Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Round Table

A page from a new sketchbook. Yes, i have been thinking of Mme Blavatsky and Rudolf Steiner.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Octopus Wrestling

I must correct myself on the claim i made earlier in the comment section that octopuses are friendly sea creatures. Apparently, octopus wrestling used to be a sport once. This should be a good read, as it comes from the same writer as The Phantom Atlas, a book that i am enjoying immensely at the moment.

Die Ahnung - Zone 5300 Cover

Since I'm posting Lovecraft related stuff, I guess now is as good a time as any to post my recent cover artwork for the Dutch magazine  Zone 5300 (that Marcel is involved in). The issue featured also my Lovecraft-Kubin crossover short comic Die Ahnung (Premonition), which was originally part of the German-Austrian Lovecraft comic-anthology "Echo des Wahnsinns".

The little painting in the bottom right corner was actually done by Alfred Kubin in 1906.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Tropes versus Lovecraft - Part 2: Under The Surface

At first I thought I'd call this trope  "Jaws" for obvious reasons, then I thought maybe "Der dankbare Ägir" because that's the oldest instance of this concept I've come across (although not connected to anything Lovecraftian; and I'm sure there are older ones).

In the end I stuck with "Under the Surface", simply because it not only describes the compositional principle but also the underlying metaphorical gist of it. I guess "Above & Below" or "Upstairs, Downstairs" would have worked as well.

As I've said in a comment to the last post, I'm not interested so much in depictions of the various Mythos creatures here or even similarities in images illustrating scenes from Lovecraft's tales. After all, it is not surprising that a certain character or scene from a given story would be often depicted in a similar way. These images don't strike me to be text-based illustrations but instead the intention seems to be to find a visual expression of a philosophical idea in a pop cultural framework.
Now, of course the problem of clichéd imagery doesn't only apply to Lovecraftiana, but in this genre it strikes me as particularly interesting, because of its quasi-religious (albeit atheistic) narrative. It's almost as if these tropes evolve like other religious iconography because they best represent a core emotional effect cosmic horror is supposed to have. Naturally, that effect is diminished by every new instance you see, not to mention the problems with visually representing something which is not supposed to be depicted - another aspect which the topic at hand shares with some religions.
But like in religious iconography the lacking impact of conceptual novelty is replaced or compensated for by a joy of recognition paired with the a reconjuring of the familiar ideological content. Think "Crucifixion", think "Pieta".
Well, perhaps this is all very trivial, and I'm sure there's a wealth of art historical texts about iconographic conventions and stereotypes in other fields, which go deeper into this matter than I ever could. I was just struck by the frequent recurrance of these images in my social networks and thought I should somehow collect them. I found none of these via google; they just popped up in my timeline and usually people thought they were great representations of a Lovecraftian perspective. Make of that what you will.

Finally, if the series of images above wasn't enough, I guess you can can tell a trope is a trope when it becomes ironic. This might very well be the final stage before becoming completely stale and meaningless.


As with the previous post, this is not meant to put any particular artist down, nor to critique any specific piece of art. I don’t know most of the creators’ names but I think given the context of this post it’s perhaps not in their interest to be credited here anyhow. If any artist would like to be credited (or if they want their artwork removed) please let me know and I shall do so.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Tropes versus Lovecraft - Part 1: The Prophet's Portrait

" A really serious weird story does not depend on a plot or incident at all, but puts all its emphasis on mood or atmosphere. What it sets out to be is simply a picture of a mood, and if it weaves the elements of suggestion with sufficient skill  it matters relatively little what fictitious elements the mood is based on. Of course the more obviously worn-out clichés (in method even more than subject-matter) had better be avoided — but a true master of atmosphere and suggestion can do wonders with even the commonest sort of theme. "

– H.P. Lovecraft

I’d like to try something else here on EBD, and post a series of artworks I’ve come across online, illustrating lovecraftian scenes or conveying lovecraftian concepts.
There are certain visual stereotypes in this genre which are consciously or unconsciously repeated over and over again, so I thought it would be interesting to categorize the various tropes and perhaps even develop some kind of pop cultural art critique concerning these types of illustrations. If it would lead to a higher degree of awareness that these tropes exist and maybe some pressure to develop new ideas, that would be a welcome side effect.

However, I’m not doing this to put any particular artist down, nor to critique any specific piece of art. Some of the examples are fan art, some are professional illustrations, and some are my own work. Many are obviously well-executed and probably in most instances the individual creators were thinking they had an original idea. Or perhaps they didn't and created theirs as a personal version of a common visual trope. Which, I guess, begs the question, wether there is something inherently "wrong" with this in the first place. In other epochs it was totally ok for artists to riff on other artists work, often to the extent that the visual concept became a shared cultural topos, to use a more neutral term, with no original artist's name connected to it.
Well, I have more things to say about this but I'll save them for the following posts. I would very much be interested to hear your thoughts.

So here's the first series of images. Where best to begin than with the many portraits of HPL himself. The stereotypical tentacles jump out pretty obviously, but seeing them juxtaposed like this, it also helps appreciate the instances where artists tried to give it a more individualistic style or inject a more original idea. Of the tropes that I have come across this is by far the most common. If you google "lovecraft portrait" you'll get most of these and may more very similar ones.  So if this one seems to obvious and boring to you I hope you'll find the following ones more interesting.

FuFu Frauenwahl

David Lee Ingersoll

I don’t know most of the creators’ names but I think given the context of this post it’s perhaps not in their interest to be credited here anyhow. If any artist would like to be credited (or if they want their artwork removed) please let me know and I shall do so.

As a bonus I'll add Erik Krieks's beautiful cover illustration for his book "From Beyond", which cleverly takes the trope I've presented above and inverts it, kind of building on the fact that we've seen the stereotype so many times that we don't even need to see his face to recognize him.

Erik Kriek

Announcing Tarot Goblinko by Sean Äaberg

Hello Eaten By Ducks! For my next feat of artistic & occult strength I will be producing a Tarot Deck - the Tarot Goblinko by Sean Äaberg. I have been doing a new card for each issue of PORK magazine that has come out recently where my wife Katie has been picking the cards & I've been drawing them in order. It has been a very intense series so far & I have found myself resonating with the tarot in a way that I have never previously. I will be putting the same amount of energy into the Major & Minor Arcana. We will be launching a kickstarter on Friday the 13th this April to get this project funded & so I can have the time to really give my all to each of the 78+ Tarot Cards. We'll be shooting for an end goal of having the deck produced in blacklight reactive ink. Here are some of the cards I've done so far.  

 Everyone who backs the Tarot Goblinko kickstarter on the first day will get the Early Bird card as a kickstarter exlclusive!

You can get posters & the issues of PORK with these covers from the GOBLINKO MEGAMALL.

Monday, March 26, 2018

2 legs good, 8 legs OK, thousand legs wouhou!

ahah sorry for copying, tentacules concordance ;)

This is Shub-Niggurath with her thousand child

I think it was time for me to illustrate these demons from my teenage hero Lovecraft!
I know since then many many illustrated this and probably there's nowadays rules and tradition but i know nothing about it, except these by Fufu which are greater than I could do, but I'll try to challenge the one I can see made of computer layering.
I will try to make the others characters, already got some sketches for few of them. Oh and yes i surely already did Cthulhu once or two!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

4 legs good, 2 legs bad, 8 legs super

The cover of sketchbook #66. How this guy got his tentacles will be explained in my upcoming book, Pola.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Nerfs Antagonistes: Maud Newton, Gaspard Pitiot

Risographie / Risography
64 pages
Dessins collectifs/ Collective drawings: Gaspard Pitiot, Maud Newton
Poésie (français, anglais) / Poetry (French, English)
Éditions Sous-vide
Contact me to buy or trade a copy !
5 € (+ 2 € shipping cost)