The King in Yellow Xmas Project

Detail from a work in progress, a preliminary sketch for one of the images from the King in Yellow Xmas project.

Detail from a work in progress, a preliminary sketch for one of the images from the King in Yellow Xmas project.

I've started work on the art for our 2016 holiday card project, which we will bring to a Kickstarter campaign later this year.  To follow last year's Cthulhu Christmas Card project, this year's theme is "The King in Yellow,"from the story cycle by Robert W. Chambers published in a book of the same name in 1895.  Four of the stories are united by the common thread of a mysterious French play, "The King in Yellow," which induces madness and despair in those who read it. The idea of a book within a book that destroys the reader is one that Lovecraft embraced in writing the Cthulhu Mythos.

Lovecraft read Chamber's "The King in Yellow" in early 1927, and borrowed elements and writing conventions from it in writing the Mythos, so that Chamber's Hastur (who or what it might be) is now considered an Avatar of Hastur by modern Lovecraftians.  Chambers himself was a confirmed borrower -- he took the names Carcosa, Hali and Hastur from Ambrose Bierce, in particular the story "An Inhabitant of Carcosa."  

I'm happy to begin work on this project.  Chambers was trained as an artist and illustrator -- he would have been a great one if he hadn't found hack writing much, much easier -- and that opens up visual clues and themes for me that promise to make this a really interesting build.

I'll be using the hashtag #KiYXmas in posting about this project, so keep an eye out for it around the internet if you'd like to learn more.