You know, I spent a good portion of my free time this afternoon looking for details related to this question. It’s pleasantly odd to find the question posed tonight in my inbox, as well. :)
I found that last image I posted of Nyarlathotep while attempting to track down some explanation for the tentacle-head/face. I mean, it’s a striking depiction, of course; I just, until now, had no idea know where it began and couldn’t find a clear answer by simply following my normal routes through Joshi and Price or through the legacy/Mythos writers that followed HPL.
My intuition screamed “Derleth” and always does when something appears to be from the Lovecraft texts but isn’t and can’t be tied to the RPG world—and I don’t mean to sound disrespectful towards Derleth in saying that. It’s just that it often seems to be the case for me when I’ve gone searching for something presented in a very specific, repeated way yet totally absent from HPL’s writing. I can’t say that I’m a passionate fan of Derleth or that, in all honesty, I’ve read much of him at all, so I don’t feel comfortable in presenting “Derleth” as the final answer to the question, if that makes sense. Actually, it wasn’t until I combined “Nyarlathotep and Derleth” as a search parameter that I came across this article (link).
To the point, I have no idea if there were other influences that lead to this particular portrayal beyond “The Dweller in Darkness.” This article plays fast and loose with sourcing, of course, as we all do when blogging. It is well-written, though, thoughtful, and worth a look. If anyone has more background to share, it would be more than welcome here. And thank you, skincube, for the fantastic question.
Iä! Iä! Yog-Sothoth!
This question has always bothered me, and I always suspected it might be related to August Derleth. While reading the linked article I remembered The Thing in the Moonlight, a creepy dream Lovecraft wrote about in a letter, about a cone-faced creep who chases him in a train yard. So I think Derleth might have been influenced by that… The dream was later written into a short story by another author.
I’ve been wanting to do a Thing in the Moonlight mini-comic for a long time now but I’m not sure how much trouble I would get in seeing as how its not by Lovecraft, and I’m unclear of its copyright status. Perhaps some of my lovecraft-fan readers might clue me in?
Thanks to wilburwhately for answering me. Great blog!
I always feel a little weird posting pics of me on the internet. I rarely draw self-portraits too. But there’s one a few posts below this one. I have a little more facial hair now.
There’s a little bit of me in each of my characters in some way or another. But it’s not something I try to do consciously. I don’t think I’m very good at writing characters. I try to keep them vague so the audience can slip into the situation more easily. I’ve been trying to change that with some of the stuff I’ve been working on recently, just to see if I can do both.
Thanks for the question!
Probably. The earliest memories I have of drawing are from when I was a small child. The earliest memory of anything I drew was a crude drawing of a UFO with a desk lamp sticking out of the side. I kept it for the longest time. I wish I still had it.