The Art of Darkness

Zounds! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

August 14th, 2015 by Cobwebs

This concludes the latest Link-Dump-o-Rama. Regular posting (and once-a-week link dumps) will return on Monday.

Nuclear Snail Studios – YouTube channel with lots of helpful advice for post-apocalyptic costuming. (via Propnomicon)

Velociprincesses – Laura Cooper, who draws the webcomic XP, has a side project where she draws various Disney princesses as velociraptors. The Cinderella one cracked me up.

The Mystery of Lewis Carroll – Spoiler alert: There is no real mystery. This is just a biographical overview of Dodgson’s life.

Why Bats Matter – The next time someone expresses distaste for bats, show them this. (Hat tip to xJane)

@samuelpepys – Twitter account which is currently tweeting the diarist’s entries from 1662 in real time.

Food Chain Friends – Set of plush toys. “They’re friends. They eat each other. It’s a complicated relationship.”

Kutuleras – Etsy shop full of the most adorably weird amigurumi, including many Cthulhu-themed ones. I’m not sure which one I like better: The Pikacthulhu or the brass-monocled steampunk version.

Les Poupées de Paris – Sid and Marty Krofft, of Saturday morning kids’ show fame, had a touring “dirty puppet show” in the 60s. I’m speechless. (NSFW for puppet nudity.)

Aurora Monster Scenes – retroCRUSH looks at the controversial model kits advertised by Aurora in the 70s. I fondly remember the ads for these in the back of comic books. There’s also a book about the models.

At the Funeral – Mark Twain’s advice for good manners at a funeral.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Zounds! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

August 13th, 2015 by Cobwebs

CHYRZA – A “flash-fiction horror story” game in which you explore a surreal desert watched over by a frightening pyramid. There’s a review here. (The author, Kitty Horrorshow, is also responsible for the creepy text game hornets.)

Harry Potter-Inspired Recipes – Roundup of recipes from various sites; there are some great ideas for Potter-themed party food.

Skull Playing Cards – You can never have too many skull-decorated things.

Real Monstrosities – This Tumblr full of bizarre animals is obviously deeply confused about the difference between “monstrous” and “awesome.” (via Bill)

Pumpkin Prouty – Etsy shop specializing in spooky nesting dolls with themes like the Addams Family, NMBC, and classic slasher villains.

Human Pelts – A look at the practice of preserving tattooed skin after death.

Digita Vaticana Oculus – The first fruits of the effort to digitize the Vatican Library’s collection is now online: 500 manuscripts and 600 incunabula. Business Insider has some images and more information about the project.

Newly-Discovered Peacock Spider – This new species has a gorgeous blue mask and an adorable mating dance.

Stefano Prina – Rings and decorative accessories made with taxidermy eyes.

8 Creepy Internet Characters that Became Urban Legends – A roundup from Urban Ghosts.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Zounds! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

August 12th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Watermelon Shark – Instructions for carving a “shark” from a watermelon, who helpfully holds fruit salad in his maw.

Spider Cup – Teacup with a ceramic spider in the bottom.

Mexrrissey – Tribute band which performs songs by Morrissey and The Smiths in Spanish with a mariachi twist. Here’s Everyday Like Sunday on Soundcloud.

Intimate Vestiges – Art installation featuring creepily anatomical design elements, like a throw rug composed of fingers. I sort of dig the eyeball curtains, though. (via Rattus)

With Sonar-Reflecting Leaves, Plant Lures Bats to Poo in it – This is…kinda what it says on the tin. A pitcher plant has evolved to encourage bats to roost in it rather than to eat insects directly.

A Brief Disquisition on the Existence of Butt-cooties – “Gentlemen, kindly avert your eyes.”

Catastrophe – Lovely ring composed of pearls carved into the shape of skulls.

Elder Scrolls Basement – Gorgeous rec-room makeover.

Final Notes – Set of blank notebooks inscribed, “My Legacy,” “Epitaph Ideas,” and “Deathbed Requests.”

The Avengers 2015 – deviantART member theDURRRRIAN did a wonderful series of illustrations which reimagine the characters from Avengers: Age of Ultron as dark fantasy warriors.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Zounds! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

August 11th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Meet the Hijab Lolita – Interview with Alyssa Salazar, who combines her love of Japanese-style Lolita garb with her religiously-required hijab.

To Drive Away the Vampires – Collection of folk music by Epirot, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Albanian, and Serbian musicians. (Hat tip to pdq)

You Approach a Dark Manor – “Haunted house” ‘zine in which each page depicts a different room imagined by a different artist.

A Mischievous Thorn in the Side of Conservative Christianity – Interesting look at how the two founders of the Satanic Temple are battling religion in politics.

Rites of Passage – Series of illustrations by Winnie Truong featuring skull-themed hairstyles.

How Bats Work – Stuff You Should Know’s podcast on bat physiology. (Hat tip to Bruno)

The Deck of Cards That Made Tarot a Global Phenomenon – Atlas Obscura has an interesting article about the origins of the Rider-Waite tarot deck.

T. rex Tricycle – Custom bike built to resemble a T. rex skeleton.

Monster Lego Minifigs – Lego’s latest series of collectible minifigs is due out in September, and they’re all monster-themed.

Eczema Angel Orifice – A compilation of the best of Porpentine’s weird text adventure games. There’s a discussion of them here.

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Zounds! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps

August 10th, 2015 by Cobwebs

A commenter once asked how I manage to find all of the stuff for these link dumps. I believe that the most succinct answer is, “Because I spend too damn much time online.”

Andrew Eldritch Interview – A “classic interview” which claims to be the source of all the Sisters of Mercy goth jokes.

The Birthday Skeleton – This comic about a Tooth Fairy-esque nocturnal visitor is sublime. (via Pixel Pixie)

Thick and Thin Designs – Etsy shop specializing in reusable acrylic cupcake toppers, such as ravens, zombies, and tentacles.

Death in the Afternoon – Ernest Hemingway’s absinthe cocktail. (The article is a little old; “real” absinthe is now legal in the U.S.)

3Doodler – This is pretty neat. It’s a pen which lets you “draw” 3D shapes using heated plastic filaments.

The Ash – Lovely digital photo that appears to be burning roses. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Ten Epic DIY Halloween Decorations – This site and I have a difference of opinion on what qualifies as “epic,” but the snake wreath is cute.

Funko Munsters Figures – Funko is adding vinyl figures of Herman, Lily, Eddie, and Grandpa to its Pop! line.

Geek Chic Wedding – Some really cute wedding details, including lots of Harry Potter stuff. I particularly like the dragon “hoarding” the wedding cake.

Snakes Invade Great Moments in Art History – Series of paintings which add snakes to various classic works of art. I think “The Birth Of Snake Venus” is my favorite.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Far from the Madding Link Dump

August 7th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Frockasaurus – Etsy shop specializing in alt clothing and cosplay stuff. I particularly like their damask skirt with a subtle Cthulhu design.

Jackalope Tracking Patch – Embroidered patch from the fictional Cryptozoology Tracking Society, featuring everyone’s favorite antlered rabbit. There are also Jersey Devil and Flatwoods Monster versions. (via Rattus)

Meet the Living People who Collect Dead Human Remains – Interesting article about people who collect bones and other human remains.

Why I Staged My Wedding Photos in a Coffin – The answer could just as easily be, “Why not?” but this article goes into some of the other reasons. (Hat tip to Jes)

Combat Kitchenware – Skillets with sword-hilt handles. This was a successfully-funded Kickstarter, but the associated website seems to be down so I’m just linking to the campaign page.

Walking Dead Beer – The Terrapin Brewing Company is releasing an officially-licensed Walking Dead “Blood Orange IPA.”

Goth Box – Kickstarter for a monthly subscription package of gothy stuff.

“Goodnight, Mommy” Trailer – I don’t usually bother with horror movie trailers, but this looks like it could be pretty decent.

Mermaid Tail Blanket – Pattern for a cute crocheted “mermaid tail” blanket.

Unicorns Are Jerks – Coloring book which exposes “the cold, hard, sparkly truth.” The same artist also has coloring books entitled, Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace, Dinosaurs With Jobs, and Mer World Problems (“You have to leave the sea kingdom to get tacos”).


p.s. – I’m going to be dragged, kicking and shrieking, away from the computer for a week. Due to the magic of advance scheduling blog posts will continue as usual, but if you email and I don’t respond I’m not ignoring you. (Or am I? Muwahahahaha.)

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Escape Rooms

August 6th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Escape Room“We were ushered into the main part of the cavern, which was about the size of a two-car garage. It looked like Indiana Jones had set up a field lab, and then abandoned it. It contained a large table with broken shards of pottery, strange artifacts with symbols carved into them, guidebooks, hand written notes, cabinets of mineral specimens, a gram scale, a telescope, test equipment of various kinds, and many other odds and ends. These clues had been left there by an ancient civilization, and it was our job to decipher them.”

Escape Rooms are a type of real-life adventure game in which you are “trapped” in a room with other participants and have to use elements in the room to escape within a set time limit. They’re based on the “escape the room” video games in which the player is locked in a room and must explore their surroundings to escape. You have to be observant in order to find clues and use critical thinking skills to solve various puzzles which help you figure out how to escape.

Commercial venues for these games have been around for about 10 years–the earliest was probably “Origin,” based on Agatha Christie mysteries–but they’ve become hugely popular worldwide in the past few years. In the US there are locations in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and other cities nationwide (that last company also has locations in Madrid and London). Escape Room International lists locations in Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and Real Escape Game seems to have a rotating series of temporary locations. There’s also a large list of Escape Rooms worldwide at the Escape Room Directory.

Over on BoingBoing, Mark Frauenfelder describes a game he and his daughter participated in. It sounds like it’d be an unusual group activity for a birthday party, family outing, or even the dreaded corporate team-building exercise.

If hurrying to solve puzzles and decipher clues before you run out of air, the Elder Gods come through the portal, or some other horrible fate sounds like fun to you, find an Escape Room nearby and give it a try.

(Bonus link: Gamasutra has some tips for designing your own escape game.)

Posted in Resources | 3 Comments »

Stuff I Found While Looking Around

August 5th, 2015 by Cobwebs

It’s time for another bunch of random stuff I want to share but can’t 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.)

Pinata

Piñata Anatomy

This is apparently by Carmichael Collective, although it doesn’t seem to be in the portfolio. I love how the various types of candy have been chosen to mimic appropriate organs.

The same artist has some other interesting work here. (Bonus image: Bondage Piñata, found in the comments on BoingBoing where I originally saw this art. Heh.)

Fireplace

Scary Fireplace Surround

The cited source on Indulgy is Moberg Gallery, but the site doesn’t seem to have a search feature (what kind of site in 2015 doesn’t have a search feature?) and I didn’t feel like trawling hundreds of pages in hopes of stumbling upon it. Whatever. It’s pretty neat, and would look even cooler with flames in its mouth. Who wouldn’t want an angry screaming fire-mouthed head in their living room? Nobody, that’s who.

Bat Earrings

Bat Earrings

These winsome little bats are apparently by Etsy seller Lovecraft and Co. but are no longer in their shop. They’re simple enough that they might be DIY-able with polymer clay.
Mertailor

Goth Mermaid

Mertailor makes gorgeously realistic-looking mermaid tails and accessories, but I’ve only seen them in jewel tones and pastels before. This mermaid is more in line with the traditional lure-sailors-to-their-doom sea witches of old.

The photo was done for a magazine feature; you can see other pictures from the same shoot here.

Sauron Fire Pit

Eye of Sauron Fire Pit

This bit of awesomeness is by ImagineMetalArt, who also did the Viking Ship Fire Pit I mentioned in a link dump a while back. It is almost painfully metal.

(Bonus links, found when I was trying to track the source: The One Ring Firering and the Witch King of Angmar Fire Pit.)

Skeleton Poncho

Skeleton Poncho

This is sold by Grandin Road, whose Halloween merchandise seems to come in two flavors: Gob-smackingly overpriced or reasonably priced but low-quality. At $34 I’m guessing this is the latter. I love the idea, though, and a similar poncho could be replicated with a number of different techniques: Knit, crochet, embroidery, or even fabric paint.

Nice Things to Whisper

Nice Things to Whisper When Hugging Someone

This made me giggle.

Tal Peleg

Ghostly Eye Makeup

I’ve mentioned the amazingly detailed makeup designs of Tal Peleg previously. I like this one–entitled “Childhood Fears”–for the clever use of the eyelid as a blanket, and also because everyone needs more ghosts on their face.

Halloween Bathroom Decor

Halloween Bathroom Decor

When I am Empress of the Galaxy, my first act will be to put the staff of Pinterest up against the wall for their crimes against meaningful search results. I have no clue where this came from originally, but I love the vintage Halloween theme.

Taco Belle

Taco Belle

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. This wonderfully punny mashup is by AvantGeek, who has loads of other fun stuff in her portfolio. (For confused readers in countries where the chain doesn’t exist, Taco Bell is a popular fast-food restaurant.)

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

August 4th, 2015 by Cobwebs

  1. Instead of misty moors or gothic forests, the action of The Lost Boys is set in a California beach town called what?
  2. Long before he was an A-list actor, Liam Neeson starred with Steve Guttenberg, Daryl Hannah, and Peter O’Toole in this uneven comedy about a haunted Irish castle.
    A) Dead & Breakfast
    B) The Time of Their Lives
    C) Scared Stiff
    D) The Frighteners
    E) High Spirits
  3. David Tennant played reluctant vampire-hunter Peter Vincent in the 2011 remake of Fright Night. Who played the character in the original 1985 film?
  4. In Poltergeist, what is the name of Zelda “this house is clean” Rubinstein’s character?
    A) Esmeralda
    B) Lyuba
    C) Tangina
    D) Isabella
    E) Zabrina
  5. In order to open the gate for Gozer, Dana Barrett is possessed by Zuul, the “Gatekeeper.” Louis Tully is also possessed, by the “Keymaster.” What is the Keymaster’s name?
  6. In Aliens, Ellen Ripley returns to the planet where she encountered the alien which killed her crew. It’s now the site of a human terraforming colony called what?
    A) Callisto 3
    B) Hadley’s Hope
    C) First Landing
    D) Solace
    E) Xiang Yu
  7. Hellraiser is based on the novella The Hellbound Heart by what author?
  8. Mickey Rourke and Robert DeNiro starred in this voodoo-tinged film about a private investigator searching for a mysterious missing man.
    A) Angel Heart
    B) The Devil’s Hand
    C) Netherworld
    D) The Serpent and the Rainbow
    E) Bleeding Rose
  9. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four,…” what?
  10. In Labyrinth, what is the name of Sarah’s dog?
    A) Oberon
    B) Bedivere
    C) Galahad
    D) Merlin
    E) Lancelot

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Polly Wanna Headbang?

August 3rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Hatebeak LogoNovelty albums featuring animals are nothing new, but I have to admit that grindcore band Hatebeak–whose vocalist is a parrot named Waldo–takes novelty to a whole ‘nother level.

Waldo, along with humans Blake Harrison (from Pig Destroyer) and Mark Sloan (from The Index), formed the band in 2004. They released a couple of singles (one of which, “Bird Seeds of Vengeance,” was a collaboration with Caninus, a band which featured two pit bulls as singers. I swear I am not making any of this up) but broke up in 2009 without ever releasing a full-length album of their own.

That’s all about to change, baby. Hatebeak is back and has just released “The Number of the Beak,” featuring tracks with titles like “Roost in Peace” and “Hellbent for Feathers.” And I swear I am still not making any of this up.

Sadly, if you’re hoping for a tour you’re going to be disappointed. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Blake Harrison informed us that Waldo isn’t up for live performances:

Parrots like doing this stuff—the mimicry is kind of like a form of play, so it’s more like they have to be in a relaxed…playful mood. You know the sound of your smoke detector when the battery is low? And it’s like a really loud chirp? He will do that when he’s uncomfortable.

The bird really shouldn’t and probably couldn’t–I don’t want PETA after me for subjecting a bird to like 120 decibels of distorted guitars. And you know, it’s kind of more of like a fun thing. Playing live would be a pain in the ass, and if it’s not fun I don’t know if I would necessarily want to do it.

Hatebeak’s album is available on Soundcloud and can be purchased on vinyl (still not making any of this up) on Amazon. Their previous discography is here.

To whet your appetite, here’s Waldo performing “Seven Perches.”

(via Neatorama)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »

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