Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Gooey Bits

This detailed look at creating a prop kidney comes to us from Eduardo Talbert of Monster Tutorials. The technique, using a latex skin over heat formed polyfill, is equally adaptable to making all sorts of organs and fleshy bits.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Watch Your Step

The ocean's tidal zone is filled with life, but one rarely finds creatures that present a threat to humans.  Karen Main returns to our pages with an unusual specimen just waiting to feed on whatever might pass by.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

LARP Spear

Sander Propworx returns to our pages with this combat safe LARP spear.  The finish is so good it's hard to believe this is foam.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Giant Grubs

Hungarian artist Boglarka Zilahi brings us this collection of plump, happy grubs.  Surprisingly, the little beasties are sculpted from fabric and filler.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Hell Device

Professional prop builders Hex Mortis created this ornate "Hell Device" for the latest season of "Preacher".  The gallery documents the full build, including the practical lighting effects incorporated into the mechanism.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Cthulhu Idol

Artist Sam Sturgeon serves up his take on the traditional Lovecraftian Cthulhu idol.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Amulet of the Hunter

This cast metal amulet bearing the Hunter's rune comes to us from artist Mariana Martins.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fetal Monstrosity

This horrific bit of fetal ickyness comes to us from Swedish artist Joen Bager.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Red Dragon

The appropriately named Red Dragon Lord is responsible for this set of handcrafted leather Red Dragon Armor.  Photography by Zoetic Fine Art Imagery.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Impaler

This massive 16" vampire killing stake comes to us from Fringe Walker Studios.  When you absolutely, positively don't want them getting up out of that casket ever again.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Book of Secrets

Alex Libris returns to our pages with another masterful example of the bookbinder's art.  This handcrafted tome features tooled leather and custom hardware.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Greedy One

Professional knife maker PrzemoSremo brings us Freki, a Viking-inspired blade complete with tooled sheath. The hilt is carved from moose antler.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Life...Finds a Way.

Ericka Cummings returns from Isla Nublar with this freshly hatched velociraptor.  They grow up so fast, don't they?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Servant of Hastur

Makeup artist Saray Segoviano brings us her take on a cultist in service to the King in Yellow.  The reflection of the ring light in her pupil ups the creep factor considerably.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wrath of the Blood Elves

This is insanely cool.  The "Die Blutelfen" LARP group is dedicated to roleplaying a tribe of blood elves, with an emphasis on "dedicated".  Their Facebook page is filled with photos detailing the group's ornate costumes, event camps, and even a peek at their rituals.  It's gloriously over the top.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cthuhu Ring

This beautifully sculpted Cthulhu ring comes to us from Japanese jewelers Silver Shield. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sword of the Lich King

Zxaskad brings us this detailed recreation of Frostmourne from the "World of Warcraft".  The sword was carved from wood and then detailed with apoxie sculpt.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Alien Fetus

This alien fetus comes to us from Brogan Paul Johnson.  I believe the tendrils are African porcupine quills. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Necromancer's Grimoire

The talented Mille Cuirs returns to our pages with the Necromancer's Grimoire. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Great Cthulhu

Sculptor Yoneyama Keisuke brings us this very alien take on Cthulhu.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Making a Fossilized Fairy

This nicely done fossilized fairy specimen comes to us from artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

Click through on the link and you'll find a detailed look at how she created it. The piece is essentially a 3D sketch, starting with the initial design on art board...

...with the bones of the skeleton then built up with gesso.  That simplified explanation leaves out the rather important step of capturing the shape of anatomically accurate bones using a semi-liquid medium.  As with most things, the basic technique is easy.  It's the execution that requires real artistic talent. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Fun and Games

Alberto Cano of the Cthulhu Project has a new Kickstarter featuring some Mythos inspired playing cards and a fun little Cthulhu dice game.  Admittedly, it's not the kind of thing I'm normally into, but he's my go-to example of someone who does Kickstarters right.  Realistic goals, good production timelines, and, most importantly, a willingness to communicate when the inevitable glitches do pop up.

Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne!

The artists at Brutal Forge bring us this very well done Warhammer LARP chaos warrior. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lost Carcosa and the Yellow Sign

A reader that wishes to remain anonymous sent over this intriguing tale.  With minimal editing, I present to you the true story of lost Carcosa and the actual Yellow Sign associated with it:
Imagine:  It's 1896, and the British Empire is at its height.  In the recently acquired protectorate of Malaysia, British civilization is slowly taking hold in the tropical jungle at odds with centuries of native tradition.  Sir Frank Swettenham, First High Commissioner of Malaysia, requests that a mansion be built for himself, and shortly thereafter it is constructed; a wild fusion of Gothic and Tudor styles sporting eight bedrooms, balconies, terraces, and columned arcades.

As its name, Sir Swettenham gives it the title of... are you ready?... Carcosa.

And this is no strange coincidence, in a letter written to the Editor of the British Malaysia newspaper, Swettenham responds to an inquiry over its strange name with the affirmation:

"When this house was finished and occupied I read a book which interested me. It was called "The King in Yellow," and at the beginning of this book there were some verses...
Here he quotes Cassilda's Song, and goes on to talk about how no other name seemed a better fit for a building as characteristically out of place as his Victorian mansion in the jungles of Malaysia. 

Today, this Estate is protected by the National Heritage Act of Malaysia and is operated (again, this creeped me out), as a wellness hotel offering "hospitality and high society living".

Lastly, and this is the thing that drew it all together for me, is the logo of the Carcosa Seri Negara Estates; supposedly drawn to evoke "natural elements, the environment, and humanity."

It's right there.

It's a sign, and it's yellow, and it creeped me out instantly.

I am not making this up.  There's a strange Victorian Estate in the heart of the Malaysia jungle, built by an eccentric British commissioner obsessed with the King in Yellow,  named Carcosa, which is currently being run as a heath and wellness retreat for the wealthy and whose literal logo is a Yellow Sign!

Is it the true form of the Yellow Sign?  An artful coincidence?  Something in between?  It doesn't really matter, because either way this place is begging for coverage on your site, for its storytelling opportunities alone.  If only as an example of how close something can actually get to being Lovecraftian without actually going too far and saying it.  I was happy and pleased and slightly unnerved by the whole affair, and I hope it has the same effect on you.  When reality reads like a novel, that's what I look for in life.

Serendipity or chance or whatever brought this thing about, it's just bursting with promise.  I know your crowd of readers would be as equally pleased as I to learn this quaint little historical fact.

Oh, this is gold. The Wikipedia entry for Carcosa Seri Negara includes the full text of Sir Frank Swettenham's letter explaining the origin of the home's name:

To the Editor of “British Malaya”

[British Malaya, May 1936]


In the April magazine your correspondent in Malaya asks me, in courteous terms, to tell him why I gave the name “Carcosa” to the house that was designed and built for me at Kuala Lumpur by the late Mr. C.E. Spooner, assisted by Mr. A.B. Hubback – as he was in those days – and I have no objection to answer the question even though the simple truth may spoil a number of excellent stories. When this house was finished and occupied I read a book which interested me. It was called “The King in Yellow” and at the beginning of this book there were some verses with a note explaining that they came from Cassilda’s song in “The King in Yellow”, Act 1, Scene 2. Here are two verses: -

“Strange is the night where black stars rise, And twin moons circle in the skies, But the stranger still is Lost Carcosa.”

“Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.”

I did not call the Resident General’s dwelling “Government House,” or “King’s House,” because neither seemed an appropriate name in Protected States. I did not give it a Malay name, because it was to be the residence of a British Officer; so I took a book name as has often been done before.

As to the word Carcosa, I imagine it was the Castle of the King in Yellow, but the book explains nothing about either the place or its occupant. That apparently can be found in the play, to which there are only occasional allusions. Probably it is a word created by the author’s fancy, though it looks like a combination of the Italian words cara and casa and would mean “desirable dwelling,” as indeed I found it.

The only curious fact is that this name was prophetic for, as I understand, the house has lost its name and is thus, “Lost Carcosa.” The occupant, I am told, is now styled “F.S,” instead of “R.G.”

Yours obediently,

19 April 1936.

The dwelling itself is exactly the kind of grandiose, ornate building you would expect for a High Commissioner at the height of British colonial power.

There's one architectural feature that immediately leapt out at me.  It's particularly noticeable in a vintage postcard of the building showing the original paint scheme of the exterior woodwork.  The rest of the structure has a wraparound veranda of conventional design, but this portico stands out.

Surely I'm not the only one that sees a stylized skull bearing a crown.

Lost Carcosa, indeed.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Face of the Deep

Artist Chris Williams brings us the first pull of his upcoming Deep One mask.  I can't wait to see it painted up.