Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, Dec 13th: BEASTS! The Print Show

Featuring dozens of international artists from both Beasts! books, the print show features traditional prints (no digital prints!) ranging in size from tiny to overwhelming. Holiday gifts galore.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

BOOK ONE slideshow

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BOOK TWO slideshow

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Vampire Kit

This 19th Century Vampire killing kit is an eerie display of how real vampires are to some people.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On Beasts.

"Unproven" creatures like the Unicorn and Leviathan make frequent appearances in ancient texts, but what amazed me in my research is how frequently they turn up in natural history and other scientific texts. It's easy to dismiss these creatures nowadays because of the popularity of Science and the Experiential over the Mystical and Spiritual but reading the ernestness of these old texts is disorienting and incredibly inspiring.

As George Caspard Kirchmayer writes in "On the Basilisk " (one of many apparently popular treatises he wrote from about 1680): "To deny the existence of the basilisk is to carp at the evidence of men's eyes and their experiences in many different places. Accordingly, we allow the basilisk a place in nature, as the most deadly and venomous creature and plague in the animal creation. We would have it understood we are not here maintaining that ridiculous and more than monstrous story of the manner of its birth, nor the deadly effect of its look, nor those other points which are more like old wives' stories than anything else. It is for the existence of this most venomous reptile that we are now contending."

I love that Kirchmayer is asking us (in elegant and intelligent terms) to forgive the hype, the basilisk deserves to live. Let's not kill him off simply becuause we can't prove he exists.

And while Kirchmayer is disputing Pliny and similarly popular thinkers he'll also zealously defend the Unicorn at length: “Over the whole world it is a common saying that the unicorn perished and became extinct at the flood, and that not a single individual of the Monoceros species survived. We shall correct this injustice, and shall, with God's help, find a means of putting a stop to this universal blasphemy.”

God help those who are not curious.

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Beasts Reviews and Interviews

Wired Magazine leaked all the details about the new hardcover, plus several preview images. Look for more coverage by them in the near future.

Playboy recommends Beasts! as a monstrous gift.

Comic Book Resources has an interview with me and artist Femke Hiemstra about the book. Femke breaks down her process in choosing and making the Japanese Mountain Woman. "At the time I just finished my first solo show, and I was dead tired. I had to focus on my own stories for months. Doing the mountain woman was something different, almost relaxing. I had much fun researching and drawing the piece. And sure, I wanted to be part of this club. I loved the first book, now I could be a part of the second one."

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Beasts2 preview: AJ Fosik

The Weretiger of Asia is one of many shape-shifters known to the world. (It seems there are nearly as many shape-shifting forms reported as there are known varieties of animals.) Like the Werewolf, there are many cultural explanations for why humans transform into these feline man-beasts, but most commonly it is supposed to be due to a curse or as a consequence of mixing genetic material. This mixing of material may be the unavoidable result of an animal's violent attack on a victim or, avoidably, through a person's unnatural indescretions with an animal.
A.J. Fosik is a unique artist rooted in his own fantastic sort of folk/new wave/sci-fi/naturalist mindset. His piece is one of four or five 3-dimensional pieces in BEASTS! Book Two, due out in December.

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