Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lounge Lizards

Walk into a night-spot in Heliotrope or the City, or maybe even down in New Ylourgne, and you might unknowing rub shoulders with an ancient inhuman race. "Lounge Lizards," they’resometimes called derisively, but these sybaritic sophisticates have about as much in common with the various sorts of lizard-folk (gatormen, ciamen) as a movie star has with a skunk-ape. Unlike their brutish, reptilian country-cousins, they’re alluring creatures--but with a beauty alien to humanity--lithe, sensuous and gorgeously scaled.

They're great sorcerers who sometimes claim to have been the originators of the knowledge stolen by lost Meropis, or to have ruled the world of men’s apish ancestors--but they’re notorious liars, so there’s no way to know for certain. Some scholars link them to the Serpent in the Good Book, responsible for mankind’s exile from Paradise. Despite conspiratorial theories they probably don’t eat human flesh.  Probably. What's certain is that they're masters of magics of music, intoxication, sex, and illusion. They put their arts to use in their night world of jazz, liquor, and carnal pleasures--all in pursuit, supposedly, of some sort of mystical enlightenment.

Some former hangers-on of these serpent men (as they're also sometimes known) claim that they follow the pronouncements of a mad poet--the Lizard King--who performs at an endless party in his people’s ancient, underground temple. He recites in a husky, dream-darkened voice to the beat of bongos before enrapted human followers, swaying like charmed snakes before him.

10 comments:

Felt said...

Crumb's rendition of the serpent is boss. Sounds like your Lizard King is from the Beat Generation!

Zombiecowboy said...

So Im curious, do you find the pictures first and then fit them into your world? Or do you have this all figured out and then find the art to match it?

Either way I love this portrayal of lizardmen as smart savy dudes, as oppossed to how they typically are presented as savage slothful barbarians.

School Master said...

R. Crumb's Book of Genesis. Love it!

The Angry Lurker said...

Sounds like a good time to be had by people, love the Crumb artwork.

ze bulette said...

Nice to see Jim get a non-vampire treatment here. :)

Trey said...

Yeah, Genesis by R. Crumb has some create work in it, and anybody who hasn't seen it out to check it out.

@Felt - A Beat vibe was definitely part of what I was going for here. :)

@Zombiecowboy - Inspiration can happen either of those ways, really. In this case, a mention of the Fiend Foilio Lizard King made me think of Jim Morrison in that role, since he was also known by that name. To fit the City's "era" more I related his poetry to something more like Beat poetry. That made me think of the term "lounge lizard." Add a little of Robert E. Howard's serpent men, and CL Moore's portrayal of the Serpent of Eden in "The Fruit of Knowledge" (which dovetailed nicely with Crumb's illo) and the whole thing came together. I then went hunting for the pic from Martian Manuhunter to finish it off.

@Ze_Bulette - Thanks. Yeah vampires are fairly played, in general.

christian said...

I dig the eternal rager at the lizard king's place! Lizard people know how to get down.

Trey said...

They've had millennia to perfect their party skills. ;)

satyre said...

Trey, this is magnificent.

Think I may have seen one of these guys at a music festival...

REH meets the Beat Generation. Add bootleg alchemicals and Hunter S. Thompson/William S. Burroughs to taste.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm feeling a need to listen to 'Riders on the Storm'. Again. :)

Word verification: lamicism (an attraction to lamias?)

Trey said...

Thanks, Saytre.

Yeah, that's exactly the vibe I was going for.

If you should aver encounter one again, I wouldn't take any dubious intoxicants they might offer. ;)