Hello, Portlanders! I hope you’ll join me this weekend at the Oregon Convention Center for the first annual Living Dead Horror Convention. This three-day celebration of horror culture and entertainment kicks off tomorrow, November 13th, at 4PM and runs through Sunday, November 15th at 5PM. There will be author and publisher panels, movie screenings, photo ops, and more.
I’ll be there in Hall B vending at Booth #6 (see map below) with a selection of old and new woodcuts, postcards, bookmarks, magnets, and other merchandise. You’ll even be able to find a couple prints I don’t offer online. Sigh Co. Graphics will also be nearby in Booth #62 with shirts featuring more of my work.Hope to see you all there!
Looks like Halloween is going to be a soggy one here in Portland, Oregon. Hope it doesn’t keep the trick-or-treaters indoors, because getting to see the costumes is part of what I love about Halloween! I realize some folks don’t care much for the scary aspects of the holiday, but for those out there who are weird like me, this is the best holiday. You get to play at being someone else for a bit, test your bravery against the dark, and if you like creating, you’ve got so many opportunities in the form of costumes, decorations, pumpkins, make-up, even just making funny voices! Have some fun, and watch out for the little goblins out there tonight.
If Halloween isn’t enough to fill your need for scares, the Living Dead Convention is happening November 13-15 in Portland, Oregon. I’ll be in the vending room with my most horror appropriate works.
2015 was the 20th anniversary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. It’s been an annual part of my life for over a decade and has spawned a a great deal of art. I’ve made some great friends through the festival, and had a lot of great opportunities arise from connections formed in and around the historic Hollywood Theatre. This is why in addition to being a guest of the festival and creating a Kickstarter reward print, I volunteered to help put together Kickstarter backer reward bags. Due to my unique skills as a printmaker, I was set to work hand-numbering the limited edition Miskatonic Expedition log books. All 250 of them. It went surprisingly fast. Numbering an edition is easy when you don’t also have to write a title and sign it! Afterwards, I helped make vault rubbings with gravestone wax. No idea how many; they were being added to the kits almost as soon as they were done. I didn’t even get a chance to examine my own Expedition Kit until well after the festival, and when I did I was surprised by some very familiar names on the R’lyeh map. Brian Callahan really did an amazing job designing the map and other rewards. The log book (authored by Adam Scott Glancy) proved to be an entertaining read in addition to being beautifully arranged!
Though the film festival didn’t start until Friday night, events started Thursday night with a book launch and party at the Lovecraft Bar, as well as a small speakeasy party for festival backers and guests of honor. I spent most of my day preparing my vending gear and art for set-up Friday afternoon, and just managed to get my work done in time for the speakeasy party. Glad I did, too, because it isn’t every day I have to give a bartender a pass phrase to find out how to get through the bookcase in back and into the event. Once past the hostess and bouncer, I encountered HPLFF founder Andrew Migliori, who immediately introduced me to guest of honor Jeffery Combs. We chatted for a bit before I set out to acquire a Barn Burner and mingle. Many festival regulars were in attendance as well as several folks who had never before attended. They’d heard about the festival and were excited enough to purchase VIP tickets. I didn’t happen to follow up with any of the new folks at the end of the festival, but I do hope they enjoyed the entire experience!
HPLHS Call of Cthulhu screening
Friday started early for us so we could stuff the car with gear and arrive at the theatre at noon. My husband Mike has been volunteering with the festival and took charge of getting the theatre prepared for the arrival of vendors. With Caitlin’s assistance, we managed to get our work done in time for the meet and greet at Sam’s Billiard’s. Theatre doors opened at 6pm to give folks time to browse the Mall of Cthulhu and mingle before events started at 7pm. We opted to leave Caitlin in charge of the table so we could attend the opening remarks and the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s Special 10th Anniversary Screening of The Call of Cthulhu. The HPLHS went all out with live performances including the Cirque Macabre, surviving members of The Miskatonic University Glee Club Alumni, burlesque dancer Nina Nightshade, and a collection of shorts and trailers ahead of the feature film. Cigarette girls roamed the aisles with candy versions of their traditional wares.
After The Call of Cthulhu, I slipped back upstairs to tend to my table. By about 10pm I was so exhausted speaking had become a challenge. Suffice to say, we passed on the after-party.
Saturday was a full day starting with the Carb-load for Cthulhu group author signing. Publishers, editors, and authors were present in abundance with books for sale and pens to sign with. Jim Smiley presented me with a copy of Girl’s Night In: The Definitive Edition. Scott Nicolay was there with a handful of the few remaining copies of his glorious tale After. After is now sold out, but I highly recommend taking a look at the publisher, Dim Shores. Dim Shores has been offering very high quality stories paired with excellent art in small production runs. I dropped by the Word Horde table to pick up Molly Tanzer’s Vermillion and Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts. I also brought along my personal copy of The Starry Wisdom Library: The Catalogue of the Greatest Occult Book Auction of All Time for Mz. Tanzer to sign. That’s when, to my great surprise, I found out that we have a mutual appreciation for each other’s work. (Later in the weekend she bought some prints from me!)
Once the theatre opened, my husband was kind enough to grab a seat for me in the last screening of Final Prayer a.k.a. The Borderlands. This found footage film wouldn’t have attracted my attention, except Scott Glancy was recommending it as a film that left him uncomfortable. I am not a big fan of the found footage genre because I get motion sick easily from shaky films, but I gave it a chance and was not let down. I’ve been a fan of scary movies for as long as I can remember, and these days very few actually manage to evoke true tension and shock. Final Prayer did. It’s not widely available in the United States, but can be digitally acquired via Amazon. If you decide to give it a try, I highly recommend avoiding reviews so the ending isn’t spoiled, the trailer online is also subpar, don’t bother with it. Watch Final Prayer with the sound turned up, lights down, and no distractions (I noticed a theme with the 1 star reviews — they were from people who didn’t pay attention and missed a great deal of the plot.) The first few minutes are the roughest visually if you get motion sick like I do, but after that the film is smoother. This isn’t a slasher film, there’s character development and a slow tension build. Enjoy it.
Once Final Prayer was over I unclenched my limbs and stumbled out to see Leeman Kessler’s Ask Lovecraft Live! I’ve been enjoying his videos on YouTube since CthulhuCon earlier this year, but I didn’t get the chance to see him perform live there, or at NecronomiCon Providence. It’s amazing how often you can cross paths with someone at an event and never really get to see them do their thing. I’m glad I’ve remedied the issue. Kessler is amazing as H.P. Lovecraft and handles questions of all stripes quite deftly. Check out his YouTube Channel (updated 3 times a week!) and if you really enjoy what you see, consider supporting Ask Lovecraft on Patreon.
Medium of Madness panel
Saturday night I was a panelist alongside John Donald Carlucci, Lee Moyer, Mike Dubisch, and Toren Atkinson (yes, of Darkest of the Hillside Thickets). It was a lively discussion about our artistic mediums and how they mesh well with Lovecraftian horror. Even though I’ve known most of the panelists for years, I think we all learned a few things about each other’s process that we didn’t know before. Carlucci was encouraged to try his hand at scratchboard, and has begun experimenting with the medium already. It appears to suit him well and I look forward to seeing what new works may arise from the clayboard. Artists, if you ever had the opportunity to be a panelist on a group discussion like this, but you’re not sure you can handle public speaking — give it a try! It really isn’t as difficult as you’d think, and it can be a very fruitful experience. Also, if you have the opportunity to just attend one — do it! There is also audience Q&A and depending on the size of the audience, you might get some quality discussion with the pros.
Though I wish we had stayed for the after party (Toren Atkinson played a Darkest of the Hillside Thickets acoustic set!), we desperately needed sleep and Sunday was going to start early with the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast. I also had to get up a bit extra early since I had promised Leeman Kessler some Blue Star Donuts so his only Portland doughnut experience wouldn’t be Voodoo Donuts. (Don’t get me wrong, Voodoo Donuts are fun, but when it comes to flavor, Blue Star is the place to go!) Breakfast was buffet style and once everyone had a full plate, Festival Founder introduced Robert Price, whose “sermon” was followed by the astounding Cody Goodfellow. Goodfellow was on quite a tear regarding the racist aspects of Lovecraft’s work, when who should come charging from the back of the room but H.P. Lovecraft himself, frothing with indignation over the treatment of his works. Goodfellow administered a Bladerunner-esque series of questions to Mr. Lovecraft before it became obvious an exorcism was in order. The results are debatable, but at least Mr. Lovecraft survived the lively rendition of “Baby Got Bass” (complete with Deep One and Cthulhu Girl backup dancers) which followed. It was worth the early rising to see.
I spent most of the rest of Sunday at or near my vendor booth, though I did sneak away for a chunk of Shorts Block 5 and was happy to catch Reber Clark’s amusing Derleth’s Brain, Skinner’s animated silent tale, This Horror Most Unreal, and Frank Woodward’s quirky horror, Balloon. After tear down ended we headed to the nearby Moon and Sixpence pub for a bite to eat and just a little more time with other guests and attendees.
I wish I could have seen more of the films (and caught some of the readings) during the weekend, but I’ve yet to figure out how to be in four places at once. Really, it is my only regret about the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (and many other fine events): It’s simply impossible to take in every event! On the bright side, I am left with a nice pile of new books, an imp skull from Catalyst Studio, and a lot fewer prints than I started the weekend with.
Hello again, friends!
Thanks to all of you who made it to last week’s Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, Washington. The art show this year was as spectacular as hoped, and I am thrilled to have been able to attend a number of the talks this year. I was particularly entranced by Oksana Marafioti’s presentation on ancestor worship, shamanism, and Christianity in Russia. It was a real pleasure to get a deeper glimpse into practices outside western Europe. I also enjoyed Emily Pothast’s talk on art of the Apocalypse which had some nice informational crossovers with Amy Hale’s Sunday presentation on color and form in sacred art. Jesse Hathaway’s Book-as-Initiator: Exegesis and the Transmission of Thought and Lineage through the Printed Word was particularly lively and has left me with a great deal of food for thought. I’m already looking forward to the 8th annual EBC!
For those of you unable to attend, there are a few events for you to look forward to here in Portland, Oregon, beginning with this year’s H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. Now in its 20th year, HPLFF is an annual celebration of the influence of Lovecraft on film, TV, fiction, gaming, and other forms of art and entertainment. I’ve had the honor of participating in the festival for years and can’t wait to take part in the fun once again.
The 20th annual H.P Lovecraft Film Festival will open to the public at 7:00 PM on Friday, October 2nd and run through 11:30 PM on Sunday, October 4th. However, on October 1st, prior to the formal start time, there will be an official pre-party at The Lovecraft Bar which all are welcome to attend. (Please note: This event will double as a book release party for Garrett Cook’s A God of Hungry Walls.) Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased through the Hollywood Theatre website and box office. Attendees may choose between individual day passes or full weekend passes that grant you admission to all three days’ festivities. Click here for more information.
Once again, this year’s festival will be held at the historic Hollywood Theatre in Northeast Portland. The fun will commence with a 1920s-style gala screening of that beloved classic film The Call of Cthulhu, as well as live music, dancing, burlesque, and more live entertainment. Guests are encouraged to wear their Prohibition-era best! At this time, the EOD Center will also open for panels, gaming, live readings, and vendors, and the night will be capped off with an after-party at Mazza’s (formerly Tony Starlight’s).
I’m pleased to be returning as a guest alongside fantastic creators including Scott Nicolay, Mike Dubisch, Jeff Burk, Andrew Migliore, Evan J. Peterson, Molly Tanzer, Lee Moyer, Cody Goodfellow, Leeman Kessler, and this year’s guest of honor Charles Stross. Stross, author of the Hugo-award winning novellas The Concrete Jungle and Equoid, will deliver this year’s keynote address. There’s another major treat in store for horror fans this year, too: a screening of Re-Animator followed by a Q&A session with star Jeffrey Combs.
Speaking of Q&As, there will also be a live session of Ask Lovecraft with actor/current brain host Leeman Kessler of the popular web series of the same name. Have a burning question you’ve always wanted to pose to Lovecraft? Well, now’s your chance!
For the unabridged rundown of events, check out the schedule here. Hope to see you there. The stars are right!
September is almost over, and for those of us with bibliophilia and a fondness for the arcane, that can mean only one thing: The 7th annual Esoteric Book Conference is almost here! Come to Seattle, Washington and feast your eyes on an incredible assortment of esoteric texts.
Since 2009, this highly anticipated weekend-long event has brought together authors, publishers, scholars, and rare book dealers representing spiritual disciplines from Gnosticism to Shamanism and everything in between. Visitors will enjoy a jam-packed lineup that includes a book fair, numerous illuminating presentations, an art show peopled with noted esoteric artists, and no shortage of education or entertainment. For the hardcore book enthusiasts among you, live author appearances will offer plenty of autograph opportunities, and deluxe ticketholders are invited to take part in a limited VIP event at Re-bar.
Once again, I will have the pleasure of hosting the EBC art show which features works from Michael Cowell, Anne O’Neill, Valerie Herron, Travis Lawrence, Troy Chambers, and Raven Ebner. In addition to our marvelous featured artists, you can look forward to a lineup of presenters including researcher Jeff LaVoie, musician and artist Emily Pothast, anthropologist and folklorist Amy Hale, and many more. For a more in-depth picture of what you can expect from the EBC, click here to read Ariock Van de Voorde’s 2010 review, and check out the complete schedule of this year’s festivities.
On a more personal note, I will be offering a selection of prints, including several new pieces, at next weekend’s conference. Especially motivated collectors will be pleased to know that the EBC is held within walking distance of Gargoyles Statuary, which offers a full selection of my original woodcut prints (including a number of sold-out items) as well as shirts, bookmarks, and real wood postcards. Additionally, I am excited to announce that Rubedo Press will be debuting a selection of new titles this weekend at the EBC. One of the volumes, Verdant Gnosis, contains contributions from yours truly.
That’s all for now. I hope to see you all in Seattle this weekend! If you catch me during a moment of downtime, come say hello!
PS: Stay tuned for more information about my next big event: the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival here in Portland, Oregon. The stars are almost right …
R’lyeh is rising next weekend! August 20th – 23rd, I’ll be in Rhode Island appearing as a guest at NecronomiCon Providence 2015, alongside a stellar array of noted Lovecraftian luminaries. In observation of Lovecraft’s 125th birthday and the birth of weird fiction, this year’s conference theme will be a Lovecraft International Homecoming. Writers, artists, and scholars the world over will join us for a long weekend of panels, readings, film, art, theatre, and more!
Visitors can look forward to events including the dreaded Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast, the Eldritch Ball, walking tours of Providence, weird gaming, and a symposium of new research on all things Lovecraft-related, among other entertainment.
Additionally, those familiar the The Starry Wisdom Library may recognize the names of of a number of other contributors among this year’s special guests: Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Graham Jones, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Robert M. Price, and Ann K. Schwader. Other guests include Glynn Barrass, Jesse Bullington, Michael Cisco, Richard Gavin, John Langan, Andrew Leman, Scott Nicolay, Joe Pulver, Darrel Schweitzer, and Simon Strantzas. Needless to say, there will be no shortage of autograph opportunities, so you’ll want to pack your copy of Starry Wisdom. I’ll be happy to sign at the Arkham Bazaar booth in the vending area or if you catch me in a not-too-chaotic moment elsewhere.
Lastly, you have until the end of this month to take advantage of my free shipping promotion. Use the coupon code PROVIDENCE and receive free domestic shipping through August 31st!
As you may already know from my most recent post, I’m in the process of creating a new edition specifically for the Kickstarter campaign supporting the 20th annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. This print is inspired by this year’s festival theme—Expedition to R’lyeh—based on the concept of Miskatonic University professors Henry Armitage and William Dyer journeying to the South Pacific in search of the enigmatic island.
Those of you acquainted with Lovecraft mythos will recognize Henry Armitage as the librarian who first appeared in The Dunwich Horror. In this short story, a frighteningly disfigured social pariah named Wilbur Whateley harbors an unearthly presence in his home. Over the years it grows and grows until it fills the entire house, killing Wilbur’s mother, grandfather, and a number of cows in the process. Desperate to rid himself of the ghastly entity, Wilbur travels to Miskatonic University to obtain a copy of the Necronomicon, seeking instructions for summoning the Great Old One Yog-Sothoth. There he encounters university librarian Dr. Henry Armitage, who refuses to lend him the book.
Likewise, geology professor William Dyer makes his first appearance in The Mountain of Madness, in which he leads a catastrophic expedition to Antarctica. Later, in The Shadow Out of Time, he accompanies an expedition to Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. (Given how horror has a way of finding him wherever he goes, one wonders whether Dyer is really the best choice of a traveling companion.)
This year’s H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival theme is based on the idea of Armitage and Dyer joining forces and mounting an expedition to Lovecraft’s famous island of R’lyeh. With documents pulled straight from the Miskatonic University library archives they’ve calculated the date of the island’s next sighting, and participants in this year’s festival have the opportunity to experience the excitement firsthand through our Kickstarter exclusives. These rewards include an expedition log book, a map of R’lyeh, a box of artifacts, and more. For just this occasion, I’ve designed an original hand-pulled woodcut print based on the sort of imagery one might find in the Miskatonic University rare book rooms. The finished piece, Signum Advenit, is an example of the type of illustration Armitage and Dyer would have used to calculate their journey to the lost city of R’lyeh.
In this woodcut, we see a seated figure with a book at her feet burning incense in an upturned human skull: an offering to those whose return she seeks. The figure, though apparently human from the waist up, has a mermaid-like tail evocative of the siren: a denizen of the deep notorious for luring unsuspecting fishermen to a watery death. (Indeed, a shipwreck can be seen vanishing into the waves behind her.) In the background we see R’lyeh depicted as a walled medieval city, a staple of the 15th-century woodcuts on which this piece is based. Above, a comet containing a key descends from the sky while a cosmic eye keeps watch. This is the sign that “the stars are right” to raise R’lyeh from the sea. Attentive observers will notice that the sky contains twenty stars, a nod to the 20th anniversary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.
While the Kickstarter campaign has already been fully funded, it isn’t too late to get your hands on one of these limited edition commemorative prints. Contributing toward stretch goals at the Cryptic Design, VIP Yog-Sothoth, Traveler from Beyond the Stars, and All Access levels and above will entitle backers to a rewards package including an original hand-pulled print of their very own. You also have the option of adding Signum Advenit to your rewards at any level for an additional $70.
Finally, if you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Signum Advenit, check out this video to see its very first inking!
It’s that time, folks: My solo show Omens & Portents is right around the corner, coming at you this weekend at Seattle’s Gargoyles’ Statuary. Join us this Friday July 17th from 6 – 9 PM for wine, cheese, and strange new woodcuts!
To learn more about Gargoyles’ Statuary, follow their Facebook page. Also, if you live in the Seattle area, check out the U-District Art Walk. This event takes place on the third Friday of every month and features art from all around the Northwest.