"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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book reviews: consult the niche's necronomicon

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

memorial: Kevin McCarthy (1914-2010)

Dana Winter (left) and Kevin McCarthy (right)
in 'Invasio
n of the Body Snatchers' (1956)

If you're a regular follower of other horror blogs like ourselves, then it's likely that you've heard the recent news of actor Kevin McCarthy's passing last Saturday. To the horror community, as well as science-fiction fans, he will be best remembered for his starring role in the 1956, black-and-white film 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', which would later on inspire a lineage of remakes, parodies, and comparable adaptations.

Much to our regret, we admit not having seen this original feature of classic cinema. But even then, the influence of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is so predominant that it's made its way into other films, such as 'Gremlins' (1984). Kevin McCarthy's close-up and haggard face, yelling, "They're here, already! You're next!" from Billy Peltzer's television set is an iconic image and one, which we're sure was heightened all the more in its black-and-white medium, that is truly haunting.

"They're here, already! You're next!"

This isn't to say that Kevin McCarthy didn't step out of the horror/science-fiction circle, though he was certainly talented enough that he could have remained, had he chosen to do so. Fortunately, McCarthy put his talents to use in other genres, such as drama and comedy. Certainly those of us who went through the Weird Al Yankovic phase remember him as R.J. Fletcher, the conceited arch-rival of George Newman (Yankovic) and his channel crew of upstart underdogs in 'UHF' (1989). But always McCarthy kept one foot in the former, familiar circle and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' kept especially close by, even into the remaining years of his acting career.

'Looney Toons: Back in Action' (2003)

Apparently director Joe Dante loved 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' and Kevin McCarthy, incorporating them into both 'Gremlins' films, 'Piranha' (1978), 'The Howling' (1981), 'Twilight Zone: The Movie' (1983), 'Innerspace' (1987), and the aforementioned movie, seen above.
Kevin McCarthy, at the admirable age of ninety-six, passed away from pneumonia. His life was long, and we're sure that his legacy in cinematic history will live on even longer.

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