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Growing up with a father who is a mortician rarely does anyone’s social life any favors, but if one also lives IN THE FUNERAL HOME, there is no surer doom. Such was the sad fate of Thanatos Houghton, of the eponymous Houghton’s Funeral Home and Mortuary fame. Thin, shy and pale as a mushroom in the moonlight, poor Thanatos’ peers avoided him like the plague as he glided, sylphlike, down the empty corridors of the local high school. Desperately lonely, he soon sought to remedy that condition with the aid of some dusty tomes he found in the library and some of his father’s foul-smelling chemicals. A tincture here, a decoction there, and by the dim light of the slivered waning moon, Thanatos had made an instant old friend. He perched a top hat to match his own on the re-animated skeleton’s naked skull and dubbed him Alizirin Crimson, and people swore they saw them dancing in the empty streets long after midnight. After good old Mr. Houghton passed (and Thanatos assiduously attended to him, taking over the family business), there were rumors of an entire family of resurrected Undead living at the funeral home, and Thanatos’ ghoulish reputation never recovered.

This 5″ × 7″ × 3/4" original collage depicts Thanatos Houghton and Alizirin Crimson brewing up cocktails in the parlor and is executed on a stretched handpainted gallery canvas and collaged with walnut ink-stained Thai lace paper. Hand cut and and assembled from vintage images and ephemera, the piece is accented with black satin ribbon, an ornate brass frame, Dresden trim, small black crystals and a brass skull and crossbones charm. Finished on the back with heavyweight art paper, signed and fitted with hanging hardware, no framing is necessary. Devoted friends at Halloween or any time of the year, Thanatos and Alizirin make for most charming company!

This original artwork and story is copyright Ramona Szczerba 2010. Copyright is not transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – image cannot be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!

When Ramona Szczerba (a.k.a, Winona Cookie) is not being a psychologist in private practice in San Diego,she enjoys creating whimsical children’s illustrations in watercolor, but also loves working with collage and assemblage. Her artwork and short stories have appeared in several publications including The Steampunk Bible and can be seen at Originals available – check for availability.
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  • WonderlandGlass
    WonderlandGlassabout 4 years ago

    *…Color sky heaven alic
    Color sky rose carithe
    Arisari and crimson

    Wear your love like heaven
    Wear your love like heaven
    Wear your love like heaven

    Cannot believe what I see
    All I have wished for will be
    All of our race proud and free

    Wear your love like heaven
    Wear your love like heaven
    Wear your love like heaven…*
    from ‘Wear your Love Like Heaven’ by Donovan

    …at least poor Thanatos had good tatse in music as well. Ms Cookie your stories never fail to delight and ALWAYS hold at least one surprise… thank you for your gift…

  • Thanks so much for your kind words and the beautiful song, Wonderland! Have a great Friday :-).

    – WinonaCookie

  • RobynLee
    RobynLeeabout 4 years ago

  • Thanks for the feature, RobynLee :-).

    – WinonaCookie

  • Jon Burke
    Jon Burkeabout 4 years ago

    Thanks Winona, great work as always.

  • Thanks, Jon!

    – WinonaCookie

  • PQXRibber
    PQXRibberabout 4 years ago

    Greatness and fun!

  • Thanks, ’Ribber :-).

    – WinonaCookie

  • lindybird
    lindybirdabout 4 years ago

    I love the reference to alizarin crimson—my favorite paint color—as your skeleton subject! Wonderfully interesting piece—especially this time of year!

  • unebandepart
    unebandepartabout 4 years ago

  • Thanks so much for the feature :-).

    – WinonaCookie

  • ☼Laughing Bones☾
    ☼Laughing Bones☾over 3 years ago


    April 14th, 2011

  • Thanks for the feature!

    – WinonaCookie

  • Peter Simpson
    Peter Simpsonover 3 years ago

    love it

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