Sep 7 2011

#130 “Impasse at Dead Moon”

From a stranger in Morgantown, Pennsylvania

What/where exactly is “Dead Moon”? I can’t say for sure, but what I can tell you is that it must be a place of twisted mystery, a place where Ralph Steadman meets Leonardo Davinci, where “Starry Night” meets a horrific nightmare rendition of Scooby Doo. It’s a place where all roads converge at a dark dead end of a spooky stained glass canyon, flooded with the bizarre light of brightly twinkling red stars and the pale light of a yellow vermiculate moon.

It’s a place of perplexing and mystifying oddities, of sights and sounds beyond description. Dead Moon is a place that hums with curiosity and electricity buzzes through the air and sets the hairs inside your nostrils to itching. It’s a place where wild, mutated wolves howl in a twisted chorus of arcane loneliness so soul-stirring that few are able to withstand its lonesome cry. In the background of this illustration, you can see one such victim of these queer wolf howls, hanging from the sharply pointed tip of the dead moon, itself.

Those who find themselves in this place of unfathomable mystery often don’t know how they came to set their feet upon the shifting sands of this crazed world, this realm of warped wonder. But they do know one thing: when those wretchedly pink lips begin to curl back from the misshapen jaws of the dead moon wolves, there’s anyplace they’d rather be. Some say Dead Moon is a deep valley in the heart of a small undiscovered island off the coast of Thailand. Others say it’s a strange dystopian oasis in the middle of Death Valley. Still others say it exists only in the minds of those who have been bitten by a rabid wolf born under a crescent moon.

Some say Dead Moon doesn’t exist at all, but those people… well, somehow they always seem to… disappear.


May 14 2011

#14 “That Lonesome Lupine Cry”

From Frank and the University of Missouri.

There is perhaps nothing capable of raising the tiny hairs on the back of one’s arms and neck to such a chilling degree as the mysteriously plaintive call of the wolf. For centuries humans have been intrigued by various forms of animal communication. In fact in modern times this study has entered the realm of science where no doubt more mysteries than answers will evolve. But no matter how much or how little definitive information is revealed to us about these various communication techniques, one fact will remain: no cry elicits an emotional response quite like that of the lonesome lupine.

When one examines the work of art featured above (which depicts a somewhat disheveled wolfman crying out towards the moon), a certain question is no doubt raised: If the howl of a wolf is able to invoke such an emotional response from man, then what does it suggest about the emotional condition of the wolf? Is it reasonable to assume that the wail of a wolf indicates a certain degree of cognitive emotion within the creature?

Look at it this way:

Generally, as a result of the typical tone of the wolf cry, the timing of it (usually at night), and the circumstances under which one hears the cry (for most people this would occur during activities like camping or removing themselves from their typically urban or suburban setting), the cry of the wolf is often described with words such as ‘lonely,’ ‘plaintive,’ and ‘mournful.’ But… simply because this is the way that the sound is often described and perceived, does this mean that the cry is actually driven by a gloomy disposition within the wolf? Also, would there be a difference in the emotional quality of the traditional wolf and that of the anthropomorphic wolf? One might suggest that since the anthro wolf is a much more rare breed, and since it is trapped between the human and animal world, its cry would be all the more lonesome.

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this matter. Also, thanks again to Frank from the University of Missouri for submitting this fantastic anthropomorphic wolf portrait.

And finally, if you would like to read more information about wolf howls and wolf communication, check out this link.