The Art of Darkness

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 | 1 Comment »

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 | 2 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 »

Stuff I Found While Looking Around

April 9th, 2014 by Cobwebs

As usual, here’s a bunch of images I’ve run across which I want to share but might not be able to hang a whole post on. Some of them have no attribution, so if you happen to know the source for any of these please leave a note in the comments. (Click to view larger.)

Skull Cup

Skull Mug

I originally found this at Design You Trust, where it’s erroneously presented as a “design concept.” Sadly, it’s actually a staged photo by deviantARTist CRuS23, so there will be no production. Oh, well; it’s pretty.
Creepy Statue

Creepy Statue

I can’t find an original source for this image, so I don’t know where the statue is located (there’s another photo from a slightly different angle here). Still, I’d be reluctant to walk past it on a rainy evening.
Han in Carbonite

“Han in Carbonite” Refrigerator

This is a photoshopped entry in an image challenge, created by artist Quentin Devine. I am sad indeed that it doesn’t actually exist.
Cat Makeup

Cat Makeup

This elaborate design was created by makeup artist Tal Peleg. She’s got many other amazing examples on her site.
Tim Burton Shoes

Tim Burton Shoes

I can’t find an original source for these; all roads lead to Pinterest. They look suspiciously ‘shopped; yet another crushing disappointment where something should be real and available for purchase but isn’t.
Wall Treatment

Wall Message

Another one with no original source. I adore how simple yet effective this is. It’s just vinyl letters–made even easier by the fact that you don’t have to align them neatly–but the result is creepy as hell. (The message, by the way, is a lyric by La Dispute.)
Halloween Cake

Halloween Cake

Yet another frustrating example of an image appearing in dozens of roundups and Pinterest boards with no original attribution. I don’t know who made this, but I love the elegantly creepy design. (Bonus: Whilst trying to track down the source, I ran into this collection of cakes and cupcakes that seem mostly do-able by the home cook and this collection of cakes that are well beyond the average person’s talents but are gorgeous anyway.)
Hearse with Camper

Hearse with Camper

Another orphaned image. I love that the trailer matches the colors of the hearse.
Until I Say

Until I Say

Hooray! A source! This is by deviantARTist Ryan Alexander Lee, and illustrates the dangers of a mortal falling in love with a dryad.
Halloween Wall Decoration

Spooky Wall Sculpture

I was certain that this was a really fantastic Halloween prop; instead it’s a plastic bag sculpture by Khalil Chishtee (he has a site but it’s all Flash, so I’m linking to an image collection instead. Screw Flash). Something similar could probably by DIY’d as a Halloween prop with cheesecloth and starch.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Modern Twilight Zone

April 8th, 2014 by Cobwebs

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of Instagram and Spotify but of Wikipedia. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of your WiFi signal.

The Twitter feed Modern Twilight Zone offers a splendid glimpse into a world where The Twilight Zone is still being produced and the storylines take advantage of current technology.

Some episodes are technology-dependent:

Others would work just as well as old-style episodes:

Lots of other users have joined the party, offering suggestions of their own:

Some of the synopses are just wonderful and make me melancholy that the episodes don’t really exist. A browse through the feed is a fun, mildly creepy, way to spend an afternoon.

(via Neatorama)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Lights Out – Who’s There

April 7th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Yeah, this’ll scare the crap out of you.

It won “Best Director” in this year’s BC Horror Challenge.

Posted in Whatever | 4 Comments »

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