Why do you think skeletons aren't scary anymore? I can't watch old b-movies without either laughing or telling the woman screaming at the walking skeleton "calm down, it isn't even that scary."
*Rubs hands together* Hoo boy, you wanna know?
First off; I’m not a psychologist, so take what I say with a pinch of salt. But you asked so here goes!
I think the reason skeletons are no longer considered “scary” is simply due to 2 things; Desensitization, and disassociation.
When I was a kid, I was REALLY scared of skulls. Skeletons too I guess but skulls specifically. And I don’t mean cartoony skulls, I mean photos and videos of real skulls and skeletons. Looking back and trying to think of why, the answers seems to be, quite simply, that a skull is a face that’s not there any more. So when I looked at them, even if photos and stuff, as a child I could not ignore the fact that I was looking at something which was, essentially, looking back at me. And that’s unnerving.
A skull, and a skeleton, are essentially “something which is not there any more”. Both in the physical sense of flesh, but also in the metaphorical sense of “life”. Since literally forever, Skeletons have been shorthand for the concept of “death”. But this REALLY came into play after the Black Plague in Europe. Suddenly, a rather stagnant culture as far as art went, got a boom of artistic expression. Suddenly the mundane, everyday life was completely broken away from under them, and the concept that “Death is always with us” because very much a reality. Not only in the disease still on their doorsteps, but also as an extension that “we ALL die at some point. Disease or not.” In the past, mortality was a much more accepted concept of life, as it were, but the disease really made people stop and ponder it more seriously, having needed to face it head-on for such an extended period of time.
I bring this up because a Skeleton literally came to represent not only “death” but the concept of human mortality. And its depiction in art was not so much “here is a skeleton” as the idea that “death is our constant companion in life”
Later on, (much later) in Victorian times, EVERYTHING was super melodramatic XD like… EVERYTHING. And the Victorians had an especially morbid taste. Stories about murder, ghosts, and the supernatural were extremely popular, and often very seriously believed. This was when you could actually become VERY rich as a “medium” and hold seances and could be completely considered a 100% serious business. Honestly, I blame how repressed Victorian society was that anything even remotely morbid and “scary” would get the ladies screaming. (I am specifically referring to Victorian England here of course. I can’t speak much for, say, Scandinavian culture at this point)
So right around Edwardian England, the movies came along. And with the clinging ideas of Victorian England skulls, skeletons and other creepy nasty things were still very much in fashion as “things of the supernatural” and bloody murder and all that lovely stuff. Like Paranormal activity today, Spooky Scary Skeletons you went to see to scream at, not because you’re genuinely terrified of them on a deeper level, but because “eek! The movie is scary!” I saw Jurassic Park in theaters a year or so ago during a re-release and the teenagers in front of us were losing their shit. I doubt any of them are actually scared of Dinosaurs XD but it’s fun to go to a movie and be scared.
And movies offered a unique idea which could not really be done properly on stage per se. (although I’m speaking from ignorance here. Forgive me.) and that is with special effects, even basic early ones, we could see skeletons MOVE.
And this is a whole level of “wrongness” we can’t really comprehend today. Did you know that one of the first “moving pictures” of “The Great Train Robbery” had people supremely upset because it ends with a cowboy shooting directly at the audience? I do not believe people “ran screaming from the theater because they thought they were really gonna get hit by a train or get shot” as is the popular belief, but can you imagine seeing, for the very first time in your life, a gun pointed directly at you and fired? Now imagine seeing a movie with something like a SKELETON. and it is MOVING.
Those are two concepts when put together are extremely unnerving. A thing representative of “death” of “the life that once was here is now gone” getting up and suddenly moving around. That in of itself is scary, but skeletons are also often pictures as being malevolent. They are things of wrongness and they want to HURT YOU.
Much like bad CGI, a moving skeleton is right smack dab in the uncanny valley. Something far too human, but just not quite there. Moving around, sometimes talking, and in this case, out to get you. It’s human… but not quite.
But of course, as time goes on this becomes an easy crutch. And not all special effects are equal. A skeleton in “Jason and the Argonauts” may not be scary any more, but it’s still damn impressive.
“The Screaming Skull”? Not so much…
Soon. We stop associating Skeletons with “They are us, but not quite” with “horror movie” and “Halloween”. They no longer represent what they are. They’ve become shorthand for the idea of horror, rather than a representation of it.
When we look at skeletons these days in movies/cartoons/video games, we have come to associate them as something other than human. a “Skeleton” is now basically the same idea as “an orc” or “a mermaid”. It’s become a mythical species of its own. Its lost the root of what made it scary to begin with, the association with ourselves and our own mortality.
This is through over-use, through decades of subversion of ideas “what if skeletons were actually NICE?” which was novel when it first happened, but is now simply an extension of the “mythical creature” that is a skeleton. We have come to associate skeletons with skeletons, rather than death, decay, loss and the supernatural.
This is not to say this is bad. That is simply the way of things. And in fact, speaks volumes of where humans have gone in ways of empathy. Many people these days really love skeleton characters for the exact same reasons they were scary. “They’re like us, but different.” And whereas that was scary, it is now cause for affection. For reaching out and wanting to befriend and protect something almost like us… but not quite. Because human nature, (despite our best efforts) is really to be kind. And something that had become a character in of itself, it was only a matter of time before it became something sympathetic rather than just plain horror.
Although no longer scary in of themselves though, it is possible to remind people why we found the idea of a living skeleton scary in the first place. it’s extremely hard, and may not be “scary” but it can be done. But it needs to reestablish that association we had as children on an instinctive level.
A good example is “Wiseman” from Sailor Moon. (Yes really). I don’t find him “scary” as an adult, but as a child I would’ve been fucking terrified of this guy. And although not scary, he remains supremely creepy.
Mostly because we only ever see him like this:
And eventually, as the show goes on, there are brief moments where he does this:
Until, finally, in only 2 episodes we see what he really is. But we don’t see it right in front of us. It’s just shown in flashes, in brief moments as he speaks.
Coupled by the fact that over the course of 20 episodes or so, he very very slowly starts talking about his own ideals. That of death. Of despair, loneliness, and annihilation. Specifically, the death of hope, and the removal of any kind of future at all. There is no hopefull future, is Wiseman’s gospel. “Humans are ultimately alone. And they will die so. There is no happy ending. There is no future. So all you can do is respond with hate and anger to that which you cannot escape, and take as many people down with you as you can.”
So I hope that explains it a little at least?
We use to be scared of Skeletons because we associated them with our own death, and with the inherent wrongness of something dead still showing signs of life.
We’re no longer scared of them because we’re taught “nah. a Skeleton is just a person like any of us. They just look a bit different. But they’re nice when you get to know them. And if they’re assholes whatever. They’re just skeletons. like any of us, really.”
Can I ask why the "For Everyone Who Likes to Create" post makes you angry? You don't have to answer if you don't want to
Oh dear. Do you really wanna hear me rant? ^^;
Simply, because I was in a really bad headspace when I saw it the first time. And I’ve been having a rough time for the past few months for various reasons (Stress. Mostly) which has bled pretty heavily into my self esteem regarding my art.
And I became frustrated by posts like that comic promising that things will be better, that you’ll eventually find worth in your own art, that people will look up to you and that you’ll eventually realise your own worth. And after such a long time I become irrationally angry, basically yelling “WHEN??” Because in my experience it hasn’t happened yet, and seems to only be getting worse, and when people offer words like that it sometimes feels like they don’t actually understand how low you can really get, and that their support and help is from someone who actually knows how to pull themselves back up when you yourself can’t see ANY of the good things they show to happen in that comic. Ever. At all.
And seeing that comic actually made me feel so much worse and even more hopeless. I guess because I didn’t believe it, and just want to respond with “it’s really cruel to lie to people like this.”
That’s it basically.
I was unfair at the time, and really upset. I still feel like the comic doesn’t fully ‘get it’ but I know that’s my problem. It’s not like I don’t understand the message of the comic or anything. But at the time it just felt so horrible to see something promising hope when you honestly truly believe “there’s no way you understand what it feels like if this is what you believe.”
I know that’s not true though :/ and I’m hoping if I keep making myself reblog it when I see it, and read it every single time, I’ll get over myself and internalize what it’s REALLY trying to say.
tl;dr I’m a mess and threw a tantrum the first time I read it. But it’s not so bad now.
My friend wants to know the name of the comic from which you got that awesome panel of Donald;D. Do you remember?
Oh! Sure lemme try and see. It’s a photo I took of one of my own books and I only have a few, (Not many are sold here) I know it’s definitely a Carl Barks story.
Ah. it’s from the story ‘Darkest Africa’ by Carl Barks which is included in the new Fantagraphics published book for “Disney’s Donald Duck: The Old Castle Secret” which includes a bunch of different stories (although they only named the book after first story)
I hope that helps :D it’s a good book as a whole! I should read it again.
HELLO, POPPING IN TO SAY YOU ARE AN INCREDIBLE ARTIST AND I LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO AND YOU ARE SO SWEET AND I ENJOY FOLLOWING YOU SO MUCH PLEASE ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR DAY YOU TALENTED LOVELY BEAN <3
Oh my goodness thank you so much!! <3 <3
I’m actually just going to be and saw this as I was shutting down. What a nice message to go to sleep with 8′D thank you!! <3 I’m so happy you enjoy following me through all my random reblogs and nonsense posts X’D You’re so nice!!
I hope you have a lovely day/night too!! Thank you for such a lovely message!
oh man. I know a skeleton that scares me to this day but he's probably only known among swedes... Greve/Lord Von Dy I HATE YOU. Like the animation for him is super bad but it's the way he acts and the whole thing that makes him the bad guy that just gives me the shudders. BRRRR just thinking about him has me grossed out and nervous
Ah, I’m afraid I don’t him, and sadly google fails me and I don’t see anything that could match what you describe! D:
I’m trying to think but I can’t think of any skeletons I still find scary. But I know of some which are at least creepy!
The best example I can think of is “The Bone King” from The Black Cauldron, which is probably the best thing about that movie tbh
And honestly? Any skeleton creature/boss in Dark Souls is no joke. I don’t even play Dark Souls but you don’t need to tell me running into one of these things in the dark isn’t terrifying
You should read "Flowey's not a good life coach"! It's really good and doesn't exactly follow canon or have spoilers, just characters and interpretations of them and their reactions!
I will read it. And thanks for letting me know <3
But I don’t want to read it while writing my own comic, because chances are if I like FNGLC (That’s an awful acronym we need a better one) I’m gonna subconsciously appropriate things from it into my own story. Whether it’s timing of a certain conversation, or a shot of the background, or a similair sentence just reworded slightly.
I know this about myself, and inherently that is not bad, but seeing as both are Undertale comics, I don’t think it’d be fair to the artist/s of FNGLC nor would it make me feel very good about my own story either.
Also, guys I really do mean it’s a hard knock to see REALLY good UT comics from other people in a way I’m not use to. I’m pretty sure it’s other underlying issues on my part just using UT comics by other people as an outlet for negative feelings or whatever… .but it still hurts like a kick from a horse with Every. Single. Individual. Picture. that I see.
That’s a lot of horse-kicks. To the chest.
But I will check it out eventually. I do want to. Like I said, I love/hate Flowey a lot. and I appreciate good comics and art more than I appreciate the fact that I’m able to make myself coffee in the morning.
This has been “Overthinking; Episode 12, Season 3″
Hi! I'm a new follower and I just want to say something in regards to your post about other UT comics. I get where you are coming from, it's hard not to compare yourself with others, but trust me when I say your comic is one of the most wonderful I have ever seen. The style is beautiful, the flow of the story is amazing, the details you put into every frame are stunning and the characters, their interactions and expressions are glorious. I spent 20min staring at the last 2 pages both for (1/2)
Thank you very much for the kind message ;w; <3
I don’t really know how my comic could be one of the better ones tbh, and that’s not me fishing for compliments >.> (I don’t play like that) but simply because I’ve seen the other comics X’D
I’m really happy you like how I’m writing the characters, and I’m always surprised that people are actually enjoying the story so far. Reading the script as I’ve written it, I like the story myself, but the nitty-gritty of drawing each individual page makes it feel like I’m spinning my wheels. Even though I know I’m not, it’s surprising to me because I haven’t really featured anything that I know people enjoy in fan stories. (Not yet anyway) There’s no super great drama, no dangerous threat, no super angst, no immense feels. At the moment, it’s still a story about Sans in a tough situation and trying to smooth things out between him and Paps and Undyne getting dragged into the middle of it.
It’s a prelude for events to come is what I’m saying. I’m glad people are enjoying it, as I am myself, but it’s weird to hear compliments towards the story.
That all being said though, I am really happy you’re enjoying it so far <3 And as a new follower I’m sorry about my whining sometimes ^^; as I said in another reply, I’m pretty sure it’s something else that’s just using Undertale to tap my insecurities into. But no matter how I can logically try and figure out the problem, you can’t really argue logic with feelings :/ Feelings just feel. And it kinda sucks.
So I seem to be stuck with a massive inferiority complex at the moment which is a new one for me. And sometimes it’s rough to sit down and draw with a voice going ‘Ugh. Just stop. This is so mediocre. Why are you so mediocre? Just stop and give it up. What you receive in return is not worth the effort you put out. And the effort is not balancing with the end product. You’re working so hard for something so banal.” etc etc. It can be rough sometimes.
And I hate how my go-to reaction for seeing other nice UT art is immediate sadness and self-doubt ^^; This is something I’m suppose to love, dangit!
@alphagodith XD we try our best to keep all the plants in our garden indigenous, And the 2 thorn trees were here from the previous owner and already really big. They require 0 care because they’re made for the climate and rainfall here, and they attract a lot of wild birds which other people never seem to find in their gardens simply because of the trees they plant. We’ve even had hornbills visit us despite us living in the suburbs of a big city :D They also give us privacy as they block our garden from the rest of the complex’s view very well.
For @captainphoe Who did not believe me. (these are a lot worse than I thought they were. I’m so sorry! Please ignore any comparisons I made!!)
Honestly… I had MUCH WORSE in the folder but I was WAY TOO ASHAMED to let anyone see those X’D I might one day show them buuuut.
Ok see I drew these before I was on DeviantArt. probably before DeviantArt was a thing. And I mostly drew them in class at high school while the teacher was lecturing because it helped me focus better. (It took a looooong time to train my teachers to let me draw while they talk) and honestly, apart from validation from my friends and family, I had no intention of showing these on the internets and even if I did I had very little concept of how many people were ON the internets. So a lot of them are SUPER SELF INDULGENT.
But even then you get a vague idea of “one day people will see these and give me attention I so crave!”
….too bad it’s now 15 years later and that attention was not the kind I would’ve wanted at the time X’D
Feast your eyes on the LEAST cringe pictures I could find.
I had a Sonic phase for maybe 3 months once. It wore off fast. (Probably age 14 or 15 so around 2002 - 2003)
Deep meaningful Ratchet and Clank fanart to reflect my SOUL-PAIN.
The “I can’t draw anime but I really like the style so let’s try do this “chibi” thing everyone’s doing on the internet also apparently I liked Final Fantasy 9 for maybe a week or something”
Please don’t make me post my horrible Ratchet and Clank Mary-Sue or my traced pictures or my “Edgy” drawings full of “angst”.
None of us will survive…
Here’s a pony I drew when I was 13.
I drew every single G1 pony. In order. That’s 800 drawings in the garage.
@kaeshidamashii (I hope you don’t mind me responding publicly. I don’t really know how to do this sometimes)
I could try that :) Normally, I don’t really like trying to sleep to music because I like trying to chill in some quiet (My complex is so incredibly noisy. I try to find quiet when I can which is also why I sometimes stay awake so late. it’s easier to work when everyone is asleep) But I will be willing to try it. I don’t think just ignoring advice when I haven’t got much else is a good idea. It’s better to try what I can.
And thank you. I should try challenging thoughts more often. it’s hard because yhen my thoughts will jump topics once I talk myself out of fretting over something, then it’ll jump to a different topic which I may not be able to counter as easily. But it’s an exercise I should try more often. It’s difficult when I’m really tired but it’s worth trying.
That being said, thank you very much for the messages <3 <3 Thank you. If nothing else, it helps to know I can just voice things I’m struggling with here and people are like… actually willing to interact? That’s still weird to me ^^; I highly appreciate it. I can’t really believe anyone would bother to write nice words. But it honestly helps a lot. because it makes me feel like when I’m having a rough time I can come online and say so and people actually read it. And just knowing that means I can voice things easier and even if I don’t see replies. it makes me feel better afterwards and I can get some rest. It’s weird but it helps.
I am sorry I’ve been putting things like this online a lot lately >.> It seems I’m saying this stuff more often than I should. It’s been a rough year for all of us. And I’m going through some super stressful (not bad. Just stressful) events which is kinda piling up on me. So I think I’m just a little more wrung out the past few months than I usually am. I haven’t been on tumblr that long so you guys probably don’t know me when I’m more chill ^^;
But I wanna say thank you for putting up with me, guys. I know it can be tiring to read about someone struggling with the same problems over and over again; But it honestly does help. And I have been slowly feeling like I’m working towards a better place again. I just have rough spots sometimes.