This year during my work with DJ Matticus & Revis Edgewater I’ve gotten a new perspective on elliptical designs and spheres of all sorts, it’s no wonder I started dreaming of black holes. Our work together on sci-fi and fantasy novels this year also ended up in this year’s #31Nightmares, as one of my concept sketches that was an early design for an upcoming fantasy novel, was also something I dreamt about, an endless void, an imploded star, a strange region in space. It was beautiful but terrifying in my nightmares.
This has been Day 20
This concludes our week diving into the surreal side of horror.
Stay tuned as we make room for our guests to arrive
Zombies have been such a massive force in our pop culture over the last thirty years or so, we see them everywhere. Everything from our favorite video games and television shows, to movies, merchandise, and more, has been given the zombie treatment.
There is a man that can largely be credited with setting up this genre and creating a new lane for it. That man is none other than Mr. George A. Romero, and sadly we lost him earlier this July. Although that loss has surely been felt, Mr. Romero’s impact on the horror genre is undeniable, and isn’t going anywhere.
With hit shows like The Walking Dead now running mainstream entertainment that has been made loud and clear. There are countless games, most notably, Resident Evil, along with more current like Minecraft, and Killing Floor, that have all touched on the now vastly popular sub-genre.
I don’t see this genre fading despite seeing some complaints over the years that it’s been overdone. Not when there are still new creations that keep pumping on out and continue to do well.
Some of the screenshots used in this installment of 31Nightmares feature zombies in the game Minecraft. This game is still going strong well into 2017.
This week we’ll be touching on many other Master’s of Horror and their influences.
Over this weekend I had the unique opportunity to finally catch up with some friends. Being buried under some snow helped get some projects nearer to completion.
The common theme that seemed to ring through every single conversation was one of hope. We all feel it. In this industry I get to work with a lot of different walks of life. Some of us are artists. Others are musicians. Some are actors, authors, and bloggers. You catch my drift. We are a colorful bunch.
These friends have been telling me in different forms they sense this is going to be a tremendous year for the arts. That thought in itself brings me some hope for this year.
“It must have been love, but it’s over now.” – Roxette
Sometimes an overflowing of hate can make a person like me shut completely down. The shards from words that cut can fly through the room. When you’re not looking, sometimes those airborne pieces of glass can pierce straight into the heart.
You may notice it got quiet. You may not.
What happens when even the people who fight for good are tired and weary?
“This is no terror ground, or place for the rage.” – A Strange Kind of Love by Peter Murphy
My recent break from social media left a few of my friends questioning if I was alright. (Don’t worry, I’ll be back by Friday morning. I know a few days in *internet time* adds to about a year or something in reality.) I had to unplug for my sanity.
With all of the racial tensions, gun debates, political arguing, and just good ol’ fashioned hate going on, my brain simply shut down. I’ve been through this before.
For many years now, I’ve been close friends with another very talented artist, Mr. David Barnett. You may have heard his name mentioned here before on CardCastles due to some unfortunate events that took place a few months back. Today, thankfully, I get to show off some of his amazing talents instead.
Dave and I have been gaming buddies for some time now. We both work and play well together. (Sometimes, we play so well together…we even beat hackers.. Hint: My username on PSN is: TouchMyHeart.)
Back around 2008-2009, Dave (better known as KilledByKangaroo) created some masterpieces through LittleBigPlanet, a game that allows you to create your own levels and mini-games. He worked hard, and it showed when he formed his breathtaking tributes to another well-known video game franchise, Silent Hill.
He went on to create three more in this series as the years went on. Around 2010/2011 we collaborated on his Silent Hill 3 intro. (More on that below)
An Interview with KilledByKangaroo
What inspired you to create these amazing Silent Hill tributes on LittleBigPlanet?
As soon as I heard about LBP and what you can do in it, I immediately thought of making a scary level. Silent Hill Homecoming had come out around that time too and that game just made me want to replay the original Silent Hill. So I decided to try and see how close I could recreate Silent Hill 1 out of the tools LBP gives you. I only planned on making one Silent Hill tribute, but I had so much fun making it I immediately started on the sequel.
What does “artistic expression” mean to you?
To me its a way of letting people know who you are without personally meeting them. You’re giving them an idea about what your feeling and spreading your thoughts in a way that can’t be done by just telling them. With the Silent Hill tributes I’m sort showing how much the series has meant to me.
Which is your favorite tribute level?
There was one level on LBP2 that was a tribute to the Clock Tower games that I thought was brilliant. Out of all the tribute levels that I made though, I’d say my favorite is the Silent Hill 3 Intro. I have more fun making cinematics than the gameplay and I love how it has things that my friends did for me like the music sequencer by SevenIsACannibal and the “Lost Carol” vocals that you sang.
What was the most difficult task during these projects?
Trying to squeeze in all the ideas I had. The bigger you make something, the more detail you can put into it—but then you have to be careful that you have enough space for everything else. So it was difficult trying to decide which parts would be big with lots of detail and which parts would have to be smaller or cut out completely. I had to scrap some boss fights for the first SH tribute, but I really didn’t want to do that with SH2 so I had to make it work somehow, and that was very difficult.
Quite a few people love your work. What do you think it is they love about it?
I like to think its the attention to detail and the amount of content that was crammed into each project. I tried to do things that I haven’t seen many other creators do and I think people appreciate that.
I’d like to thank Dave for being a good sport and answering my prying questions while allowing me to feature his beautiful work here.
Here are two of his fan-favorite tributes:
Silent Hill 3 Intro ft. vocals by TouchMyHeart/(Daydreams) and music by SevenIsACannibal
(Yes, that is me singing there in the beginning. Who knew, right?)
Silent Hill 3: Lakeside Amusement Park Nightmare
I look forward to collaborating with KilledByKangaroo again in the future. I cannot wait to see what else we can create together. You can follow KilledByKangaroo in any one of these places:
Unless you’ve been numb to the world the past ten years or so, you’ve noticed there’s an overload of remakes and redo’s present in our modern culture. The irony of this time capsule being bust open into today’s world doesn’t seem to bother many – except us 80’s babies. Why is it that our 80’s-90’s upbringing is becoming reused and recycled for this future generation’s pop culture? Have writers become that lazy? Do the powers-that-be lack the originality necessary to come up with their own new fad crazes? What is the difference between those in high positions in media then and who’s controlling what’s being fed through a screen now?
If you were a kid in the 80’s, nothing was cooler than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ve spoken to countless walks of life from “gen X” that mention pretending to be them as kids. As the 90’s trekked onward, times began to change. When the mid-90’s hit, the popularity of these beloved turtles began to die down since most of us were becoming teenagers. Enter next trend, the revival of the 80’s horror flick done in a new, teen-marketed way.
Now we sit here in 2015. My peers and I roll our eyes at the 1,002nd remake of Whatever: Origins Part Two the Prequel Sequel. We want to vomit. Even the new generation is starting to want to spew their hipster coolatta. The obvious missing quality combined with an amputated storyline is making viewers sick – collectively. They’re even starting to do this with video games now. Every month seems to bring a new re-release.
What makes one wonder is why the previous generations aren’t guilty of such crimes against writing and thinking. The 60’s and 70’s certainly influenced some of the music from the early 80’s, but it wasn’t a blatant rip-off. The same went for popular culture back then. We were able to be inspired by, without having to repackage and reuse everything while telling you it’s new.
So what’s so different? Is it the speedy microwave times we’re living in now? Is it the 5 minutes or less attention span of not just most kids, but also adults today? Is it a laziness us as a people have grown to be comfortable with? Why is this not changing? When will enough be enough and we begin to demand quality again?
The common guess is, as long as reality television, rapid technology advances, and the Kardashians are still considered “famous people”, this will continue to play out until a large group speaks up.
Now, the younger generation that may be reading this (but I doubt it, you guys don’t read) may be saying “get over yourself”, “but you ain’t relevant tho!”, “Wait, what was I sayin’? There’s a new meme on my IG feed tho.” – But I assure you, this argument, along with the rest of the generations’ is valid. We are merely asking for substance. I claim not to be an expert, merely an observer, as I’ve always been, and I observe lovers of writing being saddened – apathetic even, toward this way of living.
Maybe we’re just getting old. That’s the other half of this. That’s a question I’ve often asked myself and friends. Yet, somehow, it seems we are not the only ones that feel this way. Some of the children and teens growing up in these times that do read and enjoy writing have chimed in on this argument. I’ve even heard some say “Yeah, this music sucks, that’s why I listen to older stuff sometimes”. So, perhaps it is not just us. One thing is for sure, if I see a new version of Fraggle Rockcome on someday, I just may give up television all together. I’m already starting.