Into the Unknown: Masquerading Fear in Over the Garden Wall
In the Cartoon Network’s miniseries Over the Garden Wall, the nature of two brothers and each of their relationships with fear creates the groundwork for their fantastical journey through a liminal wood called the Unknown. This multimodal project seeks to complicate Farah Mendelsohn’s ideas of liminal fantasy by analyzing how the show masquerades as an intrusion fantasy and via the exploration of different types of fear. By reading Over the Garden Wall through the speculative fiction lenses it pertains to—aspects are present from both the liminal and intrusive genre— this presentation will discuss how fear and its elements function as escalation, how fear disguises itself throughout the show, and how differing types of fears pertain to the world outside of its animated medium.
Kayla Lawrence is a recent graduate from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in English and Creative Writing. During her time there, Kayla worked as a staff writer for the University Newspaper the Northern Iowan and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the undergraduate literary magazine Inner Weather. Later, as an editorial intern for the North American Review, she served as a preliminary reader for the James Hearst Poetry Prize and the Kurt Vonnegut Prize for speculative fiction. Most recently, she presented at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts and hopes to continue integrating her literary studies with her interests in visual mediums.