Read Any Good Books Lately?

Brought to us by the sick bastards over at Bad Advice For Good Times.

“Do you want to be a nicer person? Are you looking for inspiration to do good things? Well keep looking. But if you’re into opening up terrifying vistas of reality then the Esoteric Order of the Old Ones and Cthulhu Cultists want to help. Contact us today to find out how.”

Rikki Simons Gurgles Slurs in The Bloaty Incident

Any Invader Zim fans here? If you fell into reluctant love with the tiny, spiteful Irken invader and his robotic companion Gir, you might have been keeping up with the recent blog posts of show creator Jhonen Vasquez. Over the past few weeks, Vasquez has been sharing daily bits of behind-the-scenes Invader Zim trivia, complete with grotesque digital illustrations, unforgivably long rants, and anecdotes that will probably get him killed very soon. Evidently, this stuff has been building up inside Jhonen and eating through his soul like some kind of psychic bile, until it exploded into a month-long pontification of, well, DOOM.

Above, Gir and Zim by Jhonen Vasquez, from Invader Zim Fact #25 – just one of the numerous drawings that accompany Invader Zim Facts. With his zip-up dog costume, built-in jets, and an unmistakable squeaky voice, adorable Gir gained a fan base as rabid and vast as Zim ‘s. However, Rikki Simonscomic book creatorcolorist on the show, and the man behind the squeaking, paid dearly for his involvement with Zim. Sometimes our work consumes us, and Rikki serves as an all-too-real reminder of what happens when we push ourselves too far. In a spectacular display of callous indifference to his once-colleague, Jhonen showcased a jarring, never-before-seen video interview with Simons in “Invader Zim Fact #31“. From the post:

A bit of info on the video:  It’s apparently a fragment from a documentary about voice actors by “Ani-Mazing” Magazine, one of the many publications I’ve never had the pleasure of taking with me to the bathroom.  The thing never got completed, and Rikki was actually the last person the filmmakers interviewed.  That’s just what the guy told me who gave me this thing.  If you ask me, AniMAZING Magazine should have stuck with magazines because the interview sucks as far as interviews go, and the sound and camera work is just awful.  The title of this last post comes from something the interview touches on, that Rikki, besides playing the lovable GIR, also played the lovable Bloaty the Pig.

Watch below, and be sure to stick around until the very end.

Monica Cook’s Food Fights

You’d think that after the past, oh, six years on the internet, an image of human flesh mingling with cephalopods would scarcely register with a seasoned browser. It seems that time has finally proved that even the most devout of C’thulhu enthusiasts occasionally reach a tentacle limit. However, my deep, personal fear of web frigidity was dispelled with but a glance at the painting below.


Yes, I can still feel.

Monica Cook, a painter from Georgia, started out as a self-portraitist, moving on to other subjects several years into her career. Her earlier work is relatively sober, with solitary female figures peering and gesturing enigmatically from their canvas quarantines.  2009 marked a period of transformation for Monica, when she created a series of sexually-charged paintings for a solo show at Marcia Wood Gallery, titled Seeded and Soiled. Showcasing mostly-nude, slimy women in glimpses of bacchanalian orgies and a more commanding brush stroke, these paintings are in quite a contrast to the self-reflecting maidens of Cook’s earlier work.


Delightfully energetic and fetishistic, Seeded and Soiled covers everything from power exchange and food play to asphyxiation and foot fancy. Click the jump for two more pieces from the series and two bonus cephalo-phallic images by Monica Cook.

Better Than Coffee: Sashimi’s Revenge

Morning, late-risers! To kick things off this week, a simple post with two tags: “Cthulhu” & “Stroke Material.” What more could you ask for in life? This eye-popping drawing, titled Sashimi’s Revenge, was completed in Photoshop by illustrator Serge Birault. In addition to the above, not to be missed on Birault’s site is a charming homage to Lux Interior of the Cramps.

Previously in “Cthulhu & Stroke Material”:

[via monk3y]

Isabelle Adjani’s Got That Not So Fresh Feeling™

Been savin’ this one for a rainy day:

Director Andrzej Zulawski’s 1981 arthouse horror film, Possession, is a fail-safe litmus test. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you’ll drop this movie’s name in casual conversation only to be met with a sunny, uncomprehending stare, or “oh, you mean that Gwyneth Paltrow movie?” Far fewer and further between will be those times when you watch a slow-dawning, complex expression of kinship and mental anguish creep over a person’s face: “oh my god, the subway scene,” they’ll murmur, or “that poor ballerina…” or “remember the squid baby?”

While Zulawski’s vision of hysterical woman-as-monster isn’t quite on par with [edit: or rather, I should clarify, isn’t quite as coherent as] those put forward by Cronenberg, Polanski, or Lynch, some of the scenes are absolutely mind-blowing. This is an experimental film where a young woman’s intense anxiety and hormonal imbalance causes her –literally– to give birth to a Lovecraftian lover (designed by the dude who crafted E.T. ), with dire consequences. Demonizing like that just doesn’t happen every day! (Apparently, the film was inspired by Zulawski’s recent divorce. Go fig.)

Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill

In particular, spooky boho art school chicks really seem to bond over Possession. It’s like our Thelma & Louise. I’m pretty sure our fascination has to something to do with all of the unrestrained freakouts, blood, and tentacle sex. There’s just something strangely comforting about watching a cool, porcelain beauty break through the fourth wall and then break down, howling, in a puddle of bodily excretions. It’s like, no matter how “psycho” I get when I’m “ragging out”, I know I haven’t hit rock bottom.

Rock bottom is Isabelle Adjani in that subway tunnel in Possession.

50’s Jell-O Salad is Actually a Shoggoth

“It was a terrible, indescribable thing… a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light.” – H. P. Lovecraft

Many thanks to Paul Komoda, ever the friend of Coilhouse, for pointing out the eerie similarities between this 1952 advertisement for vegetable-flavored salad Jell-O, spotted in a  SocImages post discussing “how tastes are shaped by history” (see also:  “The Social Construction of Prunes“),  and this 1936 cover of Astounding Stories for Lovecraft’s  “At the Mountains of Madness.”

If you wish to further penetrate the Mysteries:

Jessica Joslin’s Love Letter to Wisconsin

Please welcome guest-blogger and wunderkammer artist Jessica Joslin’s formal addition to our Staff Page! – Ed.

One of the things that I love about living in Chicago is that it’s merely a hop, skip and a jump away from Wisconsin. For those of you on the coasts, that statement may make little sense. Still, I am wholeheartedly convinced that there’s magic there. Wisconsin’s had far more than its share of brilliant eccentrics, outsider artists and charming crackpots. From Alex Gordon’s jaw-droppingly magnificent House on The Rock –a place whose wide-ranging wonders utterly defy description— to the architectural gems of Gordon’s sworn enemy, Frank Lloyd Wright, to the strange and beautiful man-made grottos that dot the countryside, Wisconsin is a treasure trove of wonderful weirdness.

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983) was a true Wisconsinite, in the very best (and most eccentric) sense of the word. He lived in a world of his own making, hidden away in a modest house in Milwaukee with his beloved wife and muse Marie. During the days, he worked as a baker, but in his own words, he was a “Freelance Artist, Poet and Sculptor, Inovator [sic], Arrow maker and Plant man, Bone artifacts constructor, Photographer and Architect, Philosopher.” In each of his chosen disciplines, Von Bruenchenhein was incredibly prolific. When his work was discovered shortly after his death, his home was literally stuffed to the gills with his creations. His paintings are vivid, apocalyptic explosions of color, swirling with mysterious monsters and elusive, organic forms. The distinctive surfaces are partly a result of his process. Since brushes were often an unattainable luxury, he used his fingers, twigs or bushes made of  his wife Marie’s hair. Marie herself is a lovely enigma. Eugene clearly adored her. She was his one and only model in a series of photographs influenced by the pin-up imagery of the time. In his images, he turned her into a queen, a goddess, a siren… constructing crowns out of tin Christmas ornaments and adorning her with wreaths of pearls.

Left: one of Von Breunchenheim’s bone chairs. Right: A photographic portrait by Von Breunchenheim of his beloved Marie.

It was Von Bruenchenhein’s bone chairs that first caught my eye. They are tiny and intricate, constructed from the detritus of many a chicken dinner. Apparently, he ate a lot of chicken, because he also constructed wonderful little bone towers. They look almost like architectural models of the Watts towers.

I am also fascinated by a snapshot of a wall in his home, probably in the basement, scrawled with his philosophical musings. “Death haunts men forever and finally wins” is written directly underneath “Electric meter” and “Water and Gas.” It’s as if he felt that his revelations needed to be put somewhere permanent, somewhere that could not be misplaced like a sheet of paper. It’s like having the rare chance to peer into his head. Next to a pin-up in a bikini, ever the romantic, he writes: “All go down the drain. Collect yourself. Tomorrow it is too late. Make love worth ALL” – and above a dark water stain, there is “Love is a fire ever bright.”

To see more, visit his extended biography at Kinz + Tillou and view a great collection of photos at the Hammer Gallery site. More images after the jump!

BTC: Kure Kure Takora / Gimme Gimme Octopus

It’s been days since we hastily cooked up that batch of bathtub MDMA in honor of the Zobogrammatron’s incept date. Still, I don’t think I’ve quite come down yet, so I’m not really sure what we’re watching right now, folks. I do know that it is very colorful and shiny and retro and Japanese and somehow vaguely Lovecraftian by way of Fisher Price, and thus, it cannot help but to be better than coffee.*

OctopieInTheSky, who has created an entire YouTube channel devoted to the show, may be able to clarify:

A messed-up kids program which first appeared on the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation’s JOCX-TV on October 1st, 1973. Every episode is basically about Kure Kure Takora wanting something that belongs to the other characters and then tries to steal it. While the episodes only run 2 and a half minutes each, you’ll be treated to acts of:

  • antisocial behavior (always guaranteed)
  • random violence (guaranteed)
  • cannibalism
  • Love triangles that cross not only species but also plant/animal classifications
  • torture
  • set decorations inspired by Fauvism
  • suicide attempts


Yo Gabba Gabba and Teletubbies, eat yer hearts out. Via Cephalopod Tea Party.

Several more episodes after the jump.

Coilhouse Style Vanguard: Ryan Oakley

We’re reviving Coilhouse Style Vanguard, a column that spotlights stylish individuals from around the world. Previously, we featured Princest – you can read her segment here.

I met Ryan Oakley in Toronto lat year. It was during my exhibit at the Plastik Wrap boutique – Ryan had just purchased one of my prints and I was oohing and ahhing over his immaculate outfit. It was composed of a suit tailored so precisely it would stop fashion non-believers in their tracks and a shirt, tie, vest and socks all clearly chosen with expert care. He was a pinstriped vision, carefully treading the line between aristocrat and pimp.

Ryan Oakley with his print

The suit-as-hipster-gear has been around for a long time, but this guy looked like someone who truly understood and respected it. There was a certain je ne sais quoi… An air of “that’s right, bitches” about him that I found entirely justified. Last week Ryan put forth his suit expertise in an informative and hilarious post simply titled The Used Suit. In fact, Ryan writes about men’s fashion a great deal in his multi-faceted blog, The Grumpy Owl. From the About page:

Although Ryan Oakley began his career as a simple rake, he has since become Toronto’s most renowned flaneur and notorious dandy.  A composer of psychogeographic fictions, he is also a server of food, a tender of bar and a washer of dishes. While performing all these functions with efficiency and elegance, he has also found the time to publicly criticize books, theatre and the beleaguered women in his life. Mr. Oakley reserves some of his misanthropic vitriol for his own blog, The Grumpy Owl.

He’s also part of The Worldwide Culture Gonzo Squad, where he shares the blog-o-stage with several esteemed colleagues, including Coilhouse friend Jerem Morrow and Stylish Gent‘s M1k3y. So if Ryan’s masterful dandyism and tailoring insights aren’t enough to convince you that he’s one cool cat, check out some of his other posts, like Dinner With C’thulhu. It’s an instructional post where mister Oakley tells us how to entertain a precarious great old guest. Many topics are covered, from appropriate leather furnishing [“C’thulhu finds this comfortable as it allows ample room for Its tentacles but you will also be able to easily wipe any goo”] to dinner [“Human hearts are dreadfully difficult to obtain in today’s economy and the police tend to frown upon eating even the low quality, though well marinated, meat that can be found in your local hobo population”].

Without further ado, Ryan and his fashion philosophy, in his own words.

Tell us about the history of your look, its evolution.

I’ve been wearing suits since I was a child and, except for an unfortunate period during school, never lost the habit.  When I moved to Toronto I quickly discovered that everyone pays the wrong sort of attention to just another punk kid.  Since I was trying to drink underage and get away with a host of other ills, a suit and tie served me quite well.  These were simple black affairs, stolen from thrift shops, ran into the dirt, covered with blood, then replaced with another.

There’s a lovely mugshot of me wearing a grey pinstripe but, sadly, the police refused to give me a copy. The scum.

When I finally quit drinking and drugging, I discovered that I had money but no real outlet for what’s an obsessive monkey in my mind.   I dedicated myself, in earnest, to the vice of vanity.  Anything worth doing is worth overdoing and the money I may have put to some reasonable use is now going to my tailor.

What is your style philosophy?

Style is philosophy.  And I’m a logician.  I view clothing as being a system of syllogisms, paradoxes and axioms.  Like music or math, it attempts to be a pure expression of platonic reality.  Colours, patterns and textures must harmoniously combine to form an elegant truth.

Because this is my view, I pay no attention whatsoever to fashion.  Nor do I dress to express my office, my personality or my surroundings.  I wear a suit because I’m a western man and the suit is the single best item of clothing we have.

Aside from being a recognizable and well-governed medium, thus an interesting one to innovate in, it also appeals to and combines the fundamentals that every animal uses in its fur and feathers.  That is, the handicap principle, aposematism, cryptis and mimicry.

A suit is not a vulgar symbol of wealth, a display of superiority or an expression of bourgeois respectability.  It is a beautiful thing.  When I put one on, I hope for it to look equally normal and equally weird one hundred years in the past and one hundred years in the future.  That’s the meagre dimensions of the sartorial truth I aspire to.

Click below for the rest of the interview, a video and more photos, of course.

Cthulhu Meditation: Listen On Dry Land!

A spectrogram of the mysterious “Bloop.”

Y’all know about “The Bloop”, right? Via Wiki:

The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency underwater sound detected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration several times during the summer of 1997. The source of the sound remains unknown. The sound, traced to somewhere around 50° S 100° W (South American southwest coast), was detected repeatedly by the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array, which uses U.S. Navy equipment originally designed to detect Soviet submarines. According to the NOAA description, it “rises rapidly in frequency over about one minute and was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors, at a range of over 5,000 km.” According to scientists who have studied the phenomenon, it matches the audio profile of a living creature but there is no known animal that could have produced the sound. If it is an animal, it would have to be, reportedly, much larger than even a Blue Whale, the largest known animal on the earth.

OMG, R’YLEH?! But seriously. That is some mind-rending, scary-ass, dont-think-about-it-too-hard-or-you’ll-shit-a-squid kinda stuff, people! Forget about alien invasion from outer space. Our destruction shall come from the depths. I’m telling you.

Some kooky Thelemite going by the humble title of Frater Tanranin Uhcheek Gozaknee, 222 has composed the following “Cthulhu Meditation” using original Bloop sound files (as well as what sounds suspiciously like a human left-cheeky-sneaky thrown in for lulz) and put it on YouTube. Quite mesmerizing, actually! I recommend popping some ‘luudes and listening to it in the bathtub. With the lights on.

Favorite Youtube comment: “Maybe it’s Cthulhu farting!” Second favorite: “Maybe it’s Amy Winehouse!”