This illustration is based on a smaller, black and white drawing I completed for a story by Andrew Kaye in the hilarious SF anthology, Unidentified Funny Objects, Volume 4. I liked the cartoon enough that I decided to develop it into a larger piece. It was my original goal to make it look like the cover of a vintage sci-fi comic I would want to read. But after a while, I wanted to tell the story behind the goth girl, so I wrote a five hundred word short and worked it into the art...a bit of a challenge, given the space constraints. I ended up editing out a sentence or two to make it fit. (I also added voices to the shadows) The complete text of the story is below, for the morbidly curious...

"Crazy Mary kept to the shadows. She wrapped herself in the comforting darkness of gothic rock, leather boots and bottle black bangs. Her steel-studded fashion statement was a simple one: stay away. Her mascara-masked eyes burned like two embers in the dark, smoldering with rage and resentment at the pretty little cheerleaders and their easy smiles and easy lives full of snobbery and social obsession. The scars of their snapped towels and snide comments could not be seen, aside from a few pale marks on her wrists, but the self-loathing they created were scabs on her soul, and every day they picked at them with their laughter. She hated them. She hated how they strutted about like show ponies, so proud of winning the genetic lottery, blissfully unaware that the world only saw them as healthy breeding stock, shapely and symmetrical and free of any obvious physical deviation from the norm. Conformity was their religion, their bodies shrines to the average, and they ruthlessly sought out and punished anyone who did not adhere to their standards. Like Crazy Mary. And Mary hated them for it, hated herself for it, hated the whole world, and so she hid herself under dark mascara and dark baggy clothes and read books about the dark arts and fantasized about all the ways she could turn the tables on her tormentors. She heard voices in the dark, voices the court appointed psychiatrist could not silence with pills and promises to her parents. The voices told her secrets, told her where the best books could be found, told her how to use them to give her fantasies teeth. It was the jungle of the locker room that made Mary what she was, and so it should have surprised no one when the jungle came alive with bloody tooth and claw and tore her tormentors to shreds. But they were still surprised. No one understood how such a small, quiet little girl could tear a hole in the universe and let primordial, reptillian vengeance loose upon the once pretty girls of her high school. They banned the books and scolded the parents and sued the psychiatrist and stripped Mary of her comforting long bangs and leather clothes. They held candlelight vigils and vowed to never let it happen again. But the hole in the world remained, and danger still lurked in the locker room, because the dinosaurs live on in the DNA of the downtrodden, and primordial voices still whisper from the shadows. Whisper, and wait..."


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