The Art of Darkness

McFarlane’s Monsters

May 16th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Elizabeth BathoryMcFarlane manufactures a wide variety of models and action figures; you may have seen their movie or music figures at places like Spencer Gifts and Hot Topic. Somewhat less widely available, but completely awesome, are their monsters.

I originally encountered the monsters through the Twisted Land of Oz set, featuring a mutated Toto and a Dorothy in bondage gear (the latter is borderline NSFW). Every figure in their collection is astonishingly detailed and hideously imaginative.

Their “Six Faces of Madness” series, for instance, features Attilla the Hun posing on a mound of decapitated heads, a blood-drenched Jack the Ripper, Elizabeth Bathory relaxing in the tub, and other historical “monsters.” This series even includes an optional accessory pack, including “a custom base for Elizabeth Bathory, several weapons for Billy the Kid, a lamp post for Jack the Ripper, several potion bottles and tubes for Rasputin and torso on stake for Vlad the Impaler.”

How can you not love a toy that includes an accessory torso?

Given their quality, the figures are surprisingly affordable–around $13 for smaller figures and $35 for large ones–and would certainly make an arresting decoration for office or home. The site offers loads of detailed pictures (again, some are NSFW) if you just want to admire their artistry.

I can’t wait until Shadowboy’s old enough not to be traumatized by my decorating scheme; I want Little Miss Muffet for the home office.


Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

Steampunk Decorating

May 15th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Steampunk LampWriter Richard Morgan was commissioned by the New York Times to write a piece on steampunk culture, which was then cut for reasons unknown. He’s put the article online, and it has some lovely ideas for adding steampunk elements to the home.

Her living room features a chemical flask as a vase, a brass steamship clock (a wedding gift), a three-foot-tall 1930s-era radio she found at a garage sale, an ornate brass lamp with red glass she bought at a bazaar in Istanbul, thick red velvet curtains, dark wood flooring, a dulcimer handmade by her husband’s grandfather and distressed Victorian floorlamps with frosted bowls. For a few dollars a pound, she scrounged a salvage yard for a sack of gears that she is using to replace the knobs on her bedside tables. Her bed itself is lit with a brass swing-arm lamp she bought at a thrift store for $10. Her pride and joy is a self-made sun jar in her kitchen, a shredded $6 solar light she put in a frosted hermetic jar to use as a nightlight (it charges during the day and glows at night).

I’ve long admired the steampunk ideal of “retro-futurism,” and love the vibe of mass-produced mixed with one-off craftsmanship. This piece has a lot of ideas for making simple design changes that have a big impact, such as replacing drawer knobs with old gears.

Link (via BoingBoing)

(Incidentally, the Times eventually ran its own piece on steampunk, which includes some interesting links.)

Posted in Bad Things, Paint It Black | 1 Comment »

Zombie Cake Toppers

May 14th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Zombie Cake ToppersEtsy seller loopyboopy makes these winsome little zombies out of polymer clay. She’ll do a custom pair for your wedding, and will ship overseas.

Her store has other “creepy and whimsical” sculptures as well, so you can get one for a little companionship on your desk or bookshelf. I love the big, heavy-lidded eyes and the general expression of “Meh” on their faces.

Link (via The Anticraft)

Posted in Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

Superhero is the New Floral

May 13th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Web DressAccording to the fashion mavens over at the New York Times, whom I cannot guarantee weren’t huffing spray paint when they wrote this, all things “superhero” will be the hot trend in springtime fashion. Webbing, latex, primary colors, and space-age sleekness will feature prominently this season.

I’m not so much down with the primary colors, but the webbing and latex sound intriguing. Mentioned in the Times article are Rodarte’s cat-claw gloves, the Mara Hoffman crocheted cover-up shown here, and Givenchy gladiator boots, all of which would be at home in a gothy closet. I’d expect to see cheap knockoffs of these items in the near future, so this season might be a good time to add some pretty pieces to your wardrobe.

Link (via SciFi Scanner)

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

Monster Magnets

May 12th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Monster MagnetHere’s a cute diversion for long car rides: The Monster Magnet Tin by Mudpuppy has more than forty monster illustrated parts to mix and match into your own hideous creations. It includes four reversible backgrounds with scenes like haunted houses and alien planets, and the tin is just the right size for stacking backgrounds and monsters.

It goes without saying that these would also be cute stuck to the refrigerator.

Mudpuppy doesn’t seem to have its own Website but there are several places you can buy the magnet set, including here and here. The tin runs about $14.

Update: Susan was kind enough to point out in the comments that Mudpuppy does have its own Website; I’m not sure why Google failed me on that one.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Bittens, Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Happy Mothers Day

May 11th, 2008 by Cobwebs


(via tinylittledivision)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Artistic License

May 9th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Artistic License

Artist and culture jammer TradeMark G. often invokes the concept of Artistic License when asked, for instance, “Why on earth did you paint that toaster purple and install it on the ceiling?” or “Why do you drive a hearse that looks like a zebra?” He recently decided to back up his artistic cred with an actual license, so now he’s all official. He’s selling similar licenses so you, too, can back up your claim of being a misunderstood artist with legitimate-looking documentation.

If you live outside the U.S. and need a license for your own country–or if you just don’t want to spend the 20 bucks–I expect you could do something similar with photo editing software and a laminating machine (available at copy shops like Kinko’s).

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Undead Amigurumi

May 8th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Lil SpookiesEtsy member NeedleNoodles sells patterns for a wide variety of spooky amigurumi, including this skeletal bride and groom. Her malevolently cute little horde includes Lil Spookies, Undead, Knit Spookies, and Monsters.

If you’re not quite up to making your own, she also sells completed ones quite inexpensively. I think this teeny crocheted zombie is particularly fetching.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

Save the Pixies

May 7th, 2008 by Cobwebs

PixieHETFET (Humans for the Ethical Treatment of Fairies, Elves, and Trolls) is an organization devoted to stamping out the exploitation of faeries and other fantastical creatures. The site includes a chilling exposĂ© of the cruel conditions inside one of the “fairy factory farms” that produce the world’s supply of pixie dust.

Okay, if you want to get all technical about it, this is actually a viral ad site for the Hellboy sequel, but that makes it only marginally less amusing.

They even have a Cafepress store where you can get T-shirts and other “save the imaginary creatures” merchandise.

Please…give what you can, and make sure to look for the “Fairy Friendly®” symbol on the products you buy. Only you can prevent unnecessary cruelty to fantastical beings.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

I Had a Shoggoth, He Pleased Me…

May 6th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Comedy musician/Filker Tom Smith has taken the traditional song I Had a Cat… and done something dark and horrible with it.

His version is quite wonderful, with in-jokey references to horror and SF movies, and the music is infectious; Shadowboy has begged me to play this over and over and over and over….

You can download it in a low-res format for free, or high-res for $.99. Or you can just play it a zillion times online, which is where we’re at right now.

Link (Hat tip to SeaJade)

Posted in Bittens, Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

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