This is another image from 2000 that I intended to use a portfolio piece. Ultimately I guess I did – the finished illustration is in my Epilogue.net gallery – I just didn’t get it completed until 2003.
This is a Mi-Go, a so-called Fungi from Yuggoth, one of H.P. Lovecraft’s alien species. They’re featured prominently in The Whisperer in the Darkness. I don’t think many of authors have used them. They’ve gained most of their prominence and personality by their use in the Call of Cthulhu role playing games.
I wrote an earlier post about the challenges of illustrating Lovecraft’s Great Race of Yith. They’re the featured creatures in Shadow out of Time. They are a race of beings whose minds are immortal. Those minds inhabit the bodies of different species at different times on different worlds. In Shadow those minds are inhabiting the bodies of some sort of giant land dwelling mollusk during the age of the dinosaurs.
This is one of my more successful attempts at drawing the Great Race. It was done in 2000 as part of the portfolio series but, unlike the others I’ve posted I eventually finished it and it can be found in my Epilogue.net gallery.
Over the years I’ve complained about Epilogue.net rejecting this or that picture. Given that they are a free service I’m not really that upset. Free has its price and if I don’t like it I can go somewhere else. Or get off my lazy butt and build my own danged website.
I’m not saying that I can always tell when one of my illustrations is bad. Usually it’s that I can’t tell if an illustration is really good. That’s why I have other people make the final picks whenever I put together any sort of portfolio. I’m more likely to see the flaws than the merits of an illustration.
Which brings me to today’s post. I did this one intending to post the finished version to Epilogue. But after working on it diligently I finally decided that it … well … kinda sucked. And that nothing I did to it would make it better.
Often times I’ll do an illustration, not like it much and then look at it again years later and find its merits. This one was done in 2003 or 2004 and it still looks like the only way to improve it would be to start from over from scratch.
Somewhere on the external hard drive that I use for storage there should be a finished version of this illustration. I originally did it for my Epilogue.net gallery but it was rejected. I no longer remember the exact reason. Too blurry?
Eh. Whatever. At the time I was pretty annoyed. Now I pretty much expect my submissions to get rejected. Even ones that were commissioned and accepted for publication. Most get accepted but I’ve learned not to expect it.
Here’s the pre-photoshopped art for A Burrabb Bead Crafter.
The Monster of Piedras Blancas was a big shocker for me as a kid. It featured a creepy looking monster, at least one onscreen severed head and a dead child. I’d seen other movies with creepy looking monsters but I’m pretty sure this was the first I’d seen with a severed head and a kid killing monster. In the past if monsters killed kids it was accidental i.e. the kid got stepped on while the monster trashed the city. Usually children survived monster attacks.
This is the pre-Photoshopped version of my revision of the creature. The final version can be found in my Epilogue.net gallery.
Here is another of the original illustrations I did to build up my gallery at Epilogue.net. This one is a new interpretation of the alien from The Thing from Another World. Since the creature is a mobile sentient vegetable I wanted him (it) to look, well, look like a sentient mobile vegetable. As I wrote elsewhere at the time –
My reworking here was fairly easy. The original monster looks a lot like the Universal Frankenstein monster and it’s supposed to be a kind of ambulatory plant. The biggest thing I had to think about was why a plant would wear clothes. And what would they be made of?
Alien spider silk. With the spiders still in residence. They even repair the outfit when it tears – take a look at the group working on The Thing’s right arm.
And it wears the silk to retain moisture during its travels.
I’m a fan of both versions of The Thing. I don’t really consider the 1980s version a remake. It’s actually a more faithful adaptation of John Campbell’s original story Who Goes There?. Both films use the story’s idea of a thawed alien menacing an isolated base but the 1950’s version chances the nature of the alien and therefore the nature of the story. The final illustration can be found here.
In 2003 I set up a gallery at Epilogue.net. Of course, a gallery isn’t much good unless it’s got art in it so I got to work creating new illustrations to post. At the time I didn’t have much work that I thought would fit. I had a lot of sketchbooks but most of my finished work was either comics or Labor of Love designs or so old that I didn’t want to post it.
This is a scan of the original art for A Hot Dry Hunger, one of the illustrations in my B-Movie Re-Imagination Project series. BRIP is my occasional foray into redesigning the monsters of old, usually low budget, movies. I try to retain as much of the original design of the creature as possible while letting the design evolve in ways it couldn’t originally because the original costume had to be created cheaply and fit on a human actor.