Alan Mackenzie

We look before and after, and pine for what is not;

Our sincerest laughter with some pain is fraught; 

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelly

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.

~ Aristotle

His name is Alan Mackenzie and while still living his human life he faithfully served as Quentin the Vampire Botanist’s valet and butler. Later he was promoted to Estate Manager, but regardless of title, he was always and ever Quentin’s good and true friend.

Quentin’s parents were hardly ever around and when they were, they weren’t. His mother far too busy socializing, his father much too engaged in gambling, together their parental sense combined could not fill a buttercup. The lonely, odd, and somehow lost little boy was often left in the care of Alan. He was one of the very few people that could make Quentin laugh and became the only man that Quentin ever trusted.

As many of us can attest, Life can throw us bitter curves and wrench our hearts with twisted luck. We all have regrets or sadness to bear. Quentin’s deepest grief came from the fact that Alan Mackenzie saved his mortal life and lost his own while doing so. He wasn’t even given time enough with his friend to thank him or say good-bye. Yet to have become a Vampire he could do nothing to bring Alan’s sweet and brave, funny and smart soul back to this world. Like only we mere mortals can, helpless to do otherwise, he grieved the loss of his friend.

Many years later, when Quentin began conducting his plant experiments he knew that though his plants were fierce and each had their own special defense, he needed a protector for them. Someone he could trust. Someone not a vampire. Someone who would watch over them all day and all night. Someone or…something.

He could think of no one more valiant and trustworthy than Alan. He exhumed Alan’s body and in a macabre ceremony, removed the rotted, earth-bound flesh and imbued Alan’s bones with plant and Vampire essence.

Alan is glad to once again be of service to Quentin and now sits at the garden’s gate, watching over the PlantVampings and occasionally regaling them with stories of Quentin as a boy or entertaining them with his jokes, which are always of the most moldy and cornball variety. No one cares though and everyone always laughs, because somehow Mr. Mackenzie has a special way of making a bad joke sound very humorous, indeed.

It was a true delight to sketch Mr. Mackenzie. Running an estate as vast as Quentin’s can keep one very busy. Although from what Quentin imparted to me, no matter how busy he might be, Alan always had time create laughter. He’s even more lighthearted now. As did life, death suits him. It doesn’t suit everyone, you know.
I drew Mr. Mackenzie in pen, scanned and uploaded him onto my laptop. I then printed him out on 100% recycled stock (Quentin would approve) and painted him.

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The Wintery End of Terrence

His name is Terrence. Terrence Mackenzie. Ringing any bells? No? He’s Alan Mackenzie’s younger brother.  Alan being the faithful valet and butler to Quentin the Vampire Botanist (and sometimes Fairy Gothfather…what can we say? Quentin is the wearer of many hats).

Younger siblings seem to excel at being thorns in their older siblings’ necks (or pains in their asses, whichever body part they can reach first). In the case of Terrence? He was what is politely referred to as a ne’er-do-well. Not a bad man, just not a very good one. He fancied himself to be a musician and he went off to the great City of Lost Dreams to make his fortune. Sadly, there was no fortune made; leastways, not by Terrence and certainly not in the City of Lost Dreams. Don’t waste any sympathy on him, as you’d be more likely find him tipping back a whiskey or two than picking up his fiddle.

Life never turns out well for ne’er-do-wells (the clue is in the expression) and Terrence was no exception in this regard. He hung out with all sorts of less-than-savory characters, but it wasn’t any of them who caused his accident. Jackie the barkeep warned him not to use the back door of The Scot’s Tide (which despite the name was no where near the ocean). Jackie knew that the lights in the alleyway were busted and no one had got around to replacing them, yet.

Unlike his brother, Terrence was a poor listener at best. Attempting to skip out on his tab, he went straight out the back door, slipped on a patch of ice and landed on his head. He lay in the alley until morning. This was nothing new for Terrence. He often passed out and slept in the alley; however, this time it was winter. The coldest winter the City of Lost Dreams had ever seen, before or since. Slowly freezing until his heart stopped, Terrence never woke up to a hangover again.

Although Quentin thought little of Terrence, he knew that he was Alan’s soft spot. After they received word of his death, he traveled to the City and brought his body back with him. Once safely back home, Quentin went to work using his Vampire magic and Botanist science, melting flesh off bone and imbuing Terrence’s skull with plant and vampire essence. This is not a pleasant process, but the end result is impressive.

Off the booze, Terrence has become quite responsible. You’ll often find him patrolling the estate’s perimeter and thoroughly enjoying giving a fright to anyone foolish enough that gets too close.

It was quite difficult to get Terrence to hold still for his portrait. Perhaps he has ADD. That would explain a lot, actually. Eventually I decided to jog along with him while he patrolled. I’m proud to report that I only ran into a tree once (it wasn’t hurt).

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How much do you love Halloween? It’s the no-pressure-just-fun-candy-and-costume holiday! Come check out the Halloween Artist Bazaar‘s Trick or Treat Giveaway. Sign up is free and painless. Click on the picture below and sign up today!

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Carrothes Krazerous

Carrothes Krazerous is a member of the “How does Your Garden Groan” Plantvampings Series. What’s the “How does Your Garden Groan” Plantvamping Series? I’m asking myself the same damn question. 

I’m certain it won’t surprise you to hear that Carrothes has a majorly bad attitude. This attitude stems from his complete annoyance over the bright and cheerful orange color of his flesh. I cannot say that I blame him. Wouldn’t you be annoyed if you were orange? Since I didn’t want to cause him to go on a tear (have you noticed those teeth?), I decided that it best to doodle his portrait in black and white. I’m lucky that he sat for me at all. Actually, I’m lucky to be alive.

Like his creator the Great Vampire Botanist Quentin (who has become considerably more pretentious since my last encounter with him), Carrothes doesn’t like humans, except at mealtimes. But they must always be dressed. When Mr. Krazerous decides to have you for supper, he expects you to be wearing lots of butter and brown, organic sugar. A touch of cinnamon is always welcome. Go figure. Apparently it makes us taste better.

Although he looks small in this portrait, please note that I failed to include anything in the drawing to indicate scale. I’m fairly certain Carrothes would not have let me leave his cellar if I had! Although he may not appear frightening, he’s actually six foot, ten inches tall. Think about that for a moment. Are you back? Now then, would you want to meet up with 6’10” angry, chip-on-his-symbolic-shoulder vampire carrot in an alley? Or anywhere else for that matter? And not only are his teeth sharp, so are his wits. Do make sure that you keep yours about you.

Daiseous Vampireous

We always think of plants as pretty, decorative, and often useful. Other adjectives might include tame. Safe. We forget about carnivorous plants. Sure, those are dangerous to ants and flies, but what danger could they be to us? None. Until an introverted botanist named Quentin became a vampire. Quentin never connected to his fellow humans, preferring to spend all his free time in a garden or hothouse.  As a child he was heartbroken that the plants didn’t win at the end of “The Day of Triffids.”  Nothing has changed since he’s become a vampire and now the only way he relates to humans is as a food source.

Since he doesn’t associate with vampires any more often than he did with humans, to combat his lonely existence Quentin decided to experiment with his beloved flowers and plants. Daiseous Vampireous is his first achievement.

“The Day of the Triffids” would have ended differently in Quentin’s world and he has made very certain that his Plantvampings will always have the last word.

Vegetarians and florists, you’ve been warned.

Although Daiseous’ teeth are tiny, you should never judge something’s danger based on size. One mere scrape of those tiny teeth and you may never wake again. And her defenses do not end there. When she’s at rest, two small dragon leaves uncoil and stand guard over her. At her base, Oveous with its big, yellow eyes keeps watch. It would be unwise to skip through a field of Daiseouses. Luckily, there is only one of her. For now.