A Travels Abroad story: Goblin’s Balls

Goblins and faeries everywhere, dancing, laughing, playing wild music and pranks . . . witches and wizards, casting spells and illusions . . . music and magic everywhere. Against the flickering low light, masks and books for your admiration or purchase; masks, in fact, everywhere you look, along with gowns and wands and wings. And in the shadows . . . well, our minds tell us that there couldn’t possibly be actual goblins here. Or could there?

When Brian Froud and Ari Berk are around, anything is possible, and so it was at the Goblin’s Ball last Friday night here in Portland Oregon. I and my husband attended the release party for Froud and Berk’s new book Goblins (review forthcoming next issue), met the authors themselves, bought ourselves many exquisite gifts in the Goblin Market, and ushered in the pagan new year in high style.

What did we purchase? Well, World of Froud t-shirts, of course . . . didn’t need to buy the book since we received a review copy a few days before the Ball. An exquisite black and silver mask. A signed limited edition print of a Froud painting, You Remind Me of the Babe, featuring Toby Froud as an infant surrounded by the goblins of Labyrinth.

With music provided by Trillian Green and Woodland, both bands that I recommend highly, and a well planned and very moving Samhain ceremony to send out the old and greet the new, the Ball was a lovely coming out party for a lovely book. Brian and Ari are delightful gentleman, and the crowd, like the crowd at the Froud’s Faerieworlds Festival, was friendly, fun, and delightful.

A similar Ball, held in the Green Man Pub, was a bit more exciting, but then when a senile troll insists upon forcing a dance upon a cranky dragon, things can get out of hand rapidly. Best say no more about that. But most of the broken crockery has been swept up, so all’s well that ends well.

About Mia

Maria Nutick grew up in Central Oregon. She began questioning consensual reality at a very young age, and so her Permanent Record notes that she Did Not Apply Herself and Had Trouble Working Up To Her Full Potential. She sometimes Did Not Play Well With Others. In college, of course, she majored in Liberal Arts.

In the interest of Making Ends Meet she has done everything from baking to managing a theater. She lives in Portland, Oregon with the Furry Horde : 3 cats (Thor, Lucifer, and Moonshine), 2 dogs (Karma and Mojo), and 1 husband. She’s an artsy craftsy type, and — oh horrors — a poet.

Her favorite writers are Holly Black, Emma Bull, Zenna Henderson, Charles De Lint, Parke Godwin, Terri Windling, Sheri S. Tepper, Will Shetterly, and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. She highly recommends, if you happen to be blue or just having a bad day, that you try listening to Silly Wizard’s “The Queen of Argyll”, Boiled in Lead’s “Rasputin”, and most importantly Tears for Beers’ “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and “Star of the County Down”. It’s hard to be sad while dancing with wild abandon. At least, Maria thinks so.