Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Evolution of a Cover Illustration

The first version of the cover illustration was thematically similar, but differed in tone, style, and size from the final version. With the focus upon the Lovecraftian community gathering in Providence for NecronomiCon 2013, I envisioned a congregation of would-be cultists assembled before a high priest who quoted unholy lines from the Book of the Dead and preached the coming of the dread Cthulhu. Taking the lead from the highly anticipated unveiling of the HPL memorial bust at the Atheneum, I included an enlarged version of Bryan Moore's sculpture of Lovecraft for the back cover, which provided a perfect counterpoint to the mythos element; for me, it was important to not let the love of the stories overshadow the man who wrote them.

Realizing my drawing of the high priest resembled author Wilum Pugmire, I continued with caricatures of other convention guests as a little tribute to the individuals who have given so much to fans of Lovecraft over the years. In the end, I opted for a more serious approach to the illustration, redrawing and resizing it from a quarter page digest to the standard half-page zine. Even though the tone and style changed, the high priest, Cthulhu altar, and Lovecraft statue remained. (I call this the "final illustration" for now, as I'm working on a larger color version I hope to make available as a print in the future.)

Below are two early thumbnail sketches that provided a germ of inspiration:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Necronomicon Press: A Look Back, Part II

S.T. Joshi speaks of his influential Lovecraft Studies published by Necronomicon Press, and Jason Eckhardt and Robert Price discuss the cover art:

This third audio clip below covers the expansion of Necronomicon Press and the publication of S.T. Joshi's biography, H.P. Lovecraft: A Life:

These audio clips were recorded during NecronomiCon-Providence 2013, for the "Necronomicon Press: A Look Back" panel that included S.T. Joshi, Jason Eckhardt, and Robert Price, and was moderated by Sam Gafford.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Necronomicon Press: A Look Back, Part I

One of the panels at NecronomiCon-Providence 2013 I was excited to attend was "Necronomicon Press: A Look Back," a discussion between S.T. Joshi, Jason Eckhardt, and Robert Price, moderated by Sam Gafford. Necronomicon Press had been important to my deeper understanding of Lovecraft during my early adulthood when I sought supplemental reading to my growing library of Arkham House titles, and their catalogs regularly offered titles that enlightened (Lovecraft Studies, Studies in Weird Fiction) and entertained (Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, Cthulhu Codex), and the art that adorned the covers were hugely influential on me.

Below is a drawing done during the panel, and the first part of an audio recording in which Joshi, Eckhardt and Price discuss their earliest memories of Necronomicon Press.
Sketchbook drawing: Robert Price, S.T. Joshi, and Jason Eckhart; Sam Gafford was obscured by the podium