Tuesday, April 29, 2014

PETE VON SHOLLY'S HISTORY OF MONSTERS


Got a spare 30 feet of wall space? Got a couple hundred bucks? If you said "Yes" to both, then I suggest you purchase what is sure to become a milestone in the history of monster movies. And just what is this monstrous, historical work of art, you ask? Why, Pete Von Sholly's HISTORY OF MONSTERS, of course!

Each panel of artwork connects with the other to create a timeline of monster movies. Having obtained one from Pete at this year's MONSTERPALOOZA, I can tell you that these things are amazing. Pete's a swell guy and deserves the best of success with this labor of love. I can't think of a single work that comes close to this concept. Utterly original and visually stunning, Pete Von Sholly's HISTORY OF MONSTERS is guaranteed to look good on the wall of any living room, garage, or crypt. Check out the Hyaena Gallery in Burbank, CA for details on how to purchase.



Pete spent a few moments away from the drawing board to answer a few questions for MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD: 

What gave you the idea to embark on such an ambitious project?
       Foolishness and denial as to how much WORK it was going to be! I doubt I’d have undertaken if I had really realized just how big and all-consuming it was going to become! Anyway… I have always noticed there’s a lineage of monsters from mythology to fiction to film and culture… It just seemed like an interesting history to explore visually and chronologically. I started by asking myself- what were the first monsters? (After deciding that monsters, for my purposes, were creations of human imagination, thereby excluding predatory animals, human murderers and so on) So I figured the original monsters were what our earliest ancestors feared what might be lurking outside in the darkness. In the unknown, as they sat by the comforting light of their fire… this would give rise to all forms of mythology, all over the world. Then we move to the middle ages with witches and demons and dragons and so on, then fiction (Jules Verne, H.G.Wells, A.C. Doyle on so on, then pulp fiction (Burroughs, Howard, Smith, Lovecraft- who gets his own whole section) and finally movies starting with the earliest ones and progressing over the decades, with a sidestep into animation and comics. Then there’s a section of cryptological beings and we finally arrive back at the campfire, today, telling stories and thinking there are dark and scary things out there in the night- kind of a bookending effect, saying in effect that we haven’t really changed all that much. 

How many hours do you think you put into it, from conception to completion?
No way to guess! I’ve been adding to this for about three or four years since I started it. And I continue to add! Not all the time- I work on it here and there which also makes it hard to count hours.

      Describe your technique and media for the project (paint, ink, scanning, computer coloring)?
I draw everything on paper with pencil, scan it and color and assemble in photoshop- when I use photos for sources I simply import them and paint new images over them for speed and accuracy. But it’s all artwork in the end.

      What is your favorite era from the timeline of monsters?
All of it! No, really! But I guess there’s nostalgia for the fifties and sixties since that’s when I was introduced to the world of monsters by reading Famous Monsters and Lovecraft’s fiction, plus watching Harryhausen movies and everything that was playing locally and on tv  that I could during those years. Went crazy for King Kong, of course. I was sad when they left the island for New York. I could have stayed on Skull Island forever!

      What’s next from the creative mind of Pete Von Sholly?
Well, PS Publishing in Merrie Olde England is putting out a series called the Lovecraft Library, starting this  month- these are several of the most seminal Lovecraft texts, augmented with lots of new color illustrations that I recently did, and assorted cool goodies and extras, then a book of my gag cartoons (heavy on the monsters natch) and book called the Fabulous Fictioneers, a History of the Incredible which features over 100 portraits of great artists, writers, cartoonists, comic book creators, movie makes, actors and so on- people who have made important contributions to fantastic fiction in all forms. And each portrait is accompanied by an essay- dozens of them by dozens of amazing contributors like Ramsey Campbell, Roy Thomas, S.T. Joshi, David Gerrold, Chris Ryall, Dana Gould, David Schow, Stuart Gordon… the list goes on and on. It should be a pretty amazing book!  Then I have a comic I’d like to do, called “Stories to Make You Say UGH!” Just sold a zombie dinosaur story to Dark Horse Presents… and  The Zombie Pop-Up Book (up for grabs, folks), the Monster Alphabet… It goes on and on… I got a lotta stuff! I am an obsessive compulsive creator person I guess.

Go HERE to visit the LOVECRAFT LIBRARY website.

Best of luck, Pete!

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