Friday, May 29, 2015


"A comly youth, in with and learning great, 
Skill'd in each art, and master of debate- 
Yet pensive now, since Eros' cruel dart 
Had pierc'd his own, but not his Delia's, heart."
H.P. Lovecraft, Why the Trees Are Tall

"He is generally described as a son of Aphrodite; but as love finds its way into the hearts of men in a manner which no one knows, the poets sometimes describe him as of unknown origin 2), or they say that he had indeed a mother, but not a father. In this stage Eros has nothing to do with uniting the discordant elements of the universe, or the higher sympathy or love which binds human kind together; but he is purely the god of sensual love, who bears sway over the inhabitants of Olympus as well as over men and all living creatures: he tames lions and tigers, breaks the thunderbolts of Zeus, deprives Heracles of his arms, and carries on his sport with the monsters of the sea. His arms, consisting of arrows, which he carries in a quiver, and of torches, 
no one can touch with impunity."

"His arrows are of different power: some are golden, and kindle love in the heart they wound; others are blunt and heavy with lead, and produce aversion to a lover. Eros is further represented with golden wings, and as fluttering about like a bird. His eyes are sometimes covered, 
so that he acts blindly."
 Sir William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology

Thursday, May 28, 2015


"Thus Thracia's savage matrons wildly tore
The pensive Orpheus on swift Hebrus' shore."
H.P. Lovecraft, Why Trees Are Tall

"Kalliope was the mother of the bard Orpheus. When her son was dismembered by the Bakkhantes, she recovered his head and enshrined on the island of Lesbos."

"A man recovers the severed head of the poet Orpheus which has washed up on the shores of the island of Lesbos. The head is still alive and giving prophetic utterances."
Aaron J. Atsma, The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology

"But Venus, angry because she had not been granted what she thought was her right, stirred the women in Thrace by love, each to seek Orpheus for herself, so that they tore him limb from limb. His head, carried down from the mountain into the sea, was cast by the waves upon the island of Lesbos."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica

"His tongue though lifeless, uttered a mournful sound and mournfully the river's banks replied: onward borne by the river to the sea they left their native stream and reached the shore of Lesbos at Methymna."
Ovid, Metamorphoses


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


"Calliope and Clio rest their quills, 
As wise Urania at the chorus thrills."
H.P. Lovecraft, R. Kleiner, Laureatus, In Heliconem

"Kalliope was the eldest of the Muses, the goddesses of music, song and dance. In older art she holds a lyre. Kalliope was the mother of the bard Orpheus. When her son was dismembered by the Bakkhantes, she recovered his head and enshrined it on 
the island of Lesbos" 
Aaron J. Atsma, The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


"May Zeus with thunders scourge the martial scene
Where Woden tramples o'er th' unhappy green"
H.P. Lovecraft, The Peace Advocate

"Zeus was the king of the gods, the god of sky and weather, law, order and fate. He was depicted as a regal man, mature with sturdy figure and dark beard. His usual attributes were a lightning bolt, royal sceptre and eagle."

"Leda a Queen of Lakedaimonia (in Southern Greece) who was seduced by Zeus in the form of swan. She laid an egg from which were hatched the Dioskouroi twins - one Polydeukes was the son of Zeus, the other Kastor the son of her husband Tyndareus. According to some, she was also the mother of egg-hatched Helene."

"Europa a Princess of Phoinikia (Phoenicia in West Asia) who was abducted to Krete by Zeus in the form of a white bull. She bore him three sons: Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthys."

"Danae a Princess of Argos (in Central Greece) who was imprisoned by her father in a bronze tower. Zeus seduced her in the form of a golden shower, and she gave birth to a son, the hero Perseus."
 Aaron J. Atsma, The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology

"Zeus, the greatest of the Olympian gods, and the father of gods and men, was a son of Cronos and Rhea, a brother of Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, and at the same time married to his sister Hera."
Sir William Smith, Dictionary Of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

Monday, May 25, 2015


"But always I shall guard against the mocking and insatiate Hypnos, lord of sleep, against the night sky, and against the mad ambitions of knowledge and philosophy."
H.P. Lovecraft, Hypnos

"HYPNOS was the god or spirit of sleep. He resided in Erebos, the land of eternal darkness, beyond the gates of the rising sun. From there he rose into the sky each night in the train of his mother Nyx."

"Hypnos was depicted as a young man with wings on his shoulders or brow."

"The god is depicted with winged sandals and brow. He holds a yew branch dripping with the somnulent waters of the river Lethe."
Aaron J. Atsma, The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology

"Himself too he bestirred both swift progress and his wind-torn temples [i.e. he had wings on his temples], and filling his mantle's folds with the chill dark air is borne in silent course through heaven, and from afar swoops down in might upon the Aonian fields."
Statius, Thebaid 


Friday, May 22, 2015


"Amongst those anisgina things, I should offer that the Raven Mockers can be put down for near about the worst of all. They were given that name because they can fly if they want to, and when they fly, they make a noise like a raven. Reuben Manco imitated it for me, kraa-kraa, a pure down ugly noise. They make it their chief business to help a man to die,  you might could say. If somebody gets down flat on his back, bad sick or wounded, the Raven Mockers fly in and crowd all round and over him like a bunch of, well, like ravens. Most times they make themselves right hard to see by air real man or woman except maybe a wise old Cherokee medicine man. And the medicine man has got to pray his strongest prayers and work his best and fastest and sensiblest with  all the magic he knows, so as to keep those Raven Mockers off from one they're out to kill."

"They're heads were round and dark, with a knobby look all over them, and the heads and those wrappings were the same sooty-looking color that, in the sunlight, might could have been a deep diry brown. They'd come on out and spread this-a-way and that to surround us, and they stood and looked on us with eyes like coals of fire that had died 
down to a scummy pink."

"It had a monkeyish look to it, only not just monkey, either. Monkeys are funny, and this wasn't funny. I mean, the skull was squashed low and shallow above and its jaw was wide and shallow below. Its mouth hung loose and ugly and went all the way across, and its two pink-shining eyes hung deep back in it, in hollows like pits under two big bony brows like jackknife handles. But not funny like a monkey, or either with that sad monkey look. It was pure poison mean. And, I reckoned, hungry."

"That stuff was a kind of skin. It grew downward from the wrists and elbows of the long arms, it ws fast to the two sides of the squatty body, all the way down to the ankles of the short, chunky legs. It was like the spread of an umbrella, or of the wings of a bat. Only it had no ribs to it, just the wide-pulled stretch of it you could see the moonlight through."
Manly Wade Wellman, The Old Gods Waken

"Of all the Cherokee wizards or witches the most dreaded is the Raven Mocker (Kâ'lanû Ahkyeli'skï), the one that robs the dying man of life. They are of either sex and there is no sure way to know one, though they usually look withered and old, because they have added so many lives to their own."

"Every little while as he flies he makes a cry like the cry of a raven when it "dives" in the air--not like the common raven cry--and those who hear are afraid, because they know that some man's life will soon go out. When the Raven Mocker comes to the house he finds others of his kind waiting there, and unless there is a doctor on guard who knows bow to drive them away they go inside, all invisible, and frighten and torment the sick man until they kill him. Sometimes to do this they even lift him from the bed and throw him on the floor, but his friends who are with him think he is 
only struggling for breath."
James Mooney, Myths Of the Cherokee


Thursday, May 21, 2015


"The firelight had risen high, and as she spoke something hiked up behind the rocks on the pool's edge. It hiked up like a wet black leech, but much bigger by a thousand times. It slid and oozed to the top of a rock and as it waited a second, wet and shiny in the firelight, it looked as if somebody had flung down a wet coat. Then it hunched and swelled, and its edges came apart.
It was a hand, as broad in the back as a shovel, with fingers as long as a hayfork's tines." 

"The shoulder was a cypress root humping out of water, and the head was a dark pumpkin, round and smooth and bald, with no face, only two eyes. They were green, not bright green like cat eyes or dog eyes in the night. They were stale rotten green, like something spoiled."

"One Other was twice as tall as a tall man, and it was sure enough true that he had only one arm and one leg. The arm would be his left arm, and the leg his left leg. Maybe that's why the mountain folks named him One Other. But his stale green eyes were two, and both of them looked down at us. He made a sure hop toward us on his big single foot, big and flat as a table top, and he put out his hand to touch or to grab."
Manly Wade Wellman, One Other

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


"First out I saw it was dark, heavy-winged, bigger than a buzzard. Then I saw the shiny gray-black of the body, like wet slate, and how it seemed to have feathers only on its wide wings. Then I made out the thin snaky neck, the bulgy head and long stork beak, the eyes set in front of its head—man-fashion in front, not to each side. The feet that taloned onto the sack showed pink and smooth with five graspy toes. The wings snapped like a tablecloth in a wind, and it churned away over the 
 trees with the meal sack."

"I saw teeth, sharp and mean, like a garpike's teeth. It swooped for me, and the wind of its wings was colder than a winter storm."

"I looked quick, and saw two long, dark wings flop away from the door. 
The Ugly Bird had spied."
Manly Wade Wellman, O, Ugly Bird!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


"And there's the Flat. It lies level with the ground, and not much higher. It can wrap you like a blanket."

"I could see, but he couldn't, as around from behind the corner of the desrick flowed something. It lay out on the ground like a broad, black, short-furred carpet rug. But it moved, humping and then flattening out, the way a measuring worm moves. It moved pretty fast, right toward Mr. Yandro from behind and to one side."

"The crawling carpet brushed its edge against his foot. He looked down at it, and his eyes stuck out all of a sudden, like two door knobs. He knew what it was, and named it at the top of his voice. 'The Flat!' Humping against him, it tried to wrap around his foot and leg."
Manly Wade Wellman, The Desrick On Yandro

Monday, May 18, 2015


"And there's the Skim—it kites through the air"

"And above the treetops sailed a round, flat thing, like a big plate being pitched high. 
A Skim. Then another Skim."
Manly Wade Wellman, The Desrick On Yandro


Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Manly Wade Wellman!

This coming Thursday is Manly Wade Wellman's birthday. To celebrate I'll be posting a full week's worth of monsters starting Monday.

Wellman's fiction is a blend of folk magic, adventure and horror. Most importantly though, it's really fun. His main recurring characters are the occult detectives Judge Persuivant and John Thunderstone. My favorite, however, is his character John the Balladeer or Silver John. He's a wandering singer that walks through the Appalachian mountains (armed with a guitar with silver strings) and does battle with supernatural monsters and evil men. Kind of like a rural folk A-Team but just one guy. In fact, Mike Mignola's Hellboy story The Crooked Man was largely influence by Silver John.

I usually do a mini-bio for these birthday posts but Wellman's life is too insane to summarize. However HE did it himself in this piece that appeared in Thrilling Wonder Tales:

"There have been Wellmans in Virginia back to 1660, and before that in Devonshire back to, say 660... modest gentlefolk all, but of poor judgment in battle, having graced the losing factions at Hastings, Otterburn, Bosworth Field, Princeton, Gettysburg...I was born in Portuguese West Africa, where my father was doing medical research...sketchily educated in London, Washington, Wichita, Salt Lake City New York...poor student, mediocre footballer...since graduation, have toiled as bookseller, bouncer, farm hand, house painter, reporter, and, finally, writer...other less savory employments I shall not mention...first appeared in Wonder in 1931 and hope to go on thirtyish, dark, untidy, married, and huge...probably the biggest, or second or third biggest, of all science fiction authors...

My home is the Watchung Mountains...and, in response to inquiries, that's my real name...if I were going to take a nom de plume, I'd call myself something successful, like Jules Verne or Edgar Rice Burroughs."

That's not all! Wellman also wrote for comics. Not just any comics but Captain Marvel and The Spirit! When DC sued Fawcett Publishers claiming that Captain Marvel was plagiarized from Superman, Wellman was instrumental in helping DC win.

Anyway, the monsters I'll be posting are all from John the Balladeer stories and were super fun to draw. Don't be surprised if more of his creatures work their way onto this blog.