In this incredible wrap-around cover piece, ace concept artist and illustrator Brett MacDonald truly captures the essence of the massive size and scale of the Cthulhu Mystique (did I just coin something there?), which was a key component in what originally drew me to H.P. Lovecraft's work in the first place. I've always been horrified by the impossibly large, the infinitely massive, the incalculably vast. Cthulhu, to me, always embodied that, as do the other Great Old Ones and, of course, their incomprehensible liege lords, the nebulous Outer Gods.
So, the freshly minted edition of Strange Aeons arrives, populating a gift basket (box) that includes a few missing back issues, and matching Strange Aeons T-shirts (scroll down to the bottom) of staggeringly different size, so my girl Ives and I can stroll through the neighborhood looking like two loons gone prematurely old-people-batshit, when dressing in matching outfits becomes the norm among the early morning power walking mall circuit.
This was a waiting package worth running a few red lights and treating the 110 Freeway like my own slice of poorly paved Autobahn. And it didn't disappoint... Lords above, didn't it ever...
Whenever I get a new issue of Strange Aeons, I always do the wide-eyed quick scan first, as I need to see and feel EVERY PAGE before I can cool my 8 cylinder engine long enough to actually read and absorb the entire magazine. So - after moving through the Eldritch Words and Forbidden Lore sections, amazing graphic novelry, Nick "The Hat" Gucker's fantastic "The Strange High House in the Mist" (oddly, a story I just read in our garden this last weekend) classic movie poster insert, and Robert M. Price's "Lost Gods of Lemuria" short story (art by Nick Gucker) - imagine my shock and awe when I flipped to page 48, the always interesting "Unearthed" section of Strange Aeons (fixed with the truthy sub-header: "How can you not already know about this stuff???"), and my already misty eyes were instantly drawn to the now-familiar image (created by artist/writer Ives Hovanessian) that not only hangs on our wall, but has truly become my eternal logo and Badge O' The Weird:
"The Cosmicomicon! Author T.E. Grau's blog site is an electronic repository for all things cosmic, terrifying, and strange. In this little corner of darkened space, Grau explores the mind bending and possibly terrifying realities that await us as we push forward as a species, discusses speculative fiction, horror cinema and artwork, and tracks real-life news of the weird and unexplained. A must for Mythos fans, as Grau has his finger on the creative pulse of Cthulhiana."You could have knocked over my oddly thick, sturdy ass with a feather. My wife and daughter had to fan me back to semi-consciousness, then we all took shots of Irish whiskey. Okay, TWO of us did. Angelina downed her cranberry juice like a pro. No chaser.
When I regained my rational senses, I noticed that on the same page was a mention of Nick "The Hat" Gucker's amazing blog, and on the next page was an advert for Joseph S. Pulver's masterful, nightmarish new tome Sin & Ashes by Hippocampus Press, together with glowing S&A reviews from such horror heavyweights as Laird Barron, Simon Strantzas, and Paul Tremblay. I felt like I was invited to a surprise party where all my favorite friends and heroes were in attendance. Yes, that might sound like a bit much, but that's how I felt.
Getting a surprise write-up in your favorite Lovecraftian magazine is almost indescribable, so I won't even try here. Simple words will fail me. But, what I CAN say is that I want to extend a HUGE thanks to Strange Aeons, and all my readers and fellow writers. This is a lovely moment, and one that I shall never forget. I tip my fermented Irish grains to you all. After all, it was in Gonzo that I was born, and in Lovecraft that I was baptized. The evolution continues...
p.s. The preceding blog was written with my loyal and all-business battle bunny Cthulhu "Lulu" Grau guarding my feet from any underneath Dhole attack.
p.p.p.s Please check out Brett MacDonald's artwork. He's truly an under-appreciated genius. I mean look at this:
|(c) Brett MacDonald|