Saturday, December 4, 2010

The November Out of Time

Here is my month of November calender creep improvement program. This last month I read Michael Shea's The Color Out of Time, a part two of sorts to H. P. Lovecraft's A Color Out of Space.
The scene is taken from a part in the book where one of the many malevolent mutations is revealed.  Attached to it, if memory serves correct, is an innocent bystander getting drained to a pulpy mess of its former self in order to provide strength and power to the mutation, allowing it to grow larger and have a greater horrific influence in the unsuspecting world.

If you've not read Michael Shea, I highly recommend him. He has a great style of prose that is elegantly poetic and a joy to read.  He's got a firm grip on telling a tale with a punch and pulling out surprises that make you delve deeper and more insanely into his realm of the fantastic. Shea knows how to keep mood prevalent and effective which I find to be the first and foremost mark of success with genre fiction.

He attended the H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest in Portland Oct. 2010 as a guest and I had the distinct pleasure of hearing him read some of his works and was able to get some books signed as well. Without a doubt, a very nice and talented fellow.

The Color Out of Space was published in 1984 and is still available online and in used book stores.
Shea is also the author of the four-volume Nifft The Lean series, the first of which won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. His short stories have been collected in Polyphemus and The Autopsy & Other Tales (available through Centipede press). He also won a World Fantasy Award in 2005 for his novella, "The Growlimb."

Perilous Press has recently released a collection of Lovecraft insipred works by Shea called Copping Squid, with an introduction by S.T. Joshi.

Shea also recently released a book called The Extra which is a reworking of a previous short story into a full length trilogy novel.

Seek ye out!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Orchard Fruit

This is the rough sketch to finished piece I did for the Strange Aeons strange fiction magazine which I've contributed to a few times and am listed in the credits as Staff Artist, having done some of the border and header treatments.
I had the distinct pleasure of doing an illustration for Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. writer of the highly recommended Blood Will Have Its Season.
Joe is a fantastic horror fiction author under the influence of H.P. Lovecraft, R.W. Chambers, W.S. Burroughs, Dashiell Hammett, David Goodis and the like, as viewed through an avant-rock-n-roll stop-motion nightmare of a vintage sepia-toned human abattoir.  A world where darkened street lamps cast reflections on puddles of sickness that may be portals to other dimensions (...a glimpse of dim Carcosa?) or puddles casting a crimson reflection of your face that does not seem all together your own any more. Joe shines a blinding light into the places most would rather leave to imagination and then peels back the flaking paint with a rusty hook to reveal the true meat of our psyche. Joe runs madly right up to the fine line where what passes for life and what equals death or worse hang by the same strand of viscera, poetically teasing and punching you into turning your truth into his dare.
Upon first read of Joe's work, you really feel like your walking in someone elses shoes, his cadence is not your own, and the words themselves don't like to play nice, they don't lay back and let you read them, they wrestle with you. The words Joe puts forth don't hand you the obvious, but let you be the detective in your own filthy noir, collecting the samples, smelling the remains, peering through broken windows and tasting untouched skin. After reading a few of Joe's tales, I'm always surprised where he takes me and upon closing his books I feel beautifully naughty and gluttonous...
...Where was I? ah, yes, I did an illustration for one of Joe's stories called Orchard Fruit, it's a bit of a reveal image that I had fun figuring out.

I made some changes from sketch to final ink, moved the arm down behind the corpse and upon doing a little research on Joe Pulver, found some neat pictures of him at the grave of one of his favorite writers, Robert W. Chambers (the scribe of  The King in Yellow and other horror stories), so I changed the tombstone to reflect the one in Joe's photo.

Below: This is how it looks in Strange Aeons Issue No. 1

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October's Calendar Creep

This month's Calendar Creep is the Colossal Pumpkin Beast of White Mountain Natl. Forest, NH. skulking up river to rummage through his pile of bones to find just the right one for Halloween night.
Extra bonus is the light reflection making what looks like a glowing footprint.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cthulhu in Pursuit

The Great Old One has risen from his Aeons long slumber, reeking of age and decay, in pursuit of they who have awoken him.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Great Old One

Thanks to Mr. Lovecraft, we have the Dreaded Cthulhu (or Tulu, Clulu, Clooloo, Cthulu, C'thulhu, Cighulu, Cathulu, Kathulu, Kutulu, Kthulhu, Q’thulu, K'tulu, Kthulhut, Kulhu, Kutunluu, Ktulu, Cuitiliú, Thu Thu) to wreak our sleeping dreams and make un~sane the waking dream of life the closer we get to gazing upon it's greatness.
This was a small detailed sketch done as a test on the brown fibrous board, then inked and marker'd with white pencil highlights.
More to come of this unsightly fellow...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Krazy Kaiju

My long term affection and obsession for kaiju (Japanese for "strange beast" or "monster") started with Spectreman (1971 - 72), the brown and gold saviour of earth from Nebula Star, taking shape as a human and trying to thwart the supposedly evil Dr. Gori from dispatching giant pollution-based monsters from killing the citizens of Earth. I say supposedly because Dr. Gori's intentions, although extreme, are somewhat honorable. He was banished from Planet E after a foiled attempted to take it over. Gori comes across Earth and is captivated by it's beauty but disgusted with the human inhabitants, who've created tons of pollution and are destroying the earth. Gori's intent is to save the earth from human destruction so he may rule it, and ironically, uses the same pollution all over the earth against the humans by creating giant monsters to destroy them so he can enslave and rule the earth.
As a kid, all these different monster (men in rubber suits) had a profound effect on defining what a monster was, because they were all each so different and bizarre.
To this day i still love Kaiju and Spectreman lead the way to Godzilla, Ultraman, Super sentai (although I never liked Power Rangers), and other monsters of this ilk.
Below is a made up krazy kaiju in what I hope will lead to more in the near future.

Scenes from my Sketch Book

Here are a couple of sketches or drawings or ideas or things that plop out of my head.

Uni-Eyed brain exposed alien creatures. Not sure why an alien race would have knives, but I find knives more fearsome than a gun, more of a savage connotation.

Then I messed around with it in Photoshop.

This drawing started off with the fellow, and not sure where I was going, looked up to see my wife reading and and she looked rather adorable, so I did a somewhat exaggerated version of her and turned the fellow into me, overwhelmed with my love for her.

Then I dropped it into Photoshop for a little texture action.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nefarious Spooks {Series 1}

This is a series of ghoulish ghosts I call Nefarious Spooks. I wanted to contrast the sickly Spooks appearance with solidish friendly colors, to lull the viewer into a somewhat safe space before the details became apparent.  This was my foray into painting with acrylics which I haven't done in some years and had provided me with the will to do so again.

Mandible Mind

Mandible Mind would like to remind you to not eat with your mouth full and don't chew before you swallow.

ps ~ don't forget to lick your plate platelicker!

Save a Date

I generally try to find compelling art or horror related calendar’s to chart the passing of time and the turning of the earth as it relates to the sun. After this last New Year (2010) I spaced too long and settled on a supplier’s calendar that came across my desk. I believe the images, very calm nature scenes were taken by the employees who get 28 -31 days of fame for a lifetime of slavery at the place they call work. It's a nice gesture to the employees, but it's very boring and un-compelling. I couldn't take it any longer, as the days pass, I kept wanting to alter the calendar in some way and today, upon arrival to work, I scribbled out a Nessie style creature to occupy the lily padded pastoral lake scene. Ahhh, fixed. I fixed the calendar that didn't know it was broken and my days are becoming subtly more pleasing.

I look forward to next month and the month after that. I urge you to do the same.

Monday, August 30, 2010


A regal re-envisioning of Poe's Raven as a gift for my brother Eric.
Pencils, then black charcoal line fill, then white charcoal high-lights.
The progress shots were taken with an iPhone, colors are inconsistent
but really I just wanted to show the stages progress, quality be damned!
The final was then scanned with minor color adjustments.

Mr. Anger Rot

This is Mr. Anger Rot.  He is both angry and rotten.  Probably angry because he is rotten.

I'm experimenting with this brown packing board and using its brown color as my mid-tone, pushing it dark with charcoal pencils and gray markers and popping the highlights with white colored or charcoal pencil.

Mammal Thing

Hybrid mammal creature created to ease the end of day wickedness for my wife who had an unfun 9-5.
Two shades of gray prismacolor markers with charcoal white highlights on brown packing board.

Tentacled Drooler

Here be another attempt to create a creature, other dimensional more than likely, in Illustrator. As you can see it's tentacled and drooling, quite probably looking for someone's sanity to gobble up.

The Green Ghost

Playing around with some vector style art I made what initially appears to be a friendlyish ghost but his fingers are red with the blood of the unfortunate making him more of a fiendish green ghost. He is green not with envy but with algae and mold. The Green Ghost has a penchant for little children who are clumsy runners and he can smell the runny noses of slovenly loutish knee-biters.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Monster Mash

I decided I'd try my hand at some classic monsters, see what I could do to honor them. So I went with a portrait style illustration of The Wolfman and The Creature. Later in working with Crypticon, the idea came up to do limited edition Jones Sodas with three different images and I combined the two monsters to create a hybrid image, and after doing so wondered why these two creatures have never had a VS. in between them. Perhaps later I'll re-visit that idea. Below are the seperate inked images and then the combined form for the Jones Soda label.

The other two labels were images done by my friend Montine Rummel, a fellow Crypticonite. Her Photography Kung-Fu is excellent and the Zombie Attack image is from a photoshoot she set up and then photoshopped into the cool scene below, then used on posters and a soda label. The Raven on Tombstone image is also a Montine original from some pics she took while on vacation to Vienna. You can see more of her photo's here:

Montine took this shot at Crypticon of one of the Make-up contest finalists having a gnawsome time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sketchy Monsters

Some concept monster sketches I did toward the aim of a collaborative digital render. My friend Wayne Tedder did some digital rendering in Blender of the 3-legged clubber fellow. I'll post them when I get some stills.

Three Legged Big-Mouthed Multi-Eyed Stabby-Head Baby-Handed Creature.

Three-legged Dual-Mouthed Pointy-Headed Clubber Guy

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crypticon VIP T-Shirt 2010

Here is a the sketch, ink and final of the design I did for the Crypticon VIP t-shirts. I had just gotten back from Creations Weekend of Horrors in LA where I'd seen and met actresses Barbara Magnolfi (of Suspiria fame), Geretta Geretta (of L. Bava's Demons) and the maker of nightmare horror Dario Argento, got my picture taken with him and had an original Creepers poster signed by him. Needless to say, Argento's mysterious black gloved giallo played my muse in this design.