Witches of World War II

Anyone that has known me for awhile knows that the only thing I find more interesting than magic is the people who practice it. Therefore, the graphic novel, “Witches of World War II” by Paul Cornell with art by Valeria Burzo was too juicy to pass up. Although a work of fiction, Cornell shows some genuine occult nerd bona fide with his creative use of actual history and well-established magical lore to tell the tale of the greatest magicians of the era coming together to battle Nazi Germany. Shall I introduce you to our colorful cast of character?

The leader of the team is Doreen Valiente, who is best known today as one of the founders and shapers of Wicca. Valiente lost her husband in the war, and although has never officially been found to have served in the war effort, she did spend extended periods away from her family during the war and never spoke about what happened. Next is Gerald Gardner, founder of Gardnerian Wicca. Gardner was an ARP Warden during the war and with his New Forest Coven facilitated the famous “Operation Cone of Power” to keep Britain from being invaded. Another magic practitioner known to have undertaken magical workings to help Britain during the war was Dion Fortune, a well-known British occultist and one of the founders of The Fraternity of the Inner Light. Her letter writing efforts of magical operations undertaken during the war have been cataloged into the book “The Magical Battle of Britain”, a book that drifts in and out of print. Aleister Crowley certainly needs no introduction as he founded Thelema with its assorted organizations and had a penchant for publicity. There is much lore, and some fact, around the idea that Crowley aided Britain during the war, whether in an official capacity or not is up for debate. It is true he corresponded with Rudolf Hess, a Nazi big wig with an interest in the occult. Last is Rollo Ahmed, he wrote about magic as well as his experiences being a black man in Britain.

Cornell takes this band of magic makers on a fantastical wartime journey filled with intrigue, heroics, a cameo from Winston Churchill, and Valiente punching a Nazi. Along the way you see magic and scams, learning that the line between magician and conman can at times be thin, and that both can be effective in times of war. Burzo’s artistic style worked well with the story and did an excellent job rendering these characters.

I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed “Witches of World War II.” It appealed to my occult nerd tendencies, my love of reimaging history, and adventure. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy asap!

You can preorder your copy here! (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

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Sacred Lamb

I’m a huge fan of the horror genre, however I’m a big scaredy cat. I will spend hours reading plot synopses of horror films and novels, reveling in the versatility of the genre. That’s why when given the chance to review “Sacred Lamb”, a slasher movie inspired comic by Tim Seeley with illustrations by Jelena Ðordevic and lettering by Steve Wands, I said, “Sure!”

What happens to the lone survivors of horror movies? Usually they kill their pursuer, shamble towards the police cars conveniently rolling up just after the kill, and the screen fades to black. Of course, many times there’s a post credit scene establishing the potential of the killer returning. In Tim Seeley’s world these are endemic victims, EVs, that are taken to a secret government run town to reside in witness protection to stop innocent people from being murdered when the inevitable sequel occurs, and the slasher returns from the dead.

The story follows social media influencer Kellyn West, who live streamed killing her fan, turned stalker, turned slasher killer, by beating him to death with a backhoe. And thus begins her journey to Sacred Lamb, a quaint town that no one knows exists, where West, and survivors like her, are locked away to be forgotten by the outside world and any would be copycat slashers, or killers back from the dead. Once in Sacred Lamb we’re introduced to a trope’s gallery of survivors of assorted killers. In town, our EVs go to group therapy, terrorize each other, plot escapes, and mostly, wallow in their fate. However, when killings begin to occur in the government’s best kept secret location, we start to see what makes a “killer” and what makes a “victim.”

I choose to read Seeley’s “Sacred Lamb” expecting a two dimensional, but fun, meta horror romp. Instead, I got a crazy examination of feminism, pop culture’s effects on each generation, and the human condition. With chainsaws, blood, and explosions. It’s hard for me to find fault with this wild ride of a graphic novel, although I must admit that Dordevic’s art style isn’t my cup of tea. That said, it did not take away from my enjoyment of this wonderful book.

Preorder your own copy here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

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Each State’s Most Searched Studio Ghibli Film

Okay America, I’m ready to throw hands because we have strayed SO FAR from the light. I’m obviously referring to Get Windstream’s report on the most searched Studio Ghibli film by state. It’s hard not to love films from Studio Ghibli, they feature beautiful animation (being particularly well-known for amazing looking food) and touching coming of age stories. All Ghibli is good Ghibli, and with that statement out of the way, WTF America? How is it that “Spirited Away” is only number one in Hawaii?

Studio Ghibli has created numerous wonderful films: “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Princess Mononoke”, “Grave of the Fireflies”, “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, and more. However, “Spirited Away” is by far my favorite, with its beautiful art, relatable young female protagonist, and supernatural hijinks galore. Why is Hawaii the only state that gets it?

As per usual with these kinds of survey/studies, the methodology is by no means all encompassing. They used IMDb and SEMRush to compile every film from Studio Ghibli and the search volume for each movie. They then narrowed the list to the top 15 Studio Ghibli films with the highest overall volume and used Google Trends to determine which films were googled most in each state. So perhaps you’re all out there WATCHING “Spirited Away” instead of reading about it. I’m going to assume that to preserve our friendship. In case you’re curious, the top film was “Grave of the Fireflies”. I assume because Americans would rather read about that film as opposed to having their hearts torn apart by watching it.

What Studio Ghibli film was number one in your state? You can read the list here.

I would like to point out that “My Neighbor Totoro” didn’t even make the list, which is amazing considering the sheer volume of Totoro merchandise that is available, and frequently selling out. There is this adorable, squishy plush:

My Neighbor Totoro Totoro 5-Inch Beanbag Plush
My Neighbor Totoro Totoro 5-Inch Beanbag Plush

Or this cute puzzle:
My Neighbor Totoro Totoro and Hydrangea Artcrystal Puzzle
My Neighbor Totoro Totoro and Hydrangea Artcrystal Puzzle

(These two items are affiliate links to my Entertainment Earth website. By shopping through my store you save 10% on all in stock purchases and support The Magical Buffet!)

I hope this article has inspired you to watch some Studio Ghibli films, or if you’re already a fan, perhaps rewatch a favorite.

You can read the full report from Get Windstream here.

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Spooky Season Shopping

It’s October and for many of my readers “Spooky Season” is a bigger deal than the Christmas/Yule/Winter holiday season. And now that I’m an affiliate with Entertainment Earth, I thought it would be fun to showcase just a few of the diverse October themed items you can find on the site.

Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Krueger 21 oz. Geeki Tikis Mug
Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Krueger 21 oz. Geeki Tikis Mug

Entertainment Earth has been making Tiki style mugs for a while now, and they frequently sell out.

WandaVision Agatha Harkness Lenticular Pin - Entertainment Earth Exclusive
WandaVision Agatha Harkness Lenticular Pin - Entertainment Earth Exclusive

If you watched “WandaVision” you’ll remember how it was “Agatha all along!” This pin nicely captures the fun and menace of the memorable witch.

Friday the 13th Welcome to Crystal Lake Clock
Friday the 13th Welcome to Crystal Lake Clock

Camp Crystal Lake is an iconic slasher movie location and I thought this clock was creepy, but functional.

Disney Showcase Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Couture de Force Statue
Disney Showcase Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Couture de Force Statue

Maybe I’m weird, but I always thing of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as a Christmas movie, not Halloween. Either way, this fancy, high end Sally is beautiful.

Cthulhu Plush Slippers - Entertainment Earth
Cthulhu Plush Slippers - Entertainment Earth

I’m a fan of cuddly Cthulhu, and these slippers fit the bill!

Beetlejuice Playing Cards - Entertainment Earth
Beetlejuice Playing Cards - Entertainment Earth

Entertainment Earth carries a wide variety of playing cards, and “Beetlejuice” is the perfect fit for the Halloween season.

DC Collector Swamp Thing Megafig Action Figure
DC Collector Swamp Thing Megafig Action Figure

McFarlane Toys makes some of the best action figures/plastic based figurines on the market. I happen to be a big Swamp Thing fan so I couldn’t resist sharing this with you.

Halloween 2 Michael Myers 8-Inch Roto Phunny Plush
Halloween 2 Michael Myers 8-Inch Roto Phunny Plush

I’m not a huge fan of slasher movies, but even I cannot deny that this Michael Myers is ADORABLE!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a slice of what Entertainment Earth has to offer for the Halloween season. I’ll probably do themed Entertainment Earth articles like this from time to time. It’s fun to share pop culture goodies with you, and as an affiliate, you shopping based off of these recommendations helps support The Magical Buffet!

You can shop the entire website through my link: https://ee.toys/Buffet and you’ll receive 10% off any in stock purchase!

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! Https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tarot

Tarot decks are wonderful, and versatile. They lend themselves to all sorts of reinvention, for better or worse. Today’s deck is for the better because it takes the mythic, fantasy setting of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (an insanely popular video game) and meshes it nicely with the mythic, traditional tarot.

“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tarot Deck and Guidebook” was written by Tori Schafer, who is a writer and narrative designer for video games, and has worked on titles such as “Elder Scrolls Online” and has practiced tarot since childhood. The tarot and “Skyrim” enthusiast could not ask for a better creator. Schafer’s obvious knowledge of tarot and attention to the source material provided by “Skyrim” has created a deck that requires little acclimation for the experienced tarot reader. The Minor Arcana Suits of Wands, Coins, Swords, and Cups become Spells, Lockpicks, Arms, and Voice and the Major Arcana keep traditional names while being represented by a who’s who of Skyrim.

Obviously, it is important for a tarot deck such as this to be well thought out, but if the artwork doesn’t do justice to the game, and the grand tradition of excellent tarot artwork, the deck is worthless. Fortunately, it was Erika Hollice’s artwork that first caught my eye, before I even realized I was looking at a deck based on a game I personally love. Hollice’s art deco, graphic, fantasy style translates wonderfully to the card. The only complaint that I have is in Insight Editions attempt to have the cards be matte, the cards tend to stick together, making for difficult shuffling.

“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tarot” by Tori Schafer and Erika Hollice is an excellent example of how wonderful a themed tarot deck can be.

You can learn more here.

Get your own copy here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

If you’re a Skyrim fan, like myself, I can’t help but bring these two very different interpretations of the dragon Alduin. One noble in gold……


You can get your own here. (This is an affiliate link to Entertainment Earth. If you make a purchase using this link, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

The other an adorable rubber ducky.


Which you can get here.(This is an affiliate link to Entertainment Earth. If you make a purchase using this link, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! Https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Fan Based Interior Design

In June 2022, Lombardo Homes surveyed 1,053 people to get their feedback about decorations for their homes. Respondents were 49% women, 48% men, 2% nonbinary, and 1% transgender. The average age of respondents was 37. 64% live in homes, 24% in apartments, 4% in townhomes, 4% in condos, 3% in mobile homes, and 1% listed other.

They also analyzed the Google search volume of more than 3,163 terms related to “nerdy house decorations” such as “Darth Vader mug,” “Mickey Mouse pancake maker,” and “Harry Potter string lights” to determine the nerdiest states. The rankings were based on states that had sufficient data available. The data they analyzed was from April 2020-April 2022 (the most recent data available at the time of this report).

And what did Lombardo’s survey reveal? Essentially that EVERYONE is a nerd for something. That my home state of New York isn’t even in the top 20 of nerdiest states based on their methodology and that Nebraska is number one. Apparently, 35% of the respondents say they like to decorate their home with “nerdy décor” and 43% own decorations or furniture based on popular television shows, movies, and games.

It is an interesting read, and I encourage you to read the whole report on the Lombardo Homes blog.

If you know me personally, or follow myself or The Magical Buffet on social media, you know I’m a fan of a lot of different genres and types of media. I have decorative figures and action figures of characters ranging from Penelope Pitstop to Osamu Dazai to Rick Sanchez. I have a standee of Mushu from Disney’s animated film Mulan, and a Dark Crystal lunch box. I’m absolutely a collector. Not necessarily of anything of value, or that will appreciate in value, but of things that remind me of things I love. Almost like souvenirs of the experience of interacting with a piece of media I enjoyed.

People will often ask me where I source my fangirl stuff, and more often than not, the answer is a website called Entertainment Earth. They cater to fans of just about anything by selling licensed merchandise in the form of nearly anything you can imagine.

A D&D slow cooker? Entertainment Earth.

An adorable Funko Pop of Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory? Entertainment Earth.

A Batman Beyond replica Red Batarang? I think you’re getting the picture.

I’m a fan of things, and I know many of you are too. That’s why I’m excited to tell you there is a new way to support The Magical Buffet, and it’s by shopping at Entertainment Earth! That’s right! Your girl is an affiliate for her favorite fan site! When you shop at Entertainment Earth through my link, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you! And until the end of the year, orders placed this way will automatically receive 10% off any in-stock purchase and free domestic shipping on orders $39 and up.

According to Lombardo Homes, “People are willing to spend a lot of money on fandom items to prove they’re the biggest fan in town. In our survey, Americans admitted to spending up to $10,000 on a nerdy item for their home!

On average, fans are willing to drop about $103 for an item, but if there is something they’d really want, they’d be willing to spend an average of $160. The top decorations fans own are stuffed animals/figurines, wall decor, mugs, blankets, and Christmas ornaments.”

If you’re going to do that, why not support The Magical Buffet while you’re at it?

You can shop The Magical Buffet’s Entertainment Earth site via this link.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! Https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Marvel vs. DC: Who Prevails in Your State?

Travis Petersen and USDish wanted to try and figure out who the most popular superhero was in each state in the United States, but also the most popular superhero universe. To identify each state’s most popular superheroes, they used SEMRush keyword volume data. Once they had their list of 20 superheroes total (10 for DC Universe and 10 for Marvel Universe), they used Google Trends to see which state googled which superhero the most. For each state’s most popular comic book universe, they analyzed each state on Google Trends to find out which of the comic book universes they googled the most.

I don’t know if the results are surprising or not. Obviously some searching comes from buzz around upcoming releases. So, is Flash a true state favorite, or are just a lot of residents curious about the upcoming movie? I mean, is Morbius really Alaska’s favorite superhero, or did a lot of Alaskans just not believe anyone was going to make a Morbius film so they hit Google to find out? See what I’m saying.

Okay, no more stalling. Here’s what you want to know.

State     Most Searched Superhero     Most Searched Universe
Alabama               Flash               Marvel Universe
Alaska                Morbius	          Marvel Universe
Arizona	              Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Arkansas	      Flash	          DC Universe
California	      Captain America	  Marvel Universe
Colorado	      Deadpool	          DC Universe
Connecticut	      Flash	          DC Universe
Delaware	      Flash	          DC Universe
District of Columbia  Green Lantern	  Marvel Universe
Florida	              Superman	          DC Universe
Georgia	              Black Panther	  DC Universe
Hawaii	              Aquaman	          Marvel Universe
Idaho	              Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Illinois	      Superman	          Marvel Universe
Indiana	              Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Iowa	              Hawkeye	          Marvel Universe
Kansas	              Flash	          DC Universe
Kentucky	      Batman	          Marvel Universe
Louisiana	      Flash	          DC Universe
Maine	              Deadpool	          DC Universe
Maryland	      Black Panther	  DC Universe
Massachusetts	      Captain America	  Marvel Universe
Michigan	      Superman	          DC Universe
Minnesota	      Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Mississippi	      Flash	          DC Universe
Missouri	      Superman	          Marvel Universe
Montana	              Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Nebraska	      Deadpool	          DC Universe
Nevada	              Batman	          Marvel Universe
New Hampshire	      Flash	          Marvel Universe
New Jersey	      Flash	          Marvel Universe
New Mexico	      Harley Quinn	  DC Universe
New York	      Superman	          DC Universe
North Carolina	      Superman	          DC Universe
North Dakota	      Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Ohio	              Deadpool	          DC Universe
Oklahoma	      Batman	          Marvel Universe
Oregon	              Flash	          DC Universe
Pennsylvania	      Captain America	  Marvel Universe
Rhode Island	      Superman	          Marvel Universe
South Carolina	      Superman	          Marvel Universe
South Dakota	      Deadpool	          DC Universe
Tennessee	      Superman	          DC Universe
Texas	              Harley Quinn	  DC Universe
Utah	              Black Widow	  Marvel Universe
Vermont	              Captain America	  Marvel Universe
Virginia	      Flash	          Marvel Universe
Washington	      Captain America	  Marvel Universe
West Virginia	      Harley Quinn	  Marvel Universe
Wisconsin	      Deadpool	          Marvel Universe
Wyoming	              Deadpool	          DC Universe

What do you think? I can’t believe that Doctor Strange and Spiderman are nowhere to be found. I get Illinois going with Superman, because Metropolis is Chicago. However, New York also went Superman? Come on New Yorkers, Gotham is New York. Also, have we as a society decided that Harley Quinn is a superhero? I love Harley Quinn, particularly the cartoon on HBO Max, but a hero? Honestly, this list creates more questions than answers!

You can read the official write up here.

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Top 10 Video Game to Film Wish List

Anyone who has had a wonderful, immersive, video game playing experience has thought it. “This would make an awesome movie.” We all know to be careful of what you wish for, because movies based on video games still tend towards the bad end of the film spectrum. However, I’m sure you’ve thought about it. FandomSpot.com certainly has, and they polled 2,000 of their community members to find the top ten game to movie adaptations on their wish list.

1. The Legend of Zelda
2. Grand Theft Auto
3. Horizon: Zero Dawn
4. God of War
5. Hollow Knight
6. Animal Crossing
7. Final Fantasy
8. Fallout
9. Super Mario
10. Red Dead Redemption

I’ll admit, I’ve had movie adaptation thoughts about Grand Theft Auto, God of War, Fallout, and Red Dead Redemption. I would add Saint’s Row to the list, probably based of Saint’s Row 3. I can certainly understand the potential of The Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. I’m not as familiar with the other games on the list, but after the Super Mario Bros movie from the 1990’s, are we in that big of a hurry to try it again?

You can read the full article here.

What video games would you like to see a movie adaptation for?

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Video Games for Mindfulness?

There are a multitude of ways to meditate and/or practice mindfulness. I gave an overview of a bunch of them on my Patreon (shameless plug for my Patreon). However, it never occurred to me to include playing videos games. Apparently it did to Alyssa Celatti over at FandomSpot.com.

She looked at a few studies and found, “that eight out of 10 (79%) gamers state that gaming provides relaxation and stress relief, with well over half of c-suite executives taking daily gaming breaks and benefiting from meditation techniques and hits of dopamine.” With that in mind, they surveyed their online community asked them to “list the games that made them feel the most mindful and in a state of ‘flow’.”

For the physical element of the study, 100 participants from a range of backgrounds, locations, gender, sexual orientations and ages (ranging between 18 and 72) were asked to test the games that were mentioned most often during the survey.

Participants were asked to game in two-hour stints, alone, using whatever consoles and peripherals that they would usually use to game but with the addition of them wearing a simple heart rate monitor to ensure that it didn’t raise significantly to suggest stress or over-excitement. They were also asked to record via a questionnaire of how their mood shifted before, during and after gaming to highlight emotions, stress levels and how mindful they felt.

Obviously, this isn’t a definitive study, and I would also argue that what players are experiencing is relaxation, not necessarily a state of mindfulness. That said, let’s not undersell the importance of relaxation. Particularly in these ever more stress inducing times.

Ready for the top ten most “mindful” games from this study?

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Katamari Damacy
3. Tetris
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
5. Minecraft
6. No Man’s Sky
7. Euro Truck Simulator
8. House Flipper
9. Firewatch
10. Flower

You can get all the details of the survey and scientific journals used here.

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US Horror Movie Death Count: How Safe Is Your State?

I know we just had a not entirely scientific pop culture article, but when CableTV.com reached out to me with this, I couldn’t resist sharing. “US Horror Movie Death Count: How Safe Is Your State?” Awww, yeah.

So, what is the methodology? Pretty solid. “First, we narrowed down Rotten Tomatoes’ 200 Best Horror Movies of All Time to include only movies with a US location. Then, we found the number of deaths in each film using Bodycounters.com and Fandom’s list of deaths.

With 63 films containing over 1,300 frightening fates, we totaled how many cinematic slaughters stack up in each state. (And if you’re in one of the 26 states not included, you should be safe . . . for now.)

Death totals include some non-human characters, and we did not include any deaths that weren’t shown on screen.”

Here’s the regional breakdown:
Northeast: 954 deaths
West: 225 deaths
Midwest: 108 deaths
South: 93 deaths

Apparently living near the coastline helps balance out your odds: The twenty non-coastal states accounted for nearly 59% of the horror movie deaths while the thirty coastal states accounted for just over 41% of the total kills.

Okay, no more teasing, here are the deadliest states according to horror movies:

State          Number of Deaths          Number of Movies
Pennsylvania          615                       6
New York              254                       7
California            163                       17
Maine                 60                        4
Illinois              45                        4
Ohio                  39                        4
South Carolina        36                        1
Nevada                34                        1
Missouri              16                        1
Texas                 15                        2
West Virginia         14                        1
Massachusetts         13                        1
Utah                  13                        1
Rhode Island          12                        1
Virginia              10                        1
Michigan              8                         2
Colorado              7                         2
North Carolina        7                         1
Florida               5                         1
Washington            5                         1
Tennessee             4                         1
Oregon                3                         1
Washington D.C.       2                         1

You can read the whole report by Trevor Wheelwright here.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet