The Art of Darkness

Eyebombing

January 18th, 2012 by Cobwebs

EyebombingI had no idea that this was a thing, but now that I know about it I am insanely eager to participate.

Eyebombing is the act of sticking googly eyes on inanimate things in public places. That’s all there is to it. There’s a blog, a Flickr pool and a Facebook page, all devoted to the idea of “humanizing the world, one googly eye at a time.”

To get started, all you have to do is get yourself some peel-and-stick googly eyes at your local craft store–they’re oddly specific about the eyes being the wiggly sort, rather than plain stickers–and then go…stick ’em to things. (You’ll obviously want to take care not to stick them anywhere that they might ruin the finish or peel off paint.) You can optionally take photos and submit them to the Eyebombing site, or you can simply go along in anonymity, secure in the knowledge that you’ve made everyone’s day just a little bit more surreal.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

Plan 9, In All Its Glory

January 17th, 2012 by Cobwebs

The full movie is available on YouTube. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the most cheese-tastic film of all time.

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Diana, Warrior Princess

January 16th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Diana, Warrior PrincessShadaughter was a huge fan of Xena: Warrior Princess when she was little, so I was unwillingly subjected to a whole lot of really distorted mythology.* It was thus with great amusement that I recently ran across Diana, Warrior Princess, an indie role-playing game that takes place a couple thousand years in the future. Our present is as distant to them as the Ancient Greeks are to us, and there are as many gaps in their knowledge. A production company has created a series based on “our” world with, as the game description puts it, “the loving attention to historical accuracy we have come to expect from such series.” This RPG is based on that fictional series.

Run adventures in which Eva Peron is Hitler’s mistress, or JFK meets Queen Victoria. Zulu hordes swarm across Vietnam, the Spanish Inquisition stalk heretics in Manhattan, steam cars co-exist with ICBMs, Babbage engines, stealth bombers and sorcerers.

Wikipedia expands:

Diana, Princess of Wales rides around in shining white motorcycle leathers on a semi-sentient motorbike, doing battle with the war-god, Landmines, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, from whom she took her mystic powers of Royalty. She is aided by Fergie, the Barbarian Red Ken and Wild Bill Gates, while Tony the Vampire Slayer battles the sorceress Thatcher and her masked assassin Archer.

There’s also a “spinoff” expansion pack called Elvis: The Legendary Tours in which the bard Elvis has been exiled from the Land of Grace by his evil half-brother Costello. His sidekicks include John Lenin and “Senator” Joe McCartney.

The Elvis expansion was supposed to be the first of several spinoffs, including Parton: Lust For Glory (military adventure); Toni the Vampire Slayer (teenager Toni Blair fights the undead); Gandhi’s Angels (a “martial arts detective” series); and Richard of Hollywood (Robin Hood-esque adventure featuring Richard Nixon vs. the evil Uncle Sam). The author, Marcus Rowland, has stated that he has no plans to write the rest of these, which makes me very sad.

Rowland has also written a number of other RPGs which sound interesting, most particularly Forgotten Futures and its many expansions.

Remember how the future used to be?

When vast fleets of flying ships blackened the sky . . .
When psychic investigators used electric pentacles . . .
When Venus was a paradise, never fallen from grace . . .
When the government’s main job was to make the airships run on time . . .
When a gentleman could build his own spaceship and still have change of a million pounds . . .
When there were still dinosaurs and monsters in the unexplored corners of the Earth . . .

It bills itself as “complete rules for adventures in Victorian and Edwardian fantasy and science fiction,” which should certainly be right up this audience’s alley.

The instruction booklets are all quite inexpensive, so any of these might be a fun rainy-day activity with a couple of friends.


*The Dryads still piss me off.

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

The Scarlet Link Dump

January 13th, 2012 by Cobwebs

OMG That Dress – A “blog for fashion and history,” featuring photos from museums and historical collections. There’s some fantastic design inspiration here, like this dress and this jacket.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – I think I may start applying this test to my own conversations.

Personalized Bat Towel – Cute beach towel that looks like bat wings and ears. (Also see the squee-worthy Baby Bat Costume at the same site.)

The 10 Most Hilariously Evil Villain Twitter Accounts – A roundup.

Vagina Dentata Glow-in-the-Dark Underwear – Etsy is AWESOME.

Zombie Font – Rather gruesome font featuring letters made out of zombies and parts thereof.

Fabric Pinecones – Easy tutorial for making oversized pinecones from scrap fabric. A big bowl of these in Halloween fabrics would be a pretty centerpiece.

The It’s Alive Project – In honor of the 80th anniversary of the original Frankenstein movie, 80 life-size busts of Boris Karloff as the creature were distributed to artists, who decorated them however they wished. Many of them have been sold (proceeds go to charity), but a few are still available.

Scott Pilgrim-Inspired Save the Dates – Offbeat idea for wedding invitations that appear to be DVD covers; a similar thing could be done with a spookier movie theme for a Halloween wedding.

Three cute novelty salt-and-pepper shaker sets:
Vampires
Witch and Mummy
Eyeballs

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Unspooky Thursday

January 12th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Okay okay okay. Much like the “Trivia Tuesday” features started out as “Trivia Saturday” fillers for weekend NaBloPoMo posts, everybody seemed to like “Unspooky Saturday” enough to make it an occasional year-round feature. Suggestions for ghost stories to dissect are welcomed.

My vague recollection of this story involves a man as the protagonist, but most of the search results seem to favor the girls-at-a-slumber-party angle, so I’m going with that. (And the core of the story was also the plot for a Western-themed episode of the Twilight Zone starring Lee Marvin, but my vague recollections involve neither the Old West nor Lee Marvin so I don’t think that’s where I got the idea.) Anyway.

—————

okay so a bunch of teenage girls are having a slumber party
and telling ghost stories
and someone tells a legend
about a guy buried in a local cemetery
who apparently really doesn’t like to be disturbed
because if you stand on his grave at midnight
he will reach up through the ground and grab you

which definitely takes
hey you kids get off of my lawn
to entirely new heights

and one of the girls is all citation needed bitchezzz
and the other girls are all how dare you question our entirely unsubstantiated beliefs
and tease her until she agrees to prove that the legend is false
by going and standing on the grave at midnight
how this didn’t become an after-school special about the dangers of peer pressure I’ll never know

so the girls all troop out of the house
and down to the graveyard
in their pajamas
in the middle of the night
leaving their parents wide open for a gross negligence lawsuit
and give the skeptical girl a knife

the plan is that she will stick the knife in the grave
to prove that she was there
instead of maybe just writing on the tombstone with a sharpie
and also where did a bunch of teenage girls in their pajamas get a knife

but anyway

the girl finds her way to the grave
and sticks the knife in the ground
and starts to walk away
but she can’t because something is holding the hem of her nightgown
so she immediately decides that the most plausible explanation
is that the legend is true and the dead guy has reached up and grabbed her nightgown
and why is it that the dead are always so malevolent in these kinds of stories
with the grabbing and dragging you to your doom
instead of digging their way out of the ground and giving you a nice backrub

but anyway

the girl drops dead of fright
and in the morning her friends come looking for her
having decided that it makes more sense to wait six hours for sunrise
instead of calling the police when she isn’t back after 15 minutes
and find her dead on the grave
with the knife stuck through the hem of her nightgown
which she had mistaken for the bony clutch of the dead guy
critical thinking fail

the moral of this story is that skeptics tend to have messy fates in urban legends

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 4 Comments »

Labyrinth Prequel to be a Graphic Novel

January 11th, 2012 by Cobwebs

JarethFor 25 years, the Goblin King and his amazing pants have been a cult movie favorite. Now comic publisher Archaia is aiming to show how Jareth got into the Labyrinth in the first place.

Over the course of the next 12 months, Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy will have his hands full overseeing a long-rumored graphic novel based on Jim Henson’s classic fantasy film Labyrinth. “We can say it’s a prequel,” he says with understandable excitement. “It’s the story of how Jareth is brought into the Labyrinth for the first time. So, it doesn’t deal with Sarah, it doesn’t deal with Toby or anything like that.”

Archaia has a contract with the Jim Henson company and has adapted several of their other properties to comics, including Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal. Illustrator Brian Froud worked with them on Dark Crystal, and is apparently also attached to the Labyrinth project for character design and conceptualizing. Since Froud was involved with design for the movies as well, the feel of the comic has a good chance of being similar.

Christy swears that “his main concern is honoring the integrity of the original property.” Could be pretty cool.

(Hat tip to LimeyFish)

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Lindner’s 2012 Calendar

January 10th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Lindner CalendarIn 2010 Poland’s largest coffin manufacturer, Lindner, published a promotional calendar featuring models posing with their caskets (apparently sex sells no matter what the product is). Despite the expected outrage from religious groups and other anti-fun organizations the calendars became immensely popular. They followed up with a similar 2011 calendar featuring lingerie-clad models enacting scenes from movies like The Godfather and Reservoir Dogs. (Some of the images can be seen on the Lindner site, and googling “Lindner calendar” turns up plenty of page scans.)

They 2012 version is now available for purchase on their site and it is highly NSFW in that they’ve ditched the lingerie for body paint. It appears that they ship worldwide, and their rates are surprisingly affordable; 57 zlotys works out to around $16US.

Even if you don’t care about the models, the coffins are lovely. (Plus if you have this hanging in your kitchen you’re almost sure to scandalize the in-laws, so bonus.)

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

The Thingu

January 9th, 2012 by Cobwebs

I can’t put it any better than Topless Robot does:

Hey, do you want to see a two-minute remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing as performed by the claymated, Antarctic cast of the hit children’s animation Pingu? Let me answer for you: YES, YES YOU DO. MORE THAN ANYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

I can’t honestly say I disagree.

(There’s also a “making of” video of the process, just in case you want to know even more about the art of horror penguin claymation.)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

The Link Dump That Roared

January 6th, 2012 by Cobwebs

High-Tech Spider – These robotic spiders were designed for exploring areas too hazardous for humans, but I want them to make a home version. Who wouldn’t want a giant robot spider for a pet?

MadPax – Attractive backpacks and bags that look like they’re covered with spikes.

Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate – A collection of short stories with titles like, “Your Upstairs Neighbor Kills People” and “No, It Isn’t Just the Wind.” (The Kindle version is currently free.)

Precision Body Arts – Interesting body-modification shop that offers scarification amongst its services. This is a pretty amazing example.

NerdLacquer – Custom nail polish with names like Don’t Blink, Hyperspace Bypass, and It’s Just a Flesh Wound.

Goths Up Trees – Goths. Trees. Up. (via Cat)

Aliens on Ice – This needs a world tour, stat. Includes video.

Lil’ Drac – BatWorldSanctuary cares for an abandoned baby fruit bat. I want to be a bat rescue worker….

Digital Meltd0wn – Blog which aims to “introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist.” They have lots of interesting categories, like Horror Soundtrack, H.P. Lovecraft, and Avant-garage.

Tightrope Walker – The Bloggess gives me new appreciation for one of the “stretching photos” in the Haunted Mansion.

Posted in Link Dump | 6 Comments »

The Edwardian Ball

January 5th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Edwardian Ball ParticipantIntrepid commenter xJane just gave me a brand-new reason to miss California, dammit.

The Edwardian Ball* isn’t, as one might suspect, a celebration of the Edwardian Era. It is instead a celebration of Edward Gorey, which makes it a thousand times cooler.

They describe themselves as, “an elegant, whirlwind, turn-of-the-century festival of music, theatre, dance, fashion, circus, art, gaming, ballroom dance, vending, and the art and stories of Edward Gorey.” (I assume by “turn-of-the-century” they mean the last century, since otherwise they’d be celebrating 12 years ago and everybody would be wearing polo shirts and complaining about the Y2K bug.)

The event is a costumed affair with games, rides, cabaret acts, “steam machinery,” vendors, circus sideshows, and who knows what else. It’s a wonderful blend of 1900s fashion, steampunk, and Edward Gorey, and definitely worth a look if you’re in the area. (Which I am not. Dammit.)

The ball is held annually in San Francisco, and occasionally they also come to Los Angeles. 2012 is one of those dual years, with the main San Francisco event on Jan 21 and the Los Angeles followup on Feb 4. You can get information about location and tickets on their site or their Facebook page.

Looks lovely.

(Thanks, xJane!)


*Caution: Website confuses “hard to read” with “edgy” by making all text light grey on a black background.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

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