Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of THE OUTER SPACE MEN , THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright (c) MEL BIRNKRANT
CTHULHU NAUTILUS is the direct descendant of the Elder Gods that once inhabited this planet, eons before the time of man began. He possesses his ancient ancestorís ability to project both his mind and body through the Seven Dimensions of Time and Space to explore the farthest reaches of our Galaxy and the vast Unknown Universe that lies beyond the Milky Way. CTHULHU NAUTILUS is equally at home in the murky depths of Earthís Great Oceans and the caves and caverns of the Hollow World, below. Now, he joins the Outer Space Men in their quest to save the Cosmos from the carnivorous onslaught of "VORACIOUS," the ever ravenous Black Hole.
The image above is Cthulhu as he was first envisioned. At this point, I must admit, I took him only semi seriously. Like all the later Outer Space Men and women, he had to be based upon what already existed, to which only a new head could be added. When it came to adding yet another character to the line in the form of one more new head that could be included in Zero and Luna's mold, it was Matt Doughty who encouraged me to choose Cthulhu. I was favoring Moltina and, hopefully, both flaming creatures, but whenever I mentioned that possibility, both Matt and Gary were conspicuously silent. So, finally, I saw the light, and to Mattís delight, I agreed to choose Cthulhu.
Thus, Eric Treadaway, in the continuing tradition of the Four Horsemen Outer Space Men, set about sculpting him. As could be expected his sculpture, or I should say, the computer image he created, to later be printed in 3D, was quite perfect. Nonetheless, I was really not excited. This was my own fault, not his.
I know that Gary, for one, is sick of hearing this screed, but Iíll bore you with it, anyway. When I created the Outer Space Men, fifty years ago, it was easy to be original. Originality, in fact, was unavoidable, because there was nothing out there to compete with, either in the toy stores, or in Outer Space. Now, several million action figures later, everything seems to have been done already, and managing to be original is like filling in the final word in a million word-wide crossword puzzle.
Furthermore, when Lovecraft introduced Cthulhu, he barely described him, suggesting little, and leaving the rest to be supplied by the readerís imagination. Meanwhile, several thousand illustrated interpretations later, that ambiguous character has become so thoroughly visualized, that his well defined appearance has become a stereotype, as familiar as Mickey Mouse. One quick look at Google images will disclose a thousand Cthulhus, many of which are spectacular. So, what is a poor old Earthling like me to do to make our humble little GLYOS Cthulhu interesting, and possibly a little different too? Well by now, if youíve been following the OSM, you might know that the small regiment of OSM that populate my desk are backlit and, therefore, several, with my help, are prone to glow.
So, I determined early on that our Cthulhuís eyes would glow as well. Then, studying Ericís computer sculpture, I had a breakthrough moment. The back and top of Cthulhuís head could become a transparent dome to gather light, and, more importantly, that little bump above his nose could become a small third eye that would also glow. Hooray! Our guy was going to have something to offer that seemed, at least, a little bit original.
Here is another set of overlays that explain what I had in mind more clearly. The dome shape on the back of Cthulhuís head would gobble up light, and radiate it through his eyes.
And here we see the third eye depicted more distinctly.
Naturally, Eric nailed it perfectly!
Last of all I suggested that the middle eye could use some sort of eyelid, which Eric did. And then, the wait began....
Now, in the many weeks that followed, waiting for his new head to arrive, I played with his body, which as everybody knows is based on Astro Nautilus. Looking at him, standing there, sporting Mystronís wings, he soon got Mystronís lower torso and pointed tail as well. And then, partly because he kept falling over, and partly to create a different look, he borrowed new feet from Orbitron. And, here he stands, waiting to trade his old head in for the new one that should be arriving any day. And then Iíll paint him, in colors iridescent, and send him on his way.
Meanwhile, somewhere in New Jersey, the three new heads that Eric made, are underway.
Here we see what I believe to be all three heads newly ejected from the 3D printer, waiting to be trimmed and finished. I am told that they will be on their way to me in a few days. It has been decided that I will paint Cthulhu, while Eric will supply the finished paint masters for the other two new figures, Zero and Luna.