As mentioned in my previous post (View from the Crow’s Nest – December), December sees the start of my Ghostbusters project. My usual weekend posts will concentrate on my progress with my Ghostbusters, their transportation, headquarters and a selection of spooks, spectres and ghosts to bedevil them with.
So, what’s with the midweek posting then? Well, I also stated that I would be looking at films and fiction that I’ve discovered over the years that I feel comfortably fits within a wider “expanded” Ghostbusters universe, and this is what these midweek posts will be about. The idea is that I’ll feature a movie, short story or other form of media that you may or may not be aware of, explain why I think it “fits” into the Ghostbusters universe and, “cast” the media, by suggesting suitable miniatures to represent the characters.
Or that’s the plan, anyway. You never know what’s going to happen on here, after all…
So, the majority of you will believe that the first fictional representation of the scientific investigation and capture of spectral entities via the use of a back-mounted device was in the first Ghostbusters movie in 1984. However, this is not strictly true…
Way back in 1905, an American author by the name of Frank Gelett Burgess published a humorous short story under the title “The Ghost-Extinguisher”, in which a scientist-philosopher by the name of Gerrish, using a special formulation gleaned from the Japanese, created a device which rendered spectral entities partially material, allowing him collect them into specially prepared cannisters. The protagonist of the tale patented his idea and became an expert in the field of the removal of troublesome ghosts across the continental United States. Of course, due to the nature of the tale, things didn’t end as well as they’d begun. The entire tale can be read by clicking on the link below, which is an embedded PDF.
It’s well worth a read, as the ideas within the story are so close to the ideas from Ghostbusters, I would be extremely surprised if Dan Ackroyd hadn’t read this tale before he started on the script for the movie. It’s also pretty funny. However, bear in mind when it was written, as the depiction of the Japanese man from who the protagonist gets his inspiration from has the stereotypical speech pattern that you would associate with a less-enlightened age.
As the events occur 80 years before the events of the first Ghostbusters movie and so closely mirror the kind of technology that would have been available to an Edwardian “Ghostbuster”, I feel that this particular tale does comfortably fit within an “expanded” Ghostbusters universe – possibly the lost beginnings of the business of paranormal investigation and elimination.
So, an Edwardian Ghostbuster, eh? Where would you find a 28mm figure to represent such a thing? Surprisingly, you have two options that I have so far discovered…
Our first potential figure is more “Steampunk” and therefore may not be some tastes…
This is Steampunk Akroyd, Paranormal Investigator, available from the Guild of Harmony for $13.95 AUD, which works out as approximately £6.62. It’s a very nice figure, although the “proton pack” is more clockwork than the fire-extinguisher inspired tank from the story.
Alternatively, we have this…
This is COTD-37 The Spirit Vaccum, from West Wind Productions Empire of the Dead range, available from their website for £7.00. This is more in line with my visualisation of what I think the Gerrish Ghost-Extinguisher looks like, although it does appear that Abraham Lincoln does not only hunt vampires…
I like both miniatures and, bearing in mind the prices of both are comparable, I’ll probably end up getting one of each, because you can never have enough Ghostbusters, can you?
That’s all for this instalment – be sure to check in at the weekend, when I wax lyrical about misbehaving Milliput and the tedium of painting scenery, as I provide an update on how far I’ve got with the Ghostbusters Project so far. There may even be a spectral visitation…
Comments and feedback, both welcome and appreciated.
11 thoughts on “Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 1”
Great stuff Jez. I can see the Spirit Vacuum making its way into my collection in the New Year – another purchase my wallet won’t thank you for 😉
Thanks Simon. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem…lol. I’ll probably end up buying both figures, although Aykroyd is pushing the boundaries of what I consider an acceptable price for a single figure.
Nice posting, Jez. I really like the Steampunk Akroyd figure. As for Abraham the Ghost-buster, has he retired from slaying vampires or is that now a sideline? Either way, he’s a man of many talents! Chuckle! 🙂
Thanks Bryan. More of the same to come – although finding figures for some of the movies may prove a little tricky. And they are both nice figures.
I have to admit to thoroughly enjoying the ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter’ movie – surprisingly not as silly as I expected it to be, plenty of action and clever intertwining of fact and fiction. Good fun.
Two nice figures there Jez, not really my thing, but well done especially Ackroyd. But those prices are horrendous!
Thanks Roger. Have to agree regarding the prices – I can sort of justify the Spirit Vacuum figure as it’s almost two figures, but £7 a figure is a bit steep. It’s not like they’re licensed figures made in Spain, after all (Knight Models, I’m looking at you…). Rest assured, future instalments will feature more realistically priced figures.
Ooh, Steampunk Ghostbusters, now there’s a nice twist. Both great miniatures and how much fun could you have with this, the project that keeps on giving!
I thought you might approve, Michael. Given that the Victorian era saw both a rise in the interest in spiritualism and rapid industrialisation, it’s an ideal period to retroactively insert Ghostbusters. If they had been active, I think Dickens’ A Christmas Carol would have been a much shorter tale. 🙂
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