Monday, December 17, 2012

INCOMING PATIENT: SCOTT THOMAS

PATIENT: SCOTT THOMAS
ILLNESS: WRITER AND ARTIST


Scott Thomas is the author of 8 short story collections, which include Urn and Willow, Quill and Candle, Midnight in New England, Westermead, The Garden of Ghosts, and Over the Darkening Fields. He is also the author of the fantasy novel, Fellengrey.
 
Fellengrey is a nautical adventure set in a fantastical world reminiscent of 18th Century Britain. It follows the sailing life of Lt. Hale Privet as he battles villains, deals with the effects of magic, and finds himself smitten by a lovely lass. Included in the book is an introductory tale about an unfortunate coxswain named Mill Burnshire who finds himself shrunken to the size of a child and trapped on an island he cannot leave.
 
He has seen print in numerous anthologies, such as The Years Best Fantasy and Horror #15, The Year's Best Horror #22, The Ghost in the Gazebo, Leviathan 3, Otherworldly, Maine, and The Solaris Book of new Fantasy. His work appears with that of his brother Jeffrey Thomas in Punktown: Shades of Grey and The Sea of Flesh and Ash. Scott and his girlfriend Peggy live in coastal Maine.


**TAKE YOUR PILLS, SCOTT. YOU'RE DRAWING DEMONS**

I'm a big fan of etchings, particularly in charcoal and paper. To me, there is such a raw strength that jumps off the page when you look at them, and when Scott draws something like a demon coming out of the ground, it really looks as if it's crawling off the page. His work is very memento mori which is Latin for "Remember your mortality / Remember you must die." I saw a lot of skeletal work and framing when I visited Italy, and when I see these guttural images of ghastly women and born-again demons, it's striking and horrifying, but not in a Halloween sense. Scott brings life to death on the page and his ethereal symbolism leaks through his characters. It's beautiful in a Gothic sense. A tragic sense.

I don't want to go all art critic on my readers (because the patients get restless if I wander too long) but the image to my right is what I envision nightmares to be made of. Scott's biography tells us that he's well versed in the genre of horror and fantasy, and from what I've seen, the man knows what it means to build terror out of dreams. When you see a piece like this with a woman bearing her nakedness against the offset of a flowing, gossamer gown as she's being ravished by demons, it's hard not to wonder what sin she's being punished for. What story we're not allowed to know. Her eyes are blacked out, and her hair is being swept off the page as if someone is yanking her away from us...as if we can't stare at her for too long.  It's haunting and it makes me want to take that chance and here that story.

These two images spoke to me the most as I sifted through Scott's marvelous collection. A true talent in both the worlds of literature and art, I expect to see more of him in the MADHOUSE. And as a special treat for all my well-behaved headcases, I'm going to be showing his artwork in WARD C for the rest of the week. So do feel free to pop back in over the next couple of days to see some more of Scott's work.

Until then, look for Fellengrey published by the craziest crew of them all: RAW DOG SCREAMING PRESS.

And as always...
Stay Scared.

Stepahnie M. Wytovich