Thursday, July 24, 2014

Case Study No. 1462: Clark Ashton

The Real Ghostbusters 232 The Collect Call of Cathulhu
When the Necronomicon is stolen from the public library, the Ghostbusters find themselves fighting creatures in the sewers, chasing down cults, and researching comic books to help them in their mission.
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[scene opens in the New York Public Library after hours, as male librarian (brown hair, pencil thin moustache, brown suit, blue pants) and an older male professor (balding with grey hair, glasses, green sweater, brown undershirt, blue pants) look at an ancient book on display in a glass case]
TED KLEIN: I tell you, Ashton ... No good can come of this! Putting the Necronomicon on display like this is, is dangerous!
CLARK ASHTON: Nonsense, Klein! Maybe up in Arkham, they still believe in spooks, but here in the big city we're a bit more ... sophisticated. Your precious book of spells will be quite safe here.
[he puts his arm around the professor and winks]
CLARK ASHTON: I assure you.


[after the Necronomicon is stolen, the Ghostbusters arrive at the library to investigate]
TED KLEIN: Thank heaven you've come! I'm Professor Ted Klein from Miskatonic University in Arkham. And, uh, this is Clark Ashton, in charge of the exhibit.
CLARK ASHTON: I'm sure there's no reason to be alarmed. No doubt someone just stole the book for ransom.
[Egon inspects some seawood on the broken display case, taking out his PKE meter]
EGON SPENGLER: I'm getting high paranormal readings ...
TED KLEIN: We must get it back! Otherwise the city, perhaps even the world, is in grave peril!
PETER VENKMAN: I don't see what all the fuss is about ... It's just a book!
RAY STANTZ: And an atomic bomb is just a couple of rocks slammed together ...


[after defeating Cathulhu, the Ghostbusters are surrounded by cult members ... until the police arrive and arrest them]
PETER VENKMAN: Better late than never ...
[cut to the cult leader (wearing long purple robes and an octopus-like mask) being held by two policemen, as Winston walks up and pulls off his mask]
RAY STANTZ: Clark Ashton ...
[cut to a closeup of the librarian's angry face]
RAY STANTZ: [from off camera] Boy, you can't trust anybody!
CLARK ASHTON: Fools! You may have won this time, but Cathulhu cannot be destroyed! He waits and dreams in the deep, and the cities of man shall fall before him!
PETER VENKMAN: Yeah yeah, sure ... Book him, boys!



The Real Ghost Busters: Season 2, Episode 32
The Collect Call of Cathulhu (27 Oct. 1987)

It is almost 6 pm at the New York City Public Library. Professor Ted Klein was very nervous. He didn't like having the Necronomicon on public display. Clark Ashton, an official with the library, reassured him the book was safe. After Ashton locked up the room, something broke in from outside. A security guard checked the room, saw the Necronomicon was gone, and ran into a creature. The guard fainted.

The next morning, the Ghostbusters are huddled at the kitchen table reading the Sunday newspaper. Ray is excited and read a headline to everyone. From Monday to Friday, the New York City Public Library planned to exhibit the Necronomicon. Egon explained to Winston it was the single most powerful book of spells ever written. Ray theorized with glee the book's copyright page alone must have a P.K.E. valence of 9.9. Peter shifted the discussion to his date. Meanwhile downstairs, Janine answered a phone call just as Peter's date arrived. Egon took the call as Peter introduced Candy to everyone. However, Egon relented the date would have to wait. He believed there was a Class 7 Corporeal Entity at the library.

The Ghostbusters met with Klein and Ashton. Klein is visibly terrified while Ashton was the exact opposite. Ashton chalked up the theft to a ransom attempt. Egon pulled out his P.K.E. Meter and confirmed a high paranormal reading. Klein is even more alarmed and pleaded with the Ghostbusters to get the book back as soon as possible. The world was at stake. As the guys followed Egon outside, he explained the book was the only English translation of the Necronomicon and if its spells were read out loud, the results would be catastrophic. The spells acted like sonic keys that could open portals to other dimensions where the Old Ones waited to take over the Earth. Egon especially noted Cathulhu made Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine. They stopped at a sewer manhole and climbed down.

The Ghostbusters are quickly surrounded by Spawn of Cathulhu (and rats). The Proton Streams had a temporary effect and the spawn regenerated their missing body parts. Ray adapted and shot into the water to create steam. The guys used the diversion to escape the sewers. Peter held them off but lost his left boot. Ray slammed the manhole cover down on one of the spawn. Back at the Firehouse, Ray confirmed the entities were Spawn of Cathulhu while Winston and Peter recuperated. Egon thought as much but is still worried, as the spawn probably served a cult. Ray revealed the stars had to be in a certain alignment in order for Cathulhu to be raised from the ocean floor. Peter correctly guessed the stars were in alignment that night.

Egon proposed they seek out Alice Derleth from Miskatonic University in order to gather as much information on the Cult of Cathulu. While Ray and Winston looked up the Book of Dzyan and Pnakotic Manuscripts, Egon and Peter took a plane trip to Arkham, Massachusetts. They met with Alice outside Miskatonic's administration building and talked over at the campus cafeteria. Alice was concerned and declared she was going back with them to New York. Everyone gathered outside of Wagner's Occult Shop in East Greenwich Village. They heard chanting from the basement and raided the cult. However, the cult leader summoned a Shuggoth. It grabbed the Ghostbusters and Alice. Luckily, Alice spellcasted and turned the entity to stone.

Back at square one, Ray proposed they visit an old acquaintance to seek out his collection of old pulp magazines. After several hours, Alice found the Weird Tales issue, and Ray confirmed it was the one that revealed how to defeat Cathulhu. Per Egon's calculations, Ecto-1 was headed to Coney Island on the southern tip of Brooklyn. It was the best place to summon Cathulhu. However, the Ghostbusters ran into some car trouble. Peter neglected to rotate the tires and they had no spares. The Ghostbusters took the subway to Coney Island but they were too late. The cult summoned Cathulhu. The Ghostbusters switch to full stream but it had no effect. Neither did Alice's spell. Cathulhu's power was completely off the scale and none of the equipment stood a chance to stop him.

Alice reminded Ray about the comic book. Ray skimmed the story and revealed Cathulhu was lured to an electric plant and blasted with 100 giga volts of electricity. Egon peered at Astroland's Cyclone roller coaster and came up with a strategy. If they used their equipment to ionize the metal's superstructure, they could attract a lightning bolt. Peter elected to ride the roller coaster and lure in Cathulhu. After Peter fell to safety, the Ghostbusters electrified the tracks. A lightning bolt struck Cathulhu. He melted into a red vapor and drifted into the sky. The cult was angered and was about to attack when the police arrived. Winston stepped forward and unmasked the cult leader. It was Clark Ashton!

Back at the Firehouse, Alice volunteered to take the Necronomicon back to Miskatonic University with her. Peter convinced her to stay a few days though she took charge again and suggested they see the exhibit of the Eltdown Shards at the Natural History Museum and a lecture on the Zanthu Tablets at Columbia University. Peter walked with her and attempted to suggest a nice restaurant.



Clark Ashton was a librarian but secretly led the Cult of Cathulhu.

Appeared in: "The Collect Call of Cathulhu" (Real Ghostbusters)
Played by: Frank Welker

Clark Ashton is an official of the New York City Public Library by day and by night, he leads the Cult of Cathulhu, a secret society that worships the Old One known as Cathulhu. During a rare alignment of stars, Ashton was placed in charge of an exhibit of the Necronomicon, a book of spells with the power to summon forth Cathulhu. He finished setting up the exhibit on the Saturday before the public display and left with Ted Klein, of Miskatonic University, after 6 o'clock. A Spawn of Cathulhu under the control of the Cult then stole the tome.

On Sunday, Ashton and the Cult gathered at Wagner's Occult Shop with the Necronomicon. Their meeting was interrupted by the Ghostbusters and Alice Derleth. Ashton managed to escape with the book. However, Cathulhu was defeated by the Ghostbusters and the Cult was arrested by the police. Ashton was unmasked by Winston Zeddemore. As the police hauled him way, Ashton spouted out that this was not the end of Cathulhu and he would return.

* Clark's name is a reference to Clark Ashton Smith, a major Cthulhu Mythos writer.
* Clark's tirade, as he is being hauled away by the police, is a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu."

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