Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Night of Terror #6: 'Schermoscuro'

Whoa, completely forgot to do a post for yesterday. This "no movies" thing is tougher to keep up with than I thought, thank God I don't have to worry about securing a Halloween costume too, I don't think I could deal with that much responsibility in one month. Anyway, Schermoscuro.

About 6 months ago I was hanging out with 31 Nights of Terror contributors Melissa Craig and Dan Pittman for our annual 31 Nights of Terror pre-seasonal brainstorming session and stockholders' meeting, and they gave me a pretty awesome gift that from what I understand isn't available for purchase anywhere. It's called Schermoscuro by comic book artist Francesco Francavilla, and they got it at some damn comic book convention or something (these damn kids and their comic books!). Because I live a horrible media-choked lifestyle, I only got around to reading it yesterday, but the delay was actually perfect because Schermoscuro is a great thing to check out around the Halloween season.

Basically, Schermoscuro is based on a project Francavilla embarked on a few years ago, to do a drawing for a single horror movie every day in October, adding up to 31 drawings in all. I know what you're thinking - you're shocked that someone else had the idea to celebrate a different horror movie every day in October, that's totally my idea that I invented. My lawyers inform me that since I don't draw we don't really have a case, so you're off the hook this time Francavilla.

The horror movies that get the Francavilla treatment in Schermoscuro are all from the classic era, with a heavy emphasis on Universal horror and other films of that period (I think the most recent one is Village of the Damned). Francavilla is great at capturing facial details and the spirit of the movie/character in question and transferring them to his own pulpy black-and-white style, and his affection for the genre is clearly bursting at the seams. In some cases, like his drawing for the original screen version of The Fly, he makes it seem even creepier than he actually does. Silent horror is also well-represented, with Francavilla even going so far as to do a drawing for the lost Tod Browning thriller London After Midnight. Cool.

Schermoscuro was (I think) my first exposure to Francesco Francavilla's work, and from this and what I've read about him he seems like someone I definitely should keep my eye on, because his style is right up my alley. Thanks Dan and Melissa!

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