Behind the Scenes: Carafe of Cthulhu Tiki Mug!

Brock Otterbacher, Creative Director, Toys & Collectibles

Aloha and welcome to our first Tiki Tuesday! Tiki Tuesdays are going to pop up from time to time in order to discuss updates, highlight an artist - and of course - launch new mugs!

Today I want to discuss our Designer Series, which started a few weeks ago with our Carafe of Cthulhu Mug designed by William Stout. While our regular Mondo Tee-kis line will focus on mostly licensed tiki mugs, the Designer Series is an opportunity to branch out into fun and interesting subjects, and work with some of our favorite artists.

A few MondoCons ago (when we first showed our Gremlin Mugs), Bill walked up, mentioned that he liked them, and asked if he could do a mug based on Cthulhu. It was an instant "yes please!"

A little bit later, we received this fantastic art, and the Designer Series began!



The creative process on our end was one of the easiest it's ever been. Upon receiving the images from Bill, it was an easy "done." And when our friends at Tiki Farm came on board, it was another painless process. The sculpt was pretty much on point, as seen in the images below:

We did five different glazes; the first one debuted at MondoCon 4 and the other four launched a few months later.

But there was almost another version, which was a matte black with yellow eyes. A few people even caught a look at this version at San Diego Comic Con last year.

Due to issues we had with this type of glaze at the particular factory we were working with (if you're familiar with the issues we had with the Aliens Mug, then you know that we had to stop producing with this glaze), we decided not proceed with it. With only one version of this mug made, and it happened to be Stout's favorite, it doesn't take much to figure out whose house it ended up at.

Here are Stout's thoughts on the project:

"I've been an H. P. Lovecraft fan for decades and decades. One of the main reasons I first traveled to Antarctica was because I was so taken by Lovecraft's novel, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, which takes place in Antarctica. Lovecraft's depictions of the white continent were so riveting that I just had to see if Antarctica was indeed as Lovecraft described (it was that and so much more).

"I'm also very intrigued by the Cthulhu Mythos, which was created by Lovecraft. He encouraged other writers to join in with their own Cthulhu stories. I admired that openness and his example of sharing within horror's literary community. That same spirit soon spread to big chunks of the artistic and cinematic communities. 

"Lovecraft's descriptions of Cthulhu allow for artistic variations. When Mondo proposed my involvement in their mugs project, I immediately thought that a Cthulhu tiki mug was a cross-culture natural. I looked at previous depictions of Cthulhu and what worked and what didn't, then struck out on my own depiction in tiki mug format. Mondo did a spectacular job of taking my two-dimensional drawings of the front, back and side views (known in the business as 'turnarounds') of the mug and turning it into a terrific 3-D version. I love all of the color variations too - that was a nice surprise, each very well executed. I also love that this art object is also functional!"

Up next month for our regular mug series is the Lawgiver from PLANET OF THE APES, so keep an eye out for an upcoming Tiki Tuesday to get your mitts on those mugs. Here's a look at one of the variant glazes:

For the Designer Series, we have several in the works from artists like Becky Cloonan, Florian Bertmer, Doug P'Gosh, and Urban Aztec. Here's a sneak peek of some of what we're working on. Until next time - Mahalo!