Friday, October 18, 2013

Kristina Carroll- My Favorite Horror Story

House of Leaves

I read House of Leaves by  Mark Z. Danielewski a few years ago and it is not only one of the best "horror" stories I have ever read, it is one of the best books I have ever read. I have always been drawn to labyrinths and everything about this book is a labyrinth.

It's very difficult book to describe. There are multiple narrators, each with individual stories, who peel back layers of a core story: a family moves into a house where things immediately start going strange. Its clear this more than just a house. A black closet appears out of nowhere and it is discovered that the house measures larger from inside than out.  Then a hallway appears that eventually leads to a massive underground labyrinth. Characters attempt to explore and then things get really interesting for not only the family, but each narrator that in turn attempts to uncover the truth.

 But all this isn't really just a book... It's more like a three dimensional work of interactive art. The way the book is written is very unconventional. The words on the page are often rearranged to reflect something happening in the story. Sometimes it's the madness of a character. Sometimes it's the speed in which you follow someone down miles of stairs. Sometimes it's the passage of time. It's often hard to follow but when you finally solve the puzzle of how to read a passage, it is that much more intimate and rewarding a story.

Jorge Mascarenhas - What Lives Under My Bed

Here's the super dooper late post of "What Lives Under My Bed."

Jensine Eckwall - My Favorite Horror Story

I wouldn't say The Green Ribbon is by any means my favorite horror story as an adult.  However, when I was a kid, Alvin Schwartz's version of the story, as well as a similar poem by Shel Silverstein, chilled me.  I pored over Dirk Zimmer's illustrations for the story in that "can't look away" fashion.  I can practically see the influence in my work today.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ricardo Lopez Ortiz - My Favorite Horror Story

My favorite horror story is easily "El Almohadon de Plumas"(The Feather Pillow) by Horacio Quiroga. It's the story of a young newly wed couple, were the bride falls suddenly ill after their honey moon and becomes completely bed-ridden. After some months she passes away, when one of the maids goes to clean the now empty room she makes a terrifying discovery.

I won't spoil the story for you all, since I can't tell a story quite like Quiroga can. You can read an english translation of the story here. Hope you find it as creepy as I did.

Jorge Mascarenhas - My Favorite Horror Story

I love horror, and choosing a story was tough. There's one that always stuck with me since childhood when I was living in Brazil: The Legend of the Headless Mule. The Headless Mule is a monstrous mule with a bright flame where her head should be. Her horseshoes are made either of silver or steel and make a loud noise as she gallops. Even though she supposedly has no head, she can be heard neighing in the distance. Sometimes, the neighs turn into terrifying screams and wails. One of the oldest versions mentions the Headless Mule being a queen that often visited the cemetery at night. One day, her husband decided to follow her and was horrified to discover his wife eating a child’s corpse. Being found out, she transformed into a monster and galloped into the woods, never to return.


acrylic, pen, ink, watercolor, gouache, on board

My parents had a bookshelf inan unused room in our house.
I played in there a lot.
The books fascinated me, and one in particular.
I can't explain why the book called to me,
but it did.
Maybe it was because mom said I wasn't supposed to read it,
but maybe it was something else.

Jeffrey Alan Love - My Favorite Horror Story

As a child (and even now as an adult) Batman struck me as a horror story.  The thought that your parents could be taken from you and you would be left all alone terrified me.  No amount of money, powers, or gadgetry could ever fill that emptiness.

Scott Brundage- My Favorite Horror Story

When I read, I tend to be a bit tentative about new stuff, not wanting to devote a lot of time to a book I'll end up not liking. But when I find an author, I devour everything he or she put out on the market. For a while, I read nothing but Clive Barker. Good lord he can get dark. 

He put out a fantastic collection of short stories called Books of Blood. I probably could have chosen any one of those to illustrate, but Pig Blood Blues seemed to lend itself most to my strengths. 

Set in a juvenile detention facility, a former police man starts working there and notices rumors of ghosts and missing children. He attempts to help an overly bullied little boy, and as things spiral further into dark regions, he finds himself watching children worship a giant pig. He attempts to save the boy from the pig, and ends up a sacrifice himself. 

Now imagine that rambling synopsis presented coherently, believably and poetically. Disturbing shit. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Scott Murphy - My Favorite Horror Story

"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."

I don't tend to read much horror as my imagination has a tendency to embellish and recall the scariest of stories at the worst possible times. But i've always been a fan of the writings of Poe. Particularly "The Masque of the Red Death." 

This started out as a pencil sketch with the intention of doing it as a painting, but time has gotten the better of me. I hope to do a proper painting of it some time in the future.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Carly Janine Mazur - My Favorite Horror Story

20"x16" oil and acrylic on board

Most of my favorite horror stories are written by Junji Ito, a Japanese manga artist known for his uniquely bizarre but genuinely creepy horror stories. His most well-known compilation is "Uzumaki"--which was actually made into a live-action movie--about a town that became cursed by an obsession with spirals. One girl's hair in particular began to curl, becoming a hypnotic obsession to her schoolmates at the cost of her life.

I highly recommend reading any of Ito's work if you have a strong stomach!


pencil, ink, acrylic

She walked down from the front stairs,
to the hallway to my bedroom.
I thought I had time to make it to the kitchen pantry
every time she came for me.
I never had time and hid
partially under the rug.
I couldn't breathe, or move,
or else she...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Anna Christenson- My favorite horror story

I don't read a lot of horror, but a while back I read a few short stories by Arthur Machen, which have some wonderfully surreal and strange imagery (If you're unfamiliar with him as a writer, he was an influence on H.P. Lovecraft's work- at least according to wikipedia).  This piece in particular is inspired by "The Great God Pan."

Jeanine Henderson—My favorite horror story

I know this week's theme was horror story, but I stretched my interpretation a little and illustrated an urban legend that always freaked me out as a kid. (Sort of still does!) It's the story of Bloody Mary, and legend has it that if you stand in a dark room in front of a mirror and call out "Bloody Mary" 3 times, you'll summon the spirit of a little girl who was buried alive and escaped her grave. If you get her to appear she'll scare you "to death". It never worked, but there was always this little part of me that wanted to see what would really happen if she appeared....

Bryndon Everett - An illustration for your favorite horror story

"Dante's Inferno"
Here's my submission for week 3.
My re-imagining of  Virgil as a stalwart sea captain guiding the young, frightened Dante through the stormy seas of Hell.-I kept the 14th Century lantern in there, rather than the more recognizable "Hurricane Lantern" as an extra little nod to the source material.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 Challenge #4 "What Terrified you as a Child?"

"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?"

Kristina Carroll - My Recurring Nightmare

I used to dream of flying all the time. I still do occasionally...but it's different now.When I was younger, it would be free and controlled. I would zip around, land on rooftops to watch people or sometimes even become a hero with magical powers. However, as I grew older, the dreams started to change. I had to concentrate a lot harder to fly or I wouldn't be able to control my speed and go up way too high then start falling or get stuck somewhere, having forgotten how to get started again. Then there were the wires. It would start fine- I would be flying great, ready to soar above the city and go wherever I wanted but suddenly there was a set of telephone wires in my way. I would try to go around but there were more. They were everywhere. At last, I try to go between them but I quickly get tangled up.

The worst part is when they start to electrocute me.