Friday, April 9, 2010

Jotun Troll and Catoblepas

Ahh a real post, back to business. Well here they are unwieldy monsters from legends past. Well as for what I did I think I could have improved more on the inking weights on Catoblepas and the heads on the Jotun troll could have flown better or as one instead of all over the place, but I suppose the asymmetry is OK. time for some info

After doing about forty some of these and researching the monsters, you eventually come to the point where you understand the guys in charge of finding these monsters either A) had no god damn clue what they were talking about, or B) combining a bunch of odds and ends of different monsters to make some ungodly amalgam of pseudo-beasties. The Jotun troll is the first of many. A combination of some Jotun traits and Troll traits gets you a Jotun troll, but one would ask what is a Jotun and Troll and why both? Well that's fun to answer because it fudges all the creator's legitimacy.

Jotuns or j├Âtunn if you have a fancy keyboard (which I don't), were giants in Norse mythology, generally entwine with nature and bearing strength that would put roid ragers to brittled shame. they were separated by humans in their homeland of Jotunheimr by dense forests and towering mountains which they lived upon. They came from what the Norse believed was the first thing ever, their despicable creation god Ymir(who I will go into at a later date), wherein the Jutun sprouted from his icy god armpits, and then out of Ymir's horrendous feet sprung another tone of the disgusting when a six headed Jotun birthed itself from his feet and became son of the pit Jotuns. To go with their disturbing creation Jotuns are usually featured as hideous and unpleasant beings characterized by their claws fang, deformities and some having multiple heads. One specific multi-headed Jotun would be Thrivaldi who had 9 ugly bickering went and took on Thor who would then quickly waste the Jotun as fast as his stupid 9 heads could turn. The multiple heads was enough of a characteristic to give Jotuns some individuality among other giants and was probably the chief inspiration for the MIMP guy's Jotun Troll. Among other special traits like several bickering heads, they were surprisingly wisdomous and had names that meant the opposite of their appearance, like a fat Jotun being named skinny Pete or something.

Where the Troll Part came in is not too far-fetched. Trolls in Norse mythology were similar in nastiness to Giants and Jotun and had links to nature spirits or could be them. However they are usually smaller than Giants an more human like and dwelt in caves or under hills or mountains. The Jotun Troll seems to be a multi-headed giant that lives in caves and has a very unsavory appearance.

From what can be said about the Jotun troll is mostly what you can say about combining things, its fun but results may vary.

Catoblepas, or as I stoopidly misspelled with the addition of an N, is one of Pliny's bullshit monsters he said he saw on his treks to Africa and had appeared in legitimate textbooks through the 1800s(the image below is from a dutch 1600s text) where in some one who went to Africa finally found out that someone really was not calling enough shenanigans on Pliny. As going by what the big bag of feces Pliny said, is a oxen like beast having a scaled back, whip-like tail, tusks and feet like a boar, a shaggy lion like mane, and a head like a buffalo which sank to the ground and was to heavy to be lifted. The beasts lumbering head was a disadvantage because it's blood shot eye's could only look down, but to compensate if one was to stare into it's eyes the would be turned to stone as if one gazed at Medusa.

Many people said they had "seen" the beast most notably Pliny but other great minds had written fiction about it like french novelist Gustave Flaubert, Royal English poet Sir Philip Sidney, and Even Leonardo da Vinci. Most modern works and depictions of the Catoblepas have a more boar like appearance and emphasising the horns, such as the video game Final Fantasy which apparently recycles the monster on a new game basis. Or other appearances give Catoblepas a more lizard-like scaly look and also giving it wings, the wings being flightless usually, the best example of that would be the figurine itself, which is almost completely different than how Pliny described it.

Its also worth saying Catoblepas was "seen" around Ethiopia, which after research has a surprising amount of MIMP monsters dwelling in or around the area, stay tuned for more.

Credits Go to wikipedia and strange spanish site that had Cantoblepas information

well here she is my least favorite and least inspired of my older MIMP drawings, I must have felt like crap drawing it and I remember not enjoying inking this at all, it is the number one priority on my list of redos after I finish inking a few more recent drawings. Oh and sorry for all the people who don't follow my blog or have even looked at this. All of this is experimenting and such from my posts and drawings, I'm still trying to find sweet spots in the balance between images and wordy information. It seems like I've been mostly on info overload as I did with my Wolfman and Mad scientist, which is another drawing I think I could have put more justice into, I'm going to try adding more pics and less esoteric stuff to maybe even the playing field. and for those who also care my post are very sporadic because I absolutely hate typing in blogger and that is what is usually drives me to half finish a post and come back to it around a week or two later. Well as for my progress the inking is OK, but I still think I could have had a large value range and I really think I could have just done more overall with the designs and everything, well that will be for another day so here is some fun info on your favorite biblical monsters.

Leviathan and Behemoth are monsters that appear in both the Hebrew bible and the old testament, also among Arab writings and stories. They are primarily featured in the book of Job as monsters God had created to test the Hebrews. Leviathan is usually pictured as a large cycling fish or spiraling sea serpent that stretches for miles of ocean and could swallow ships and all beasts of the the sea whole. Behemoth is usually pictured as some kind of lumbering horned mammal, consuming mountains and rivers in its wake, however it is herbivorous and only eats plants and such, but it seems it is m ore likely to basically eat EVERYTHING accidentally. The beasts could only be slain by their makers, otherwise only God or the Hebrews, and their flesh would make the finest banquet for the world and their skin to be made into canopies for the world to rest under, which would apparently happen in "the end of conflict" or essentially when world peace would be struck, which at this rate is basically as impossible as it was then.

What the basis of these monsters were off is a mystery. Some say it was things like mundane animals like goats and fat catfish that someone hyperbolied into true fish tales that hooked peoples attention. Others believe it may have been large beasts like hippopotamuses and great sharks that inspired people with their massive sizes and unparalleled power. Also Behemoth is male and Leviathan is female, so go ahead and start writing you biblical fan fiction immediately!

well there isn't too much more I'd like to add until I have something decent to merit a big post so stay tuned as I reveal more monsters.

Credits go to wikipedia articles and the book of Job itself I suppose for summarizing the monsters

Friday, March 26, 2010

More monsters in my pocket you will see. Some of my older drawings when I was just began to experiment with inking. These are the aptly named Wolfman and the Mad Scientist, classic movie monsters. However my drawing to me at least seems fairly uninspired as far as what I could have done but they are on my list of 7 or so which I would like to redo to have a more interesting finish. As far as inking consistency goes this was one of my better early ones. Enough talk about the aspects here is some information about these well known monsters.

The Wolfman as an iconic monster from the early days of horror talkies has much deeper history than most people know about. The Wolfman also known as Werewolf and Lycanthrope is a shape-shifting monster appearing in many parts of European folklore. Its name comes from most Nordic and Indo-European roots of "weir" or man and"wulf" as wolf and Lycanthrope as the Greek suffixes "Lyc"- for wolf and "Anthropos"- for human. It is not certain where exactly the Wolfman originated as it has roots all over Europe as wolves have inhabited it. Most modern incarnations of the Wolfman have been in western Europe in countries like The United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Denmark. However their legend has roots places like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Haiti, Peru, India, Uzbekistan, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.

The common description of a Wolfman has not changed much since early writings of it. It is usually male and resembles a hominid wolf, usually standing on hind legs, lacking a tail, and being very aggressive. In almost all incarnations they kill and eat people which made them very terrifying. In more medieval incarnations they ate freshly buried corpses, and could be women. In some cultures the Wolfman could talk and had human eyes and had other directly human traits like human ears and hands. The most romanticized trait they may poses is transforming into Wolfmen at the break of a full moon, a trait which is shared by almost all cultures with Wolfmen. To become a Wolfman varies from culture to culture from swimming across sacred lake, being curse, being covered with magic salve, drank out of a wolf footprint, slept under a full summer moon, bidding Satan, or just falling into complete madness and ostracizing yourself from the world. However the most common is being bitten or scratched by a Wolfman and by the next turn of the moon you would become one. However Wolf Men are only in wolf forms at full moons and the rest of the time are regular people, but their a cultural differences on that. Some state you could find a Wolfman in human for by cutting them and if hair sprouted from the wound they were Wolfmen, others believed the had uni-brows and were always upset as they could remember the lives of people the took in wolf form, among others believe they were in constant bouts of exhaustion as they had exerted all their energy being Wolfmen.

Insofar as remedies go for the condition, usually the only one is death. Greeks believed you could tire out a Wolfman so much that essentially he would be too exhausted to become a Wolfman. in Medieval groups a Wolfman could be relieved of his ailment by either being operated on in vague surgeries, consuming wolfsbane, or exorcism. old Sicilian tales state that hitting the forehead of a Wolfman with a knife would cure them. Other less aggravated methods could be the German way of reciting their Cristian name 3 times, or in Danish cultures just scolding them. However Death in modern portrails has been the most common way of relieving Wolfmen. Common now is to shot them in the head or heart or the body in general with a silver bullet. other killing agents include Mountain ash, crucifixes, holy water, and mistletoe if applied directly onto or towards a Wolfman.

As popular as Wolfmen are they have used it to garner fame in both classical and modern culture. Early examples of Wolfman media were the Greek tales of Lycaon and poetry of Famous Greek poets like Ovid and Virgil along with tales written by Pliny the elder. It also appears in many unwritten Baltic and Nordic tales. Many Gothic horror novels were written about Wolfmen and the novel The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr.Hyde had heavy Wolfman subtext. As Film grew so did a very visually appearance of the Wolfman in the icon 1941 film "The Wolf Man" starring Lon Chaney as the Wolfman and follows the story of a man returning to Wales and being bitten by a wolf and transforming into a Wolfman prowling the countryside only to be killed by his father who then sees his dead son return to human form. There were many Sequels in which he would meet and fight Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, The Mummy, and Abbott and Costelo. There have been more modern incarnations such as the films "The Howling" and "American Werewolf in London" which featured painful emphasis on the transformations of a Wolfman and the gore the can cause. Other newer Wolfman films include "Underworld" and its sequels, "The Wild", the humorous "Teenwolf", "Blood and Chocolate" and the new 2010 remake of the Wolfman. There also an innumerable amount of songs, Television programs, video games, books and comics based around and starring Wolfmen.

Mad Scientists are classic stock characters which are or cause evil. However a Mad scientist does not necessarily have to be evil they can be just insane, eccentric, bumbling, or sevantish. However a Mad scientist is always creating fiction technology and science to upset natural laws and balances and essentially to make the impossible possible. This is usually to put forward into a scheme which inevitably ends in disastrous consequences. Some may have benevolent or good spirited intentions, even if their actions are dangerous or questionable, which can make them accidental villains and can make them into unusual or anti-protagonists. Their main characterization is their obsession over their work leading them into hyper focused madness. And the reasons behind their obsessions can be comically trivial such as simply to settle a bet, prove a point, kill time, impress people, or to improve small elements of their lives. As appearances go, Mad scientists usually lack a specific appearance other than usually being ugly, ostracized, wearing glasses or goggles, disheveled hair, poor hygiene, dramatic posing and the occasional laying of a diatribe.

The archetype of a Mad Scientist has lived for millenniums, stemming from fears of those with esoteric knowledge and how it could be used against you. Many early incarnations of Mad Scientists were interpretations of Archimedes and Socrates who were believed to have developed more power through their discoveries and inventions that it essentially drove them insane trying to top what they had already accomplished. in The early Aristophane comedy "the Clouds" which has Socrates toys with old machines and creates implausible experiments to determine the weather patterns. Along with early stories Scientists were driven mad because of their prospects in alchemy or other ventures by handling of dangerous elements like Mercury and Radon which entered their bodies and poisoned their brains and muscles which was why hatters became "mad" and scientists like Sir Issac Newton went crazy from Mercury poisoning. And more modern inventors like Tesla and Edison were also thought of as mad for inventing things like supposed ghost capturing machines, earthquake machines, and even death rays.

Fiction was meant for the Mad Scientist, open to unlimited potential to essentially play god. One of the first fiction Mad Scientists was Doctor Frankenstein from the 1818 named after him and his monster which Frankenstein created in essentially the greatest upset of creation by creating life. Another would be the Classic tale of Doctor Jekyll and Mr.Hyde where Jekyll invents a formula in the cliche test tube concoction manner and tests it on himself turning into the abominable Mr.Hyde who terrorizes London as Jekyll goes in and out of Hyde phases and eventually killing himself to rid the world of Hyde. Other pre 1950s Mad Scientists include Doctor Faustus of the Faustus tale in which he sells his soul to the devil to obtain all knowledge and creating the allusion of a "Faustian bargain." Another would be the 1927 movie Metropolis where the very evil Mad Scientist Rotwang fills a dystopian world with lively robots, He would essentially fill the archetype for the evil Mad Scientist with a frizzy shock of white hair, a scar in the form of a robotic hand, a laboratory filled with steaming beakers and flasks with Tesla coils running electricity in an errie dark room. During the 1950 science fiction exploded with fears from the post Nazi and of then the Russian Soviets. This created a plethora of wide eyed Mad Scientists eager to create and destroy. One notable example would be Peter Sellars role as Dr.Strangelove in the movie of the same name where Dr.Strangelove is a psychotic ex-Nazi nuclear scientist who has an equally crazy independent right hand who Freudian slips comments of slaughter and genocide to his leaders and would essentially be the personification of fear of the power in science of the time. And in a time of nuclear fear and destruction the nuked Japan had created Godzilla featuring Mad Scientists behind the whole operation to engineer it. Along with Sci-fi to keep kids entertained, 10 cent comic books arose with Mad scientist villains such as Lex Luther as the mortal enemy of Superman and The Lizard to Spiderman among other countless Mad Scientists disfigured by their work and seeking revenge. In modern times Mad Scientists have taken many roles of parody like humorous protagonists as in the titular character of the cartoon Dexter's laboratory or another titular character of the web comedy Dr.Horribles sing-along-blog and more serious and dramatic tones like those involved in the Dahrma initiative in the television drama Lost.

Credit for information goes to wikipedia and

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Well here it is my latest post in a while since blogger is kind of a pain to deal with, we have the Redcap and Fachen which I stupidly misspelled. Some of the very first ones Ive done now, and I have a lot of catching up to do as Ive already made forty sum and have only made one or technically 2 posts. Well I'll be brief This is one of my best early ones and one of my more inspired but still not the best I could have done. I can see smudges in a few parts and the lines are still a bit separated on the

Well it would be best to give some info about the rascally and violent Redcap. They are generally found around abandoned castles on the English and Scottish borders. They are there to easily spot travelers who stray by them. They are called Redcaps for the homicidal deeds the continue to stay a alive. They slay the wandering traveler with either an iron pike, scythe, or an occasional dagger(which my picture represents). After they take life they drench their caps in the blood of the kill to keep their life force going, if a Red cap was unable to keep soaking his hat he would die as it dries out.

Redcaps aren't limited just slaying people with weapons, the have pushed boulders on people from above, kicked them to death with iron boots, or in some rare cases poisoning. You can not out run a Redcap, as they are very agile and quick even with iron boots and an arsenal of heavy iron weapons. The only way to escape is to quote a bible verse, where in the red cap will lose a tooth and flee, leaving you a disturbing souvenir as you brag of the tale.

Redcaps can be famous, one such Redcap named Robin haunted Hermitage castle where he killed men abused women and practiced many dark arts and deliberate acts of blasphemy, his master was dandy with that until Robins deeds caught up with him and the Master was ritualistically boiled in lead. Redcaps have also been feature in many article of Fantasy like The Magic:Gathering card game among many video games and Fantasy books.

The Fachen is similar in location to the Redcap, but in most aspects is far more menacing. Coming from the highlands of Scotland it travels the forests at night and is essentially unseen. However its appearance is lacking in camouflage, as it has been depicted as a large tuft or ball of feathers which are as tough as steel, sprouting one leg and one arm which are grown at strange angles. Also it has one eye which if stared at directly can cause heart attacks, along with the menacing eye it has a giant mouth filled with blade-like teeth.

It is a very violent monster, as it attacks travelers, mutilating them and then usually eating them. However it's travels have been poorly documented and very few men have been able to tell their tales. But stomping around the forest on one leg is not all its known for. It is known for carrying a chain which is swung to level farms and orchards in acts which could just be described as complete dickery.

It has been featured in an old Scottish tale from a book called" John Francis Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands" which features a Fachen named Nesnas Mhiccallain being defeated in a race by the story's hero, Murachadh Mac Brian, who became king of Ireland.

Some have speculated that the Fachen is what some Scotsmen saw from a large ancient terrestrial predatory bird, which may have at one time inhabited The Scottish highlands. Another popular but somewhat absurd theory is that the Fachen is a New Zealand Moa that has somehow traveled to the british isles

Credits of information go to the article of the creatures on Monstropedia.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is my first real post, but these are not necessarily my first drawings. When I began I only started drawing the most interesting monsters to me. I didn't have much to go off from the hard imagery of these characters, only really their figures. I had really enjoyed the chaotic act the poltergeist figure was making, I could on discern that it was molesting potatoes, balancing glassware and badly juggling cutlery, all which seemed very amusing to draw in one sweep. Slaughterford was even more limited. I only had the figure and nothing more other than what limited verbal information the Internet had. These two have been some of the most fun to draw, with the lunacy of the poltergeist and the morose vengeance of Slaughterford. I though it would be helpful to get some information about the monsters in order to have a better understanding of where they came from and from what mythology and stance they serve.

Poltergeists, coming from the combination of the German words poltern, meaning to make noise, and Geist, meaning "ghost" or "spirit." Their have been various incarnations over the world of poltergeists in cultures from England to Brazil. One of the more notable incidents was the Borley Rectory in Borley, England where a an force had seemed to ring bells, illuminate windows, and throw stones at valuables and glass. There had been many books written about the event and photos were take of the alleged ghosts that caused the phenomena. Another high profile case the Rosenheim Poltergeist coming from Bavaria, Germany where a lawyer's office had things like light blow out telephones ring with out a caller, drawers opening and closing at whim and lamps being destroyed. The Borley and Rosenheim cases have been called on for being fraudulent and that evidence was spotty at best and they had been propagated to get insurance money or to garner attention. The validity of poltergeists and ghosts in general have been a debated topic where there is no hard proof to back up the claims. but they still continue to haunt and frighten people when things can not be explained or determined.

This is essentially the only image of Slaughterford that I could find that wasn't the location of the same name or some unrelated horror film. Christopher Slaughterford of London was executed in Guildford July 9, 1709, for the murder of Jane Young, his fiancee. His case is very important, as he was the first person in modern England executed for murder based exclusively on circumstantial evidence. He is also famous for supposedly finding his fiancee's killer, one of his servants, in the form of a ghost. He was found guilty in court even though there was strong evidence proving his innocence such as his alibi and his cooperation with the police, however despite the evidence he was hung. He had left the world a long message before his fate at the gallows taleing that he had forgiven those who wronged him, proclaiming his innocence and his request to be reunited with his love in heaven. After his death he is said to return to the earth as a ghost in chains, with the cut noose around his neck, holding a staff in one hand, and a burning brand in the other, crying "Vengeance, Vengeance!" According to the legend, the guilty servant saw him and killed himself.

credits to Wikipedia and various other independent sources I have forgotten

the begining

Well this blog has been a week in the making, but stems from an interest that has been in my head for a long time. Once I was killing time surfing the net and found a lost collectible series called Monsters in My Pocket. I had no real interest at first, but after seeing and reading about the array of beasts and creatures within I had a sudden desire to imagine them outside the small figurines they are and bring some cartoon to their appearances. This blog is an informative collection of the 140 sum monsters illustrated by me and an incentive to practice inking with ball point pens. I hope you will enjoy the spoils