You’re more than likely familiar with the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books by Alvin Schwartz. You’ve probably also heard that a few years ago, Stephen Gammell’s original horrifying artwork that stuck with an entire generation of kids was replaced with that of A Series of Unfortunate Events artist Brett Helquist–good artwork in its own right, but nowhere near as chilling and pants-shitting as the originals. Our comparison of the two sets of artwork remains the most popular post in AiPT! history.
But there are finally a few nuggets of good news. We reported earlier that Harper Collins has apparently heard the backlash and re-released the original trilogy of stories complete with Stephen Gammell’s artwork. And now, in addition to the movie that is currently in production, there is a documentary about the beloved children’s stories in the works.
Scary Stories: A Documentary promises to look at not only the series of books that became a phenomenon, but also the history of gothic children’s folklore, artists who were inspired by the series, and a whole lot more. From the documentary’s official website:
Along with the tales, the illustrations by Stephen Gammell have had an endearing impact, as well as an interesting history. Influencing artists for years, they have made an indelible impression on so many who grew up thumbing through the pages. The vivid and haunting images can be considered some of the most influential illustrations of modern children’s literature. Delving into their gothic and ancient influences as well as looking at their captivating impact on modern artwork can illuminate the deep impression illustrations can have on the stories we tell our children.
Scary Stories: A Documentary is currently in post-production and hopes to release by Halloween of this year. Check the trailer below.