Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bonnacon: Do not approach without a gasmask and a fire extinguisher!

“Hey,” says Mr. Bonnacon, “My poop is tougher than you!”

Here we have Mr. Bonnacon (bahn-ah-cahn), from a series I've done about mythological creatures. The bonnacon is a creature rarely seen these days. Most information on this species has passed to us from medieval manuscripts. A bull-like animal, with curly horns, it is carnivorous, preferring the flesh of domesticated animals- especially pets. For this reason, it has been hunted almost to extinction.

It has a peculiar method of defense: when approached, it expels a volley of flaming dung. These malodorous missiles can fly up to 100 yards, although there was one report of a particularly nasty bonnacon that could hurl dung for a mile. Do not approach this creature without a gas mask and a fire extinguisher!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Amphisbaena the Two-Headed Snake

“Hey,” says Mr. Amphisbaena, “Which end of me binges and which end purges?”
Here we have Mr. Amphisbaena (am-fis-bay-na), from a series I've done about mythological creatures. The amphisbaena is a two-headed lizard or serpent. It has one head in the normal position, and another at the end of its tail. It can therefore run in either direction. Its eyes shine like lamps, and it has no fear of cold.
I will leave it up to you to interpret the obvious symbolism concerning the duality of nature.
Historical References:
Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 843-844): "Dread Amphisbaena with his double head / Tapering...".
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 35): The amphisbaena has a twin head, that is one at the tail-end as well, as though it were not enough for poison to be poured out of one mouth.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:20): The amphisbaena has two heads, one in the proper place and one in its tail. It can move in the direction of eaither head with a circular motion. Its eyes shine like lamps. Alone among snakes, the amphisbaena goes out in the cold.
This paper doll comes with 26 parts, including a wheel, a unicycle seat, and an undigested meal. I would consider this to be a project for an experienced paper doll constructor. This is NOT a doll for beginners. Cutting the hole for the wheel will require an exacto blade (not included).
SPECIAL NOTES: I have designed a mythological beastie paper doll for every letter of the alphabet (for some letters I’ve been able to draw more than one). If you are interested in seeing any other beasts not yet listed please convo me. Shadow puppets are also available
This doll is not intended for children. It would probably give them nightmares, anyway. It is an art piece, made of paper, intended for display purposes, or for light, gentle play (such as that provided to fairies, nymphs and good witches). Keep away from ogres, trolls, carnivorous plants, carnival geeks, pixies and water creatures.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pooka! Pooka! Pooka!

The Pooka or Phooka is an Irish Goblin with a variety of beast like forms. He appears sometimes as a dog or a horse, or even a bull, and is generally jet black with blazing eyes. As a seemingly friendly, shaggy, sway backed pony, the Pooka may offer the unwary traveler a welcome lift; but it only leads to a wild and terrifying gallop across the wettest and most thorny country, eventually to end with rider dumped headlong into the mire or deposited in a ditch. In recent times a Pooka may appear as a large invisible rabbit, generally mischevious, but benevolent. The footsteps you hear behind you in the dark are usually the Pooka…

Friday, April 17, 2009


Xylophon: a reanimated skeleton, named for the sound they make as they rattle. An animated skeleton is a type of physically manifested undead often found in fantasy, horror fiction, and mythical art. Though most are human, they can also be from any creature or race found on Earth, Midgard, or Middlearth.
· Animated human skeletons have been the personification of death in Western culture since the Middle Ages.
· The Grim Reaper is often depicted as a hooded skeleton holding a scythe and occasionally an hourglass.
· Death as one of the biblical Four horsemen of the Apocalypse has been depicted as a skeleton riding a horse.
· Figurines and images of skeletons doing routine things are common in Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration where skulls symbolize life and their familiar circumstances invite levity. Undead skeletons play a more active, and less symbolic, role in modern fantasy fiction. Skeletons are creatures that have been summoned from beyond the grave. They are normally of fallen warriors on battles of long past.

Skeletons might be given 'life' by a more powerful undead or necromancer. Reanimated by dark magic powers; skeleton follow their master’s orders without questioning. They appear a mindless set of animated bones, brutal and virtually immune to a piercing attack that would only harm the flesh they lack. In many stories, legions of undead skeletons are raised as perfectly obedient and expendable foot-soldiers or guards. Since most skeletons are controlled by something else, they cannot make their own intelligent decisions, and can easily be led into ambushes, traps, or hazardous terrain.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brownies will clean for food...

A brownie/brounie or urisk (Lowland Scots) or brùnaidh, ùruisg, or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic) is a legendary kind of creature popular in folklore around Scotland and England (especially the north, though more commonly hobs play out their role). The Scandinavians call them tomte, the Slavic domovoi and the German Heinzelmännchen.

Customarily brownies inhabit the unused parts houses (attics, crawlspaces and wall pockets) and aid in tasks around the house. However, they don't like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts or food. They are particularly fond of porridge and honey. Many people (myself included) refuse to even dare sleep in a house where there is no milk, in fear of brownie reprisal. Brownies also will abandon a house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Some people also refer to them as Tommy-knockers, but it is generally agreed that brownies are mostly benevolent.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, a cyclops (pronounced /ˈsaɪklɒps/; Greek: Κύκλωψ, Kuklōps), is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The classical plural is cyclopes (pronounced : /saɪˈkloʊpiːz/; Greek: Κύκλωπες, Kuklōpes), though the conventional plural cyclopses is also used in English. The name is widely thought to mean "circle-eyed".

The earliest Cyclopes were blacksmiths. They provided Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon's trident, and the gods used these weapons to defeat the Titans. Later Cyclopes were shepherds, such as the infamous Polyphemus, encountered by the hero Odysseus.

They are known to consume large quantities of mutton, cheese, goats milk and wine. Roasted or raw meat of any sort will suffice to please a Cyclops, but they tend to shy away from shish-ka-bob and any sort of flambé. Their poor housekeeping and lack of hygiene make them extremely unpopular hosts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Zombies are dead people who are revived after their burial and compelled to do the bidding of the person who has revived them. Zombies first appeared in voodoo, or vodou, a type of black magic. In voodoo, a houngan, or sorcerer, brings dead people to live for the purpose of enslavement. The master of the zombie can then command it to implement evil tasks and perform menial labor.
In Voodoo mythology, zombies are re-animated using supernatural means and shamanistic medicines. Zombies inspire fear in everyone who sees them, and they are also thought to eat human flesh and are especially fond of brains. Zombies are most common in Haiti and Africa.
Zombies often have the appearance of a decaying person, although they may initially appear to just be a little distracted (or in a trance, or strangely attracted to your cranium…). Zombies’ brain stems are the only thing that is not dead about them, and their whole body moves with a supernatural energy and power. Zombies may be greenish in color and dressed in filthy, mouldy rags. Evil sorcerers can command armies of zombies to do things like attack villages and build dark temples. Zombies rise from their coffins, splintering the wood and bursting up through the soil. When this occurs, please be prepared to separate the zombie from its head by any means possible.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Qilin, also spelled Kylin, Keilun (in Cantonese), Kirin (also Girin in Korean), Kirin (in Japanese), Sabitun Sabintu (in Manchu), Kỳ lân (in Vietnamese) or Ki len (in Thai), is a mythical hooved creature that is said to appear in conjunction with the arrival of a sage. It is a good omen that brings rui ; roughly translated as "serenity" or "prosperity". It is often depicted with what looks like fire all over its body.

Although it looks fearsome, the Qilin only punishes the wicked. It can walk on grass and yet not trample the blades and it can also walk on water. Being a peaceful creature, its diet does not include flesh. It takes great care when it walks never to tread on any living thing, and it is said to appear only in areas ruled by a wise and benevolent leader (some say even if this area is only a house). It is normally gentle but can become fierce if a pure person is threatened by a sinner. Spouting flames from its mouth and exercising control of the weather are just a few of its powers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First in a new series of paperdolls, Mr. Spider

Come see my new MythoBeastie Paperdoll, Mr. Spider at

MythoBeastie PaperDolls for carnival geeks, Halloween freaks,and cryptozoologists.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Selkies are found near the islands of Orkney and Shetland in Scotland. They are able to transform into human form by shedding their seal skins and can revert to seal form by putting their skin back on. In human form they are described as handsome and seductive. Male selkies typically seek those who are unhappy with their romantic lives, including fishwives.

· The male Selkies can create storms and are responsible for the sinking of ships, especially in revenge for the hunting of seals.
· If a female wishes to make contact with her selkie family, she must go to a beach and shed seven tears into the sea.
· If a man steals a female selkie's skin, she will be forced to become his wife.

Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly to the ocean. If her skin is found she will immediately return to her home — sometimes, her selkie husband — in the sea. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form.

Selkies are not always faithless lovers. One tale tells of the fisherman Cagan who married a seal-woman. Against his wife's wishes he set sail dangerously late in the year, and was trapped battling a terrible storm, unable to return home. His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


A Zephyr is defined as a west wind; a breeze from the west; a gentle breeze. The word Zephyr is derived from the Greek word Zephyrus, the god of the west wind. In Greek mythology, the Anemoi (in Greek, aνεμοι — "winds") were wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction, from which their respective winds came, and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions. They were sometimes represented as mere gusts of wind, at other times were personified as winged men, and at still other times were depicted as horses kept in the stables of the storm god Aeolus, who provided Odysseus with the Anemoi in the Odyssey. Astraeus, the astrological deity sometimes associated with Aeolus, and Eos, the goddess of the dawn, were the parents of the Anemoi, according to the Greek poet Hesiod.

Of the four chief Anemoi, Boreas was the north wind and bringer of cold winter air, Notus was the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn, and Zephyrus was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes; Eurus, the east wind, was not associated with any of the three Greek seasons, and is the only one of these four Anemoi not mentioned in Hesiod's Theogony or in the Orphic Hymns. Additionally, four lesser Anemoi were sometimes referenced, representing the northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest winds.

The deities equivalent to the Anemoi in Roman mythology were the Venti (in Latin, "winds"). These gods had different names, but were otherwise very similar to their Greek counterparts, borrowing their attributes and being frequently conflated with them.

Zephyrus is believed to live in a cave on Thrace. He is the son of Eos and Astraeus and the brother of Boreas, Eurus and Notus. He abducted the goddess Chloris and gave her dominion over flowers. In Roman myth, he is Favonius, the protector of flowers and plants.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The Yeti has lived in the Himalayas as a mystery for many years. Known as "the rock living animal" (Yah means rock and teh means animal) in Sherpa, and popularly known as "the abominable snowman" in the west, the sightings of Yeti have been reported since the late 1800s.

In 1889, a British army major named L. A. Waddell found large footprints in the snow in northeastern Himalayas.

In 1921, a British expedition team climbing Mount Everest noticed a dark figure moving on the snow at an altitude of 17,000 feet. The Sherpas travelling with the British expedition called it "metoh-kangmi" and translated by Tibetans as "abominable snowman."

In 1925, an expedition led by a Greek photographer N. A. Tombazi noticed a human-like creature about 300 yards away. The creature disappeared before Tombazi could take a picture.Captain d'Auvergue, the curator of the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, India, reported an encounter of the Yeti in 1938. He was snow-blinded while traveling in the Himalayas. He was rescued by what he thought to be a nine foot tall Yeti that nursed him before he could return by himself.

British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward took some of the best pictures of "the footprints of the Yeti" in 1951. Each footprint was thirteen to eighteen inches long. The pictures were published in the UK Times on December 6, 1951.

Several expeditions were mobilized to search for this elusive creature which was thought to be a huge ape-like animal. One of the expeditions included that of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to summit Mount Everest. His expedition of 1960-1961 did not find any evidence of Yeti's existence.

The Sherpas living in the high Himalayas believe in the existence of the Yeti. They say that the Yeti can make itself invisible and appear at will.

Nobody has yet encountered the Yeti face to face. Various incidents reported by several expedition teams have led to the belief that the mystery of Yeti more than just a fairy tale. The existence of yeti remains inconclusive to this day.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Wyverns are dragons with one pair of wings and one pair of legs (usually front legs). In the past, there was more confusion about the number of wings and legs. Some authors used wyvern, cockatrice and lindworm interchangably, or to mean different things. This eventually standardized into the wyvern that is recognized today.

These dragons are common in heraldry. They can symbolize envy, war, pestilence and viciousness. A drop of their blood can give humans the ability to understand bird-speech. Their skin, if eaten, can impart knowledge of the natural world. Their claws make powerful taslimans.

A German tale from the 1200s tells of a lindworm that lived near Klagenfurt. Flooding threatened travelers along the river, and the presence of a dragon was blamed. A Duke offered a reward for anyone who could catch it, so some young men tied a bull to a chain, and when the lindworm swallowed the bull, it was hooked like a fish and killed.

In 1335, when the skull of a wooly rhinoceros was found in a cave nearby, it was believed to be the dragon's skull and is currently on display in Klagenfurt. You can also see the Lindwurm fountain in Neuer Platz at the city centre.

Wyverns are not as large or as intelligent as dragons. They do make fierce gaurdians. Some cryptozoologists have theorized that wyverns are evidence of surviving pterosaurs, a large flying reptile thought to have gone extinct around 65 million years ago. There are alleged sightings in remote areas of pterosaur-like creatures known as the Kongamato in Africa. But this may be a different species altogether.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A poem by Pamela Johnson Parker

Come see a poem by Pamela Johnson Parker with art by Kevin Morrow. Go to
& click on the pdf. download at the bottom of the page for a larger view.


The Vespertilio, also known as Chauve-souris is a bird that gives birth to living young.
General Attributes:
The Vespertilio is not a noble bird. It is unlike other birds in that it gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs, and it has teeth. The Vespertilio gather together and hang from high places like a bunch of grapes; if one falls, all the rest also fall.
Sources (chronological order):
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 81): The Vespertilio is the only flying creature that bears live young and feeds them with its milk; it also carries its children in its arms as it flies.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:36): The Vespertilio, unlike other birds, is a flying quadruped, resembling a mouse. It has its name (vespertilio) from the time when it flies, after twilight. It flies about driven by precipitate motion, hangs from fragile branches, and makes a sound like a squeak.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vampire ATC

Vampire myths go back to the dawn of time and occur in nearly every culture around the world. The variety of form is almost endless; red eyed monsters with green or pink hair in China; the Greek Lamia which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent; vampire foxes in Japan; a head with trailing entrails known as the Penanggalang in Malaysia.
The vampires we are familiar with today, made famous by fiction and film, are largely based on Eastern European myths. The vampire myths of Europe originated in the far East, and were transported from places like China, Tibet and India with the trade caravans along the silk route to the Mediterranean. Here they spread out along the Black Sea coast to Greece, the Balkans and of course the Carpathian mountains, including Hungary and Transylvania.
Our modern concept of the vampire still retains original concepts (blood drinking, resurrection, nocturnal human-hunting) in common with the Eastern European myths. However many things we associate with vampires; the wearing of evening clothes, capes with tall collars, turning into bats, are modern inventions.
On the other hand, many features of the old myths such as the placing of millet or poppy seeds at the gravesite in order to keep the vampire occupied all night counting seeds rather than preying on passersby, have all but disappeared from modern fiction and film.
I was told as a child that witches and vampires could not enter a house unless invited. But I was also told that they could call to you in your sleep and trick you into bidding them welcome while you lay in a trance. The only thing preventing their entry was the screen on the door. Each opening had to counted so that the witch or vampire could divide their body into tiny enough particles to infiltrate the screen and gain entry.
I lost a lot of sleep as a child…

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Troll by parkerart

Trolls are closely related to orcs and ogres. Generally large and stupid, most lack the ability to speak, communicating through grunts and gestures. Some have been used as guardians and warriors, but training is an arduous task. Trolls are generally divided into sub-species: mountain trolls, river trolls, and forest trolls. All trolls travel at night, and must avoid the sunlight because it turns them into stone. If cornered by a troll, it is best to avoid physical confrontation. Outwitting them is easy enough for humans. Stalling them until daybreak is usually your best bet.