Divine Art Commissions in the Time of COVID-19

As you likely already know, there are a ton of people who are currently out of work as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. You’re likely already seeing pleas from service industry folks, independent arts spaces, and all other sorts of communities in need for donations & contributions of income. If you live in New Orleans, for instance, it’s worth noting that the indefinitely-closed Broad Theater is currently donating 25% of their gift card sales to their staff, paid out weekly. It’s also a great time to reach out to individual artists you appreciate to pay direct support, as they often survive by very thin margins on a good week.

In that spirit, here’s a spotlight on two artists who could use an increase in commissions & donations in these increasingly dark helltimes. As examples of their work, I’m including portraits they’ve recently done of our Krewe Divine looks from this year and links to their personal websites where you can contact them directly. Check out their divine art, consider sending support, and let’s continue to take care of each other as best as we can.

Jennifer works as a PA in Los Angeles, where practically all productions are effectively coming to a halt. They’re currently taking commissions for digital art through their Instagram account.

Liz Yerby makes comics in Portland, Oregon, and is looking for an increase in paid work to help stay afloat. You can check out more of their art on their website and contact them directly by email for commissions.

-Brandon Ledet

Rare Exports (2010) Fan Art: Season’s Greetings from Joulupukki

Here’s a holiday card illustration of Joulupukki (literally, “Christmas Goat”), who never fully emerges in Rare Exports (2010), our current Movie of the Month, despite being the film’s central villain.

-Hanna Räsänen

For more on November’s Movie of the Month, the 2010 dark fairy tale Rare Exports, check out our Swampchat discussion, our look at how it subversively works as a child-friendly introduction to The Thing (1982), and last week’s comparison to its American counterpart, Krampus (2015).

Fan Art: An Ode to Black Phillip

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Imagine the depths of your infant American hubris, you bearded doofus:
“We will conquer this wilderness. It will not conquer us.”
Tough luck, paterfamilias. A black goat commands
your children’s spirits, his curved horns aimed to gore
the nearest patriarch unafraid of the old world horrors
of the woods. He commands a coven of vvitches bathed
in your baby’s blood & the light of an impossibly enormous moon.
You will meet Black Phillip soon, so clutch your holy axe

and ask yourself how you would respond to the goat’s temptation.
Wouldst thou like the taste of butter, a pretty dress?
Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? Ask the goat to guide
your hand as you sign your name in the mystic book.
He’s ceremonially holding court in the backyard barn
before the real party starts in the woods. Black Phillip’s whispers
to Thomasin are far from empty promises. He can help you transcend
the bounds of flesh & godliness. Even gravity & New England

heat are small concerns under his hooved feet. Black Phillip
pants heavily, lazily eating his allotted hay as your family
tears itself to shreds. Nature’s chaos is not a threat,
but an inevitability. Again, wouldst thou like to live deliciously?
Wouldst thou like to see the world? He affords these luxuries
to all, not just little girls. Baa baa baa, Black Phillip,
Dark Prince of the Puritan New World. His magic is pure American
wilderness. Baa baa, so says the rightful owner of your doomed soul.

[Black Phillip is a fictional goat from the film The Witch (2016)]

-Brandon Ledet

Fan Art: Honey I Skunked the Kids

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The dog throws the baseball
through the Raygun Room window
and, of course, all four kids get shrunk
and swept up with Rick Moranis’s skunk weed crumbs.

They fall face-down in the dry stem tree trunks,
look up to find plastic walls Zip-locked shut.

After dark, the sleeping teens wake to Rick’s God-hands
pinching their bodies together in paper bed sheets.
The red cherry sun burns down the forest
as they share their first kiss. Meanwhile,

the younger kids crawl around alien munchie landscapes,
calling out to Rick in synthesized squeaks.

The gang re-unites in the ashtray’s gray mush,
crawls up a balled-up receipt’s crinkled ladders,
and makes itself noticeable in the bifocals
folded on Rick’s stacked 80’s crap comics tower.

Rick, the mid-life crisis scientist with a nerd’s wet lisp,
blows up the kids and sends them dazed to bed
to rest for the morning’s sequels and syndicated TV serials.

-Brandon Ledet

Fan Art: Giallo Poetry

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As I mentioned in last week’s article on April’s Movie of the Month, Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace, there’s a finesse to gaillo movie titles that was somewhat lacking in the genre’s Bollywood equivalent Veerana (a title that roughly translates to “Creepy Forrest”). The giallo title is a beautiful, needlessly complicated art form that requires at least six or seven syllables to properly breathe. As the genre’s pioneer, Mario Bava was prescient in many ways and the beauty of his films’ titles is certainly among them. There’s no denying the inherent draw of movies with names like Blood and Black Lace, The Body and the Whip, Planet of the Vampires, and Knives of the Avenger. That’s not to say that longer, more complicated titles always indicate higher quality giallo movies. My favorite films by Dario Argento are Opera & Suspiria, not Four Flies on Grey Velvet & The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. There’s just an undeniable poetry & sense of one-upsmanship with the more complicated titles that feel unique to the genre.

Keeping the poetry of these titles in mind, I attempted compile a poem composed almost entirely of titles of giallo films I have never seen, but admire for their names alone. I have added a few words here or there to make some sort of sense out of madness, but most of the words are drawn directly from the titles in the sequence they appear. Enjoy!

Giallo Poetry

Your vice is a locked room
and only I have the key. We kill
the fatted calf and roast it in the black
belly of the tarantula, my sweet. So perverse, my lizard
in a woman’s skin. Strip nude for your killer. Bring
a hatchet for the honeymoon, a dragonfly
for each corpse, a black veil for Lisa.

The bloodsucker leads the dance
in the house of the yellow carpet. Death walks
on high heels in the house with laughing
windows. The Devil has seven faces, seven blood
stained orchids. The flower with the petals of steel, the twitch
of the death nerve, forbidden photos of a lady above suspicion.

The night Evelyn came out of the grave, the young,
the evil and the savage committed the crimes of the black
cat. It was on the short night of the glass dolls, five dolls
for an august moon. The weapon, the hour, and the motive
cast a bloodstained shadow on all the colors of the dark.
The case of the bloody iris was cracked by the perfume
of the lady in black, who asked that we don’t torture

a duckling. Can I get you anything, my nine
guests for a crime, my iguana with the tongue
of fire, my man with icy eyes? No thanks,
coffee makes me nervous. Now smile
before death & watch me when I kill. Naked,
you die, reflections in black, nothing
underneath. The killer reserved nine seats.

For more on April’s Movie of the Month, 1964’s Blood and Black Lace, visit our Swampchat on the film & last week’s article on its Bollywood brethren, Veerana (1988).

-Brandon Ledet

Fan Art: An Ode to Large Marge

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As your headlights were shinning down that dark, lonely road
I knew that you would change my life forever
The dignified way you blew your big rig’s horn
Not a soul could ever do it better

Sitting behind the wheel with a blank stare on your face
Your dingy lumberjack shirt made you look a bit odd
You began to tell a tale filled with horror and fright
And I realized you were more than just some old broad

You explained the worst accident you had ever seen
And how it took place on this same road 10 years ago
The tone of your rough voice began to sound personal
Were you describing the death of someone you used to know?

Oh, but it was you that was killed in that terrible crash
Now you’re a ghost driving on a road that never ends
How I wish I could be sitting in your passenger seat
We could get to know each other and become best friends

-Britnee Lombas