Thursday, August 29, 2019

NECRONOMICON 2019 WRAP UP!


Well, NecronomiCon 2019 has come and gone and I already can't wait til 2021. This year was the best one since Niels & co restarted it back in 2013. The panels, films, vendors and guests were all stellar. My only complaint was that there was so much cool stuff it was hard to pick what to do and what to skip. Here's a rundown of how spent the Con.


First off, Jeanne D'Angelo and I leisurely drove up from Philadelphia with Justine Jones and Tanya Finder. We stopped at Rosedale Cemetery in Orange NJ to see the graves of tennis champion Althea Gibson and workers rights heroes Quinta & Amelia Maggia.

Once we arrived in Rhode Island we went to the Providence Art Club for the Ars Necronomica art show where Jeanne & I had work on display. Tons of other great artists were represented including Brandon Kawashima, Michelle Souliere, Liv Rainey-SmithMatthew JaffeAllen KoszowskiJason Bradley ThompsonJoe Broers, Dave Felton, Ryan Lesser, Mike Knives, Karen Main, Kurt Komoda,  including Seventh Church Ministries collaborators Caitlin McCormack, Sam Heimer & Jason McKittrick!

Clockwise from top left: 
Sam Heimer, Kyla and James Quigley, Cryptocurium, Nick Gucker.

We then hightailed it out of there to see Robert Lloyd Parry perform two readings as M.R. James! He did the Ash Tree and Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You, My Lad with no microphone and lit only by 5 candles! It was fantastic and I'm so glad I got to see the performance.

The next day started with me on the very first panel of the con! It was called Scripturum Obscurum: Remarkable Unsung Authors and I, as promised, blathered about Margaret St. Clair and Charles Saunders. I was a little intimidated because the other panelists were pretty amazing. Fiona Maeve, Gemma Files, Leslie Clinger and Victor LaValle (go read his book The Changeling!) and they all suggested intriguing authors/books. The two most notable: Victor suggested Corregidora by Gayl Jones (about a woman who, after a hysterectomy, begins hearing the voices of her ancestors through the empty space in her abdomen!) and Fiona suggested Tentacle by Rita Indiana (a post apocalyptic epic with a voodoo prophecy and a transgender character that transitions with the help of a sacred anemone!).

After that we did what we came to do, we set up our table! We met two more weirdos that attached to our now mega-table, Stephen Wilson and Christian Degn. The vendor's room was great this year and was filled with spectacular artists: Yves Tourigny and Seventh Church Ministries collaborators Nick Gucker, James Quigley (aka Gunsho)Sam Heimer and Jason McKittrick (Cryptocurium)! Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin and Justin Steele were there at the Outer Dark table as well! He wasn't tabling but it was great to see Craig Gidney as he stopped by the table a few times to chat! 

Myself and Scott Nicolay Photo by Matthew Bartlett


The next day we tabled then I was on another panel, this one about Manly Wade Wellman! Again, an intimidating crew. I was sandwiched between Nathan Ballingrud and Orrin Grey two authors whose work I love and respect. We had a great time and I think we got to shed some light on Wellman's works and adaptations.

Orrin Grey, myself and Nathan Ballingrud
Photos by Kevin Wilson

We also got to see two of the films that were being screened: Aniara, (Sweden, 2019: an extremely depressing space epic) and The Hellstrom Chronicle (USA, 1971: a somewhat faux documentary about insects framed as a horror movie).


But probably my favorite part of the whole trip was hanging out with our carload of crudbags and Phil Gelatt & Victoria Dalpe who hosted us for the weekend. We stay with them every NecronomiCon and there's always the same cavalcade of sweet weirdos. Jordan Smith, Laura Maxfield, Andrea Sparacio (who did the cover and GOH illustrations in the Memento book!), Tim Mucci and Joseph E Dwyer. Usually we just see each other in the morning while chugging coffee or at night before we pass out, but this year we got some quality time and barbecued. Orrin Grey and Joshua Hackett were there and it was great to hang out with them not just on the vendor room floor.


Justine, Andrea, Tim, Vicki & Jeanne during the nerd BBQ!

Regrets? You bet. There are tons of people I only got to see for seconds like Paul Tremblay, John LanganSimon Strantzas and Matthew Bartlett. And I didnt even get to say hi to Silvia Moreno-Garcia or  Molly Tanzer (who's work I love). And of course I was super sad that Marcelo Gallegos, Skinner and Michael Wehunt didn't make it out.


On the way back we managed to stop at Ender's Island, a beautiful Christian retreat that offers art classes and recovery treatment. They also happen to have the mummified arm of St. Edmund on site!

I had an absolute blast this year and I'm honestly sad that it's over. I was filled with inspiration and hope. Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers that make NecronomiCon go. Extra thanks to Niels Hobbs and s.j. bagley who are great people (and the organizers I personally know haha!). Also super special thanks to my amazingly talented, inspired, inspiring and supportive partner Jeanne D'Angelo who had her own amazing zines for sale but also talked to people about my work and calmed me down when I was stressing out about dumb stuff. She's also an excellent navigator. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

News....


Hey everyone! This is the first of two news posts. I just wanted to give you a heads up about two anthologies that I did the covers for. 


First up is Broken Eye Books' Lovecraft themed anthology Welcome To Miskatonic University! It includes stories from Kristi DeMeester, Gwendolyn Kiste, Matthew M. Bartlett, Brandon O'Brien, Marcus Chan,  Liz Schriftsteller, Elliot Cooper, Bennett North, Gina Marie Guadagnino, Scott R. Jones, Brenda Kezar, Nate Southard & K.G. McAbee. If that publisher sounds familiar it's because did interior illustrations for the Broken Eye Books anthology Ride The Star Winds

Next up is the David Cronenberg-themed anthology from Weirdpunk Books titled The New Flesh! This anthology features stories by 
Brian Evenson, Sara CenturyC.M. MullerLeo X Robertson, Max D. StantonEmma Alice Johnson, Cody Goodfellow, Bruno Lombardi, Katy Michelle Quinn, Jack Lothian, Mona Swan LeSueur & Fiona Maeve Geist, Madeleine Swann, Charles Austin Muir, Ryan Harding, Alex Smith, 
Gwendolyn Kiste
Brendan Vidito, & Sam Richard! If this publisher looks familiar it's because I did the cover illustration for their anthology Zombie Punks Fuck Off!

I'd highly recommend either of these collections since I've worked with both publishers before and I'm familiar with most of the authors involved.

Stay tuned because I'll be posting NecronomiCon news within the next few days!!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

ELDER THING

ELDER THING
"Objects are eight feet long all over. Six-foot five-ridged barrel torso 3.5 feet central diameter, 1 foot end diameters. Dark grey, flexible, and infinitely tough. Seven-foot membraneous wings of same colour, found folded, spread out of furrows between ridges. Wing framework tubular or glandular, of lighter grey, with orifices at wing tips. Spread wings have serrated edge. Around equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges, are five systems of light grey flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over 3 feet. Like arms of primitive crinoid. Single stalks 3 inches diameter branch after 6 inches into five sub-stalks, each of which branches after 8 inches into five small, tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of 25 tentacles.

“At top of torso blunt bulbous neck of lighter grey with gill-like suggestions holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colours. Head thick and puffy, about 2 feet point to point, with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. Slit in exact centre of top probably breathing aperture. At end of each tube is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy, red-irised globe, evidently an eye. Five slightly longer reddish tubes start from inner angles of starfish-shaped head and end in sac-like swellings of same colour which upon pressure open to bell-shaped orifices 2 inches maximum diameter and lined with sharp white tooth-like projections. Probable mouths. All these tubes, cilia, and points of starfish-head found folded tightly down; tubes and points clinging to bulbous neck and torso. Flexibility surprising despite vast toughness.
"

“At bottom of torso rough but dissimilarly functioning counterparts of head arrangements exist. Bulbous light-grey pseudo-neck, without gill suggestions, holds greenish five-pointed starfish-arrangement. Tough, muscular arms 4 feet long and tapering from 7 inches diameter at base to about 2.5 at point. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membraneous triangle 8 inches long and 6 wide at farther end. This is the paddle, fin, or pseudo-foot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old. From inner angles of starfish-arrangement project two-foot reddish tubes tapering from 3 inches diameter at base to 1 at tip. Orifices at tips. All these parts infinitely tough and leathery, but extremely flexible. Four-foot arms with paddles undoubtedly used for locomotion of some sort, marine or otherwise. When moved, display suggestions of exaggerated muscularity. As found, all these projections tightly folded over pseudo-neck and end of torso, corresponding to projections at other end."
H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains Of Madness


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

SERVITOR OF GLA'AKI

SERVITOR OF GLA'AKI
"But those in the cult certainly were supposed to have the real witches' marks. It was the long, thin spines which are supposed to cover the body of their god Glaaki. In the initiation ceremony the novice was held (sometimes willing, sometimes not) on the lake shore while Glaaki rose from the depths. It would drive one of its spines into the chest of the victim, and when a fluid had been injected into the body the spine detached from itself from the body of Glaaki."

Through the emission of impulses, perhaps magnetic, from the brain of Glaaki, the man was kept alive while he was controlled almost completely by the being."

Ramsey Campbell, The Inhabitant Of the Lake


Monday, July 1, 2019

LENG SPIDER

LENG SPIDER
"There were scenes of old wars, wherein Leng's almost-humans fought with the bloated purple spiders of the neighbouring vales."
H.P. Lovecraft, Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath

"Of earthly minds there were some from the winged, star-headed, half-vegetable race of palaeogean Antarctica; one from the reptile people of fabled Valusia; three from the furry pre-human Hyperborean worshippers of Tsathoggua; one from the wholly abominable Tcho-Tchos; two from the arachnid denizens of earth’s last age; five from the hardy coleopterous species immediately following mankind, to which the Great Race was some day to transfer its keenest minds en masse in the face of horrible peril; and several from different branches of humanity."
H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Out Of Time 


Friday, June 28, 2019

YITHIAN

YITHIAN
"The Great Race's members were immense rugose cones ten feet high, and with head and other organs attached to foot-thick, distensible limbs spreading from the apexes. They spoke by the clicking or scraping of huge paws or claws attached to the end of two of their four limbs, and walked by the expansion and contraction of a viscous layer attached to their vast, ten-foot bases."

"These members were sometimes contracted almost to nothing, and sometimes extended to any distance up to about ten feet. Terminating two of them were enormous claws or nippers. At the end of a third were four red, trumpetlike appendages. The fourth terminated in an irregular yellowish globe some two feet in diameter and having three great dark eyes ranged along its central circumference. Surmounting this head were four slender grey stalks bearing flower-like appendages, whilst from its nether side dangled eight greenish antennae or tentacles. The great base of the central cone was fringed with a rubbery, grey substance which moved the whole entity through expansion and contraction."
H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Out Of Time


Thursday, June 27, 2019

HUNTING HORROR

HUNTING HORROR
"And hoary Nodens raised a howl of triumph when Nyarlathotep, close on his quarry, stopped baffled by a glare that seared his formless hunting-horrors to grey dust."
H.P. Lovecraft, Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath

"And in the air about him were great viperine creatures, which had curiously distorted heads, and grotesquely great clawed appendages, supporting themselves with ease by the aid of black rubbery wings of singularly monstrous dimensions."
H.P. Lovecraft & August Derleth, The Lurker At the Threshold


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

FLYING POLYP

FLYING POLYP
"...the basis of the fear was a horrible elder race of half-polypous, utterly alien entities which had come through space from immeasurably distant universes and had dominated the earth and three other solar planets about 600 million years ago."

"There were veiled suggestions of a monstrous plasticity, and of temporary lapses of visibility, while other fragmentary whispers referred to their control and military use of great winds. Singular whistling noises, and colossal footprints made up of five circular toe marks, seemed also to be associated with them."H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Out Of Time


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

ISRAFEL

ISRAFEL
"There (thought I) lie scenes of pleasure
Where the free and blessed dwell,
And Each moment bears a treasure
Freighted with a lotus-spell,
And there floats a liquid measure
From the lute of Israfel."
H.P. Lovecraft, Astrophobos

"In Islamic tradition Israfel is the angel who will blow the last trumpet to signal the Day of Judgement and the resurrection of the faithful."
Carol Rose, Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins

"Isrāfīl is usually conceived as having a huge, hairy body that is covered with mouths and tongues and that reaches from the seventh heaven to the throne of God. One wing protects his body, another shields him from God, while the other two extend east and west."
Encyclopedia Britannica