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Good evening, everyone! I am huddling inside from the awful (RIDICULOUS) October winter storm, and taking a little break from rewrites since I got my chapter done around noon today. Scoooore.

So I come to you tonight with a nice Halloween rec: Margot's Room by Emily Carroll, the genius behind last year's awesome horror comic His Face All Red. Margot's Room has a very interesting layout: each line of the poem, IN ORDER, corresponds to a spot on the picture where you click on to get to separate parts of the comic.

(Trigger warnings for horror, blood, and loss of a child.)

So this one was (at least) as ambiguous as His Face All Red, but for some reason I find myself desperately wanting some kind of author commentary for Margot's Room. Because oh my goodness do I have questions.

Did the husband become a monster after his trip into the woods? Or was he a monster all along - there was a slightly ambiguous line in part 4. "The people in the village swore they'd never seen him." Does that mean since his disappearance, or was he not going into the village for work at all?

Or maybe he was never a monster at all? It occurred to me that the protagonist could have only SEEN him as a monster in the fifth part, and that was why he looked like the man she loved once again after she killed him. That would explain how powerful her guilt is. (And if he was really a monster, did he turn back to his human form after she killed him? His body is hard to see, and the line about looking like the man she loved is once again ambiguous.)

Also, what happened to Margot? Did she really just die of an illness, or was it somehow the protagonist's fault?

Random, non-theorizing observations:

- All the supernatural elements aside, this is a really wrenching portrait of how the death of a child tears couples apart. I love when horror depicts a human fear as well as a supernatural one.

- Emily Carroll is really damn good at capturing the loneliness and disorientation of the woods at night with an extra creepy twist. His Face All Red is more centered around it, but when the husband wanders down the moonlit path in Part Three? Oh my goodness. SHIVERS.

- It is pretty astounding how quickly the last part goes from terrifying to utterly heartbreaking. "Still love. Despite everything." BLUB.

Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!

October 2013


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