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A Visable Dark
As far back as I can remember I have always been a devotee of the macabre. Even at an early age I was fascinated by anything that went bump in the night. I remember in 1972, at the sensitive age of four, hiding behind my fathers recliner while the babysitter read from the T.V. guide, reciting the plot from the late, late horror show. I gazed out from the safety of my position, looking into the intensifying shadows that engulfed the den and the hallway beyond, half expecting some shambling formless thing to be waiting just outside the range of my sight. Later, when the sandmans pull upon my eyelids was too much to struggle against, the babysitter would carry me into my bedroom and tuck me in. The one thing that I seem to remember about that weekly ritual, is the morbid sense of disappointment I always felt when there was never a grinning ghoul of some sort waiting for us down that dark passageway to my room.

You see, horror never seemed to affect me the same way that it did other children. I had my glow-in-the-dark Frankenstein's Monster model, that my father assembled for me (I can still smell the citrus scent of the glue he used) and at age seven, I could hang and watch The Night Stalker with the best of them. Dont get me wrong, there were, and still are, things that cause me to pull the covers over my head and pray for daylight. On my ninth birthday, I nagged and nagged my father to take me to see its Alive only to have him drag me out in frustration when I couldn't stand to watch anymore. I am sure that the other adults in the audience wondered why he would bring me to such a gruesome movie. That however, was 1977 and the standard of most horror films in the seventies (The Exorcist being one of the obvious exceptions) was meek to say the least.

Fortunately, the level at which I could read and comprehend as a child was above that of even some adults and that left the world of literature for me to explore. It was there, combined with the movie theater that was my imagination, that I found my own personal dreamland peopled with the most fascinating and chilling inhabitants. By the time I had reached my pre-teen years I had already absorbed many of the works of Edgar Allan Poe as well as a few of Stephen Kings earlier endeavors. There were many other authors whose efforts inspired me in those early years, but while their stories have stayed with me, their names have escaped me. It wasn't until I came into the possession of a paperback copy of The Tomb and Other Tales, an anthology of some of the superlative works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, that I knew I had found something that would prove to be long lasting. The cover of the paperback portrayed a face held forcefully together with a steel band and an ornate padlock. From the top of the forehead, a split had been formed and a mass of blood red bats swarmed forth. This image had such a profound effect on me that for the next week all I cared to read was my newly found digest of the bizarre. How was I to know that the seven days that followed would be the start of a love affair that would last until present day and sufficiently warp me for life.

There is truly something about the mythos created by The Man from Providence that makes it ever so appealing, but how is it that the legendary characters and places he conjured could drive such a large group of writers and artists to emulate Him? Brain Lumley, Ramsey Campbell, Frank Belknap Long, Clive Barker, and even Stephen King, are but a few of the many who have been inspired by Lovecrafts vision of a universe inhabited by indescribable abominations. A universe filled with tragic champions doomed to insanity or a remaining lifetime spent looking over their shoulders knowing that someday, the shadows will claim them. Needless to say, Lovecrafts work is not something you partake of if you wish to raise your spirits. It is indeed, a sufficient catalyst to encourage a sense of futility, paranoia, and dread. If a writer can effectively induce these states within us he is truly good at what he dose. Mr. Lovecraft was a master of the art.

So there it is. Throughout the years, I have used the talents that I have been blessed with to create physical representations of, and bring to life the indescribable inhabitants of The Mythos. It has been my observation that there is so little original Lovecraft-based art out there as to be almost non-existent. So this, is what I have longed to do; bring these items as well as others into our world as best I can. Just dont be surprised, however, if someday you pick up a map and see a few new towns on the Eastern Seaboard that were not there before. If so, then the change has begun...and my family and I will be looking for another universe to call home.

Richard Allen Poppe
855 117th ter north #8
saint petersburg FL 33716 US
Phone: 727-577-5359

http://www.thestygiandepths.com

Profile Link: http://www.DarkArtists.org/AVisableDark

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Comments
  • Godelijn
    Godelijn: Some of this art should be in my hands for years!!! Paid 400 USD for some statues sold on his website back in 2008. R.A.Poppe would send them to me within 6 weeks - Contacted him after 8 weeks because I was still waiting - He said he needed another 80 USD for shipping & handling while I thought we agreed all costs were included in the price. I told him to cancel the order and refund me my money. Of course I never heard from him again and it was too late for a Paypal dispute. Shame on you R.A.Poppe !!
    12/17/2011 11:22 PM

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