August 25th, 2006

Samuel Comstock

I have no choice but to share this. I'm researching a guy named Samuel Comstock, who was a whaler and a psychopath. I truly believe I've been channeling him for several years. Rather than re-explaining his story, I'm going to cut&paste from other stuff about him (from various websites).

In yet another title about the Globe, Heffernan (Stove by a Whale) presents the violent story of Samuel Comstock, clever ruffian, cunning trouble-maker and all around hooligan, who led a bloody mutiny aboard the Nantucket whaler. After dispatching the captain and officers of the ship, Comstock's delusions of setting up a personal empire in the Marshall Islands (and conscripting the natives into his personal army) met an apex in madness, and the 21-year-old was gunned down by fellow mutineers shortly after reaching the Mili Atoll. In the ensuing power vacuum, six sailors fled to the ship, abandoning the other nine to face the irate natives; seven were killed while the remaining two were kept as "pets."

That is AWESOME. Doing a bit more research on this guy revealed that...

[he] been a scrappy kid who loved to play war games. The problem was that he simply never outgrew them, indulging his boyishly violent fantasies well into adulthood: "He was an adult as a child and a child as an adult," Heffernan notes succinctly. Comstock was well-raised by decent, God-fearing Quakers, but none of that helped much: "At the age of twelve he carried pistols and daggers and kept them under his pillow at night -- very un-Quakerish sport."

Okay, he was a war gamer. War gaming was the 19th century equivalent of today's tabletop RPGs. It involved little miniature soldiers that you marched around on a miniature board to simulate battles. I think Samuel Comstock may have been the first LARPer ... to go too far. Clearly we are cut from the same stock.

As the mutiny commenced Comstock, armed with a sword and other assorted weapons, rushed about the ship, waving his arms and crying repeatedly, "I am the bloody man; I have the bloody hand, and I will be revenged."

It bears repeating, so I'll repeat it.

I am the bloody man
I have the bloody hand
and I will be revenged

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