The Mask That Reveals – Pencils

“Change is good.” So goes an oft heard euphemism (and occasional advertising slogan).

Nah. Change is inevitable. The best changes are usually those one makes of ones own free will. I’m (intentionally) making changes to my posting schedule. Instead of twice a week I will be posting three times. Instead of posting on Sunday and Wednesday I will be posting Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

On Sunday I will post the basic pencil art of an illustration. On Monday I will post the inked line art of the illustration. On Tuesday I will post the finished colored illustration. With my signature chop. I’ve been forgetting to put that on the work I’ve been posting here.

Thank you for dropping by. Comments are always welcome!

Even Monsters Have Mothers – Color

GORGO is the name of the baby monster in the movie. The mother’s name is Ogra. She’s the one that stomps all over London in her search for her missing child. The moral of the story – mother monsters are not to be trifled with. I learned this lesson well. I leave baby monsters alone.

Even Monsters Have Mothers – B&W

When I was a kid I wanted to be a giant monster. I wasn’t a dumb kid. I knew that I couldn’t actually become a giant monster. Not only was I generally the wrong species I knew enough about the square cube law to understand that really giant monsters were impossible. I could, however, grow up to be a giant monster actor. That was a job that a human being could have.

Except.

Most movies of the movies that I saw that featured giant monsters (at least the type that required humans to wear monster suits) seemed to be made in Japan. Only a very few got made in English speaking countries. And none in America.

So I had to pursue other career opportunities.

GORGO was one of the few giant monster movies made in an English speaking country that used a human actor to play the monster. Mick Dillon had that role. He seems to have mostly worked as a stunt double and wasn’t very tall – he played jockeys in more than one movie. Cheers Mick!

Singing for Shub Niggurath – B&W

ShubNiggurathBW

Lovecraft described some of his creations in great detail. Others are described in ways that are give the reader a vague sense of the thing and leave the specifics to his/her imagination. And others are left as vague eldritch monstrosities, barely comprehensible to the human mind. Shub Niggurath is one of those. So she (it) can be depicted however seems most appropriate.

I did a simple version of this illustration last October for the Drawlloween/Inktober challenge. I liked the results so much that it seemed worth trying again.

Tentaclesaurus Rex – B&W

TentacleRexBW

I’ve spent some time over the last four years trying to figure out a graphic novel project that a writer friend and I could collaborate on. I like his writing. He likes my illustration. We never did find a story that we both were willing to invest the time and money to take to completion.

At one point, while working out a possible scene in a possible plot, he asked whether I wanted the protagonist to battle a tyrannosaurus rex or a giant squid. My first thought was “Why not both?” but I think I told him that I preferred a tyrannosaur.

The “Why not both?” thought stuck with me and the “both” element had me decide to combine the two creatures into one. Sorta.

Chaugnar Faugn – Color

Chaugnar Faugn Color

“Words could not adequately convey the repulsiveness of the thing. It was endowed with a trunk and great, uneven ears, and two enormous tusks protruded from the corners of its mouth. But it was not an elephant. Indeed, its resemblance to an actual elephant was, at best, sporadic and superficial, despite certain unmistakable points of similarity. The ears were webbed and tentacled, the trunk terminated in a huge flaring disk at least a foot in diameter, and the tusks, which intertwined and interlocked at the base of the statue, were as translucent as rock crystal.”

Frank Belknap Long, “The Horror From the Hills

Chaugnar Faugn – B&W

Chaugnar Faugn BW

One of the reasons that I’m so fond of the so-called Cthulhu Mythos is its breadth and diversity. H.P. Lovecraft may have originated it but it has long since outgrown his writings. Howard Belknap Long was a writer who added to the Mythos during Lovecraft’s lifetime. His most notable creations are the Hounds of Tindalos and the fellow above, Chaugnar Faugn. All of Lovecraft’s work is in the public domain, easily found and therefore easily read. Long’s work is still under copyright and, because Long has not retained a lot of posthumous popularity, requires some effort to track down. As far as I can tell, the Seattle Library has nothing by him in its collections. As such, I haven’t read The Horror from the Hills, the story that first features Chaugnar Faugn.

But what the hell, I have read T.E.D. Klein‘s Black Man with a Horn, featuring a version of Chaugnar Faugn that only vaguely resembles the original, and I felt like drawing an eldritch abomination so … here he is.