Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cry Baby


Cry Baby was another piece I did for Generation YZE group gallery show curated by the ever talented Mary Henrikson at the Main Street Art Gallery in Ketchikan, Alaska, Oct. 2012.

Hearing Tlingit Myths and folk tales growing up in Ketchikan was a rather visceral experience in bringing the areas geography and ancient people to life. Tales in the dim lush and musky rain forests, the briny stench of low-tidal kelpy shores, along the dead reed rivers and silt choked sloughs of the wilds really brought a sense of forboding and a deep dark history that still lingers to this day. Stories of Shaman and Kushtakas (aka Land Otter People) trying to co-exist and outsmart each other were always intriguing and got my mind going to places unexpected.

The story Cry Baby was always a horrific example of the crafty and dastardly ways of the Kushtaka that has stuck with me. What I find compelling of this tale is that it's a retelling of a something that happened, with no moral or stigma attached. The outcome is gruesome and stark and it leaves one feeling as empty as the Cry Baby. It was what inspired this image.

Here is a version of the story I was able to find documented online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nw/index.htm.

In the town to which these people belonged once lived a little boy who was always crying. His parents tried to rear him properly, yet he cried, cried, cried all the time. Finally his father shouted out, "Come this way DjînAkAxwA'ts!a. a Pull this boy away, for he cries too much." Toward evening he repeated the same words, and this time a land-otter-man behind the house shouted out stutteringly, "Bring my grandchild here and let him eat gAlkAdaxA'k!u to keep him quiet." So the little boy was taken away and given what appeared to him to be blackberries.
Two days afterward they began searching for him, and they finally found him far up in the woods. When they brought him down he had a big belly and did not cry as loudly as he had before, so they thought that something was wrong. Then they boiled some dried salmon and gave him broth made from it. The heat of this broth expelled all of the small creatures that had been given him to eat under the appearance of blackberries. Spiders began running out of his mouth, cars, nose, eyes, and buttocks. His insides were filled with them, and they had eaten out all of his flesh. When these were expelled, nothing was left but the skin which they threw away.

NOTE: There is a name and a word that has been substituted with what appears to be random letters, and if anyone has any insight as what these are supposed to be, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Antagonist of St. Anthony

The Antagonist of St. Anthony, 8½ x 11 Nick Gucker ©2012
The Antagonist of St. Anthony was one of many pieces done for a group show called Generation YZE curated by the ever talented Mary Mary Henrikson at the Main Street Art Gallery in Ketchikan, Alaska, Oct. 2012.
Another theme I'd like to revisit regarding many of the antagonists of St. Anthony. Many classic pictures have been painted and illustrated regarding this theme, and I thought doing an individual tempter would be a fun and interesting exploration.
Charcoal on chipboard.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Great Pumpkin series

Bit of a personal series of illustrations I was working on in Sept. No real aim but to do some pumpkin/Halloween themed pieces. I'd always been curious what The Great Pumpkin would be like from Charlie Brown, as a kid he was always horrific. I'd like to revisit this theme more over 2014.
The Great Pumpkin Haunting ©2012 Nick Gucker

The Great Pumpkin Horror ©2013 Nick Gucker

The Great Pumpkin Death ©2013 Nick Gucker

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ALL-MONSTER ACTION!



"Doorway to the Sky"

A huge round of applause to Cody Goodfellow, not only one of my favorite writers today, but also now a second time Wonderland Award Winner from BizarroCon 2013 for his collection "ALL-MONSTER ACTION!" from J.R. Johnson's Swallowdown Press. Cody's first 2009 Wonderland Award went to his burly collection "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars".
These three illustrations, along with another not shown, were included alongside the stories in the collection as part of the 4 short horror 'Coming Attractions' before the 'Feature Presentation', "ALL-MONSTER ACTION!" insane surreal pulp kaiju mania in three parts,which were illustrated by the squamous monster maker, Mike Dubisch. Along with some incredible monstertastic wraparound cover-art.
Go get yourself a copy and dive into the insanity of Cody's wonderful tales, sure to sear images straight to your synapses to be recalled at the most inopportune moments. Laced with social commentary, this book reads like having flashbacks to Max Fleischer cartoons by way of Cronenberg, Barker and Burroughs with nods to Toho, P.K. Dick and Gibson.

"A tour-de-force! Goodfellow's latest is his best yet. Compulsive, breakneck reading!" -BRIAN KEENE, author of The Rising and Ghoul

"ALL-MONSTER ACTION! is a dirty bomb right to the cerebral cortex--it's sharp, smart, scary, scarring, sexy and brutally funny. And like any good bomb, it's got specific targets in mind: Genre and gender, racism, colonialism, ageism and classism. ALL-MONSTER ACTION! demonstrates again that Cody Goodfellow is some kind of mad-ass genius." --LISA MORTON, author of The Castle of Los Angeles and Monsters of L.A. and Four-Time Winner of the Bram Stoker Award

 "Like everyone else, I will also mention the excellent artwork by Nick "The Hat" Gucker and Mike Dubisch. They provide appropriately crazy visuals for these stories. Nick's illustration for "The Venus of Santa Cruz" still haunts me a couple of weeks after I saw it, eew."  -- Mr. Anthrope (Amazon review)



"The Care & Feeding of Sea Monkeys"
"Wage of Dinosaurs"

Ron Hatton in a Graveyard with an Arcade Game


Pin-up art for a comic project called Velvet Garden, by Writer Ryan Davis and artist Joe Oliver. Ron Hatton as the county sheriff. I believe the comic has something to do with a possibly real/possibly urban legend of a 80's arcade game called Polybius.
Not sure what issue it's in, they refuse to send out copies to contributors who did pin-ups. As a matter of fact they offered a copy at full price. Jerks. Lesson learned.

Friday, October 18, 2013

They See The Weird

On 9.13.2013 I had the honor of being the first artist featured at Weird Tales Magazine online, in a new section called "They See The Weird" put together by Doug Draa.

 
This was a thrilling thing to see and be a part of, since forever I've been a fan of Weird Tales, the weird fiction and of course all the wonderful art within. Many genre artists and writers got their start there and have now become legendary. It's one of the pulp magazines that has a heavy influence in what I do, collaborating and working with writers of the strange and weird to express particular moments with in a tale. Hopefully capturing the essence of a scene or scenario and enticing a potential reader to delve in and experience that moment in words.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

JUNK BONDS: The Return of Junkbucket



My pal Steve Lange, horror aficionado, actor and film maker, commissioned me to do a poster for his follow-up 2008 film Junkbucket, called Junk Bonds: The Return of Junkbucket. Steve wanted the poster to look like the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre poster (Junkbucket's marketing imagery was a take on the original Friday the 13th). I painted up the image in acrylics and then did the layout and faux-aging in Photoshop.

I recommend this rollicking romp, who's story blurb goes a little like this: A sequel to the underground hit, Junkbucket, Junk Bonds picks up a year later as Junkbucket has found himself a family of phallic cannibals to join him in his quest to castrate most of Western Washington.
Sure to be a cult fave, this flick is chock full of splatter-horror-comedy, that hits all it's funny-bone beats and wincing gross-out gags on queue. A weird, fun and entertaining cast really helps put this film in an offbeat yet sincere place that keeps everything engaging with it's tongue firmly planted in it's cheek, so keep a tight hold on to your junk! 
Playing at a film fester-val near you!

Check out the Junk Bonds FaceBook page here.


Projecting Images at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest




These were some graphics I'd put together to promote myself at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, May 2013. These images would be projected on theater screens in a wide format. I wanted room for the image and text but most of the images I do are portrait oriented, and are ill fit for such a wide area. So as a solution, I did a ghost image close up of the detailed work. I thought it an interesting way to utilize the same image and still fill the screen.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lovecraft Under The Gun


Commission piece for the HPLFF LUTG. A 72 hour film challenge done during the Lovecraft Film Fest.  I added the text to this for my blog, but there have been a few versions of this image with and without text utilized to promote this event on the HPLFF web pages.

3D-Cthulhu Print


Roll a D20 sanity check before you feast your eye-holes on the 3D Cthulhu!!!
Original non-3D image appeared in the Lovecraft eZine, issue #13, for a story by Stephen Mark Rainey.
3D Cthulhu print now available (9x12), 3D glasses included. $15.
Hand screen-printed by Creepycult.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

VHS HELLoween


I was asked by Krystian Kujda to create a poster for the VHS HELL special Halloween event screening held in Poland.

Here is what VHS HELL is all about: 
"VHS HELL are periodic B movie screenings. It is also our nostalgic tribute to the American double feature grindhouse cinema, as well as to the Polish reality of the political transformation period back in the 80s and 90s.

We want you to recollect the times, when after the fall of communism, video rental agencies ruled the districts of the grey blocks-of-flats architecture whose inhabitants blindly relished in the West.

During our shows you will see the forgotten movies, shot in an absurd manner, trashy and disgusting, yet, at the same time, perversely fascinating.

Rubber monsters, sex-haunted extraterrestrials and punks of the nuclear Holocaust era are always accompanied by the cracking sounds of a scratched video tape and a traditional voice-over translation done in a boring manner by a single male voice artist. Just like 20 years ago!"


You can check out their tumblr page here, and Facebook page here
When asked if there was a theme or idea in mind, I was told to whatever I wanted. So I did.



Saturday, September 28, 2013

BONEBAT - 'Comedy of Horrors' Film Fest III



 I was commissioned to by Steven Holetz and his partner in crime, Gord (purveyors Bonehand.com and Bonebat Show) of to design the third annual Bonebat poster/t-shirt. The requirement was that it was a two headed skeleton. It was also the first BoneBat fest to happen in Seattle, where previously it was held in Redmond.
The kaiju aspect of the two-headed skeleton, deemed Bonebatzilla, seemed natural as the one-day horror-comedy film fest would more than likely destroy downtown Seattle.








 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Official Poster for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Con 2013



I had the distinct honor to be asked to create the poster for the 2013 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Con. Big thanks to Gwen and Brian Callahan, who now have taken over the reigns from festival founder Andrew Migliore, have done a fantastic job keeping the squamous festival afloat and thriving in it's element.

I chose to go with a At the Mountains of Madness theme, since I'd always wanted to do something related and Gwen and Brian were very open and receptive to the idea. Oddly enough, later programing would come to reflect the ATMOM theme with an enthralling and captivating live performance piece of said story by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, a short film named Dunderland and a few others.

Brian then took the shoggoth from the image and utilized it for the graphic for the t-shirts, which I think came out quite wonderfully.

Poster and t-shirts are available through Arkham Baazar.



All artwork © Nick Gucker 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Phantasmanaut Caught in the Tentacles of a Cosmic Paradigm

 
The Phantasmanaut Caught in the Tentacles of a Cosmic Paradigm

This is a piece I came up with for MIFFF (Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival), a genre film festival in Seattle, WA.
I really wanted to come up with something that not only captured the horror, sci-fi and fantasy aspects of the festival but also be eye-catching and feel more like an exciting rock-n-roll poster. I have also been very impressed with the style in which Fantasia Film Festival , Fantastic Fest, H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest and other genre film festivals have gone beyond the obvious in designing captivating festival posters.
I incorporated a number of elements that had been swimming around in my head, One-Eyed Alien pyramids, dead cosmonauts in space, third eye or inner eye.

I physically inked it and then digitally colored it in. In the past MIFFF posters and website, purple had factored into being a defining color scheme, and so upon the alien is where that color shows up. The original colored image is much brighter, but with some effects in Photoshop I was able to mute the colors to give is a slight aged feel. I'm definitely going to be revisiting these elements again with future projects, since they seem to resonate with not only me but other folks as well.
This image is available as an offset 22x14" print, for $20, email me at nickthehat@gmail.com if interested.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A (~BIG~) Fishy Menu


Illustration for the wonderfully curious story A (~BIG~) Fishy Menu by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. for Jan. Issue #21 of the Lovecraft eZine. A very tongue-in-cheek tale of two big players from the twisted minds of  H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Chambers sizing up the impressive yet troublesome new talent on the mythos fiction scene and how to go about his eventual demise. Quite a bit of fun and tomfoolery from Joe Pulver amongst he and his brethren in words of the weird.
I went a bit against type, at first wanting to keep to Pulvers description, but once pencil hit paper an all together different pair of mighty manipulators in the mythos took shape. And I went with it.
I've had many ideas in my head of how I might interpret The King in Yellow and Nyarlathotep. And I've come to realize I may never do them the same twice. Each being, so open to interpretation that it's pure fun to take the log-flume of creativity down a different vein of exploration.
I look forward to when again I can visit with these characters, together or by them selves, plotting, harbinging, provoking chaos and madness. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Carnacki: The Parliament of Owls


An illustration I did for the story 'Carnacki: The Parliament of Owls' by the wonderfully engrossing author, William Meikle. This story appeared in issue #18 of the Lovecraft eZine. William also has an excellent collection of Carnacki tales called 'Carnacki: Heaven and Hell' from Dark Regions Press. Meikle really captures the tone and style of Hodgson's creation in the finest of fashions, puting our dear Carnacki in more perilous situations of daring and wondrous, with style and verve. 
For those not in the know, Thomas Carnacki is a supernatural sleuth created by fantastic fantasist, William Hope Hodgson. Most of his Carnacki tales deal with the supernatural though not all, yet those tales are just as interesting and well fashioned. Highly recommended reading for those interested in detective stories and Gothic supernatural flights of fancy.
For more regarding the life and writings of William Hope Hodgson I highly suggest checking out the very thoroughly researched, well written and informative blog run by Sam Gafford called William Hope Hodgson.

Amtopians


An illustration I did as a contribution (along with fellow Lovecraft eZine artists, Mike Dominic, and Steve Santiago) to a story that Logan Davis wrote. Logan is the 10 year old son of Mike Davis, purveyor of the Lovecraft eZine.

It is a fun and weird story and I am honored to have a piece of art to go along with his tale of dread.

Read the story here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"I PITY THE FOOL!"


I was commissioned by the enthusiastically vibrant Sam McCanna, (purveyor of Skurvy Ink screen printing business south of Portland, OR) to design an image for celebrated Bizarro author and artist Carlton Mellick III's book 'Zombies and Shit'.


The image Carlton wanted was of the aggressively punchy T-2000, a cybernetic version of Mr. T. I'd offered a number of sketch designs but Carlton wanted T-2000 to be based on a action figure someone had physically created after Mellick's maniac.
After giving the action figure a look-over, decided to go with a Jack Kirby style exaggerated pose, with ridiculously large fists.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Evil Thread


Couple of commission pieces for the ever awesome Jason Emmett for his business Evil Thread Customs. Jason does fastidiously perfect custom stitching of patches, cloth, studing and other decorative touches for punk rock and metal style vests, coats, handbags, hats or what-have ya'.
Jason really wanted his logo to incorporate the Evil Dead font since his business name plays on that name. He had a couple of ideas and after he saw the various sketches wanted a stitched eyeball for his business cards and the stitched up Frankenstein's monster fella for promotional posters.


The punk rock Franken~monster is based on an image of Doyle from a live Misfits show, and I thought the position worked well to show off a vest covered in patches. 
Drawn and Inked by hand and colored in Photoshop.

Crypticon Seattle's De-Compositions 2012


I was commissioned by Blysster Press to do the second book cover for Crypticon Seattle's writing contest published anthology of winning authors, called 'Crypticon Seattle's De-Compositions 2012'.
In 2011 I did the cover as well, with no real guidelines, I came up with a dark and creepy cover.


This time around for 2012, I was giving the outline of the winning story and did a piece for the cover based on that. Pretty awesome for the winning writer to have their own cover art for a short story competition.

Doctor Nocturne



These illustration were done for Strange Aeons Magazine as a pair of trading cards in Issue #9. The concept was to do a 1940's version of Doctor Nocturne and the a modern version in a more Batman style superhero get-up.

Modern day Doctor Nocturne apparently does not use guns but more of a baton style weapon and other gadgets but I went ahead and gave him some extreme blood justice guns-a-blazin' action anyways.

These were also to be teasers for the upcoming Anno Ktulhu over-sized comic anthology (available for only $3.50!) that would introduce a new story into upcoming issues of Strange Aeons magazine.

This was drawn and inked in black by hand, scanned and then digitally colored in Photoshop. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hell Dorado Logo Design


I was asked by Editor & Writer Laurence Amiotte to come up with a logo for a alternate universe western style logo for his Hell Dorado comic. This was to be published in Strange Aeons Magazine, that would indulge Western, horror and occult aspects into the design.



Here is an example from part three of Hell Dorado in Issue #7 of Strange Aeons Magazine, of how the logo is being used.
Hell Dorado comic is illustrated by the much talented Rob Corless.

Mayonnaise Jenkins and the Former Kings of the Delta Blues



I had a fun opportunity to paint a CD cover for my friend, author, editor, teacher, muse, maniac and musician Garrett Cook and his music partner Wick Hill. It was a fairly liberating experience in that the subject of the matter was rather open.
Mayonnaise Jenkins and the Former Kings of the Delta Blues is a vastly varied collection of songs, from spoken word, to blues, pop, shoe-gaze and A cappella. So finding the right thing to capture what was representative creatively was a fun challenge.
So I presented a number of ideas and this was the one they went with.