Gothtober Day 8 Drawings from Nora Rachel

Visit and click on DAY 8 to see drawings of the Frankensteins by Nora Rachel!
I bet you didn’t know that “Frankenstein” means “Stone of the Franks” in German, eh? It was a castle that sat near the Rhine River, and a fellow named Konrad Dippel lived in there, trying to make a potion that would help people live past age 100. He was a pretty weird guy, the stuff he was working on was going to be called “Dippel’s Oil.” There was a rumor that Dippel would go out at night, dig up and then experiment on bodies, you know… for research.
There are some who believe that Mary and Percy Shelley visited nearby this location and that it was the inspiration for Mary’s character, Dr. Frankenstein.
The story of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, was written when Mary was merely 18, and published two years later in 1818 to critics who gave it reviews that were beyond harsh. However, stories of a gothic nature were all the rage, so people kept buying and reading the book, and it’s now considered to be the very first science fiction novel.

Even though body modification and transformation has existed since humans have been around, something about science gave people the heebie jeebies and they just couldn’t view it as “natural.” The Bride of Frankenstein film gave consciousness and voice to society’s misgivings about technology.

Today we’ve got people walking around with artificial heart parts, robot knees, botoxed foreheads, liver transplants, all kinds of Franken-stuff… we’re getting closer to throwing out all that “Icarus” baggage and living longer/happier lives through the applied sciences.
Here then, are portraits of two icons, the”forbidden” creatures of the undead: One of Dr. Frankenstein’s creation (the monster itself) and another likeness, that of the monster’s bride.
 See more of Nora Rachel’s art for view and for sale right HERE! 
 Read Nora’s bio and other Gothtober contributor’s bios here! 

Revolt! Gothtober Day 4 with Jefe!

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-3-10-54-pm DAY 4 is by Jefe!

He drew for us a Halloween Fairytale about a little girl who summons a demon to restore Halloween after mean authorities in her school try to take it away!

Jefe recorded his own voice, worked with iMovie and scanned in all of his original drawings to make this piece come to fruition.

When asked about his process, Jefe said:

Gothtober is a chance for us artists to stretch out and try new skills and dance on the wire between stunning success and abject failure (I do need more Halloween cookie recipes though, so keep ‘em coming?).


• Jefe draws for a living. You can see more of his stuff here
• Jefe’s has a pretty good computer with Adobe Creative Cloud on it.
• Jefe came by his nickname honestly, since his middle school Spanish teacher couldn’t find a suitable equivalent to Jeff.

About working for a Gothtober due date he said:

1 days left, Ommigod! Ommigod! Ommigod! Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression Acceptance. Here some other personality takes over, or I was possessed, or I went into a fugue state, regardless I drew 50 odd panels and scanned them in. 

We’re happy that it all worked out, because DAY 4 is a fun-filled subversive story about what to do when “the man” tries to shut down your Halloween! Don’t let it happen to you!

Lush Newton’s Quickdraw Gothtober Day 25


Watch Arcadia-based artist, Lush Newton, do a silent film style quickdraw of a Gothtober greeting for day 25! Lush lives up north where it gets quite chilly. She carries index cards in her pockets at all times in case she’s got to jot down an idea or a sketch. She wears overalls, and takes no guff.

She can make a giant polka-dot pony that blows bubbles out of it’s keister, and in fact, this contraption lives in her town and leads its own parades. She can make a sculpture of a ham out of just about any materials you give her.

She is originally from Missouri, and lists some of her influences, inspiration and tools as: Hee Haw, fresh cut hay, Johnny Cash, Zorro, Rankin Bass, True Grit, Wonder Woman, E6000, Wylie E. Coyote, Little Debbie, #2 Dixon Ticonderoga, Mickey, Hot Glue, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Egon Schiele, Etta James, Ethel Merman, and Thomas Hart Benton.

I mean… she listed way more than that, but this is just a sliver of information.

German Counting Fun for Gothtober DAY 12

Pumpkin #12 on the Gothtober calendar is a beautifully illustrated German counting lesson by Christy Stout Chambers! You see, as it is the 10th year of Gothtober, I asked contributors to either follow the basic “Halloween Theme” like the very first Gothtober, or do something with the theme of “10.” This is the first piece so far that addresses the power of 10! This is also the very first international submission this year, Christy and her family moved to Frankfurt, Germany, and in the middle of it all, Christy was still able to get her piece out to us here in California! Hooray computers!

With the help of my German friend Annika the whole family is learning German…. Which is hard. We all just thought it would be fun to have our piece be about what is going on right now for us. We have all mastered counting to ten so it seemed appropriate. We are living in Frankfurt Germany, which is very close to Hanau where the brothers Grimm lived when they were little. They grew up playing in the forests here and the traditional folk stories told by the locals are what eventually became the fairy tales we all know today.

At one point, Christy even used an airplane window as a light box to help her transfer sketches from her sketchbook!

The pictures were drawn by hand and painted with watercolor, old school style. Since we were literally moving while I was working on them, I had no fancy materials. The only art supplies I could locate were a pencil, ink pen and my trusty box of watercolors which I had taken on the plane.

I concur, as an illustrator myself, I think old school supplies pack a whollop that computers still can’t touch, and the style of the artwork is full of such loose and exuberant watercolor-y wonder, it is, dare I say, quite Grimm-like in its execution. The line work is contagious, making me itch to go find my own pens to make some fun drawings!

I asked Christy what’s going on in Germany right now, and what kinds of exciting snacks are in the spotlight right now:

They have pretzels and sausages. Right now everything is fall/ octoberfest themed. There is beer EVERYWHERE and in Frankfurt there is a ton of apple wine which is a regional bitter cider. It is sometimes served with haxen a crispy grilled pork shank. The Germans make over 300 kinds of bread so there is usually a bakery….and chocolates. There are a TON of Turkish immigrants so there is also “doner kebab” which is turkeys version of schwarma.

If going to Germany right now isn’t practical for your schedule or finances,  just find Christy’s Gothtober window and you can have a small immersion language countdown! Better than Rosetta! Don’t forget the apple wine…

Gothtober 2012 is LIVE!!!

The step-by-step sketching process of illustrating the Gothtober 2012 interface, launching on our 10th Anniversary!

Eeeeeeaaauuuuuggghhhh!!! It’s GOTHTOBER TIME, we are LIVE!
Presenting another 31 selected autumn varietals for your discerning visual appetite, please visit this instant and tell me if you thought that scare crow stuck its tongue out at you. It did, right? (I hope so!)

More details about DAY 1 posted soon, but for now, let’s give a hat’s off to Jesse Albini, Cristin Pescosolido, Josh Fielstra and yes… me, because we were all clenching our butt cheeks getting this one out the door! There were technical difficulties, but thanks to quick thinking, ingenuity and common sense, you now have the calendar, and it’s time for the countdown!