Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Nightmare Factory

This is a comic adaptation of some stories by Thomas Ligotti, who is apparently famous. In my original review of this book, I said it was confusingly terrible, but after doing further research I have to say that I just don’t understand Ligotti’s vision and he would probably want someone like me to have the reaction I did. From this sample of four, I can say that Ligotti’s idea of a horror story goes something like this:

An underdeveloped male character, probably kind of depressed and studious, hears about something bad. A big group of people do something mysterious. Something scary and disturbing is seen. The protagonist is a little creeped out but ultimately just miserable. At the end of the story he’s even more depressed and makes a comment about how his sanity is lost forever.

I am a dull person and I guess I enjoy by-the-numbers horror. To me the scariest part of a horror story is usually the explanation or realization of the horror. Whenever a disturbing image would appear in Ligotti’s stories, I would get excited for the reveal of where the image came from or what it signified, but instead the main character would just reveal how depressed and miserable he was.

When I internet researched Thomas Ligotti he seemed like a respectably consistent guy who, rather than failing to write what I expected from a horror story, is just pursuing entirely different goals. He says that he’s very depressed, hates everything, isn’t interested enough in real life to write realistic characters, and only wants to communicate how much he hates everything and thinks life is meaningless. He actually seems like a nice guy.

I wouldn’t read any more of his writing, but I did think the second and third story in the graphic novel had interesting art, and the art in the fourth story was beautiful.

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