|Eastern Heresies, Family Style.|
I am the cartoonist responsible for Internet abominations Witchprickers, Guttersnipe, and Murry Purry Fresh and Furry. My work has appeared in Furrlough, Genus, Golddigger, and Monsterhaus. My first graphic novel, Malleus Maleficarum, is now available from SLG Publishing. I'm also the illustrator for Misunderstanding Comics.|
I also cohost the podcast SHOW with Aurelina. We talk about fat fetishism, furry abominations, weird websites, crazy old movies from the thrift store, and other hilarious horrors that you should know about.
I like fat girls and sometimes I draw them. You can see more of that in the Muffintop collection available now!
Now the truth is revealed! Santa is Nackles! For those of you who have not read Your Guide to Child-Eating Monsters, and which I believe is free to all Patreon sponsors HINT HINT, Nackles is an evil anti-Santa who appears in the eponymous short story by Donald Westlake. There’s not much more to him, but I wanted to point out that I didn’t invent the name.
Well, I guess I could have made him the Grither. That’s not much better!
I also received Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts in the mail yesterday. Very excited to see where this one goes!
The Reeve, another character from southern gothic hell. The reeve is not a demon so much as an elemental force, called up from the very ground of hell itself. You call on the reeve when you need someone caught -- or worse -- because once summoned, the reeve will not rest until his task is completed, like an avenging fury or a mister meseeks. My initial concept of the Reeve was that he should bring to mind the southern archetype of the racist cop who busts your taillight, but his retro-1920s policeman outfit just makes him look like a keystone cop. I might need to redesign that.
The Reeve's theme: God's Gonna Cut You Down (Johnny Cash)
In retrospect, I really should have written “GINGERbread and circuses,” but then I didn’t feel like relettering that whole word balloon. So eh.
So first, you should go check out the fanart section back on www.guttersniepcomic.com , some new stuff there from of Intragalactic , and other pals!
On a completely different note, I want to talk about a couple of stories I’ve read recently. If you haven’t figured it out by now from the comic you’re reading, I am a huge fan of ‘children in peril’ horror stories. I don’t like to be one of those people who’s all OH I ONLY READ YA NOVELS BECAUSE THEY’RE SO MUCH MORE REAL, but I do find that kid horror has more resonance with me. I think it’s because most of it isn’t really intended as horror, just as really fussy moralizing, so the people writing it don’t even realize how traumatizing it is. Things like Pinnochio and Peter Pan and, above all, the Carebears in the Land without Feelings. Ugh. Anyway, there are certain tropes that kind of stick out to me as being part and parcel of this genre, things you tend to see in unexpurgated Grim’s fairy tales and darker kids’ fare WITH A LESSON like Pinnochio or Strewwelpeter. (I should post about my childhood Strewwelpeter obsession one of these days.) Things like corruption through temptation, innocence betrayed and ESPECIALLY unsettling body horror punishments for minor infractions. Maybe it’s because I remember being freaked out by so many of these things in TV specials as a kid that I’m still rather sensitive to it today.
ANYWAY, I recently read two stories that I was hoping might tap into that certain je nais se quoi that makes this genre compelling for me. One was Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough. I was really excited about this book, because it’s based on the creepy murder ballad of the same name, which I absolutely adore not least because of the haunting cover by Steeleye Span. The basic premise of the book is that young Cora and her little sister Mimi have been sent to live with their cantankerous elderly aunt out in her giant isolated farmhouse out on the moors. However, there’s something sinister and monstrous lurking around the wild wastes, something that none of the local adults want to talk about, but when the monster of the title comes looking to snatch away Mimi, Cora is forced into action. I was looking forward to this book, but, ultimately, it was kind of a disappointment. It’s not terrible, but Barraclough is a first time writer and it shows. The novel is written in the first person, but Cora’s descriptions of her surroundings sound way too verbose and erudite coming out of a child’s mouth. If it was written in third person, I could forgive this and it would have helped add to the atmosphere — but as it was, it just took me out of the story. A lot of readers have praised the book’s sustained creepy atmosphere, and, well, Barraclough is really good with description but she lays it on so thickly that it starts to lose some of its bite. Worst of all, though, is that the book is ALL description. It’s literally 400 pages of build-up, so I kept waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen. Adults keep refusing to tell the main characters anything about what’s going on, so the kids mostly kust wander aimlessly through the book until the author realizes that OOPS nothing is happening so all of a sudden adults decide to start spilling the beans for no reason. The monster finally appears in the last 20 pages or so, but honestly I couldn’t finish it. I’d kept reading all through the previous 400 hoping that it would eventually get good, but when I realized I was at the book’s climax and it was still boring? Well, obviously there’s no hope from there, so I just gave up. Moody keeps giving me guff for that because she’s one of those people who HAS TO FINISH A BOOK once she’s started it. I, thankfully, am not.
Ultimately, it was really just a standard horror story with kids. Long Lankin is a monster who eats kids but there’s never any sense that there’s any real special reason that he seeks out kids other than that the author write him that way. The kids are just conveniently there.
The other story that I read was Wild Children by aka Richard Roberts, introduced to me by ribnose of Meadowhawk, and OMG this is soooo good! This story is the exact opposite in that it did everything right. It takes place in a vaguely fairytale world (I like that the time and place of the story is never well defined, adds to the dream/nightmare feel of it) in a village where children are warned that if they’re bad God will punish them by turning them into “wild children,” which are half-animal creatures that live out in the woods. Our heroine, Jenny, begins to doubt that becoming a wild child is much of a punishment after she meets the half-wolf boy Wolfgang and, more to the point, sees some of the things that adults justify in the name of keeping the village safe from his Wolfgang’s influence. The fact that the protagonists are kids is not incidental here, it’s VITALLY RELEVANT to the narrative — this is a story about the loss of innocence, hard choices about choosing your own path as you grow up. Also, instead of being passive bystanders, the kids take a active role here– everythingthat happens in this story is because of Jenny’s choices. It really taps into the confusion of being a kid just on the cusp of understanding the adult world. You guys should all read it. Basically, it’s all the things that I’ve wanted Guttersnipe to be. XD The first chapters are available on Deviantart, and Roberts has a bunch of other books on Amazon that I’m eager to check out.