The Miskatonic Papers - WIP

Below are sneak peeks into the process of creating this Lovecraftian letterpress tome. From inspiration to sketches to images on press, you’ll find it all here. As the book comes together, we’ll keep adding more images for you to covet, giving you glimpses into the book.

But be forewarned! Many who have seen the contents of The Miskatonic Papers have died horrible deaths or gone completely insane! The valiant quest for knowledge may lead you down a path that branches into dark corners of the night, filled with arcane shadows. Never travel there alone and be cautious where you step. If you hear a wet, rustling noise behind you, you had best run screaming.

If you’re interested in staying abreast of this project, please sign up for email updates in the form at the bottom of the page.

 
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Binding and Folders

This is the foil-stamped clothbound clamshell box that the book comes in with the three sealed folders inside. Break the seals. Pore through their contents. Discern the true meaning of the eldritch horror.

The Expedition Broadside

The Expedition Broadside

Stained with ale and smudges from the hands of inquisitive sailors, this broadside hangs in the pub in downtown Arkham. Professor Tyler Freeborn seeks able-bodied men to risk life and limb for the advancement of science. Do you have a thirst for adventure? Perhaps you should apply.

Early drawings of expedition discoveries

Early Drawings

One of the men on the expedition is required to document their findings. Odd diagrams and even odder structures are found and recorded for the archives at Miskatonic University. What is it that they find? What happens to the expedition when they find it? It’s all hidden within.

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Act 1

Take a peek at the contents of Act 1: a broadside for the expedition, drawings, two letters, a rubbing, telegrams from the field, and an amazing hand-written expedition journal. All of them letterpress printed, aged, and weathered.

An aging test - staining with walnut stain

Weathered and Aged

Each piece of the book will be made to look as if it was created 100 years ago. Stains, creases, and even burned edges will provide you with a rich experience as you delve through the ephemera and piece the story together. This newspaper clipping tells of something strange indeed.

Early sketch of an ancient artifact

An Ancient Bas Relief

This is an early version of an ancient bas relief found during the expedition’s travels. What does it mean? Tentacles grasping an ouroboros that’s surrounded by symbols and glyphs? Who were these people and what was their culture like? Can Dr. Rice’s linguistic skills break the code?

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WIP: Ancient Artifact

Five of the six pieces of the broken artifact. The top one is in progress with the oil painting and finishing I give the resin pieces to make them like old stone. Each piece is specially cursed with an age-old trade secret. Cthulhu be praised.

Mockup of the pieces in Act 1

Revised Drawings

Dusty, worn, and stained with age, these drawings from the expedition illustrate strange and unusual findings. That peculiar sculpture looks oddly like a tentacle reaching out of the ground. And it’s gigantic! What did those brave men find on their explorations of the Siberian steppe?

Could this be a page from the Necronomicon?

From the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred

Found in the wreckage, was this ancient tattered page; torn and burned. If this is indeed a page from that accursed text, used to summon the likes of Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu, then surely evil is afoot. Who possessed this and were they summoning an old god? If so, mercy be upon us for mankind could be doomed for all eternity.

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H. P. Lovecraft

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
H. P. Lovecraft

In the summer of 2018, I visited Providence, RI, Lovecraft’s hometown, to research and get inspired while working on this book. Lovecraft spent countless hours at the Athenaeum, one of the five oldest libraries in America. It’s an amazing institution and has the narrow old stacks that makes a library feel true to me. The bust of Lovecraft above resides at this loving tribute to the book.

This journey began for me over thirty five years ago when I picked up my first H.P. Lovecraft book at a B. Dalton bookstore in Bismarck, ND. The amazingly creepy cover art by Michael Whelan and the tagline, “Bone-chilling tales of horror and the macabre” had me hooked. I still have that yellowing, old Del Rey paperback and all its brethren that I bought as soon as I had saved up the money. I still reread stories in them once in a while, too. I have fond memories of the escape they gave me from the glaring sun and dusty existence on those expansive and stultifying plains. It was Lovecraft, along with Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King that led me to want to write. It was their stories that gave my young imagination the invaluable boost it needed. They were the air beneath wings that struggled to find purchase, slowly gaining altitude, enough to fly away from that small, closed-minded town and seek out my own path in life.

Decades later, after an idea gestated in my head for an untold length of time, I finally took action and began this book. In the winter of ‘18, I rented a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin and sequestered myself for a week, sketching, researching and writing down plot points. I took an historic event that fascinates me and turned it on its head, spinning it into the world of old gods and monsters that thrilled me as a kid. I wanted to celebrate and honor the creepy cosmic horror that made Lovecraft’s work so unique.

So now I spend my spare moments walking ancient and dusty halls, listening for the sounds of shuffling feet in the gloom and hoping whatever is it that haunts these places doesn’t hear my racing heartbeats or panicked breaths. Shhhhhhh, did you hear that?

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