Art Inspired by Thomas Ligotti’s Weird Tales – Puppets and Frolicking

"The Puppet Children"

“The Puppet Children” by S.C. Hickman

Darling child, come away with me!
Such beautiful games I can play with you,
So many colorful flowers on the beach,
My mother has many a golden robe.

—Franz Schubert’s song, the “Erlkönig,” based on a text by Goethe. 

I’ve written many essays on Thomas Ligotti’s works which are available on the tab at the top of the page, but now I want to explore through art and image his world of the weird, eerie, and strange. Instead of writing about Ligotti’s work I’ll let the art speak for itself and use quotes from his tales to illustrate the inspirations.

"She Saw That Which Should Not Be"

“…all weird fiction is based on creating a subjective sense of strangeness. It never describes hitherto unimagined orders of being, although it often hints at such things. But that’s all it can do is hint.”

—Thomas Ligotti, Interview “The Grimscribe in Cyberspace”

"Charles Wrenn"

Charles Wrenn a Librarian in Thomas Ligotti’s tale “The Last Feast of Harlequin” by S.C. Hickman

“If truth is what you seek, then the examined life will only take you on a long ride to the limits of solitude and leave you by the side of the road with your truth and nothing else.”

—Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race

"Last Feast of Harlequinn" by S.C. Hickman

“Last Feast of Harlequinn” by S.C. Hickman

“The pessimist’s credo, or one of them, is that nonexistence never hurt anyone and existence hurts everyone.”
—Thomas Ligotti

“But not John Doe. He’s a comparatively lazy demi-demon from a Neverland where dizzy chaos is the norm, a state of affairs on which he gluttonously thrives.”

—Thomas Ligotti, Songs of a Dead Dreamer (“The Frolic”)

“He seemed to feel a kind of homesickness, though his ‘home’ is a ramshackle ruin of his decayed mind. His psychosis has evidently bred an atrocious fairyland which exists in a powerful way for him. And despite the demented grandeur of his thousand names, he actually sees himself as only a minor figure in this world— a mediocre courtier in a broken-down kingdom of miracles and horrors.”

—Thomas Ligotti, “The Frolic”

"Gone Frolicking"

“Gone Frolicking” by S.C. Hickman

“Dr. Monk, read the note from inside the animal, we leave this behind in your capable hands, for in the black-foaming gutters and back alley of paradise, in the dank windowless gloom of some intergalactic cellar, in the hollow pearly whorls found in sewer like seas, in starless cities of insanity, and in their slums . . . my awestruck little deer and I have gone frolicking. See you anon. Jonathan Doe.”

—Thomas Ligotti, Songs of a Dead Dreamer (“The Frolic”)

I’ll be adding other pieces in the future inspired by his and other authors of Weird Tales. Hope you enjoyed the above work. Thanks!

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2022 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

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