I was approached by The Folio Society last year to see if I would be up for working on some illustrations for their planned collection of stories from H.P. Lovecraft, 'The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories', and after a bit of figuring out whether I'd be able to do it justice, due to having preparations for a solo show on the boil at the same time, I jumped right in and ended up having a large hand in its overall design too.
I wanted to make work that was different to the Lovecraftian illustrations that I've seen over the years. A lot of excellent artwork that has come from Lovecraft's output, and I decided I'd like to make pictures that not only felt as pleasing to me to make as my own personal work, but that were also more about the atmosphere and tone of this work, rather than being illustrative of specific scenes or beings.
I had a totally open brief to do what I wanted, and complete support to go a bit berserk with it all from the ever-excellent Folio Society, and as we went along I made the pictures and got further and further involved in the full concept of the packaging too.
My main desire with the production, especially with the limited edition, was that it would feel like a sinister, dangerous object as much as a book, like Lovecraft's oft recurring 'Necronomicon of Abdul Alhazred' might feel, and I think we've achieved that. With the black-edged pages and the blind-blocked look and leather feel of the limited edition, with its individually hand-marbled end-papers and the extra pages of black mandalas that I made to add to the occult-like feel of the book, there's definitely a sense of something otherworldly and disturbing about it, which I hope complements the pitch-black, mad darkness of Lovecraft's writing...
To be part of something that includes Lovecraft and Alan Moore, who provides the introduction, has been properly excellent, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's received by Lovecraft's admirers.
Vlad Taltos is the (anti)hero of Steven Brust's stupendous, longrunning fantasy series (which is nearly complete, a generation after it was begun!); Issue 220 of Dragon magazine (August 1995) included a feature by Ed Stark explaining how to play the human assassin and witch who lives amidst a race of nearly immortal elves, against whom […]
Back in 2010, It Books published Mary-Lou Weisman's biography of MAD Magazine icon Al Jaffee: Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography; I missed it then but happened upon Arie Kaplan's 2011 writeup in The Jewish Review of Books this morning and was charmed by the biographical sketch it lays out.
Now on Airbnb: gonzo journalism master Hunter S. Thompson’s guest cabin on his infamous Owl Farm compound in Woody Creek, Colorado. Eventually, the late writer’s wife Anita intends to turn the property, including their living quarters, into a museum and writer’s retreat. For now, you can rent the two-bedroom guest cabin for $550/night. According to […]
When it comes to passwords, there’s no such thing as paranoia. You want them secure and complex, and you definitely don’t want to repeat them on all your accounts. The trouble is, the internet seems to keep growing. And so do those accounts. Just one lockout from an important email or banking site is enough […]
With the rising temperatures on tap this summer, the climate is going to be a frequent topic of conversation, and those conversations won’t be happy ones. Luckily, there’s a way to do a little climate change of your own – in a safe and sustainable way. When it comes to personal air conditioners, EvaPolar is […]
Whether you’re using them for next-level selfies or steady tracking shots, gimbals are a must for anyone who wants to maximize the potential of these powerful smartphone cameras we’re all carrying around. But those smartphones are also supposed to be portable, and let’s face it: Gimbals tend to offset that advantage. Weighing in at just […]