The Art of Darkness

A Most Violent Link Dump

February 13th, 2015 by Cobwebs

12 Zodiac Signs Reborn as Terrifying Monsters – Today’s horoscope: You will be messily slaughtered.

Vintage Monster Valentines – These Topps Valentines featuring classic monsters are fabulous.

Meet the Family – A collection of antique cabinet cards, surreally altered by artist Colin Batty. You can see some examples and buy prints of individual cards at Peculiarium (about halfway down the page).

Handicorn – Turn your boring old hand into a unicorn with these finger puppets. I love this much more than I should.

Enchanted Forest Mushroom Lights – Instructable for making li’l glowy mushrooms. Be sure to check the comments, where one person shared a pretty blue version.

The Stock Photobomber – Art director Matthew Vescovo amuses himself by photoshopping his image into stock photography.

Origami Vampire Fangs – There are several steps, but origami-wise this is a fairly straightforward design. (Hat tip to xJane)

omgliterallydead – The Instagram account of Skellie, a plastic skeleton that appears to have a better social life than I do.

Texts from Jane Eyre – Mallory Ortberg of The Toast has a book which imagines texts from various literary characters.

Cthulhu Valentines – A very dapper Old One woos his fishy paramour.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Knifetank: The Hauntening

February 12th, 2015 by Cobwebs


It’s your lucky day. Sure your bus broke down and you can’t find your iPhone, but there’s a sinister mansion down the street that will surely have a phone you can use…


Game designer Doctor Popular and some friends created this “point-and-stab” adventure as a Web-based game in 2010. He’s recently updated and released it as an iPhone app, and I would play it for the title alone.

It’s described as “our short love letter to Monkey Island and the adventure games of yore,” and one of the comments on the app version begins, “Tip.if you can’t find a way past the mutant chicken lion thing go tap around in the kitchen,” so it definitely sounds like a winner.

(via Laughing Squid)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Haggis Pops

February 11th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Haggis PopsOnce in a while, in my webby wanderings, I encounter an idea that just completely smacks my gob. This Instructable for making haggis “lollipops” is such an idea. It is just marvelously out there in left field.

Haggis, um, connoisseur PenfoldPlant walks you through each step of making the wee haggises (haggi?), from cleaning the sheep stomach to preparing the offal, with plenty of wry commentary and suggestions for extracurricular activities like using a drinking straw to inflate the lungs (fun!).

He brilliantly uses a ping-pong ball as a pattern for cutting out bite-size bits of stomach to wrap the pops; the honeycomb texture of the finished lollies makes them look like pretty little mushrooms.

If you can’t find sheep bits or don’t feel like making your own haggis from scratch, similar savory pops could be made using cow stomach (which seems to be more widely available in supermarkets) and the sausage mixture of your choice.

It’s too late for Burns Night this year, but this is worth saving for next year.

Be sure to check out some of PenfoldPlant’s other Instructables, like Frankenstein’s Meatballs and–just in time for Valentine’s Day–Candy Hearts (made with real heart). I like this guy. He’s twisty.

(Hat tip to Kitten Herder)

Posted in Resources | 2 Comments »

Addams Family View-Master Slides

February 10th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Addams Family View-MasterHey, do you guys remember View-Master stereoscopes? If not, you can read the following in Peter Falk’s “When I was your age, television was called books” voice from The Princess Bride: They were a toy that looked like binoculars, into which you slid a paper disc containing color transparency film cels. When viewed through the lenses, the images appeared to be three-dimensional. They were originally intended to be an alternative to scenic postcards, and the first discs featured natural wonders like the Grand Canyon.

Eventually they expanded into other subject material, and in the 60s and 70s they were immensely popular as supplementary marketing media for cartoons, TV shows, and movies. The discs were usually accompanied by a booklet which explained the contents of each slide, so you’d view an image and then read its description in the booklet. (Yes, we were lame.)


Over in the Facebook Elders of Goth group, “Roman Gheesling” recently shared a link to a View-Master set featuring The Addams Family.

He noted:

“Portrait of Gomez” is the fourth episode of season 3 of The Addams Family. This rare View-Master packet recreating the episode was part of merchandising for the show. Sawyer’s, the makers of View-Master, always sent their own photographers to set when creating licensed View-Master packets of TV shows and always shot their slides on Kodachrome color film.

Thus, this images in this View-Master packet are the *only* color images in sequence depicting an actual Addams Family episode. In short, it’s the only color “episode” of the original TV series.

I found seeing the Addams Family in vibrant high-chroma Kodachrome color quite weird. Even the in-color Raul Julia/Anjelica Huston film had a muted color palette to stay in harmony with the original ink wash illustrations of Chas Addams.

He’s quite right; the colors are rather jarring. Here’s the first slide, along with its accompanying booklet description:


A full moon shed its eerie light over the front yard of a gloomy Victorian mansion on the outskirts of town. Reveling in the silvery brightness, a strange-looking family moonbathed in the yard.

Morticia Addams, wearing dark moonglasses, sat under a tree, affectionately watching her children, Wednesday and Pugsley. With little buckets and pails, they were busily building up an oddly human-shaped pile of sand. Her husband Gomez, in a gaudy 1910-style bathing suit, peered at the moon through a telescope, while bald, beady-eyed Uncle Fester sprawled in a beach chair.

Morticia looked at the pile of sand. “Are you all right, Mama?” she asked it. “Getting enough air?”

“Fine—fine,” came a muffled voice. “I took a real deep breath before they covered me up.”

(Told you we were lame.)

The site–it makes me oddly happy that there’s a site devoted to nothing but View-Master reels–has some other color episodes of black-and-white TV, such as Dark Shadows and The Munsters. If nothing else, they’re a rich source of avatar thumbnails.

Posted in Resources | 4 Comments »

Hors Cadre

February 9th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Hors Cadre (which translates roughly to “removed from the framework”) is a cute animated short about an old Scottish man who wants to sell his mansion, but his ancestors aren’t too keen about the idea.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

The Wedding Link Dump

February 6th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Knitting Wizardry – Book of knitting projects with a “magic” theme.

Plush Valentine’s Day Stegosaurus – Who wouldn’t want a stegosaurus for Valentine’s Day? Nobody interesting, that’s for sure.

Natura Morta – Photographer Maria Ionova-Gribina takes lovely photos of dead animals surrounded by flowers.

Why Amelia Bedelia is Literally the Most Terrifying Character Ever – I’ve always assumed there was a lost first book entitled, “Amelia Bedelia and the Frontal Lobotomy,” but this works too.

Night Vale Girl Scout – Great cosplay of a girl scout from the fictional troop in Welcome to Night Vale.

H.P. Lovecraft Beers – Narragansett Brewery is releasing a line of Lovecraft-themed beers. (via Shellhawk)

Lana Crooks – Artist who makes lovely, macabre anatomical sculptures from felted wool. The Death’s Head moth is especially striking. (via Cat)

How to Make Cuneiform Tablet Cookies – For the archaeology buff on your gift list.

Urban Druid – There’s a whole potential post-apocalyptic backstory here. It’d be an unusual cosplay idea or an addition to an RPG milieu.

Is That a Spider on Your Dress or Are You Happy to See Me? – I’m not sure this is an either/or question. Really interesting concept dress featuring a robotic spider. (Hat tip to cookie)

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Pet Ghost in a Jar

February 5th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Pet GhostA couple of Halloweens ago, Hallmark released a trio of novelty “Pet Ghosts:” Jars which used the Pepper’s Ghost stage illusion to make a little spectre appear when a button on top was pressed. There were three, Julian Hijinks, Genevieve Ruffles, and Maxwell McSpooky, and a label on the back described their personalities. You can see one in action here, and see closeup photos of the front and back of Maxwell’s jar here and here.

They were cute, but they were also ten bucks apiece (and since they were discontinued they’re more like $25). Although not quite as elaborate, the PennyWise blog has a very cute DIY version which is a lot cheaper and easy to customize. I like his little beady eyes.

If you wanted to get fancy, you could use the same fluffy ghost to create a real Pepper’s Ghost. Googling “miniature pepper’s ghost” turns up several fairly straightforward tutorials: Make, Chest of Books, and Diorama Man are all good examples.

This is a cute, easy novelty that’d look nice perched on a shelf or as a desk accessory. Everybody needs a pet ghost of their very own.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

This Would be an Awesome Hobby

February 4th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Werewolf Lecture

Self-described (at least according to Google Translate) showman Camille Renversade has a marvelous routine where he dresses in Victorian-esque garb and gives lectures about the anatomy and habits of supernatural creatures. Last September he gave a presentation on “la malédiction des loups” at the Lyon Museum of Natural History.

From his site, it looks like he does this sort of thing fairly often: He’s got lecture material and props covering mermaids, dragons, and what may be my favorite version of Nessie ever. Even if you don’t want to bother with running everything through Translate, his site is definitely worth browsing just for his photos: His presentations involve a whole collection of photos, illustrations, notes, and other supporting documentation.

If you feel like you need an excuse to dress up as a steampunk adventurer and/or create more props for your cabinet of curiosities, this would be a lot of fun. Give lectures at museums or libraries, or make it part of your persona for cosplay.

(via Propnomicon)

Posted in Resources | 4 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

February 3rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

  1. This song by Siouxsie and the Banshees juxtaposes images of racial disharmony with mundane transactions in a Chinese restaurant.
  2. “The Two Bottles of Relish” is a short story about an ingenious way to dispose of a corpse…provided you can stomach it. Who wrote this classic tale?
    A) Ambrose Bierce
    B) John William Polidori
    C) Théophile Gautier
    D) Lord Dunsany
    E) Edgar Allan Poe
  3. Who ate a census-taker’s liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti?
  4. A candlelit dinner of rancid, moldy food, the stench of which allowed ghosts to “almost taste” it, was the centerpiece of a party which Harry Potter attended for whom?
    A) The Bloody Baron
    B) Nearly Headless Nick
    C) Moaning Myrtle
    D) Professor Binns
    E) The Grey Lady
  5. Persephone was doomed to spend half the year in the underworld because she ate the seeds of what fruit?
  6. This cheese-tastic 80s comedy/horror movie involves a man discovering a sweet, addictive substance bubbling out of the ground and marketing it as an ice cream substitute. Sadly, it’s actually a parasitic organism which eats its victims from the inside out.
    A) It’s Alive
    B) Bad Taste
    C) Love at First Bite
    D) Bio Zombie
    E) The Stuff
  7. In the movie Se7en, the victim representing the sin of Gluttony is force-fed what dish until his stomach explodes?
  8. Cannibal! The Musical! is a black comedy loosely based on the story of whom?
    A) Alferd Packer
    B) The Sawney Bean Clan
    C) Liver-Eating Johnson
    D) The Donner Party
    E) Boone Helm
  9. Stephen King (writing under his Richard Bachman pseudonym) penned this novel about a lawyer cursed by a Gypsy to lose weight no matter how much he eats.
  10. In the horror comedy Zombieland, the character “Tallahassee” (played by Woody Harrelson) is desperately seeking what junk food?
    A) Ho Hos
    B) Cheez-Its
    C) Twinkies
    D) Doritos
    E) Zingers

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 7 Comments »

Mac Sabbath

February 2nd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Describing their genre as “Drive Thru Metal,” Mac Sabbath is a heavy metal band who dresses as demonic versions of McDonald’s mascots and performs fast food-themed reinterpretations of Black Sabbath songs. I like that their Facebook page takes pains to assure you that they’re a real band.

NO – This is not a joke page to sell T-Shirts.

Yes- This band is exactly what you want it to be.

“MAC SABBATH” Is indeed: Ronald Osbourne and the whole gang in full regalia playing all their hits like “Sweet Beef” and “Chicken for the Slaves” in a multi-media show with video, theatrics, audience participation and sing alongs.

Here’s their cover of “Iron Man:”

Yeah…I got nothin’.

(via Laughing Squid)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

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