"Run-of-the-mill" seems like a modestly accurate way to describe myself in terms of horror fandom. In certain respects I find that valuable, since ideally I can make an appeal to those like myself, to those who may be testing the waters, and hopefully to the hardcore horror fans as well. (And I sincerely encourage feedback, especially from the latter.) It wasn't until several years ago, the present time of this writing being December of '09 to give perspective, that the genre genuinely appealed to me and I owe all that to the film adaptation of Stephen King's 'IT'. After that, it was a slow and steady progression that grew into watching more Stephen King film adaptations, then into watching general horror films. In more recent years it's branched from solely films into different mediums, namely: comics (comic books, manga, graphic novels, webcomics, etc.), purely written literature, and different games.

But let's get to the point, shall we? The Darkley Niche is something I've constructed after the comic-in-progress that a friend and myself plan on self-publishing, an anthology of short horror stories much in the same vein as 'Tales from the Crypt' and similar titles. The series centers around a faceless persona we've affectionately dubbed Alan Darkley, the Niche's namesake, and a cast of storytellers whose tales fall within particular subgenres and sister genres of horror. This site is the drawing board, if you will, where everything posted is either a form of research or a roughing out of ideas. It's all relevant in some fashion. By exploring these different horror stories and their mediums a better understanding and influence of the genre, as well as inspiration, can be put into the comic. Even if you have no personal interest in the project, perhaps you can glean something from the reviews and the like. And if nothing else, the Niche will work to serve my own purposes.

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Meet The Darkley Storytellers

Meet The Darkley Storytellers

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Well, here's yours truly. The name's Drew, in case you were wondering. The Niche is my personal site, while the comic-in-progress is a partnered effort with Don, a lifelong friend of mine. We collaborate on the stories, but my partner's the writer in the outfit while I am the illustrator. This is currently little more than a side project, but we hope to make something of it.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fear Clinic

It's the Niche's first post, and while I considered beginning with a review of the film adaptation of Stephen King's 'IT', which has a special significance with myself, I've respectfully decided to engage it another day and start with something more recent.

'Fear Clinic' is a short, but very sweet, five episode web series by FEARnet and directed by Robert Hall ('Laid To Rest') with a cast of big names in the horror film industry, including: Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger, 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'), Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees, 'Friday the 13th' VII-X), Danielle Harris (Jamie Lloyd, 'Halloween' 4-5), and Lisa Wilcox (Alice Johnson, 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' 4-5). The premise entails Dr. Andover (Englund), who has an experimental method of curing patients of their personal phobias using the "fear chamber", a device designed by the good doctor that causes the patient to confront their worst fear. Unfortunately, there seems to be a side effect: the fear starts manifesting into reality. And if one fear wasn't bad enough, they'll have to contend with five: hydrophobia (fear of water), scotophobia (fear of the dark), entomophobia (fear of insects), claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), and misophobia (fear of germs and contamination). But Dr. Andover does have the assistance of Nurse Owen (Wilcox) and paroled criminal turned orderly Villatoro (Hodder), though they quickly begin to lose faith when the fears start killing patients.

Kane Hodder (left) as Villatoro and Robert Englund (right) as Dr. Andover

I absolutely loved the premise, the cast, and the effects used to bring the fears to life. My only complaint was how short 'Fear Clinic' itself was. I give it four-and-a-half out of five inkblots.

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