Sunday, November 11, 2012

'In Memoriam: Robert Nelson', Issue #15 Lovecraft eZine

I had the wonderful opportunity to do a watercolor painting to a prose piece 'In Memoriam: Robert Nelson' by the illustrious Queen of Eldritch horror, Wilum H. Pugmire in  Lovecraft eZine Issue #15 .
Pugmire's piece brought to mind the many sorrowful mourning statues seen in cemeteries and thought I'd evoke that mood and style to the character in the story.
I highly recommend Wilum's vlog for updates on what he's been working on and reading. Not to mention how personable, fun and honest he can be while discussing his favorite subjects while his face is often transformed with his wonderful and theatrically strange and extravagant make-ups.
Wilum has been quite prolific over the last couple of years and has released a number of excellent collections and a novella based on the 'Fungi From Yuggoth' prose piece by The Old Gent called 'Some Unknown Gulf of Night' from Arcane Wisdom press which at times feels like a fever dream full of nightmare logic and harbors rotted atmospheric landscapes, dusty books of forbidden knowledge and strange moments of erotic expression. Quite a fantastic journey of literary indulgence and style. Other recent darkly delicious tomes include the collections 'Gathered Dust and Others' from Dark Regions Press and 'Uncommon Places: A Collection of Exquisites' from Hippocampus Press





Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Mote in the Void, Lovecraft eZine Issue #17

Had fun doing a bit of literal cosmic horror in Simon Kewin's short story 'A Mote in the Void' for the cosmic horror issue #17 of the Lovecraft eZine.
A terse and gripping sci-fi story of a lone survivor, Kelly while on a space mission to answer a distress call from the exploration vessel 'Ares' after losing communication on it's way to Mars. Stranded and adrift, accompanied by a constant "Clanging" noise somewhere on the hull of the spaceship and the loss of a fellow crewman puts Kelly in a precarious position to take control and make some life changing decisions.



  
'A Mote in the Void' illus. by Nick Gucker ©2012


In The Tank, Lovecraft eZine #15

I had the good fortune of being able to illustrate for the new tale in issue #15 of the Lovecraft eZine, 'In The Tank' by Scott Nicolay. An uncomfortable, claustrophobic and sad story of divorcee Roger, who just can't quite connect to anyone, his ex, his son, no job, nothing. Life seems rather dismal, and try as he might to make a connection, and he does try, he continues to push them in the opposite direction. Until he visits a small out-of-the-way  place called 'House of Pets' and 'Tropical Fish'. Thinking he can buy his sons affection with a pet fish and fuel the fires of romance with his ex, Roger finds himself sliding down a different path where 'something' connects with him instead.

I've read a few other short stories from Scott Nicolay and they've all delivered. 'Alligators' in the first issue of the Laird Barron edited Phantasmagorium from Gorgon Press is excellent, as is "Ana Kai Tangata" from the Aklonomicon and his up-coming story for Strange Aeons Magazine #10 will be sure to surprise.  His rural sense of style sucks you into a false sense of security, slowly stacking the odds of fate to play out in horrific ways against the main characters in less than obvious ways.
Pay attention folks, Mr. Nicolay will sneak the ice-cream from your cone before you know it.


'In The Tank' illus. by Nick Gucker ©2012

VHS Art New Wave Show

Artist and auteur, Marc J. Palm invited me to be part of the VHS Art New Wave, an Exhibition of VHS Boxes created by current cartoonists and designers, in support of Scarecrow Video in Seattle. 
It began Oct. 20th and will run for a month. All the VHS boxes are up for auction to help benefit Scarecrow Video.
My entry is a Hammer film adaption of H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Rats in the Walls'.
I highly recommend stopping by and checking out the show, lots fun, crazy titles and art adorn over 30 pieces of this exhibit. 
Individual box art will be posted at facebook.com/vhsartnewwave and vhsnewwave.tumblr.com



Marc J. Palm at the exhibit.

Me proudly pointing at my VHS box.



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Station Waiting Room

An illustration done for the Lovecraft eZine #15. For a churning tale of unease by horror scribe Simon Kurt Unsworth called 'Station Waiting Room'.
And a fine Gothic style tale it is, things start off dreary and get weird, then dismal and so on until the inevitable end.
Simon knows his way around the average man who lets the world around him define him rather than the other way around. His characters are often flawed to the point of pity, you can feel the weight of each sigh as scenes set in and the creeping dread steadily grows to the point of no return. 'Station Waiting Room' offers up heaps of interesting moments as our main character Gaskin becomes enraptured by the personal story of a distressed local, and his curiosity to "go down the rabbit-hole" against his better judgement pushes him beyond return, no matter how fantastical the circumstances of one mans story seems. Gaskin's dismal day job, daily travel and beige lifestyle allows for him to be sucked into details between the day-to-day banality of life, an inquiring mind like his ought not to know.
Is the town of Middle Fell Drop cursed, is the stranger at the train station insane, haunted or worse? What's lurking in the shadows of this little towns ruined past and what stirs in the ruins of the Station Waiting Room?


'Station Waiting Room' illus. by Nick Gucker ©2012


Seek out more of Simon's books if you get the chance, his personal character portrayals are are always engaging and the bigger scenarios and settings of haunting dread are never what you expect. 
His latest anthology called 'Quiet Houses' (Dark Continents 2011) is a turn-of-the-screw collection that brings back the haunted house style storytelling, where silence is as much to be feared as that of the blowing wind, blades of grass or a creaking floor board. Simon will disturb the dust in your attic and remind you what nerves were meant to do.   

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

View of a Desolate Landscape

New illustration for This is Horror again. Michael Wilson, who runs the site from the UK is a rather nice chap and knows his stuff when it comes to the horror genre. He's also a writer, journalist and also runs the writer/editor resource site Armed With Pens. I always enjoy his insightful articles and often hilarity inducing postings on Facebook and he has great taste in genre films and fiction.
So this time M. Wilson has chosen a rather quiet slow descent into dementia and despair with the flash fiction piece by the talented spinner of creepy yarns, G.R. Yeates called "View of a Desolate Landscape". Yeates also interviews many authors on his site and it's definitely worth a read.

Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Had the wonderful opportunity to do an illustration for a piece of flash fiction by the much revered Angela Slatter called "Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" for the Flash Fear section of This is Horror from the UK.
It's a really fun and wicked little piece of dark writing and I implore you to give it a read for this illustration to make any sense.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Creepycult presents "Under The Pyramids" handmade book

Greetings wondrous humanoids and acolytes of things most interesting and eldrich alike. I want to tell you about a special new book project I've recently been a part of and how you can get your tentacles on one.

First off, the book is a 60 pg hardbound edition with a red foil-stamped title, containing the story "Under the Pyramids" (alternately titled "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs") originally published in the world famous WEIRD TALES magazine circa 1924 and ghost written by the cosmic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft for the master escapist Harry Houdini!

What makes this book so special is that it comes in a custom miniature US Postal mail bag that is PADLOCKED CLOSED (the key is on the INSIDE). So, you have to mimic Houdini and pick the lock to get to the book. Once inside you will find a beautiful little book, measuring 4" x 5", containing 4 original illustrations by me. Each book is hand numbered and there is a RANDOM signed letterpress print in only 50 copies. I repeat RANDOM.

I sold out of all ten copies of this at this last Memorial Day weekend horror convention Crypticon Seattle.  Not only were folks blown away by handcrafted beauty of this little gem, but they enjoyed taking on the challenge of picking the lock in person to get at the book inside the postal mailbag. I also had the opportunity to sign and customize the ones I sold which was a real treat.  

This is a handmade volume by Lance Thingmaker, proprietor of Creepycult, whose specialty is making splendiferously unique and amazing books, prints, and spooky Halloween and horror ephemera."Under the Pyramids" is also double bound so you can open the book all the way without cracking the spine.
Yes, Lance thinks of everything.

There are also "Under the Pyramids" Houdini/Lovecraft t-shirts available with the illustration of Houdini blindfolded, bound and being lower into the pit under the pyramids I did for the book.


The last book that Lance made was a collection of the complete 18 issue run of the 1930's fanzine "The Fantasy Fan" collected for the first time ever as a hardcover book.  Presented in facsimile format with painstaking restoration of the barely legible original pages and hand printed and bound by Lance.  The book contains original first published stories and poems from the giants of weird fiction,  H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and more.  The Fantasy Fan was the world's first fanzine dedicated to weird stories and is a must read for fans of the genre.  Over 300 pages and limited to 100 copies.  You can get "The Fantasy Fan" book here.

Keep your eyeballs peeled for Lance's next Creepycult book release, the hardcover printing of the original 1930's fanzine MARVEL TALES!  Look for the listing here or pre-order on the web here.
 
"Under the Pyramids" book is selling for $20 and t-shirts are selling for $15 on ebay, Etsy or directly through Lance Thingmaker via email at creepycult@gmail.com.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

First, Last & Always

This was a commission piece done for wonderful designer extraordinaire Leslie H. I initially met Leslie via Facebook through shared interests in H.P. Lovecraft and the weird, then met in person at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland Oct. 2011. She'd asked I would do a portrait of her and her husband Leumis as a Christmas present to him. The words "First, Last & Always" in the scroll comes from the Sisters of Mercy song.
The final piece measures 11 x 14 and is all done in black ink.

Some of the inking progress along the way...



Added a scrolling chair-back for Leslie to relax on...
 



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Crypticon Seattle 2012

As con season starts to wind-up into full season this year, I'll be busy preparing and participating in a few of these gatherings. Crypticon Seattle is a local horror convention started in 2008. I joined the board in 2009 as the volunteer Staff Artist / Art Director - coming up with different looks and themes each year, as well as t-shirt designs, posters and what-not.

This weekend (April 5-8) is Norwescon, which has been running for 35 years, where Crypticon will have a presence promoting and getting pre-sales on VIP tickets which include a whole bundle of goodness for con-goers this year.

I wanted to post some of my handy work, a couple of oversize 24 x 36" promotional pieces that match-up with the artwork I've design for the website (www.crypticonseattle.com) as well.

Special thanks goes to Bill Stubblebine, a great guy and creative fiend (and also a creative designer for Haunted Home  spooky decor goodness, with his lovely mate Jeni, check out their Etsy site!), for the sneak-peek preview and production these banners.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Available Light

New illustration for the weird and unsettling mysterious short story "Available Light" by John Palisano for the Lovecraft eZine #12. Hop on over to the Lovecraft eZine, give this and the other stories a read and comment on them.
This illustration was done with ink on paper.




Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Locked Door

A new illustration appearing in the ever entertaining Lovecraft eZine for the unsettling story "The Locked Door" by editor, reviewer and author Brian M. Sammons, a bit of a dark litmus test for coming of the end.

Hop on over and read the tale that inspired this image and leave a comment. IA! IA!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hellfighter


I had the opportunity and honor of getting to do the art and design of the book cover for Hellfighter by author David T. Wilbanks, a dark heroic fantasy sword & sorcery novella available as an eBook sometime this spring from Acid Grave Press.

The story is a ton of fun and will surly resonate with fans of Conan and Thongor, our hero Caddoc is a brute with a bit of heart and a haughty lust, he finds himself smitten with a barmaid in a little village, who soon goes missing and Caddoc goes on a mad search and rescue for her. Taking on a few unexpected travel mates and crossing paths with weird creatures, hellish demons, sorrowful zombies, vampiric cults and more in this swashbuckling adventure story.  Hellfighter offers a mix of humor, plenty of violent battles and a couple twists to keep you engaged ,guessing, cringing and laughing all the way through. The pace is quick and surprisingly more entertaining than you'd expect from an offering of this genre, not to mention full of heart.  It left me wanting to read more of these wickedly ruckus romps in the dark savage world inhabited by Caddoc the Hellfighter.

This was done in watercolors and then I punched up the vibrancy of the colors via Photoshop.


Some of the sketches leading to the final design and the painting progress along the way.




 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lovecraft eZine #10, Illustration for Eliza by Joshua Reynolds






New illustration for the Lovecraft eZine January 2012 issue #10. This illustration is for the riveting futuristic epic tale of monsters, mythos and mayhem by author Joshua Rynolds called Eliza.

This was done in charcoals on natural recycled paper with a touch of digital color.

Here are some of the progress images along the way...










Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heir Apparent

Skull/crown image I drew for author and mad blogger T. E. Grau for his birthday.
T. E. Grau has a few short stories in various anthology books, like his eerily effective tale 'Transmission' in Dead But Dreaming 2 edited by Kevin Ross and 'Free Fireworks' in Horror for the Holidays edited by Scott David Aniolowski, both published by Miskatonic River Press. T. E. Grau will also see a couple of his tales published in the Aklonomicon through Aklo Press edited by Joe Pulver and Ivan McCann out of the U.K.
Mr. Grau blogs all things cosmically horrific and curious, with a strong leaning towards weird literature and mans struggle against the universe at the Cosmicomicon.
With tentacles raised in his general direction, let it be known that T. E. Grau is highly recommended reading, and more great things to come from this lad.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

'What fungi sprout in Yuggoth'

Illustration of a Mi-Go done on H. P. Lovecraft's Birthday (August 20, 1890) in 2011.
8 x 10" Limited Edition giclĂ©e  print run of 12 available for $20 each, shipping included.
Email me about purchase.