Monday, May 23, 2016

The Avner Vampire Killing Kit

Over the weekend Kaminski Auctions offered up this vampire hunting kit at an estate sale.
Rare mid 19th century vampire slaying kit, hand made brass inlaid plate inscribed "Nosferatu," includes: two crucifixes, assorted Bibles, hand forged knife with bone handle, wooden mallet with wooden stakes, two sets of rosary beads, pinfire pistol, eight bottles of holy water, garlic, six silver bullets, and mirror, 6" h x 17" w x 11 1/2" d. Provenance: From the personal lifetime collection of Mark Avner of Lake Worth, FL and Buffalo, NY.
Surprisingly, it appears it didn't receive a single bid.  I have a feeling collectors are finally realizing all of these kits are fake.  It's certainly fair that the creators make a reasonable amount of money, but  the days of Blomberg-style kits going for tens of thousands of dollars at auction are over. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Anatomy of the Elder Things

Artist Kurt Komoda has created what could well be the definitive look at the anatomy of Lovecraft's "Elder Things".  Working from the detailed description in "At the Mountains of Madness" he builds up a well thought out take on what they actually looked like, including the troublesome "wings".   The biggest issue there is that we're used to winged creatures, like birds and insects, having lateral symmetry.  Attaching them to radially symmetrical organisms requires some involved mental gymnastics.
No matter where on the torso they are attached, I also have a problem trying to figure out how they fold up. They can't just open and close like a paper fan and still have a 7' wing spread- unless they attach near the top of the torso, below the gilled bulbous neck and then extend down to where the lower bulbous neck ends (see figure A, below). 
   Lovecraft's drawing and notes (above) confuse me because the sides of the torso have this jagged edge, like a pinecone or something. I think those are the wings folded up. On the left side, there is an arrow which points out to the note: (circled) "Fan-like expansible to 7 foot spread." And then: "veined  ?????-membraned comb-????. At tips- ends of veins are spore cases." So, those could be the serrated edges of the comb-like wings somehow sticking out of the furrows, but....I don't see how those would unfold....unless the tubular veins extend each time, but I doubt it.

Go check out the full article.  It's filled with beautiful illustrations, including some inventive motion studies.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Soles Edition.

Jason Soles has been crafting Mythos-related works for decades.  His latest is a Cthulhu idol that will be a premium in an upcoming Kickstarter project.  These are the raw castings fresh out of the mold.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Hydra

Copper Centipede returns to our pages with this stylized idol dedicated to the three-headed Hydra.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vintage Apartment Floorplans

If you've played Chaosium's "Call of Cthulhu" it's likely your character has visited more than a few urban flats, from cramped hovels to high end luxury suites.  If you've wondered what they were actually like you'll want to visit the New York Public Library's digital collection.  The New York City Apartment Buildings archive not only has dozens of apartment floorplans, but a look at the hardware and features they were outfitted with.   The collection includes builder's catalogs with the actual plumbing, lighting, and decorative fixtures used in vintage buildings.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Alien Skulls

Artist Dominic Qwek brings us a beautiful set of alien skulls available as resin castings. Browse through the gallery to get an appreciation for just how anatomically detailed these are.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Almost There...

The Miskatonic Alumni Package is almost ready.  Despite all the hassles with the varsity-style logo the patch looks awesome.

All that's left now is the "Bookworm" Mythos Merit Badge, awarded to those that have delved into forbidden tomes.  The whole impetus behind it was an attempt to get out of my comfort zone by embracing the mainstream, cheesy take on the Mythos.   And boy, did I embrace the cheese...

Don't worry, I don't plan on doing too many non-canon friendly items.  There's already more than enough of that sort of thing.  The merit badges are just a bit of fun between friends.  If the delivery schedule holds I should have the package up for sale next Friday and take orders over the long Memorial Day weekend.