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Horror Flash Fiction & Art: Shadows On The Page

Today, dear readers, I have a treat to share with you! Picture, if you will, the literary version of popular TV shows such as The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, or Tales from the Darkside. That would be the beautifully dark and creepy website, Shadows On The Page.

“It’s been in the hall for days now. Standing at the door to my apartment. Sometimes it leans forward and presses its face against the peephole. Looking in at me. Willing me to let it in, too unintelligent to know that it could have me if it wanted.”  —The Thing In The Hall, Vince Font

Ivana says…

SotP pairs the hauntingly beautiful watercolor art of YouTuber Jane Font with her husband Vince’s horror-genre flash fiction—fictional works of extreme brevity that never-the-less contain a complete story. The husband-and-wife team match a story to a piece of art, or vice versa, and post the combo to the SotP blog a few times a month.

Vince’s stories range from simply mysterious, like Out Beyond The Mist and The Mystery At Laughing Rock, to disturbing, such as Mother and The Killing Tree, and from touching, like the companion pieces Night Visit and Tess, to downright scary, like The Thing On The Lake and The Thing In The Hall.

The Darklings by Jane Font

Jane’s watercolor art enhances the feel of each story. The art for The Darklings foreshadows that visceral feeling of disbelief and betrayal that comes when adorable pets turn into scary killers. The oddly-romantic red moon and evergreens of Howl: A Lycanthropic Love Song create the perfect setting for a painful werewolf transformation. And the art for The Thing In The Hall really ups the creep factor for that story! My favorite images are probably the ones for Tess and for Cemetery Man, a story that reminds us that the supernatural is oftentimes less monstrous than mankind.

Each post on SotP is a sparkling jewel of creepy, carrying with it a sense of mystery and wonder that is often missing from the mundane world. If you want just a little taste of spooky, just enough to remind yourself that you are alive and safe and living in the normal world, be sure to visit Shadows On The Page.

The Cemetery Man by Jane Font

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Vince Font is a published author and founder of Glass Spider Publishing, which offers support services for self-publishing authors.

Jane Font is an artist and art instructor. She offers acrylic and watercolor tutorials on her YouTube channel, Painting With Jane.

I, Vampire Vol. 1: Tainted Love by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino

Another title of the new 52, a reboot of sorts from DC.  However, don’t ask me to explain all of the things DC has done in the past twenty years, with three different storylines, as I don’t think I can explain it.

Title: I, Vampire Vol. 1: Tainted Love
Author: Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino (illus)
Series: I, Vampire
Publish Date: October 9th, 2012 by DC Comics
Genre: graphic novel, superhero, horror
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: As a part of the DC Comics – The New 52 event of September 2011, I, Vampire is reborn in this new ongoing series!

For hundreds of years, vampire Andrew Stanton kept mankind safe from the horrors of the supernatural world, thanks to a truce he made with his ex-lover Mary, the Queen of the Damned. But now that truce has reached a bloody end and Andrew must do everything in his power to stop Mary and her dark forces from going on a killing spree – and she plans to start with the heroes of the DCU! Their past behind them, they find themselves ready to battle to the death…but only if those feelings really are all gone. Knowing the difficult battle before him, Andrew will have to work with John Constantine and Gotham’s Dark Knight, Batman!

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino mix the world horror with super-heroes in one of DC Comics’ most exciting new series!

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

In this collection, it really is a story of Tainted Love. Andrew Bennett made a vampire out of Mary, but while he isn’t a killer and feeds to live, Mary took to being a vampire like breathing. And she reveled in it—in the hunt, the kills, the feeding—to a level Andrew doesn’t like. Now, some of this is in the flashbacks, and I get the sense that maybe the two of them traveled well together, but she slowly embraced the violence more than Andrew. I don’t understand why he didn’t act on this sooner.

For me, that was the tip of the proverbial iceberg of issues I had with this story. Andrew knows what Mary has become . . . so leaves her for decades and only reappears when she might give away that they exist. I don’t get that. In a world of aliens, caped crusaders, and powered people, who would blink at vampires? And wouldn’t it be better to let the general populace know about them? When several other DC heroes are brought into the story, I don’t understand why vampires aren’t made public. Further, having waited so long, now she has created so many, it’s not easy for Andrew to just get to her. He created a problem and is trying to deal with it, but it’s all too forced.

Not knowing anything about vampires in the DC universe, their powers made no sense to me. It’s as if they have any power ever mentioned by any source. Turning to mist, strength, speed, senses, shapeshifting into animals, even flying just seems to happen as needed for the plot, which doesn’t work for me. Then there is a twist at the end with a big reveal, but again, with no foreshadowing, it all fell flat.

Finally, the art was not good. There were times where it didn’t direct me in the correct direction to read, which didn’t help. I should have gone across both pages but read down one because it wasn’t obvious which way to go.

The only reason I am giving this a two instead of a one is that there are some good moments and some standout art. However, it was a close thing. Further, I don’t even see how this story could have been improved. It was too cliche.

Other New 52 reviews:

The Darkness: Giger Texas by Joe M. Solomon

What do you do when the very darkness is attacking you? A small group of friends is about to find out.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

The DarknessTitle: The Darkness: Giger Texas
Author: Joe M. Solomon
Series: Stand Alone
Publish Date: October 3rd, 2017, NES Publishing
Genre: Horror
Source: Provided by publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionWhen night falls in Giger, Texas, shadows gather as they always do in dim corners and other areas bereft of light. But this time they consolidate and attack any who tread too close. Michael Warren, a twenty-four-year-old resident of Giger, finds himself at the epicenter of this horror and is stunned by the losses suffered overnight. Then the sun sets and the shadows again coalesce, growing more aggressive, the darkness eviscerating anyone it touches.

His only weapon light, Michael struggles to survive and searches frantically for his girlfriend, aiding friends along the way. When Hurricane Daniel roars ashore, wind gusts shred trees and tear down power lines, plunging all of Southeastern Texas into blackness that only feeds and strengthens the encroaching darkness. Rising floodwater provides easy thoroughfares from which the darkness can strike as Michael and his friends contend with the elements, clash with criminals, and battle their way to his residence where they will stand against the darkness and fight to survive. 


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

First off, let me just say WOAH! The creep factor is strong in this one!  When the author lists Stephen King as one of his inspirations, you can definitely tell. You can feel the horror that the characters are going through.  I mean, SPOILER ALERT—EVERYBODY DIES! Ok, ok, not everybody, but pretty damn close!

A funny little side note—I told my fiance that this story reminded me of Stephen King before I even knew that the author was inspired by him!

There are a lot of characters. Most are insignificant, and many meet their doom. All of them make you feel for them. Even the tidbits of background that we get on these minor characters make their demise that much more horrific. Not only are these characters battling this strange darkness, but they are also battling each other and mother nature. A lot happens in this book, but it works. And the twist when we find out what the darkness really is—WOW!

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I did have one issue. Many of the main characters are running around in a hurricane. A HURRICANE! That was just a little unbelievable to me as the winds can get very strong and streets can become rivers. Now, the author does have characters wading through rapidly rising waters, but with rapidly rising waters often comes swift currents, and none of our characters are swept away.

If life weren’t so hectic, I can guarantee you I would have finished this in a day! It is a horror novel worthy of Mr. King, and I give it 4 flashlights!

Other recommendations…

If you love horror novels you might try Horns by Joe Hill, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, Under the Dome by Stephen King

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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