The name Cowthulu came from a costume I did in the early nineties. I am somewhat known in the costuming world for doing strange parody costumes. This one I first did at Mile Hi Con in Denver, then at a Costume Con 11 in Pittsburgh in 1993. It won the “coveted” Spazzy Award.
Cowthulu is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu – one of the nasty old gods of wrath and tentacles. Cowthulu is a little friendlier (as cows tend more towards the vegetarian). When I did the stage presentation it was, of course, to the sounds of Cowmina Burana (with apologies to Carl Orff). Sadly, I have been unable to locate the recording, which is a shame since it featured a number of friends and family members making some very interesting animal noises!
I designed and built the costume with much help from my friend Heather Harvey. Cowmina Burana was recorded with the help of a number of people including Heather, my (now) wife Anna, my mother and my sister.
The costume has since inspired a number of pieces of art. The piece at the top was done by my friend Denise Clark, and is by far the darkest rendering. The logo for my web site was created by my friend John Corrigan:
This image is also my avatar in many locations. Heather, who also helped build the costume, and is an accomplished artist, contributed an Oekaki, which is a stylized computer drawing:
And she also created a version in the Precious Monsters series (I will eventually post about Precious Monsters in more detail):
And my sister, Danyda, created a Cowthulu polymer clay statue:
BTW – There is also now a Steve Jackson game – Munchkin Cthulhu 2 – Call of Cowthulhu. I am fairly sure that this is evidence of convergent evolution, although Cowthulu predates Cowthulhu by a number of years. One of these days, I will have to give the game a try…