"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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Sunday, June 12, 2011

ZotB: Chainsaw Maid

It's rather apparent that these two claymations were made by different creators, judging both in their varying storytelling styles and the appearance of the animations themselves. The overall tone of the first claymation is more dramatic and done at a slower, building pace, which works well in its favor with the "silent" theme of the film. ("Silent" in that there are no voices given to the characters, only subtitles. However, background music and sound effects are present.) We're drawn in with devices such as the subtle cue in the newspaper articles and the mysterious appearance of a frightened, bloodied woman at their door. Given the previously mentioned remarks, added to the Asian overtones of the short film, it almost has a feel like that present in some of the 'Resident Evil' games with a helping of Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead'. But perhaps we're reaching a little, there.

The sequel claymation, however, is at best a caricature of the former. Scenes like the unbuttoning of the maid's blouse, which originally had an air of secretive taboo, become as outright cartoonish as Tex Avery's "Red Hot Riding Hood." Not to mention that the figures and sets seem a tad on the crude side, particularly when compared to the first. But this rougher aesthetic plays well as an accent to its grittier, gorier theme. The violence becomes a little more creative and the body count much, much higher. Fans of 'The Evil Dead' franchise or 'Braindead' can certainly appreciate this one. As for the Asian overtones, if we can liken the first to the 'Resident Evil' games, this would be the less provocative, Western second-cousin of 'Big Tits Zombie'. Little remains of the original animation's Eastern influence, which is reduced simply to a few, gong-cued subtitles. Needless to say, we had mixed feelings towards the sequel.

'Chainsaw Maid' and 'Chainsaw Maid 2' earn a combined score of three out of five maids.

WARNING: The following animations contain extreme violence, albeit in clay. Viewer discretion is advised.

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