Drawing Cthulhurotica: Thoughts from Art Director Galen Dara

Last year Carrie approached me about doing some illustrations for a new anthology she was putting together:  Cthulhurotica. A collection of Lovecraft-inspired tales with a healthy dose of Whoopee. The place where Sex and Madness meet.

How was I supposed to resist that??

Embarrassing admission: up till that point I didn’t know a whole lot about Lovecraft, so I got busy learning a few things. Well, I still can’t pronounce ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Nor have I yet read a copious amount of Lovecraft himself.  But I have gained a healthy respect for those dark elder gods and I have read some fabulous fiction inspired by their original tales.

Part of my education was to see how other artists had rendered the creatures and landscapes of the Lovecraftian universe: Cthulhu, Deep Ones, etc. (In addition, there’s a good amount of erotic content out there involving tentacles.  No, I’m not linking to them.)  Many artists have used pigment and pixels to bring Lovecraft’s monsters to life.  It was a dark and delicious journey poking my way through those varied creations, picking up slimy tidbits along the way.

I drew three illustrations for Cthulhurotica using pen and ink on Bristol paper. They were not tied directly to any of the stories but based on the general concept of the book.  Carrie and I did a bit of back and forth on ideation and appearance, then they were placed in the book following stories that had similar themes.

click on the image for a larger version

After publication I had the opportunity to be in the World Horror Con art show and I revisited the original B&W illustrations to digitally re-create full color versions:

click on the image for a larger version

For the up-coming re-release of Cthulhurotica we are adding more art to the collection, and this time I’ll be doing illustrations specific to some of the stories.  I love this part: getting into the stories, finding that scene or that image and trying to capture it visually.  It’s wonderful to be cozying up to Cthulhu again.

(And now, I really must learn to pronounce ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.)

New Art Director!

We are so pleased to announce that Galen Dara has taken over as our Art Director. She has previously worked with us on interior art for Cthulhurotica, and she created the beautiful cover for our upcoming FISH anthology. She will be working with our Publisher, Carrie Cuinn, and various artists, to stock our titles with just the right images. She will, we are certain, do an amazing job.

Just look at what she’s given us already:

Cover Art: IN SITU

We are pleased to present the cover for our second title, IN SITU:

(click to embiggen)

The cover was created by Oliver Wetter, who also did the cover art for Cthulhurotica!

Oliver designed this custom image from “You’ll Always Have The Burden With You“, by Ken Liu, which appears in the book. Ken was kind enough to work with the artist on design elements so we could have a cover which captures unique details from his story while still retaining the classic sci-fi look we were going for.

Thanks again, Ken and Oliver!

Feb 2011 Sales Donated to Help Japan Relief Efforts

On behalf of our staff and contributors, Dagan Books has donated the proceeds from our February 2011 sales (both print and e-book) to the Red Cross. This donation goes directly toward assisting, in a small way, the relief efforts underway in Japan.

If you have not yet donated, and can, please do so by clicking the image below:

Thank you.

New Staff: Galen Dara, Artist

Galen Dara

We are so pleased to announce that Galen Dara, the darkly brilliant artist who created three images for Cthulhurotica and who is currently drawing even more for IN SITU, has agreed to join us as a staff artist! While her work may not appear in every Dagan Books production, having her as our Staff Artist means that we are committed to including her amazing imagery as often as possible. As our company evolves into the next phase, she’s exactly the kind of artist – and person – we want to have involved in our projects.

When asked why she wanted to work with us, Ms. Dara said, “Dagan Books has provided me the opportunity to interact and work with some really amazing writers.  I very much look forward to what new devilry will be created and am thrilled to get my hands in it.”

We are thrilled to have her talented hands involved in the future of our art.

Geographic Breakdown of Contributors

Of the 39 unique contributors for our first two books:

US States

Arizona: 1

Arkansas: 1

California: 5

Georgia: 1

Hawaii: 1

Illinois: 1 (Chicago)

Kansas: 2

Massachusets: 2 (Boston)

Missouri: 1

Montana: 1

Nevada: 1

New York: 2 (NYC: 1)

Ohio: 1

Oregon: 4

Pennsylvania: 1 (Philadelphia)

Utah: 1

Virginia: 3

Washington: 6 (specifically, Seattle: 4)

Non-US Countries:

Australia: 1

Canada: 1

Germany: 1

UK: 2

Release rights for non-competing markets

Please note:

Upon written request and at the judgement of the publisher, Dagan Books will release the reprint rights to its contributors for sales to “best of” anthologies or to non-competing markets, usually defined as a market which will not charge readers to access the work and which will include information about how to purchase the book from us, or a link to our website, or similar.

It is our intention to see our authors and artist succeed above all else.