Art and commentary by Kimberly Harris

Archive for the ‘Cryptids and monsters’ Category

The Bigfoot Family Goes for a Sunday Drive

Mr & Mrs Bigfoot, Junior Bigfoot and their two terriers are riding in a classic convertible

The Bigfoot Family of sasquatches is taking a Sunday drive in their classic 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner convertible to reminisce about the carefree days before instant communications and social media spawned a generation of pesky cryptozoology zealots.

Contrary to some scientific theories based on data extrapolated from known species of large primates, Sasquatches actually live extraordinarily long lives. Papa Bigfoot can remember way back to the times that predate mechanized transportation when the only humans he encountered in the wilderness were on foot or on horseback. But one day, the tranquility of the woods was shattered when a noisy chattering Ford Model T Ford emerged from the trees belching noxious fumes as it worked its way up a hill. These invasions of their once tranquil domain persisted and grew more frequent. Then, in the 1960s, a flood of cheap pulp magazines featuring sensational accounts of frightening human interactions with Sasquatches hit the newsstands and launched an era of annoying Bigfoot enthusiasts, researchers and hunters.

The Bigfoot family made the difficult decision to move deeper into the forest to avoid contact with these ghastly mechanical abominations and their loathsome occupants that were now appearing throughout the country. For this reason, Sasquatches are not seen as frequently today as in the past when humans and Sasquatches routinely interacted with Native Americans and traded firewood for food. It is said that some tribes even learned to communicate with Sasquatches using their own language which is characterized by crude vocalizations consisting of whistles, grunts and birdlike chirps.

Or so they say…

The truth is that Sasquatches have learned English and other human languages and can carry on a perfectly credible telephone conversation without arousing any suspicions on the part of the person they are communicating with. The Bigfoot Family routinely orders takeout from a local Chinese restaurant which they pay for with money filched from sleeping hikers’ backpacks. When a delivery is imminent, they leave it on a picnic table for the delivery person to find before retreating into the woods.

Sasquatches are known to have supernatural abilities that allow them to escape detection. They can use hypnosis and low-frequency infrasound to induce short-term memory loss in people who have seen them. Junior Bigfoot once used telepathic suggestion to get free extra cheese on a pizza that the family had delivered to a park on the outskirts of town. Earlier on, before he started his family, Papa Bigfoot opened up a trans-dimensional portal into Dearborn, Michigan and drove a brand new 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner convertible right off a dealer’s showroom back into the portal while the salesman was in the office struggling to close a sale on it with a reluctant customer. Junior has christened the car “The Fortean Falcon” and enjoys the family excursions in the mountains with their two terriers, Meldrum and Heuvelmans. They use their capability of becoming invisible to avoid creating a distraction for other drivers on the road.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

N.B. The author has never seen a Sasquatch, but he has actually gone for a ride in a real-life restored Ford Model T. During the years he lived in Mexico he drove a 1956 Buick Special convertible not unlike the Bigfoots’ 1953 Ford.

Ned is home for the holidays

A skeleton holding a suitcase is approaching a haunted house

Ned arrives at his ancestral home just in time for Halloween and finds his cat anxiously waiting for him on the porch

After so many years away from home, Ned finally collected enough frequent flyer miles to take the long arduous trip back home to see his family. While he had a pleasant flight on Spirit Airlines, he found the TSA pat-down to be highly intrusive and demeaning and plans to post a video of the offence which was kindly taken by a fellow traveler on YouTube. It also provides irrefutable proof that it was the TSA that crushed his favorite hat, for which Ned intends to file a claim for reimbursement.

Randy’s Sneaker Collection

Randy the sea monster shows off his collection of colorful sneakers

Randy the sea monster likes to show off his colorful collection of sneakers that he has acquired during his underwater forays into the Bermuda Triangle

Randy the green sea monster frequents the briny depths of the Bermuda Triangle searching for lost ships and aircraft so he can devour their hapless crews and add their sneakers to his vast collection which he periodically puts on display at public beaches.

(Kim Harris’ submission to Redbubble’s “Monster Challenge”)

President Obama and Krampus Unwind on the Beach in Hawaii

Krampus and President Obama listen to music on the beach in Hawaii

The Krampus and President Obama are on the beach at Hanauma Bay discussing a contract to punish the members of Congress who have been so naughty in the previous year.

December 5 was Krampus Day in a number of European countries with Teutonic roots. As many of you know, the fierce horned Krampus figures prominently in the folklore of Germany and Austria, and also in the traditions of Hungary and the countries of former Yugoslavia. The role of the Krampus is complementary to that of the benevolent bearded old man who distributes presents to nice children far and wide on Christmas. The Krampus rounds up the naughty children that Santa has passed by and proceeds to whip them with a switch of birch branches. Those who have been exceptionally bad are stuffed into a sack and taken to a remote location in the woods to be devoured by the Krampus.

This year saw an unusually large contingent of naughty children who disobeyed their parents, failed to do their household chores, talked back to their elders, refused to eat their vegetables and got into fights at school. Disciplining the lot of them kept the Krampus very busy and by the time all of the punishment had been meted out, the Krampus was exhausted.

President Obama was likewise very tired from fighting with the Republicans over raising taxes for the rich, saving entitlement programs and avoiding the looming fiscal cliff. The president had just wrapped up a brief chat with the Chancellor of Germany, Andrea Merkel, regarding the debt crisis in Southern Europe when the Chancellor suggested that Mr. Obama invite Krampus to visit him in Hawaii so that they could both unwind on the beach together. Krampus immediately sparked to the idea of escaping the cold German winter and promptly booked a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Honolulu.

Soon after arrival the pair proceeded to Hanauma Bay where they were served heady tropical beverages while being entertained by an exotic dance troupe recruited by the Secret Service. When the show was over, President Obama approached Krampus concerning a possible future contract with the US Department of Justice to castigate all those individuals appearing on the list of naughty legislators that the president has been compiling. Mr. Obama emphasized to Krampus that certain members of Congress had been very, very naughty.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

Strange Love

Margaret sits on a bench flanked by two suitors, Swamp Creature and Bigfoot.

Two improbable suitors are competing for young Margaret’s affections.

Love can be strange when you’re torn between two lovers and feeling somewhat like a fool. Poor Margaret has to make up her mind this Valentine’s Day. Who, or in this case, what does she prefer? Will it be surf or turf? Whose heart will she break?

Illustration by Kim Harris

Cthulhu Pens his Memoirs

Cthulhu works on his typewriter as he smokes a cigarette

Cthulhu smokes a cigarette as he attempts to overcome writer’s block

After waking from an eternity of sleep in his sunken city of R’lyeh, Cthulhu finds himself restless and bored. The propitious hour to destroy civilization has yet to arrive because the necessary galactic alignment won’t occur until December 12, 2012. In order to pass the time, Cthulhu decides to write his memoirs. He has been alive for untold eons, and his story began to evolve long ago on a dark and stormy night at the foot of the Mountains of Madness.

Cthulhu reminisces about his long existence as he winds his way through the complex cosmology that governs the arcane hierarchy of greater and lesser gods that have played influential roles in his life over the years. More than anything, Cthulhu cherishes his memory of the defining moment in his life that occurred when he was named the high priest to the Great Old Ones, powerful beings from other star systems that have long been worshipped by primitive humans on Earth.

Cthulhu has only vague recollections of his childhood on a distant planet in the twenty-third nebula, but recalls with fondness the arrival of his star-spawn who built R’lyeh in the immeasurable depths beneath an Antarctic ice shelf. At present, Cthulhu is completing a chapter containing a dramatic portrayal of the unsuccessful Shoggoth Rebellion which was temporarily put down by the Elder Things, who were subsequently weakened by the last ice age and were ultimately exterminated by these former slaves.

Cultists who are aware of Cthulhu’s literary undertaking are excited about the potential resolution to the longstanding question as to whether the Great Old Ones were cast out and imprisoned under the sea for their use of black magic, or as others argue, they are merely hibernating in consonance with an immutable cosmic cycle, and will be revived at the auspicious moment when the planets are again in correct alignment.

Up to now, Cthulhu has thus refrained from commenting on what the future holds for humanity when that fateful moment arrives and humankind’s brief reign on the planet comes to an abrupt and violent end at the hands of the original inhabitants who are returning to claim it as their own, as some suggest has been prophesized in the Necronomicon.

Predictably, he has titled his memoirs “Cthulhu Fhtagn,” an expression in his native ancient tongue that is generally accepted to translate as “”Cthulhu Waits Dreaming.”

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

Krampus Takes a Vacation

The horned Krampus monster is on the beach with hula dancers

Krampus relaxes on the beach for a well-deserved vacation

After a long cold holiday season of scaring naughty children into exhibiting better behavior, Krampus takes a well-deserved vacation at a warm tropical location. On the beach on Maui, Krampus sips a cold refreshing beverage while enjoying a presentation by a local hula troupe.

In the United States, Santa is taken for granted. It is a foregone conclusion that Santa will always deliver on the presents. Kids in America don’t know how good they have it because no matter how naughty they have been during the year, Santa will never fail to bring them something. In fact, the very worst they can expect is that Santa will fill their Christmas stockings with lumps of coal. This is not the end of the world, because with the soaring cost of energy reaching unprecedented heights, the children can easily pool their lumps of coal and sell them to the local power utility and use the cash to buy the gifts that Santa did not bring due to their naughtiness.

However, in Europe, children have a lot more to fear, particularly in Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Germany. In those countries, jolly old St. Nick hands out gifts on his feast day of December 6th. However, he does not punish children himself no matter how bad they have been. Instead, he delegates that task to a terrifying horned creature called the Krampus, who accompanies Santa on his visits and metes out punishment according to Santa’s instructions.

The children that Santa has fingered as naughty are seized by the Krampus, who whips them with a switch of birch branches or with rusty chains. In extreme cases involving exceptionally naughty children, the Krampus is said to carry them in his backpack to the forest where he proceeds to devour them. Alternatively, the Krampus simply stuffs them into a sack which he then tosses into a stream.

People who have observed the widespread lack of discipline, manners and work ethic that characterizes today’s youth have suggested that a serious dose of Krampus might be in order here in America.

The origin of the Krampus can be traced back thousands of years. It is believed that the Krampus was an evolution of the Norse god Loki that was slowly assimilated into Christian tradition. Many European countries today organize Krampus festivals on December 5th, the day before St. Nick arrives. A number of designated individuals dress up as the Krampus and go from house to house scaring children with their growls and their switches and drinking schnapps with their parents. As the night progresses, it is not unusual to see the Krampus throwing up in the gutter.

If a Krampus should approach you in the darkness of night, you will certainly know him by his long horns and his most unusual characteristic of having one humanlike foot and another that resembles a cloven hoof of a goat.

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