Lovecraft Sketch MWF: Abhoth

Lovecraft Sketch MWF: Abhoth

If I had to choose one favorite Clark Ashton Smith story (apart from “The Tale of Satampra Zeiros”, of course) it’d probably be “The Seven Geases.” The story is just so imaginative and dark and full of memorable monsters, and the structure, in which the whole thing is essentially a big shaggy-dog story escalating joke (and yet is completely serious within the world of the story), is so audaciously ridiculous.

Here is my attempt to draw the final monster of “The Seven Geases”: Abhoth, the Source of Uncleanness, perpetually spawning and reabsorbing verminous life in the depths of the underworld. Sadly, only after I drew this, giving it my all, did I realize that my drawing was but a pale shadow (or perhaps a floppy, crawling spawn) of Erol Otus’ illustration of the same thing in the first edition 1980s “Deities & Demigods” D&D sourcebook, which was one of my first exposures to the Cthulhu Mythos back when I was a kid. They renamed it “Shub-Niggurath,” but you know it’s Abhoth. I love Erol Otus’ work with a passion, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather imitate (unless perhaps… Erol Otus x Hirohiko Araki? Or Erol Otus/Hirohiko Araki/Kazuo Umezu? Is this possible??!?), but next time I draw Abhoth, I PROMISE I WILL SURPASS YOU, EROL OTUS!!

It’s a good time to be a Clark Ashton Smith fan: some folks have just started The Double Shadow, a Clark Ashton Smith readings-and-discussion podcast modeled openly on the original Weird Tales horror-writer podcast, the awesome HP Podcraft. It sounds like a cool group of people, the music & Foley effects are good, and I am thrilled to see Smith starting to get some of the attention he deserves! I can’t wait to just listen to the podcasters’ reactions to the sheer eldritch weirdness, exotic cruelty and nihilism, or to put it another way, the sheer f*cked-uppedness, of Smith’s fiction! I’ve only listened to their first podcast and already I want to read Smith’s letters & poetry, which I’ve never gotten around to. Check out this podcast NOW!! (And of course, you should be listening to HP Podcraft as well, if you aren’t already!)

As usual on Fridays, there’s a new King of RPGs strip over on the King of RPGs website! And if you’re going to Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon this weekend, please come by and say hello! I’ll be splitting a table with my friends at the Couscous Collective, and I’d love to draw a sketch in your book, talk about Lovecraft, maybe play a RPG, or generally engage in artistic discussion and debauchery.

Discussion (6)¬

  1. Ruth says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! We are looking forward to exploring the sheer f*ckedupdeness that is Clark Ashton Smith. I feel like Averoigne will ease us into that (instead of, say, “Empire of the Necromancers” or “Charnel God” straight out of the gate). …until we get to “Mother of Toads” anyway…

  2. Night-Gaunt says:

    What the Qn’qnx (Star Headed Old Ones) either brought to earth or created on Terra to start producing the organisms they wanted to tame the near lifeless earth when they arrived over a billion years ago. And it in the mean time put forth all manner of other life. More complex ones as time went on.

  3. Night-Gaunt says:

    I’m a big fan of “Monster of the Prophecy.” Spent time drawing all the aliens and beasts and plants. Even things like shields and spears. But it is such a big story, might be too much for you to do here except as excerpts from it.

  4. Amanda says:

    I just watched your irvtneiew with Alex Charfen and was very inspired! It is now required watching’ for all the brokers in my office in Albuquerque, NM! ( My family used to live in Wichita Falls, TX where my father was stationed there after coming back form Vietman in ’68. Keep on doing an amazing job!John Sabourin(505) 898-9000 office

  5. Arik Metzger of Innsmouth says:

    Puts me in mind of the old AD&D Deities and Demigods Cthulhu Mythos image of Shub-Niggurath.

  6. @Arik – Yes, the one by Erol Otus!! :) One of my favorite artists… I think I (unintentionally, I hope) ended up copying him here.