Monday, November 23, 2015

makeup addiction

When I was a kid I got a job at the Jones Fantastic Show museum when it was on ye 3rd floor of ye Food Circus building. My job was to wear a cape that had the name of the museum on the back and walk around the Seattle Center advertising ye joint. Because I was so obsessed with drama in school and wanted to be an actor, when I was in my wampyr costume I would work hard at staying in character--and he was a real character, because once I had put on the wig and hat, the cloak and fangs, my persona completely alter'd, and I became this creature that I had named Count Pugsly. I had to be careful not to purposely frighten little kids. I would stand and observe the wee crowds of kids who were watching me or jeering at me, and then I would reach out my hand, offering to shake theirs. Timidly, with nervous giggles, they would approach and shake my hand, and once the first kid did so then most of the others followed. They'd go away telling their parents, "He's a nice vampire."

Sometimes I would get bored with being a wampyr, so I would experiment with other beasties. Somehow it occur'd to me that I could do a mummy makeup by soaking toilet paper in a solution of water and flour. When it dried, it would form a kind of papier-mache mask. I was just thinking about it because my chum Jessica Salmonson wrote about it on Facebook, about how the mask would dry and thus seal out air from mouth and nose so that, in my first attempts, I couldn't breathe. I seem to remember we had toilet paper back then (in the 1960s) that was different shades, and I would get yellow or pale green tp so as to add a bit of tint to the makeup. It worked quite well and was effective in public; but my boss complained that the process of putting the mask on and waiting for it to dry took too long, and he wasn't paying me for that but to be out in public advertising the museum. So the mummy makeup was a thing I usually did on those days when Doc Jones was absent from ye museum. To record new "looks", I would go into those instant photo booths, where (back in the day) you put a quarter or fifty cents into the slot and get a strip of four small photos. Thus I was able to capture my most adventurous toilet paper creation:
But ye mask was so heavy and uncomfortable that it was an experiment I did not repeat. The toilet paper method came in handy, however, when I wanted to try doing something inspir'd by Robert Bloch's idea (he wrote an article about it for Famous Monsters of Filmland) about a Clown at Midnight. So I would do a half-mask thing, and then the other half of my face was a kind of corpse makeup. It was fun, because from far away the kids would see the bright motley clown costume and think I was a regular clown, and then they would rush up to me and see the makeup and completely freak out, utterly baffled and discomposed. I'd still get some brave kids to come shake ye dead clown's hand. Then my friends Brian and Steve and I found an old abandoned warehouse, and we broke in to make a wee silent home movie featuring the clown with Brian's movie camera. I've lost contact with both Brian and Steve, and that's sad cos I would really love to see that film again and maybe get it onto a dvd or video tape so that I could have my own copy.

Dressing up as a kid paved the way, I think, for the punk drag makeup I would begin to do in ye 1980's. I still love dressing up, but now I do it moftly on YouTube only.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

H. P. LOVECRAFT's Annotated Fungi from Yuggoth

This is a forthcoming book from Hippocampus Press, and is not yet available for pre-order. It was, perhaps, imprudent to shew this arc and get y'all key'd-up about when ye book will be publish'd, &c--but I couldn't help meself, the book has me so excited! Each of the sonnets will have its own wee illustration, and the prose fragment that Lovecraft left unfinish'd, in which he seem'd to try and write out the sonnets in short story form, is included in ye book. Here is an audio reading of that story fragment whut I found on YouTube:

I suppose it was predictable & inevitable--but to-night's reading of ye ARC for The Annotated Fungi from Yuggoth has inspir'd me to begin a new commonplace book in which to scribble a renew'd attempt at my own new cycle of Lovecraftian sonnets.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

S. T.'s response to World Fantasy

S. T. Joshi has pofted a new blog in which he addresses the matter of World Fantasy's decision to retire the wonderful Gahan Wilson trophy that has been ye World Fantasy Award. His blog may be read at I am entirely with him on this--World Fantasy no longer exists for me. I don't feel anger as much as I feel an intense sadness over this situation. As a Lovecraftian artist, I feel personally slighted by the Lovecraft-haters and their misguided gloating in thinking they have won some kind of victory and are helping to banish H. P. Lovecraft and his influence. I am, more than ever now, dedicated to my task of paying homage to H. P. Lovecraft and his art with any and every book that I will henceforth compose.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I Boycott World Fantasy

I just read this on a thread at Thomas Ligotti Online :
"...David Hartwell, who was handing out the awards with Gordon Van Gelder, announced that this is the final year the venerable bust of Lovecraft that has always served as the World Fantasy Award trophy will be used. It is now officially retired, and a new design for the statue will be announced sometime next year."

Many of you are aware of the controversy surrounding the Howie award, and the grumblings of people who did not want a grotesque racist like H. P. Lovecraft thus dignified by being ye trophy icon. Another reason for replacing the Lovecraft bust is, some insist, because Lovecraft was such a bad writer. This is a monstrous insult to Lovecraft and Lovecraftians, and thus I here declare my personal boycott of World Fantasy Convention and its award. As a person of Jewish and Native American heritage, I abhor Lovecraft's racism to ye core of my being; yet I idolize E'ch-Pi-El as one of ye greatest artists of ye fantasy/horror/sf genres, and I insist that he is one of American's great Literary Artists in regard to prose style, originality of ideas, and literary influence. It is Lovecraft's great Literary qualities that I insist on emphasizing, while so many others (many of whom have never read much of his fiction and are clueless about that which constitutes good writing) whine about what a horrible freak Lovecraft was, and how bad his writing is. S. T. Joshi, on several of his past blogs, has pointed out his reasons for finding Lovecraft a great writer--but there are those who dismiss these reflections from S. T. and myself because we are, in some way, self-blinded fan-boys. (Never mind ye fact that S. T. is the author/editor of over 200 books, and I have written twenty books of weird fiction. We don't know jack cos we adore Lovecraft.)

My personal boycott means that I will never attend another World Fantasy Convention--and this is a real tragedy for me, because I consider WFC the finest genre convention in existence. And, if ever ye impossible happens and one of my books is listed for ye award, I will insist that my name and book be removed from ye ballot.

And I will continue to write book after book in homage to ye magnificent Art of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Esq. I will be dedicating my new book from Centipede Press to Lovecraft's memory.