The Art of Darkness

The Link Dump Awakens

January 8th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Velvet Saree – This lovely gray-and-scarlet number is the most goth-friendly sari I’ve ever seen.

Creepy Co. – Horror-related enamel pins, patches, stickers, prints, and other items.

Visual Anatomy – Sells chocolates shaped like bones and organs. (via Bonni)

“Viking” Beer Mug – Woodworking Instructable for making a wooden mug by hand. This inspired another maker to create a Hobbit tankard, which uses power tools instead of the all-bushcraft method of the original tutorial.

Weird Food Gallery – Strange foodstuffs from around the world. There’s another list here.

Lilith’s Lunch Bags – When his 9-year-old daughter’s school asked him to label her lunch bags with her name, copywriter Ryan Myers started making geeky references and then couldn’t stop. There’s a second gallery here.

Octopuss – This knitting pattern for a tentacled cat is winsomely weird.

Eyeball Caprese – When you gaze too long at the hors d’oeuvres, they start to gaze back.

A Guide to Butts of Middle Earth – An exhaustively-researched illustrated guide to characters’ asses. NSFW. Duh.

DIY Mushroom Lights – Neat video tutorial for making glow-in-the-dark mushrooms. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Post-Apocalyptic Fashion

January 7th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Intrepid commenter Cookie recently emailed me this:

Maybe because I’m getting older or I’ve been watching too many zombie/apocalypse shows but I’m getting awfully tired of future fashion consisting of leather, combat, goggles, gears, guns, etc. in some or other combination. With the economy looking bleaker and bleaker and just about everything else circling the crapper why should our fashions be dreary too? Other periods of history were just as bad or worse yet they went through it with a bit of flair; think 18th century France. Too colorful? How about pre soviet Russia; late 19th/early 20th century kulak? Good peasant functional ethnic look. Looking for something a little closer to home? Why not ’20’s – 30’s American depression era? Think Waltons and Bonney and Clyde. I never thought that I would say this but I’m kinda getting sick of black. How are the other shadow folk thinking? What do they want to look like standing in the bread line?

Although I can think of exceptions (the Hunger Games comes to mind), it’s true that a lot of post-apocalyptic clothing is mighty boring. That’s often explained away as survivors wearing whatever they could scavenge from the rubble of civilization, but it’s suspicious that nobody ever seems to scavenge Elton John’s closet.

So what do you think, oh commentariat? When civilization falls will we all be wearing black leather, or will “peasant style” become a thing again?

Posted in Whatever | 5 Comments »

Seen Online

January 6th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Dear people who question why girls go to the bathroom together, Hermione went alone and got attacked by a troll.

If someone killed the 1st zombie, stopping a zombie apocalypse from happening, he\she would more than likely go to prison.

I just think Halloween is too small in its ambition. We can be creepy EVERY DAY.

The best part of home ownership is that when I clean the house I pretend to be my own rebellious lady’s maid who’s getting above her station

And then when I’m done cleaning the house I can pretend to be my own queenly housekeeper who finds fault in my own work

A lot of home ownership is doing everything myself but pretending to be a complex staff of Regency-era servants and masters

Like I mopped yesterday but today I skated around my kitchen on Windexed paper towels grumbling about my unsatisfactory mopping

I shall have to have a word with myself, the slattern

75% of a Scandinavian park ranger’s job is rescuing black metal bands that get lost in the woods shooting album covers.

If someone doesn’t show up from the future to stop you how bad of an idea could it be?

A dildo is the sex toy most likely to be referenced in a hobbit rap battle.

Disappointed there’s no Brazilian horror movie about tourists-turned-zombies called A Gringo Ate My Baby.

Are Medusa’s leg hairs tiny snakes?
Shower Thoughts

You know those cutesy embroidery-looking graphics with, like, a butterfly saying “Be a bitch” or “Never Apologize” in cursive letters? (and the butterflies and flowers with faces and pastel colors are supposed to show that these are messages for women, only somehow that isn’t sexist)? They show up a lot on certain pop feminist blogs and they’ve always bugged me.

Anyway, I kind of want to do a series of opposite graphics. Like, a really metal looking t-rex saying in spiky, blood-dripping letters “Be polite to all you interact with” or a flaming shark saying “err on the side of apologizing if you think you may have hurt someone.” Fuck the “cutesy aggression” aesthetic. I want snarling, badass, compassionate etiquette.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 4 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

January 5th, 2016 by Cobwebs

  1. The Barghest is a legendary monster from North England. Sometimes it is invisible and walks with the sound of rattling chains, but usually it takes the form of this animal.
  2. Goth anthem “(Every Day is) Halloween,” was performed by what influential band?
    A) Sisters of Mercy
    B) Ministry
    C) Alien Sex Fiend
    D) The Crüxshadows
    E) Bauhaus
  3. Which member of the Peanuts gang believes in the Great Pumpkin?
  4. All of the Munster family are monsters of one kind or another, except for this niece, who is “normal.”
    A) Tabitha
    B) Madeline
    C) Katie
    D) Charity
    E) Marilyn
  5. What monstrous creature did the Nautilus famously encounter in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea?
  6. According to Ovid, Medusa was cursed with the ultimate Bad Hair Day because she had sex with Poseidon in this goddess’ temple.
    A) Hera
    B) Aphrodite
    C) Demeter
    D) Athena
    E) Artemis
  7. In this post-apocalyptic novel by John Wyndham, most of the Earth’s inhabitants have been rendered blind by a meteor shower, leaving them easy prey for carnivorous, mobile plants.
  8. An American Werewolf in London opens with two backpackers on the Yorkshire Moors stopping for the night at a pub called what?
    A) The Slaughtered Lamb
    B) The Savage Beast
    C) The Headless Woman
    D) The George and Dragon
    E) The Olde Man and Scythe
  9. During the filming of Jaws, Steven Spielberg and his crew gave their oft-malfunctioning mechanical shark this affectionate nickname.
  10. Guillermo del Toro’s fantasmagorical Pan’s Labyrinth takes place a few years after which conflict?
    A) Spanish Civil War
    B) World War II
    C) American Civil War
    D) Thirty Years’ War
    E) Korean War

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 4 Comments »

Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

January 4th, 2016 by Cobwebs

No, not the figurative ones.

I had no idea this thing existed. Following the wildly-successful “Thriller” video, Michael Jackson teamed up with Stephen King to create a music video for Jackson’s song “Is It Scary.” The project eventually bloated into a 40-minute film which tanked hard.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the whole disaster is available to watch on YouTube.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Invasion of the Link Dump Snatchers

January 1st, 2016 by Cobwebs

Foolish Mortals – Splendid mashup artwork depicting characters from the Addams Family in the Haunted Mansion’s “stretching portraits.” (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Teddytaur – This teddy-centaur is probably supposed to look cuddly, but I find it oddly unsettling.

Gingerbread Overlook Hotel – redditor eudicotyledon and family made a hugely detailed Overlook Hotel from gingerbread, right down to an elevator full of “blood” made with melted Jolly Rancher candies.

Pumpkin Snowglobe Necklace – I have no idea why this is labeled “Thanksgiving” instead of “Halloween,” but this little blown-glass pumpkin pendant is lovely. There’s a tombstone version, too.

#gothplanner – A collection of gothy day planners and agendas. (Hat tip to Bruno)

The Gossamer Pleasures of Faerie Magazine – There’s a glossy lifestyle quarterly magazine “for people who have a thing for faeries.” (Hat tip to xJane)

Tobias and Guy – “A gay themed webcomic on the misadventures of Tobias the demon and his human boyfriend.” There’s an Imgur gallery of what appears to be an older version here.

Twin Peaks Tarot – Artist Ben Mackey is working his way through an entire deck of tarot cards themed around Twin Peaks. (Hat tip to Fiend4Halloween)

Monsterpappa – Amazingly-detailed resin busts and magnets featuring various monsters. Note that the examples in the photos are painted, while the actual product comes unpainted. (via Shellhawk’s Nest)

Welcome to Boon Hill – A “game” which is essentially a low-res graveyard simulator. BoingBoing discusses it briefly here. I guess it’d be nice if it’s raining and you can’t go wander around a real graveyard.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Death is Not an Option

December 31st, 2015 by Cobwebs

After a long hiatus, it’s finally time for another round of Death is Not an Option! The rules, as always, are simple: Given the choice of a pair of characters, you have to decide which one you’d rather sleep with; choosing death instead is not an option. This time it’s Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.

The Sharp-Dressed Man Matchup
Gentlemen   Silence
The Gentlemen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) vs. The Silence (Doctor Who)

The Entirely Too Much Mucous Matchup
Xenomorph   Predator
Xenomorph (Alien) vs. Yautja (Predator)

The Grandma, What Big Eyes You Have Matchup
Martian   Invaders
Martian (Mars Attacks!) vs. Invaders (They Live)

The Wicked Witches Matchup
Wicked Witch of the West   Grand High Witch
Wicked Witch of the West (Wizard of Oz) vs. Grand High Witch (The Witches)

The Ugly on the Inside (Male) Matchup
Mr. Dark   Goblin King
Mr. Dark (Something Wicked This Way Comes) vs. Goblin King (Labyrinth)

The Ugly on the Inside (Female) Matchup
Maleficent   Ravenna
Maleficent (Maleficent) vs. Queen Ravenna (Snow White and the Huntsman)

The Psycho Slasher Matchup
Leatherface   Freddy Krueger
Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) vs. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

The Harryhausen’s Hotties Matchup
Medusa   Kali
Medusa (Clash of the Titans) vs. Kali (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad)

The Scary Guys Played by Doug Jones Matchup*
Billy Butcherson   Pale Man
Billy Butcherson (Hocus Pocus) vs. Pale Man (Pan’s Labyrinth)

The Smells Like Pond Scum Matchup
Gillman   Swamp Thing
Gillman (Creature from the Black Lagoon) vs. Alex Holland (Swamp Thing)

Leave your choices in the comments. And remember…Death is not an option.

*What? Too niche?

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 6 Comments »

Elvira Sings

December 30th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Elvira Album CoverLong ago, my pal Kitten Herder made me a lovely mixtape of Halloween-related music. One track was “Full Moon,” a song I didn’t recognize, and the first time I played it I thought, “Wow, that really sounds like Elvira.” And lo, it was.

Back in the 80s when Cassandra Peterson was expanding her media empire beyond television, she released several Halloween-themed albums. Most of the songs were about what you’d expect (“Monster Mash,” “Dead Man’s Party”), but she also recorded several tracks herself. They’re…fun. Peterson is an adequate singer, and she does all of the songs in-character as Elvira. Here’s a list, if you want to explore her oeuvre.

Elvira and the Vitones 3-D TV (Rhino Records, 1982) – A single. The title track is here. The flip side was “Elvira’s Theme,” which may have been the same version as this one.

Vinyl Macabre (Rhino Records, 1983) – As nearly as I can tell from various online sources, Elvira did spoken intro/outro and “end of side one”/”beginning of side two” (remember those?) pieces, but the only singing was her theme, above.

Elvira Presents Haunted Hits (Rhino Records, 1987) – Full Moon.

Elvira Presents Monster Hits (Rhino Records, 1994) – She did two songs for this one, Monsta’ Rap and Here Comes the Bride (The Bride Of Frankenstein).

Elvira Presents Revenge of the Monster Hits (Rhino Records, 1995) – There were two for this as well, Haunted House and Zombie Stomp.

After this there was a hiatus of several years, then in 2008 she performed on a track called “Zombie Killer” for the band Leslie and the Ly’s. It was released as a single, but here’s the music video:

In 2010 she released Elvira’s Gravest Hits (Shout! Factory), which collected all of the songs listed above plus two new ones, Here I Am and “Le Music Hall,” which seems to be the song that she sings in Elvira’s Haunted Hills.

And she’s still chugging along. In 2014 she released another single (as a purple vinyl 7″), 2 Big Pumpkins. Both the title track and the B side “13 Nights of Halloween” were written by the B-52s’ Fred Schneider. The latter doesn’t seem to be available on YouTube, but if you can’t live without hearing it, it’s available on iTunes.

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

The Miskatonic Railroad

December 29th, 2015 by Cobwebs

General StoreModel railroading enthusiast John Ott has spent years creating a detailed miniature version of Lovecraft’s Arkham, complete with historically-accurate train engines and cars. He’s mapped out the rail line (with stops at Dunwich, Innsmouth, and similar towns), and all of the buildings have appropriate backstories.

Across Garrison, the Bensalem Building hosts a variety of enterprises. The mesmerists, Drs. Nikola and Mabuse, have set up shop selling questionable cures and “rubber goods.” One of the shady mesmerists can be seen with a female patient in the bay window, doubtlessly trying to convince the young woman how theraputic it would be to reveal the combination to her husband’s wall safe.

Next door, Messrs. Maskull and Nightspore offer astral travel for the adept, with tours of Tormance, Leng, and Barsoom a specialty. One would think they wouldn’t have many clients, but some prominent Arkhamites, namely the Carter family— Randolph, John, and Nick— rely upon them heavily. Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet, a curio shop, occupies the last address. Is that a shining trapezohedron in the window?

Up on the roof, Professor Pickering has his private observatory. Prof. Pickering is famous for having confirmed the sighting of those flashes on Mars a few years back. These days, he’s searching for a ninth, trans-Neptunian, planet— which he calls Yuggoth, for some reason— which he’s sure is there.

There are lots of photos and project details on his site:

The Miskatonic Railroad – Project overview.
Welcome to Arkham – City details and building backstories.
Arkham Wasn’t Built in a Day (or a Night) – Information about lighting and decor.
Deconstructing Arkham Station – Build notes for the railroad station, which was based on a real one in Salem.
Train Number Nine is Missing – A fictional history of the Miskatonic Railroad.

I’m a sucker for highly-detailed miniatures, and Ott’s layout has all kinds of fun stuff (like The Sarnath Theater, with posters advertising an upcoming show: “‘The DOOM’ Comes To The Sarnath, Sept. 24-30.” There’s also a group of workmen hauling a giant squid through the streets on a flatbed). It makes me want to grab a big sheet of plywood and start putting down track.

Ott has also done a couple of other non-spooky layouts, the Salem & Cripple Creek R.R. (inspired by Citizen Kane), and the San Diego and South Coast R.R., depicting San Diego’s gaslamp district circa 1908.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

The Jezabels: “Come Alive”

December 28th, 2015 by Cobwebs

This music video, done by Oh Yeah Wow, was painted on glass and animated frame by frame. A witch burning doesn’t turn out exactly as planned.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

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