The Art of Darkness

Dinosaur Hunting License

May 31st, 2016 by Cobwebs

Dinosaur Hunting LicenseThe Museum of Hoaxes has scans of a dinosaur hunting license that was issued in Vernal, Utah in the 1950s. Vernal is rich in dinosaur fossils, and the Vernal Chamber of Commerce handed out the licenses to drum up tourist interest. They’re apparently still available (the site that MoH links to is down, but here’s an updated license), although I notice that the name of the Deputy Lizard Warden has been changed; apparently Kids These Days haven’t heard of Alley Oop.

Something similar to this would be easy to create on a home computer, and you can change the license to the monster or cryptid of your choice. Just be sure to specify bag limits and other restrictions; you wouldn’t want to wipe out the local vampire population by over-hunting. They’d be a cute party favor, and would also look nice framed on a wall.

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Growing Darkness

May 30th, 2016 by Cobwebs

The Shadow Family attended Balticon this weekend, and one of the activities was a showing of short films. I thought this one was cute.

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Gilligan’s Link Dump

May 27th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Flez – Etsy shop full of bat-related items. Look at these squee-worthy magnets.

Funko Dark Crystal – Funko just announced a new series of figurines. There’s even a teensy Fizzgig.

Gothic “Beach Reads” – Goth Shopaholic has a roundup of gloomy summer reading.

Lego Abandoned Victorian Houses – Master Builder Mike Doyle created some amazingly-detailed “haunted houses” out of Lego bricks.

Michael is Coming Home – There’s a new, John Carpenter-approved, Halloween movie in the works.

The Dictionary of Victorian London – A phenomenal resource for anyone interested in Victorian London. See also The Cat’s Meat Shop, a sort of blog/appendix.

Who Wants to Live Forever – The Tenors do a gothy cover of Queen.

Living with the Dead – A look at cemeteries with alternate uses. I sort of love the restaurant one. (Hat tip to pdq)

Veggiemancer – Cute animated short in which a young “veggiemancer” accidentally creates a turnip monster.

Merrylin Cryptid Museum – Gaff-maker extraordinare Alex CF has a wonderful fictional museum of oddities. (Hat tip to DeVries)

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Mummified Fairy How-To

May 26th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Dead FairyI mentioned the Dead Fairy Hoax a while back, opining that something similar might be made using a miniature skeleton as a base. I finally decided to take a crack at making one, and I have to say that I’m rather pleased at how it turned out.

The project was much less difficult than I’d feared; there are a fair number of steps, but each individual one is pretty easy. (Also, it’s supposed to be a half-rotted corpse; if you mess something up, how would anybody know?)

If you’d like to try your hand at something similar, I’ve posted a tutorial here.

(This post was first published in October 2009; earning me a spot on BoingBoing and allowing me to sport a Been Boinged Nerd Merit Badge. To date, it is my most popular post by a margin almost too wide to measure.)

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Labyrinth “Junk Lady” Cosplay

May 25th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Junk LadyJen and John from EPBOT are DIY-ing fools, creating amazing props and costumes from “dirt cheap” materials. When they learned that this year’s DragonCon was going to feature a Labyrinth-themed ball, they immediately started work on an appropriate cosplay costume. Rather than choosing one of the main characters, they decided to focus on the rarely-portrayed Junk Lady.

The costume isn’t done yet, but they shared a “first look” and it is awesome.

They’re striving for total screen accuracy with her junk pile, and are going all-in:

Me: “John, that toy desk-organizer with a built-in abacus on the back of her pile is barely visible even with the TV brightness set to max. Do you REALLY need to build one from scratch?

John: “…. ” [already in the garage building one from scratch]

The post has loads of build notes and some great ideas for building the costume frame, just in case you’re looking for some Halloween inspiration. This is a brilliant project and I can’t wait to see the final result.

Update: – They just did another build post, detailing some of the junk. It is awesome.

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Seen Online

May 24th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Someone: Raising a family is hard
Necromancer: Not if they’re buried close enough to each other
Someone: What?
Necromancer: What?

The Shining is my favorite movie about what can happen when you spend too much time with family.

The only reason I shop at consignment shops is I like wearing haunted dead people pants.

Goodnight, sleep tight, let the bedbugs bite.
“You mean don’t let the bedbugs bite, Dad.”
The bugs must feed on you, son. A debt is owed.

Every time you use glitter glue, remember that it used to be a My Little Pony

Work emails get way more eldritch when you read I.T. as IT.

No matter the situation the expression ” I’m dying. ” is always the truth.

Feminist construction workers aren’t any better. They subjectify women as we walk by. “You’re beautiful on the inside!” they scream at me.

It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness can change my bad mood into a suspicious bad mood.

Goodnight. Dream safely. As long as you don’t dream about the Door in the Fog you’ll be just fine. Maybe dream about bunnies. Sleep well.

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West of Loathing

May 23rd, 2016 by Cobwebs

I’ve mentioned the web-based game Kingdom of Loathing previously. The team responsible for that game just released a teaser video for their new venture, West of Loathing:

You can sign up for newsletter updates here. If you play Kingdom of Loathing, one of their ascension challenge paths is Avatar of West of Loathing, which allows you to play as one of the character classes (Cow Puncher, Beanslinger, or Snake Oiler), providing a taste of WoL content.

Looks like fun.

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Age of Link Dumps

May 20th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Dear Dracula – Cute children’s book about a little boy who writes to Dracula rather than Santa Claus.

The Deadly Pain Medicine Sold by Skeletons – We need more modern pharmaceutical ad campaigns to feature well-dressed skeletons.

Outer Space Vodka – This vodka’s bottle resembles an alien head and would be perfect for a UFO-themed party.

Cicada Recipes – Some ideas for cooking with insects.

Likely Stories – Trailer for an upcoming four-part TV series featuring stories by Neil Gaiman.

The Beauty of Horror – Adult coloring book for horror fans.

Bat Squeaks While Being Tickled – This video of a juvenile fruit bat squeaking happily as he’s being scritched is ridiculously adorable. (Hat tip to DeVries)

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – This ‘toon makes me eager to be a grandparent.

What a Way to Go – A list of unusual causes of death. I’m surprised the list doesn’t include Jim Fixx, but maybe that’s less “unusual” and more “really, really ironic.”

I Hate Fairyland – Series of graphic novels following the adventures of Gert, a forty-year-old woman trapped in a six-year-old’s body who’s been stuck in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly 30 years. NPR reviews it here.

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Wonderland Expedition Kit

May 19th, 2016 by Cobwebs

Mome RathThat Lucky Girl is a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so for her birthday her boyfriend made her a “Wonderland Expedition Kit.”

In 1867 a biology professor was sent to investigate a mysterious fire at the Liddell household. This kit is full of samples and documentation from the final known trip down the rabbit hole.

Included in the kit:
-Card Guard specimen, mounted
-fetal Mome Rath
-caterpillar, preserved
-rose painted red
-raven’s feather (like a writing desk?)
-pocket watch
-looking glass
-Cheshire Cat teeth
-Cheshire Cat fur samples
-framed photo of Lewis Carroll
-various photos of Wonderland inhabitants
-Eat Me and Drink Me bottles
-vial of water from Pool of Tears
-bottled mushroom bits, one from each side
-map of nonsense occurrences in England, leading to rabbit hole
-map of Wonderland
-typed copy of “You Are Old, Father William”
-typed letter from Professor Lake, detailing his journey to England
-half-burned print of the courtroom scene (removed from the scorched remains of the Liddell house)

That’s some true devotion right there.

The entire kit is simply wonderful; I love all the thoughtful little details.

(This post was first published in August 2008; I’ll be doing a few days of “blast from the past” archive posts in a probably-vain effort to catch up with real life.)

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The Necrocard

May 18th, 2016 by Cobwebs

NecrocardIf you found a laminator to make yourself an Artistic License, here’s another amusing card you can put in your wallet.

Writer and performance artist Stewart Home decided to explore the relationship between sex and death by creating donor cards enabling the bearers to leave their body for sexual experimentation. His description of public reaction to the cards is interesting, and it brings up the deeper philosophical question: Is necrophilia still wrong if you’ve got the corpse’s specific consent?

Stewart copied the design of the NHS donor card to create his version. The design isn’t particularly attractive, so if you’re going to make your own you might want to experiment with the color and style.

I may make up a bunch of these as favors for my next Halloween party.

(This post was first published in June 2008; I’ll be doing a few days of “blast from the past” archive posts in a probably-vain effort to catch up with real life.)

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