"The beholder (eye tyrant, sphere of many eyes) is most frequently found underground, although it infrequently will lair in desolate wildernesses. The globular body of this monster is supported by levitation and it floats slowly about as it wills. Atop the sphere are 10 eyestalks, while in the central area re a great eleventh eye and a large mouth filled with pointed teeth."
"The otyugh has a sensory organ stalk and two tentacle arms which protrude from its hideous body. The eyes are always thrust above the offal the creature lairs under, and this prevents surprise. Its tentacles have sharp ridges and are used to deliver smashing blows to prey."
"The appearance of this dreadful creature is fearsome indeed - a body like a giant exposed brain approximately 5' in diameter and with a frontal beak, below which trail ten 6' long tentacles. The beast 'flies' by a levitation process, small inflections of the tentacles controlling horizontal movement."
"Huge and weird, froghemoths are found only where there are large swamps or relatively shallow bodies of fresh water containing large life forms that serve as prey."
"Movement in water is fairly rapid, the webbed rear feet kicking tothrust the monster forward. In marsh or swamp, a froghemoth moves by lying on its belly and sliding along, propelled by rear legsand tentacles."
"In the background we can see several episodes from the lives of St. Antony the Hermit and St. Paul, such as their miraculous feeding by the raven, their conversation with an architect concerning the building of a monastery (which is also visible in the centre of a forest), the burial of St. Paul, and the kidnapping of St. Antony by demons."
"He is totally absorbed in his reading and meditations, under a crude wooden cabin, and he sees himself surrounded by a great number of evil monsters where we can see the most horrendous symbiosis of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, with threatening attitudes or making horrific sounds and howls. All these evil satanic figures are symbols of the Deadly Sins and thus, represent sloth, gluttony, wrath, greed, pride, envy and especially, lust."
"Fearing the outcome of a battle, Saul, kin of the Israelites, consulted the fortune-telling witch of Endor. The prophecy came true: Saul lost the battle, but shortly before he was to be killed, he threw himself on his sword. His suicide is a warning against witchcraft. In the foreground is a Witches' Sabbath: the fortune-teller sits within a chalk circle, surrounded by other witches, satrys, and imaginary figures."
The Rijks Museum
*This demon is inspired by the painting Saul And The Witch Of Endor (1472-77) by Jacob Conelisz van Oostsanen
"For instance, in the lower right-hand corner, a reptilian creature grasps a sinner by the head."
Aleks Pluskowski, The Monstrous Middle Ages
In Dieric Bouts the Elder‘s Fall of the Damned (ca. 1470) (Figure 7), a motley
crew of reptilian devils attack naked souls in a landscape so rocky it practically
has teeth. Indeed, many of the damned are shown partially submerged into the
earth; this is the endgame of their fall, which began when they were dropped
here by flying devils (and were thus forced to repeat the devils‘ own prior fall
"In Michael Pacher’s 15th-century painting “The Devil Presenting St Augustine with the Book of Vices” we see a figure intended to disgust: unusually, he is green, but has cloven hooves, horns, red eyes, fangs and reptilian wings. For some reason, he also has a face on his bottom."
"Instead of showing an individual body of the devil, we have a figure that is made up of all these different composite creatures and demons and they're biting each other and forming this anthropomorphized demon. We see bird heads are twisting here and there, we see bird talons, we see what look like god heads, we see reptilian creatures biting the arms of a body. We see all these different faces across this figure. And then what I can only describe as the hair which looks like some Dr. Seuss figure."
"In 1635 the Spanish Jesuit Juan Eusebio Nieremberg published Historia Naturae Maxime Perigrinae, a collection of descriptions of exotic beasts, most from the Americas, and containing a woodcut of an animal he called morrs piscis, which had a head resembling that of a dog, with protruding tongue, a mane, forelegs with long hair and large claws, and a fish's tail."
Michael Allaby, Oceans: A Scientific History Of Oceans And Marine Life
"Many of the sea monster that appear on medieval maps are hybrids such as the sea don, the sea lion, and the sea pig, and the source of many of these creatures was the ancient and medieval theory that every land creature had its equivalent in the sea. Some Roman mosaics reflect this theory, showing hybrid creatures such as sea rams, sea lions, sea horses, and so on."
Chet Van Duzer, Monsters On Medieval And Renaissance Maps
This will be my second zine comprised of creatures inspired by the work Charles R. Saunders. His Imaro & Dossouye stories, set in a fictional Africa, have grabbed me like almost no other author. His complicated heroes, layered supporting characters, imaginative settings, the way he writes action and builds to a crescendo.....are all gripping and compelling. And of course his inspired creature descriptions; from dinosaur-like reptiles to hybrid chimeras, to monsters from various African mythologies. Saunders work is unparalleled.
"There is a fish not yet mentioned which it is scarcely advisable to speak about on account of its size, which to most men will seem incredible. There are, moreover, but very few who can tell anything definite about it, inasmuch as it is rarely seen by men; for it almost never approaches the shore or appears where fishermen can see it, and I doubt that this sort of fish is very plentiful in the sea. In our language it is usually called the 'kraken'."