Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Word To The Wise

Don't try using Crayola's "Model Magic" air-drying modeling compound for any application where it's exposed to liquid. It dissolves. Much to my surprise.

Wear And Tear

Over the weekend I finished up the bottled specimens I started last week, applying collection labels and the final weathering treatment.

Here's the "critter" after it was sealed in it's bottle with wax. After a week the isopropyl alcohol doesn't seem to be reacting with the figure's baked Sculpey or the acrylic paint and liquid acrylic coating it, so I'm pretty sure it will be stable enough for long-term display.

Here's the same bottle after the label and weathering was applied. Since I have a tendency to under-weather props I went all out on this one, wearing away the paper of the label and applying multiple washes of paint, cocoa powder, and charcoal dust for a very old and worn feel. The end result looks like this thing has been sitting on a damp, dusty shelf for years.

That cloudy film of dust on the bottle is actually a layer of matte fixative that coats and protects all the weathering once it's done. I've scrubbed it off with a brillo pad in spots because I don't want to cover up all the details of the critter, but I still want that feeling of age and layers of dust.

A medium shot of the finished product. The irregular shape of the wax seal looks like an old, hand applied bit of work. I'm also happy with how the label turned out, with the appearance of paper that's been slowly mouldering and flaking away over the years.

If you like it, why not try making your own? You'll find the basic directions over here, a supply of ready-to-print labels here, and any advice I can offer is just an email away.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Australia, Revisited

Over the weekend I took another crack at the "glamour" shots for the Miskatonic University Australian expedition patch and lapel pin. Thanks to the new camera these came out much better than the original pictures.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pulp Raygun

Rexports has posted a series of short videos to YouTube showing off his retro-style laser pistol . It not only looks like something right out of the pulps, but has a full suite of electronic lighting effects built in.

If he goes ahead with production I can see my wallet rapidly emptying.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Miskatonic University Specimen Labels

The title pretty much says it all. This is an improved sheet of labels for specimens from Miskatonic University's Special Collections, based on the original version over here and the revised single label here. The sheet contains three 2" by 3" labels and one 3" by 4" label for larger samples and includes crop marks to make trimming easier. Just cut to size and glue them to a specimen bottle or case to make an attractive prop.

You can download the PDF file from Google Docs over here.

Friday, June 26, 2009


My prop pilot's license is a small part of artist Lisa Snellings latest project. Calling her work Burton-esque or Gaiman-ish isn't really adequate, but it gets you in the ballpark.

"I did finally get "Amelia's Skies" finished. It's been sitting for weeks, so very nearly done. Getting her finished and photographed feels good. She's the first of a new series of Poppet sculptures honoring humans Poppets love. We made these really cool hand painted boxes for her ---good enough to keep---with a replica of Amelia Earhart's pilot's license inside the lid, acquired from the excellently cool Propnomicon. Very worth checking out."

Stop by and check out the rest of her work. I think you'll find a lot to admire, both technically and artistically.

Into The Luminiferous Aether

While the vast majority of steampunk "artists" are busy proving Sturgeon's Law, Tom Banwell is consistently offering up a concrete demonstration that craftsmanship and attention to detail matters. Click here to head over to his blog and scroll down for the construction details of a beautiful leather helmet that looks better and better with every installment.

Reading his blog on a regular basis is like getting a master's class in propmaking.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Forging Ahead

I just started reading Eric Hebborn's "The Art Forgers Handbook" and it's already proving to be an incredibly detailed manual for realistic paper and artwork weathering techniques. I have a small library of books on contemporary document forgery, faking ID's and such, because so much of that material is useful in the creation of prop documents. So far, this book blows everything else on my bookshelf away.

Wikipedia has more about Hebborn's amazing "career"...and mysterious death.

Prop Intestines

Few things are more likely to elicit a strong reaction than a steaming pile of innards .

The genius of these wonderfully gory intestines from "GammaBlog" is how simple they were to create:

"Made these today for use in tomorrow's Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Ingredients: bubble wrap, paper towels soaked in beet juice, plastic food wrap, scotch tape, and white thread. Yum!"

This is another example of how a creative mind can turn simple junk into an effective prop. My first reaction to reading the list of materials was "Why didn't I think of that?" What makes this approach different from other "recipes" for prop intestines I've seen is the use of plastic food wrap wrapped around a filler material to form the basic shape. I might tweak it a little bit, by using transparent fishing line in place of the thread and replacing the beet juice and paper towels with a layer of colored liquid latex on top of the plastic wrap, but we're still talking...what? $10 worth of materials? For a great looking prop that will last years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Miskatonic University Label

This is a slightly tweaked version of the Miskatonic University labels I published a while ago. It measures 3" by 2" and has some much needed white space around the label proper along with some minor adjustments to the layout. Click through for the high resolution JPG.

Unknown Vampire Killing Kit

A kind reader aware of my fondness for vampire killing kits sent this over. It's reportedly a scan from a Sotheby's auction catalog, but it doesn't look like any of the previous kits that have made their way around the web. Regardless, it's a well done piece of work that seems to incorporate several real antiques...or at least very well made counterfeits.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bottled Nightmares

One of my best Father's Day gifts was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 digital camera . After spending close to a decade using the same digital camera I bought in back in 2000, a Canon Powershot A-10, the difference is like night and day. I'm finally able to take some quality shots of my props! Well, at least I can't blame the camera for crappy pictures anymore. Heh.

These are some quick shots of some bottled specimens created using the same basic techniques I discussed back in March . They haven't undergone the final weathering process, so there's still quite a bit of work needed to finish them, but I thought you might find their creation interesting.

First up we have one of my "Cthulhu Critters". One of the reasons I've been holding off on bottling these things up is because of their fragility. I was worried that even with a wire armature a small figure like this would be liable to break during handling as it repeatedly hit the inside of the glass jar. That's still a concern, but a little experimentation demonstrated that the liquid inside the jar provides enough drag to keep the creature inside from accelerating to dangerous levels.

The same creature from another angle. The preservative fluid is isopropyl alcohol with a drop of green food coloring. There hasn't been any visible sign of a reaction between the fluid and the vinyl or acrylic in the critter, but I'm keeping on eye on it just in case. You'll also note that I've added just a little color to the paraffin wax. Nothing wrong with plain ol' wax, of course, but the tint helps give an impression of age.

A carnivorous sea worm collected off the coast of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. The preservative fluid in this bottle is a mixture of distilled water and propylene glycol. It seems to be clearer than isopropyl alcohol, and the color of the fluid is much richer, thanks to it's higher refractive index.

One of the specimens collected by the Miskatonic expedition to Antarctica in 1931. This "eye" was removed from an amazingly well-preserved aquatic radiate of a heretofore unknown species.

This angle really shows off the structure of the eye. Again, the preservative fluid is a mixture of distilled water and propylene glycol. The brownish-black tint was produced with one drop each of red and green food coloring. Right now the colors produced are a bit hit and miss, but I think I can solve that by diluting the food coloring with alcohol. With a lower concentration of dye in each drop I should be able to slowly mix the color I want without over-saturating the preservative fluid.

Binary Star Prop Sundial

Continuing yesterday's astronomical theme, here's a wonderful prop sundial for a world with two suns from artist Tim Baker.

Twigs. Twine. Paper. Well, that and a heaping big helping of creativity and inspiration.

Something like this would fit right in at a live-action game. A variety of Pacific Islander cultures used intricate arrangements of wooden sticks tied together with natural fibers to serve as maps and navigational aids. Mr. Baker's sundial is just the kind of thing a tribe with close connections to the Mythos might create as part of a ritual, either as a protective device...or as an aid to summoning.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets

Thanks to Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets for the link and kind words. Stop by for a hit of that ol' skool gaming goodness, and watch out for the dreaded Iron Scorpions of Zeladize.

In case anyone was curious, links to blogs outside Propnomicon's primary area of interest are usually added to the "Other Stuff" category on the right. Not because I don't respect their content or subject matter, usually quite the opposite in fact, but because I have such a very narrow focus on props based on the Cthulhu Mythos and, to a lesser extent, science fiction and horror stories set in the 20's and 30's.

Prop Globe

Have an upcoming ritual on your schedule? Need to know exactly when the stars are right? Why not consult this stylish Prop Globe from artist ~smakeupfx .

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hotel Miskatonic Luggage Label

How better to memorialize your stay at the beautiful Hotel Miskatonic in downtown Arkham, conveniently located adjacent to the Miskatonic University campus, than this period-style luggage label. Just click through for the full-sized (4" by 4")picture, save the JPG to your computer, print it out on sticker paper (available at most big box stores), trim to size, and apply to your luggage. If you don't want to wait for it to naturally weather give it a quick once-over with fine sandpaper or steel wool.

In case anyone was curious, the hotel graphic is based on the real-life Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Mike Jones Edition

I picked up this small (approximately 3" by 3") Cthulhu idol by artist Mike Jones earlier this week. One of the things I like about the sculpt is that it avoids the "cute-thulhu" tendency found in many figures at this scale. There's nothing inherently wrong with that approach, of course, but it's a bit of an immersion-breaker when you're searching for good props.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Names And Numbers

Cephalopod Productions has started to tackle a prop with a myriad of potential uses: a telephone directory for Lovecraft Country. This is just the kind of multi-purpuse, full immersion prop that can elevate a game experience from good to great.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Curious Case Of The Mystery Mythos Movie: Part Deux

Last week, during a discussion of Tom Sullivan's impact on Mythos art, I mentioned my desire to track down an article about the ill-fated "Cry of Cthulhu" movie he was involved with in the late 70's. Within hours an incredibly helpful reader provided me with a scan of the article from Starlog #24, but I haven't had a chance to do anything with it until today. Here it is.

I'm amazed that the two color pictures of the film's special-effects maquettes have been floating around in my brain for thirty years. Then again, after reading the details of the proposed script, including the always classic "young couple discovers their new home has a terrible secret" angle, maybe I justifiably suppressed the text of the article. The script has an...interesting...take on the Mythos. It definitely strays out of the canon quite a bit, but I have a feeling that if the movie had been made it would be a cult classic today. That "cliche be damned", kitchen-sink approach to horror can produce some fun little films, like the original "House" with William Katt.

Oh, one last thing. I'm not a believer in synchronicity, but it is an amusing coincidence that "The Shadow Out of Time" and it's backstory was such an integral part of the "Cry of Cthulhu" screenplay. Is it possible that some dark corner of my mind actually remembered that bit and dredged it up just as I was finishing my own "Shadow Out of Time" project?

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Mega Edition

The good Rev. Marx has posted the story of how he created what has to be the biggest Cthulhu idol ever made. The Notorious B.I.C.- Big Inflatable Cthulhu.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Planet Mongo Videotron

Via Lost in Schlock comes this amazingly creative, ultra-low budget Flash Gordon inspired wall prop from Dave Lowe.

Almost everything that went into the making of this prop was junk lying around the house, but you can see for yourself that from anything more than a foot or two away it looks phenomenal. The difference between great low-budget props like this and the "steamjunk" stuff I hate so much is in the creativity and attention to detail of the creator. Slapping things together is a recipe for failure, but if you take the time to plan your work and utilize your available materials to the best of your ability there's no reason the result shouldn't look at least this good.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beware The Z-Rays

From artist Alan Taylor comes the Z-Ray Regulation Station. This wonderfully infernal device would look right at home in Dr. Crawford Tillinghast's laboratory.

You'll find his Flickr photostream includes a selection of equally well-crafted props of a psuedo-scientific sort.

Artifacts Of A Different Sort

Doc Atomic, someone I'm proud to have as a patron of the site, just launched a new blog featuring in-depth looks at the classic science fiction toys of days gone by. Stop by at the ATTIC OF ASTOUNDING ARTIFACTS to see wondrous examples of playthings from a time when toys were made from steel.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Miskatonic University Australian Expedition Patches And Pins

In 1935 Professor Nathaniel Peaslee of Miskatonic University lead an expedition into the Great Sandy Desert of Australia to investigate ruins allegedly dating dating back thousands of years. For years rumors have swirled about what the party actually discovered buried there in the sand. Were the ruins the sole surviving evidence of a culture dating to before the accepted settlement of the continent? Or, as have some have speculated, were they all that was left of an ancient city intimately tied to Prof. Peaslee's own well-documented history of amnesia and strangely detailed dreams?

The world may never know the answers to those questions, but now you can own these commemorative reproductions of the embroidered patch and lapel pin worn by members of the Miskatonic Australian Expedition.

Both the patch and pin are based on the expedition's original logo design. The rayed sun motif of the Miskatonic University seal rises from from behind the deep-red stone of Ayer's Rock, while above them are two stylized Aboriginal glyphs- the horizontal parallel lines symbolizing a journey surmounted by the concentric circles marking a destination or campsite. Below that, the latin phrase "Ab Aeterno" or "From the beginning of time", the expedition's motto.

The embroidered shoulder patch is 4" in diameter and features a heat-seal backing so it can be ironed-on to clothing.

The 1" lapel pin is die-stamped from antiqued brass and features a butterfly clasp backing.

This is a short run, fan-based project based on H. P. Lovecraft's classic "The Shadow Out of Time". There are a limited number of patches and combined patch and pin sets available. Each patch is $5.95, while patch and pin sets are $12.95. Shipping is calculated when you checkout using PayPal and should run around $2.00 to $2.50 for US orders and approximately $1 higher for international orders. You'll receive a prompt notification when your package has shipped, usually in less than 24 hours.

If you would like to purchase multiple patches or patch and pin sets please contact me at propnomicon@gmail.com for discounts for bulk purchases and shipping. Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions or concerns.

Update: Sold out!

"The Shadow Out of Time" Sandstone Slab

"But what I have to tell is more than this. Two years ago, when I was prospecting about 500 miles east in the desert, I came on a lot of queer pieces of dressed stone perhaps 3 X 2 X 2 feet in size, and weathered and pitted to the very limit."

One of the iconic items from Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time" are the inscribed stone blocks that mark the location of the ancient city. About a week ago I decided that a specimen of the carving on those stones would make a great prop for two reasons. First, it would make a fantastic backdrop for my collection of artifacts from the Miskatonic Australian expedition. Second, since mysterious stone carvings are central to some of the most notable Mythos stories (At the Mountains of Madness, The Whisperer in Darkness, etc.), it would be a good opportunity to figure out how to create realistic depictions of dressed stone.

"Then I met Dr. Boyle, who had read your articles in the Journal of the American Psychological Society, and, in time, happened to mention the stones. He was enormously interested, and became quite excited when I shewed him my snapshots, saying that the stones and the markings were just like those of the masonry you had dreamed about and seen described in legends."

After Googling around a bit it seemed that carving a block of foam insulation would be the most effective way to reproduce the "Shadow Out of Time" slab. Home haunters have been using sheets of construction foam to make tombstones and graveyard markers for years, so it wasn't hard to find useful information. This in-depth tutorial on creating Halloween tombstones by Keeba is one of the best and proved to be an invaluable resource. I also stole some of the techniques used by wargamers to create miniature stone terrain features, like using a long blade to cut natural looking fracture planes out of the stone.

"As a mining engineer, I have some knowledge of geology, and can tell you that these blocks are so ancient they frighten me. They are mostly sandstone and granite, though one is almost certainly made of a queer sort of cement or concrete.

They bear evidence of water action, as if this part of the world had been submerged and come up again after long ages - all since those blocks were made and used. It is a matter of hundreds of thousands of years - or heaven knows how much more. I don't like to think about it."

After hacking out the basic shape from a 2" thick sheet of insulation with a boxcutter I did the final detail work of the carving with an X-Acto knife. In the process I produced a huge amount of blue foam bits that I'm still cleaning up three days later, so if you're intending to attempt a similar project yourself I'd heartily recommend having a good vacuum cleaner on hand. After that I painted the slab with a base coat of dark brown, over painted the brown with a color wash of yellow ocher and dark tan, followed all that up with a black detail wash, and then finished things off by drybrushing the raised areas with antique white.

Here's the final result:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Miskatonic Australian Expedition Photo #2

A shot of the Pinnacle Desert in Western Australia.

Friday, June 12, 2009

At The Mountains, And Beyond

Head over to Cephalopod Productions right now to check out a beautiful illustration for Chaosium's "Beyond the Mountains of Madness". It's not only gorgeous, but it includes an appropriate nod to one of Lovecraft's sources of inspiration.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Miskatonic Australian Expedition Photo

A casual snapshot of the Miskatonic expedition's campsite taken right before breakfast. Based on the rocky terrain and low hills in the background this photograph was probably shot the day the party entered the desert basin proper.

To recreate this as a prop photograph just click through to the full res version, download the JPG, and take it to your friendly neighborhood photo kiosk. It's a bit small for a full sized 4x6 print, but it will look fine in smaller formats. If at all possible avoid using kiosks that use branded photo paper (the kind with an annoying logo repeatedly splashed on it) so the final print looks at least reasonably period.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Curious Case Of The Mystery Mythos Movie

Memory is a funny thing.

Yesterday I mentioned that that one of my first exposures to the works of Tom Sullivan, and the Mythos as a whole, was via an article in Starlog magazine back in the 70's. I based this assertion on my very distinct memory of reading an article about an independent Cthulhu film when I was a wee lad and this passage from Mr. Sullivan's Myspace page :

"My first significant illustration assignment was creating artwork and maquettes (small sculptures of monsters) for Bill Baetz's The Cry of Cthulhu. My first Lovecraftian film project. I was never paid for anything and the film was never made but Bill got some of my art published in articles about the film in Cinefauntastique and Starlog. I was on the board, so to speak."

Naturally, I assumed one of the articles he mentioned was the one I read all those years ago. A little Googling and I discovered that "The Cry of Cthulhu" was first mentioned in Starlog #6 back in 1977, but I couldn't find a scan of the article in question. Then a very helpful reader emailed this over:

Aha! The missing story on "The Cry of Cthulhu" from Starlog #6!

Except, despite it almost certainly being one of articles Mr. Sullivan is referring to in his recollection, it's not the article I remember reading. My article featured at least two color photographs of creatures that, I assume, were created as armatures for stop-motion animation. Both were clawed, skeletal things that were particularly notable for not having legs- from the waist down they had a segmented tail like an insect. Armed with a little more information, "little" being the key word, some more Googling revealed that some kind of Lovecraft-based film, perhaps "The Cry of Cthulhu", was featured in Starlog #24 from 1979.

Now I just have to get my hands on that issue, or a scan of the article in question, to determine if it's the one I'm remembering. Or maybe I'm relying on a three decade old memory and obsessing waaaaaaaaaay too much. In my defense, both Mr. Sullivan's sculpts and the ones from my mystery movie would be some of the oldest Mythos props in existence. It's likely they've long since succumbed to age or misfortune, but there's a chance that they're still floating around somewhere.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Swords Against the Outer Dark

Thanks to Shane Magnus for adding me to his "Blog-Sothoth" roll at Swords Against the Outer Dark , where he has a very interesting take on blending the tropes of conventional sword and sorcery gaming with the cosmic horror of the Mythos. It's an approach that's lately been gaining some attention, but it also hearkens back to the very roots of the hobby.

More On Tom Sullivan

Yesterday's post touching on Tom Sullivan's depiction of the Necronomicon in the "Evil Dead" movies, and his subsequent influence on the pop culture conceptions of the dread tome, prompted a kind emailer to point out that Mr. Sullivan has a page on MySpace . Much to my surprise, it seems I was exposed to his work far, far earlier than I had ever assumed. For years I've had clear memories of seeing special effects photos from a Mythos-based film that appeared in Starlog magazine way back in June of 1977.

It turns out that Mr. Sullivan sculpted the Cthulhoid critters that helped illustrate a story on "The Cry of Cthulhu", a failed independent film based on Lovecraft's writings. My Google-fu is weak and I can't dig up any scans of the article in question online, but I can still picture it in my mind. Then again, I spent a week reading and re-reading that magazine during a family camping trip when it rained every single day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Necronomicon: Woormius Edition

From Woormius, a fragment of the Necronomicon based on it's depiction in the "Evil Dead" movies. The grungy weathering job is quite nice.

As an aside, there's a pretty solid case to be made for Tom Sullivan being the most influential mythos artist of all time. His Necronomicon design has become the de facto interpretation of the cursed tome in popular culture, with hundreds if not thousands of copies of his work floating around.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Alchemist's Box

This Alchemist's Box is a wonderful piece of work by "Zombie Armadillo". I love the neatly ranked collection of ingredient bottles and glassware all held in place by leather straps, but the detail work on the Alchemist's Tome really stands out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tsathoggua Idol

From artist Richard Svensson comes this intriguing Tsathoggua idol.

"You shall know Tsathoggua by his great girth and his batlike furriness and the look of a sleepy black toad which he has eternally." There's been quite a few Cthulhu idols made and I thought I'd do another deity from the Mythos. Tsathoggua is worshipped in Clark Ashton Smith's primeval Hyperborea. This idol is about 35 cm tall. It's cast in black plastic resin and drybrushed with bronze paints. The original sculpture was made with Chavant clay and a silicone mold was made for making castings. Tsathoggua was created over two weekends while Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jethro Tull was blaring from my workshop stereo (for no particular reason).

Friday, June 5, 2009

"At the Mountains of Madness" Antarctica Map

After waiting far too long I'm finally able to offer up my "At the Mountains of Madness" prop map.

This is a 17.5" x 22.5" map of Antarctica based on the one done by John Bartholomew for the 1922 "Times Survey Atlas of the World". I've cleaned up some dirt and a few small tears and corrected the color registration, but the weathering along the edges was left intact because I like the way it looks. The level of detail in the map is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, that also means the file is gigantic- 89 megs.

You can download it over here.

Australia Relief Map, Redux

The image size limits on Blogger have finally motivated me to start converting large images to PDF and host them at Scribd. You can find the high resolution PDF of the Australia Relief Map over here . I've updated yesterday's post to reflect the change.

From this point onward a high-resolution PDF of anything I create or scan will be uploaded to Scribd. As time permits I'll convert previous work and make it available as well.

Catalog Card Generator

What hidden secrets lurk in the dusty stacks or the library? Find out with this handy little Catalog Card Generator. Just enter the information for your book and it spits out a vintage style catalog card.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vintage Australian Map

Another filler prop for "The Shadow Out of Time"- a period relief map of Australia. Click through the graphic for the medium resolution JPG or download the high resolution PDF over here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"The Shadow Out of Time" Expedition Pin

Here's a high resolution scan of the Miskatonic Australian expedition lapel pin. The harsh lighting of the scanner reduces the contrast between the raised and textured portions of the die strike, but it gives you a good idea of the level of detail on the 1" wide medallion.

The craftier readers will be happy to know that the backing mount can be removed with a file or dremel tool in about 30 seconds. That means creating custom items is a simple matter of using a drop of epoxy to attach the flat portion of the pin to any suitable surface. I've been cruising Ebay for a vintage brass Zippo lighter (first produced in 1933) with exactly that idea in mind.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Upcoming Replica Prop Forum Registration Window

New registrations for The Replica Prop Forum will be accepted from June 15th to June 30th. If you enjoy making props, or simply admiring the creations of others, I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. The RPF is, quite simply, the premiere community for the discussion of replica props on the internet. Most of the postings deal with items from franchises like "Star Wars" and "Star Trek", but fans of lesser known media and literary sources will find like-minded people working on a variety of projects.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Necronomicon: Matzke Edition

Author Christian Matzke has just released a book that will be near and dear to the hearts of any Mythos propmaker: Fragments of the Necronomicon.

"Collected here for the first time: thirty-three woodcuts from a recently recovered 17th century edition of Abdul Alhazred's Necronomicon. Annotations and photos of relevant Mythos objects from the author's collection deepen the reader's understanding of the occult images."

Mr. Matzke's work should be familiar to anyone reading this, since he's the creator and proprietor of the Propping Up The Mythos website that directly inspired my own efforts.