The Art of Darkness

Silent Link Dump

July 25th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Cross-Stitched Microbes – Etsy shop Wally’s Wall Stuff has some great cross-stitch designs; I particularly like the Wash Your Hands reminder.

Our Neighbor’s House – io9 has an exclusive excerpt from Emily Carroll’s horror comic collection Through The Woods.

“Rat Queens” to be a Cartoon – I don’t read a lot of comics so I’d never heard of this series, but it sounds pretty awesome. A branch of Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop is turning it into a cartoon.

The Odyssey in Legos – This amazing mega-Lego installation features most of the high points of The Odyssey.

Texts from Cephalopods – “It is a well-established fact in marine biology that the octopus is the drunk texter of the cephalopod family.”

Extreme Wine Pairings – Just in case you were wondering whether red or white went better with grasshoppers.

Caleb Brown’s Surreal Paintings – Brown depicts a near-future world where humanity is threatened by giant insects and flying sharks. I for one welcome our new otter overlords.

Urban Bugs – Splendid “lookbook” of beetles dressed in various fashion brands.

Listen to Bats Sing – Wolves aren’t the only children of the night who make music.

Left No Ball Unchased – Neat Atlas Obscura article about pet epitaphs. The Kliban-esque tombstone for the cat “Woodstock” is especially wonderful. (Also I just now discovered that Atlas Obscura has a Morbid Monday feature. Awesome.)

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Seen Online

July 24th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Leaving a watermelon on someone’s doorstep in the middle of night is a pretty inexpensive way to occupy a portion of their mind forever.

I was walking down the street with my friend and he said, “I hear music”, as if there is any other way you can take it in. You’re not special, that’s how I receive it too. I tried to taste it but it did not work.
Mitch Hedberg

When i see lovers names carved in trees. Sure, i think its cute
But i also think its fkn strange how many ppl bring knives on a date.

Next time someone preaches to you about living healthy, just reply with these four words: “Keith Richards is 70.”

Experts agree, “3D printing offers us the exciting possibility of a virus that causes murderous skeletons to emerge from your computer”

“Don’t Kid Yourself” would be the greatest brand name for birth control pills.

Carefully-written fact-checked essay in the streets, unmoderated comments section in the sheets.

A carnival haunted house filled with bakers and chefs who jump out and yell “Gluten!”

My favourite thing about Scooby-Doo is that supernatural events occur and nobody suspects the four out-of-towners with a talking dog.

I like how we call them earth worms. It implies that there are also space worms.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

New Music for the Discerning Goth

July 23rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Friend of the blog Burning Prairie fills her Facebook feed with interesting music. Since she spends so much time ferreting out new artists, I asked her if she’d be willing to share some of her finds with us. Here’s the first in what I hope will be a series of her suggestions.

Not to take away from the venerable Goth bands of our youth, but there are a lot of really good artists out there right now. While these newer artists are not tagging themselves as Goth or even darkwave, their music still fits within the Goth aesthetic.

One of my current darlings is Chelsea Wolfe. The bio on her website says that her records “transcend time, avoid pigeonholing, and most importantly, allow a glimpse into the soul of a true visionary.” I would agree with this description.

“Feral Love,” the first track on her Pain is Beauty album was recently featured in Game of Thrones season 4 trailers. Her original video for this song is as visionary and surreal as the music it accompanies.

(Thanks, Burnine Prairie!)

Posted in Resources | No Comments »

Do Not Read in the Dark

July 22nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Naver ComicThe post title is the subject line of an email I recently received from intrepid commenter xJane, and once I saw what she’d sent I could not help but concur. She wrote:

These are translated Korean horror-comics that make excellent use of the webpage medium. (Yes, there is flash and scroll-tracking involved.)

Ok-su Station Ghost

Ghost in the Masung Tunnel

Bongcheon-Dong Ghost

(in the order I think goes from best to worst.) Even being prepared for it—in the second reading—they’re creeptastic and make me want a wall at my back.

Yup yup yup yup yup. I encountered the original Korean version of one of these (the one that I now know is called “Bongcheon-Dong Ghost”) a couple of years ago and shared it in a link dump, commenting “This Webcomic strip uses Javascript to unexpectedly animate some of the frames. It is unnerving as hell. Really. You have been warned.” I was not kidding. Even having no idea what the text said, even knowing what was coming, this thing creeped me right the hell out.

I didn’t realize there were more of them (nor that there were English translations), so I researched a little further: I had suspected that “Naver” wasn’t actually the name of the comic, and this is the case; Naver is the name of a popular South Korean search engine which also offers a lot of original content within the same site (sort of like Yahoo). Part of its comics section is devoted to “webtoons,” comics that are either fully animated or enhanced by animation. The three webtoons that so thoroughly creeped xJane (and me) out are by an artist called HORANG; the front page of his/her site seems to indicate that there might be additional comics, but I don’t read Korean so I couldn’t swear to it.

Anyway, the examples linked above are like mini-horror movies right in your browser. There are likely many similar ones to be found if you feel like doing a bit of digging; webtoons seem to be particularly popular in South Korea, so both the Naver site and the web portal Daum might be worth trawling for ghosts.

And if you can’t sleep tonight, blame xJane.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Epic Rap Battles: Stephen King vs Edgar Allan Poe

July 21st, 2014 by Cobwebs

Pffft. No contest.

(via Burning Prairie)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

The Link Dump in the Woods

July 18th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Flick Candles – Offers scents like “Blueberry Bromance,” “Freshly Signed Divorce Papers,” and “Grandma’s Last Christmas Tree.”

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory – Caitlin Doughty, the mortician behind The Order of the Good Death, has a new book discussing her profession.

The First Splatter Movies – A look at the Grand Guignol theater (NSFW).

St. George’s Church – Locals decided this Medieval church was bad luck and were letting it fall to ruin, so an artist filled it with ghostlike sculptures and turned it into a very cool tourist attraction.

History of the Ouija Board – This article is a little heavy on the breathless woo-woo regarding supernatural influence, but it’s an interesting read. It’s particularly amusing to learn that the board was invented as a sort of spiritualism time-saving device.

FakeRubberSnakes – I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that there’s a site devoted entirely to fake rubber snakes.

Guide to Troubled Birds – A pocket field guide which allows one to “quickly identify psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species.” You can see some of the images at Flavorwire. There’s a second volume, I Have Heard My Praises Sung In Screams.

Gemma Correll and Her Merry Band of Misfits – Blog chock-full of amusing drawings, like New Muses and Disney Princesses, Reimagined.

Ghost Photographs – Old photos “improved” by painting ghost costumes on everyone. I am oddly taken with this project.

Find the Invisible Cow – “Because it ain’t gonna find itself.” (via WitchArachne)

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

London Dungeon Hosts “Rat Café”

July 17th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Rat CafeOn June 24 London tourist attraction The London Dungeon hosted a popup “Rat Café,” similar to the popular Japanese Cat Cafés only, y’know…rattier. Guests were invited to dine on rattucinos, black forest rateau, and car-rat cake.

I’d like to meet the marketing people at The London Dungeon. They sound like a hoot.

The Dungeon’s press release notes that the rats involved were its “very own family of rats;” apparently their entrance queue includes a rat walk where guests can watch friendly rats at play. (The Dungeon also has cockroaches, so that’s nice.) It also stresses that the rat meet-and-greet and dining portions of the event are separated by compulsory hand sanitizing.

There are a number of additional photos here;* the event was so popular that the Dungeon is now considering making it a regular part of their “eccentric things to do” calendar.

As a big fan of rats as pets, I have to say that this is an intriguing idea. You wouldn’t want them tromping through the cupcakes–they’re clean animals, but not that clean–but a friendly encounter with a vintage wire cage full of “plague rats” would certainly enliven a Halloween party. (It should go without saying that you wouldn’t want to go out and purchase live animals for the sake of adding ambiance to a party, but if you’ve got a few of the little monsters already, you might as well make ‘em earn their sunflower seeds.)

*The page is on the Daily Mail site; the shortened URL is courtesy of Do Not Link because I’d prefer not to give the Daily Fail any additional traffic.

Posted in Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

Origami Bat

July 16th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Origami BatFabulous commenter Pixel Pixie pointed me to these instructions for making a very cool origami bat. (I commented that I wondered if the folds would be suitable for a fancy dinner napkin and she replied, “One way to find out: vampire dinner party. BOOM.” I like the way she thinks.)

This particular fold is a little bit fiddly, but it’s fairly realistic as origami goes; many of the simpler designs are sort of, “It’s a bat! Or maybe a crane! Would you believe a pigeon?” However, it’s not so complicated as to be completely beyond the amateur origami-ist, so with a little practice you should be able to turn out flappy paper bats on demand. A miniature one would make a cute brooch.

Upon closer examination I’d say it’s definitely too detailed for a napkin fold, but fortunately googling “origami bat” turns up loads of easier designs: This one is nice (although the napkin would have to be pretty stiffly starched), and these look especially straightforward. A couple of others worth noting (probably a tad too complicated for napkins) are the flapping patty bat and this compact design.

The same search also turned up this list of Halloween-themed origami, so you can expand into folded ghosts, witches, spiders, and even tombstones. Some of these would make really interesting placecards or gift toppers, and since all you need is a piece of paper you can practice your craft nearly anywhere.

(Thanks, Pixel Pixie!)

Posted in Resources | 3 Comments »

Moth Mail

July 15th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Moth MailFabulous commenter xJane belongs to the Letter Writer’s Alliance, a “member based organization dedicated to keeping the art of letter writing alive,” which means she writes physical letters with pen and paper like some kind of savage. If you have similar recidivistic tendencies, the LWA is a fantastic resource for all things correspondence-y; they offer interesting workshops, promote local events, and even provide a clearinghouse for finding a pen-pal. However, even if you’re an inveterate e-mailer, the site is worth checking out.

The LWA offers a number of exclusive products to its members (and at a mere $5 for a lifetime membership, it’s certainly a good deal), but also has a few items for sale to the public. One of these is the glorious Moth Mail set, themed around the (mythical) Stellate Moth.

Stay up late and write letters. We’ve harnessed the power of the Stellate Moth to deliver your insomnia-driven musings. Our eclipse of moths has been trained to serve as letter carriers through the ingenious scientific manipulation of naturally occurring soporific pheromones.

This carefully packaged set comes with:
• six handmade lunar envelopes
• a rubber cancellation stamp as large as a Stellate Moth’s wingspan (3.5″x1″)
• twelve artistamps that follow the moon phase
• Stellate Moth field notes, as written by our expert, in-house lepidopterist Dr. Shoggoth.
• paper model of a Stellate Moth

The phase of the moon during which you order your set purportedly affects the type of stamps you receive: Black for the new moon; white for full; and a combination of both black and white for waxing/waning moons.

The LWA blog has a “behind the curtain” post about the making of the package, with closeup photos of some of the elements. It really is lovely, and even if you don’t write letters it’d make a wonderful display piece or gift (you have to admit that night creature-themed stationery is pretty darn gothy).

The public-facing site has some other amusing items, like the Pigeon Post “envelope” (send someone the gift of mild perplexity!) and a small selection of free downloads; I expect there are more available to members.

The LWA is an arm of 16 Sparrows (“Sarcasm folded in half”), and that shop is also worth a look. I particularly like their Blood Money stationery and Misanthropic Calling Cards.

(Thanks, xJane!)

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

Vienna Waits For You

July 14th, 2014 by Cobwebs

“Anna should have had a closer look at the fine-print of her rental contract – for the old Viennese apartment is a creature with never ending appetite, living off the youth of its residents.”

(via The Presurfer)

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

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