Episode 47 – Pickman’s Model

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It’s a ghouls night out as we talk Pickman’s Model with special guest Josh Bentley!

And send us your art!

Next week: The Silver Key

Want to hear Andrew Leman read The Haunter of the Dark? Help us produce it by donating to the podcast! Listen to Episode 47 for more details, and keep visiting the site for new information!

Post Comment 28 comments on “Episode 47 – Pickman’s Model

  • Aram on

    Great podcast about a great story. Very, very well done.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I would like to add one minor bitch because you left out my absolute favorite bit: the fact that Thurber is so horrified, so changed by his experience that he has developed a phobia – an actual fear of subways because the underground reminds him of the close proximity of the ghouls.

    That line, and its implication of the absolute reality of unknown horrors lurking just beneath the most mundane scenes of our day-to-day life allowed me to forgive the “no duh” last sentence.

  • c210344 on

    Now I want to listen to the Misfits!

  • Chris Lackey on

    We do mention that he has a phobia! Exactly 5:17 in the podcast! It’s in there!

    Thanks for contributing though!

  • Ilker Yücel on

    I know the show does have time constraints, and there’s often only so much to be fit into a single episode… this is where these comments and forums come in handy. Pickman was also referenced – as the creepy old inn-keeper Mrs. Pickman – in John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, the third film of his “Apocalypse Trilogy,” and which is an acknowledged pastiche of Lovecraft’s works (with nods to Stephen King as well). I also saw the ever changing painting in the inn as a slightly more indirect reference to the story (images from life and such).

  • Glenn Edberg on

    You wanted to see some artwork based on this novella, so I thought I could nudge ye to my take on the painting, I will probably do more Pickman art in the future, it’s a great story for an artist so it’s really one of my favorite.

    I also want to say that Barker shows Lovecraft some love in Cabal where there resides in Midian a painter with a canine head 😀

    Keep up the great work guys! I’ll see if I can get a donation down to ye, would be kick-ass to get The Haunter of the Dark reading! Andrew has such a great voice for Lovecraft!

  • Aram on

    @Chris Lackey Oh yeah, you did, didn’t you. I guess I just got distracted by the subsequent commentary on Goya and whatnot.

  • Aram on

    Also I like the implication that if Thurber were any less “hard-boiled” he would have fainted upon seeing the paintings, rather than just screaming.

  • Mike Davey on

    Another interesting listen. Thanks.
    I’ve given you a few quid to help with the “Haunter” reading, even though it’s not a particularly favourite story of mine.
    I’ll give a lot more if you ever do “Innsmouth”!!

  • Kat on

    Awesome podcast, been listening to it recently with a friend at school who I recently turned onto Lovecraft. I agree with Glen that Pickman’s model is a great story for an artist, it’s so full of atmosphere!

    Been wondering when you two would get around to this story and I’m glad that you have!

  • tbob on

    Disappointed in the choice of “Haunter”. It’s already been done very, very well by Wayne June on The Dark Worlds of HP Lovecraft, vol. 5.

  • Reber Clark on

    from AMAZON.com regarding the “Dark World” recordings: “The one flaw of the series is that the readings seem to be taken from the early corrupted texts of Lovecraft’s works, which have since been thoroughly re-edited and corrected by the magnificent scholar, S. T. Joshi. Per example, the final line of ‘The Haunter of the Dark’ reads, in its corrected text, ‘I see it–coming here–hell-wind–titan blur–black wings–Yog-Sothoth save me–the three-lobed burning eye…’
    In the uncorrected version, unable to read Lovecraft’s handwriting, the person editing the text deciphered ‘titan blur’ as ‘titan blue,’ and this incorrect version is what we hear on this recording, alas.”

  • Reber Clark on

    IMNSHO Andrew Leman is the absolute best choice of voice working today to read, narrate or otherwise vocally frame any of Lovecraft’s material. I am really looking forward to his reading of “The Haunter of the Dark.”

  • Tim Scurr on

    Great show fellas! Really appreciate how well you can put it together with three speakers from different parts of the world. Good story, too, though in my shameful ignorance had originally thought it was a warewolf story. Read it long ago, before realising the HP had his own ‘ghoul lore’, if that’s the right phrase. Thought ‘ghoul’ was just a general term, like ‘monster’. Also, refernces to things with canine-like heads. Ghouls appear (very zombie-like) in the video game Fallout 3, and can be found in the basement of the ‘Dunwich Building’ (kid you not)with a creepy idol pillar thing. Also, ‘squeals and bleats’ reminds me of the pig men from ‘House on the Borderlands’ whose author I currently cannot recall, and to a much lesser degree, Seinfeld. Is ‘Pickman’s Model’ a forerunner to the CLASSIC film C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers)featuring the irrepressible acting talent of Daniel Stern? Stretchy neck + samuri sword = good times!

  • Keith McCaffety on

    I’ve been critical before of HPL stories that are all horror and no sci-fi, but I liked this story quite a bit. Atmosphere. It’s got so much of it.

    “Out of ten surviving houses built before 1700 and not moved since I’ll wager that in eight I can show you something queer in the cellar.”

    Great line.

  • Peter Byrne on

    Another fabulous podcast, chaps, keep it up!

    I think that there’s an implication in the story that Pickman himself is a changeling. Thurber wonders “if he was a man”, his appearance may be changing, the painting of the hanged witch on Gallows Hill (like his ancestor) resembles the ghouls, and that ancestor was presumably from a Puritan family like the one in the painting.

    The last paragraph to me is quite effective, but that the italicised sentence should not have been the last, but just before it – that the photograph’s background “was merely the wall of the cellar studio in minute detail”. He expected to see background, but instead sees the foreground – could it be that the events in the other paintings happened in the studio? It says to me that Pickman crosses the line from documenting the ghouls to encouraging them, providing the meal for them. The ghouls hear Thurber’s shout, and start coming out of the well – perhaps the shouts have been like a dinner bell in the past?


  • Steve on

    Bart: We come now to the final and most terrifying painting of the evening. To even gaze upon it is to go mad.
    Homer: (Looking at the painting) Aah! They’re dogs…and they’re playing poker! Aah!
    Bart: We had a story to go with this painting, but it was far too intense. So we just threw something together with vampires. Enjoy!

  • Peter Etherington on

    Oooh, The Silver Key coming up. I didn’t used to like the Dreamlands stuff, didn’t really read much of it, but just recently I got into it, and there’s some amazing stuff, especially in Through the Gates of the Silver Key, which must have been written when HP had had too much coffee – very mind-expanding! After you’ve exhausted all of Lovecraft’s stuff, will you move on to the other Mythos stuff, by people like Brian Lumley?

  • Mike H on

    I believe William Blake has a depiction of something that I would consider a ghoul; “Ghost of a Flea”. Excellent podcast and reading. Looking forward to “Haunter”. Keep up the good work.

  • Whelp on

    Hey, have either of you guys (Chris and Chad) watched A Short Film About John Bolton? It’s basically a not-entirely-terrible tribute/knock-off to Pickman’s Model.


    It’s worth checking out, if only to see how the basic premise of the story can be adapted to suit a different artist.

  • Bill Sorensen on

    Wonderful episode! The choice of excerpts really captured the spirit of the story.

    The most effective visions of Pickman’s paintings that I’ve encountered are at:


  • […] including Saturn Devouring His Son and Witches’ Sabbath. Here’s that Mastermind […] HPPodcraft.com – The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast Comments […]

  • Renae on

    Greetings! I’m relatively new to the site, and I’ve just got a quick question: I keep finding eps like this where you guys talk about the works listed, but I can’t seem to find where the actual audio bits are for the stories you discuss. We hear snippets of them in your awesome show, but where can one find the full readings you play? I’m dying to hear “Shadow Over Innsmouth” and “Pickman’s Model.” ^_^

    Many Thanks!

  • Sam Inabinet on

    Listeners are invited to view my versions of Pickman’s work at http://saminabinet.deviantart.com/

  • BreeLandwalker on

    This is probably my favorite Lovecraft yarn aside from The Haunter of the Dark. So glad to see it included here, thoroughly enjoyed the podcast!

  • Miguel Leon on

    I always pronounced charnal as karnal. Like how you pronounce chasm.

  • W. Ager on

    Been binging on the show, this is my first post. Have been devouring past episodes. I was referred to your podcast from A Podcast to the Curious. Just wanted to point out that there is a similarity between this and M R James’s “The Scrapbook of Cannon Alberich”, where the line used is “It was drawn from the life.”Very like the climax in this story. Thank you so much for posting these podcasts. Fabulous stuff.

  • W. Ager on

    Sorry, should read “Cannon Alberic’s Scrap-book”

  • GoodleShoes on

    This story was the beginning of my ghoul obsession.

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