Sunday, October 18, 2009

[ P A R I A H ]

i invite you to this year's Halloween event, PARIAH. i would be honored if you would attend.

in many ways, PARIAH completes the cycle of the Halloween projects; now five strong, with Sigil as an outlier to the arc. it is a tale of love and loss, fear, flight, closure and redemption. it is a true story, a confession and a call to hope. i hope you have enjoyed the ride. as i wrote earlier [below], certain unexpected events over my birthday in Portland - featuring as its side acts the Oregon Brewers Festival and Ground Kontrol, a unbelievable 80s arcade - swept burdens from my back that i'd carried for far too long.

Halloween is delicious as ever. this weekend saw a cold snap and a number of ghoulish excursions. upon visiting my home at the end of September, a New York Times bestselling horror author declared, amazed and delighted, that my Halloween decorations "are phenomenal." more on that next time.

plate 5 from PARIAH was planned to be a roughly rendered, dark, quickly executed affair. as you have seen, it proved to be something rather different, taking on a life of its own. it's unanimously the public favorite, so i've included the high-rez original below. thank you for the kind comments.

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Phil has offered to drop PARIAH in his feed, so a number of humans may actually end up seeing this thing. he is a good and generous brotherman. stay tuned for more from the two of us soon.

this is Halloween. live it.
/.n [while listening to Dethklok]

Sunday, August 9, 2009

speaking of...

re: Portland, the last topic header proved eerily prescient. hmm.

for the first time in many years, i think it's going to be ok. details come October [below].

as always, this extended period of absence come autumn time (at last) means that i'm industriously laboring on the Halloween project. i think it will be something special this year - the first plate illustration is probably the prettiest thing i've ever painted.

this is not to say that its subject matter is beautiful. you know me better than that. need to redo the website design too... this one has worn quite thin on me. if nothing else, my photoshop kung fu is definitely getting stronger. Phil has promised outlandish and draconian demands on my art for The Asherah.

Walgreens rolled out a small portion of their Halloween sundries this week. some of the rest remains boxed as the Ark of the Covenant, complete with orange, casually displayed manifests proclaiming the grisliest confessions of wholesale markups and other sins.

now if only it would get cooler.

off to hang out in Chicago for a few days and sojourn over to my ancestral lands in Indiana. Clay has promised a bug petting zoo and giant pumpkin weigh-off at the state fair.


/.n [while listening to Jack Johnson]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

on the subject of redemption

scrambling in prep for bailing hard to the conference in Portland over my birthday (coincident with the Oregon Brew Fest... YES). the week thus far has been so inexplicably rife with BS, both transpired and eagerly anticipated, that it's almost breathtaking. i called a mulligan as of 1030 Monday morning.

and then this happened and largely salvaged my sanity.

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arrived in tandem with Real Ghostbusters season 1. here comes a smile.

it's been truly epic seeing this thing out in the real world... people happily posting photos of their own unboxing and commenting on the cover, or seeing it in newspapers and magazines and at the top of the Amazon charts. the chart rush was successful - Phil pulled down #1 in Movers and Shakers, #5 in Horror and #52 of all friggin' books on


/.n [while listening to Phil Rossi's Crescent Original Soundtrack]

Monday, June 29, 2009

[ h a r v e y ]

this Thursday, a week before Crescent's print debut on the 9th, Phil's dropping the first chapter of his new podcast novel Harvey. the man is a pleasant slavedriver, so i had to knock out another cover in wildly short order. the final version:

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this one had an unusual twist in development - Phil gave me literally five or six keywords via text message and said "go." as it turns out, that was insufficient and i ended up producing what i thought was a cool cover but apparently doesn't capture the spirit of the tale. he provided the first chapter of Eden way back in the day to help inspire that cover, and the same apparently worked here - he is a big fan of MkII, above. here's the rejected prototype anyway:

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long, long day.

/.n [while listening to Michael Jackson]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

[ c r e s c e n t ] - video trailer

here is a thing we put together.

it didn't resize well for the blog, so it's a bit cut off to the right. here is an external youtube link.

the original art was downsampled and cropped by necessity (although Phil did a solid job), so i've included some larger versions below.

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had to knock all these out in the space of a day - it's nigh on conference season which means that in doing research nonstop i am becoming increasingly estranged from sleep.

this was fun.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

[ c r e s c e n t ] - cover, sites, etc

it is true. stuff has gone down.

pretty much all of my recent creative endeavors were executed in the service of Crescent's impending launch. that would be July 9th - rush the Amazon charts at 1pm EST, one and all. Phil unveiled the front cover art (one of two variants - won't be the print cover but rather used for marketing) on the fourth. sorry for the delay in getting it to you.

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reactions on the intertubes have been thrilling and humbling. one of my favorites was passed along by Phil, reproduced here in all its convoluted Twitterese. "Good shit almighty! @PhilRossi just dropped the cover art for Crescent! Honestly, it makes my skull hurt from the awesome." sweet. one dissenting voice takes strong exception to symbolism - or is unfamiliar with the concept - and did not get it. can't make everyone happy.

other related artworks are out there, produced in the last few days. clicky where appropriate. did a new header for, various accoutrements for Phil's Twitter page, the soundtrack cover, and so on forever. may run up to DC early next month for the book launch party, which would please me beyond all reason.

other than that, it is finally summertime and a couple minor maladies imposed themselves upon my person in the last few weeks. one was caused by an attractive hip hop dancer [accidentally] kicking me square on the ear. another, more scarring, encounter was perpetrated by Sol.

getting older sucks. since that raucous 25th birthday in Montreal, i have been compelled to come more to grips with mortality - if not morality. on those notes, go see Up and The Hangover, respectively.

/.n [while listening to 50 Cent]

Monday, May 18, 2009

east coast misadventure

before we get started here, a couple professional notes. "Eden" is, as of early this month, up to ten thousand listeners. this makes the cover a front-runner for my most visible work thus far, although the true reach of my questionable dabblings in fan-art during high school can never be estimated. sadly, i suspect that some of those reached more humans.

also!- Phil's publisher approved the final design for the Crescent cover art. it's all done save the fonts and slated for a 9 VII print debut. lock it down on Amazon on launch day, and help a brother out. and now... the show. *ahem*

when the world sees fit to generously bestow upon me less than one week between the culmination of spring semester nonsense and the advent of summer semester nonsense, my mandate is clear. get the hell out of Tallahassee.

and thus was born another ill-conceived but epic trip up the east coast, from Philly back "home" to DC and on to Baltimore. there was much baseball. there was rain, in unwelcome and unending drips and squalls that aborted the Mets @ Phils game with extreme prejudice. there were reunions with old friends, joyous meetings with new ones, and fourteen thousand beers. there was the time i hung out in Poe's deeply disturbing basement, complete with false chimney. and there was climbing above rickety catwalks above the shark tanks, behind the scenes at the Nat'l Aquarium at Baltimore.

and then there were these two tales.

"Phil Rossi Says Dance, Bitches"
i try to keep it clean[ish] here at Five Fathoms, but direct quotes cannot be altered in the name of Puritanical ideals. haha. yes, one night over in Arlington i met up with my infamous partner in crime, one Phil Rossi. i give you evidence of these deeds, or the tenth attempt to drunkenly take a picture of this dark alliance at the bar.

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Phil is my kind of gentleman - wildly creative and hilarious with a side of rock star and just a touch of the sleazy. outstanding. we related tales of mayhems and madness up in DC and the dirty south, and he offered some insight into the inner politics of the podiobooks community. he dropped the "Eden" numbers and cover feedback, which were both surprising and humbling.

at one point later in the night, we recorded my appearance on his video podcast, to debut at some unknown date. i have no doubt that it will be embarrassing beyond reason - dark to the point that my head will appear as a blacked-out mafia witness on tv, and half incoherent due to the wiles of the Sierra Nevada brewery. Phil, you'd better edit the hell out of that thing.

you have not seen the last of us, gentle readers.

A Happy Meeting With My Favorite Billionaire
had tickets to four baseball games across those three cities. this took place at the one that was played to completion (of the three that started at all, ugh).

Astros at Nationals Park. sixth inning, slay a hot dog and nestle back into my gray plastic poncho. rain's threatening to kill the game at any minute, so people are bailing and the three rows in front of me are empty. look down and see a guy a bit older than my dad walking across the row with a woman and another dude in a trench coat. he stops and talks to Trench, and the woman looks up at me. apparently she sees my eyes bug out as i recognize the first guy, and mouths to me, "Do you know who that is?" i nod and say, "That's Drayton McLane, owner of the Astros!"

as if on cue, he looks up and sees my Astros hat peeking out from under the poncho. he smiles and i shout, "Mr McLane! How are you doing, sir?" he laughs and replied, "You recognized me? Son, you're the smartest kid at this ballpark." I laugh and ask if I can come down and shake his hand, and proceed to climb over the three rows between us.

we stop and talk for a minute - he's a really funny, charming gentleman. "Do you mind if we get a picture?" I ask. "My dad will flip out." sure, he says, and after i hand the camera to Trench i pull off the poncho and he sees that i have my 2005 World Series jersey on under it. laughing hard, he says, "Son, you're like Superman!" hahaha

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before the game, i commanded one of my favorite players - Hunter Pence, my age - to "power slam it" [as seen on Get The Picture], and extended my fist. he obliged, and onlookers were greatly amused.

christ, i miss DC already.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Phil Rossi's "Eden", for which i did the cover, has as of this week scaled the craggy peaks of the charts - bearing pitons of strange black alloys forged by no man - and landed at #1. uh... epic. two of eight chapters out thus far, with a new one hitting every Wednesday. clicky on the image below and subscribe to the feed for free (and hit up Crescent while you're at it).

Monday, February 16, 2009

quick hack

weird bug in the blogspot code popped up this week. fixed.

i have been very happy lately. this is in itself highly unusual and almost cause for alarm. almost.

here's to fine weather, good partnerships, strong beer and a stalwart crew.


[edit] also!- i would be remiss if i did not mention that the first chapter of "Eden" dropped last week, and it's been sitting atop the charts ever since. how about doing us a solid and subscribing to the feed for FREE? beautiful, vaguely menacing times await, i promise.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

[ w a i t i n g ]

also, i read Gaiman's new The Graveyard Book. the sum total of these circumstances: haunted mental distress. :/

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another "crank your brightness up, folks" entry in this October-wistful series.

got to play Professor in a guest lecture today. whoo.

/.n [while listening to The Toadies]

Monday, February 2, 2009

[ b l a c k _ p u m p k i n ]

it's gotten worse. i neglected to mention that i've been listening to an excess of House of Krazees, and also spinning classic horror while painting. something had to be done.

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may be hard to make out the detail if your monitor's brightness isn't kicked up a level or two. the weather needs to get warmer, and soon, or i'm going to lose my mind waiting on October. i tried soliciting advice from my brother, but he was too busy playing in the snow to offer psychiatric help.

actually, a workable draft of "The Asherah" will probably drop soon... and then i will have nothing resembling free time for fanciful visions of black-lit gourds, twisted hills and quiet madness. i suspect that will beat the spring to my doorstep.

until then, i dream.

/.n [while listening to Alice in Chains]

Saturday, January 31, 2009

the great big Phil Rossi collaboration post

i have been busy.

school thrice over, novel encounters with humans, the usual pervasive madness... you know me. committee meeting, late nights fighting the Dread Wyrm Unix, a pleasant trip home with my brother and de facto sister, and regular skulduggery with the crew. i love the latter two sets so.

i suppose that much is as it was back in the heady days of yore, or the last post - being November, christ. still obsessed with Fallout. over the last ten days Halloween has leapt, resurgent and rested and whistling a dark melody, from my bones. a protracted night of appalling nightmares, re-reading of "Coraline", cool weather, and hanging out at Target and Walgreens - all stirred in a hideous cauldron - is akin to lighting a black candle in Halloween's name. one of those licorice-scented ones that i hoard between Octobers in my cabinet.


[ b u r n ] was, to be honest, much better received than anticipated. i did not expect there to be.. er.. enthusiasm for this or other recent projects among other human beings. it has done much for my soul. much. and so:

the last post, item (i), introduced the proposition of a collaboration with a certain gentleman author/musician based in DC. if you delve into the archives, you'll find way back on 28 V his identity: one Phil Rossi [fiction/music]. we have indeed announced our major project together: an online graphic novel to bridge his debut novel "Crescent" and its sequel. the first Act is due in June (..ambitious..), with a potential multimedia overhaul upon its completion akin to the "Dead Space" comics. small world - my old friend Lorelei is married to the guy who did those books.

i give you the press release for "Crescent: The Asherah"
here's an enlarged, detailed version of the splash image.

the other three projects are much smaller in scale. i'm at liberty to discuss two here, or so i understand. these are covers for the print edition of "Crescent", out in June, and for his new podcast novella (February) "Eden."

final cover for "Eden":

Phil and i labored like madmen on the "Crescent" cover and came up with something that we both truly love, but his publisher didn't bite. here it is anyway... back to the drawing board.

lots hidden in that one. pity.

the final project is part of the online campaign / metastory behind his upcoming podcast novel "Harvey", due later this year. details on that when possible... it's rather humorous.

plate is full. i'm happy. now if only i can survive school...