December Belongs To Cthulhu

Grendel’s Den and the Photography of the Unnamable

Photographer and digital artist D. E. Christman of Grendel’s Den Design Studio is gifted with a powerful sense of camera angles and unseen suggestion. His work retains the clear lines of a photograph while blending in surreal imagery that appears, against all sense of sanity, to be real. Indeed, such is the vigor in Christman’s work that one can well envision what Lovecraft meant when, in Pickman’s Model, he writes of a horrific and impossible thing existing in “a photograph from life!” Christman’s Lovecraftian images look and feel real, giving rendering in a visual format the monstrosities and hauntings described in Mythos fiction.

The skull image in “Gimme A Kiss” is a fusion of the human and the bizarre, done in a morbid form that blurs the line between man and monster. In death, the tentacled horror is shown to be like us, but with a number of important, wriggling differences.

The monstrous silhouette that dominates “He Was Popular With The Townsfolk” hints at what sort of fiend the previous skill may have belonged to. Like any good Lovecraftian monster, this creature is visually uncertain; it is in the lines and suggestions of what may be there that the true terror lurks.

The aptly named “Pickman’s Model” displays a mysterious, hidden face lurking in the secret places of an old, crumbling building. The glow in the creature’s eyes and the suggestion of what it may be is striking enough, but even more so the setting is remarkably Lovecraftian. It is a forgotten place, filled with nameless horrors that hide just at the edge of sight, in basements and attics, behind walls and under stairs.

“The Horned God” brings to mind Lovecraft’s haunted New England, filled with ancient mysteries and cults. The Horned God figure itself is a creature from the superstitious past, which might be an object of devotion by cultists or even the monstrous high priest to something even more terrible.

G. D. Falksen is an author who admires anyone able to make the surreal appear to be real. More information on him can be found at his website ( and his Twitter (


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