Hey Kris, I just saw your post on what makes horror appealing, and it had me wondering why I've never been able to handle it. I've tried it, and I just can't handle it. Single scenes from horror movies have had me panicking and freaking out. There's no enjoyment there for me. Why? Am I weak? Should I keep at it and try to sit through the 7+ nights of nightmares and second guessing myself, or is it ok to just not be able to take any enjoyment out of it and avoid it?
of course it’s okay! also there’s a lot of different kinds of horror. but i think they all require some level of morbid curiosity. but you don’t have to like it, or ever watch it!
Hey Kris, I just want to preface with a big I LOVE YOUR WORK! You are such an inspiration and you definitely light my comic making spark to full every time I see one of your strips! Okay, now that I'm done butterin' you up... I wanted to ask about horror. I love it, I love reading it, but I'm really bad at it. I'm aiming to do something horror comic related for spooktober outside of my main comic, like a short or something. Any tips on where to start not sucking?? Thanks!!
just be like me and you’ll be the bessstttt *flies away*
why are you bad at it? what scares you, can you write from that place? everything in broodhollow scared me at one point. curious little thing was a real fear i had that bothered me when i was in an elevator late at night. think about what gets you with horror, and why! gory stuff doesn’t get me so i don’t write it, although i think i could dissect it enough to get the beats down if i had to.
also!! play to your strength. remember how the CGI for gollum and jar jar came out around the same time, roughly? and how much better gollum looks? because he’s in the shadows all the time and they knew he’d look more real lit like that!
i can’t draw much beyond my cartoony stuff. i can if i push hard, but i mean, if you look at the detailed stuff in broodhollow it’ll break down and you can find my mistakes. so i came up with a way i could draw most of the time in that style, and only break it when i needed to. if all the monsters looked like the main characters it wouldn’t be as scary. but that is my limitation and i worked around it.
You are a really smart, talented, and funny guy, and I've been following your work for well over ten years. I'm really glad to get to keep reading the stuff you have to say about both scary stuff and funny stuff, because, man, you are nailing it. Uh, anyway, if this needs to involve a question..... so, like, mirrors: the scariest, or what?
ugh, i’m so excited to get to that part in broodhollow. why mirrors are scary.
Kris, I'm personally not a big fan of the horror genre (even though I enjoy Broodhollow) can you explain what makes it appealing? Is it enjoyable to be scared?
our species’ ability to master its environment evolved beyond our species’ ability to accept that, and so we are still afraid. when we lived in caves, we knew to be afraid of the dark woods because a very real and dangerous animal might live there. now we don’t live in the cave anymore, and everything around us is man-made. but the instinct to be afraid is still here, so we just move the source to be the closet or the crawlspace.
it is very human to enjoy being scared. rather it is very human to enjoy being scared in safety. when some weirdo on the bus menaces you as a kid, saying “i’m going to get you,” you freak out. unsafe! but when your dad does it, and you know he’s only going to tickle you, you laugh. why? it’s the same threat. if that weirdo tickled you, you’d still hate it. because a threat from a trusted person is safe play. this must be why animals play-fight, too. a good way to ready ourselves for actual danger is to evolve to think “safe danger” is fun.
i think comedy has the same roots. we are presented with something absurd and asked to make sense of it, and our response is not to panic but to enjoy it.
I understand the reasons why it probably won't happen, at least not any time soon, but i just wanted to let you know how much i enjoy those Dungeons and Dragons Dark Sun podcasts you guys did and how much i wish they could come back in some way shape or form. I like all of those Aquisitions Inc. D&D podcasts but your part in those specifically were a high point for me. You are very entertaining while playing the ol' Dungen' Dragz my man
thanks! i am very happy doing the animations for the podcasts. as much as i’d like to be on there, i don’t have the same heat as a wil wheaton or a patrick rothfuss or a morgan webb. maybe when i really “make it!”
A hot gust of breath is on my neck. At least i no longer need to pee-pee
i had to go a numero dos. just then i felt a vampire’s claws at my back. well, guess i don’t have to sit and make anymore. it all went into my underwear and pants, right before the vampire attack. the end.
i had a dream once where i was in (and also reading, you know how dreams are) a candle-cove type creepypasta and the twist was just that the show was really bad. not haunted or anything, just old shitty local children's broadcasting with bad writing and abysmal production values
I haven’t read comics in about two months now. Aside from a few general pieces here and there, I haven’t written about comics in about a year. There are some things about the comics community that are pretty ugly. And those things are getting in the way of my enjoyment of comics….
I never thought a world-famous science computer inventor like me would be hiding here in this research closet, waiting for the creature my computer created to tear my body to shreds. I might as well write everything down on this bloody corpse and hope someone reads my story before it’s too late for them
Horror story idea. A man who has been cursed so that people automatically assume he is lying, and automatically hate him. The opposite of a superpower you said you'd like to have in a recent chainsawsuit podcast. He can only be around people for a very short time, before his presence gradually alienates them, and they eventually turn violent. Contemplates suicide. Is this terrible?
it’s fine i guess, it just depends on what you can do with it, and i feel like it needs a twist that plays with that device. if it’s just “guy has a shitty life and kills himself,” i don’t know what the point of that is. the reveal could be friends talking about him, saying “it’s weird, he said to me he wasn’t going to kill himself then hung up.”
also how did this get started? i was asking people for recommendations of existing creepypastas to review, not to judge concepts for creepypastas.
Horror story about a man who has been cursed with horrific, ever-worsening flatulence, but it comes out of his mouth whenever he tries to talk. He drives his family away, and eventually lives alone, having driven away or killed everything that comes near him with his noxious effluvium. At the climax he suffers a mental breakdown. "Help me!" he cries "Make it stop! Make it stop!" But all that comes out of his mouth are deafening farts, hurling him backwards with cannonball force.
Hey friends, Im looking for help again. This mainly applies to LA people - though it might be possible to work long distance. Im looking for the following - for a period of 4 weeks with potential to extend.
3d generalist(s) proficient in Maya & with a sense of design. Main skills needed are in…
You were so sweet and diplomatic about "Jeff the Killer" in your first Scared Yet...I guess if you were going to start with the quintessential creepypasta for good or bad, that probably was it. My vote for your next one (or some episode down the road, anyway) would be "Pale Luna" :)
it’s unfortunate! but i had to do it. there’s so much bad out there. maybe i will release my extended look at the story but it’s 40 MINUTES of me dramatically reading a piece of shit.
Hey Kris, just wondering something; in the latest Broodhollow, Zane says "darn" where in my mind it would be more natural to say "damn". Are you using "darn" intentionally because you imagine Zane speaking that way or are you using it to match some sort of "rating" you had in mind for the strip?
I hope that, several millennia into your permanently enduring existence, you stare across the airless void that separates you and the burned husk of a sun you once drew light from and remember the moment when you were benevolently cursed with a wish that broached no salvation for the world you knew. It might be funnier in retrospect.
Beings on a final tour of the universe find me in a coma-like state, near the heat death of all things. “We would take you with Us on our extra-dimensional journey, but Our physiologies are too different,” They say sadly, were sadness a thing They felt. “What were you?”
"I am the last son of creatures called Humanity." I don’t so much speak the words as have them taken from me, by the Beings’ probing all-mind. "And if you have time for one last story, I will tell it, then die here with What Once Was."
The Beings agree. I begin. “In West Philadelphia, born and raised
Tim and Eric's work is really weird, I love it, but at the same time completely understand any problems people have with it. (Though Check It Out is funnier than Awesome Show Great Job)
woof, i disagree — well. the part i disagree with is it being funnier. check it out is very consistently funny, and much more uniform and of-a-type than awesome show.
i loved check it out s1 and most of s2. dr. steve brule has changed from an eager-if-stupid man who was easily pleased and easily scared, to a vulgar 14-year-old. he’s become really charmless over time! it’s a bummer to me.
awesome show is much more hit or miss, but the hits work so much better i think.
i think i like tim and eric so much because it kind of becomes rote to predict comedy beats and rhythms in things. if you think about it all the time, you hear a joke setup, and you automatically fill out a flowchart in your mind what the punchline will be. tim and eric’s stuff is one of the only times i can’t predict it.
… not that everything they do is gold, there’s a lot of hit or miss and i completely understand the ways in which it is unlikeable. but i would rather they aim at a new thing and fail, than give us some plug-and-play variant on “i absolutely will not do that thing”, clock wipe, cut to guy doing that thing.
i think there’s a tier of gag that is only funny because it’s positioned as a gag. for an example of this, watch any sitcom on the disney channel. everything is structured and pitched like a joke — staging, delivery, content, pause for laughter, audience reaction — but it’s so mechanical and unfunny. i think people, to a degree, became conditioned to laugh at things that are delivered in the trappings of humor, but are not actually funny or engaging.
Soooooo, when do we start getting youtube vids of you critiquing creepy pastas? :D And do you listen to any of the creepy pasta narrators on youtube? I feel a little odd because so many of them are infants (from the perspective of someone over 30 >.>), but there are a few I think really bring something to the stories, in the way that some stories are just better/scarier when they're *told.*
so — i have the first episode written, but in researching all these stories, i discovered that 95% of creepypasta is awful. what i wanted to do was do a series that found good and bad, and wasn’t just me complaining. but the more creepypastas i read, the more i’m like “this is like critiquing fanfic.”
i will still do the videos, i just don’t want them to devolve into a super negative, sarcastic look at bad work.
TACOMA, WA—In an effort to express her affection and brighten her son’s day, local mother Julia Parker, 43, reportedly tucked a loving, handwritten note into her 11-year-old son Connor Parker’s bottle of Concerta medication Monday mornin…
so here’s a sudden, bittersweet memory from my childhood.
in 3rd and 4th grade, the full weight of my anxiety finally landed. i would have panic attacks and fits that made no sense — i remember crying to my mom that “i have no friends,” when even i knew that wasn’t true. i was anxious 100% of the day, and really believed that was how everyone felt. i couldn’t understand how anyone else functioned. i’d say i was sick to go to the nurse’s office, just to escape… whatever it was.
in 4th grade, my mom used to write little notes like this to me and put them in my lunch, and i would cry and cry reading them. in class i’d say i had to go to the bathroom, just to have an excuse to read them again. (then i got made fun of for having to go to the bathroom all the time.)
seeing this made all that flood back. my mom wore (still wears?) chanel no. 5, and would put it on the notes. at the time it comforted me, but to this day i can’t smell that perfume without feeling the anxiety from back then.
(mom, if you’re reading this, you don’t have to stop wearing it.)