As a kid, I was sucked in by the lure of comics. I had my mail order subscription to Fantastic Four and each month I poured over the pages. Now, five hundred issues later, I want to dip my own fingers into the ink of comics. Yet my drive has always traveled down a creepier path than the suited heroes.
The strange and abnormal have always fascinated me. Those strange superstitions we do, like avoiding sidewalk cracks to preserve our mother’s spines. There’s a hideous sort of logic there that compels us to comply even though sensible logic proves otherwise.
The bizarre urban legend or myth that persists in our memory despite having no concrete proof. Hauntings and ghost stories get my mind buzzing and often this comes out in the form of stories and novels.
Yet my brain seeks other ways. Thus the Teeny Haunts was born. Here I will give you short creepy tales pulled from some form of half-truth — be it local legend or haunted superstition. These are the tales that haunt my brain and I’d like to have a little company in the viewing.
Look to this site on Wednesdays at 4:44 am for the bi-weekly drop.
There is a place, so dominated by nativity scenes, that the you often feel like the tiny figurines are watching you. I am tormented by this idea. Irrational fear or no, it haunts me.
My best friend’s house, the one I visited all throughout childhood, is just such a place. Every other month of the year, it’s a typical suburban home. But come December, the nativities creep out. Figurines, pillows, throw blankets, ornaments, you name it. One year we counted over 100 in just one room. So you can imagine what this did to my fertile imagination. Yes, that’s right, straight to horror.
I wondered what would happen if they came to life one night. Would these ceramic figurines be benevolent, or out for blood? What followed was a delve into Christmas terror. And I wasn’t alone in my horrific machinations. The folks at Grinning Skull Press also share a penchant for the creepy at Xmas. I’m happy to say that “Away in a Manger” appears in the 2019 edition of Deathleham. The proceeds of this publication go to charity, so please download or purchase a copy to support the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
And my apologies to the wonderful family, so bedecked with nativities. You should know better than to feed my imagination.
As this Inktober has progressed, I find myself leaning more and more toward American Traditional style for inking. For this week’s spread it’s most evident in the final day (Saturday).
For October 7th, I really wanted to create an evil tree (as if lifted from Snow White). I spent plenty of time searching up different gnarled trees and combined the best into Mr. Woodsy here.
I wanted to still keep things creepy (It is October after all), so I went for a bone-thin witch for the “Frail” theme of October 8th.
I’m still searching for just the right image to use for Pammy and wanted to try something a little more cute. The jury is out, but I love the pumpkin shading. This is for October 9th theme of “Swing.”
I had really wanted to do a tessellation for the theme of “Pattern” on October 10th, but after an hour fiddling with cut paper, I cut bait and went with my daughter’s suggestion of Jason’s mask.
October 11th’s “Snow” theme was a rushed one (I’ve just started teaching second quarter and have been pooped). But I enjoyed shoving real severed eyeballs into the snowman.
For “Dragon” this is where I really started channeling my inner tattoo artist. I love how the brush pen creates bold lines. I can’t really shade (or use color) but the outline feels strong the way I needed it to be.
My story, Deadlock, has just been published by Ripples in Space. I originally wrote this for a contest titled “Monsters in Space” but by the time I was ready to send it in, the window closed (I didn’t miss the deadline so much as they filled up early). Here was my dilemma, I needed to use a classic monster (vampire, zombie, mummy, etc) to chase some poor schleps in space. As I chewed this over in my mind, I kept circling back to Alien and how the Xenomorph terrorizes Ripley. Of course I don’t use a Xenomorph, but there is a classic Hollywood monster involved. I decided to pick a realistic space monster (no Jason in Space for me) because I thought I might need to send it out to other venues (which, in fact, I did).
The key to this story is the standoff, the deadlock, between the monster and the final girl. Neither can kill each other because… Well, that’s the twist, right. I can’t spoil that. But if you like classic monsters, and certainly if you dig Alien, check it out. (Scroll down the page and look for Tim Kane or Deadlock).