The Art of Darkness

Silent Link Dump

December 20th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Live-Tweeting Carmilla – @xoDrVenture, who live-tweeted Dracula, is back with another classic. “Also Sheridan Le Fanu if you don’t give this girl a fucking name I will major in particle physics solely to go back in time and beat your ass”

Lucasfilm Developing a Willow TV Series – :::rending garments::: Nooooooo……

Conjuror’s Catalog – Kickstarter to reprint an 1899 catalog of magician’s illusions, tricks & stage props. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Prozo Books – Etsy shop full of lovely handmade journals with intricate, spooky covers. The bat is my favorite.

Professor Minerva McGonagall’s Letter to the Tenure Committee – This woman deserves tenure.

Vampire Weaknesses – Amusing Tumblr post.

hello friend. could you draw a ghoul – Iguanamouth answers an ask.

luluandGlass – Etsy shop specializing in stained glass items, including coffin-shaped trinket boxes.

Draculas – We really need to take Dracula ecology more seriously for the sake of the environment.

Hardback Reading Lamp – DIY project for turning a hardback book into a bedside reading lamp. If you’ve loved a book to death until its pages are falling out, this is a neat way to breathe new life into the cover.

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Have a Holly Jolly Link Dump

December 13th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Random Joke Magic Items – Some fantastic ideas for novelty items to add to a D&D campaign.

There’s Nothing Scarier Than a Hungry Woman – Interesting essay about how the act of women eating in horror movies is either empowering or horrifying depending on the audience it’s presented to.

We’re the Husbands from Every Haunted House Movie, and We Think You’re Just Not Giving Our New Home a Chance – Accurate.

Valley Ghouls – “Valley Ghouls is a comic about living in LA, dealing with monsters, and love. Mostly the last part.”

Lane Cramblin, Country Singer – I like the idea of country songs about cryptids.

Hellhounds – A wonderful list of hellhound breeds.

The School Field Trip – Amusing ‘toon.

The Bride’s Guide to a Lucid Dream Wedding – The “language of flowers” from an alternate universe where Cthulhu definitely exists.

H.P. Lovecraft Insurance – An amusing short video. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Medieval Meals – Modest cookbook/manners guide for those days when you want to eat like a 12th Century English peasant.

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Seen Online

December 10th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Inside of you there are two wolves. That’s nowhere near enough wolves to sustain the population, so we’re starting a reintroduction program. Open wide, please.

one time someone said pavlov probably thought about feeding his dogs every time he heard someone ring a bell and i haven’t been the same since

These 3 ghosts keep trying to teach me the meaning of Christmas in the middle of the night which pisses me off because it’s like, okay this could have been an email 🙄

Sure, I miss grandma. But she’s up there protecting us.
*looks up to the sky where my grandma is in a jet fighting aliens*

All right, folks – it’s time for this year’s Secret Satan! You know the drill: pick a sin from the hat on the left and a name from the hat on the right. You have thirty days to tempt your assigned victim to commit your assigned sin – or else!

could u imagine if ppl talked about catholicism the same way they talked about like… indigenous ppl’s religions….

girl in horror movie holding a bible open: “according to legend, a mob tortured a half-man, half-god, and nailed him to a wooden cross, leaving him to starve to death. But days later, on this very night, they found he had clawed his way out of the grave. Now those who believe lie in wait for him to rise again, To honour him, they have weekly gatherings where they chant and sing, and at the end of it they eat his flesh and blood.”

girl’s friend: “wow.. thats so creepy…”

horror movie jock: “it’s only a myth, don’t worry”


Give her what she really wants this holiday season: equal pay & an ancient hell wolf.

The earliest cephalopods date back to the Cambrian period. They predate trees and land plants. So, the Earth knew tentacles before it knew leaves. Anyway, sweet dreams.

how long has it been since James Cameron went to the sea floor and something that claims to be James Cameron came back up

lovecraft protagonist: “it was squamous…undulating…plastic…a chaotic madness of flesh….rugose and viscous….IMPOSSIBLE TO DESCRIBE”

Buddy you just did. It’s called a blob. You just described it like an asshole would.


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Link Dumps in the Mist

December 6th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Dear Satan – Animated short film, narrated by Patrick Stewart, about a girl who accidentally writes a letter to Satan instead of Santa.

#ourgeneration horror stories – “The car won’t start. They call an Uber.”

My Arch-Nemesis Cynthia – Compelling bit of short fiction.

Horror Movies for Dogs – This ‘toon is remarkably accurate. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Apocalyptica – Tumblr thread about a bunch of different armageddon scenarios happening all at once and canceling each other out.

Slaw & Order – This isn’t even faintly goth, but if you appreciate cast iron cookware it’s pretty funny.

Brain Hat – Knitting pattern for a startlingly realistic-looking brain hat.

If the Crows Love You – A lovely, evocative image.

Staircase Remodel – I’ve seen stair risers painted as book covers before, but this one is very nicely done.

The Apocalypse of St. Johnny Cash – A disquisition on how Johnny Cash’s music meets the definition of “Apocalyptic Literature.” (Hat tip to Bruno)

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Tea with Neil Gaiman

December 2nd, 2019 by Cobwebs

The author is auctioning off a tea date for charity. You can read the details here.

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The Link Dump in the Rue Morgue

November 29th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Now Dead Again – The great, macabre cartoonist passed away last week. Neil Gaiman wrote a lovely tribute to him.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires – This novel sounds intriguing. Sarah Gailey gushes about it here.

Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves – Lovely poem/song by Seanan McGuire.

Dragon Gloves – Free crochet pattern for fingerless scaled gloves.

Creepy Old Record – This recording of an antique record is rather unsettling.

Virus Dots Silk Scarf – Attractive scarf printed with smallpox, ebola, H1N1, rabies, measles, and several others.

#HagFact – Amusing short Twitter thread about the “hag” D&D monster.

Old Besties – Cute little ‘toon about middle-aged fantasy creatures.

Weird Tales from the 20th Century – A MeFi roundup of “weird” stories from the last century. (Hat tip to Bruno)

ADHD Gothic – “there is an object in your hand. it is extremely important you don’t lose it. you look down. there is nothing in your hand.”

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Seen Online

November 26th, 2019 by Cobwebs

absolutely hate it when im driving down a lonely highway late at night and pass a gaunt, elderly man hitchiking – only to, impossibly, see him again ten miles down the road…and again five miles later…then one mile…c’mon, man. take the hint….

Lovecraft writing horror atmosphere like
*lightning cracks*
*a raven caws*
*wind howls through an old rotten tree*
*a black guy is just kinda standing around smiling politely and waves*
*rats or something*

i was reading about the myth of prometheus today when the phrase “new liver, same eagles” popped into my mind, so i’m keeping that in mind for the next time someone asks me how it’s going

at some point you’ve got to STOP reading the entrails and go out and LIVE that which was portented by them, because you WILL run out of doves

My cask of amontillado brings all the boys to the catacombs
And they’re like, you’re entombing us alive
Damn right, I’m entombing you alive
I could free you
But I’m entombing you alive

poor old granny scorpion-shoes. no one ever saw her death coming

it was pneumonia.

yes, her pet scorpion pneumonia, who lived in her shoe. tragic.

he shot her point blank


I’ve been trying to leave Rome for a few weeks now, but all their roads have this weird design flaw

at some point you’ve got to STOP reading the entrails and go out and LIVE that which was portented by them, because you WILL run out of doves

Hwæt! There’s only one month left in the decade. How do the skalds sing of you, and how many grave goods have you amassed for your barrow?

Saying “it’s time to get ready for bed”

Saying “and now I must attend to my evening affairs”
-mysterious & debonair
-you sound like you know what brandy is


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The Link Dump of Zenda

November 22nd, 2019 by Cobwebs

SCP Foundation Legal Fund – The collaborative project is trying to shut down a copyright troll and needs to pay legal fees.

Renfield – They’re making a Renfield movie. “This take on the project is described as a comedic, lighthearted approach in the vein of Taika Waititi’s vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, in which Renfield realizes he is in a bad, co-dependent relationship.”

Grave Hunter – New web series focusing on cemeteries and the forgotten stories they hold. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Armor Antics – YouTube channel full of dancing, makeup tutorials, and other shenanigans, all done in full plate armor.

ADVENTURERS: We’re here for your treasure! – I want to try ALL of these adventurer/dragon interactions in my next D&D campaign.

O Have You Seen the Devle with his Mikerscope and Scalpul? – A nicely creepy short story that takes on the Jack the Ripper mythology.

no one came – This little illustrated story about a dog meeting Death will rip out your heart and stomp that sucker flat.

The Dead Beneath London’s Streets – An interesting article about archaeological finds in London.

Freddy Krueger Cake – Video demo of creating an astonishingly realistic bust of Freddy.

Funeral Quest – Web-based multiplayer game which “simulates the world’s second oldest profession – the Undertaker.” (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

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Two Guys, a Girl, and a Link Dump

November 15th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Roommate Ghost – A creepily sweet little ‘toon. (Edit: Ooh; there’s a sequel.)

Poe Belongs to Baltimore, Baltimore to Poe – The Museums in Strange Places podcast explores Baltimore’s devotion to Edgar Allen Poe. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Edible Archaeology: Gingerbread Cuneiform Tablets – This would be a great holiday gift for the archaeologist on your list.

FeralWorks – This Etsy shop full of creepy lifelike jewelry is having a clearance sale, so grab a sutured-wound pendant while you can.

Away with the Wolves – Sweet short story about a werewolf, which the author describes as, “an extremely personal story about disability, chronic pain, and giving yourself permission to live in ways that don’t hurt.”

Labyrinth Christmas Party – Some great props and themeing ideas.

Small Town Cults – I would watch the HELL out of a TV show with this premise.

Bigfoot Bundt Cake – This really only works if you slice it just right, and I’m not sure if the inner layer would overbake, but it’s a neat effect. You could do it with other novelty-shaped cookie cutters too.

A Chicago Library Needs Help Transcribing 17th-Century Spellbooks – This is an interesting crowdsourcing exercise that almost certainly won’t result in loosing demons onto the internet. (Hat tip to xJane)

The Recycle Vulture – Kickstarter for cute vulture-themed merchandise.

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This Year’s Costumes

November 11th, 2019 by Cobwebs

DuoIt’s time for the annual costume recap! Every year I spend entirely too much time making costumes for Shadowboy and a friend’s nephew, then have professional photos taken. This is the year that made me question that decision.

The friend’s costume was easy. He wanted to be a vampire in the classic mold, and that’s just a hop, skip, and a frilly shirt away. I used Simplicity 4923 for the shirt, Simplicity 4762 for the vest, and McCall’s 4139 for the cape. He supplied the trousers and shoes.

Shadowboy’s was…it was a whole thing.

He wanted a costume that could double as an outfit for RenFaire, and since he has a strong interest in music–and despite playing D&D and supposedly knowing better–he decided that he wanted to be a bard. Rather than trying to put something together piecemeal from several patterns I decided to do the complete set using AlterYears Easy Renaissance Noblemen’s Outfit PAY-038, where “Easy” should be read in the most sarcastic air quotes imaginable.

Y’all. You all. You. Guys. I have been sewing for 40 years. I have made some complicated stuff–hell, I made my own wedding dress. I know my way around a pattern. This pattern sucked. It suuuuuucked. As I tried to work through it I honestly began to suspect some kind of Kinks/Oasis/Ramones situation where the person who drafted the pattern and the person who wrote the instructions absolutely fucking hated each other, to the point where they not only refused to collaborate, they were actively trying to undermine each other. It’s not that the pattern/instructions were unclear, it’s that they were literally wrong. Like, the notes on the pattern pieces might tell you to cut four pieces, but when you followed the instructions you only used two of them. The pattern has different cutting lines for fabric and lining, but the instructions make it clear that they actually should be the same size. The instructions for resizing the pattern for a custom fit very much do not result in a custom fit. Even the suggested width for pleats was wildly inaccurate. The entire exercise was infuriating. If you decide to tackle this pattern–and remember, this is the one labeled “easy”–my suggestions are as follows:

  • If you’re a beginner, stop here and find another pattern. No, really. This will end in tears.
  • Read the instructions very thoroughly. Make note of discrepancies, like the 4 1/2 yards of lining you need for the pantaloons that the materials list doesn’t mention. Compare the instructions to the notations on the pattern pieces and consider the differences.
  • Ignore any alternate cutting lines for fabric/lining on the pattern. They are scurrilous lies.
  • Make a mockup out of cheap muslin first. Being severely strapped for time I omitted this step and it was bad. There was much, much ripping of seams and re-cutting of “custom” pieces and planning of subtle vengeance. Work with the mockup until you get the fit you want and then use those measurements to cut your good fabric.

In summary, I paid 40 American dollars for the privilege of having my blood pressure spike and I do not recommend this.

I’m not entirely happy with the result so I’ll probably re-make the whole thing at some point using the lessons painfully learned from this exercise, but it’s good enough for Halloween. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.


I decided that he needed a hat, and since he had indicated that he wanted kind of a mismatched look I used some brocade left over from the vampire’s vest and knocked together a hat using McCall’s 4805. I also had enough fabric left over from the doublet and pantaloons to make a short cape, which I did freehand.

The photos turned out reasonably well, so I don’t have to commit Halloween seppuku. Here’s the rest of the set:

Vampire 1

Vampire 2

Bard 1

Bard 2

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