Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drawn to Them

When the other students of my 8th grade Spanish class looked at Ms. Monsanto, our hot Puerto Rican teacher, they probably didn't see what I did. While she recounted and possibly embellished stories of her youth in Spanish Harlem (just like West Side Story?), only a few short miles away from our own toney suburbs, the other kids most likely saw a very pretty woman in her early 20's enthusiastically teaching the curriculum. The girls probably wanted to emulate this strong, statuesque, slightly exotic woman. The boys...well, it's not hard to figure that one out. Come to think of it, probably the same went for a few of the girls too. She dressed very well; tasteful enough in stylish clothes that never crossed an unspoken danger zone sure to alert the other faculty, but enough to mildly stimulate the raging hormones in all of us. Or rather, some of us because for me the attraction was more than mild.

It was classic hot for teacher stuff, and in a slightly warped perspective included images of the comic book heroine Vampirella, whom I only recently discovered. Add a dash of fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, some Hammer Studio horror movies, and the result was a potent and swirling stew of intoxicating confusion. It made Ms. Monsanto morph right there in front of me into something fantastic. She was animated, no - I mean literally animated and walked around the room a lot teaching and talking, which gave me ample opportunity to never avert my eyes and soak in every detail of her form. There were fangs, naturally. And high heels, but sometimes cloven hooves. A green scaly devil's tail magically poked through her pants and languidly, hypnotically swayed behind her in an almost absent-minded sort of way. She had a habit of pulling her hair back into a pony tail revealing bat-like ears. When she moved toward the clutch of cheerleaders at the back of the room I knew those red lips were ready to conjugate something good. "Voy, vas, van. Vamos, vais, vampire?" Then wham! I was back in class merely holding my pencil and staring into space.

Such are the travails of adolescence but my fantasy life didn't end there. I wrote previously (A Fresh Start) the dearth of pretty vampires didn't stop me from creating them, so I learned to illustrate. Poorly. This was a time before PhotoShop, so I surreptitiously tore full-page picture ads from fashion magazines and applied onion paper over the photos and began tracing, and coloring, until a feeble approximation of what was in my mind appeared on paper. The subjects were usually vamping anyway; silky hair-care models...smiling toothpaste girls with perfect teeth...sultry women with perfect makeup...the genesis of an obsession was begun. (Not all images below are mine.)

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My drawing of Ms. Monsanto layered atop an advertisement photograph for hair a care product.

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My perfect woman in extremis has cloven hooves, a serpent's tail and wings.

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This sweetheart with fangs just makes me feel happy. I'd buy her an ice cream sundae anytime.

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Here's supermodel Cindy Crawford looking pensive in a Maybelline cosmetics ad.

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Cindy Crawford again in Maybelline.

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Top model Shalom Harlowe.

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Supermodel Christy Turlington has long been a favorite subject of mine

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Truth be told...Vampirella is more sexy than pretty but she's what inspired me early on to like ladies with fangs and other supernatural abilities.

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I'll take a pretty one with a nice set of fangs.


Scott said...

Hey. I've been a big fan of all the various webpages/blogs you have. Dracula the tv series is one of my all time favorites. A long time ago I think you had this bBuffy story which I loved.

Lucy Westenra said...

Thanks for reminding me about that story. I found it, here's a short excerpt. I'll see about posting it again sometime in the future.

"Feeling as she was in no immediate danger, Buffy climbed out from beneath the sheets and looked at herself in the mirror. To her astonishment she traced the odd feeling in her back to a gleaming red tail. Scaled and cold, she held it in her hand and fascinated at the sensation it gave. She felt her touch on its shimmering, iridescent surface. It was surely part of her, she thought, sensitive to the touch. Then she marveled at the condition of her fingers. They reminded her of a raptor’s claws, the nails were black, thick and very sharp.

"Don’t worry," said Willow "You should have seen me when I woke up. You’re lucky. It took me a while to figure out how to put on my shoes over my…what did you call them Cordelia?"

"Cloven hooves."

"Yeah, cloven hooves. I looked like I was a half-goat or something. But you’ll figure out how to change your shape soon enough. I mean, if you want to look normal or something, you can."

Buffy looked more closely at herself in the mirror now. The sharp horns protruding from her forehead were interesting. She grabbed them and pulled them tight. Yes, they were firmly part of her skull. "

Gray Witch said...

Who is the artist on the last one?
Very hot batties!

Ghostkin said...

I stumbled across your blog by accident tonight, and like you, wish the girl-next-door would sprout fangs and come over. I love the notion of vampires - the romance, their continuous struggle with emotions, eternity, humanity, faith and loneliness.

This probably sounds crazy, but I am obsessed. I even entertain the idea that really do exist, to the point where I have tried vampire spells, the ode to the vampire mother selene, researched blogs, websites, books, movies etc. and always am left disappointed by the pretenders and charlatans. I think it stems from the fact that they are like a doppelgänger to my soul and reflect my own beliefs and emotions, whatever the case, I think If the girl-next-door ever did come over I would make her some coffee to hold and talk to her for as long as she would allow.

Thank you for the beautifully written articles, I love your use of language, imagination and humour and thoroughly enjoyed your posts.