The Art of Darkness

Kingdom of Loathing

December 31st, 2014 by Cobwebs

KOL LogoIn all the time I’ve been running this silly blog, how have I never written about the Kingdom of Loathing?

A place where your character classes include options like “Seal Clubber,” “Disco Bandit,” and “Sauceror.”

A place where your familiars can include a Levitating Potato, a Sabre-Toothed Lime, a Ninja Snowflake, and a Cheshire Bat.

A place where almost every combat encounter includes sly pop-culture references, whether you’re fighting the enslaved spirit of a jellyfish that didn’t quite make it to Jellyfish Heaven (where jellyfish go, to get away from Mormons and drunk Eskimos), The Big Wisniewski (“Hey, I’m not Mr. Wisniewski, man,” he says. “Just call me ‘This Guy.’ That’s me.”), or a Cloaca-Cola Soldier (who’s stuck in a time warp, still striving against the Dyspepsi-Cola forces in a Cola War that never ends).

It is a very silly game.

Originally launched in 2003, KOL is notable for its simple stick-figure graphics and its weird humor.

From Wikipedia:

In KoL, a player’s character fights monsters for experience, meat (the game’s currency), and items, through a turn-based system. Players may also interact with each other through player versus player competition, participate in the in-game economy by trading goods and services, organize their characters into clans, work together to complete clan dungeons, and speak to each other in many different chat channels.

You start the game as a novice, tasked to save the Kingdom from the influence of the Naughty Sorceress and restore King Ralph to the throne. You undertake various quests along the way, gaining knowledge, unlocking skills, and gathering pet familiars. After your final showdown with the Naughty Sorceress you can choose to “ascend,” taking on a new character class and running the whole game over again.

Unlike many other “free-to-play” games, KOL really is entirely free: You can get through the entire game without spending a penny. However, the game is maintained entirely through donations, so there are lots of extras available if you want to spend money. Each $10 donation to the game will gain you a “Mr. Accessory” token, which can be equipped as-is to boost stats or used as currency at the game’s Mr. Store to unlock exclusive content and items. (There is, incidentally, a way to get the extra stuff for free if you’re diligent. Many users buy Mr. Accessory tokens with real money and then re-sell them in the Mall for Meat [the in-game currency]. If you work hard and earn lots of Meat, you can buy the tokens and then exchange them at Mr. Store.)

An invaluable resource for the game is Coldfront, a sort of catchall discussion site, and particularly the site’s wiki. The KOL community will help you navigate quests, unravel obscure references, and choose the best equipment and buffs for a particular task.

If you decide to give the game a try (or if you’re already a player) and want a hand, look me up: I’m Cobwebs in the game, and will be happy to welcome you into the Shadow Manor clan.

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

The Worst Muse

December 30th, 2014 by Cobwebs

The Worst Muse (@WorstMuse) is the alter ego of writer Rachel Edidin (@RaeBeta). With the tagline, “No, seriously, go for it. It’ll be a bestseller,” she’s clearly the Muse that Terpsichore and the rest tried to pretend they weren’t related to.

Although to be fair I would read the hell out of a book about werecorgis.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 5 Comments »

The Face Thief

December 29th, 2014 by Cobwebs

In El Ladrón de Caras, a woman visits a private detective and reveals that she’s being pursued by a criminal who steals faces. The film was created by students at the PrimerFrame school of animation, and manages to tell the whole story without dialogue.

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Planet of the Link Dumps

December 26th, 2014 by Cobwebs

The Witches’ Frolic – Scans of a 19th-century book about witches. Some great artwork, perfect for collages and other crafts.

15 Lovecraftian Stories – A roundup of stories “to read once you’ve read all of Lovecraft.”

What if Jaws Was a Disney Movie? – This recut trailer takes liberties with the original material, but it’s still amusing.

Delta Green – Great resource for expanding the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

Make A Christmas Krampus – Too late for this year (and too late when originally published, since Krampus comes on Dec. 5th), but a fun project for next year.

I am Summoned – Odd little comic interlude by Jemma Salume.

8 Sensational Female Murderers from History – A roundup.

The Nervous Tick – Etsy shop specializing in cute(?) li’l tick-shaped brooches.

One Perfect Shot – Twitter account which showcases one perfect frame per movie. If nothing else, it’s an awesome source of Facebook banner images.

8 Miles Wide – Music video for Storm Large’s song. Lyrics NSFW. Caution: Earworm.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Happy [Fill in Your Favorite Winter Holiday]!

December 25th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Tree Monster

However you celebrate, may your days be merry and bright and your trees nonlethal.

(via Para Abnormal)

Bonus Link: If you’d like a little bittersweet with your holiday, go read Truman Capote’s short story A Christmas Memory

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

Secret Santa Exchange List

December 24th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Our sixth Secret Santa Can Suck It pretend-gift exchange was heaps of fun, and everyone’s imaginary gifts were great.

Here’s a list of all the participants. Follow each link below to see what they chose for their giftees!

Kathy doesn’t blog, so she sent her gift to me for posting here. It’s splendid.

My Gift to WitchArachne would be a full ride ticket to CostumeCon 33 which will take place in beautiful Charleston, Virginia in April 2015, all expenses paid.


Included in this gift is an open cheque to the fabric store of your choice where you may purchase whatever fabric, patterns and notions you need to make your costume(s).


All masquerade entry fees are included. Secret Santa only asks that you post your pictures on Art of Darkness so that we may bask in reflected glory.


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Seen Online

December 23rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Technically he was created by Dr. Cookie, that’s why they call him The Cookie Monster.

“Mommy, I don’t wanna grow up and die!”
“Oh. Well, you can die at any age, really.”

Argghhh just found a spider in my bed, I vaguely remember going to that spider club but…oh god what did I do

May the gargoyle of happiness squat on your buttress.

Throw a surprise party for a psychic and destroy his reputation.

If you think Johnny Depp is sexy, you’re basically attracted to Snoopy’s brother Spike

“Um.” – 1st horse that got ridden


Men like being chased too but not with an axe, apparently.

1. Put on clown shoes.
2. Sit in toilet stall with feet pulled up.
3. Wait for someone to enter other stall.
4. Slowly lower feet to floor

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »


December 22nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

In this unsettling short film by animator Ethan Clarke, three passengers wake up on a train they don’t remember boarding.

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The Link Dump of Eleanor Rigby

December 19th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Talking to the Dead Prank – “Professional” prankster Jack Vale managed to convince people that their own cell phones were communicating with the dead.

Encyclopedia Gothica – A guide to goth vernacular, “from absinthe to zombies.”

DIY Floating Candles – EPBOT has a great tutorial for making Harry Potter-inspired “floating candles.”

Searching for Krampus – Interesting article on the Old World roots of Krampus, plus his growing popularity elsewhere.

Black Lullaby – Joshua Hoffine, known for his excellent horror photography, has branched out with a film.

Hades Comics – Amusement from Happle Tea. There’s another one here.

New Wave Tarot – Amusing tarot deck featuring artists like Siouxsie Sioux, Peter Murphy, and David Bowie.

Meatloaf of Rat – I don’t usually pay much attention to food designed to look disgusting, but I sort of love the bug-eyed look on this rat’s face.

here’s that bad advice you were hoping for – Carefully-curated scathing advice column responses.

Majestic Owls – Owls don’t get enough love on this here blog; time to remedy that. Here’s a lovely roundup of photos of owls, plus a bonus link of an owl swimming. (Hat tip to Kaitlin Michelle)

Posted in Link Dump | No Comments »

Yet More Stuff I Found While Looking Around

December 18th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Egad; it’s another bunch of random stuff I’ve found which 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.)

Paranormal Pretzels

Paranormal Pretzels

Although I’m always impressed with people who have the patience and skill to pull off intricate edibles, these pretzels are definitely more my speed. Cute, easy to make in bulk, and simple enough that kids could help.
Brain Hat

Knit Brain Hat

These hilariously awesome “thinking caps” are custom-made by Etsy seller tomspecsdiggs. It might be just possible to DIY something reasonably similar by sewing coils of home-decorating trim to a knit cap.
Corpse Prank

Corpse Prank

If you’re having some landscaping done and want to cause some excitement, this would be the way to do it.
Skeleton Hands Hair Clips

Skeleton Hands Hair Clips

These were available on Etsy but Morena’s Corner has easy instructions for making your own.
Glow in the Dark Cupcakes

Glow in the Dark Cupcakes

I have mixed feelings about these cupcakes by Hoosier Homemade. Tonic water glows under black light (and it’s great at Halloween parties to serve in mixed drinks or put in a tabletop fountain), but it’s also bitter. This recipe uses it both as the liquid component of the frosting and as a finishing dip, and responding to questions in the comments the author says that you can taste the tonic “a bit.” Adults might not mind, but little kids probably wouldn’t approve. If you’re making them for adults, you may as well embrace the flavor and make Gin and Tonic Cupcakes instead. Then dip as for the original recipe.
Corpse Coins

Corpse Coins

Madame Talbot’s Victorian Lowbrow makes a lot of interesting framed curios. This one features coins supposedly taken from a corpse’s eyes, along with a short description of that particular funeral practice. It’d be an attractive and super-easy addition to a wunderkammer or a sideshow-type haunt. (And be sure to check out all of the other curios on those pages; there are all kinds of great ideas.)
Santa Sweater

“Hail Santa” Sweater

loveandasandwich made this splendid sweater to wear to holiday parties. It’d be perfect for a company “ugly sweater” contest.
Cobweb Tiara

Cobweb Tiara

Alexandra Tiara had this listed in their Folksy shop, but it’s been sold. Something pretty close could be DIY’d with wire and patience.
Key Rack

“Alohomora” Key Rack

This Harry Potter-inspired key rack is available on Etsy, but wouldn’t be hard to DIY with some screw-in cup hooks.
Batman Cake

Batman Cake

When Geeks Wed did a feature on “half-nerdy” wedding cakes split between traditional icing and fandom-related stuff. This one particularly amused me because the subtext is so clearly, “I want lots of pretty flowers and ivory icing and it’ll be so elegant.” “I’m Batman.”

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

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