Physical Evidence

. . . there are few things louder or more terrifying than the shrieks of a 13-year old girl discovering a preserved Lovecraftian beastie chilling in the freezer. Trust me, I know.

Propnomicon, This Week’s Crass Commercialism

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My heavily patched book bag.

Propnomicon is a blog devoted to sharing and crafting physical props based on the stories of the Cthulhu mythos. Posts share images from individuals’ projects constructing twisted idols and the classic “thing in a jar” from Miskatonic University’s archives, among other inventive crafts.

Also, and this is my favorite part, the author of Propnomicon goes beyond one-off projects. From time to time, limited runs of mythos-based props come up for sale. Consider, for example, this patch from Miskatonic University’s Antarctic expedition from At the Mountains of Madness, pictured to the right. That one’s sewn to my everyday book bag. The artist has also designed a patch for the Australian expedition from The Shadow Out of Time, as well as die-cut pins of both designs.

I love props like these, because they have the feeling of verisimilitude well beyond the more self-aware “Fightin’ Cephalopods” T-shirts. One time, a stranger asked me to tell him about “this Antarctic expedition,” which has to be the ultimate compliment for a propmaker.

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Ready to contain all the Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know that you can scrawl in a frenzied hand.

As part of a recent prop package, now sadly sold out, along with a Miskatonic U. patch and pin, the artist offered M.U. field notebooks. What better props with which to take notes and sketch maps for your Call of Cthulhu game than something your character would have gotten from the supply cupboard of the science building — or picked off the body of a hapless researcher? I missed out on the package deal of patch, notebooks and a postcard, but I was able to snag a set of just the notebooks, which is what I really wanted in the first place.

They look just great, don’t they? I’m going to have to make myself actually write in them.

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12 thoughts on “Physical Evidence

    • His question took me by surprise, as I was just idly waiting for the elevator. For a second, I was tempted to spin a story, but took the straightforward route, saying it was a reference to an old horror story.

  1. Propnomicon does great work and I enjoy his blog, in fact made me look into Lovecraft and Cthulhu mythos.

    Yes I know, now I’m hooked and it’s all down hill 🙂

  2. My only problem with his stuff is it’s simply so hard to get ahold of it! The patches sell out in short time and forget ebay – who wants to pay $60 for a great patch that normally runs less than $10?

    Let him know to do a bigger patch run next time and to stop putting them one-at-a-time on eBay – such a scam and an insult to those of us who really like his stuff!

    • I can understand your frustration. But I think it’s fair to suppose the low print runs are more about the economies of scale than a desire to rake in cash on eBay. With specialty stuff like this, done as a hobby, the producer has to balance how much money they can sink into manufacturing, the time spent mailing them out and how many boxes of unsold patches and bits they’re willing to have kicking around the house because they overestimated demand.

      And you should certainly tell him how you feel directly. His Blogger profile has an email link.

      • Every week for the past 4 or 5 I’ve watched as a single Miskatonic patch has been loaded into eBay and been run up from $4.50 to upwards or $30, $40 and last week almost $60.00 and higher. I understand needing to make back your costs, but I can’t pay $20 or more for a patch that, btw, would look great on my vintage jacket. If he has 20 or 30 left, put ’em on eBay and let us buy out the last of the batch at a fixed price rather than pitting we fans against one another.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about the problems caused by the short-run nature of my production. That said, I do have high-resolution 300 dpi source files of every logo available under a Creative Commons license for free on the blog. If you have a printer you can download the logos and print them on iron-on transfer paper that’s available at craft stores for around $5-$6.

    • I’ll just keep trying to get a patch on ebay for under $15.00. I do think it’s awesome that you make your graphics available under the Creative Commons license, so kudos for that. And I’ll try to jump faster next time you do a patch run.

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