General Discussion

Horror!
skoolmunkee at 8:53AM, Oct. 16, 2011
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It's halfway through October, and that means horror!
 
Also oz and I are doing a Quackcast on ‘horror’ this week and so we'd love to see any thoughts people have on the genre, on horror comics, recommendations for horror webcomics, etc… we don't have a real focus for the show yet, so we'd also be happy to hear any suggestions for interesting subjects or discussions!
 
OK, so this is a bit rambly and unfocused, but just trying to start some discussion:
 
Horror as a genre. There's different elements to this, nowadays. There's the psychological suspense, the campy kind, the gory kind, the sort of 80's metal kind? (is that a kind?) What else? What are some ‘related’ genres, like ‘supernatural’? Any thoughts about how those translate into comics? Can you even really have a frightening comic?
 
I'm afraid I'm not aware of too many horror webcomics. Anything with ghosts or zombies I guess counts… there was also a Korean webcomic going around a while back which inserted this animation here and there to provide a scare… any other ideas?
 
And of course we're happy to take any submissions from people! Got a horror comic you want us to mention? Got thoughts on horror as a genre, or comic-related horror thoughts? Recordings/scripts/etc? Or even just a scary story. :]
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on Oct. 16, 2011 8:55AM
Genejoke at 11:20AM, Oct. 16, 2011
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I definitely want to get in on this, next few days will be telling,  I should be fully running again by thursday.
NickyP at 11:38AM, Oct. 16, 2011
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I was never really into horror films myself, but the ones these days are sucky. The plot of almost all of them can be summarized into, “shit pops out at you, people die, guts everywhere, repeat for 2 hours.”
 
The one horror film I do like is the original black and white The Haunting. It was written and edited in a way that, to this day, you still don't know if the house was actually haunted. There's plenty of evidence in the film to show that the characters were just incredibly paranoid and literally scared themselves to death; and yet, there's still enough to make you believe the house could be haunted after all. It's a great psychological thriller, especially for a black and white flick.
rokulily at 3:16PM, Oct. 16, 2011
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by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…
 
i have a mini horror comic, mary and the night things… that i should update… and i help raven tales which will have a horror type story soon…
 
 as for other dd comics…
-maggotboy should get props as a zombie comic
-charby, it vampfeytastic
-amathema has a nice horror aspect to it just a bit
-demon eater is always good
-children of the night is a good vampire tale
-the darkened heart has some nice vibes too
-the horribles are a cute spook
-between worlds has a ting bit of horror to it
-anything pitface does has some nice gore horror adventure tone to it
-action is good
-manifestations is such a good thriller type
-the midnight tea is a good collection too
 
Faliat at 6:37PM, Oct. 16, 2011
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I think fridge horror is scarier than visual horror. After you've finished reading something or watching something, you go to the fridge, bed, etc and THEN it hits you and haunts you for a lot longer. It's difficult to DELIBERATELY make that happen, however. An audience/reader's mind is very hard to predict. Fully relying on what scares you doesn't work 100% either. Sure, you can show it in a way that can make it scarier for other people, but not every person is scared of Clowns (IT) or Mpreg (Alien).
Reality is always the most horrifying. Television, Games and movies may set up expectations for scenarios but in the end nothing ever prepares us for the real world. Horror itself is trying to emulate the real world but can never reach that level of utter helplessness that real fear can cause someone to feel.
Seeing a few teenagers getting drunk and watching them all get sliced up isn't horror. Especially not now when information of real terrifying incidents and truths is so easy to come by. It's no wonder I was never scared by horror movies as a child when I vividly remember the graphic descriptions in the news of the Dunblane Massacre.
As for comics, I can't really suggest any that hasn't already been suggested. I'll probably come across a few later but right now all I can really say is that I'm developing sci-fi horror comics but the art isn't done, blah blah blah. You guys know the drill by now.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on Oct. 17, 2011 1:08AM
bravo1102 at 4:55AM, Oct. 17, 2011
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This is something I've been working on for awhile as I love horror and have a bunch of horror inspired scripts I'm waiting to produce.  Belinda Brandon is a scream queen.  That often busty, often blonde woman who screams in horror film after horror film.  She is a recurring character in all my work and that's her chosen profession.
 
I love all kinds od horror even seeking out the really surrealistic Asian gore stuff and the horror hentai whether live action or anime.  But for comics?  I can't get scared of the printed page.  I grew up reading Lovecraft, Poe, and then Stephen King and Clive Barker as well as collections of the old Tales from the Crypt comics. I can't get scared by a movie anymore either.  Once you've come to hanging from your seatbelt in a burning overturned car surrounded by broken glass and your own blood; red tinted corn syrup and offal from a butcher's shop is pretty lame.
 
Though I am facinated by the idea of the scientist and what is truly possible if one could go too far and menacing beautiful scanitly clad women and the very concept of THINGS MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO KNOW.  But I do not believe in the no-win scenario.  Seeing Cthulhu might drive Joe Average completely catatonic but it'd probably only be another bad day in a series of awful days to one suffering from biologically based depression.  After the number of the hopeless situations I've found myself in there's always a way snatch victory from the jaws of defeat or at least have a great time devouring defeat after defeat.
 
And that's what I think good horror should do.  Because when the fecal matter really hits the aerial occelator I'd rather watch Ash from the Evil Dead movies than the usual helpless co-ed in the average slasher movie after her nude scene. 
last edited on Oct. 17, 2011 4:57AM
ayesinback at 12:03PM, Oct. 17, 2011
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There's so much that could be covered with this topic!
 
1. horror v. scary 
 
2. the seen v. the suggested  (aka:  gory v. psychological)
 
3. supernatural v. socio/psychopaths
 
4. film v. print v. radio
 
I was somewhat thinking about this topic last night as I was settling down to watch the second season start of The Walking Dead.  Not sure when the “uh-duh” moment hit . . . 
 
And then there was the announcement from Comic Con that Guillermo del Toro's novel The Strain (no spoiler here, but be assured the subject qualifies as horror) will be adapted for a comic – which shouldn't be a surprise to any one who's read Del Toro interviews.
under new management
Lopriest at 5:43PM, Oct. 18, 2011
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skoolmunkee wrote:
… What are some ‘related’ genres, like ‘supernatural’? …
Yes, looks like we're falling through the cracks, or inhabiting a grey zone.  Probably why Dark Sisters didn't make that list from rokulily.  The popular titles in my genre, (The Craft, Hex, Charmed, Buffy, Rosemary's Baby, etc,) kind of fall into horror from lack of anything better.  More creepy than scary.  Maybe introduce an Occult category…
We'd love to be included in the season fun though.  Come on, what's more appropriate for October than Witches? :D
Anubis at 9:23PM, Oct. 18, 2011
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I am not a horror fan by any stretch of the imagination, but currently I am doing a horror arc for Blood Bound.   And its just by co-incidence that it is gonna be at its worst around Halloween.  I think its well timed heh heh 
Abt_Nihil at 3:37AM, Oct. 19, 2011
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I like psychological horror, which I think basically means the questioning of what we'd consider the most important psychological constants in our life. And among those, the one I find most interesting is probably identity. There are many factors that contribute to one's identity (gender, interests, job, behavioral dispositions, social environment like friends and family etc.). I'd say the most generic way to create psychological horror stories is generating situations where the protagonist loses (or is in danger of losing) any of the aforementioned.

But for me it really gets interesting when things are questioned which we didn't even know could be questioned. David Lynch and David Cronenberg come to mind, with their weird dissoluiton of personal, situational and temporal identities. And of course, I believe this can be translated exceedingly well to comics. I'd cite George Burns X'ed Out, Jeff Smith's RASL, and Greg Ruth's Sudden Gravity: A Tale of the Panopticon. I guess I'm generally looking more for something disturbing than something frightening though :p

Incidentally, I do try to incorporate some creepy stuff into Holon. The aliens are a huge organic mess, similar to the creature effects Cronenberg is prone to using. I had a rotting body show up unexpectedly. And of course there's the whole basic theme of a rundown, abandoned space station, dim lighting, not knowing what's behind the next corner…
last edited on Oct. 19, 2011 3:45AM
AzuJOD at 10:42PM, Oct. 22, 2011
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I don't really like horror, I prefer stories where the monster gets its ass kicked, or is the hero, or is a hero who kicks a lot of ass.
Hawk at 11:04AM, Oct. 23, 2011
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I used to think I loved Horror movies, when it really turned out that I love Suspense movies…  and it's quite often the Horror movies providing the best suspense.  The appeal for me comes from playing on the viewer's expectations, and through a proper setup, defying those expectations at the right moment.  Great horror relies on great timing.

It's the timing factor that makes horror such a hard thing to do in webcomics.  You'll never quite be able to get the startling factor of horror movies thanks to the nature of the way we read comics (unless you're taking some sort of motion comics route) but you can still use those panels to prey on readers' expectations to acheive the sense of dread.  It may take some time and several pages to do.  But you can use those pages to establish atmosphere and control the pacing of the story.

But horror in a comic is challenging.  And I think that's why a lot of authors turn right to gore and violence, as it relies on shock value and doesn't require any setup.  For many this works, but that kind of shock value will have diminishing returns over the course of your comic, and probably not have the lasting effect of psychological horror.
ayesinback at 2:24PM, Oct. 23, 2011
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I'm not much for violence, which is where many horror movies camp.  Yesterday I watched AMERICAN PSYCHO for the first time.  If that's not a horror flick I don't know what is.   But it got to a point of “enough already”. 
I wasn't scared; more like disgusted and by the time it ended, I was done with it.  There wasn't that spooky hangover that stays with you for hours or days after the movie - that makes you look into the shadows a second time to be sure there's nothing there.
 
under new management
Call Me Tom at 10:46PM, Oct. 23, 2011
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I Love Horror! I love psychological Horror, I love Shock Horror, I love classic Horror, I love blood bath horror, I love supernatural Horror I even love that bad cheap horror you tend to pick up at the £ shop!

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