The Return of Pumpkinspice II: Eclectic Boogaloo

Guess who’s back…again! The Return of Pumpkinspice returns. This sequel finds one unlucky barista in the clutches of that most evil and addictive of flavor profiles.

Can he resist? Will he survive?

Or will he roam the streets forever, another spice-addled zombie, spreading this cafe contagion, this doughnut disease, this venti virus?

But seriously folks, I tried to resist. I really did. It was early. I was groggy and borderline hangry. One thing led to another and I did it. I consumed a pumpkin donut.

Now hear me out, if I didn’t have all those calories, I probably couldn’t have made it through the work day to come home and finish this illustration you see above.

This is a follow up to probably my favorite piece from last year, maybe you’ve seen it. I’ve been mulling this over for a few months. I don’t know if there’ll be another one next year, I’m running out of spice-related puns.

I’m not really a shameless self-promoter, nor a shameless elf-promoter, or a stainless shelf unloader. But I do have some original designs on tee-shirts and mugs and such over at my redbubble.com shop. Check it out if you’re in the market for some bit of weird merch.

Some Art and Updates

Forgive me followers, I have sinned, it’s been about six months since my last blog post.

I set myself some ambitious goals at the start of the year. But then I promptly forgot them, made some new goals, gave up on those, circled back to the first ones, fell into a creative slump, told myself that I need to just read more, got a second creative wind, decided to study French (pas pour la première fois), thought more about the original goals, binge-watched the second season of Mindhunter on Netflix, I had a turkey sandwich, and now I am here. Maybe just a quick nap first…

I’m not going to lie, the past six months haven’t been completely devoid of creative work, but I always feel like I should be doing more.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on the wrong path.

I’d like to share some stuff I’ve been working on recently. That hideous scene of eldritch horrors above is one of a handful of things added to my portfolio page. If anyone is in need of any Lovecraftian artwork for a book cover or to accompany any short stories, please let me know. I’d love to find some creative people to collaborate with!

I go through periods in which I focus on one medium to the detriment of all others. You could say I become obsessed. I recently decided again to work on this polymer clay maquette above, which I had started about three years ago. This is one of my latest goals, to finish this vulture goddess sculpt soon. We’ll see what happens.

A little time-lapse sneak peek.

The video above is my most recent work-in-progress, a follow up to probably my favorite piece from last year. Definitely the spiciest from last year. This is one of the last steps after the ink and watercolors have dried, the removal of the masking fluid. I should probably start the time-lapse recording a bit earlier next time, I’m just never confident enough that the piece will be successful.

Stay tuned for the finished piece and hopefully some other new weirdness.

À bientôt!

To my wife, happy 9-3/4!

Woman running with cart carrying her luggage and cat at platform 9-3/4 in Kings Cross Station.

I want to share something a little more personal than usual. Above is an illustration I made for my wife’s birthday. She is both a leap year baby and a Harry Potter fan. This year we celebrated 9-3/4 by visiting London and I wanted to give her something to commemorate the trip in the style of J.K. Rowling’s illustrations.

The Return of Pumpkinspice!

pumpkinspice monster ink watercolor art

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the coffee shop…

I’ve been mulling this one over for a few years now and I’m very happy to finally bring this creepy guy to life while it’s still a viable flavor profile.  I had some trouble settling on a tagline for this imaginary horror movie.

“Revenge is a dish best served spiced!”

“In spice, no one can hear you scream.”

You guys have any suggestions?

My Book’s First Review!

I am pleased as punch to share my book’s first official review! The fine folks over at SciFiandScary.com were kind enough to take the time to check it out.

You can read the review here.

If you’re a fan of science fiction and horror, I recommend that you spend some time there and then subscribe. I’ve discovered quite a few new books that I now must read and movies that I must watch.

It_Came_from_the_Basement Cover
Check out my book on Amazon

 

 

It Came from the Basement!

Forgive me if you’ve seen it already, but I nearly forgot to mention this here on my own blog. I have a new book available! Below is the description from Amazon:

It_Came_from_the_Bas_Cover_for_Kindle

” It Came from the Basement is an illustrated, inky homage to monsters and monster movies accompanied by a collection of thirty-one ridiculous rhymes to make you laugh uncomfortably in the night.

Darkly humorous, M. R. Kessell’s It Came from the Basement lies somewhere between Edward Gorey’s The Gashleycrumb Tinies and Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy.

Intended for the monster kid in all of us.”

Available in print and Kindle format on Amazon.com

You may have seen here on my blog that I published a new creepy illustration and rhyme each day of October 2017 in celebration of my love of Halloween. I’ve spent the past few months cleaning up and compiling all of it into this weird little book.

I am self-published and totally independent. Please check it out or pass it along if you or someone you know is a Monster Kid too!

 

Nothing of Value

His empty hands dripped with sweat as he approached the altar on his knees. The creature with a million dead eyes was waiting, its many orifices watering, towering over the small human.

“I know that you crave constant stimulation,” he said, “and you demand new content continuously,” he put his hands up, “but as an artist, I just can’t do it. I have nothing of value to offer today.”

The beast reared back and howled, pulling taut the thousands of cables running from its body. It thrashed. It shrieked. Drops of saliva rained down. The artist shielded his head and vital organs, anticipating a swift yet painful execution.

But the beast turned away, laughing and gurgling, distracted by another’s offering; something loud, flashy, and viral. That would buy the artist some more time.

He crawled into a dark corner of the temple, where, being enveloped by the whirring of giant cooling fans, he could have a moment to just be human and think.

Oh, There They Are!

Going uptown, the F train was packed. With my back to the doors, I stood, studying people’s footwear. A baby wailed. Some teenage girls chittered like squirrels. A garlicky dude was barking into his cell phone.

Across the way, an older man faced outward, his nose pressed to the glass, grocery bags swaying at his sides. As we hurtled through the dark tunnel, he cried out:

“Oh, there they are”—everyone else on the train got quiet—“those teenage mutant ninja turtles. Workin’ on the tracks.”

I smiled as we rode on in silence.