Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Flying Polyps

Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Flying Polyps

The Flying Polyps (from H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time”) are some of Lovecraft’s harder-to-visualize monsters. They never show up onscreen (so to speak) and the description doesn’t give that much to work with; they can fly without wings, they need no eyes, they’re really hard to kill, they can turn invisible, they leave weird footprints… as if they’re creatures in a RPG, we read a lot about how tough they are, but not so much of what they look like or how they behave. How do they interact with other life forms? What do they do with their prey? I didn’t show it in this drawing, but perhaps their digestive system involves the manipulation of wind and air currents… They lack the hostile fury and semi-anthropomorphism of the lizards from “The Nameless City,” another buried race, and perhaps they’re at their creepiest when they’re down there unseen in the darkness. My drawing here is possibly too literally based on a coral polyp (a coincidental resemblance, surely, since they are related to no Earthly life), but maybe I’ll try drawing another version of these many-footed creatures later.

I spent almost the entire weekend at Emerald City Comic Con, and it was one of the best times I’ve ever had at a convention. I got to meet lots of people and sign lots of copies of Dream-Quest, which had its last pre-release appearance at the con (it comes out in comic stores this week). I also got to talk to lots of cool comic folks I don’t see often enough — Chloe Chan, Jake Myler, Nina Matsumoto, Amber Lamb, Cari Corene, Miriam Libicki, Jim Zubkavich and many others. To everyone who came by and said hello, thank you so much!

I’m working on The Doom That Came to Sarnath but the first page will probable go up next week instead of this week, since I have guests coming into town for Sakuracon. If you missed me at Emerald City, here’s another chance to see me at a convention, in Seattle on April 6-8! Plus, I’ll be running some roleplaying games!

Today’s King of RPGs strip just went up, and I’m also taking sketch commissions as usual! If there’s something you’d like to see me draw, let me know!


Discussion (5)¬

  1. […] comparison, here’s my drawing of the Great Race’s enemies, the flying polyps. The flying polyps are free from the constraints of gravity, but (in my vision) they’re […]

  2. SteveED says:

    I like the basic design you have going here, but I always imagined them like these:
    http://www.wellnear.com/news/poster-sketch-the-other-red-corals/
    http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/53700/53718/53718_coral_polyp2.htm
    http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/techniques/dic/dicgallery/obeliasmall.html
    and I hated the Chaosium design in the “Guide to Cthulu monsters” – they used the medical definition of polyp, not the zoological one that HPL was probably thinking of.

  3. Night-Gaunt says:

    I didn’t like the Chaosium’s version either. They also need a proper name and I found it. Ancient Babylonian wind god/demon called “Imhullu.”

    We know they can fly without wings, don’t have eyes to see, live in windowless cylinders and have the power to use wind as a weapon. And that they are in some way comparable to polyps.

  4. Night-Gaunt says:

    Steve, your first URL can’t be found but the other two are fine. I like the coral polyp sketches. Of course it was in reference to the sea life.

  5. Awesome work. The human hand emerging from the star is realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly creepy.

Comment¬