Black Characters in Gothic Fiction

Traditional gothic fiction is characterized by an atmosphere of mystery and terror caused by the unknown with strong themes of repression, paranormal, melodrama and an emphasis on setting which often features religious dualities of good and evil (morality and immorality). The genre being named after the architectural movement: cathedrals, castles and monasteries which are imagined to be laden with somber corners, underground passages, secret rooms and trap doors represent inner turmoil coming from the main and surrounding characters. A large part of the gothic focuses on the return of the settings’ hidden past (sometimes a buried family secret or an unspoken history) as well as the taboo (sexuality, abortion, murder – especially matricide/patricide – violation of religious beliefs…etc). This could be done through omens or foreboding atmosphere. Would the genre be shaped or redefined if it was given an African diasporan framework, and featured black characters? Could Octavia Butler, Toni Morison, Maryse Condé and Aimé Césaire be described as authors of gothic novels? Or would their narratives redefine the genre? Perhaps they might even create something new entirely…

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Horror, Goth and Black Bodies: Escape from Reality or Reflection of the Truth?

Popular media’s image of black men has had a significantly strong impact on our society. It poses a danger to these men, who are often shown as angry, aggressive, uncontrollable and consequently perceived as such. Jordan Peele’s Get Out challenges this. His use of aesthetics of unease and foreboding sound are elements deeply rooted in the goth subculture. Joshua Gunn’s text “Dark Admissions”1 could help to better explore the topic of gothic horror film Get Out as a new form of expression for black men. When does horror fiction and music subculture cross the line of the representation of black body terror from imaginary to fact?

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Let’s Talk Alternative Youtubers – 13 Fun Videos

Hey Fab Bats! With a couple projects in the crock pot, I can’t wait to serve each of you Fab Bats some soup from the dead man’s soul. Between cookin’ up some eerie eats for you fab freaks and checking in on my Dad’s lab so the pipes don’t pop and the test tubes stop….. I am somewhat in need of an intermission.

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Bat in Black: Interview with Vikko, Ossuary Artist

The other day I was casually waltzing around the wonderful world of the interwebs when this comic caught my attention. The characters take on three dimensional form with expressions and emotions extending beyond their lack of facial skin. As the shades they share are monochrome, the focus is not the surface, but the mind. Mostly, the story carries a message without feeling like a Saturday morning special. Turns out the artist behind these skullheads is Vikko, a flesh and bone being posting from Argentina under kurovoid. You can get a full look at their comics here. I caught up with them to try and get inside the cranium that created these characters:

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