Spit Up Blood, When You Cough

I've been sitting on this one for a few days because I've just been too busy to write about it. I also probably should have waited to post it with color so you could make out the text but whatever. This is a shirt for my buddy Carol's store. I made one for her last year and she thought it would be cool to have another design for this summer (her store is at the shore, so she gets summer business). I'm always happy to do things for friends who tell me to draw whatever I want and pay me in records!

I decided to do a drawing of a medium expressing ectoplasm through her nose and mouth. Here are some close ups:

The whole design is supposed to be roughly heart-shaped which you can see a little better in this photo:
The practice of producing "ectoplasm" was fairly common for physical mediums and is supposed to be a physical manifestation of a spirit presence. It's often described as "gauze-like" because....it was gauze, produced from the nose, mouth, ears and well...crotches of mediums garnishing their showmanship with something physical, and was often the subject of spiritualist trick photography. Here are some of those photographs:

This is the medium Mrs. Mary Marshall producing an ectoplasmic apparition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was an avid spiritualist and active participant in the movement.

"These emanations are reportedly warm to the touch and often are reported as thick, clotted, mucus-like substances. They can be rubbery and dough-like and emerge from a body orifice, such as the mouth, ears or nose but can also come from the eyes, navel, nipples and even the vagina. The structure of the ectoplasm varied from clouds and veils, to thin rods, membranes and heavy masses. Ectoplasm was also reported to disappear when exposed to light and would snap back violently. Touching the ectoplasm, or exposing it to light, was said to be able to cause injury to the medium. This was one of the reasons that mediums insisted that séances should take place in near darkness and that sitters should not approach the mediums or the emanations that had formed. "
-from "The Haunted Museum"

The practice of producing ectoplasm was investigated and declared a fraud by Harry Houdini who made it his mission to uncover spiritualist hoaxes using his personal knowledge of the art of illusion. Most famously he made an arrangement with his wife to contact her through a medium and deliver a secret code phrase ("Rosabelle believe") post mortem, an arrangement which she upheld for ten years after his death. Naturally his spirit never appeared, proving his point. He had also contacted H.P. Lovecraft about writing a piece debunking superstition together but it was never completed. However, if you're interested in the extremely weird results of their collaboration in fiction check out Under the Pyramids, a short story based on a "real life experience" Houdini claims to have had. You can listen to the H.P. Podcraft podcast on the story here.

If you're interesting in ghost photography, this is a really good website to poke around in (I actually saw a corresponding exhibit of this photography in NY about 5 years ago), and if you're interested in the bizarre, fraudulent and occasionally thoughtful and earnest attempts made by science and the spiritualists to quantify, explain, and make contact with spirits in the afterlife I would recommend Mary Roach's book Spook (I probably have already).

If you're in Philadelphia, or will be soon check out Mike's show at Grindcore House (opening tonight). It's all work from his ongoing obsessive project where he draws basically every creature ever mentioned by Lovecraft.
You can also follow this project on his blog, http://www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com/.

Hey this is my 100th post!


Second Verse, Same As The First

Well, if you didn't catch it, blogger went apeshit last week and lost a whole bunch of stuff. This was perfectly timed with the long winded, link laden post I had just made about my recent trip. I'll do my best to recall what I wrote, but I don't have it in me to go all out and recreate the original so I'm just going to blow through these pictures:
Tomb entrance at Newgrange, Valley of the River Boyne, Ireland. Newgrange is part of the Brú na Bóinne complex of megalithic tombs. These would be the oldest man made structures I have ever seen (they predate the pyramids-not that I've seen those), they are astrologically aligned and contain much of the existing megalithic stone art in the world. This is the only tomb in the complex that you can enter all the way back to the burial chamber.
Knowth, Valley of the River Boyne, Ireland. Unlike Newgrange which is one large tomb, this is a whole complex of smaller tomb mounds with one larger mound. They actually have it set up so you can climb onto the top of the largest mound like people would have when it was in use. There's also tons of stone carving art here.
At the Rock of Cashel in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. This place was amazing and crow infested and had pretty much everything I like all at once. That's me really tiny.
The ruins of the Hore Abbey, also in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. We had this pretty much to ourselves at dusk to scramble around and climb on and poke around the cemetery.
Virgin Mary statue in an Irish Cemetery.
"Aideen's Grave" a dolmen in the middle of a forest filled with huge tree height rhodedendrons, weirdly situated next to a golf course in Howth, Ireland.
Here's a crappy secret photo of the vault at St. Michan's in Dublin, Ireland, where bodies interred there in stacked coffins were naturally mummified because of the conditions in the crypt. It was here that a guide offered us an opportunity to TOUCH THE MUMMY of a crusader (for luck?!). Mike and I pretty much climbed over each other to get to it. They also have the execution order and bodies of participants of the 1798 Rebellion there.
Impressive Gothic vaulted ceiling of the abbey in Bath, England. It had a really weird unique carved facade I couldn't get a good picture of also, but check it out here.
The head of the Sulis Minerva statue from the Roman Bath ruins in Bath, England. One of my favorite things at this site was the folded metal plates with curses scratched into them that were found in the baths. People would write curses against people who wronged them and throw them into the bath in order to seek vengeance from the goddess.
The crypt at St. Leonard's Church in Hythe, Kent, England. This place was pretty amazing and neatly maintained. One of the skulls had a birds nest in it! We actually got here on the day of a wedding and had to wait for someone to let us into the crypt before the last bus out of the town left, and ended up lurking hard while the couple were taking their wedding photos.
Another picture from the crypt because it was so cool.

Anyway, I've been back for a bit now and finished up a tshirt design I'll post in full later this week. Here's a quick little sneak preview of it:


I Was A Teenage Dinosaur Stoned And Obsolete

Hey I'm back from my trip (more on that later) and the first thing I did was complete an interview sent to me by Jaime over at The Living Doorway. We've been babbling like weirdos since he asked me to draw him a header for the site and he decided to interview me which is super flattering! Check it out and then poke around his site if you're interesting in downloading records (metal) and reading hilarious reviews peppered with pictures of cute dogs!