Friday, September 20, 2013

Come little children, I'll take thee away...

There are certain movies, like Hocus Pocus, that have become a yearly tradition during the spooky season in my household. It's a film that sums up the fun side of Halloween to me and although it is definitely family fare, it also has its sinister moments. Amidst all the colour, campiness, mayhem and cheesy humour, the witches are, in the tradition of the darkest fairy tales, child killers.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is simultaneously beautiful and disquieting: Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), the youngest and prettiest of the three Sanderson sisters, takes to the skies on her broom and lures children from their homes with her haunting siren song. She is usually leaping about with irrepressible high spirits, flirting, and uttering inanities that try the patience of her eldest sister, Winifred (Bette Midler), but the dramatic change in tone gives this scene added impact. With her cape billowing about her, Sarah is no longer the vapid fool, but eerily graceful and beguiling as she ushers the children to their deaths.

To the best of my knowledge, the Come Little Children lyrics were written by Brock Walsh (music composed by James Horner), although mysterious extra verses have appeared online and are, to my surprise, being credited to Edgar Allan Poe. After a little research however, I have discovered a few Poe scholars who rigorously dispute this claim.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th... Addams Style!

Happy Friday the 13th! And how does one celebrate one of the more delightfully dark dates on the calendar? Well, for me, a cartoon by Charles "Chas" Addams seems appropriate. After all, in the world of the Addams Family, it's a red-letter day!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Delightfully Dark Art: J. E. Larson

I'm afraid I can't tell you very much at all about J. E. Larson, other than he's male, an artist, and possesses a darkly whimsical imagination. Any profile that he has written about himself seems to be more a wild flight of fancy than a standard "about me" type blurb.

I was captivated by his illustrations the moment I set eyes upon them. His work is predominantly black and white, which I adore, with just an occasional pop of red, and is done in a cross-hatched style reminiscent of Edward Gorey.

The subjects of his artwork range from eerie Victorian Gothic themes to Alice in Wonderland nonsense and Batman.

You can see more of J. E. Larson's gorgeous illustrations at his REDBUBBLE store.