The Art of Darkness

Death is Not an Option

April 23rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

It’s time for another round of Death is Not an Option! The rules, as always, are simple: Given the choice of a pair of people, you have to decide which one you’d rather sleep with; choosing death instead is not an option. This time it’s science fiction villains.

The Terminator Matchup
The Terminator   T-1000
800 Series (Terminator) vs. T-1000 (Terminator 2)

The Evil Businessman Matchup
Sellars   Zorg
Raymond Sellars (Robocop) vs. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (The Fifth Element)

The Femme Fatale (Really Really Fatale) Matchup
Sil   Space Girl
Sil (Species) vs. Space Girl (Lifeforce)

The Artificial Humans Matchup
The Gunslinger   Roy Batty
The Gunslinger (Westworld) vs. Roy Batty (Blade Runner)

The Whovian Matchup
Rassilon   The Master
Rassilon vs. The Master

The Khaaaaaaaan Matchup
Khan 1   Khan 2
Khan (Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan) vs. Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness)

The Wicked Women Matchup
Borg Queen   Cylon Six
The Borg Queen (Star Trek) vs. Number Six (Battlestar Galactica)

The Supervillain Matchup
Lex Luthor   Sylar
Lex Luthor (Smallville) vs. Sylar (Heroes)

The All Darth Matchup
Darth Vader   Darth Maul
Darth Vader (Star Wars 4-6) vs. Darth Maul (Star Wars 1)

The Scary Psychos Matchup
Alex DeLarge   Harkonnen
Alex DeLarge (A Clockwork Orange) vs. Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (Dune)

Leave your choices in the comments. And remember…Death is not an option.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 5 Comments »

Morbid Anatomy is Opening a Museum

April 22nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Morbid Anatomy LibraryOne of the things I like best about running this silly blog is that frequently, rather than seeking out the weirdness, the weirdness comes to me.

Lisa Hix, a writer for Collectors Weekly, sent me this over the weekend:

Morbid Anatomy—a blog, library, curiosity gallery, and lecture series dedicated to the places where death and beauty intersect—often revels in the macabre, albeit in a thoughtful, intellectual way. Thanks to its swelling popularity, Morbid Anatomy is expanding into a three-story, 4,200-square-foot museum in Brooklyn this spring.

Learning to Love Death: New Museum Takes a Walk on the Shadow Side

I talked to founder Joanna Ebenstein about her strange fascinations with Santa Muetre, the holy saint of death; medical specimens; depictions of deformity and disease; superstition and paranormal research—and eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter. She explained why she thinks pondering mortality is good for all of us.

And then half a dozen of my friends sent me the same story, one with the suggestion that we all organize a field trip to New York for a visit.

So, yes; awesome blog Morbid Anatomy, which has maintained a small physical presence with limited hours for a while now, is expanding into a full-scale museum in Brooklyn. In addition to a café and gift shop, the space will include a lecture hall where “rogue scholars” can give talks on everything from ancient Egyptian funerary customs to jackalope taxidermy.

They’ve got a Kickstarter campaign to help build out the space, and some of the rewards look fantastic (one of them is the Halloweentown gates set piece from Nightmare Before Christmas).

The whole thing sounds very cool; if you’ve got a visit to New York planned, this would definitely be worth adding to your itinerary.

(Incidentally, be sure to check out some of the other articles that Hix has written; there’s some cool stuff about dark rides and creepy clowns and mourning jewelry.)

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

Timeholes

April 21st, 2014 by Cobwebs

Filmmaker Ben Mallaby considered the way that advanced technology is abused as soon as it becomes available to the general public, and realized that time travel ain’t gonna be any different. (NSFW)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

The Amityville Link Dump

April 18th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Head in a Jar Prank – Instructions for creating a marvelously realistic-looking “head in a jar” for stashing in the fridge. (Hat tip to Jean-Robert)

Life-Size Filet Skeleton – Crochet pattern for a life-size skeleton afghan. The same design could be made smaller, and also looks suitable for cross-stitch.

Creepy Website Masterpost – A collection of “dark corners” of the internet. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Metal Cats – “Hardcore Metal” musicians posing with their cats. (via Beth)

Winter’s Knight – Sony is making a gritty origin story for Santa Claus. I have nothing to add to this.

Fetish Wear in the 1920s – The look was surprisingly modern. (Slightly NSFW, but not nearly as much as you’d expect.)

Frozen Garden – Small collection of upscale jewelry featuring bugs (and occasionally flowers, but bugs are more interesting). I especially like the caterpillar brooch.

Sassy Pig Druscilla – I’m deeply curious about the thought process that led to a collectible figurine of a goth pig. There are also Bride of Frankenstein and Witch versions available for equally puzzling reasons. (via Cat)

The Book of Life – A first look at Guillermo del Toro’s Romeo and Juliet story set during the Day of the Dead.

Two-Headed Skeleton Sock Monkey – In argyle, no less. (Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Taxidermy Art

April 17th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Bike SeatArtist Clem Chen altered a couple of reclaimed bicycle seats with taxidermy parts to create the marvelous sculptures Bite It and Pink Eye (despite the eye in question clearly being purple).

According to his description, the parts are held together with construction adhesive and 2-part epoxy glue, with additional detail sculpted using epoxy putty. The body was sprayed matte black, and the fine details were painted in acrylic. (I also like Chen’s Eye Robot, an additional sculpture that incorporates taxidermy parts.)

I’m sort of wondering how durable these could be made, because a real bike seat modified with fangs or eyeballs (or both) would look amazing. The eyes would also look great on shoes; they could be given an inset appearance using Sugru or, if you’re particularly ambitious, the shoes could be covered with faux fur.

Taxidermy eyes come in a wide variety of styles, including slit-pupil reptile eyes; there’s even a Nite Eyes kit which will make predator eyes light up. Jawsets are similarly varied, and if you prefer you can purchase plain jaws and tongues separately. And who wouldn’t want an individual tongue? (The tongues in particular are cheap enough that it’d be fun to get one and quietly leave it in the company breakroom.)

A selection of eyes or other bits would also look interesting individually framed and massed on a wall. They’re a unique, reasonably inexpensive, way to add a little creepiness to just about anything.

Posted in Paint It Black | 3 Comments »

Bluephone Studios

April 16th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Crocheted DinosaurWe’ll pause for a moment to let the utter squee-ness of this image fully wash over you.

Now then.

Talented fiber artist Kelsey creates ridiculously adorable little crocheted critters, including snakes, jellyfish, and various dinosaurs (I think my very favorite are the triceratops). She posts about them and her other artwork on Tumblr and sells them in her Etsy shop, where she also offers a small selection of patterns. I love how blorpy and winsome they all look.

One Halloween* she teamed up with graphic designer Hannah Eaton to present a trio of adorable little portmanteau monsters: The colorful Batterfly, three-headed Tortoisnail, and serene Owlpaca. They’ve sadly long since sold out, but the photos are still an excellent source of inspiration.

I’m not sure if she does custom patterns or not–the site isn’t clear on that point–but I’d love to see a little spider or bat done in this style.

In any case, if you’re a fan of crocheting and/or amigurumi, the site is a great idea resource. So cute.


*Holy carp do I hate Tumblr. Not only is there never an “About” page–I only know this artist’s name because she happens to mention it on Etsy–but none of the posts have dates. So I don’t know offhand which Halloween this was. Just…some Halloween.

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Finances of the Undead

April 15th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Last week’s link dump mentioned Law and the Multiverse, and intrepid commenter xJane noted:

Someone got me the Law and the Multiverse book one year (I’m still reading it—it’s hilarious!). Such a great way of looking at imaginary worlds—it’d be fun to do a fantasy one (what are the legal ramifications of stock portfolios owned by the undead…?).

I replied:*

I assume you mean vampires, since I don’t really see zombies playing the stock market. I’m pretty sure half of vampire literature depends on them building up their fortunes over hundreds of years.

And she responded:

I do, yes.

And that’s my point! Usually vampires are super rich and living cushy lives that do not require that they take jobs that require them to see this side of dawn. Does a vampire’s bite suddenly make you a stock market expert? Because you don’t just have to hang onto the stocks for a long time—they have to’ve been the right stocks in the first place. And this seems like the kind of thing you’d have to prepare for—like retirement. If I die tomorrow, I would still need to work if I were going to entice healthy young coeds into my boudoir (although the not having to sleep might mean I’m better at my job, I don’t work hourly), but potentially, if I buy life insurance pre-bite, I could cash in immediately post-bite and then invest, hoping to take night time lawyer-jobs for the next 60 years or so while my investments mature…

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t want to see the legal ramifications of becoming a vampire but the tax and income ramifications.

To which I had to respond:

Okay, well (and I’d like to say here that you’ve inspired me to give this a little more thought than is probably healthy):

1) If you kill your victims, you get to keep whatever you can scavenge off their corpses, plus cars and anything in their homes if you know where they live(d). There’s some capital right up front.

2) Since you can’t be killed by bullets or other normal weapons, and you may not (depending upon the mythology) even show up in security-camera footage, go rob some banks. Eat any cops who manage to track you down. Once you accrue a nice little nest egg, you can stop and lie low for a few decades until the heat dies down (I’m sure that’s what D.B. Cooper is doing).

3) Remember that bit in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where all you had to do was deposit one penny in a bank account in your time period, and when you traveled to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe the compound interest you’d accrued was more than enough to pay for your meal? Same idea. If you’re living several hundred years, you can diversify and enough of your investments will probably make money to keep you in plasma.

4) As technology and record-keeping become more advanced it’s going to be harder to pretend to be your own son/daughter in order to “inherit” your estate every hundred years or so. In this case, you may have to rely on a corporation to manage your finances, and you can just skim what you need.

Easy!

And she shot back with:

> Okay, well (and I’d like to say here that you’ve inspired me to give this a little more thought than is probably healthy):

File under Things I Often Think About When Watching Vampire Fiction…
>
> 1) If you kill your victims, you get to keep whatever you can scavenge off their corpses, plus cars and anything in their homes if you know where they live(d). There’s some capital right up front.

Fair point. I feel like this is mostly beneath your average vampire, but everyone has to start somewhere.
>
> 2) Since you can’t be killed by bullets or other normal weapons, and you may not (depending upon the mythology) even show up in security-camera footage, go rob some banks. Eat any cops who manage to track you down. Once you accrue a nice little nest egg, you can stop and lie low for a few decades until the heat dies down (I’m sure that’s what D.B. Cooper is doing).

Good point. I will tell my nieces and nephs to keep an eye out for D.B. Cooper.
>
> 3) Remember that bit in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where all you had to do was deposit one penny in a bank account in your time period, and when you traveled to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe the compound interest you’d accrued was more than enough to pay for your meal? Same idea. If you’re living several hundred years, you can diversify and enough of your investments will probably make money to keep you in plasma.

Is it, though? I feel like one would still require a more-than-passing knowledge of the markets…
>
> 4) As technology and record-keeping become more advanced it’s going to be harder to pretend to be your own son/daughter in order to “inherit” your estate every hundred years or so. In this case, you may have to rely on a corporation to manage your finances, and you can just skim what you need.

Hmm, I’d not thought of a corporation, but that’s a good idea. I was thinking some kind of a trust, but if you’ve got enough money—in any century—it ought to be possible to buy appropriate documentation (see, also New Amsterdam).
>
> Easy!

haha, How to Be a Vampire: for Fun and Profit!

And that’s the point where I decided to just turn the whole thing into a blog post.

So yeah, there’s the question: When was the last time you saw an indigent vampire? Why is that? Assuming that a vampire isn’t super-rich when they turn, how do they acquire and then hang onto their wealth?

The issue mainly seems to apply to vampires: Zombies, as I mentioned above, don’t really seem to have the faculties to manage convertible debentures, and presumably anybody who gained immortality by, say, a deal with the devil would also be smart enough to make vast wealth part of the package.

So what do you think? If you somehow wound up undead, how would you go about ensuring your long-term financial security? Would you continue to live where you did, go to night school, and try to work your way up the corporate ladder? Would you be able to play the stock market and strike it rich? Or would you become the first vampire to live in a trailer park? Discuss in the comments.


*Did you know that I reply individually to comments left on this site? I totally do.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 12 Comments »

Price and Poe

April 14th, 2014 by Cobwebs

In 1970 my celebrity crush Vincent Price did An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, reading some of Poe’s works in front of a live audience. Kind YouTube user Zombie Popcorn has uploaded the whole thing.

Bonus Links: Here’s “The Raven” read by Basil Rathbone and John Astin (dressed as Poe!)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Dawn of the Link Dump

April 11th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Law and the Multiverse – Interesting site which explores the legal ramifications of comic book tropes, such as whether mutants would be a protected class and what happens legally when a character comes back from the dead.

Conspiracy Theory Generator – Handy source of high-quality bafflegab.

Derbyshire Mummified Fairy Kickstarter – The guy who did the “dead fairy” hoax has a Kickstarter to create an instructional DVD and kit. (Hat tip to Cookie)

There be Monsters – Lovely illustration featuring a typeface comprised of Medieval monsters. Prints are discounted until April 13.

Partially Clips – The last line made me giggle.

The Curioddities Cabin – Etsy shop featuring “wet specimen” preserved creatures, like bats (Hat tip to Sisifo)

The National Garment Cutter Book of Diagrams – Dressmaking pattern book from 1888, online at the Library of Congress.

Lace Braid Roses – File this hairstyle under “things I will never, EVER have time for.” Still, it’s pretty if you have the time and determination.

100% Soft – Artist Truck Torrence makes adorably cutesy artwork, many featuring horror-movie villains. I particularly love his Bad Guys, Villains, Miscreants & Low-lifes Campout.

DeadAlive – Astoundingly gorgeous sculpted chess set by artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster. (Other parts of the site are NSFW.)

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Creepy Collections

April 10th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Vampire ShadowboxWant a super-easy, super-cheap wall decoration for Halloween that’s attractive enough to leave up year-’round? Look no further than shadowboxes, baby. A shadowbox can elevate a cheap rubber novelty to the status of artwork, and could hardly be easier to put together.

I made a couple as gifts for this year’s Secret Pumpkin exchange using (humanely collected) animal teeth, but the technique is suitable for practically anything small enough to stuff in a frame.

Full instructions and photos are right here.

Posted in Bad Things | 2 Comments »

« Previous Entries