Oh what a strange tomb of bizarre oddities regarding Dr. Spencer Black's weird life! I can recommend E.B. Hudespeth's "The Resurrectionist The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black" repeatedly. I enjoyed it that much and I hope you enjoy this peculiar interview to get a taste of the dark reckonings of it. Then check it out for yourself by putting it on your bizarro radar. Presenting.
1. The Resurrectionist The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black has to be one of the strangest books I have come across in quite sometime. In rings of Lovecraft and reminds of me odd tombs like the Necronomicon. I love the bizarre so it certainly is a treat. What in God's name inspired you to create this dark opus?
A: The art inspired the story. It started out as an anatomy project regarding the anatomy of an angel. I wanted to try and justify the musculature for the wings. I liked the results so much I drew more. Eventually the story grew out of it. I knew it was going to be a nineteenth century doctor because of the hand-drawn anatomy diagrams. I knew I wanted it to be creepy and I knew I wanted it to be brief—the eerie feeling you get when you first learn about something disturbing. I wanted to emulate an older style of storytelling. I think the rest of the story came together from researching what medical practice looked like at that time; there’s a lot to build on.
2. Being a work of fiction it sort of makes you wonder if it border lines on that reality and bounces back and forth from others of weird proportions. Who is Dr. Spencer Black?
A: He is an early adventurer, a naturalist and a scientist. He is too clever and determined not to find answers where others refuse to look.
3. The first part of the book is about Dr. Spencer's life correct? What can you share with us regarding Mr. Black?
A: Dr. Black a loving family man. He’s a brilliant surgeon devoted to helping the unfortunate. Dr. Black discovers a truth that was too powerful, too dark and too seductive for him to live a normal life. What sacrifices would you be able to make if you knew that you were on verge of curing death, healing all ailments and injury, and ultimately saving humanity?
4. The second part of the book is called The Codex of Extinct Animalia which is filled with mythological beasts. What can you share with us about this part of the book?
A: It’s a medical breakdown of eleven mythical creatures. The focus is primarily on the skeletal and musculature systems. There is some attention to physiology and a brief discussion about interesting nuances of each of the animals.
5. What exactly is a Resurrectionist in your own words and would you tell us about a few of the fiendish creatures from the bottom of your heart?
A: A resurrectionist is either one who exhumed corpses for medical dissection or one who brings life to the dead.
The harpy is featured on the cover of the book and showcases some of the anatomical variations quite well. It was a challenge but the end result would be something terrifying indeed. The mermaid started out simple enough, however, coming up with an anatomical marriage that I was content with was also a challenge. Oddly, it happened more than once during this project, I would start to see how something like these creatures could possibly exist.
6. I see Mr. Black was married and had a love life of sorts. What can you share with us about this part of his life?
A: He loved his wife and children. I don’t want to give anything away, however, despite his love and sorrow and how much good he wanted to do, Dr. Black could not escape his fate… and neither could his family.
7. What about his childhood would you like to share with us and part of me wants to ask, what the hell happened?
A: I lightly touched his childhood. We learn that Spencer Black’s father took him and his brother grave robbing. We learn that Spencer developed a unique perspective on life and death. How important that was to him and exactly what he thought of it is part of what we discover.
8. Could you share with us some information about his exhibit which was a carnival of sorts correct?
A: He was forced into the industry in a way, but it worked well for him. He was able to fit in for awhile. In the beginning he showcased a taxidermy collection of his creations— an attempt to demonstrate what was possible. He found that though he entertained, there was no profound movement among his audience. He wanted to prove his thesis so he took his work to the next level. Eventually, despite his success, he was driven out of the public eye.
9. What do we know about Mr Black and his passing from the odd sphere of the Earth? How does his life end?
A: That we don’t know, we have good guesses though. I know what happened to him and I am working on that now.
10. Would you like to share with us some more information regarding some of the beasts in the 2nd part of the book? Also any future projects or links you would like to share please do. Thank you, Thank you very much for this interview. A pleasure.
A: I enjoyed the Ganesha very much. four arms and an elephant head turned into a very interesting maze of anatomy. One of my favorites visually is the Sphinx, the power and grace of the animals seemed natural to me.
Thank you very much for having me.
Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.
The Resurrectionist The Lost Work Of Dr. Spencer Black can be purchased at Amazon.com
For more of the macabre and paranormal you can visit Jeffery Pritchett's website for his radio show The Church of Mabus.