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.