My Cthulhu Idol project begins. So if you’ve read any of my blog you should know by now that I’m a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan. Something about a vast unknowable universe that is filled with horrors and doesn’t care about us puny humans in the least really speaks to me. Well one of the more interesting things about Lovecraftian fandom is the props people make regarding them.
Specifically I’m talking about the Legrasse Cthulhu Idol from H.P. Lovecrafts “Call of Cthulhu.” I’ve always wanted one. A Cthulhu Idol on my work desk is the ultimate way to show my allegiance to dark unknowable alien gods from beyond time and space. So I looked around the interwebs and there are plenty of them out there. But I’m weird, I want to make my own. I like to sculpt models and this seems like the perfect excuse to make one of these things and if I do a good enough job maybe cast it and reproduce it in resin for the store. That’s pretty much the Genesis for this project.
I’ll be posting up pictures of my progress regularly. Feel free to comment, critique, and generally heckle the crap out of my own version of a Cthulhu Idol.
The Legrasse Cthulhu Idol
Here’s a description of this horrifying object from “Call of Cthulhu”
The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block, the seat occupied the centre, whilst the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way down toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher’s elevated knees. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like, and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable; yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation’s youth—or indeed to any other time. Totally separate and apart, its very material was a mystery; for the soapy, greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. The characters along the base were equally baffling; and no member present, despite a representation of half the world’s expert learning in this field, could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. They, like the subject and material, belonged to something horribly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it; something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part.
Weird and creepy right? I know it makes me want one too. Below I have a picture of a sketch of the Cthulhu Idol that H.P. Lovecraft himself drew.
Now I’m going to be honest with you. While I love Lovecraft’s writings I think that as a artist he is less than awesome. In now way, shape, or form does that sketch inspire alien dread or maddening visions mankind was not meant to know. It kinda looks goofy. Sorry, Lovecraft. Stick to the writing.
My Own Cthulhu Idol
So I started sketching out my own idea for what i thought an horrifying Lovecraftian Old One should look like. I kept it as close to I could to his sketch, but hopefully creepier. Below is my compromise design. Hopefully faithful to the text, but a little less cartoony. I’ll be using this as a guide while I sculpt my own.
Check back often to see my progress.