Thinking on this:
“I had to make up my mind whether I really wanted to continue making films. There was so much negativity you might as well stop. So what do you do? Stay down dead? No. I realised then, you can’t let the system crush your spirit. I really did want to continue making pictures. I’m a director. I’ll make a low-budget picture, After Hours. I’m going to be a pro and start all over again.”
A place for horror fiction
Reports of crimes which leave the reader thinking, “How could somebody to do that to another person?”can be found in news reports daily; one wonders if there is still a place for horror fiction.
The facts reported in the news are graphic and often supplemented with video camera footage from eyewitnesses. What cannot be shown on broadcast news can easily be found in a few minutes scouring the web. Little is left to the imagination.
However, news reports often rely on the spectacle of a crime to carry a shocking story through to the end. The brutality of a crime committed is the fence around which most news stories draw their fence. They venture no further. Writers are confident that detailed descriptions of the act itself are enough to chill the reader.
This is where horror fiction still has a dark corner, away from the light, to grow. It’s main opportunity to chill and terrify lies in being able to connect the dots between where the average person begins to where they can end up committing unimaginable acts.
Someone recently asked me if I could remember the first comic I ever bought. This was like asking a marathon runner who’s crossed the finish line to recall who was standing next to him at the start line – you know there was somebody there, but beyond the colour of their top, you can’t remember the shape of their beard.
Recollections of covers swirled past in my head. I couldn’t remember.
What was perhaps easier to remember was the enjoyment that reading comics brought me. Reading comics was always a glimpse into the future and a world of possibilities. It was a world you shared with characters, who, while they could fly and perform huge feats of strength, still faced human and everyday problems.
As a kid, I wasn’t drawn to these characters because of what they could do – although it played a part – rather, I felt they were already much like me, but the way in which they solved their struggles on such an epic and colourful canvas made facing my own problems less disconcerting.
The comics I enjoy today still fulfil that basic need.