The Spawn of the Stars

Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival… a survival of a hugely remote period when… consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity… forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds…

– Algernon Blackwood

cf868be993476d926e915e0f60c30a93-d4sl5fdWhat’s so cool about Lovecraft’s Cthulhu? Well, besides being a giant, squid-like, dragon-winged badass Uberbeing from Outerspace that ruled trillions of years before the dawn of mankind? You got it right, this thing is da bomb and rightfully claimed his stake as Lovecrafts most famous creation. Okay, there are other well known beings out of his mythos, like the black god Nyarlathotep (also known as The Crawling Chaos), Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young. But  Great Cthulhu surely is the most iconic among them and spawned inspiration to thousands of authors and artists alike. Having said this, the depiction of this Great Old One can sometimes be very tricky. Whilst other creaturs in Lovecrafts Creation are alien and formless enough to transport that wierd otherworld strangeness, Cthulhu himself is described rather humanoid, with two legs, two arms and a bunch of tentacles. Say whaaat, tentacles? That’s awesome, so let’s take a look closer!

The odour rising from the newly opened depths was intolerable, and at length the quick-eared Hawkins thought he heard a nasty, slopping sound down there. Everyone listened, and everyone was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of that poison city of madness.
Poor Johansen’s handwriting almost gave out when he wrote of this. Of the six men who never reached the ship, he thinks two perished of pure fright in that accursed instant. The Thing cannot be described – there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight

So, as we learned above, Cthulhu can’t be described properly, because even his earthly form is far too alien to match the rather primitive human eye. But there have been idols and rock-carvings depicting him as some sort of huge octopus-god, so here comes inspiration. Most of the interpretations of Cthulhu look – sad but true – plain ridiculous, making him to be some sort of fantasy-dragon with additional tentacles. Heck, even Lovecraft made a sketch back in his day, depicting one of the idols in a rather clumsy way. So, why is it, that most of the images look so horrible (and not meant in a positive way)?

But there have been attempts to change that mostly akward view on one of Lovecrafts finest creations. Let me present some of the better designs, randomly selected by my personal but extraordinary taste.

Cthulhu_by_BarrettBlank

Very natural copper engraving

cthulhu_fhtagn_no_more_by_samize-d59urqv

Deep Ones beach invasion

silent_night_by_korintic-d4k60c0

Very alien interpretation

the_call_of_cthulhu_by_akiman-d758z2h

Innsmouth ritual

the_madness_of_cthulhu_by_nicktheartisticfreak

What do you see?

182_realsize

Something in the mist

tumblr_msyp03mmmw1qc8wq3o1_1280

The stars are right

tumblr_m1gjicFAXN1qff956o1_1280

Terror in Kingsport

3182647-cthulhu_rising_by_ktalbot-d5iltll

Bloody sunrise

cthulhu_statue_dvg_by_cloudminedesign-d63q3cz

Stone idol

And, last but not least this gem of Cthulhu-related compositions:

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~ von 21ghostwriters - 2014/03/13.

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