Sunday, August 10, 2014

Meet the Maestro of Stylish Horror

As a kid growing up, I didn't like art.

Not that I didn't like any art, for most assuredly, I did. Some of it, I found compelling, even back then.

But, it wasn't simply art, alone, that compelled me, that drew me in, that captured my imagination and freed my mind.

No, it was art in class, at school, that was the epitome of disinterest for me. The only thing that rivaled it was probably music...or health. Egad! What boring subjects. What atrocities of disinterest!

Fast forward through time to the present day. Back then, it was art combined with stories, in the form of comic books, that interested me. Michelangelo had nothing upon the artistry laid bare upon the pages of comic book superhero fare.

I read them. I consumed them. Due to the nature of what they were, I could gorge upon them, time and time and time, again. Is there a greater passion in one's youthful days?

Now, these days, I read relatively few comic books. I don't like them any the less. Rather, my tastes have changed. These days, I tend to gorge more upon the art of the comics realm, than I do upon the wholeness of the books, themselves.

Hence, why I tend to spend vast reams of time at an online locale called DigitalWebbing. In the forum, there, I encounter a wide variety of art, with artists in tow. Hence, how I first encountered Montgomery "Monty" Borror.

He had posted about a KickStarter project that he had launched called HP Lovecraft Versus Aleister Crowley.
Howard Phillips "H. P." Lovecraft is a name that has long since become synonymous with the genre of horror. Others have built upon the legacy that he authored, and in the realm of art, to suggest that Lovecraft has been an influence would be an understatement of unspeakable magnitude.

Which is why it is a true delight to encounter an artist whose body of work that I wasn't familiar with, before, one who is able to bring the Lovecraftian sub-genre of horror to life with strokes of pen and brush.

One of the true beauties of Lovecraftian-style art is that each artist that approaches horror, that they might render it visually, is that they each tend to evince a certain uniqueness in their style. Montgomery Borror's work has a very burnished aspect to it.

But, art is about more - far more - than merely mastering details and composition and various elements of the visual realm in rendered form. When I behold a piece of art, I want it to speak to my imagination, to awaken the person who lives within me. I want to see more than nicely rendered figures and details that bespoke unerring perfection. Something should click - inside!

Take Monty Borror's take on the Creature from the Black Lagoon, for example.

Cthulhu from the Black Lagoon, an imaginative take on what is, for myself, anyway, an old film. I recall watching this movie as a kid. Now, all these many years later, here's Montgomery Borror tickling my imagination. It's how the imagination expands, taking more than one concept and crafting something new, yet something eerily familiar. Thus expands the Cthulhu mythos!

This is exactly what the mind cries out for, to be engaged, to be entertained, and yes, my dear friend, at times, even to be terrified.

It is the horror genre of art that allows us to face and to push past our fears. Horror is often represented with blood and gore steeped in and taken to excess, but such visual trinkets hardly even begin to touch upon the core nature and true depth of horror as a tool of the human imagination. Indeed, at times, unlimited gore and scenes drenched in blood only serve to diminish the horror that they seek to pay homage to.

In comic book form, horror tells a story. Thus, that which leads up to the crescendo, whether in words or in art, is critical to setting the tone and the mood. One of the things that artist Montgomery Borror excels at is setting the mood. He tends to saturate the work as a whole in it.

The craft at which he excels is not limited to splash pages writ large, to mere instances where the horror climaxes in full measure on a grand scale. Far from it, in fact.

Horror, you see, must build. It is intrinsic to the core of what it is. Otherwise, the imagination gets short-changed. You end up with shock, but gutted of the greater part of its substance.

I am drawn to energy in art. It tantalizes the soul. It moves the heart to adoration. It is said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and what is art, but beauty by another name?

It has been interesting to track, and to follow along, the progress of Monty Borror's KickStarter project - HP Lovecraft Versus Aleister Crowley. One aspect of his art that I find to be interesting is that it mirrors Monty's subdued nature, something that manifests itself in various videos that he has done for his KickStarter.

He comes across as quite comfortable in conversing in front of the camera, as he speaks to his backers and potential supporters that encounter his KickStarter - which resides in the midst of so many other projects, all vying for the attention and competing for the support of the public at large.

Even still, Mister Borror is no cauldron of enthusiasm boiling over. He strikes a balance between down-to-earth and reserved. As a personality, Monty is no Lovecraftian horror to behold. He interacts with his backers, which might seem a rather obvious thing for anyone launching a KickStarter project to do, yet which they all too often fail to do.

In a relatively short span of time, I have come to embrace KickStarter as one of the primary mechanisms whereby I seek out the art of artists, particular those of the independent variety.

Browsing the project pages of KickStarter projects reminds me of watching episodes of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. Invariably, creators fail to heed the same lessons, over and over and over, time after time after time.

The interaction with project backers is key to a given project developing a story within a story. Monty Borror seems to grasp this key fact. It is one of the reasons why I have transitioned somewhere along the way from being just a KickStarter project backer to being a full-fledged fan.

I like the fact that he's not scared to post updates, to keep his project backers in the loop, or to call out various backers by name in the videos that he makes. This approach helps him to maintain interest on the part of others in his comic book project bubbling with relevance, and it also helps him to make a personal connection with the people supporting him.

Can the "most wicked man in the world" stop Lovecraft from bringing on the Ragnarok? Find out, by supporting artist Montgomery Borror, the Maestro of Stylish Horror, in his KickStarter venture of:

HP Lovecraft Versus Aleister Crowley

Be sure to also check out more of Monty's artistic handiwork by visiting

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