Sunday, September 30, 2007

Introduction: My Life As A Monster Hunter


The Author


I have spent my life seeking out the unknown.

In the parlance of academia, my field of study is referred to as cryptozoology. More plainly: I am a Monster Hunter.

I have made it my business to track down legends, to investigate strange rumors, to delve into the darkest, unplumbed depths of nature -- searching out species heretofore unknown to humankind.

Now, for the first time, I am ready to share a selection of my most prized discoveries with the outside world.

***


"Respectable" universities have willfully denied the reality of my claims for too long. Scoffed at by closed-minded individuals -- who have never even dared step foot outside the safety of their ivory towers -- I am compelled to bring my appeal directly to the general public.

What you must understand is that we are currently in a state of global emergency.

Cryptids, extremeophiles, and exobiotes ("monsters" if you will) are facing the same environmental threats as better known species -- such as the Spotted Owl, Siberian Tiger, and Blue Whale. Man's encroachment on wild habitat may soon bring extinction to these creatures that are so exceedingly rare to begin with.

In other cases, we may ourselves become the victims of Man's relentless expansion. Many of the creatures that I have studied have remained anonymous for so long only because they are exceptional hunters -- witnesses to their existence have seldom survived to tell the tale.

We must also take seriously the environmental threat posed by invasive species that have accidentally been transported into ecosystems where they have no natural predators. I am thinking in particular of the Martian insect megafauna that have taken hold in central Africa, and the viral mutations that they have provoked in native populations.

I have been the first to sound the warning cry -- and as of yet, no university or environmental NGO has even seen fit to investigate.

***


My sincerest hope is that if the general public is able to experience the (often terrifying) majesty of these Monsters for themselves, then the groundswell of concern will finally compel academia and the powers that be to take action.

Toward this goal, I have hand-selected 31 animals from my personal bestiary. Over the course of October, 2007, I shall reveal them here on this "website" -- one each day. To help further illustrate my research notes and bring them to life for the reader, I have employed noted nature artist Sven Bonnichsen to produce an accompanying set of lush, photo-realistic paintings. I thank him for his willingness to embrace a broader view of life on Earth.

If all goes well, I will collect these documents into book form for wider dissemination. My tentative title: "Lifeforms Heretofore Unknown by Science: New discoveries from the world's most renowned monster hunter." As further news about the book project becomes available, announcements will be posted here.

And so, with all that said: ONWARD INTO THE UNKNOWN!

Professor Ichbonnsen
writing from Brussels, Belgium
September 2007


NOTE: If you want to support the book project -- or acquire a copy for yourself when it becomes available -- please consider writing to my editor at Scarlet Star Publishing. So many before him have flat out refused to be associated with my work... We must ensure that this (rather skittish) man does not also lose his resolve!

5 comments:

Loren Coleman said...

Another elaborate hoax to promote an artist's latest book?

The world's foremost cryptozoologist?

Come now.

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Honestly, I suspect that you're right: Ichbonnsen can't be for real.

He takes himself seriously... But he's clearly "confused" about a few really basic facts:

1. I am not a "noted nature artist." My partner and I have a small art studio in Portland, Oregon -- and my primary art is making animated films. Last year a number of online friends and I did sketches of imaginary monsters for October. I did mention Professor Ichbonnsen in those posts... I think that he contacted me because he Googled his own name, and then thought that he'd found a fellow cryptophile.

2. There is no such thing as Scarlet Star Publishing. Our art space is called Scarlet Star Studios -- so again, I think the Prof has mixed things up. There is no big money standing behind this project.

I took on doing the paintings for Monster Month because I thought it would be a really fun way to stretch out Halloween celebrations -- and because I wanted to develop my skills painting with acrylics.

However: Regardless of whether or not Ichbonnsen is "all there," I hate the thought of disappointing him. (He's so earnest about his delusions!) What I'm considering is putting together a little print-on-demand book, just to mollify him -- a souvenir from this whole ridiculous "Monster Month" thing, for friends and other folks who enjoyed the ride.

Shelley Noble said...

I MUST have a copy of the experiment's resulting book! These paintings are going to be beautiful and the explorations WILD!

gl. said...

i commented over on the scarlet letters, but i realized all the talking would probably be going on over here...

hello, professor ichbonnsen! nice to finally meet you; sven's been talking about you for a while now!

@loren: i guess you can't be blamed for thinking this is real; i think the professor thinks these creatures are real, too! (shhhh!) but check out last year's "monster month" to see how this all got started:
http://www.scarletstarstudios.com/blog/archives/bestiary/

oterhog said...

Eeeewwww....the adameve is truly creepy. I got a chill reading about it. I do recall a time in my childhood when I used to go sledding down a hill that lead down to an apple orchard. Once my sister and I were riding the sled together when we crashed into an apple tree. The crash caused some snow to drop on top of us in addition to what we thought were frozen bird fetuses. After seeing the image that Mr. Bonnichsen so accurately painted, I now know that those were no innocent baby birds.