The Art of Darkness

Abbott & Costello Meet the Link Dump

October 4th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Nightmare Service Dogs – I love this sweet little illustration.

Modern Monster Mash – An update of the perennial favorite, with newer horror characters. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Chicken Familiar – A scholarly dissertation on which breed of chicken would make the best Therapy Chicken for a wizard.

Our Fake History – “A podcast about myths we think are history and history that might be hidden in myths!” (Hat tip to Bruno)

Short Story Suggestions – Horror writer Cassandra Khaw has a thread of recommended short stories, all of which are excellent.

Calaveras Mittens – Knitting pattern for great-looking skully mittens. I especially love the design on the thumbs.

Absinthe Thread – @spookperson tweets about her adventures in making homemade absinthe.

The God of War – A great response to a writing prompt.

Vampire Pumpkins – This ‘toon about a Serbian superstition puts The Great Pumpkin in a whole new light.

Hex the Patriarchy – Attractive T-shirt with an inspiring message. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

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Poetry Sunday

March 10th, 2019 by Cobwebs

The Two-Headed Calf

Tomorrow when the farm boys find this
freak of nature, they will wrap his body
in newspaper and carry him to the museum.

But tonight he is alive and in the north
field with his mother. It is a perfect
summer evening: the moon rising over
the orchard, the wind in the grass. And
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.

— Laura Gilpin
(Found via @ambernoelle)

Update: Adam Ellis illustrated the poem:

Two-Headed Calf

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Gahan Wilson Fundraiser

March 4th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Gahan WilsonInestimable cartoonist Gahan Wilson is currently fighting dementia and his wife, author Nancy Winters, passed away on March 2. She was his primary caregiver, and her son has set up a gofundme for Wilson’s memory care.

Help Gahan Wilson find his way

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Seen Online

February 25th, 2019 by Cobwebs

acme was just mailing bombs and rockets and shit to a dog
wyatt_privilege

FIVE STAGES OF FRIENDSHIP
– liking each other’s tweets
– exchanging numbers in the DMs
– hot-air balloon races
– falling in love with the same man and accidentally killing each other in a duel
– haunting the woods together in your finest silk gowns
SketchesbyBoze

Dracula: do you hear them! the children of the ni…
Me, the familiar: we have the plumber coming at 7 to clean out that castle bathroom pipe that dumps into the sea & please pay him this time bc need I remind you we cant all turn into a bat and shit onto the side of the castle
griph

You never hear about a new ghost. “Oh yeah, this place is haunted since Jeff died last Tuesday.”
juliussharpe

[me as a realtor]
the crawl space is probably full of bones already but you can always add more bones yourself
roboticcrab

I would love to see a Poirot-style murder mystery that pivots into horror halfway through when it is revealed that the train is alive and murdering its own passengers
jephjacques

can’t wait til i’m a ghost and a dude with a tape recorder asks if there’s anything i’d like to communicate and i get to go “no thank you”
tarashoe

The thing I remember most about having a pet rock is how one day it just went crazy and attacked my best friend in the back of the head.
danguterman

PITCH: An anti-Mary Poppins story where a perfectly normal nanny teaches a family of impossibly powerful wizard children to stop being assholes
mizabitha

“If it bites you and you die, it’s venomous. If you bite it and you die it’s poisonous. If you bite it and somebody else dies it’s voodoo. If you bite it and your head hurts it’s probably ice cream.”

I am very informative to live with.

Also: “If you bite it and nobody dies but you’re both into it… I dunno, you’re on your own.”

ShinraAlpha

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brb

February 15th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Hey, guys and ghouls –

This is just a note to let the half-dozen people who still read this silly blog that I haven’t vanished. I’m in the middle of moving web hosts and all of my databases are in a state of flux. Once things settle back down I’ll get back to posting. Promise!

(In the meantime, there are 12 years’ worth of archived posts. Knock yourselves out.)

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This Year’s Costumes

November 20th, 2018 by Cobwebs

Duo 1I’m a little late with the annual costume recap this time; my apologies to everyone who awaits the yearly post with great anticipation. (That’s all of you, right?)

This year Shadowboy and his friend jumped on the Steampunk bandwagon, which was fine with me…until I got to the welted pockets. I’ve been inching toward the line between “costume” and “bespoke tailoring” for a while now, and this time I vaulted clean over it.

The only parts of Shadowboy’s costume currently made by me were the vest and coat; since this is an ensemble he intends to use beyond just a single Halloween I plan to eventually make a shirt and trousers that are slightly more period-appropriate, but I didn’t have time before the big day.* The coat was Simplicity 2581 and the vest was Simplicity 2895. They had six welted pockets between them, and I don’t think that in this space I have ever adequately expressed the white-hot hatred I have for welted pockets but believe me, it is a lot. (This was compounded by the directions for 2895 being so inaccurate as to be nonsensical, so beware if you use that pattern.)

Since he does intend to wear the costume a lot I was also willing to splurge a little on accessories: A bow tie with neat little metallic points, the gear that shows up in all steampunk costumes as though required by federal law in the form of an earring, a spiffy top hat, and goggles. Those were joined by a cane, boots, and gauntlets we already had.

His friend’s costume consisted of jodhpurs from Butterick B6433 (not too complicated except for the nine bazillion buttons festooning the legs); a somewhat-modified Butterick 4049 (I did mostly View A, but instead of criss-cross lace on the front panel I used an elaborate pintuck fabric that unfortunately does not show up well in photos; I also added lace to the collar); and the half corset from Simplicity 1558, the other costume piece that made me consider giving up sewing to pursue a more stress-free hobby like naked lion taming. One of the suggested fabrics for the corset is “synthetic leather,” which is what I used, but apparently the subtext is, “synthetic leather that is as thin as muslin” because there is no way some of the directions work any other way. In particular, the shoulder straps and front tabs are all supposed to made of two pieces, sewn with right sides together and then turned. Um, no. I just turned under the raw edges of a single piece and edge-stitched them. (My doughty sewing machine didn’t really appreciate my foray into synthetic leather either.) The directions also call for “buckles” of a particular size without noting that the straps specifically require center bar rather than heel bar buckles. Fortunately I was able to find what I needed online from Buckle Guy.

Her accessories were mainly procured by her aunt so I can’t provide sources on those, but I did supply the fingerless gloves.

For all my whining, I was quite pleased with the final results. The costumes looked good and the photo shoot turned out really well: The kids look like a gentleman crime-fighter and his trusty pint-sized sidekick. (Shadowboy and his friend are only six months apart in age, and every year their size discrepancy gets more and more hilarious.)

The photos:

Boy 1
Boy 2

Girl 1

Duo 1
Duo 2

*I sewed the final buttons on his coat five minutes before the party he was supposed to wear it to started. These outfits damn near broke me.

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Carmen Miranda’s Link Dump is Haunting Space Station Three

August 17th, 2018 by Cobwebs

Mothman Plush – Kickstarter for the most adorable little Mothman (and rounder “Mothball”) you will ever see.

What Cats Know About Humans – A charming Twitter thread. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Dragon Chairs – How do dragons sit on chairs?

Alien Disney Princess – Cassandra Khaw “takes jokes too far,” and they result in the best Twitter threads.

Chalkboard Tombstones – This is a neat idea, and could be easily DIY’d with plywood cutouts and chalkboard paint.

Little Brother and Little Sister – @Vengeful_Doe’s fairytale recaps are always glorious, but this one is particularly glorious.

Skelemental – Gorgeous sculpted metal skeletons, including furniture and accessories. Look at this amazing coffee table. (Hat tip to pdq)

True Facts: Carnivorous Plants – One of Ze Frank’s “True Facts” video series.

Goth Antifascism Patch – I am just crushed that these aren’t available for sale. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Fren Accessories – Little doohickies shaped like various animals which protect the ends of your charging cables. Shapes include axolotls, manatees, and tapirs.

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Link Dump at Tiffany’s

April 20th, 2018 by Cobwebs

The New Deal – You’ve gotta really hate a piece of legislation to spend three months embroidering an intricate scorpion demon representing its evils. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Funko Pop: Death – “Death” from Neil Giaman’s Sandman comics will be available as a Funko figure in June.

Host of Ghosts – Cute, easy idea for enlivening (so to speak) cakes and other desserts with li’l poofy ghosts.

Tarantula Burgers – A North Carolina restaurant has a limited-time hamburger topped with a roasted tarantula. Woo; edgy. I hope they’re ethically sourced.

Your Old Lady-Sona – One of many wonderful responses to this prompt.

Snowba Fett and Ariel Fett – Really detailed cosplay of Snow White/Ariel-Boba Fett mashups. The cosplayers (Traci Hines and Amber Arden) frequently riff on the characters, including steampunk and rococo versions. This eyeball flower from Hines’ “Creepy Alice in Wonderland” cosplay is neat, too.

Profile Picture vs. Tagged Photo – It’s oddly comforting that some things never change.

Cabinet of Curiosities Halloween Party – Unusual theme idea.

Beholder Cake – Amazingly realistic cake made for a D&D event.

Good Boy – Amusing ‘toon. (via Pixel Pixie)

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Thread of Happiness

January 23rd, 2018 by Cobwebs

Author Sarah Gailey started a thread of happy things on Twitter, and it’s the thread we all need right now.

I’ll add a few of my own:

  • Honduran White Bats when they’re roosting in a big leaf and are essentially a bouquet of cute.
  • A rainy weekend when you don’t have to go anywhere and can just laze around the house and watch the rain. Bonus if there’s thunder and lightning.
  • Basset Hounds running.
  • Crisp-cold autumn nights when there’s a full moon and the scent of wood smoke.

What are some of yours? Share them in the comments!

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Anything Can Happen on Halloween

October 31st, 2017 by Cobwebs

In honor of the very best holiday, please to enjoy this mesmerizingly awful clip from The Worst Witch, starring Tim Curry as The Grand Wizard.

It is spectacular.

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