"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.

Be sure to browse over the column of banners below if you're looking for posts on a particular topic. (And at the very bottom of the blog, if you would like to consult the complete listing of post labels.) Otherwise, scroll down past them to get to the most recent articles. Likewise, refer to the right side for our latest tweets.

Meet The Darkley Storytellers

Meet The Darkley Storytellers

About Myself

My photo
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.

artwork by yours truly

artwork and artist features

movies, short films, TV, webisodes, etc.

frightful films for your year-round festivities

book reviews: consult the niche's necronomicon

comic-related news and reviews

zed in the head randomness

Friday, December 18, 2009

Grüß Vom Krampus

Or as the English would say, "Greetings from Krampus!" This traditional season's greetings can be found on many vintage Christmas postcards, these kind being particularly popular around the turn of the 19th century 'til World War I, which feature a figure of notoriety known especially to children in Austria.

example of a vintage Krampus postcard

Saint Nicholas, the model for our American Santa Claus, is said to deliver gifts to children in Europe on December the 6th. While Santa deals with the good and the bad accordingly, giving each child their appropriate comeuppance, Nicholas leaves the dirty work to another, namely Krampus. On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, known as Krampusnacht ("Krampus Night"), Krampus goes about scaring children (and sometimes women), flogging with rusty chains and whipping with a birch switch those who are naughty, and carrying off the worst in a basket to never be seen again. Krampus is traditionally depicted as a monstrous devil or beast of sorts, covered in shaggy fur, cloven hooves, clawed fingers, horns, and a long, red tongue lolling out of his mouth.

Krampus by MissMonster -- She's currently selling
Krampus postcards and t-shirts, but for a limited time,
so if you're interested take a look.
I'm a little ashamed to admit that I hadn't even heard of Krampus until this very month, and by way of Stephen Colbert on his television show 'The Colbert Report', no less. (No disrespect towards him, as I thoroughly enjoy his program.) As Colbert himself said, we need to bring Krampus to America. As far as I can tell, the closest we have to a figure like Krampus in our Christmas culture is Dr. Seuss' children's book character, the Grinch. And by all accounts, I wouldn't be surprised if Krampus was the original inspiration for the furry, green fellow.

Dr. Seuss' 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas!', directed by
Chuck Jones -- A similar resemblence to Krampus, wouldn't you agree?
Also voiced by horror film legend Boris Karloff ('Frankenstein', 1931).

Fortunately, others have seen the need to rectify this situation. There appears to be a horror film underway that will cast Krampus, the movie's namesake, as its subject theme. I'll try to post more on that when it draws nearer to release. But until then, there's more Christmastime horror to come here at the Darkley Niche. Speilberg's 'Gremlins' and Burton's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' are next on the Niche's viewing agenda, so stay tuned for special features on these two holiday classics.

No comments:

Post a Comment