Saturday, April 22, 2017

Steampunk Heaven - Smitty's Antique Museum, Mayer AZ

Steampunk heaven.  No other way to describe it.

Smitty's Antique Museum in Mayer, Arizona (formerly known as Smitty's Big Barn of Antiques and Collectibles) looks like any other roadside knick-knack stop along the highways of America - from the outside.  But once you step inside, it has the largest selection of some of the rarest, and highest quality, antiques I have ever seen.  It is by far the best place in Arizona.  I have never seen a collection of items so vast in my life.  They put all the spoiled Richie Rich spots like Scottsdale and Paradise Valley to shame.

When I stepped inside the phonograph room I fell in love.  And this picture is just of one half of the room.  I couldn't fit the other wall or the ones beside me into the picture.  And the host of upright record players in the front room.  And the next room full of vintage radios that have to be around 100 years old.  And all the Victorian furniture.  I should have taken more pictures.  Especially of the big collection of vintage hand-cranked wall phones and the giant, ancient, industrial switching board.

"Smitty's store, perched on the Big Bug Creek in Mayer, features 13 rooms, 30,000 sq. ft., filled with 10,000 items encompassing everything one can imagine - figurines from Hummel to Precious Moments, autographed cereal boxes, clocks tiny to grandfather, slot machines, lamps and neon bar lights, furniture, including an interesting set made of cow skin and horns, pedal cars, model cars and Matchbox cars, Coca Cola memorabilia, pinball machines, music makers of every kind, fine china and glassware, silverware, and, well, you get the picture. There is not enough time in a day for a person to see everything - the place is an antique overload." --Daily Courier, Prescott AZ

It can be hard to see the exit from the highway, as Smitty's literally sits lower than the Big Bug Creek overpass.  But they have some tables and chairs set up below the overpass next to creek (one with real, running water - something you don't always find in Arizona) which made for a nice rest stop and the kids loved looking for "cool rocks" and playing in the creek.

It's a hidden steampunk paradise that is only about an hour and ten minutes north of Phoenix.  Even if you can't afford to buy anything it's well worth the day trip to pay them a visit a see all the incredible antiques they have.  It is truly like stepping back into a bygone era.

Smitty's Antique Museum
11135 S State Rt 69
Mayer, AZ 86333

Friday, December 30, 2016

NOT Virgin Mary, Holy Octomother of Cthulhu

She is known by many names around the internet - Virgin Mary Holy Octomother of Cthulhu, Octo-Mary full of grace, Tentacle Mary - patron saint of the Detroit Red Wings, Octopussy, Hail [Mother] Hydra, as well as numerous iterations.  But they are all WRONG!  It is the sad state of the internet generation that they would rather retweet than research.  Some idiot on tumblr posted it with a made up name and no link or mention of the artist, then it got reposted, then the same happened on 9gag, reddit, and twitter.

Know your tentacles!

She is Notre Dame du Poulpe - Our Lady of the Octopus.
Created by French artist Soasig Chamaillard

Here is a direct link to her page on the artist's website:  Our Lady of the Octopus

She has done a ton of variations with the Mary icon,
"I grew up in a Western Christian society.  My perspective on life has been a result of my environment and background.
The playful interaction of society's many icons, physical transformations, and the resulting improbably combinations, have culminated in my vision of a woman's role and place in our society.
This inner questioning of a woman's role has led me to use one of the most sacred icons in my work, namely, the Virgin Mary.
Initially, I began with damaged statues, either donated or discovered in garage sales, which I then restore and transform.
I surely do not mean to shock those who believe but rather to move those who see."

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

10/6 is Mad Hatter Day!

10/6 is Mad Hatter Day!

October 6th marks the holiday of Mad Hatter Day.  The Mad Hatter is from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (though commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland).  He wears a top hat with a card in the headband labeled 10/6.  In the original illustrations from the book, the card reads "In this style 10/6" and is actually a price tag that means "10 shillings and a sixpence."  This is explained in The Nursery Alice by Lewis Carroll, "The Hatter used to carry about hats to sell: and even the one that he's got on his head is meant to be sold.  You see it's got its price marked on it-a "10" and a "6"-that means "ten shillings and sixpence."  Wasn't that a funny way of selling hats?"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jack and Sally - Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack and Sally - Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack and Sally - Nightmare Before Christmas

Possibly the most shared meme of Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, and definitely one of the best pieces of fan art of those two fateful characters. It took me years of hunting through uncredited blog listings, degraded copy-and-reposts, and reversed image searches, to finally find the artist and the source image.

Artist Name: Lulu Inthesky
Real Name: Laetitia Lamblin
Main Site:

This is the original, unedited version

This is the meme version that went viral.  Obviously, the motivational succor of "Your soulmate is the person who mends your Broken Heart, by simply giving you, Theirs," complete with the internet generation's poor grammar, was added.  Though it is a great sentiment and I'm sure helped with its viral nature, I somehow doubt the editor of the image also wrote the verse.

Here are some of her early pencil/shading works whose style I prefer. Her work has evolved towards a cleaner/pen-and-ink style which I think becomes more common, more mainstream, too mid-20th century cartoonish, and not nearly as creative or as beautiful as her earlier work. Artists change, you just can't trust 'em. ;) 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Got a Bad Case of the Horribly Wrongs

Got a Bad Case of the Horribly Wrongs

Classic horror and punk rock meet the Cthulhu Mythos.

Someone, or something, wants Veronica's blood.

With the help of their friends the rare book collector occult wars mercenary and the masked luchador repoman bounty hunter bouncer, Veronica and her bandmates in the Horribly Wrongs horror rock band must take the ultimate road trip to Hell from their home in the Phoenix wasteland and stop the Big Pharma madman who is creating *things* in a secret lab somewhere in the lost bayous of Louisiana.

Can they make it out of Texas alive? What horrors await them? Are they ever going to release a new album?

The intro to Got a Bad Case of the Horribly Wrongs is a standard classic horror tale of monster movies and rock 'n' roll then hits you with a blistering chorus of biopunk body horror before crescendoing in an insanity-inducing ending of Lovecraftian nightmares. Features guest vocals by one of your favorite mad gods.

This is the first novel in the Oblivion Hearts setting, a world based on the author's real encounters with Yog-Sothoth as detailed in the unholy book Astronomicon minorem and is what inspired him to create the First United Church of Cthulhu – the only real and legally recognized nonprofit religious organization whose faith is based on the Cthulhu Mythos and the visions of our mad prophet H. P. Lovecraft. Find the church at FUCC.IT

Kill Those Damn Cats - Cats of Ulthar Lovecraftian Anthology

Kill Those Damn Cats - Cats of Ulthar Lovecraftian Anthology
Available in Paperback or Kindle eBook

“Kill those damn cats!” Nyarlathotep commanded.

The machinations of cats and mad gods are beyond human understanding.

Kill Those Damn Cats is a Lovecraftian anthology about the Cats of Ulthar, new stories of those furious felines' heroic adventures as well as their nefarious misdeeds.

Everybody's got a story about those cats.

Includes tales from young up-and-coming authors as well as Cthulhu Mythos veterans.

“Wilful Creatures” by DJ Tyrer
“Nix's Night About Town” by Nicholas Diak
“The Daughters of Bastet” by James Pratt
“Dot” by Mark P. Steele
“A Story for the Zoogs” by William J. Wallace
“Rise, Cats, Rise” by S. L. Kerns
“The Dark Thicket” by Jason Scott Aiken
“The Uninvited Guest” by Rohit Sawant
“In These Dark Woods” by J. M. Heluk
“The Law of Unintended Consequences” by Kevin Wetmore
“Thimble Hearts and Tamarind Eyes” by Kris Dikeman
“Jangling the Silver Keys” by Khurt Khave

Available in Paperback or Kindle eBook.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Urban Temples of Cthulhu - Modern Mythos Anthology

 published by the
First United Church of Cthulhu
Lovecraft for the 21st century.  We are the future of the Mythos.

 In the dark recesses of the world's cities lie the hidden altars and secret cathedrals dedicated to the blasphemous beings from out of space and time. And they want in!

Features the work of prominent horror authors,
many already with published Cthulhu Mythos material.

“Little Gods” by James Pratt
“Sects and the Single Girl” by Steven A. Roman
“The Kings in Rebel Yellow” by Khurt Khave
“The Face of God Within” by Brian H. Seitzman
“The Black Metal of Derek Zann” by Aaron Besson
“Cosmic Cavity; or, the Mouth of Man” by Carl R. Jennings
“Along the Shore of Old Ridge” by Stuart Conover
“Sleep Talking” by Jeff C. Stevenson
“Matriarch of Skid Row” by M. C. Bluhm
“Uncle Lovecraft: The Complete Oral History” by David Acord
“Strange Communion” by Allen Griffin
“Death in the Sunset” by Guy Riessen
“The Abomination of St. Jude” by David F. Gray
“Flesh-Bound Shadow Sun” by M. S. Swift
“Doorstepping” by Kelda Crich
“Saturday Night at the Esoteric Order of Dagon” by Jill Hand
“City of our Lady, Queen of the Angels,
Virgin Mother of a Thousand Young” by Kevin Wetmore
“Warm Red Sea” by Jaap Boekestein

I also edited the anthology.  The Kings in Rebel Yellow is one of my favorite stories that I have written.  I will definitely be continuing on with those characters.  I can't wait to find out what kind of chaos and madness they get involved in.

 You can find the First United Church of Cthulhu at FUCC.IT

Available in paperback or eBook: