Everything Lovecraft, part 1....One question I oftimes ask myself is whether we do have the choice to avoid magical thinking at all and whether this would be a desirable state of being.
It would definetely deprive us from a lot of magic and mystery, a throughout questionable loss, but in some cases it may as well hinder us from drowning into insanity....
Since last November I was preparing a couple of motives for bigger works based on the weird fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos, amalgamated with a bunch of steampunkish elements which I thought would make a very interesting mix in preparation of the bookfair in Leipzig.
I was delighted that one of my most favourite Fantasy Art contests on the web John Howe's "theme of the month" was featuring a Lovecraftian theme for March.
How lucky I was! Perfect timing to prepare and paint a portfolio piece, let a postcard being printed of it and post it to John's website.
Here it is:
"Mysteries of Miskatonic University": Investigator of the supernatural and Airfleet Captain Siobhain McCorkindale discovering dark secrets at the (imaginative) Miskatonic University.
Everything went right on time: Postcards received, picture posted, Portfolio prepaired.
And off I go, to the bookfair in Leipzig on the 15th of March, the anniversairy of the death of H.P.Lovecraft.
I came late for an interview with comicbook artist Reinhard Kleist and had enough time to do a five minute sketch of him which he signed for me:
Reinhard is a groundbreaking artist who helped paving the way for german Graphic Novels. I remember that I was literally (but positively) shocked when his first Graphic Novel was published which was based on....Lovecraft.
Later I was thrilled to meet two of my heroes of the German Fantasy and Science Fiction scene: Dieter Winkler and Wolfgang Hohlbein, celebrating the 30th jubilee of Hohlbein's career as writer of bestsellers and the 15th anniversairy of their dark-fantasy saga "Die Chronik der Unsterblichen" ("chronicle of the imortals").
Hohlbein's fiction encompasses a wide range of themes ranging from Fantasy stories for young readers via high Fantasy, horror but as well adventure stories among others the six official german language Indiana Jones novels and as well a series that was originally published as dime novels called "the Warlock of Salem" which was based on...yes! Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft himself appears in the stories as the mysterious H.P.
He wrote as well three novels that depict the adventures of the decendant of the warlock Robert Graven in "Der Magier", the magician.
At the time the books came out I had already totally fallen for Hohlbein's novels and one year before, in 1991, John Howe's Tolkien calendar had strengthened my will to try something I had never dared before with watercolours:
To illustrate one of the stories I read.
I was 16 years old and had already experimented with watercolours. Fantasy pictures and drawings of extinct animals were my favourite themes and I had done one illustration for a poem by Walter de la Mare, "the Listeners". Now I wanted to try to depict a whole story and thus I painted:
"Der Fluch des Wissenden" - "The curse of the knowing" of which I brought a print to the anniversairy celebration and gave it to Mr Hohlbein, as a thank you for all these years of inspiration!
Thank you and congratulations, Wolfgang Hohlbein and all the best for the next at least 30 years of writing!!
To me that was definetely the highlight of the day, but if you think that was all of the weird coincidences around H.P.Lovecraft on the bookfair and in this weird March 2013....you are wrong...
Listen to how the story continues tomorrow...weird and mysterious....