Hello. Fats here.
As our theme on Monsters, Beasts, and Chimeras: Spooks and Spectres continues, I am sharing with you an artist I discovered in the Internet by accident. Justin Hillgrove is a self-taught artist from Washington state, and his subjects include monsters, robots, and a few other interesting creatures. His works also include parodies of characters from books, movies, TV shows, and video games. His blog features daily black-and-white monster sketches. If you wish to know more about him and his fabulous works, you may give him a visit through his website called Imps and Monsters: The Art of Justin Hillgrove. Below are some of his acrylic paintings followed by popular creatures that remind me of his monster creations.
A monstrous rock? One of the things I love about Justin Hillgrove’s “monsters” is that they border on cuteness rather than mayhem-causing, devious creatures. This gentle rock houses an entire city, although, if you ask me, I’d still probably have doubts living there. Speaking of monstrous rock, who remembers the Rock Biter from the 1984 movie, The Neverending Story? It’s been a while since I’ve seen that movie, and it feels good to be reminded of it.
While searching for rock monsters online, I found this. Literally named Rock Monster, this creature was featured in the 2008 television series of the same name that was shown in the Syfy channel. I haven’t had cable TV for years so I wouldn’t be able to tell you how good (or bad!) this TV series was.
And that’s not it! My boyfriend’s cousin is currently featuring movie trailers of old sci-fi and horror movies on his Facebook page for the months of September and October. When I say ‘old,’ I mean ‘black-and-white’ old. The trailer you’ll see below is that of a 1957 film directed by John Sherwood and stars Grant Williams and Lola Albright (all of whom I am not familiar with). The movie was called “The Monolith Monsters.” It’s pretty… weird.
This is a monster painting that is close to home. I mean, what else could be more adorable than this furry creature with a little kid slumped on its belly with a book next to them? Nowhere near scary at all, not like the joker teeth that my nephew likes to wear! The first image that came to mind when I saw this painting was Totoro and the children from My Neighbor Totoro, a 1988 Hayao Miyazaki animated film. It is one of his most adorable films, and I highly recommend it if you have not seen it yet.
Let’s not forget the super cute Boo and her ‘kitty,’ Sully, from Monsters, Inc. This is a fan-made video as a tribute to the adorable pair from the well-loved Disney Pixar film in 2001.
As for this next pair, well, they don’t exactly have the same relationship as the characters I’ve previously mentioned, but they sure are a force to be reckoned with. The Big Daddy and the Little Sister are characters from BioShock, a first-person shooter video game released in 2007. The Big Daddies are plasmid-enhanced humans surgically grafted into giant lumbering diving suits who were psychologically compelled to protect the Little Sisters at all costs. I haven’t played any of the BioShock games but I’ve heard good things about it. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my hands on it.
Holy mother of octopus! Well, this painting is certainly refreshing! It is not only absolutely gorgeous but also absolutely adorable! I’m not really a big fan of this cephalopod mollusk but Justin Hillgrove might have just changed my mind. Sort of. I was, of course, reminded of H.P. Lovecraft’s creation, the Great Cthulu, which, I might add, is definitely not as charming as Justin Hillgrove’s monster.
Who would forget about the kraken, that gigantic, octopus-like, ocean-dwelling creature from Norway? I’ve always imagined the kraken to look like blogger Shinlucky’s illustration of the sea monster, and not like the version in the 2010 movie Clash of the Titans.
Here is a video from Discovery that talked a little bit about the history of the kraken.
And that wraps up our little feature for today. Join us again next time as we explore more monsters and beasts in art, film, and literature.