Friday 10 April 2020

A Jewel of the Internet

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Have you ever seen a cover from Amazing Stories, Spicy Detective , Weird Tales or Scientific American and thought "Cor, this is the real shit, why do I not know who did this? Why are galleries and modern book covers are full of trash when there are such guiding lights to follow?

Like this piece by C B Coby
Well I can't answer the second question (my suspicion is the world is vast engine of suffering) and because I  phrased it badly  I can't answer the first one either, But what I can do is point you towards this website: 

Which has a metric fucktonne of artists listed, with extensive biographies and examples of their art.
It took me about 8-10 hours to look through them all and that was with mostly ignoring all the cowboy and sports adventure art.

I assume most of these  are now public domain , but more importantly some of the pieces I've seen around with no credit can have a name  , and more works can be easily be found of that artist.

The creator and maintainer of this website have done THE  WORLD a massive service with this site.
 I am so in awe of the amount of art and artist that could of been forgotten or at least unknown to me , had it not existed.

The rest of this post is going to be featuring some of my favourites from the site.
This selections is due to them having at least one of the following qualities:
 "goofy charm" , "endearingly deranged" "breaks all the rules but, by god, it works", "craftsmanship at sublime level" "delightfully imaginative" "Amazing Style)
(In case you though pulp art could only be one of those)

Allen Anderson
 (Goofy Charm)
Allen Anderson
 (nothing crazy but craftsmanship at sublime level)(but also the trumpet and the alien noses are a mix of goofy charm / delightful imaginative) 
 (Breaks all the rules but , by god, it works)
 (this depiction of a vampire is interestingly corrupt so Delightfully Imaginative) 
(Amazing Style)

 (the last picture is also from the story At The Mountains of Madness. The first picture is of the Great Race of Yith)

 (Endearingly Deranged)


 Can we just have a moment to reflect on the body language and poise of this character and how it shows their temperament , age, and degree of skill with the blade?  And how much coiled energy exists in its depiction of stillness?


Like Western as genre has basically zero appeal for me , but I recognise art when I see it

 (That's the story that became the movie THE THING by the way. Also Hannes Bok is an artist you might be more familiar with their weird block geometry monsters from rpg blogs that love weird pulp artists. This sites collection shows a transition of Bok from more conventional (but still striking ) to their own distinctive style.

A Leslie Ross
 (Craftmanship at a sublime level and also I did check out some of the cowbow art)


Clarence Doore



Tuesday 7 April 2020

Image Response 24

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That was likely my most favourite one yet

As I commence writing this there's 10 hours on the mercantile clock in which to secure a print of Deep Carbon Observatory  ,
after which you'll have to find them in shops or via mail order, methods both adding a little more uncertain that the regular irregular amount of uncertainity.

Any way we have this image to response to
He is a Buggard Groundskeeper, specifically Mister Pigs .

The Seelie like other nobility amuse themselves with a rich variety of hunting practices, and thus need grounds and lands kept well stocked for them and them alone.

Thus they make use of buggards as groundskeeper, troll like brutes that make up for their (considerable) lack of intelligence with  immense and fierce tenaciousness .

Their minds are like single angry wasp held in a hand, an endless pricking their mind with suspicion and hatred.

Not a single leaf or stick can be moved without them noticing it on their rounds, their only pride and esteem is in their ability to maintain their grounds from poachers.

Their stout legs can pump remarkably fast , easily keeping up with a horsed rider, and adding to that is that thickets and various undergrowths let their master pass unimpeded , while seemingly rising up to snatch at the Buggard's quarry.

A Buggard will armed with a crude bunderbuss like weapon , packed with elfshot, resulting in the flesh peppered with painful wounds that won't heal until the elfshot is removed.
However when someone  tries to dig out the elfshot it will bury away from the chirurgeons probe , increasing the damage done.

They can only be removed by calling them out with certain songs which are known to very few mortals.
Those that do know them are very cautious about singing them , as to do so risks the seelie hearing and claiming the singer as their own.

Additionally some struck by this elfshot will have certain strangers come looking for them, not the Buggard , but his masters. If they find this marked trepasser they will ensourcen them into an animal form (but leave their ability to speak and more specific to plead) and put them in the grounds as use as a game.
Poachers don't escape the Buggard will be skinned and eaten ,  buggards being found of human skin for sheets and furniture covering and their cottage will have any surface sittable being dressed as such.

If the Buggard decides you are merely trespassing (as you seem to have no means of taking game nor the smell of it on you . The Buggard can smell if someone has held a bow or spear in the last day , and if they've eaten a game bird or beast in the last month)
 and the Buggard is not hungry (1 in 3 chance) , they will be sounded thrashed and kicked out .

If the Buggard is hungry , the victim will be bleed, skinned , dressed and eaten.
If the victim can make a case for their ability to sing , tell jokes or storys, they will be kept captive instead.
Nearer christmas time the Buggard will have atleast one captive that they fatten up for the winter feast.

The other danger is that the Buggard will be on orders to kept the woods stocked with human game.
In which case you won't be allowed to leave as the Good People wish to use in one of their specialty hunts , a few of which are listed.

1. Babes in the woods:
Children or youths are left to wander in their woods, and 1d12 Folk attempt to use illusions to convince them to lie down and succumb to hypothermia . Each of the court can use an illusion once to trick them and once to get them lost . If the victims manage to find their way out, they will be let go and often find money for their rest of their lives, providing they don't talk ill of their hosts, in which case they will often find snakes.

2. The questing knight
The quarry is one on a quest (or order to be on one by the Buggard) , the Seelie take turns attempt to use the quarrys moral failings against them , if they fall , that Fellow will turn them into a pet.
There will be 1d4+2 tests before they are left to complete their quest.

3.Vengeance Hounds
Someone is chose with guilty past, they will be pursed by the People astride horses and with hounds, each hound having the face of someone the quarry wronged. They will be relentless pursued , being able by time only by expressing true remorse to each hound in turn. More likely they will be torn apart by the hounds , and only their heart, tongue, breast , hands or genitals (which ever suits their crimes)  kept as trophys.


 4. The Duel
Some capable of defending themselves is chosen for this hunt. A single member of the Lovely Court  will hunt them down aimed with a bow , a dozen arrows, a thorned whip , and a long glass knife.
They must use the knife for the final blow or be seen as failure by their peers.
The quarry must make do with whatever they can make or find.
If the quarry survives , a  (possible as yet unborn) child they have who shows martial promise will taken on as a squire by court as reward. 
If the quarry successfully kills the Hunter, all debts , promises and feuds of the Hunter now belong to them. The hunter will then be reborn with a new name.

5. Armour of Gratitude
The quarry is given a day and night to earn the favour of as many forest beings as they can, and be given the ability to speak to beast, foul, reptile, tree and fish .
After the time is up the Reasonable People will seek them out, first with hounds and spears, then with crows and knives, then with flies and nets.
If they manage to escape , they will keep the speech ability. However if they speak ill of their hosts of this time their tongue will turn into a burning coal.

6. Blindman Bluff
Someone is either chosen for their blindness or made blind. The Folk seek them out with spears. however the rules of the game are that if the quarry calls out what they are within earshot of the Golden Host, then the Host have to treat them as that.
They  must use the correct tool/weapon for the killing of their quarry.
So if the quarry called out they are Tree , the folk must leave and come back with an axe.
Someone with average ability  to hide and detect will likely have the Folk find them 6 times before the game is up.
When the game is finished they will become what have last stated themselves to be.

Now what will possible be the last image of this game, we have twice had elephants, so lets end in thrice elephants:


Monday 6 April 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 22

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF 29 hours to go on the kickstarter of Deep Carbon Observatory by the time I start this post , and

Patrick has told us of a tarnished city of bronze and given us this

Liu Xue
This fellow is a Halcyon Host.

Someone whose psychic potential was strong, but they lacked the focus and will to force the world to obey them.

Instead a deep unhappiness and self belief saw all their potential pouring inward.
Their predisposition for daydream and escape into a safe and golden inner world becomes hypertrophic with their psychic power.

Resulting in an ability similar to "Dream Travel" but instead they fold themselves inward , in a grotesque but somewhat comical implosion , and travel to their innerworld.

Unfortunately they cannot sustain themselves  there , and must seek employment .

An underdeveloped physical form, a lack of ability to focus on any external task, little to no charisma, their powers lack the range or power of a psychoporter , there's only one real path available.

That of the Halcyon Host, turning themselves inside out to create a portal to a sentimental inner world .
Their patrons are those with a taste for the simple and excessively sentimental , tastes often found in the totalitarian and emotionally stunted .

So they are often are hosts to those that have little regard for them, barely seeing them as anything other than a door, plopping along like poison toads through the little palaces and soft lit glades .

And now Patrick , what is stirred up by this:


Sunday 5 April 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 20

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Patrick has told us a mysterious tale of unlikely crusader against sinister forces
and given us these delightful lumps:


(actually sculptures by Eva Funderburgh, she makes a whole series of these , go search them out)

 We are also nearing the last couple of volleys of this game, as the kickstarter has under 60 hours left at the time of this post , having done QUITE WELL FOR ITSELF INDEED

 I've got a few more images I want to see Patrick respond to , so let's see how quickly I can get these out.


A platonic crocodile, the name coined by some wag as they appear to be a pure distillation of the essential crocodileness of alternating sloth and gluttony.

They are found in the chaos of limbo, where they are less an active predator , and more like a scavenger , like a sucker fish.
But here they cling to Githzerai void-clippers , chaos serpents or  the whale like  protean-dreadnoughts.

The last of these is their preferred host, as when of those blunders through a floating landmass the resulting debris cloud is choice pickings for these, dozens of them flinging themselves from the dreadnought , like fleas from a submerging dog, each aimed at a choice target.

 And while capable of speed and leaping when in contact with a surface, once a drift in the voids of Limbo they lack any ability to move independently.

Once adrift like this , they  don't seem distressed , and fall into nearly instantly into hibernation , waiting collusion with something solid.

When in a hibernating state the platonic crocodile is never the less very aware of its surround environment and will be making internal calculations to itself on if such an expenditure of energy is worth the resulting gain in food of  a sufficient quality.

Most often they are content to wait for something better, either nestled upon each other on a floating landmass, clinging to the underbelly of a Dreadnought , or often drifting independently through the space of Limbo.

Platonic-crocodiles are seemingly  able to eat nearly anything , but seek "complicated" objects to eat. The higher something is on a food chain, the more it is processed ,and especially if modified in ways to store information or display intention , the more desirable it is as a food object.

So dirt is chosen over sand , grass over dirt, meat over grass, leather over meat, a book over leather, and a machine with moving parts over a book.

It can be quite easy to get used to Platonic Crocodiles as inert and harmless, but it is unwise to regard them as such , for it is never certain if one will suddenly decide it has waited long enough and it will settle on eating you and everything you own.

And now Patrick, our final volleys continue with this:

Lebbeus Woods

Friday 3 April 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 18

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Patrick has shed light on the dark workings of hell and given us a better monster for the term "deodand" than the original Monster Manual 2 ever did.

It opens up a whole subsection worth of living machines, cursed swords , and wacky flintstones domestic-objects-as-fully-sentient-tormented-devices.

But we'll have to leave that unexplored today for we are responded to this image

Sha Sha Higby

Before  we begin, the mercantile purpose of this post series, i.e the promotion of the Deep Carbon Observatory Kickstarter , will rear its head.
 Here's the link, note that we have a new stretch goal, one in which we pay Brendan Strejcek (of Necropraxis fame to make all the spells contained in Deep Carbon Observatory "level-less" in the style of Wonder & Wickedness (which he wrote).
All spells being both the classic d&d ones and the ones newly featured.
If this stretch goal is reached , these spells will put in a freely accessible pdf (but not included in the book as that would throw out all the layout and shipping weight calculations)

right, with that the gild serpent of capital gain  slinks from view, we can begin your mild entertainment :

Eburnean Attendant 

The naga sunset court who rules when the sky is the assigned shade is headed by the Princess Never-Moon.

Born marked with the sorcerer crimes of her mother , her scales thin enough to be pierced with hair, her hearing as vulnerable too  .

A heartbeat at a distance sounds like the blow of a smiths hammer, a partial exhalation like the hurricanes gale.

Her attendants therefore are necromantic creations and clad in the lightest and softest fabrics.

The naga who volunteer for this fate tend to be those who have loyalty more than intelligence or personal ambition , or those who have disgraced their families and see no other way of earning back status for them.

To be come an Enurnean Attendant the naga is drugged into immobility and lower into water to which numerous flowers , herbs and fragrant tree saps are added.
 These are chosen to numb the nerves, soften the skin and flesh, stupefy the mind, strengthen the spirit, and additionally strong preservative agents
Then this bath is slowly brought to boil all the while the naga is kept on the brink of death and sleep.
The nagas flesh will be boiled and soften and fall off their bones, all the while the soul is kept in such a clouded state it doesn't realize the body has cease to function.
The end result is a fragrant skeleton naga, however a slight addled one, like one of an advanced age.

Enurnean Attendants are not the best of servants , their temperaments being either zealous and stupid, or bitter and sullen.
The Princess Never-Moon has taken to giving them masks so she can better keep track of the ones less suited to complicated tasks or ones where their loyalty to the court over her could cause problems.

This one picture is assigned bodyguard duty, (which the "zealous but stupid" is better match for) , equipped with bone-needle fans tipped with paralytic agents.

These weapons are designed to make no noise as they enter flesh , and the paralytic venoms will prevent a noisy (and thus painful to the Princess) death.

Bodyguards such equipped tend to react to loud noise by silencing the cause as quickly as they can, without waiting for the Princesses word otherwise.
This has caused more than a few diplomatic incidents.

Now Patrick, what pray tell is this?


Wednesday 1 April 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 16

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF We are on the last 6 days of the DEEP CARBON observatory kickstarter and number 16 of image response ping pong (and week 1 of New Zealand corvid19 lockdown)

Patrick has woven us a tale of the wisest of primates (except for a few) and given us this
From Bad Roll Games

 What is it? Or what was it? The result of Wishing for a Mammoth Spider? An intestinal curse for shitting in the elephants graveyard?
No! it is the sessile larvae form of a Piper of Azathoth  

They are found where despair and mania are both paradoxically ascendant. Jaded and amoral cities of dying empires set a flame by their own populace , worlds where the victors of Ragnaroks turn on each other for lack of any other meaningful act, metro-crypt cities where the immortals strive only to die, etc.

There these creatures will be found, nestled in corner and eave, drinking in the despair and ever listening to the cacophony of nihilistic enterprise. For each will be composing a new unmelody , for this is the test of its kind .
To be admitted to adulthood , it will need to recite what it has composed from countless , fathomless, howls, groans, lamentations , laughter and hissing. An insufficient performance will see it torn apart and scatter to the nameless black winds between the stars.

The presence of these creatures will often prolong the death throes of the culture they are feeding on. 
As the despair is drained into these queer gullets , the populace will often think they have found a solution to their existential malaise .
 But it is like the brief quickening of life before the final hour or the hundred-fold sprouts around the stump of a felled tree.

For when these larvae pipers are engorged and flatuluting their way back to their  Azathoth orbiting brethren , the dreads will fall once again.

now antiantipodean one, I give you this as muse:

a Takayuki Takeya costume design for Kamen Rider or similar show