Fresh Hell

So there I am this afternoon, taking a look at the Atom Books website, and I find they have an extract from Monster High. Which I read. And then stop, frown at and read again.

I genuinely can’t tell if this is tongue-in-cheek or not, but I suspect it isn’t – mostly because I’ve read a decent amount of supernatural YA (I grew up on Christopher Pike & Point Horror, and old habits sort of die hard) and I’m a pessimist.

But it strikes me that I have no idea what this whole Monster High thing is about, because there’s clearly more to it than just a book – and being the dutiful nosey soul I am, I turn to Google.

Which presents me with this:

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Draculaura.

And this:

this is Frankie Stein.

Sweet lord a mercy. Am I that fantastically out of touch that I’m alone in finding these things ghastly? They’re like the Bratz version of Hammer. Or something.

I’m all for the anti-Barbie (predictably, these things are made by Mattel) – and some would indeed say I am the anti-Barbie* but seriously: wow. Just… wow.

*some others would say I am the Stig. The whole “not driving thing”? Total front. And I’ve no idea who this Ben Collins chap thinks he is.



      1. Er, no I believe the use implied required strong sunlight and a well ventilated area. I personally would have gone for the KILL IT WITH FIRE approach via a can of lighter fluid and a box of matches.

  1. I have to say there is a rather serious and worrying trend to this.

    I made some note somewhere to Christopher Fowler’s piece in Black Static about the whole teenifying (definitely a word) of the horror genre. How, in order to appease the Christian right, vampires have been de-fanged and werewolves neutered so that they can become slightly dangerous, but essentially bad-wanting-to-be-good pin-ups for teens.

    @nextread tweeted the other day that he couldn’t understand this obsession with wanting to shag a vampire and that he was getting bored with it. More disturbing than that though is the way it filters down the chain. As with every product that companies try and sell the arse off, this kind of sexualised undead perfection is now being shoved down the throats of pre-teens. As if the whole Barbie debate wasn’t bad enough we now have unattainable visions of beauty and perfection for pre-teen Goths??? So much for Goths and other subcultures trying to avoid conformity and prom queen beauty ideals!

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