"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

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.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010


♪ Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew? Cover it with choc'late and a miracle or two? The Candy Man. Oh, the Candy Man can. ♫

Nope, we're not talking about Daniel Robitaille, i.e. Tony Todd as Candyman. Nor are we talking about Willy Wonka... Well, not Mom and Dad's 1971 musical with Gene Wilder, anyway. (Although that creepy boat ride deserves credit, we'll give it that.) More like a dark parody that perverts what made the former charming. Example? Imagine if the directors of 'SAW' or 'Hostel' got their hands on the old screenplay and went, "Yeah, we could have a landscape of gumdrop trees and chocolate rivers... But how about a dank and decrepit factory warehouse, instead?"

And of course the teens turn out to be the secret ingredient to Wonka's chocolate. Hang on, didn't 'Epic Movie' do this already? (For the record, don't watch it. Just... just don't. Seriously Crispin Glover, you can do better.)

Crispin Glover as "Willy" in 'Epic Movie' (2007)

Sounds rather lame, doesn't it? However, writer and director Eric Appel does what is essential for a premise of such ludicrousness to actually work: make it a black comedy. Right from the get-go of the 'Gobstopper' trailer it's made obvious. Case in point, take it away atypical, comedy relief guy.

Girl #2: "Guys, look at these weird, old candy bars."

C.R. Guy (right): "My boner's got weird, old candy bars."

Oh, you card, you. You can tell from the other guy's incredulous expression that he must be thinking, "Really? -- Really?" or something similar. But I digress.

The real stroke of genius was casting Christopher Lloyd as Willy Wonka. He can do comical and creepy all at the same time. (ex: 'Dennis the Menace') Not too many actors can pull that off effectively. Sorry Johnny Depp, but you were creepy in a more Michael Jackson sort of way. Even then, the "creep factor" was unintentional on your part or Mr. Burton's, I'm sure. (We're Burton and Depp fans, so don't be hating. Same with M.J., at least musically speaking.)

Johnny Depp (left) as Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson (right) as, well, himself

From what I understand this is a faux trailer, although it could make for an amusing movie. There are plenty of flop films out there that would be halfway decent if they were done as a black comedy. Pity that 'Gobstopper' doesn't go all the way to the silver screen, or even direct-to-video. Still, it stands well enough on its own as a trailer. 'Gobstopper' gets four out of five "weird, old candy bars."

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