In midtwentieth-century America, the appetite for comics was astounding. As many as a hundred million books were sold each month. Whereas the comics of the forties starred talking animals and muscle-bound superheroes, the fifties saw the rise of comics that grew darker and stranger. One publisher, Entertaining Comics (EC), altered the landscape of American pop culture with its twisted, vividly illustrated forays into genre: science fiction, horror, mysteries, suspense, war stories. Readers devoured EC’s gruesome tales, but the golden age of crypt-keepers and space dinosaurs was short-lived. In 1954, the Comics Magazine Association of America—besieged by obscenity trials, comic-book burnings, and claims that comics caused juvenile delinquency—established the infamous Comics Code. One criterion of the Code prohibited “scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, … Read the rest
That’s right, there really was a flesh-and-blood Italian behind the kitsch holiday we’ve got today, and he went by the name of Saint Valentine. Unfortunately for Valentine, however, the day-turned-holiday marked his tragic end, as the martyr was clubbed to death in Rome on February 14th, 269 AD.… Read the rest
Tucked along New York’s Hudson River is the town of Sleepy Hollow, where old carriage roads can still be walked, and the woodlands feel just a bit darker than they should. It’s also home to the Union Church of Pocantico Hills, a gothic style church built in 1921 by the Rockefellers. Oh, and it happens to house works by two of the 20th century’s greatest artists — nine by Chagall, and the last ever work created by Henri Matisse.… Read the rest
I returned the following morning. I always do, or try to, after a night like last night. Sometimes I leave something behind.
Once I found my shirt hanging from a tree. I asked some local boys to throw rocks at it to knock it loose. They happily obliged.
Another time I left behind the smashed window in the door of a butcher’s shop. The next morning, the owner was taking inventory and I offered to help sweep up. He shrugged and turned away. I whispered an apology and then bought the last fresh ham from his wife. I had a bit of a stomachache, but knew I would eat it later.
But this morning at the gas station, I couldn’t find any evidence of misbehavior. In … Read the rest
“A first person walk through of ‘Machine’, a steam punk horror show we built and performed in our garage.”
“it took about 18 months of tinkering in the garage to build it, we’ve been planning and designing it since way before. There’s one top secret bit of kit we had to build first to enable the the machine to travel between scenes. The whole set is only in a normal sized double garage. One of the most time consuming bits of the build was the brick walls in old London, each brick hand carved from polystyrene, that might have been a mistake.”
I used to go to the cemetery every Sunday to visit my dad. When the weather was good I would sit on the grass by his gravestone, if not I would park in the road about 30 feet away and sit in the drivers seat with the door open. Sometimes I would sit on a little hill with my back to the stone in order to watch the sunset. His stone was in a good spot, under the canopy of two trees, a little bit removed from most of the other sites. I usually went in the late afternoon, but sometimes later if I had stuff to do.
One Sunday it was later than usual and the Sun was beginning to set. I parked and heard … Read the rest