I wanted to let you guys know about the release of a project that I’m very passionate about. Written and illustrated by the incomparable Nimue and Tom Brown, the brand new edition of Hopeless, Maine graphic novel has been uneashed upon the populace!
Here’s how Tom and Nimue describe their brainchild:
Hopeless is a strange, gothic island off the coast of Maine, cut off from the rest of reality for the greater part. Hopeless Maine is also a graphic novel series, the peculiar child of Tom and Nimue Brown. Here’s a little taste of island life.
Now what made me fall in love with these Graphic Novels was the artwork; a visceral Gothic masterpiece of landscapes and creatures that slithers in the dark reaches of the imagination like nothing else. I loved it from the very first images. Then, I read it, and fell in love with the brilliantly simple storytelling that gives plenty and leaves plenty, too, so that the reader can’t help but soar away on flights of their own dark fantasy.
As an honoured part of the Hopeless, Maine blog tour, I’ve been blessed with the presence of one of Hopeless’ denizens, the utterly creepy Owl Demon:
Owl Demon. To confuse matters, residents of the island of Hopeless, Maine tend to call anything unfamiliar a demon. This has included especially funny looking chickens, and a parrot who came ashore with a shipwreck. It’s difficult, when faced with some of the island’s resident life forms, to ascertain exactly how unnatural they are. However, if you scrutinise them closely, you will see that genuine demons seldom have plausible anatomies. They don’t need to, on account of being demons. Laws of physics and biology hold no interest for them. If you stop to scrutinise an entity for long enough to identify its demonic status, this is probably the last thing you’ll ever do. Understanding the nuances of islander demonology (assume it is a demon and run away) makes a good deal of sense if you aren’t interested in having your body parts slowly rearranged. For much the same reason that islanders do not look too closely at the anatomy of demons, no one asks too many questions about where the demons actually come from.
Cooking instructions: if you were even thinking about it, seek medical or spiritual help as a matter of urgency.
Brilliant isn’t it? And the graphic novels themselves are cover-to-cover with darklings and demons, nightmare creatures and cryptozoological monstrosities.
For newbies to the series, the books are available from all good comic stores and online sites. The best place, however, would be The Book Depository where you can get the preceding volumes as well as the latest instalment, Gathering.
I can’t recommend the work of the Browns highly enough.
Go get it. Get it now. Before it gets you!
Thanks for reading.
I love movies almost as much as I love writing. Most of the time, they become interchangable as I watch a movie that sparks some idea that ends up as a story (NOT Fan Fiction. I’m sorry, but I had to stipulate that). Anyways, as I’m sure you’ll have guessed by now, I’m seriously into my dark imagery. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake is among my favourite reads, and I can’t think of anything more incredibly Gothic than that. Anyways, as I sometimes so, I’m going to talk about the movies that have inspired me ove the years or, more specifically, the Gothic ones.
Now, you might disagree as to whether these films are truly in the classical Gothic tradition. But I’m talking about the darkness, here. That feeling of dread or shivery exultation you get from reading a good ghost story, or experiencing something dark that you can’t help but like. So, without much further ado, here are my favourite Gothic movies…
Let’s start with the oldest first. As well as being one of the first Vampire movies I ever saw (not because I was old enough to be there, but because it was on TV) this is one that still bloody petrifies me. The fact that it has no sound, and the camera angles/use of shadow just make the whole thing so ethereal. Take a look at what I mean, and turn off the sound. I don’t know why people insist on adding stupid music to clips of Nosferatu. Talk about missing the point!
This probably isn’t in the true Gothic feel, being more of a sci-fi movie, but the imagery is certainly dark enough. There’s also a deep sense of being trapped and a feeling of futility to the protagonist’s fight. How can he possibly escape the labyrinthine avenues and alleyways of Dark City when the villains can warp the world around him. You might also see a bit of a similarity between the villains and Max Schreck’s character from Nosferatu. Oh, and it has Keifer Sutherland in it. What more can you possibly ask for? Apart from JENNIFER CONNELY! Schwing!
And now to my favourite of this group. I have seen this movie so many times that the VHS (remember those?) warped from the heat and the DVD has lost its shine. James O’Barr’s utterly psychotic graphic novel is the inspiration for this film, and not a lick of the depth seems to be lost. The dialogue is dumbed down for the masses, since the comic was written in almost constant poetry, but parts of the original come through in Brandon Lee’s lines. It also has one of the creepiest villains this side of the Joker. This film, out of this sall selection, probably hits the Gothic feel the most. Eric’s return from the dead to seek his revenge on Shelley’s murderers is always secondary to the love story, the power of which literally resurrects him from the grave. Take a look at the trailer, which focusses more on the action, and so does it no justice whatsoever. But you’ll get the idea.
This is what it looks like inside my head a lot of the time, folks 🙂 Greaveburn at the very least has been influenced by the kind of camera shots and colourscapes you see in these films. And since I tend to write my stories as I see them, and so as cinematically as possible, I think you’ll see where I get my obsession with dark imagery from.
Anyway, it’s been nice sharing with you as always, especially these three favs of mine. Let me know if you have any other suggestions. There’s always a chance you might put me onto a gem I haven’t seen 🙂
Thanks for reading.