"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

artwork and artist features

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frightful films for your year-round festivities

book reviews: consult the niche's necronomicon

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halloween at the homestead

There is a tendency to avoid more personally-oriented posts, because we would rather talk horror than about ourselves. However, since this is about Halloween, we decided to give a little glimpse of how we celebrated at our home this year. Storage space (not to mention our bank account) is limited, so we only decorated the entertainment room. Even so, it came out quite festive for the season.

For starters, rather than removing the cat condo we included it in the decorations, using it as shelving for a set of three faux jack o' lanterns. Furthermore, Yankee Candle's "Harvest Welcome" scent gave the room a pleasant, spiced fragrance. Strong enough to be noticed, but not overbearing on the ol' olfactory system.

Adjacent to the cat condo is our big-screen television. We draped Target's "D├ęcor" brand spider-cicle lights set across the front of the TV stand and placed a pair of faux pumpkins from Michaels on top. This also included a skull-faced faux jack o' lantern from Meijer, bearing a passing resemblance to Jack Skellington from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'.

An otherwise ordinary wood cabin changed into a vampire's coffin by draping Walmart's dripping light set atop and around it. And for an added touch (though not seen, here, in this picture), a pair of wooden, paint stir sticks were taped together into a cross and slipped into the handles. All it really needed was creepy vampire fingers curling out, trying to pry apart the locked coffin. Ah, well. Perhaps next year.

Behind all this was the main spread of ghoulish goodies. Three Meijer Halloween-themed tins stored, respectively: Reese's mini peanut butter cups and Reese's Pieces, fun-sized Kit-Kats ranging from white to regular to dark chocolate, and lastly Jolly Rancher suckers with orange-colored rolls of Fruit By The Foot. A furry spider from Halloween City safeguarded Target cotton candy cobwebs, plus a bag of pumpkin-shaped cheesy potato puffs, which were also bought from the latter. (The cotton candy, quite frankly, wasn't that good. However, the potato puffs were.)  

An unknown witch decoration, witch hat from Snyder's IGA, and a generic plastic cauldron from Walmart comprised the center of the table, where we later filled it with "witch's brewskis." That is to say, mostly Redd's Apple Ale and an assortment of a few other drinks, like green apple Jones Soda. (Those witches sure do love their apples.)

It gets a little lost in the table, but there's one other item definitely worth pointing out, and that's the Frankenstein's monster ceramic glass from Spirit Halloween. This was certainly one of our more favorite additions to the Halloween decorum this year. Note the attention to detail, with its weathered wrinkles, stapled scars, and droopy-lidded, yellowed eyes. Is that not cool or what?

As coincidence would have it, among our selection of movies to watch for that night was Universal's black-and-white classic adaptation of 'Frankenstein' (1931). For those of you who are curious, the rest of our nightly viewing consisted of: Key & Peele's Halloween episode, 'The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror episode "The Shinning," and 'Burnt Offerings' (1976), the latter of which, oddly enough, has many similarities to Stephen King's 'The Shining'.

Looking forward to next Halloween and, as an alteration to the old saying goes, "Eat, drink, and be scary!"

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