Thursday, October 4, 2012

Socially Awkward

I'm really not a jerk. I say that in response to a few emails I've received questioning my commitment to the "Lovecraft community". These missives are usually in response to two of my personal quirks.

The first is my general dislike for anything in the "Cute-thulhu" category. As I've said before, I have nothing against folks that make or enjoy that sort of thing, but it's not my cup of tea. It only shows up here in the annual April Fools Day post. There are plenty of places that absolutely adore those projects and they almost always get more mainstream attention than the more serious items I enjoy. Despite that, I'm regularly contacted by people that are genuinely upset I'm not featuring their Cthulhu drink coasters or knitted Cthulhu caps.

The second is the relative lack of involvement I have with social media. That comes from the fact that I hate to waste time, both my own and others. People come here if they're interested in horror props or Mythos goodies. That's it. That's all Propnomicon is about. You want your daily fix? I got ya covered. It's a niche interest, but I do my best to make sure it's served.

Personally, I like that kind of approach in other sites. I visit, get the information or entertainment I want, and leave. It keeps what little free time I have uncluttered by needless distractions. I follow the same approach here. The tight focus is because I don't want to waste your precious time. You're here for the tentacles and pentacles! Why would you care about what restaurant I'm eating at? Or what political candidate I support?

By the same token, I only follow websites and Twitter denizens that have the same interests. That's not a reflection of anything more than my lack of free time. It's certainly not a comment on anyone's value as a person or artist.

I know that my approach can seem brusque or anti-social and for that I sincerely apologize. It's one forced on me by the simple fact that there are only so many hours in the day. As much as I enjoy what I do here, and rest assured it gives me a great deal of pleasure doing it, my other commitments demand the majority of my time.

Update: I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and comments. They're very appreciated.

38 comments:

Mystic Scholar said...

I found your site a couple of months back and have been visiting regularly, though I'm not a "major" Lovecraft fan, being more of a Howard fan.

But today's post tells me that I've found a KINDRED SPIRIT!

And I'm damn glad I did. From today, I am truly a "loyal follower."

Looking forward to more.

Mr. Harold said...

I wouldn't put too much thought into that stuff... in fact the idea that someone would complain about stuff you do, or do not do, seems a little crazy to me.

I think your blog is great, and I always look forward to your next project or spotlight!

Shane Mangus said...

I have to say, I like this approach. No fluff, all substance. Also, I hate the "cute-thulhu" thing too. Thank you for maintaining your high standards, and never consider veering off this course.

Wendy Wagner; said...

No arguments here! I love the way you specialize. Tentacles and pentacles, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Well I think it's great. Please keep doing what you do, the way you do it. I for one would like to see more science themed work. But I rather have you post about less of my interests if you keep posting about yours. Broadens the horizon... GO UNICORNS!!!

Dinsdale Piranha said...

You know, since you're discussing complaints, I've got one that I thought I'd never bother you with. But I suppose it can't hurt.

I've spent the last 23 years studying and working in university bio departments, and I find some of your opinions on aging bottled specimens irksome. In my current job, our oldest beastie was bottled 244 years ago, and while it's constructed of the materials of a different age, the bottle and the fluid look relatively new. The techniques you favor -- frosting/blasting of the glass, cloudy fluid, gobs of sealing wax -- never happen with professional work, and professional-quality work of this type has never been hard to do. The main thing is that the fluid usually lightens in color. The aging techniques you favor look cool, but anyone who knows ruffled shirt would identify them as the product of shoddy work or imcompetent storage.

Seeing Things said...

I come here each day for my prop-fix. I LOVE it because I can do a drive by read and peek..perfect for a visual person like myself. Keep up the great work!!

Propnomicon said...

@ Mystic Scholar

Thank you for the very kind words. I've glad you like it.

@ Mr. Harold

I think it's the sense of entitlement that rubs me the wrong way. I'm always open to suggestions, but telling me I really need to spend more time talking about strawberry swirl ice cream when all I care about is chocolate is a bit much.

And so I stretch a metaphor to the breaking point. Heh.

@ Shane Mangus

Thanks, it's most appreciated.

@ Wendy Wagner

I'm glad you liked my new catchphrase. Heh.

@ Anonymous

The problem with scientific gear and specimens is that they're so hard for people to do well. I think I've done my part to popularize "things in a bottle", but prop projects like that can still be intimidating.

@ Dinsdale Pirahna

Don't hesitate to bring up something like that!

I actually agree with you totally. The heavily distressed approach I like has a practical as well as a stylistic component. A realistic professional specimen, with clear glass and fluid, requires the artist to be a very, very good sculptor. When every detail is visible every flaw is as well.

I'm steadily getting better at sculpting creatures, but my work still benefits from a layer of grime and dust. It helps cover things up and make the specimen appear to be better than it actually is. Because bottled specimens invite close examination (and can't rely on distance or low light like static prop) the distressing helps compensate for my less than stellar skills.

Anonymous said...

Many, if not all, of the posts you make have an aire of mystery, fear, or intrigue.

Thank you for avoiding the cute side of the Mythos.

Magnus Asbjorn said...

I came to this blog through looking into prop making and bizarre magic, and I stayed for the prop making info, if I wanted cutethulhu well I know how to work Google.

terrifel said...

Do these sorts of complaints go the other way, I wonder? Are there people at My Little Pony fansites who are like: "Hey, how come you never publish any of my photorealistic cannibal zombie Pony fanart?"

The internet being what it is, I suppose there probably are...

Seems kind of odd to call out a Lovecraft aficionado for being antisocial, anyway. Ideally, important personal missives should be scrawled in close, crabbed handwriting on musty foolscap. Properly cataloguing and translating ancient tomes of blasphemous occult lore leaves little time for idle tweeting!

Anyhoo, another viewer here who appreciates your site's focus and its frequent updates. By all means, keep the eldritch fires burning.

TheRedneckScientist said...

Ha those are some of the reasons this is by far my favorite blog, great content aside. The fact that you do such a great job without getting partisan or bogged down in superfluous personal detail is something I both admire and appreciate. Don't get put off by a couple of people thinking the universe revolves around them.

TheRedneckScientist said...

Ha those are some of the reasons this is by far my favorite blog, great content aside. The fact that you do such a great job without getting partisan or bogged down in superfluous personal detail is something I both admire and appreciate. Don't get put off by a couple of people thinking the universe revolves around them.

www.jimmycrows.blogspot said...

I'm with you, your blog fills the niche perfectly. I love not having to filter through doe-eyed cartoon cthulhus.

Shannon Khoury said...

Very good point, and I agree completely, if you were start adding "cute-thulhu" There is a very good chance I would stop visiting.

I really appreciate the work you do and please never CHANGE!!!

PhilO said...

My feeling is that it's your blog and you can post (or not post) anything that you want. If your preferences don't match up with someone else's, then they can go elsewhere. There are plenty of blogs in the sphere.

I appreciate your particular slant, not because I am heavily into Lovecraft, but because I am interested in really well made props that are often art pieces in and of themselves. The artists you feature are not only skilled, but creative and meticulous both in technique and in research.

By browsing your blog, I often get ideas or cull techniques for my own projects. If I wanted to make Cute-thulu, I would visit a blog that focussed on that.

In short, sir, keep up the good work and illegitimi non carborundum.

Anonymous said...

Socially awkward?

I'm a faithful Lovecraft's worshiper since 20 or more years ago.
I've seen quite a lot of those cute-thulhu stuff out there, and more serius aproach to Lovecraftian themes too, and after all, I'll take yours, without a doubt. Yours is not but one approach to Lovecraftian themes, is THE approach.
After visiting your blog for some months, I'm embarked in a couple of "vampire hunter kit" and "thing in a bottle" proyects, collaborating with other people. I Got a nice job, wife and a toddler. My childhood friends, few but loyal, are quite long away, but I manage to party with them 3 or 4 times a year; the same with my family. They all know how I am, and respect it.
Are we socially awkward? Well, I'll take this as a compliment.
Is terrible that some people think their view is the right and only view. They seem... limited... to me.
Keep this way, please.

Hands of Manos said...

As a professional I really appreciate your blog having a niche focus, I simply go elsewhere for other interests!
As another annoying person with an opinion don't spend any time on complaints. Your passion is yours, you don't need to justify it to anyone.

affliction said...

Jerk.

R.S. Bohn said...

I like that kind of approach in other sites. I visit, get the information or entertainment I want, and leave.

Me, too. Another kindred spirit. "Internet presence," "Social media," and "platform" are words I have come to despise.

Also, (ahem, *cough*) I like the cute. But it's your site. There's plenty of that other stuff out there elsewhere.

The Bathyscaphist said...

I appreciate my daily serve of T&P from you, and don't need you to Like every inane picture of my dog/kid/what I just cooked to feel validated in my choice to come here.

C. Haunton said...

What's weird to me is that people are complaining about this on a site called Propnomicon. It's pretty hard to miss that it's a props blog. Even if you loved knit Cthulhu hats with all your heart, this wouldn't be the place to post them.
You are without exaggeration the most consistent blogger I follow, and I don't doubt that it is because you keep both your blog and yourself focused and precise.
Keep up the awesome work!

Anonymous said...

No one site's focus can be one hundred percent distilled awesomeness for everyone, all at the same time. Can't be done; therefore, sweat it not.

Anonymous said...

I really like your site, but wish there was a way to get some works commissioned so maybe you could consider a way to get people in contact with artists. I would love to get my wife some nice, real jewelry of a cthulhish nature for her to wear when she does he dress up...lol
I am not against cute-thulhu but it is a niche, it is like hello kitty. It can be cute at times.

pensive pumpkin said...

*pops head in the door* another vote that you are perfect just the way you are, and there's no need to justify YOUR blog's topics. *back out into the darkness*

mimeflayer said...

Don't apologize for doing what you love, and doing it EFFICIENTLY.
You deliver a blog about lovecraftian props, and I for one appreciate that it's succinct and to the point. Let the people who complain that it's not "_____-enough" start their own blog about whatever they like. Yours is one of two websites I check almost everyday. You rarely disappoint.

Jeff said...

Love the site, love your attitude and brevity, love your taste. The only thing I regret is that you feel a need to apologize to people with different interests then you.

From my point of view, no apology necessary. You do what you have chosen to do very well and I hope you keep doing it for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Love the site, love your attitude and brevity, love your taste. The only thing I regret is that you feel a need to apologize to people with different interests then you.

From my point of view, no apology necessary. You do what you have chosen to do very well and I hope you keep doing it for a long time.

And to the biologist - that's great historical information. If this was a site about history your comments would be much appreciated, however it's about fiction, mostly horror, and I think we all know that has little or nothing to do with real history.

CoastConFan said...

You have an entitlement too Propnomicon, not to waste your time. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I come here every day for my Lovecraftean DIY / craftiness fix, and I thank you for it.

BDW, did I ever share my semi-mythos book I made earlier in the year with you? G’wan, take a look at it, you know you want to:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150899413084730.431572.668999729&type=3

~ Andy

greychild said...

I think Propnomicon is perfect. Thanks for the good work, keep it up! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of this site in its current configuration. Please don't change a thing.

And thanks again for doing what you do.

bea said...

Keep doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE!

Phil said...

You've certainly never seemed antisocial to me Prop. Heck I've seen you turn up unexpectedly in several forums a frequent. And of course you obviously put time into finding these wonderful items on a daily basis. That has to take time and effort.

Not a big fan of cute-thuhlu either. I don't hate it, but things like that reek of mass-marketing. Yes, I do own a "Cabbage Patch Cthuhlu" plushy. But I got him at a Worldcon back in '87, when such things were unique and unusual.

I just think some people are too sensitive.

Aleister Crow said...

It will never cease to amaze me how people think they're entitled to demand others do what suites them.

The way I see it, it's your blog. It's written to suit you, and what goes into it is decided by you. No one has any business dictating otherwise.

If someone wants a cute-thulhu blog, let them start one. Plenty of fodder on Etsy for it.

Anonymous said...

I've followed your site for years now, and mostly like will for as long as you decide to keep it up. Its what I want to see when I get here :)

Raven said...

Tsk, I've been away too long.

Props, people come here to see you do what you do (and boost others doing kindred work). You have an established -- and growing -- fanbase.

If you wanted to do anything *else*, the fair method would be to start a separate blog for that, and keep this one going for the same old.

Otherwise the serious Lovecraftian-props devotees would be heartbroken, ans something wondrously weird and irreplaceable would be gone from the world. Oh, don't let that happen.

Raven said...

Of course, in five months to the day, all the newer devotees (<1 year) will be duly shocked to see this site celebrating the latest in pink-and-white sugary-sweet Cute-Cthulhu fluffy dolls....