Monster Monday – Skulls

I have a skull fixation. Leafing through my sketch books I’m confronted by a memento mori on just about ever other page. A skull is often the first thing that springs to mind when I’m faced with a blank sheet of paper.

(This part of the post used to have a row of Skeletor gifs, but they were cut for time reasons.)

Since it’s mostly photos of drawings from my sketch books, my Instagram feed has its fair share of #skull posts. Take a look.

Mind blown. #dailysketch #skull #skeleton #sketchdaily #mindblown

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13 July 2015 #dailysketch

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I’m not sure why I draw skulls. I do love Skeletor. It might also have something to do with Captain Bones. Perhaps by drawing skulls I’m attempting to assert power over my childhood nightmares. Maybe it’s a way to address the growing dread of adulthood and my fear of my own mortality. Maybe skulls are badass. 🎃

Posted by Carl in Art, 0 comments

Story Chunks – Monsters Anonymous

Here’s a new kind of post I plan to share from time to time. I have already shared some of my drawings, but I want to share raw chucks of writing with you. I have several things cooking. About the same time I launched Urban Creep I wrote a short story about a werewolf. Since then I’ve worked it into a longer piece with vampires, fairies, and all kinds of monsters milling about a modern city based loosely on my hometown (just the city, not the millions of monsters). It’s on the back burner, but here’s a chunk anyway.


Monsters Anonymous

by

Carl C. Burgers

(from the beginning of Chapter 2)

“Why are we even here?” Steven asked. He’d planned to punctuate his question with a full body shrug, but grew self-conscious halfway into starting. Instead he just flapped his elbows, his hands still fixed in his pockets, and rocked back onto his heels slightly. “We’ll never get in.” Thaddeus didn’t witness his friend’s spasm. He was tapping and rubbing at the screen of his phone.

It rained in sheets earlier that afternoon, but just then purple-grey clouds sailed sluggishly towards the Mesa. The night was perfect. An earthy aroma of wet street mingled with the brine-soaked air that wafted up from the harbor. There was also the droning undertones of urine. The night was almost perfect.

Thaddeus looked up from his phone, wearing a closed-mouth smile that was close to exploding teeth. He held up his phone to his chest and pointed at the shingle of The Cat and Cauldron pub. “So, what’s the biggest problem being sober?” Thaddeus stared off into middle distance, like he was giving a lecture to an invisible crowd.

“I don’t know, Thad,” Steven said, trying a slightly more subtle shrug, “the withdrawal. The burning feeling that a drink is always within arm’s reach, but we can’t… you know?
 “Wrong!” Thaddeus tapped and swiped at his screen. “Tell me something, Steven.
Aren’t you tired of doing all your shopping at MaxMart?” Steven wrinkled his nose. “Bare with me here,” Thaddeus continued. “Why do we shop at MaxMart?”

“They have greeters at the door,” Steven said, “It’s the only place we are actually invited in.”

“Exactly. And the sober guys with old money can afford to hire a butler or PA or something.”

Steven looked up at the shingle as it swayed in the breeze. “I’d give anything to sit down to a nice beer,” Steven said, trailing off.

“It’s funny that you mention that,” Thaddeus was about to burst with excitement. Or smugness. Probably both. He raised his finger high up in the air, his phone resting flat on his outstretched palm, and brought his finger down to the screen with all the grace of a mime with a concussion. The phone booped.

“And?” Steven shrugged, somewhat naturally this time, “let’s just go, man.” Thaddeus shook his head. He held his screen inches from Steven’s face. “ ‘Your thrall is 10 minutes away.’ What is this?”

“It’s an app,” Thaddeus pocketed his phone and made a show of polishing his nails on his polo shirt. Definitely a mime with a head injury. “So, it’s like one of those ride sharing apps, right? Only this is more like ‘thrall sharing.’” Thaddeus jutted his chin out slightly, silence mounting.

Steven sighed. “Fine. Please tell me what ‘thrall sharing’ is?”

“The app, it’s called RNFILD. As in Renfield, only with the most of vowels missing for some reason. You sign up, tap the screen when you need to be invited in, a sympathetic individual, also signed in to the app, gets a notification, and he heads your way.” Thaddeus pushed his phone at Steven. A red blip crawled along the city map. Below that the words “Less than a minute" pulsed.

“A sympathetic individual?”

“Well, a regular person who wants to earn a little extra money, but doesn’t want to become enthralled full time, he opens this app and we get invited in.”

“I thought we were supposed to be hidden. You know, discreet. What’s the point of blending in if we’re going to put an app out there for everyone to see?”

“It’s not in the actual app store. It’s hidden deep in the dark web or deep web.” Thaddeus paused for a moment. “It’s the dank, dark, deep web, Steven. No-one goes there. It’s fine.”

Just then Thaddeus looked up in greeting to a man hurrying towards them.


 
So, what do you think? I plan to return to “Monsters Anonymous” sometime. I’m writing on a children’s book called “Dungeon Detectives” about a trio of kids who go on adventures in the ruins below the city streets. Maybe I’ll share some of that next time. Thanks for reading! 🎃
Posted by Carl in Literature, 0 comments

Urban Fantasy Bestiary

I may not ever get around to watching all those movies. And if I did watch then and decided to write about it afterwards, what would I be adding to the world of horror and urban fantasy?

I tell you what, though: I’ve played some board games, done a few drawings, and started two novels since the last time I posted here.

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As much as it pains me to say it, I am a grown-up. I have a day job. I used to tell people I’m a stay-at-home-dad, but then they’d ask me how I managed to swing that and oh it must be nice taking it easy all day would I mind swapping careers real quick. And I won’t lie to you. I’d rather be a househusband housecarl than do a “real” job. But let’s not be silly here. Homemaker is a real job. At least I hope it is. I’ve filled that in on my tax returns for about 9 years now.

Work gets in the way of hobbies. That’s what Urban Creep is, a hobby. It’s been hard to figure out what to do with this website. My original idea was to share some pictures I liked or maybe post snippets from stories I was working on. But it sort of morphed into something else. My plans became too big for just one person, but I wasn’t able to figure out how to include other people in the creative process. So I stopped working on it altogether.

Well, it’s time to get back to basics! Today I’m announcing a new part of Urban Creep – The Urban Fantasy Bestiary! Slowly, over the next few months I’m going to draw pictures of some of my favorite monsters. I might even do a little write-up for each. The idea is to draw classic monsters in modern settings and collect them into a kind of encyclopedia of monsters. A sort of “where are they now.” Below are some scribblings from earlier today. More to come, eventually.

Working on some new ideas for Urban Creep. Looking forward to working out the details. #hiatusover #notes #notebooks

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Goblin girl scout sketches #goblingirlscout #goblin #girl scout #sketches #thumbnails #UrbanFantasyBestiary #urbanfantasy

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Urban Fantasy Bestiary No. 1 – Goblin #workinprogress #wip #UrbanFantasyBestiary #goblin #goblingirlscout

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Thanks for reading! Do check the Urban Creep Instagram feed for updates as they happen. I’m planning on making it a place I post my original stuff and less of a “repost central.” I’ve already started to ink the goblin girl scout. I’ll post more updates once I start coloring her in.🎃

Posted by Carl in Art, News, 0 comments

The List – Coming Soon

IPennywise‘ve mentioned before that used to be scared pretty much all the time. These days it manifests in bursts of anxiety-fueled panic. When I was a child it was a looming dread that crept in, especially at night. Horror movies did a lot of that. I didn’t see too many scary films back then. The “Horror” section at my local video store with its rows of battered cardboard and plastic clam shell VHS covers was enough to get my imagination whirring.

Today I still haven’t seen many horror films. A while back I asked my
friends what to watch to get a kick-start in horror. They gave me some great choices. And I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Thanks to the war on Halloween I was able to view Krampus a few months early this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and decided it might be time to give The List a try. Here’s what I came up with.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

The Thing (1982)

The Thing (1982)

Ju-on: The Grudge

Ju-on: The Grudge

Psycho

Psycho

The Shining

The Shining

Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In

Jaws

Jaws

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

The Babadook

The Babadook

 

I’ll be sure to make a proper announcementChest Burster when I start watching. I’m not sure what shape the reactions will take. Hopefully a format will present itself while I watch. Stay tuned.

 

 


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Posted by Carl in Film & TV, 1 comment

Monster Monday – Krampus

There is no war on Christmas. If anything, there’s a war on Halloween. “What are you talking about, Carl?” I hear you ask. “Did you take your medicine this weekend? I know you forget sometimes when there’s a break in your routine.” Thanks for looking out for me, but no I’m not crazy or under-medicated. As least not any more than usual.

Last week I decided to give ye olde Netflix DVD service a try again. It’s been several years (the address they had for me was crazy ancient) since I dropped my last Netflix envelope in the postbox. Anyway, I figured renting DVDs (instead of buying them) was the best way to watch TV shows that haven’t made it onto Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

I constructed a decent DVD list and placed 2015’s “Krampus” a few months in so I might receive it around Christmas time. Well, looks like Netflix is keen on Christmas coming early this year, because they sent me “Krampus” ahead of an entire anime series and a movie franchise I was hoping to catch up on. YAY?

It was probably for the best. I’m a big chicken. And I’d been putting off watching horror films recently. I mean, I was talking about maybe getting around to watching something scary, but the films and TV episodes that “Krampus” leap-frogged were not creepy. I polled some of my horror-movie-buff friends a while back regarding a list of films I should watch to write about. “Carl, why do you have a website about creepy things if you are such a scaredy cat?” It’s a really good question. I don’t really have an answer.

Anyway, the list my friends came up with was not very long (all of them suggested “The Babadook,” for example), but it did look terrifying. “Krampus,” on the other hand, looked manageable. And this past Friday I had no more excuses. Krampus was sitting next to my Blu-ray player in its little red envelope. So I watched. And it was wonderful.

But this isn’t a movie review. This is Monster Monday. And this Monday I have decided to showcase some Krampus art. Enjoy

Krampus by FStitz on DeviantArt

Krampus by FStitz on DeviantArt

Krampus by Hungrysparrow on DeviantArt

Krampus by Hungrysparrow on DeviantArt

Meet The Krampus by prosurvival on DeviantArt

Meet The Krampus by prosurvival on DeviantArt

Mythical Monday 23 – Krampus by Gregg Gunn

A Krampus In My Stylus by JeffLeeJohnson on DeviantArt

A Krampus In My Stylus
by JeffLeeJohnson on DeviantArt

The above image is a throw-back to this past Christmas when I made Krampus cards for my friends.

I hope you enjoyed this Super Early Christmas edition of Monster Monday. I promise not to mention Christmas again until after November.


All media linked or displayed here is the property of the original creators and copyright holders.

Posted by Carl in Art, Film & TV, 1 comment
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