Wednesday, December 4, 2019

MONSTROUS MYTHOLOGIES!


Here it is! The cover for my first of three books of monsters being published by Lethe Press. You can here preorder on the Lethe Press site. If you know my work you won't be surprised to find a skeleton wizard with their familiar summoning a basilisk in this illustration. The serpents surrounding the wizard are all featured in the book: the Norse Jörmungandr, the Greek Python, the Mayan Kukulcan and the Phrygian Sabazios. The creeps at the bottom are a Ghoul based on a description from Ahmed Al-Rawi's The Mythical Ghoul in Arabic Culture, the Egyptian Goddess of war Sekhmet and a Russian demon or chort. 



The overall layout was inspired by the medieval bestiary Wonders Of Creation by Zakariya al-Qazwini and, like many of my pieces, Kabbalah tree of life diagrams....there's a little Jack Kirby in there too :) 

I'm really excited about this book and I've maybe been TOO excited. I've redrawn a bunch of monsters and even a few brand new ones for it. I also had a bit of a block with the cover and it took me a long time to get started but once I broke through and finished it I was extremely happy with it. It may be one of my favorite illustrations I've done. Anyway, I hope you guys preorder it and share the hell out of the cover! 


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

COVER REVEAL TOMORROW!


Tomorrow my publisher Lethe Press & I will be revealing the cover for the my first of three books of monsters! The first will focus on mythological gods and creatures from around the world and will be called, obviously, Monstrous Mythologies!

It's available for preorder now on the Lethe Press site and will be out in early 2020. 


Thursday, October 3, 2019

KHNUM

KHNUM
"For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten."

"What was the land of these wanderers none could tell; but it was seen that they were given to strange prayers, and that they had painted on the sides of their wagons strange figures with human bodies and the heads of cats, hawks, rams, and lions. And the leader of the caravan wore a head-dress with two horns and a curious disc betwixt the horns."
H.P. Lovecraft, The Cats Of Ulthar

"Khnum, one of the oldest gods of Egypt, came from the area of the First Cataract, to the far south. He became associated with the annual Nile flood, which seemed to originate from his domain. As a symbol of fertility which the flood brought, he was depicted with the head of a ram and given the role of a creator-god. A temple of the Roman period portrayed him as creator of all, even the other gods."

"Khnum created the human race from clay, which he made by mixing earth and
water with air."
 Charles Freeman, The Legacy Of Ancient Egypt

"Khnum was self-created and the maker of heaven, raising it on its four pillars. He was also the maker of the underworld and of water, of things which are and of thing which shall be."

"Khunum was represented as a man wearing the head of a ram with horizontal wavy horns, or as a ram standing on its hind legs, which was called the 'living soul of Ra'."
Veronica Ions, Egyptian Mythology


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

DIONYSUS/BACCHUS


DIONYSUS/BACCHUS
"The strange dark men danced in the rear, and the whole column skipped and leaped with Dionysiac fury. Malone staggered after them a few steps, delirious and hazy, and doubtful of his place in this or in any world. Then he turned, faltered, and sank down on the cold damp stone, gasping and shivering as the daemon organ croaked on, and the howling and drumming and tinkling of the mad procession grew fainter and fainter."
H.P. Lovecraft, The Horror At Red Hook

"Here Laurell'd Muses all their arts reheards, 
And ivy'd Bacchus waves his budding thyrse" 
H.P. Lovecraft, Simplicity: A Poem

"DIONYSOS, the youthful, beautiful, but effeminate god of wine. He is also called both by Greeks and Romans Bacchus (Bakchos), that is, the noisy or riotous god, which was originally a mere epithet or surname of Dionysus, but does not occur till after the time of Herodotus."

"Bacchus with horns, either those of a ram or of a bull. This representation 
occurs chiefly on coins."
Sir William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology 

"But she, foaming at the mouth and twisting her eyes all about, not thinking as she ought, was possessed by Bakkhos, and he did not persuade her. Seizing his left arm at the elbow and propping her foot against the unfortunate man's side, she tore out his shoulder, not by her own strength, but the god gave facility to her hands." 
Euripides, The Bacchae

"That the Bacchanalia have for some time been going on throughout Italy and are now practiced in many parts of the City you have, I am sure, learnt not only by report, but also by the nightly noises and yells which resound all over the City; but I do not think you know what it all means."

"In the first place, then, women form the great majority, and this was the source of all the mischief. Then there are the males, the very counterparts of the women, committing and submitting to the foulest uncleanness, frantic and frenzied, driven out of their senses by sleepless nights, by wine, by nocturnal shouting and uproar."


"When once the mysteries had assumed this promiscuous character, and men were mingled with women with all the licence of nocturnal orgies, there was no crime, no deed of shame, wanting. More uncleanness was wrought by men with men than with women. Whoever would not submit to defilement, or shrank from violating others, was sacrificed as a victim. To regard nothing as impious or criminal was the very sum of their religion."
Livy, History Of Rome; Book 39

"DIONYSOS (or Dionysus) was the great Olympian god of wine, vegetation, pleasure and festivity. He was depicted as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes included the thyrsos (a pine-cone tipped staff) and fruiting vine. 
Aaron J. Atsma, The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology 


Monday, September 30, 2019

VODYANOI

 VODYANOI
"All these monsters stared about seeking him, but they could not find him, since he was protected by his sacred circle."
Nikolai Gogol, The Viy

"In appearance, the vodyanoi resembled a repulsive old man with hirsute body and long, matter hair and beard. It was frequently suggested that, like the devils in Russian icons, he looked black or that is body-hair was black. Some physical details, on the other hand, suggested the influence of the watery milieu in which he lived. Thus, his hair might be green or he might have webbed feet, a fishy tail, scaly skin. "
Elizabeth Warner, Russian Myths 

"This is the name of a dangerous water being in the folklore and traditions of Russia. The Vodianoi, also called Vodyanoi, Vodyanoy or Vodnik, is variously described as an old man with a blue face, white beard and green hair; an old man covered in scales or fur with huge paws, glowing eyes, horns and a tail; or entirely as a grotesque fish."
Carol Rose, Giants, Monsters and Dragons


Friday, September 27, 2019

AEGIPAN

AEGIPAN
“And God! The shapes of nightmare that float around in that perpetual daemon twilight! The blasphemies that lurk and leer and hold a Witches’ Sabbat with that woman as a high-priestess! The black shaggy entities that are not quite goats—the crocodile-headed beast with three legs and a dorsal row of tentacles—and the flat-nosed aegipans dancing in a pattern that Egypt’s priests knew and called accursed."
H.P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop, Medusa's Coil

"In an instant every moving entity was electrified; and forming at once into a ceremonial procession, the nightmare horde slithered away in quest of the sound—goat, satyr, and aegipanincubussuccuba, and lemurtwisted toad and shapeless elementaldog-faced howler and silent strutter in darkness—all led by the abominable naked phosphorescent thing that had squatted on the carved golden throne, and that now strode insolently bearing in its arms the glassy-eyed corpse of the corpulent old man."
H.P. Lovecraft, The Horror At Red Hook

"Capricorn or Sea Goat. This sign resembles Aegipan, whom Jupiter (Zeus) wished to be put among the constellations because he was nourished with him, just as he put the goat nurse we have mentioned before. He, first, as Eratosthenes (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) says, when Jupiter attacked the Titanes, is said to have cast into the enemy the fear that is called 'panikos'. The lower part of his body has fish formation, because he hurled shellfish against the enemy, too, instead of stones."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 28


Thursday, September 26, 2019

MANDRAKE

MANDRAKE
"It stood among osiers and alders on a low, mound-shaped elevation; and in front, toward the marshes, there was a loamy meadow-bottom where the short fat stems and tufted leaves of the mandrake grew in lush abundance, being more plentiful and of greater size than elsewhere through all that sorcery-ridden province. The fleshly, bifurcated roots of this plant, held by many to resemble the human body, were used by Gilles and Sabine in the brewing of love-philtres."
Clark Ashton Smith, The Mandrakes

"It looks as if the name 'mandrake' may have been applied to very strong plantroots shaped like little statuettes of the human figure. It was believed that small familiar demons took up their abode in these plants. Mandrakes revealed knowledge of the future by shaking their heads when questions were put to them."
Grillot de Givry, Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy

"Mandrake. A poisonous perennial herb that grows in the Mediterranean region and that is reputed to have powerful magical properties. Mandrake, part of the nightshade family, has a strong and unpleasant odor. It is highly toxic, though it is used in theraputic remedies and as an aphrodisiac in love philtres. The magic attributed to mandrake is due to the shape of its thick root, which looks like a man or woman. According to lore, mandrake shrinks at the approach of a person. Touching it can be fatal. If uprooted, it shrieks and sweats blood, and whoever pulls it out dies in agony. 
Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia Of Witches and Witchcraft


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

VAMPIRE



VAMPIRE 
"105-Vampire visits man in ancestral abode-is his own father." 
H.P. Lovecraft, Commonplace Book


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

WRAITH

WRAITH
"Where wraiths, wind-wafted, kept their distant den;
Where sighing spirits move the listless leaves,
And owlets nest on ruin'd castles' eaves"
H.P. Lovecraft, To the Late John H. Fowler, Esq.

"The apparition or "double" of a living person, generally supoosed to be an omen of death. The wraith closely resembles its protoype in the flesh, even to the details of dress."
Lewis Spence, An Encyclopedia Of Occultism


Monday, September 23, 2019

WEREWOLF

WEREWOLF
"Here howl by night the werewolves, and the souls
 of those that knew me well in other days."
H.P. Lovecraft, Aletheia Phrikodes

"This is the name of a transformation of a human into a monstrous cannibal wolf."

 "The Werewolf is essentially a human form during the day but transforms, according to different versions, either at the height of the full moon, or by donning a special wolf skin, or permanently by some curse." 
Carol Rose, Giants, Monsters and Dragons