"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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

birthdays and memorials

This past week marks a number of birthdays for both living and deceased actors, as well as a recent death, who have played a role in horror cinema. So for this post we're going to briefly touch on each, highlighting certain parts that they have played, respectfully. Normally we wouldn't mark the birthdays of deceased actors, mind you, but because of the close dates it seemed too conspicuous to ignore.

(May 26, 1913 - August 11, 1994)

Cushing seen here as Van Helsing in 'Dracula' (1958)

For Don and myself, Peter Cushing will be best remembered in the role of Grand Moff Tarkin from 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope'. After all, we were sci-fi geeks first, branching out into horror fandom later on. Especially Don in regards to the former, who had, and still does have, a love for 'Star Wars'. Lucas aside, Cushing had a history with Hammer Film Productions, cast as Baron Victor Frankenstein in 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (1957) and Doctor Van Helsing in 'Dracula' (1958). Cushing continued these parts on into the sequels that followed. Regrettably, neither Don nor myself have seen any of the movies released by Hammer Film Productions as of yet, but will eventually rectify this.

(May 27, 1922 - present)

Lee seen here as Lord Summerisle in 'The Wicker Man' (1973)

Like Cushing, Christopher Lee has a long-standing history with Hammer Film Productions, cast in similarly iconic roles as the Monster in 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (1957) and Count Dracula in 'Dracula' (1958). Furthermore, Lee continued these parts on into the sequels that followed, making Cushing and himself regular colleagues and sensibly led to their friendship. Again, while Don and myself haven't watched the Hammer Film Productions' movies, we have seen him in a number of other roles, be they purely horror or horror comedy, such as 'The Wicker Man' (1973) and 'Gremlins 2: The New Batch' (1990). And of course during the past decade we've become familiar with Lee's contributions to 'The Lord of the Rings' and the newer 'Star Wars' trilogies.


(May 27, 1911 - October 25, 1993)

Price seen here as the inventor in 'Edward Scissorhands' (1990)

Sharing the same birthday as Christopher Lee, May 27th also marks the late and great Vincent Price's birthday. Where do we even begin? Price has done it all, from hosting PBS' 'Mystery!' television series to starring in many, many horror films to lending his talents as a voice actor (ex: Tim Burton's tribute, 'Vincent') to even appearing on family programs such as 'The Muppet Show'. Talk about a healthy work ethic. For myself, and likely for Don as well, it's bittersweet each time that we watch 'Edward Scissorhands' (1990), knowing that his part as the kindly old inventor would be one of his last, reverberated by the inventor's own saddening death. I'll confess, I've choked up during that particular scene.

(May 17, 1936 - May 29, 2010)

Hopper, seen right, as Kaufman in 'Land of the Dead' (2005)

Yesterday, due to complications with prostate cancer, Dennis Hopper passed away at age seventy-four. We remember Hopper best for his contributions to horror cinema, though the late actor has worked in various other genres over the years. Lieutenant "Lefty" Enright in 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2' (1986) and Paul Kaufman in George A. Romero's 'Land of the Dead' (2005) are two horror roles that specifically come to mind. Horror aside, we also remember Hopper in Quentin Tarantino's 'True Romance'.

(May 27, 1958 - present)

Quigley seen here as Trash in 'The Return of the Living Dead' (1985)

Last on our list of birthdays, but certainly not least, we have Ms. Quigley to mix things up a little. Definitely standing out from these older gentlemen, perhaps fate does have an odd sense of humor.* A scream queen, B-movie actress, Linnea is most memorable in her role as Trash, the pink-haired, punk rock chick in Dan O' Bannon's 'The Return of the Living Dead' (1985). ...And if you're interested, we just so happen to have a postcard-sized print of zombie Trash available for purchase. *cough* shameless self-promotion *cough*


Coincidentally, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price starred together in the 1983 horror-parody, 'House of the Long Shadows'. Three out of five; not bad.

See also: The Vault of Horror's "The Vincent Price/Christopher Lee Birthday Throwdown!"

excerpt from 'The Return of the Living Dead'
Trash: Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying? You know, violently? And wonder, like, what would be the most horrible way to die?
Spider: I try not to think about dying too much.
Trash: Mmm. Well for me, the worst way would be for a bunch of old men to get around me, and start biting me and eating me alive...
Spider: I see.
Trash: First, they would tear off my clothes...
Chuck: Hey, somebody get some light over here; Trash is taking off her clothes again!

No comments:

Post a Comment