The newly released Necronomicon Pop-Up Book by Skinner is another successful collaboration between an Artist and Paper Engineer Rosston Meyer from Poposition Press. Skinner created the Necronomicon book as a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. The combination of Skinners detailed illustration style and Lovecraft’s horror stories are a match made in heaven. Or should we say hell? It’s pretty dark and evil, that’s for sure. We’ve just published a review and video of Necronomicon and we also got the chance to ask Skinner some questions about this project and how he managed to create such suitable artwork for the notorious Necronomicon, also know as Al Azif’ or the Book of Dead. Read all about it in this interview!
BPUB – Congratulations on your first pop-up book! Have you ever thought that you would be involved making a pop-up book?
SKINNER – I never thought I would do it, I always filed it under “projects I’d like to do but am logistically impaired from doing” then Rosston came around, and all of a sudden it was possible!
BPUB – Before working with Rosston from Poposition Press, were you familiar with the concept of pop-up books and paper engineering?
SKINNER – I always loved them growing up! Seemed like pop up books were popular in the 80’s maybe. Monster ones and dinosaurs and stuff, but I never understood how it worked. I was small and preoccupied with popsicles probably.
Pop-up Spread “The Shadow Out of Time” of the Necronomicon Pop-Up Book
BPUB – Can you describe how it is to see your artwork come to life through animations or pop-ups?
Skinner – Well, it’s a bit like Christmas I guess! Haha, it’s a surprise! But it’s actually incredibly rewarding to see how much of a quality product the NECRONOMICON became. I never would have thought that an independent project made by two people would be this good in its final form!
BPUB – Is there any difference in the way you find inspiration for a flat illustration compared to an illustration for a three-dimensional paper structure?
SKINNER – Reserving a space in my mind for the logistics of paper engineering definitely steers the idea of how it will look as a design or drawing. I work in multiple mediums and I approach them all from the actual logistics of the medium itself… it’s the easiest and most fluid way of getting the project done to me. Inserting the weirdness into the parameters of the thing itself is the fun part.
BPUB – Do you have a favorite monster in this book? Maybe one that freaked you out while working on it?
SKINNER – Haha well, I am actually proud of the fact that I think I have a favorite, until I look at the other pages… I mean to say, that I feel really content with the quality of each page as a presentation of the story, and the monsters juxtapose well against each other. The Cthulhu is probably the most intricate main monster, but the Dunwich horror may be my favorite!
“This was just something that needed to happen!”
BPUB – Does it happen that you surprise yourself when you see what monsters and scenes come out of your own imagination while drawing horror stories like these?
SKINNER – It’s kind of surprising that I have the discipline to stay focused for each page! Haha, the stories are very specifically their own story with their own details, and I tried to incorporate those details.. I guess I’m surprised that I maintained the details, although it’s best to fully commit to them in any nerdy genre so you don’t ruffle the feathers of people that are well versed in them. I know from first-hand experience how it will perturb me when people get facts wrong around any kind of nerdy stuff I’m into! Hahaha!
BPUB – Have you always been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s work?
SKINNER – Since high school, I have been, and then it kind of expanded outwardly. There are so many incredible weird horror writers besides him too!
BPUB – So this theme must have been on your mind for a while? Was it your intention to save your “translation” of the Necronomicon for something special like a pop-up book?
SKINNER – Well, Rosston asked if I wanted to do a pop-up book, and I could have done one of my own art and story or something, but it wouldn’t have been as indulgent as a Necronomicon with seminal Lovecraft tales in it! This was just something that needed to happen!
Pop-up spreads of the Necronomicon book
BPUB – As a fan of Lovecraft’s work, is there some kind of limit for you on how far you can go by using your own imagination to translate his detailed storytelling into artwork?
SKINNER – Not really, I could have gotten as weird as possible… I think anything could have worked, barring abstract triangles piled on each other or something.. but even then, maybe!
BPUB – If you could pick a soundtrack for this pop-up book, what song would it be?
SKINNER – Maybe, Dopesmoker by Sleep.
BPUB – We would love to see a Dungeons & Dragons pop-up book created by you. Any thoughts about that?
SKINNER – Oh shit I would love to do that!!!!
BPUB – If our followers would like to know more about your work what would be the best place to find you?
SKINNER – Probably my Instagram @theartofskinner. I gotta find someone to help me update it. I’m too busy and ridiculous to maintain my internet responsibilities!
BPUB – Thank you Skinner for this interview!
SKINNER – My pleasure! Humbled to be asked!
Skinner (L) and Rosston Meyer (R) posing with both editions of the Necronomicon Pop-Up Book.
Click here to go to our full (video) review of the Necronomicon Pop-Up Book