Tuesday, August 1, 2017

critical communiques; also, musings

at last, at last! Spooky Basement is out in the wild in dead tree form. and there are t-shirts! there are all of the things. here is the complete cover, complete with implausible endorsement from an Eisner Award-winning creator (in earnest):

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here is what it looks like in person! the glow on the right is not sunlight, it is purest, unfettered joy radiating from these golden pages.

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kid bro has been hitting the circuit to promote his work, to which my art is loosely adhered in the fashion of a modestly committed remora. next one up is Flashback Weekend Horror Con in Chicago in a scant few days. let us infect the town with these subversive stylings.

seriously though, the booth is rad and features a Spooky Basement video game (!):

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oh. but here is the big news.

THE BONE GARDEN is done. yeah. 3 or 4 years late, sure, but it is what it is. i finished it this morning. i cried a little. it will be available to the public on October 1, which is i think a fair compromise between my competing desires to (1) get this thing out there already and, to (2) ensure that people's Halloween pump levels have been primed just a touch.

i've been waiting to write those words since 2013.

there are other things in the works. i'll get around to them.

/.na [while listening to Garbage]

Monday, June 5, 2017

[ f i c t i o n _ i n _ f i v e ]

as mentioned below, Phil is back in the game and some of my stuff is getting new play. check out his Patreon page - it's a full frontal assault of my stylings. presumably, much of our work going forward will be behind a paygate [you should offer him your patronage! but if not...], so i'll continue sharing my contributions here.

embarrassingly deep now in the ancient past, i posted the first plates from a book we were working on together between 2011-12 (yowza): an illustrated compendium of some of Phil's "Fiction in Five" microfiction works. first up was "Anamelech" (Halloween 2011!), followed by "The Watchers"(6 Jan 12) and finally "The Artist" (24 Nov 14).

the book may still happen someday, but for now Phil has been piecing it out as subscriber content. no time like the present, i suppose. here we go:

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"Recycled"

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"Touch Button Life"

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"Expiration"

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"Got A Light?"

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"The End"

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"9/[untitled]"

i need to get back on this. "The Bone Garden" is a lurching machine with grinding gears, creeping toward the finish line. i've said that before. i mostly mean it.

/.na [while listening to White Zombie]

[ c l o w n _ m o t e l ]

partner-in-crime Phil is finally back in the game with a monthly Patreon campaign, which means new opportunities and exposure for my little corner of these electric internets. here is the first new piece from [...looks...] back in March. this was a last-second job right before i had to bounce to co-lead study abroad in Belize. escaping Iowa required me to accomplish about three weeks' worth of work in five days.

that week sucked.

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the story is called "Clown Motel," and hopefully my cover properly expresses its heart as a light-hearted romp. yeah.

/.na [while listening to Paul Wall]

Monday, October 31, 2016

[ s p o o k y _ b a s e m e n t ] - LAUNCH!

so. we should probably get together more than every couple of years.

Happy Halloween.

i've wanted to do a project with kid brother since what for all practical purposes is the beginning of time. we finally pulled it off. after a successful IndieGogo campaign nearly equally as distant in the past, his book Clay Astroman's Spooky Basement: Welcome to Monsteropolis should be live any moment now. i was privileged to do the cover for this absurdity, which i suspect will satirically offend almost every demographic with the precision of an atomic clock and i will be forced to hide my involvement within moments.

it's probably going to be pretty good, if you like PUMP and monsters.

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the real Hallows project has been underway for a while - rebooted "The Bone Garden" for what at its earliest could be a Christmas release. i'm still here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

back in the saddle

first day of Thanksgiving break: the games, the science, and a chance to finally bang out some art.

after a hiatus that makes me look nigh prolific by comparison, Phil Rossi is back in the podcasting/writing game. last week he 'cast a new story, "Silk and Old Tree," and after forgetting to have me do the cover in advance publicly taunted me on Facebook to "save him from crappy art." so i tried.

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[edit:] upon seeing this, J proclaimed, "Well, I'm going to have nightmares! Super effective!" and gave me a high five. love my wife. also: "Needs more unicorn."

the return was marked by a brace of other pubs: one featuring not-my-best work from 2011, and another of the stories that were to comprise our short fiction collaboration that never quite got finished. [Cryptkeeper voice] "Boils and ghouls, I call this terrible tableau... The Artist."

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[note: the previously unveiled two-of-ten are "Anamelech" and "The Watchers."]

finally! while the original Spooky Basement kicktibbler didn't quite make it, Clay started a new, modest indiegogo project for the first volume, Welcome to Monsteropolis. even better, it's been funded (!), but it's not too late to throw a few bucks his way and get in on the rewards. his is a bizarre and very real talent, and i'm excited to do the covers for the series.

/.n [while listening to... nothing for once. mmm.]

Friday, October 31, 2014

[ t h e _ v a u l t ]

Happy Halloween. [read with the voice and piercing, judgmental gaze of Conal Cochran from Halloween III.]

we had one of the most beautiful possible seasons in the run-up to Hallows here in the Midwest. on a sortie to Madison two weeks ago, such was the foliage that i quite literally exclaimed out loud on several occasions and may have swerved on the road. the 31st dawned cold and cloudless and glorious. let us savor it.

i am rediscovering the need to paint, to create. strove to the utmost to immerse myself in the season this year, but made some missteps along the way and the fates conspired to fully and completely keep me from haunts. notes to self: next year, paint earlier, keep the hallows playlist on constant shuffle, minimize the commercial nonsense.

did manage to run back through some good horror fiction along the way, including ol' Rossi-time's "Crescent," [listen for free] which was my first professional book cover / promo art gig. inspired me to paint one of the pivotal scenes from early in the book, since i can't pass a Halloween producing nothing.

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incidentally, and obviously, "The Bone Garden" isn't happening this year. i've substantially rewritten the script and am starting from scratch on the art, which will be in a different and more economical style than my previous stuff. we'll see how it turns out. next summer should be the first in years in which i'm not endlessly mired in manuscript or course prep. i am looking forward to it.

/.n [while watching Trick 'r Treat]

Monday, May 19, 2014

[ s p o o k y _ b a s e m e n t ]

i have wanted to do a project with my brother since before time and space were a thing.

here it is.

"Clay Astroman's Spooky Basement: A new book series combining horror and pump in a way that will make your arm hairs dance around like crazy. Are you prepared to get scared/pumped?"
[ kickstarter | fb | instagram ]

check out the kicktibbler for a sample of these incredibly bizarre wares, or at least watch the video featuring Sam the cat and some insane greenscreen. imagine!- a series of "Goosebumps"-style books written in the style of Robert Hamburger for slightly deranged adults (or "for cool idiots" in the preferred parlance). i'm doing the covers, as well as the logo [which was based on a design by Kästle Astroman].

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this kid is screamingly funny and won a horror short fiction contest or two in Austin back in the day. get in on this, throw a buck or two his (well, our) way, and stay pumped!

short post today - writing this mug with a splinted right hand (wedding reception related mishap...) is subdelightful. between that, illness, and some stupid texting teen totaling J's car a couple weeks ago, i am beginning to suspect that i must have inadvertently wronged a gypsy witch and it's too late to apologize... hey Clay, make that book 13!

them links again: "Clay Astroman's Spooky Basement" [ kickstarter | fb | instagram ]

/.n