“Pickman’s Model” is a good little Lovecraft story, and I also like Robert Barbour Johnson’s sequel/riff on it written not too long after Lovecraft’s death, Far Below. As a fan of “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” of course, I know that the ghouls are really just adorable softies deep down (when they’re not eating people), and even in the original story there is a strong vein of black humor, but it’s still a strong horror concept. And of course, there’s no need for the “Dream-Quest” ghouls and the “Pickman’s Model” ghouls to be consistent: Lovecraft’s universe is like fractured mirrors giving many different reflections of the same few names and concepts.
The first artist I think of when I think of ghouls is, not Pickman, but Tim Kirk, a onetime assistant of Richard Corben, who drew several really mind-blowingly cool ghouls in Meade & Penny Frierson’s fanzine “HPL.” I’m undeniably influenced by his drawings. His ghouls, like mine, are VERY big and animalistic, leading to some question as to how they could ever have passed as humans, or just how much mutating it takes to get from Point A to Point B. But when in doubt, I say, go with more mutating.
Today I’m working on King of RPGs and on the next page of “The Doom That Came to Sarnath.” If you’re interested in having me draw something for yourself, feel free to commission a sketch! I’ll draw pretty much anything, especially Lovecraftian creatures.