"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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Be mine?
Wishing all of our viewers a very happy Valentine's Day! Nothing says Valentine's and horror like the 1981, Canadian slasher My Bloody Valentine. So for all you horror lovers out there, be sure to give it a watch. There's nothing like a homicidal maniac on the loose to bring you and your significant other closer... Well, except for those couples in the movie. Read our review of My Bloody Valentine (1981), though we recommend that you do so after watching to avoid spoilers.

Since we've covered the original film last February, perhaps Don and myself will give the 3-D remake a watch this week. I'll reserve any doubting comments until we've seen it, but I will say that it does have Supernatural's Jensen Ackles. As my girlfriend Dara would remark, I've got a man-crush on the guy. What can I say? I took a real shine to him as Dean Winchester. Wish I had an older brother like him.

Oh, Jensen. You heartthrob, you. Can you do no wrong?
For the sake of My Bloody Valentine 3-D, let's hope so.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Black History Month: Bride of Blackenstein

Having been rather lax as of late with the Darkley Niche, it's time that we remedy that. With February being Black History Month, we're writing this article in regards to that theme. Expect more to come, touching on this.

Kenanan Thompson (right) and Jay Pharoah (left), who sounds an
awful lot like Wyatt Cenac as muppet Michael Steele ("bibbles" and all)
Nicki Minaj as the Bride of Blackenstein, brought to life
Saturday Night Live has a talent for making satirical commentary on various social circumstances, be they modern or past. In the case of their recent short skit, "Bride of Blackenstein," there is a bit of both. Drawing inspiration from the 1973 blaxploitation horror film Blackenstein, a.k.a. Black Frankenstein, this parody takes the next step by adapting Universal's The Bride of Frankenstein as if it were a sequel of the former. Now, not having seen Blackenstein for ourselves, we're only aware of the superficial traits and obvious stereotypes of the film.

So perhaps it is in poor taste that Saturday Night Live chose to use a derogatory genre for a comedy sketch. Then again, by mocking these racial stereotypes it points out the problems that were evident back then and, unfortunately, are still perpetuated in the film industry today in varying degrees. But then, does "Bride of Blackenstein" only succeed in exasperating this situation? It's a looping argument, which we won't allow ourselves to be drawn into.

Regardless of what your stance may be on the short itself, "Bride of Blackenstein" brings to mind the valid controversy surrounding Black, as well as Black women, stereotypes in cinema. It is in our personal opinion that if this was Saturday Night Live's actual intention, then they made good on it.

Mr. and Mrs. Death sketch card

Adapted from the video games of the same name, the Death Jr. graphic novels are amusing with their mix of small town suburbia and the macabre. Plus, it has had contributions by three amazing artists, namely: Mike Mignola (cover art), Ted Naifeh (interior illustrator), and Guy Davis (comic short). Anyway, the best example of this mismatched marriage is Mr. and Mrs. Death, parents of the story's protagonist, Death Jr. It's an odd match, but they're very sweet.

Purchase this original art for $25 USD, which comes in a plastic protector and includes no additional mailing costs. Contact me if interested.