orphan who also looks a lot like his dead girlfriend. It seems that the gene pool in Collinsport is rather shallow.

After a few deaths in and around Collinwood, Margaret discovers Barnabas' secret: Her English cousin is a vampire who has been wandering the world since the end of the 18th century. They engage in a battle of wills, with Margaret taking temporary custody of Barnabas' child bride. (In his defense, Barnabas plans to wait until the child is of legal age before marrying her ... but that doesn't really make it better.)

By the end of the book most of its characters are dead — including young Greta. This presents a pretty significant continuity error in the novel's bookends: Elizabeth mentions that Margaret is her grandmother, whose only daughter dies during the course of the tale. It's a little unclear how Elizabeth entered the picture with such a significant pruning of the family tree.

I don't think fans have ever really embraced Ross' version of DARK SHADOWS. In 1966, he was the perfect choice to continue the storyline in print. Ross was a one-stop clearing house for gothic romance in the 1960s, the kind of "women running from houses" stories that Dan Curtis was trying to translate into a daytime drama. The introduction of Barnabas Collins eventually changed that dynamic, moving the series away from its pulp roots and into more traditional horror/science fiction. His pulp counterpart is a fairly traditional gothic anti-hero who has more in common with Jane Eyre than "Dracula." The DARK SHADOWS novels remain collectible (the books produced after the cancellation of the series remain some of the show's most sought-after merchandise), but fans have generally rejected their dry tone.

I'm a fan of his work, but will save my defense of Ross' writing for another time.

Up Next: Barnabas Collins makes his four-color debut!

Monday, April 17, 2017

In DARK SHADOWS, your reflection always tells the truth

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of Barnabas Collins on DARK SHADOWS. To celebrate the occasion, The Collinsport Historical Society is spending the week looking back at the "introductions" of the character in various media.


Barnabas Collins made his first appearance in any medium on April 6, 1967.

Even if you watched this episode, though, there’s a pretty good chance you missed him. During the closing scenes of the episode, Willie Loomis (played by James Hall in his second-to-last appearance on DARK SHADOWS) tries to assault Carolyn Stoddard, who pulls a gun on him and issues a stern warning ...

“If you don't leave me alone, I'll blow your head off,” she says. Fade to credits.

It was here that most people in 1967 — and probably many viewers since — probably stopped watching the episode. Those who stuck around, though, saw a significant piece of art had been added to Collinwood’s foyer.

In a bit of retroactive continuity, we later learn the portrait of Barnabas Collins has been hanging in full view for many, many years. After regenerating into John Karlen in episode 206, Willie takes an active interest in the portrait, eventually meeting Barnabas Collins face to face on April 10 during a bit of grave robbing. It’s not until the following episode that we get to see Barnabas for ourselves, when he makes his iconic arrival at Collinwood.

All of this makes it difficult to pinpoint the “first appearance” of Barnabas Collins on DARK SHADOWS. Complicating matters is that the character's first physical appearance is in Episode 210 when Barnabas’ hand emerges from the coffin to choke Willie Loomis. On that episode, he was played by set extra Timothy Gordon. Meanwhile, the character’s “first appearance” is almost always credited to Jonathan Frid’s debut, which is fair … but that doesn’t make the milestone any easier to read. By the time we formally meet the character, we already know a lot about him.

Barnabas’ piecemeal introduction is in keeping with the dominant theme of DARK SHADOWS during much of its run, which is underscored in the final reveal of Jonathan Frid: In DARK SHADOWS, your reflection always tells the truth.

Duality was a series theme from the very first episode, which implemented a shocking amount of symbolism in its photography. As a daily series, it was never designed to withstand the scrutiny of re-runs, let alone the far-flung fantasy concept of "home video." The series was as disposable as a newspaper, something to be enjoyed for a few minutes and then forgotten. The writers and directors of DARK SHADOWS did not get that memo, though, and set about creating afternoon entertainment that was more psychologically complex than it had any right to be.

The first episode established this dynamic immediately. Victoria Winters is riding on a train through the night, her reflection in the glass beside her. We discover that she’s a “foundling,” anonymously abandoned to the state as an infant. She’s traveling to Collinsport, Maine, to take a job — and to learn the truth about her own mysterious past.

In other words, she’s looking for the real Victoria Winters — represented throughout this episode by her own reflection. We see Victoria reflected back in the window of the train carriage, the mirror in the restaurant of the Collinsport Inn, and in a mirror (in a flashback!) at her bedroom at the foundling home.

Most telling is the reveal in the episode’s final scene. When she arrives at her destination, the doors of Collinwood open to show Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard standing in the entrance, looking very much like Victoria’s reflection. (For me, this is all the evidence I’ve ever needed that Liz was Victoria’s mother.)

We get the same kind of imagery in the introduction of Barnabas Collins, though it’s less direct. Again, the “real” Barnabas is the character we see in the portrait — the ancestor who lived at Collinwood more than a century earlier. While it’s only a fraction of the truth, it’s much more reliable than the tales told by Barnabas, himself.

We see this over and over throughout the run the series, always to different effect. The portrait of Quentin Collins — a magical creation that spared him from harm — represents the real person, the Quentin that suffers the consequences of his own bad decisions. But this duality has a downside: Quentin will live forever, but he might as well not exist at all. Neither the world nor Quentin Collins had much effect on each other in the 20th century.They just drift through the years, body and soul detached.

Interestingly, Barnabas returned to the “portrait” well twice during the show’s first year. As a ruse to lure Sam Evans away from his daughter, Barnabas arranges to sit for the artist to have a new portrait done. The painting is meant to do something beyond keeping Sam occupied; it’s designed to transform Barnabas’ lie into something approximating the truth. The portrait would lend credibility to his tale of being “The Cousin from England,” enshrining his new likeness with those of the other Collins family ancestors at Collinwood. It makes his backstory legitimate.

It must have been handy for the writers to have characters like Sam Evans and Charles Delaware Tate in the cast. It made the symbolic use of portraits easy to justify without having to do logistical cartwheels to introduce each new prop. One of the first portrait devices used on DARK SHADOWS was an illustration by artist/alcohol enthusiast Sam Evans many years before the start of the series.  During a visit to his home, Victoria finds a portrait of a woman named Betty Hanscomb among his older works. Despite the obvious similarity (the portrait was unsurprisingly based on a photo of actress Alexandra Moltke) he claims he doesn’t see much of a resemblance. We eventually learn Hanscomb and her family are dead, and the plot point — like so many that involved Victoria — was left to dangle.

Another of Sam’s portraits would also reveal an ugly truth about Laura Collins. While under the influence of supernatural compulsions, Sam painted a portrait of Laura that shows her to be the demon that she truly is. By the time Barnabas Collins shows up — just a few weeks after the first incarnation of Laura Collins is dispatched — the writers had polished the old “Portrait as Id” trope to a high sheen. They’d go on to use it to different effect with Josette Du Pres, Angelique Bouchard, and several characters in the  NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS feature film.

Before the end of the series, DARK SHADOWS even introduced a character who was literally a portrait come to life. Amanda Harris, played by Donna McKechnie, was another of the magical creations of Charles Delaware Tate, who made a pact with Hungarian sorcerer Andreas Petofi for a boost to his "Talent" attribute. Once again, it was the portrait that was "real." Much like Victoria, Harris was unaware of her own origins. And what little she knew was fiction. Her romantic entanglement with Quentin Collins — a man whose soul was also linked to a magical portrait — was one of DARK SHADOWS' most appropriate relationships. Naturally, it was doomed to fail.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rondo Awards: CHS nominated for Best Blog/Website

It’s that time of the year once again, boils and ghouls. The nominees have been named for the 2016 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, which honors everything from best picture to best convention, to best book and best website.

The Collinsport Historical Society has been nominated for Best Blog/Website for the fifth year running. We actually took home that honor in 2012, back when the most recent epidemic of Dark Shadows Fever was sweeping the world. As usual, this year's winners will be determined by votes from the public. And that means you. Readers are asked to select winners from this year's nominees and e-mail your selections to awards

All voting is by e-mail only. One vote is allowed per person. Every e-mail must include your name to be counted. All votes are kept confidential. No e-mail addresses or personal information will be shared. Votes must be received by April 16, 2017.

If you want to vote in every category, you can find the entire ballot HERE. You DO NOT have to vote for each one in order for your vote to count. If you want to vote only for the DARK SHADOWS-related entries, copy and paste this bit of text below:

THEATRE FANTASTIQUE: THE JOB INTERVIEW, directed by Ansel Faraj. "Vampire seeks a new Caretaker in this Dark Shadows tribute." Starring John Karlen, Lara Parker, Christopher Pennock and Kathryn Leigh Scott.

NIGHTS OF DAN CURTIS: The Television Epics of the Dark Shadows Auteur, by Jeff Thompson

James Storm of Dark Shadows, by Rod Labbe, SCARY MONSTERS #100.



While browsing the other nominations this morning, I noticed the "Best Artist" category is a write-in ballot. My suggestion is Ben Walker Storey, a horror kid absolutely deserving of the recognition. You can see a sample of his work below, but feel free to wander over to his website and Threadless store to see more. A ballot amendment is listed below for you cut & paste pleasure.

25. BEST ARTIST OF 2016 (all formats, including paint, sculpt or design)
Ben Walker Story


NOTE: This year’s Rondos are dedicated to the the latem great horror host, Zacherley. I've adored that guy since first hearing his song "Dinner With Drac" on Ronco's 1977 anthology "Funky Favorites." Here's a (blurry) photo of the "cool ghoul" with our own Jonathan Frid from their 1980 appearance together at the Magique Disco in New York City.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: April 14


No other character on television is quite as iconic... in the same way... as Barnabas Collins. Human in his frailty. Mythic in the fate he will chart. At the very least, he was a figure designed to save a network television show and potentially the careers of everyone involved. April 14, 1967 was the most important day in a lot of lives, most specifically the life of Dan Curtis. He had already introduced the reality of the character prior, with the image of the hand from the chained coffin. When I first saw that shot, it felt like it had always been in my memory, even though I’d never seen it before. It’s simple, fierce, savage, and sudden.

How do you top that? Because we have to see all of him at some point. Director John Sedwick’s approach sustained the iconic resonance of the shot of Willie’s strangulation. Can’t top it for blood and thunder without sliding into parody or the unproducible. Barnabas is about dichotomy. We’ve seen the beast. But what else is Barnabas? What makes us want to solve him? Take his hand as a friend? Share in his secret?

Episode 211. Shot on April 14, 1967.

His introduction happens in just three images. In them, there is a knock at the door of Collinwood. When Mrs. Johnson answers, she encounters a man -- whose face we do not initially see -- introducing himself as a visiting cousin from England. He’s seeking the woman of the house. Mrs. Johnson, startled by something about him, shows the man in. They exchange pleasantries, and as she leaves, we finally see him next to the 1795 portrait of Barnabas Collins. The man is a twin for the painting’s subject. And his name? Also Barnabas Collins.

Two clear and subtly clever images with a bridge. His introduction comes from his own perspective, rather than Mrs. Johnson’s. It’s an exterior shot of the entrance, looking in.

The grid helps us divide the image. People in the west read from left to right, and tend to circle in our gaze back to the left. Sedwick uses this model of composition in all three shots.  In image 1, we see someone -- him? -- through the eyes of Mrs. Johnson as the camera hangs over his shoulder, minimizing her (1.1). Why is she so transfixed? We follow her gaze up to the towering figure (1.2). Following the slope of his collar, we come back to Mrs. Johnson… specifically, her throat (1.3). After that, we circle back up to her gaze, even more worried. For what reason?

Then he enters with purpose, and we next see him again from the back, divesting himself of his cane and hat, getting a glimpse of his strangely antique cloak. His voice is rich with a uniquely tentative sense of authority. We still don’t see his face, just bits of his profile. These moments tease us, and yet they put us in the position of a confidant of the vampire’s. The composition mirrors what we saw outside. Within, Mrs. Johnson (2.1) is minimized, and the turn in the figure shows him looming, ready to pounce. Again, we begin with her, following her gaze from left to right. The mystery of what bedevils her, bedevils us, as well. The man towers (2.2) in the right, blocking the exit. Instead of following a sloping collar, we follow its larger, expanding offspring in the cape, which takes us circling to the left again where we stop on the poor, miniscule shield of his hat and then, like a wolf pulling her away, his feral looking cane (2.3).

Situated so close to the predator, with his gaze elsewhere, we have a strange safety. We don’t see him from the eyes of his prey. Instead, we are a quietly unacknowledged friend. Finally, as Mrs. Johnson goes to summon Elizabeth, the figure turns to face the portrait, rotating upstage to let us see him from profile to profile. As she exits, and we are alone with him, the chiseled face comes into focus from the side. It is alien. It is familiar. We think we know why, but then we see why. They are only face to face for a moment before the camera takes us away from him and uncomfortably close to the painting from 1795, cold and haughty and haggard and sad. He then steps even uncomfortably closer to it and spins to give his inevitable name. We see the two men in mutual relief.

The painting of Barnabas is a prisoner in a four-sided frame on the wall, disapproving and distant as the first thing our eyes rest on (3.1). Is the painting gazing at the man? No. The more we look, the more the painting is gazing at us, as if we’ve been caught looking. It’s natural to avert our eyes from this, and by comparison, section 3.2 is practically benevolent. His impossible doppelganger is standing before it in three dimensions on our 2D screen. Liberated, he smiles, and there is something optimistic about it. He’s gazing upward to the landing, yes, but it’s also to the future. Gazing left, he’s anticipating the next image rather than look for one that has passed. Subtly, our eyes wander down to 3.3, his medal, a subtle reminder that, despite his strange warmth, he’s a soldier as well, and a force to be reckoned with. 
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