Tuesday, January 29, 2019

News...

Hey all, as you may have noticed, this week's Manly Wade Wellman creatures have been postponed. I had a commission and attended the Black Flags Over Brooklyn fest so I didn't have enough time to finish them all up. However, they are scheduled to post starting this coming Monday February 4th.

Friday, January 25, 2019

LIVING SMOKE

LIVING SMOKE
"The smoke was molding itself, in what light I could make out, and began to look solid and shapy, as tall as me but thicker across, and two streamy coils waved out in the air like arms."

"I saw that smoke shape drifting sort of slow and greedy, clear of the hearth, and betwixt those two wavy steamy arm coils rose up a lumpy head thing. There was enough firelight to see that this smoke was thicker than just smoke. It must have soot and ash dust in it, solid enough to choke you. An in the lumpy head hung two dull red sparks, like eyes."
Manly Wade Wellman, Dumb Supper


Thursday, January 24, 2019

THE THING UP UNDER THE ROOF

THE THING UP UNDER THE ROOF
“Years afterwards, I saw through a microscope, the plodding of an amoeba. The thing up under the roof sounded as an amoeba looks, a mass that stretches out a thin, loose portion of itself, then rolls and flows all of its substance into that portion, and so creeps along. Only it must have been many, many thousands of times larger than an amoeba.”

“It seemed to me, at that moment, that the lath and plaster were no tighter or stronger than a spider web. And that the entity was incalculably more awful than prince and father of all spiders.” 
Manly Wade Wellman, Up Under the Roof


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

GOLGOTHA DANCER

GOLGOTHA DANCER
"The front of the picture was filled with lively dancing creatures, as pink, plump and naked as cherubs and as patently evil as the meditations of Satan in his rare idle moments."

"In my first half-moment of wakefulness I was aware that the room was filled with the pink dancers of the picture, in nimble, fierce-happy motion. They were man-size, too, or nearly so, visible in the dark with the dim radiance of fox-fire. On the small scale of the painting they had seemed no more than babyishly plump; now they were gross, like huge erect toads. And, as I awakened fully, they were closing in, a menacing ring of them, around my bed. One stood at my right side, and its grip, clumsy and rubbery-hard like that of a monkey, was closed upon my arm."

"That was their strength and horror—their ability to go flabby and non-resistant under smashing, flattening blows."

"She spoke, not in reply, but as if to herself. "They have no faces," she whispered. "No faces!" In the half-light that was diffused upon them from our lamp they presented the featurelessness of so many huge gingerbread boys, covered with pink icing."

"I met them, feet planted. I tried to embrace them all at once, went over backward under them. I struck, wrenched, tore. I think I even bit something grisly and bloodless, like fungoid tissue, but I refuse to remember for certain."
Manly Wade Wellman, The Golgotha Dancers



Tuesday, January 22, 2019

BEHINDER

BEHINDER
“‘And there's the Behinder.’ 
‘And what,’ said Mr. Yandro, ‘might the Behinder look like?’ 
‘Can't rightly say, Mr. Yandro. For it's always behind the man or woman it wants to grab.’”
Manly Wade Wellman, The Derrick On Yandro

“A biggish beast, standing about five feet and walking erect. The slender body mades it possible to hide completely behind the bole of a ten inch tree. The belt is long, thick and black, and the tail is carried recurved.”

“The Hidebehind is never found in the open. He always conceals himself behind a tree trunk. His marvelously quick, stealthy gait makes it possible for him to stay constantly behind his prey, no matter how quickly the suspicious victim may spin about in the hope of glimpsing the marauder.” 
Henry Tryon, Fearsome Critters



Monday, January 21, 2019

SASABONSAM

SASABONSAM
“‘Like what the Ashantis in Africa call Sasabonsam,’ said Holly ‘He lives in a silk cotton tree there, and catches unwary men with his feet as they pass below’”
Manly Wade Wellman, The Old Gods Waken

The Sasabonsam is described as a tall, thin humanoid shape that is colored red, with straight hair and bloodshot eyes. Their incredibly long legs have feet that point in both directions.”
Carol Rose, Giants, Monsters and Dragons

“One non-human vampire creature is also found in Africa. That is the asasabonsam, a monster described as having ferocious iron teeth.”
Kostantinos, Vampires: The Occult Truth

“A vampire found in Africa, known among the Ashanti of southern Ghana and by people in the areas of the Ivory Coast and Togo. The asanbosam is believed to reside in deep forests, most often encountered there by hunters. It is of general human shape with two exceptions: its teeth are made out of iron and its legs have hooklike appendages.“

Matthew Bunson, The Vampire Encyclopedia

Saturday, January 19, 2019

News...

Hey everyone! I hope you're enjoying these new monsters. So after this two weeks of Margaret St. Clair creatures we're gonna mix it up a bit and I'll be giving you two weeks of creeps based on the works of Manly Wade Wellman! 

In the meantime, I thought I'd post my top "10" list from 2018 so you can get a little insight into what I listen to while I work. These are (in no particular order) all songs that either came out in 2018 or were written earlier but I heard them for the first time in 2018.


Crow Call (2014)
Jeanne got me into Ellie Bryant's solo work and this, her band with Peter Ruddy.


2-The Guests-Watching the War
Popular Music (2018)
I fell in love with Philly-based socialist goths The Guests after seeing them live this year.


Like I really fell in love with them.


Sisters Of Shaddowwe (2017)
More goth!


5-Dame-Bubble Baby
Charm School (2015)
Another band I was lucky enough to see live this year.

Image result for grylurnar

Mávastellið (1983)
Jeanne and I discovered this Icelandic band when we were in a museum in Reykyavik last spring. They were active (and hugely popular locally) in the early 80s and their name translates to The Witches!
Image result for dukkulisur pamela
Another Icelandic band I found after researching Grýlurnar!


Planet Y (2016)
Danish punk in the vein of Masshysteri or Burning Kitchen!


Not Your Target (2017)
Fast paced punk that reminds me of early Dag Nasty.


Musique Exotique #01 (2016)
Raging Brooklyn-based hardcore. 


Demo (2015)
Angry hardcore from Austin TX.


Fragments
More angry hardcore, this time from Oakland CA.


Demo (2016)
Even more angry hardcore, this time from NYC....seeing a pattern here?


Padded Cell
Philly locals that I got to see put on an amazing, energetic show this year.


The Savage Season Continues (2017)
Self described as "Black Liberation Hardcore" Mass Arrest hail from Oakland.


City Of Ash (2018)
Another Philly band with an "former members of" list as long as my arm.


Tour Tape 2K18 (For the Homie)
Even more Philly (this city is cool)! Chaotic and crazy their live shows are just as intense as their music!


18-Hirs-Yøu Can't Kill Us
Yøu Can't Kill Us (2018)
Philly locals (yup, again) made the national news as NPR covered the collective's intense newest release.

Riff-laden doom in the vein of St. Vitus...and guess what...they're from Philly!


20-Myrkur-Måneblôt
Mareridt
Ethereal Danish black metal with alternating screamed and clean vocals.

Image result for the coup guillotine
21-The Coup-The Guillotine
Sorry To Bother You (2013)
The Coup's anti-capitalist anthem is more relevant than ever now.

Related image

Black Panther Soundtrack
I love this song and love this movie. I only wish they didn't rip off Lina Iris Viktor's work for the video.


Friday, January 18, 2019

TALIPYGIAN

TALIPYGIAN

“‘Talypgians?’ I asked.’”
“‘The secondary inhabitants of Iapetus. You can’t photograph them easily, because they’re partly electrical energy, and they’re practically impossible to describe. They look like big maroon hedgehogs, as much as anything, with erectile electric crests over their heads, and lost of white sharp teeth.’”

‘“I’d never realized before what particularly vicious lower jaws they had.’”

“‘The Talipygian flapped his flippers, erected his crest, and said ‘gunk’ a couple of times.’”
Margaret St. Clair, Return Engagement



Thursday, January 17, 2019

HIEROPHANT


HIEROPHANT
“The asteroid was a bubble of lava, honeycombed with tunnels like a rotten apple with worm tracks, brittle, dry and dead.”

“From one of the branches someone—something (whatever that radiant shape is, it is certainly not human) is handing them a barely ripened fruit.”

“You were standing there in the lava cave with that white thing coiled all around you, burning you, sucking the life from you.”

“At last they had stopped going altogether and only the hierophants, long-lived, perhaps immortal creatures of pure energy, had remained.”
Margaret St. Clair, The Hierophants



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ARTIST FAMILIAR

ARTIST FAMILIAR

“Badly drawn as it was, it had a set of cruelly competent long white teeth.”

“From the dim surface of the water a huge horned head was staring up at him. Sanderson wheeled about with a hoarse cry. At first he did not understand. Trailing behind him in the sooty light were a long, scaly lizardlike tail, two wobbling pipestem legs. And on the back were folded ribbed, repulsive, rusty bat wings. His wings.”
Margaret St. Clair, Counter Charm


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

INSECT-HUMAN HYBRID

INSECT-HUMAN HYBRID

“The insects whose eggs he’s been using aren’t at all those that were in the soil core the robot rocket brought back. The ones, I mean, that first attracted the biologists’ attention to Ganymede. Those were a sort of scale insect, parasitic on Ganymedean lichens. What Neil’s using now is something more like a sow bug.”

“The first human beings we produce from our artificial egg cells will almost certainly be monsters.”
Margaret St. Clair, Squee










Monday, January 14, 2019

PIG-MAN


PIG-MAN
““Circe,” Willets read in the second paragraph, ‘was an enchantress who lived on an island. She turned people into pigs by giving them drinks with a magic herb in it.’”

“Her green eyes told him the truth. He tried to run, to get out of the room, but he was strangling, lost, drowning in his clothes. "It Was the doughnuts!” he wanted to say, but all that came out was a high squealing grunt. Mrs. Hawk looked down at her new pig. For a moment her detached, polite smile turned into a wide frigid grin of triumph. Then she took the back-scratcher and began to prod Willets toward the slaughterhouse.
Margaret St. Clair, Mrs. Hawk

"And when Odysseus on his wanderings came to her island, Circe, after having changed several of his companions into pigs, became so much attached to the unfortunate hero, that he was induced to remain a whole year with her."
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology


Friday, January 11, 2019

VULTURE MAN

VULTURE MAN
“They pulled as hard as they could against the ropes the Vulture Man had tied them with, but they could not get loose.”
Margaret St. Clair, The Little Red Owl



Thursday, January 10, 2019

LOCHINVAR


LOCHINVAR
“He listened. His round, intelligent eyes were bright with curiosity. After a moment he expanded the frilly lettuce-green crest on the top of his head that was his organ for distance thought perception. He listened with it too, cocking his head thoughtfully from time to time.”

“He put his tiny paws on the edge of the drain hole and levered his limber, celery-stalk body up on the porcelain.”

“He bunched his four neat little paws under him, let his undercurved frondy tail hang down into the sink, and composed himself for a nice nap on the rim of the drainboard.”

““I thought it was some sort of lizard, but it’s shaped more like a sea horse. It doesn’t look dangerous, anyhow.” Lochinvar had opened his agate eyes and was looking at them.”

“Lochinvar ate daintily, partly nibbling, partly licking, like a cat, with his delicate golden tongue.”

“‘Why, he’s covered with fur!” she said, surprised. “That green stuff is as soft as silk.”’

“This woman didn’t realize — and, if he had his way, never would realize — that she and her husband had been harboring one of the fabulous Gryna animals. The Gryna animal’s peculiar mental abilities run like a particolored thread through Martian history.”
Margaret St. Clair, Lochinvar


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

SZABOR-SZOR

SZABOR-SZOR

“Tzzzu Tssssin came waddling out of the ship's airlock onto the asteroid's surface, his tail trailing behind him in his spacesuit. He rose to his full height, some ten or twelve feet, and looked around him with satisfaction.”

“He put the regulated machines down on the surface and watched them with his three eyes as they moved slowly away, leaving broad tracks of gleaming white cement behind them.”

“Critically he looked over the designs it contained, shaking his heavy, bony head with satisfaction from time to time.”

“What other of the Szabor-Szor would have thought of painting murals on an asteroid?”

“He developed an irritable trick of  picking at the loose scales on the skin around his neck.”

“The rise of his people, the Szabor Szor, from their humble cotylosaurian beginning to their present dizzy, unchallenged eminence.”
Margaret St. Clair, The Muralist

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

MMIP


MMIP
"And sometimes the chicken-sized mmips bothered eggs that were hatching in the open.”
Margaret St. Clair, The Muralist


Monday, January 7, 2019

MEEM

MEEM

“Jrar had been holding the restaurant’s meet on his knees, stroking its thick blackish fur absently, and Duncan had said something or other about wondering why seems were so universally popular.”

“The meem poked its flat head out. Its dull eyes looked at him.”

“Picket indicated the meet, which, as inert as a feather stole, was lying on the 
edge of the bunk.”
Margaret St. Clair, Meem



Friday, January 4, 2019

News II

Hey everyone. I thought it'd be a good idea to talk about what I plan on doing with this blog and my artwork in general in the coming year(s).

First off, H.P. Lovecraft will play wayyyy less of a part on this blog. I've worked my way through every creature and god that he ever mentioned in his fiction (with the exception of one that will post earlier this year), which was my original goal. There will be a few redrawings here and there but for the most part, this blog is moving on. And it's important that I do so.

Lovecraft drew me in with his nihilism, cosmic indifference and monsters but his racism, misogyny, homophobia and classism have always turned me off. And his racism is undeniable, all you have to do is read Medusa's Coil, Shadow Over Innsmouth, Two Black Bottles or The Horror At Redhook (honestly it's hard to find a story that isn't blatantly racist) to see HPL held horrendous beliefs. It's woven into the themes and plots of his stories. What makes it even harder is that his contemporary defenders have turned into apologists and deniers, digging their heels in rather than just acknowledging his shortcomings and discussing how they inform his fiction. They tend to glorify the man rather than the fiction even though he seems to me to have been a tedious, bigoted bore.

Anyway, what this means is that we'll be seeing some weirder monsters on this blog. Because, while I have my problems with HPLs work, it was my gateway to weird/horror/science fiction in general. Because of the mythos I started reading connected works by Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. I discovered the psychedelic adventure stories of C.L. Moore and dingy, urban decay fiction of Campbell and Ligotti.

Most importantly, I've discovered contemporary authors working to make the mythos their own, or even just making their own worlds and mythologies influenced by the mythos. Victor LaValle, Laird Barron, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Cassandra Khaw, Gemma Files, Priya Sharma, Paul Tremblay...the list goes on and on.

Lovecraft, specifically doing this blog, made me fall in love with reading. From his work to the Big Three, to the Lovecraft Circle, to the wider Weird, to contemporary Weird, to horror, science fiction and fantasy in general the steps are easy to follow. But it's time to let his work fall away and embrace the present. Lovecraft was never the be all end all in Weird Fiction and he shouldn't be considered that now. Let's explore the wider weird. Expect citations from JY Yang, Nnedi Okorafor, N.K. Jemisin, Laura Mauro, Manly Wade Wellman and, of course, Margaret St. Clair.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

News I



Hey everyone! Just thought I'd give you all a heads up that Illustro Obscurum Volume IX is SOLD OUT! I'm already working on Volume X which will be something slightly different and cool. I'll also be posting a way more comprehensive news update tomorrow.



There's still a bunch of stuff available in the store. Here's the most up to date listing:


ILLUSTRO OBSCURUM VOLUME IX: SOLD OUT
HORRER KUMPENDYUM COMBINATION: FIFTEEN COMBOS REMAIN
YULETIDE COMPENDIUM COMBINATION: THREE COMBOS REMAIN
STORIES FROM THE BORDERLAND COMBINATION: SOLD OUT
APPALACHIAN COMPENDIUM I: FIVE COPIES REMAIN
STORIES FROM THE BORDERLAND I: THREE COPIES REMAIN

HECATE SKULL SHIRT

  • SMALL: ONE SHIRT REMAINS

  • MEDIUM: ONE SHIRT REMAINS

  • LARGE: ONE SHIRT REMAINS

  • XL: SOLD OUT

  • XXL: SOLD OUT