"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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ZotB: Smurfs, zombies, and PC

He's coming to eat your braaaiiinnnsss... or at least Brainy Smurf.

Growing up, I wasn't among those children who watched 'The Smurfs' cartoon or read the original, Belgian comic 'Les Schtroumpfs' that it was based on. Still, I found this little analysis from the webcomic 'Menage a 3' (WARNING: contains adult content) rather interesting. Who would have guessed that the premise to Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968) and 'Les Schtroumpfs Noirs' (literally "The Black Smurfs") would be so similar? It sounds silly, but the parallels are rather uncanny. Read for yourself.

As one might imagine, this negative portrayal of a "black" Smurf caused some controversy, which was reason for Hanna-Barbera ("They're coming to get you, Barbera!" Sorry, bad joke.) Productions to opt for the color purple in the animated series, instead. Even the original comic, 'Les Schtroumpfs Noirs', wasn't translated into English for this very reason. Honestly, though, it seems like a rather weak argument. Political correctness sometimes is pushed to the point of pure ludicrousness, in this writer's personal opinion. Explain to me exactly what derogatory stereotype a hopping, biting Smurf perpetuates of the African community, I ask you? In all seriousness, tell me.

'Les Schtroumpfs Noirs' page with the first "infected" Smurf

If the black Smurfs from 'Les Schtroumpfs Noirs' can be seen as offensive, why hasn't the LGBT community gotten up in arms over the "politically correct" purple Smurfs from season one, episode sixteen? If one goes along the same skewed line of thinking that reasons why the black Smurfs were offensive, you could find a whole slew of imaginary insinuations. Examples: the gay association with the color purple (Remember the Tinky Winky controversy?), the spread of infection like an STD, hopping instead of the derogatory stereotype of skipping, and so on. Don't get angry, I'm simply playing devil's advocate to prove my point. It goes to show you that such hypersensitive interpretations are really unfounded and outright ridiculous.

horde of infected Smurfs descending on the Smurf village

an especially zombie-like Smurfette with arms raised forward

Before I asked who would have guessed 'The Smurfs' and 'Night of the Living Dead' could be so alike. But it would appear that the bigger question is, who would have guessed 'The Smurfs' could be deemed controversial? Goes to show you how backwards the world works, I guess.

Watch "The Purple Smurfs" episode, here.

No comments:

Post a Comment