Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For the Geek in all of us . . . . .

Everyone enjoys a good comic book every now and then. There is quite a variety of spooky, gothic comics out there for your reading pleasure. Here are a few that I have either read or heard about:

I came across Gloom Cookie years ago. There is nothing particularly horrific about this comic book, but it has a cute gothic romance and suspenseful story. My favorite artist, Ted Naifeh, was the first illustrator for this comic.

After Ted Naifeh left Gloom Cookie he went on to make Courtney Crumrin. I love how Courtney, the main character, doesn't have a nose. One of the comic's installments was actually nominated for the Eisner award.
Ted Naifeh has also contributed to the wonderful comic,The Nocturnals, by Dan Brereton. More of an actiony gothic comic.
My fave character is Gunwitch. A mix of ghoul, skull, sheriff badass.

I Luv Halloween is a manga about a group of misfits who gather on Halloween to cause some ruckus. Haven't read it yet, but it is on my list.

Death JR. first came out as a PSP video game. Then the super cute comic book was made. Death Jr. is about Death's (as in the grimreaper) son, Death Jr. and his freakish little friends. Surprise, Surprise, Ted Naifeh is also involved with this dreary delight as well.

Now for some darker, more disturbing gothic comics.

Lenore created by Roman Dirge is a classic. Who knew such a disturbing little dead girl could be so cute? You have to have a morbid sense of humor to really enjoy this one.
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is probably one of the must recognized macabre horror comics out there. Jhonen Vasquez brings a twist of humor to this dark comic about a somewhat eccentric killer.

Jhonen Vasquez also was the genius behind Invader Zim, the wacky children's cartoon that was on Nickelodeon.
Squee is another spinoff comic by Vasquez. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac just happens to be this little kids neighbor. Poor Guy.
Sandman by Neil Gaiman , of course.

I guarantee you that the Hellboy comic is much better than the movie. I love the dark illustrations in this series.

I have only read the first installment of 30 Days of Night, but I loved it. It is a great vampire tale that is more realistic than fantastical. Great graphics! The movie isn't too bad either. No vampire romance bullshit in this film.
Vampirella. She'll eat your heart out. Love it.

Wicked Words: Bloody Mary

One of my favorite horror legends from childhood was that of Bloody Mary and, time and again I would try to summon her through the mirror.
Read the myth and folklore about her below.

In folklore and children's street culture "Bloody Mary" is a game in which a ghost appears in a mirror when summoned. One of the more common ways participants attempt to make her appear is to stand before a mirror in the dark (most commonly in a bathroom) and repeat her name three times, though there are many variations. Some include chanting a hundred times, chanting at midnight, spinning around, rubbing one's eyes, running the water, or chanting her name thirteen times with a lit candle. In some versions of the legend, the summoner must say, "Bloody Mary, I killed your son!" or "I killed your baby." In these variants, Bloody Mary is often believed to be the spirit of a mother (often a widow) who murdered her children or a young mother whose baby was stolen from her, which made her go mad in grief and she eventually committed suicide.

In stories where Mary is supposed to have been wrongly accused of killing her children, the querier might say "I believe in Mary Worth." This is similar to another game involving the summoning of the Bell Witch in a mirror at midnight. The game is often a test of courage due the violent consequences if she appears. It is said that if Bloody Mary is summoned, she will kill the summoner in ways such as ripping the face off, scratching the eyes out, driving the person insane or bringing the person into the mirror with her. Some versions say that if you chant her name thirteen times at midnight into a mirror she will appear and you can talk to a deceased person until 12:01, when both apparitions will vanish. Other variations say that the querier must not look directly at her, but at her image in the mirror. She will then reveal the querier's future, particularly concerning marriage and children.

Bloody Mary Worth is typically described as a child-murderer who lived in the local city where the legend took root years ago. There is often a specific local graveyard or tombstone that becomes attached to the legend. On the other hand, various people have surmised that the lore about taunting Bloody Mary about her baby may relate her tenuously to folklore about Queen Mary I also known as "Bloody Mary", whose life was marked by a number of miscarriages or false pregnancies. Speculation exists that the miscarriages were deliberately induced. As a result, some re-tellings of the tale make Bloody Mary the queen driven to madness by the loss of her children. She is also confused in some versions of the story with Mary, Queen of Scots.

While, as with any sort of folklore the details may vary, this particular tale encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards, holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband's face. There was, however, a chance that they would see the Grim Reaper instead. This meant, of course, that they were destined to die before they married.

For more about Bloody Mary and other scary legends, folklore and myths, HERE is a list of all the classics and a few extra!