"Childhood is a much darker world than most adults care to remember. If anything, childhood is even more full of terror and passion than life becomes after a few decades spent killing off pesky brain cells. Small children are straight outta nature, all id, tribal survivalists to the core. They drive the weak away from the village, instinctively hating those who are different, ugly, or slow. Sure, they're preoccupied with stockpiling toys instead of guns, but the principle is the same. Behind the big shiny eyes and dimples is the Lord of the Flies, ticking and buzzing. We learn sweetness and the ability to sit still later on in order to fit into society and get grown-up things like jobs and apartments and girl- or boyfriends, things that seem yucky and boring until the moment we're ready for them. Among the byproducts that boil off and are lost in the process of growing up are simplicity, lots of dreams and a huge amount of fear." [...]
"Strangely enough, despite all of the more or less real terrors they contend with on a daily and nightly basis, children love to be scared, love to be grossed out, love above all, to be shocked.
"The only children's stories that are truly classic, timeless and beloved are also subversively honest about life's ugliness. Kids experience reality on a much simpler level than adults, and don't buy stories that are too sugary. They're realists in the sense that they know there's much more to reality than what we see around us every day or what we learn in school. There almost has to be a tragic, a bitter or a vicious edge to a story, or they know it for the load of bull it is. Mark Twain, Roald Dahl and Judy Blume, three of the all-time best-beloved children's authors, knew this. Their books are often banned from schools and libraries because of parents' need to believe that children are innocent of pain and cruelty and can be protected from knowledge about the darkness of human nature."
-Exerpt from Kelly Crumrin's introduction to Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh
Art for Challenge # 3 begins going up Monday the 14th. The subject is: "Do an illustration for your favorite horror story."
Challenge #4 (for the week of October 21st) is: "What Terrified you as a Child?"