Thursday, October 24, 2013

Monsterwax "Legendary Lovecraft" Sketch Card Checklist

Just in time for Hallowe'en, Monsterwax is opening up orders for their "Legendary Lovecraft" trading card set, a cool project I'm proud to be a part of. Ricardo Garijo, Jr., carrying his late father's torch, brushed out a batch of beautifully rendered cards for the base set, capturing the spooky mood and otherworldly colors described in Lovecraft's tales. Though I'm typically not a fan of computer generated artwork, Garijo, Jr.'s is tasteful, painterly and organic. My foil inserts, in contrast, were tortuously scratched out with micron pens in a style emulating that of Virgil Finlay or Basil Wolverton. So you see the set offers something for everyone.

If Lovecraftian tales intrigue you but seemed too dense upon first attempted readings, the artwork and summaries on these cards will gently draw you in to the Mythos. Lovecraft's writing -- particularly the Cthulhu character and The Necronomicon -- has influenced heavy metal bands and cult classics like The Evil Dead, but it's no less highbrow than Poe's (in my grumbling opinion). One thing that impresses me most about his stories (though it made them pretty tricky to condense into card-sized snippets) is the intricacy of them --  every little detail means something. So when you're writing story summaries, don't leave out that seemingly throwaway bit about the rock the narrator kicks out of the way on a forest path, nor the direction in which the path is going or the direction in which he kicks the rock, or the material the rock is made from and the number of facets it has, because all of it will be INTEGRAL to the story's denouement every time. I wonder if he drew maps or created model cities to ensure the perfect continuity of his universe.

In addition to the six printed insert cards I did for the set, I'm creating some of the original art sketch cards, one of which is included in each box. Other top sketch card artists are working on the set, too, so there's no guarantee you'll get one of mine, but I thought collectors would appreciate a checklist of my "Legendary Lovecraft" sketches. I'll be adding to this list as I create more, so it's not complete yet:

LOVECRAFT PORTRAIT SKETCH CARDS


IN GRAPHITE
1. Young Lovecraft with glasses and pink background
2. Lovecraft with tentacle shadows and blue background
3. Lovecraft and Yithians with grey background

4. Smirking Lovecraft with carved monoliths and yellowish background
5. Serious Lovecraft holding black cat with pink background
6. 3/4 view of serious Lovecraft with glasses, bowtie and faint blue background
7. Lovecraft w/rats on his shoulders and red-orange tint
8. Lovecraft 3/4 view with cream/grey background
9. Sketchy Lovecraft with orange/grey background
10. Lovecraft with tentacle heart "frame" and yellow/grey background

 

  

IN PEN AND INK 

1. Lovecraft and fanged, winged ex-wife with pink background
2. Pensive-looking Lovecraft

3. Lovecraft reading Necronomicon

"AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

1. Elder "fossil" discovered in cave
2. Men running from shoggoth
3. Penguins running from shoggoth



IN GRAPHITE

1. Elder monster close-up with yellow background

"THE CALL OF CTHULHU" SKETCHES

IN GRAPHITE

1. Cthulhu bas-relief (gray-green background)
2. Cthulhu and a couple tiny sailors

IN PEN AND INK


1. Cthulhu in the sea with wings spread

"THE CATS OF ULTHAR" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

1. Three feisty-looking cats

"THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

 1. Colour rising from well with trees in background and pig corpse

 "THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH" SKETCHES

 IN GRAPHITE

1. Moon beasts (pink background)

IN MARKER
1. Shantak bird
2. Night gaunts

"THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE" SKETCHES

IN GRAPHITE

1. Brown Jenkins with classic yellow background

IN PEN AND INK

1. Witch with strangling hands

"THE DUNWICH HORROR" SKETCHES

IN GRAPHITE

1.  Henry Armitage's wife w/blue background
2. The "Horror"

IN MARKER

1. Pregnant Lavinia Whateley

2. Whippoorwills singing  
3. Wilbur shooting dog (Mars Attacks! homage) 
4. Wilbur holding Necronomicon

"THE FESTIVAL" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

1. Wax mask falling off to reveal what should have been a face

"HALLOWE'EN IN A SUBURB" SKETCHES

IN GRAPHITE

1. Lemurs








IN MARKER

1. Flying vampires

 "HERBERT WEST: REANIMATOR" SKETCHES

IN MARKER 

1. Herbert West injecting a rabbit/monkey creation

 "THE HORROR AT RED HOOK" SKETCHES

 IN MARKER

1. Mrs. Sudyam sacrificed ("Lilith" written in background)

"THE LURKING FEAR" SKETCHES

IN GRAPHITE

1. Martenses rising from the hills (red background)


 

 

 

 

"THE OUTSIDER" SKETCHES

 IN MARKER
1. Outsider looking in mirror

IN GRAPHITE

1. Outsider looking in mirror

"PICKMAN'S MODEL" SKETCHES

IN MARKER
1. Pickman's model gnawing on unfortunate human

"THE PICTURE IN THE HOUSE" SKETCHES 

IN MARKER
1. Butcher shop illustration

"THE RATS IN THE WALLS" SKETCHES 

IN MARKER
1. Black cat scratching at pillar, aerial view
2. Swarming rats
3. Black cat scratching at pillar, side view

"SHADOW OUT OF TIME" SKETCHES"

IN GRAPHITE
1. Yithians holding books with blue background

IN PEN AND INK
1. Lone Yithian reading book with neon yellow background

"SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH" SKETCHES 

IN GRAPHITE
1. Bus driver Joe Sargent











2. Innsmouth creatures in lake

IN MARKER
1. Innsmouth creatures rising from lake
2. Lone fisherman with stormy sky

"THE TEMPLE" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

1. Old-timey scuba diver

"THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

1. Asenath Waite

IN GRAPHITE
1. Shub Niggurath with pink background

"THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS" SKETCHES

IN MARKER

1.Old Akeley sitting in balloon chair












IN PEN AND INK 
1. Dog with tentacle in mouth
2. Dogs barking

IN GRAPHITE
1. Tsathoggua with orange background

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Viceroy Insectae and The Deep Trading Card Sets

Hi gang,

I just finished making sketch cards for Viceroy Trading Cards' new "Insectae" and "The Deep" sets. I've always enjoyed drawing insects, and it was fun researching and completing these nature sketches. For "The Deep," I limited myself to true deep sea creatures only. There are some weird ones, many of them bio-luminescent and translucent. Many subsist on hydrogen sulfide expelled from hydrothermal vents. Sounds like a great life, huh?

Here are some of my favorites from "Insectae":

flat bark beetle, death watch beetle, Jerusalem cricket, Mormon cricket, eyed click beetle, hickory horned devil
And here are some favorites from "The Deep":
tadpole snailfish, Dumbo octopus, vent clams, blind lobster, frilled shark, firefly squid
The above is just a small sampling. I did 40 cards for each set, and I still have proof cards to make. If you're interested in an original art card, contact me and we'll talk. I also put sketch cards up on eBay from time to time.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Secret Project Unveiled!

Monsterwax unveiled the project on which I've been working, and many salivate as they await our LEGENDARY LOVECRAFT trading card set, planned for release this fall. To promote the set, company president and writer Kurt Kuersteiner and I handed out promos and displayed my original art at the latest Philly Non-Sports Card Show. The set will feature all your favorite monsters, including Cthulhu, the Great Race, and Nyarlathotep, and summaries of the best stories to elevate it all beyond mere eye candy while introducing new fans to H.P. Lovecraft's elegant body of work. I created six inserts for the set, but Ricardo Garijo, Jr. did the lion's share of the artwork.

Monsterwax at the Philly Non-Sports Card Show, Spring 2013

I wrote summaries for many of Lovecraft's stories, and it wasn't easy! Every little detail means something -- I would gloss over the number of dots on a seemingly random rock, for example, only to discover that "insignificant" detail was the key to the story's denouement. Discerning, scientifically-minded intellectuals would be remiss to pass on Lovecraft, as would the heavy metal and Evil Dead crowd (and all who fall into the middle of the Venn Diagram).

Note in the above picture that my hair hangs in separated tendrils -- kind of reminds you of Cthulhu, huh?

The following weekend, I presented all my Lovecraft drawings -- plus some older published work and a few recent nature sketches -- at the Grooveground coffee shop in Collingswood, NJ. All of it is for sale, so definitely take a peek if you live in South Jersey or Philadelphia. My art will be on display for the entire month of May through the first week of June. I sold a few copies of "Mediocre Narcotica's Greatest Hits: Vol. 1" and "Flame Broiled: Diary of a Burger Flipper" at my art opening, so be sure to search for these titles on eBay or my Etsy store to secure your copy while you still can!

Yours truly at my recent art show



I'm going to do things a little differently this time and REFRAIN from posting all my artwork for free on this blog, but here's a little taste of what's to come in the Monsterwax Legendary Lovecraft set:

Lovecraft's Great Race (c) 2013 Chrissy Spallone


Thanks for reading as always!




Monday, March 25, 2013

New Minicomic "Flame Broiled" for Sale

NEW! "FLAME BROILED: DIARY OF A BURGER-FLIPPER," a 10-page minicomic concerning the minutiae of fast food employment. In this premiere issue, Betty gets her first job at Burger Shanty and learns how to toast buns, prep shrimp salad and more! Meet the diverse Burger Shanty crew, representing an underground culture rarely depicted in the media.



Not an exploitation, not a dissertation, just an incidentally funny and honest glimpse at behind-the-scenes burger-flippin. $2, free shipping. contact me or visit my Etsy store to order your copy!



I'm hoping to make this a series, developing the characters more and telling more fun stories with each issue.



This was my contribution to Mini-Comics Day, a challenge to start and complete an entire mini-comic within a single day. (It fell on Palm Sunday this year.)



Once again, CONTACT ME TO REQUEST YOUR COPY TODAY!
I also have some copies in my Etsy store.

Thanks for reading,
Chrissy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Contact Info. Updated

Hi Gang,

I just updated my contact info. and added new information about items for sale. Take a peek if you ever want to write me a letter or order any of my art/comics.

I'm still working on the project I've been alluding to. All will be revealed in due time, but these husky dogs will make an appearance:


I have several completed drawings done for this already, but I can't give away the whole game plan just yet!

Hopefully everyone had a fine St. Patty's day. I made Irish potato candies (the kind with real potato and no coconut or cream cheese; I have no idea how that wildness got started) and cabbage, which I keep forgetting is delicious and very cheap. I went vegan for Lent again, so I seasoned it (the cabbage, not the candy) with olive oil and salt and ground mustard seed. Very simple and yummy, if you like bitter and slightly medicinal foods.

Here's the elusive "real potato" Irish potato recipe, lest it get lost to the ages forever. Boil and mash up peeled potatoes (don't add milk or salt or anything). Then add confectioner's sugar until the mixture is thick enough to roll into balls. You'll need a lot of confectioner's sugar, like a pound of it for each potato. Make little potato shaped balls (or, more accurately, ellipsoids) and roll them in cinnamon for yummy flavor and to give the appearance of real little potatoes! Real yummy stuff, man.

Thanks for reading! 
Chrissy

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Just Deleted a Bunch of My Facebook Fans

I just deleted a few hundred fans from my Bibliowhining Facebook page, assuming they had no actual interest in my art or writing.

Over a year ago, I put up a targeted Facebook ad for $2/day in hopes of attracting fans who would go on to buy some art or brighten my days with encouraging likes and comments. After a couple weeks, I attained hundreds of fans, but only one or two interacted with my page or site at all, and then only minimally. I canceled the unhelpful ad.

Soon I noticed ads for pages like "Justin Bieber" and "Taco Bell" that said, for example, "366 of your fans also like Justin Bieber." It was then I realized that most of my new fans were impressionable teenagers who would click indiscriminately on anything presented to them. I wasn't crazy about having so many such fans, but I didn't see any harm in it. I may have been wrong...

I don't know if Facebook changed its algorithm or what, but I recently noticed a decrease in the people who see my posts. Looking up the problem on the Internet, I discovered that negative feedback ("fans" hiding a post or reporting it as spam) can penalize your page so that Facebook doesn't display its posts to others. I exported my data and saw that several people were giving negative feedback whenever I posted anything, especially one of the "creepy" drawings that make up about half of this site's content.

Of course, I couldn't see who was giving the negative feedback, so to be safe I just deleted a bunch of bikini babes, trendy teens and anyone else who looked like they were "liking" my site for reasons other than interest in my comics, artwork and writing. I apologize if, in my trigger-happiness, I accidentally deleted you. Nothing personal, and I hope you'll come back! This is the last time I'm going to delete fans like that; I only did it to get rid of the fake fans attained through the useless Facebook ad. Nothing to complicate your life like Facebook, huh?

We're on TWITTER, too.


As always, thanks for reading! Stay tuned for news and scans from my next big project.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Saint Valentine's Day from Bibliowhining!

Heresy's Hisses, 2013 Christina Spallone

Happy Valentine's from all of us at Bibliowhining! Thanks as always for your readership, and be sure to check our Facebook page for the juicy little bits of news we don't always post on here. It's time consuming to cross post the same news in multiple locations, and Facebook is the big kahuna of the bunch. I'll continue to post most of my comics here, but you won't miss a thing if you join us on the ol' fb.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What's This Effect Called?

There's a "floating" effect that occurs when one solid block of color is drawn inside another block of solid color that clashes with it in a certain way. One famous example of this is this album cover for the punk band The Adolescents:


 Another example is the album cover for The Waitresses "Bruiseology":


The '80s offered a lot of this sort of thing, but let's not leave it in the past. It's a legitimate art effect that I enjoy and would like to experiment with. BUT WHAT IS IT CALLED? My love of classic punk and new wave brought me to the above examples by chance. When I actually try to describe and search for the effect, to find photo references, all sorts of other things pop up --"3D color effects" brings up anaglyphs and Disney Pixar type renderings, while "clashing colors" displays tints that look garish together without any special floating properties...

If there's another term for it, let me know, but I'm coining the term HOVERGLYPHS to name images that exemplify this property. There's a neat obscure font called "Hoverglyphs," too, but that's such a narrow use for the term and I can't come up with anything better, so hopefully we can share.

Here's my attempts at hoverglyph effects in some Spook Show cards.:


Have you seen any hoverglyphs lately? What colors can YOU think of that go together to produce hoverglyphs?

Hoverglyphs.