"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

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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.

artwork by yours truly

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, prelude

From the author of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', which will soon be followed by 'Dawn of the Dreadfuls'* (release date of March 23rd), a prequel to the former, comes another historical fiction/horror novel. 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' follows the sixteenth U.S. American President's lifelong vendetta against nineteenth century vampires.

It sounds good in theory, but the premise seems to reverberate somewhat with that of 'The Washingtonians'. Granted, the latter has cannibals, not vampires. But I couldn't help drawing a parallel, at least in my own mind. (The axe used in the Lincoln trailer didn't help, either. Yes, I recall that Lincoln was known to be handy with an axe, but Washington has garnered an association as well, even if it is a myth.) Still, I'm sure that this novel will make for an interesting read.

Besides, how can you not give it a try after watching the trailer? How many books even have trailers for that matter? And while we're on the subject of film, apparently Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, according to The Hollywood Reporter, are teaming together to make a movie adaptation of said book. If Tim Burton is on board with the story then I'm certainly willing to give it a read.

Here's's review:
"Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call 'Milk Sickness.'

'My baby boy...' she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, 'henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose...' Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation..."

Also, in the recent light of stories the likes of 'Twilight', Lord knows vampires need some redemption. Each contribution to help regain the genre's more dignified status quo is welcome in my book. 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' is doing just that, while making use of the period to add some additional flavor to the story.

On a side note, this is the Darkley Niche's fiftieth post. In the grand scheme of things it's a small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. I'm sure that the Darkley storytellers would celebrate if they were able. Well, perhaps only Vicki. The other storytellers aren't as keen on computers.

*Read The Zed Word's recent post about this upcoming novel for how to enter to win an advanced copy of 'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' through Quirk Books.

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