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Murder, self-crucifixion & suicide by guillotine: Old-school paper ‘The Illustrated Police News’
05.05.2017
10:51 am
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July, 1895.
 
The first issue of what is best described as a pioneering tabloid-style publication, The Illustrated Police News hit the street corners of London back in 1864. It was modeled after The Illustrated London News (established in 1842) which used illustrations in their news reports, as their readers quite literally could not get enough of them. Essentially The Illustrated Police News ran with the notion that “readers” would rather look at pictures of the crimes that were being committed from Manchester to Birmingham than actually “read” about them. Ah, how little has changed since the eighteenth century, wouldn’t you agree?

Incredibly popular with the working class population, the paper often found itself in hot water for its ultra-sensational illustrated pictorials concerning booze-hungry monkeys run amok, a fatal impalement at a traveling carnival or an old man being eaten by his cats. The more stupefying the news, the better. Police News was Yellow Journalism at its best though the actual term “Yellow Journalism” would not actually be coined until the late 1890s. The tabloid didn’t even shy away from reporting news items that concerned folklore or supernatural shenanigans like gun-toting ghosts or a chance encounter in the woods with a giant serpent. Kind of like when the Weekly World News discovered Bat Boy (the internationally-known boy/bat hybrid created by WWN artist Dick Kulpa) hiding in a West Virginia cave in 1992. Did your neighbor drop her baby in the bucket full of boiling water? The artists behind the IPN would draw a titillating grim depiction of it to print for their blood-thirsty fans as fast as possible. In a detailed article about the publication, The British Newspaper Archive notes that in 1886 the readers of the classy sounding Pall Mall Gazette, which touted itself to be the voice of the “higher circles of society” voted The Illustrated Police News as the “worst newspaper in England.”

The owner of the IPN George Purkiss was so dedicated to capturing the essence of a crime scene that he would deploy his large team of 70 to 100 artists to wherever there was a dead body or some sort of mayhemic event had transpired as soon as the story was reported. In fact, the paper enjoyed a rise in circulation after running stories and illustrations of Jack the Ripper and “Negro Jack the Ripper” stories when the killer was stalking streetwalkers in the late 1800s. Purkiss also didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about what the stuck-up Pall Mall Gazette had to say about his salacious paper. Here’s more from Mr. Purkiss on why he believed The Illustrated Police News was so important:

“I know what people say, but as I replied to a friend who asked me why I did not produce some other paper than the Police News I said that we can’t (have) all have Timeses and Telegraphs. And if we can’t have the Telegraph or the Times, we must put up with the Police News.”

The fearless leader of the IPN would pass away in 1892 from tuberculosis but the paper would continue to report the news using its graphic depictions of murder and crimes of passion until 1938. There’s a motherlode of images from the paper for you to eyeball below. Some are NSFW.
 

 

 
More murder and mayhem, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.05.2017
10:51 am
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‘Horror Comic Books’: A vintage news report on the evils of reading
05.05.2017
09:37 am
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EC’s ‘Crime SuspenStories’ No. 22, May 1954
 
In the hard “g” Los Angeles of the fifties, Confidential File was the name of Paul Coates’ column in the Los Angeles Mirror and his weekly series on KTTV, the local station then owned by the Times-Mirror Company. Coates’ beat was vice: housewives on goofballs, medical quackery, La Cosa Nostra, the “tragic social problem” of homosexuality. According to Stephan Hoeller, the bishop of L.A.‘s Ecclesia Gnostica, Louis Culling and Meeka Aldrich performed a Thelemic ritual on one 1955 episode of Confidential File that we would all like to see uploaded to YouTube.

One of the social ills Coates set out to expose on his TV show was an epidemic of children reading books. In this broadcast, Coates said the Comics Code the industry had adopted the year before, after Senate hearings had exposed the link between childhood literacy and juvenile delinquency, did not go far enough. He came out swinging against Big Ink in the introduction, calling for crime and horror books to be outlawed:

In this comic book is a love story, a boy and girl in love. They get married, and after an offensively lurid description (illustrated, of course) of the couple’s wedding night, the book shows how the bride murders her husband by chopping his head off with an axe.

This comic book describes a sexual aberration so shocking that I couldn’t mention even the scientific term on television.

I think there ought to be a law against them. Tonight I’m going to show you why.

(Do you think the scientific term was “coitus”?)

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.05.2017
09:37 am
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‘Till Death Do Us Part’: Ghoulish bride & groom serve their ‘severed heads’ as cake at their wedding
05.04.2017
10:50 am
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Natalie and David Sideserf’s ‘severed head’ wedding cakes. Nice.
 
You know you have found your partner for life when you both agree that making cakes in the image of your own bloody, severed heads to serve guests at your wedding is the right thing to do. Not only do you serve the all-too-realistic cakes, but you make them together. Now that is love. And that is exactly what Natalie and David Sideserf did for their wedding in 2013.

According to Natalie, the creative force behind Sideserf Cake Studio in Austin, Texas, she and her husband are huge horror movie fans, inspiring the ahem, “no brainer” concept of making their wedding cakes in the design of two decapitated heads. The cakes, which took approximately 40 hours to complete, were served on a platter dripping with faux blood that read “Till Death Do Us Part.” Awww. Some gloriously NSFW images of the macabre cakes follow below. Also included are a few more of Sideserf’s hyperrealistic cakes, such as her remarkable Willie Nelson cake and other ghoulish/horror-themed designs that only the dark of heart could love and eat.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.04.2017
10:50 am
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The Son of Satan: That time Marvel Comics got into the Antichrist
05.02.2017
11:06 am
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Three little words can change everything. Think of all the times you’ve said “I love you,” or “I hate you,” or even just asked “How are you?” and then experienced the sometimes dramatic or emotional events that followed.

On April 8, 1966, TIME published three little words on the cover of its magazine that changed lots of things: “Is God Dead?”

No one knew the answer to this question for sure but in a growing secular world, it seemed at least a very real possibility.

With no God, there was a gap in the market, and Satan looked the most likely to fill it. A string of books and movies like Rosemary’s Baby, The Devil Rides Out, and The Exorcist appeared to answer TIME’s question. Satan was no longer the poster boy for drug-addled weirdos, Satan was now big business.

In the early 1970s, Marvel Comics supremo Stan Lee followed the trend for all things horror and the occult. Under Lee, Marvel shifted away from the more traditional good guy superheroes into far darker and more ambiguous characters. In a decade of Vietnam, civil rights battles, bloody assassinations, and growing student protest, web slingers and men in tin suits just didn’t cut it so well with the audience. In came Ghost Rider, The Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night, and The Monster of Frankenstein—all produced by a team of talented artists and writers that included Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, Mike Ploog, Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Gardner Fox, Marv Wolfman, Joe Maneely and, of course, Stan Lee. His hunch for a shift away from superheroes had been right and these comics sold extremely well.

But Lee had a bigger and even more dangerous idea—if vampires and werewolves sold well then why not go for the big kahuna himself? Lee wanted to do a comic book based on Satan. He wanted the Prince of Darkness to be the comic’s star and hero. He broached the idea with writer Roy Thomas. Thomas had reservations right away. This idea was going to be big trouble and who needs that kinda shit?  But Tomb of Dracula sells. Thomas pointed out that Dracula worked because it was about the team of vampire killers who were in the hunt for the evil Count and not the nasty, rotten bloodsucker himself. A comic just on Satan wouldn’t offer the possibility to develop the narrative or allow for good and evil.

But still, there was something here. Thomas went off and kicked the idea around for a bit. Then he had a simple suggestion that would make Lee’s idea work:

“What if you made it Son of Satan? You could still have Satan as a character, but he’s not the hero.”

Daimon Hellstrom, aka the Son of Satan, first appeared in issue #1 of Ghost Rider, September 1973. Hellstrom was then marketed via the try-out strand Marvel Spotlight from October 1973-October 1975. The readership seemed to dig the great moral dilemmas Daimon faced as a man born of a mortal woman (Virginia Wingate) but was still under the influence of his old man, the great beast.

Daimon’s adventures in Marvel Spotlight led to his own comic Son of Satan in 1975. The high hopes for this vehicle burned quickly, and the title crashed to earth after a mere eight issues in 1977. Tastes had changed. Satan was not as popular. And agents of Christianity claimed Marvel was corrupting the youth of America by encouraging them to worship the devil….quelle surprise...

This may all well be true, but you see for me I’m not sure that’s exactly the case. For although Daimon Hellstrom may have been Satan incarnate, he may have had the birthmark of a pentacle on his chest, and stolen his father’s powerful trident to usurp his evil ways, but the problem, well at least for me, was that the Son of Satan looked kind of lame—he just didn’t look the part. For a kick-off, he was usually bare chested like Sub-Mariner. He also wore yellow knee-high boots and a flighty yellow cape—a bit like Doctor Strange. But that’s nothing to compare with the real deal killer which was that Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan wore spandex. That’s right, Little Lord Satan wore red fucking spandex leggings! How in the name of Zuul did that happen? How could any parent let their child go out of the house dressed like that, let alone the spawn of Satan? No wonder Satan was so pissed off at his goofy progeny….

You can find editions of the whole Son of Satan and Marvel Spotlight on Son of Satan here.
 
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More thigh-bulging Son of Satan stuff, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.02.2017
11:06 am
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Far-out sci-fi album art for ELO, Giorgio Moroder, Earth, Wind & Fire and more by Shusei Nagaoka
05.02.2017
09:52 am
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The cover of Jefferson Starship’s 1976 album ‘Spitfire’ by Shusei Nagaoka.
 
You may not know Japanese artist Shusei Nagaoka by name, but there is no doubt that you have seen his colorful sci-fi art that has graced the covers of albums by Jefferson Starship, ELO, electronic pioneer Giorgio Moroder and Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a scant few. Nagaoka’s artwork has also appeared in countless publications from Hustler to National Geographic. Nagaoka is probably best known for his album art—one of his most impactful being the cover of the 1977 album by Electric Light Orchestra, Out of the Blue which unless you were living under a rock back in the 1970s you’ve seen. The art for Out of the Blue is highly representative of Nagaoka’s style, artistic vision and use of arresting color schemes. 

Born in Nagasaki in 1936, Nagaoka moved from the city to the island of Iki, thankfully escaping the devastation caused by the atomic bomb that was dropped by the U.S. on his birthplace in 1945. Though he did pursue a formal education for a time at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, the artist would eventually drop out choosing to follow his artistic passion on his own. Nagaoka relocated to Hollywood in 1970 where he quickly established himself as a popular, in-demand artist. In 1976 Nagaoka would be praised for his collaboration with Jefferson Starship designing a strikingly erotic image of a sultry Japanese woman smoking an opium pipe straddling a dragon on the cover of Spitfire. Fans of the graphic designer place his contributions alongside other notable artists that share his sci-fi/psychedelic vibe such as the insanely talented Pedro Bell or the great Neon Park (aka Martin Muller).
 

Artwork for Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1979 album ‘I Am.’
 
A compelling story concerning Nagaoka and his connection to the world of music was his long relationship with Earth, Wind & Fire that produced the profound cover art for the 1977 album All ‘N All; 1979’s I Am; and 1983’s Powerlight. When it came to the concept for the artwork for All ‘N All, the band’s founder Maurice White, who was a deeply spiritual man, had a very specific vision for the cover and inside the gatefold. Tapping into White’s knowledge and love of Egyptology and theology Nagaoka incorporated imagery synonymous with Egypt such as a sphinx, an all-seeing eye, and futuristic pyramids. Inside the gatefold are a series of ten white columns each with a different symbol such as a caduceus, the Star of David and the ancient Egyptian symbol of the Eye of Horus poised peacefully on top. Here’s more from White himself on working with Nagaoka:

“It was a great pleasure working on my album covers with Shusei. Even though we spoke different languages, we shared a vision. His talent and creativity helped make each of our collaborations memorable and helped extend the message in our music into the visual plane of color harmony and symbolic expression.”

There are also a few books about the artist worth picking up such as The Works of Shusei Nagaoka from 1981 and the gorgeously published Androla in Labyrinth published in 1984. Some of the images that follow are NSFW.
 

The cover of “Pleasure Prinicipal’ the 1978 album by George Clinton protégés, Parlet.
 

Giorgio Moroder’s 1979 album ‘E=MC².’
 

ELO’s ‘Out of the Blue’ 1977.
 
More of Shusei Nagaoka’s work after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.02.2017
09:52 am
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‘Watchmen’ remix tackles the godawful 2016 presidential campaign
05.01.2017
02:02 pm
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Whether you consumed it at the time or some years later, one of the cultural rites of our era is spending a couple days devouring all of Watchmen, the genre-bending, formally rigorous 12-issue superhero tale by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and John Higgins that was published at DC in 1986 and 1987.

Watchmen managed to point up the silly pretensions of costumed crimefighters even as it offered no fewer than three examples of truly exceptional men doing truly exceptional things in Ozymandias, Dr. Manhattan, and Rorschach, all told in a savvy counterfactual timeline featuring a fictitious third term for President Richard Nixon.

I don’t know if it’s that (shudder) third term or the golden trappings of the successful businessman Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias that reminded Aaron Edwards and Arlen Schumer of our current predicament with a distinctly un-super businessman occupying the Oval Office. In any case they have decided to replay the entire election as a Watchmen remix, with Trump in the Ozymandias seat and Hillary Clinton as….. wait for it… Dr. Manhattan. I suspect this interpretation will not go over in all of the precincts of our great nation. By the end of Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan is all-powerful but essentially removes himself from the narrative as his increasingly “universal” mindset makes him insensible to mere human concerns.

On January 20, 2017, Edwards and Schumer unveiled the first installment of “Who Watches the Men?” called “Trump Rises,” on The Outline, and today, May 1, comes the second one, with the title “Hillary’s Escape.” I’m looking forward to more of these.

Weirdly, in the role of Rorschach we have none other than .... Anthony Weiner! (Perhaps Nite Owl will be ....  James Comey?)

If you’re not into Watchmen, It’s worth noting that the entire story is told in a long series of nine-panel pages with each cell being the exact same size (there is one exception to this rule), and Edwards and Schumer have done a wonderful job of sticking to that premise.

Here are some of the panels from the strip, but I recommend you read it all at The Outline.
 

 

 
More after the jump…......

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.01.2017
02:02 pm
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Disaster capitalism: Paintings of Chase Bank burning
05.01.2017
12:07 pm
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It’s May Day! A perfect day to honor an American artist who paints images that disturb the 1%.

Los Angeles area artist Alex Schaefer has a sideline that has won him a fair bit of attention over the years. He likes to paint canvases of bank branches—most often Chase Bank—engulfed in flames. Make no mistake, you’re reading him correctly. He doesn’t like banks, and his paintings are a legitimate form of protest. He calls his images “disaster capitalism.”

Schaefer has actually incorporated his art in protests he attends, as this picture of him on May Day 2012—exactly five years ago—attests:
 

 
His method varies: In this canvas there is a Chase Bank engulfed in flames but there is an extra element, the Chase logo with the ironic word “freedom” next to it. Occasionally the burning bank will be obscured by a word salad of protest featuring terms like laundering, terrorism, and crime. In some canvases the target of his pyrophilic approach is Bank of America.

One startling image shows an actual lynch mob. Have a look:
 

 
My favorite examples of his art, however, are free of commentary—just the burning Chase Banks, that’s plenty for me.

Unsurprisingly, people have had a strong reaction to Schaefer’s images. To KCET Schaefer described the act of setting up an easel across from a Chase Bank in Van Nuys and commencing a canvas:
 

Once it was sketched out I started immediately with the flames. That was the first paint that I put on the canvas. So I led with the message, which was a bold move. The reaction of everyone who commented was positive. Thumbs up. [People would say] “They suck.” “they screwed my checking account,” “my brother’s losing his home.” I could feel that the image was a catharsis for lots of people. Three hours into it the police came and the rest is history.

 

The artist’s Schaefer’s easel as he captures the Chase Bank on 725 Sout Figueroa Street in Los Angeles
 
Naturally, the police have taken an interest in a painter who enjoys depicting what might be considered felonies. We’re in a post-9/11 world, so that means someone will invoke “national security.” As Schaefer said to KCET:
 

It’s a fact that homeland security considers drawing or photographing “sensitive” locations and buildings is suspicious activity. But my painting protest is different because it’s so slow and blatant. I was not “casing” the location. I was standing on the street in full view painting for four hours, talking with people, interacting. I suspect it was someone from the bank that notified authorities that they are “threatened” by my painting. And that was the exact word the police used when first confronting me. Someone was “threatened” by my art and called them.

 
You can see the full set of Schaefer’s anti-bank paintings here.
 

Van Nuys
 

Venice
 
More disaster capitalism, after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.01.2017
12:07 pm
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Disturbingly large puppets of the Tall Man from ‘Phantasm’ & the evil sewer-dwelling clown Pennywise
05.01.2017
11:18 am
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An intriguing puppet of actor Angus Scrimm as ‘The Tall Man’ from the ‘Phantasm’ film series by The Scary Closet.
 
So two things: Yes, a 50-inch puppet of Angus Scrimm, the terrifying “Tall Man” from the Phantasm film series actually exists. Likewise, so does a four-foot version of Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King’s 1986 novel It and subsequent television miniseries starring Tim Curry as the clown who lived to lure kids below the street gutters. (In other good news that involves Pennywise, director Andrés Muschietti‘s highly anticipated film adaptation of It is scheduled to hit theaters on September 8, 2017.)

Made by a company out of Los Angeles called The Scary Closet, these puppets are not for the casual collector of horror-related oddities. For instance, Pennywise was created with the help of FX rock star Bart Mixon who was responsible for creating the original image for the It miniseries. Every last detail of Pennywise’s appearance was taken from Mixon’s original tangible design which the artist has kept as a part of his own personal collection. Adding another bit of horror nerd street credibility to the puppet is the work of sculptor Charles Chiodo, who created Pennywise’s head. Chiodo and his two brothers Stephen and Edward are long-time film artists and the talented trio are probably most well-known for flexing their FX muscles in their own film, the 1988 cult horror classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space. This version of Pennywise is known as the “Battery Acid Edition.” A clever nod to the original production when the evil clown gets burned with it the stuff thanks to the quick thinking of “Eddie Kaspbrak” played by actor Dennis Christopher. Only 25 were ever made and all of them have been signed by Tim Curry himself.

The puppet of Angus Scrimm (the transfixing “Tall Man” from the 1979 film Phantasm and all of its subsequent sequels) took over a year to finish. Ten of The Tall Man puppets—which were all hand painted by Charles Chiodo—were signed by Scrimm during a reunion of the cast of Phantasm in California in 2014. If after reading this post you’ve just decided to quit your day job and fulfill your dream of becoming a traveling ventriloquist, I hope you’ve saved your lunch money, because the Pennywise puppet will run you $2,495 and Mr. Scrimm (who is currently on sale) is $1,995. You can get more information over at The Scary Closet‘s Etsy page where they have several other high-end puppets up for sale (including a very scary “Slappy” puppet from author R. L. Stine’s book and television series Goosebumps). I’ve posted a few images of the puppets below. If you need me I’ll be under the bed.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.01.2017
11:18 am
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Totally NSFW adult coloring books
05.01.2017
10:23 am
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#NSFW Totally Naughty Coloring Book (Volume 1)
 
Coloring is supposed to be therapeutic. Instead of popping a Xanax to calm your nerves, some people choose to use coloring books to lower their stress levels. I’ve used coloring books before to destress and I must admit they do work. There are so many adult-themed coloring books out there nowadays. I knew they existed I just never searched for them before.

For whatever reason I got curious and I decided to search for the “naughtier”-themed ones. Lo and behold I found ‘em! I’ve added links of where to purchase each book with a few image examples. I had to pick the tamer images for this website. Trust me when I tell you these coloring books can get quite raunchy.

The book you see above (with its page examples below) is called #NSFW Totally Naughty Coloring Book (Volume 1). You can get it here.


 

 

 
This adult coloring book is through Pornhub. It sells for $20 here. According to its description it celebrates “themes of sex, body, queerness, gender fluidity and erotic expression” and their book “invites artists and amateurs alike to color both in and outside of the lines.”


 

 

 
Dirty Little House Wife: Adult Coloring Book. Get it here.

More coloring books after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.01.2017
10:23 am
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Die Laughing: The dark & twisted humor of Kevin & Friends
05.01.2017
09:42 am
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If you like your comedy black with a little dash of sweetener then you’ll probably love Nick Fisher’s beautifully dark and twisted comic strip Kevin & Friends.

Kevin is one of those wonderfully naive and earnest characters who can always see the bright side in everything—whether this is helping someone to commit suicide or just being positive about his own brutal murder. For Kevin, the glass is always half full—even if that glass is being repeatedly smashed into his face.

Kevin’s creator Nick Fisher describes himself as an “aspiring comedian with a full-bodied mustache.” He makes comics and motivational posters about the “horribly optimistic” Kevin which you can follow via his Instagram account, Kevin & Friends. Or, maybe buy one of his inspirational posters here.
 
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More laffs from Kevin & his twisted friends, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.01.2017
09:42 am
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