shadydave: (do not taunt the octopus)
[personal profile] shadydave
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark gets new, far less pants-wettingly horrific illustrations

This makes me deeply sad, because as the article points out, the art pretty much MADE those books. And it's not like it was sprung on unsuspecting innocent children. If you couldn't look at this:



-- and determine, "Wow, maybe this book is full of SCARY STORIES and unnerving drawings by Stephen Gemmell!" then you deserved all those nightmares about skull baby things or horse skeletons or seriously how did anyone mistake this for chihuahua or dear God what is that thing or AAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH for your poor comprehension skills.

(I have no idea if Gemmell tapped into some freaked out pocket of the collective unconscious, or he just became my (and apparently many others') standard for sheer visual horror, but I've always thought the scariest special effects (Dave McKean in MirrorMask, Spielburg's stuff from the 80s, anything vaguely ghosty by Peter Jackson) are the ones that looked the most like the illustrations from those damn books.)

I'm against banning books in general -- and these books have been subjected to that many times -- but in this case I think we're doing ~the children~ a genuine disservice by taking away their ability to discover the true depths of the horror genre. It's probably better to figure out for sure whether this stuff makes you either want to read more or hide under the bed at the age of 9, when it's under your control to read on, rather than encounter that dilemma during a chance encounter with accidental nightmare fuel in some otherwise innocuous work of fiction that you now cannot unsee. And the real world has much scarier things out there; we all have to learn to deal sometime. Keeping that choice away from some kid won't help them in the long run.

Also, it's kind of funny to look back and go "JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE THINGS."

And now I'm waiting for the day when Stephen Moffat hires this guy as a consultant. It will be glorious, and then I will never sleep again.

Date: 2012-02-28 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dracis.livejournal.com
Good thing I have the original books with the original art on my shelf.

Though good gravy sometimes I can't even look at this series.

Date: 2012-02-29 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadydave.livejournal.com
Ohh, lucky. I always borrowed them from our classroom's library.

I'm pretty sure the majority of the horror from these stories comes from going, "Well, a regular ghost wouldn't be too bad, but God help me if THAT THING (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W887LvDEnhk/TtHAumAICbI/AAAAAAAAB9M/q_2-zLPLdUk/s1600/sc33bu8.gif) showed up. D: D: D:" How can anyone make a prom dress (http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/jessikaka09/white-satin-evening-gown.jpg) that creepy???

Date: 2012-02-29 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imweirdlikethat.livejournal.com
Noooooooooooo I loved those books! I think I even own one of them. I agree - the art made it. Who the hell wants to read a scary story that doesn't scare you anyway???

Date: 2012-02-29 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadydave.livejournal.com
These would probably be LESS scary if you read them in the dark. Then you couldn't see the illustrations!

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