Hide Your Skyr! Here Comes Skyrgámur!

Starting on the 19th of December, Skyrgámur descends from his mother’s volcanic cave and wreaks havoc on the poor, humble folk that leave their Skyr unattended. Skyr. Mighty cultured dairy product of the gods. It’s like thick yogurt, but less intensely flavored.

skyr

Skyrgámur, like all of the Yule Lads, loves to menace the common folk. His prefered brand of menace seems a little passive compared to, say, Stekkjarstaur, who loves to harass sheep. Skyrgámur just likes to break into people’s houses and eat all of their skyr. His name literally means Skyr-gobbler. I’m starting to think old Gryla was running out of ideas for terrible deeds for her sons to commit by the time Skyrgámur came around. Then again, he does have a brother who licks spoons, so maybe Gryla just has a skewed sense of menace.

Still, I imagine if Skyrgámur came calling with his assembled brothers and that infernal Yule Cat, things might get a little freaky.

skyrgamur
Image from Brian Pilkington’s the Yule Lads

The Wax Statue

During the earlier part of November I was able to fulfill a long-standing, bucket-list level personal wish and spend a few hours wandering through Guillermo Del Toro’s collection of monster and comic book ephemera. It was, to put it mildly, a life changing experience.

We arrived at the LACMA early on a Saturday morning, and were greeted by a statue of this fellow:

death-deltoro

That was just the beginning. A whole wing of the museum had been set aside to showcase the collection of my absolute favorite director. I saw props from movies going back to the beginning of the art form. Wax statues wearing actual costumes from movies like the Bride of Frankenstein, Crimson Peak, and Hellboy.

frank

I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. It was like something was following me around the building, but I couldn’t put my finger on it…

mother

There where original pages from comic books going back to the 1960’s, and statues of genre giants like Ray Harryhausen, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe statue was pretty cool, and the room he was in was full of Victoriana. And a really weird wax of someone I couldn’t place. He was propped up against the wall, like some sort of diminutive, vaguely Asian Tor Johnson wannabe. He was also one of the few standing waxes, and the only one propped against a wall.

poe-wax

I got a little closer to the Poe, trying to figure out who the dude against the wall was. I needed to be a little sneaky, since there were super cool film nerds all over the place, and the last thing I wanted to do was let on that I didn’t know who this guy was. Just look at him, though: He had to be someone

poe-wax-2

I got closer to the guy, and right when I was about 5 inches away, he reached up, scratched his nose, and went back to sleep. I choked back a scream, and tried to act like my sudden ability to levitate was perfectly natural.

My wife pointed out his ID badge, and really, it should have been a pretty strong clue to his being a real, live human being. Then again, he looks like a freaking wax statue, and if there is anything I have learned from Westworld, I really shouldn’t take any chances, right?

Regardless, it was the visit of a lifetime. I wish we had more time, and that the building had been empty. It was really hard to stand and gawk at everything for the appropriate amount of time. I could have spent an hour looking at these guys alone:

toothsome

Breakdown: The Miller’s Daughters, page 23.

Over the last year I have been working on a long-form graphic novel, which will eventually comprise a collection of original Fairy Tales and macabre morality plays. The first of which, the Miller’s Daughters, is about half way done.

The villain of the story, a wandering Rake, has embarked on a killing spree. As you can see, the story gets pretty grim:

Miller Page 11 High
Page 16 of the Miller’s Daughters

The hardest part of the story, frankly, has been that I am now at the point where the Rake is murdering the protagonists of the story. I really don’t like writing about kids getting killed, but it’s a ghost story… So I have to get through this part.

Here is the script for page 22, in which the Rake confronts Ophie Miller.

Page 23

Top Panel: The Rake is perched on a branch, several baby badgers are sitting around him, staring curiously. The Rake is clasping his hands together, looking up like a man at prayer.

Text Box:

The Rake, seeing his quarry treed in such an unfortunate manner, sat down to taunt his prey.

Panel Two: The Rake’s head and hand fill about 2/3rds of the panel. He is looking up, menacing. Little Faeries, stars, and flowers are flitting about his head.

Text Box:

“You, with your hair so dark, in that tree so high, remind me of the fairy stories, young miss,” said he.

“Of lost spirits in the wood, of sylphs, sidhe, and baine,” said he.

“Won’t you join your sister, dear?” he asked, as sincere as a jackal at an abattoir.

Panel Three, lower left hand corner: Ophie is incensed, in a defiant pose she is clutching one tree branch for support while gesturing at the Rake with her free hand. She is yelling.

Text Box:

Ophie replied only with a string of newly-catalogued curses, the depth and vivid imagery of which would have changed the nature of naval operations for centuries if they had been heard by any other ears.

Panel Four: The Rake looks shocked, eyes wide open…

Text Box:

Some so boldly vulgar as to give even this calloused Rake reason to blush.

Final Panel: Text:

Fancying up a new demise for so skillful a vulgarian, the Rake rummaged around in his rucksack until he found a decent sized package; all brown paper, grease stained and wrapped in twine.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the preliminary pencils for this page as part of the Workbench Wednesday update.