Tag Archives: bizarre


GODIVA  (book excerpt, page 64)

Saggy Bottom, West Virginia.  The most important thing about this image of Godiva the Clown is that she is not just your average tattooed chick on a raging purple horse…..what you see is all Godiva, horse and all.  I was already impressed with her before I realized… well, just how dynamic her lady parts were.  But WOW!!!

Back in the day, between the oil wars and the water wars – before crazy fascists started hunting clowns and anarchists and Indians (again) for their skins – it was hard to go half a block without running across another painted, naked wench on a hybrid psychedelic farm animal.  It was high fashion for a while.  It was even worse out west with winged warthogs and angry caterpillar chicks trophy hunting for penis.  Aaaahh…..can’t wait ’till those were the good old days.

***The image above is the original red rough sketch for the illustration on page 65 of “Bludgeon the Clown.”  I have never posted the final image.  If you want to see it, you’ll have to buy the book.  I reserve the BEST art for paying customers.  Find it and buy it at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy.com.   -Marsha  

Circling The Issue – Sequence

The Issue was listing badly in a failing orbit around Jupiter.  She was dead in the water and her distress signal cut out abruptly on our approach.  She was a heavy freighter loaded with uranium ore, bound for the refineries on Mars and long overdue…something didn’t feel right.

We circled The Issue slowly about ten miles out – but with our engines hot in case it was a trap.  There were raiders in this sector who often used derelicts to stage their attacks.  There was no response to my hail, no wi-fi, no beams…no strobes.  Sensors showed cold engines and no (human) life signs.  I found a weird glitch in the data, something unrecognizable….but not enough to put the crew off their prize.  The salvage on The Issue would make every man on board filthy rich.  I was the only one still arguing for caution but none of the men wanted the opinion of someone like me.  I was property and was not entitled to a share anyway.

When the Captain (despite my misgivings) gave the order to board, we moved in and docked with reckless abandon.  A combat team stood at the ready as I popped the air lock.  They made me go first.  They always made the android go first.  I was the most expendable…expensive but not valuable.

And…as I swung the hatch open, a sudden violent flood of spidery greenish critters swarmed through the airlock by the hundreds.  I guess I didn’t taste good because they left me alone and flowed past me, devouring the crew as they went.  I waited.  It took them 19 minutes to scour the ship from bow to stern and I listened to each and every man screaming his last – the men who treated me like shit for two solid years – the men who sneered at my warnings.

I waited…to see what this NEW crew had to offer.  It couldn’t be any worse than the last one…..this could be interesting!

***Above, we’ve posted the rough sketch sequence for an illustration originally commissioned by Analog Magazine for their May 2006 issue.  Now it is a feature in our new book, “A Short Burst” along with it’s new flash-fiction short story (also posted here).  It is one of our favorite robot stories.  Find “A Short Burst” and all our books at www.sallemander.com.    -Marsha


How Do I Look – Sequence

Nothing actually happened for a solid fifteen minutes after Eddie drank the formula.  He turned to us (once again) with a forlorn look and asked, “Any change yet?  How do I look?”

We knew he was crazy.  He was one of those people: perpetually dissatisfied, determined to prove that he was ‘special’.  He wanted fame, popularity, success (despite being an already brilliant scientist) and he was driven…you know, crazy…AND he had full use of the company’s laboratory.  He had access to all the good stuff too;  plasma reactor, laser diffractional transmogrifier, crazy glue – not to mention ebola, thermite and flu vaccine…and I think our awkward, mild mannered (crazy) Eddie used all of it on this new batch.

By the sixteenth minute, everything changed and Eddie’s fondest wish was realized.  He began mutating wildly, spreading outward in every direction, emitting the strangest squeaking moan.  He shook, twisted and bloated.  He grew tendrils, sprouted claws and screeched Latin gibberish from three of his seven worm-haired monkey faces as horns emerged from his leathery spine.  He puffed a sweet yellow smoke, shed tufts of pink fur and dribbled buckets of gooey puss.  He was a frightful sight…but he was just sooooo excited we didn’t have the heart to terminate him.

When he finally slowed and stabilized, he turned all of his seventeen eyes-on-a-stalk to us and in a clever series of musical farts, he asked, “Okay!…How do I look now?”

***The featured rough blue sketch is the original rough for an illustration that was supposed to be a 2 page spread for a story in Asimov’s Sci-Fi Magazine, just as those corporate cheapskates were choosing to eliminate all interior art (to save money).  I managed to convince them to let me do it as a cover, which was my first cover for the company.  The story above and the final art is featured in my new book, “A Short Burst”.  Find it and buy it by going to etsy.com and searching EEWbooks.   -Marsha 

A Short Burst – Sequence

***A lot of friends have expressed an interest in the method we use to create our book illustrations, and frankly, often seem more impressed by the rougher sketches and designs.  They seem to make a more human connection with people.  This was the design process for the cover of our latest book, “A Short Burst”.  A version of it, very similar to the blue image, was published for a story in Analog Magazine in September, 2006.  The book is a clever collection of short, flash-fiction stories…illustrated.  You can find it and buy it at our Etsy shop, just go to etsy.com and search EEWbooks.  Thanks.   -Marsha

Worst Day of My Life

“Worse day of my life…” began the hairy stranger at the bar, “…the day I lost my HEAD!” He stared at me oddly, chuckling. His words hung in the air for a while as I wondered who the heck he was and why he was chatting me up. There was something ‘off’ about him that I just couldn’t put my finger on, and he sounded absurd!  “What?!” I asked, a little annoyed. “Yeah!” he continued, “It just tumbled off and rolled away. I couldn’t find it for a YEAR!” ‘How ridiculous’ I thought – but then, I remembered hearing about that sort of thing happening more and more these days. “I found it conjoined with some other dude’s left hand like a circus freak-show exhibit …awkward!”

I reached for my beer glass but knocked it over with the empty stump of my wrist. The stranger grinned at me and chuckled again knowingly. It seems that both my hands had quietly popped off and were crawling down the bar toward the attractive woman in the breasty, low cut blouse at the end…the one I was too shy to approach earlier. I didn’t know what they planned but I could just imagine what MY brainless hands might like to do with HER. That’s when I noticed the stranger’s collar – bolted tightly ‘round his neck. It looked positively medieval but locked his wayward head soundly to his torso. ‘How clever?!’ I thought.

The barkeep wiped up my spilled beer with a lovely pair of shapely, ladies arms –which did NOT match the rest of his otherwise burly, tattooed frame. He caught me staring but shrugged and nodded me in the direction of my hands as they broke into a run…..while the woman’s breasts leapt out of her blouse and took off in opposite directions.

***This image and story is featured on page 38 in our new book, “A Short Burst” which is available soon.  To see (and buy) all our books, just follow the link above to www.sallemander.com.  -Marsha

Sea Monster


Elizabeth broke the surface and opened her helmet to take in the fresh air.  She floated easily in the gentle swell as the sun set over Ghast.  She remembered how much she used to love the ocean.  In her younger days she would have jumped at the opportunity to study Ghast, but the indigenous population didn’t allow alien study…and now that she was finally here, she hated the sea.  She served the Corporation as a marine biologist for thirteen years before it sapped all the joy from her soul… before joining the diplomatic corps.  The money was fantastic, but now she got stuck with all the lousy ocean missions…now, she was the official Earther ambassador to this fetid puddle of bile.

She waited only a few minutes before spotting an Earther ship de-cloaking nearby, a few hundred meters above the waves.  As it scanned, an array of strobes and lasers criss-crossing the surface, it lowered a thick hose and began siphoning sea water up into it’s holding tanks.

Elizabeth felt something move beneath her.  It barely brushed her fins, but it’s silhouette was enormous… and the ocean became perfectly calm.

Just then, the head of a sushi-man surfaced next to her.  Well, she called them sushi-men.  In their own unspeakable language, they called themselves “Shepard’s of Ghast” (whatever!).  It was Veine, her diplomatic escort.  He chirped something that her helmet-com translated as: “You don’t belong here, it is forbidden….. come with me!” as he grasped her elbow and pulled her away.

Elizabeth had slipped away from him earlier that day to come to these coordinates, in the forbidden zone, to investigate the illegal Earther poaching that the Rhee Federation were complaining about.  The Ghast did not allow alien extraction operations…ever.  They were willing to trade, but alien operations always upset the delicate environmental balance.

The water just below the ship began to boil violently.  Elizabeth broke from the sushi-man’s grasp so she could watch…as three long, massive creatures shot up out of the water, chomped on to the hull of the hovering ship with round, toothy jaws and ripped it to pieces as they fell back toward the sea.  Hundreds more of the creatures leapt up to snatch the smaller bits and chunks from the air before any of it hit the water.  There was a brief feeding frenzy before the churning abated and violent ripples receded again…returning the sea to a gentle swell.

The sushi-man chirped again: “Did you see what you were looking for?”  He didn’t wait for an answer, but grasped her elbow again and directed her away.  She sealed her helmet and swam down ahead of him.

She felt intense satisfaction.  Her mission was over…it was a success.  The Corporation would analyze her report and devise a strategy to detect and defeat those snake creatures so it could poach (steal) the chemical elements it wanted.  She would be consulted…and promoted… and become even more wealthy.

Her escort allowed her to swim even further ahead, which seemed odd.  She stopped and turned as he asked, “Have you transmitted what you saw to your people yet?”  She nodded, a little off guard.  He continued, “We know you are not here to STOP your poachers.”  She glanced around, sensing danger.

“We transmitted it too…” he continued, “In fact we are streaming live.”  She looked down to see her own body-cam still activated.  The water pressure changed perceptibly.

“I am the ambassador.  If anything happens to me, it will mean WAR between our people…”

“War…..yes.”  was all he said.

But she was angry now.  “You rotten, slimy, bottom feeders, If you think a simple minded, school of talking sushi can threaten Earther power and technology…the Masset made that mistake and look what happened to…”  The current shifted.  She screamed, “Hey!!!  You can’t hurt me… I have diplomatic immuni…”

Another long toothy creature shot out from the shadowy depths and swallowed Elizabeth in one tiny gulp.

***This is another image and short story scheduled to be published soon in our new book (our 4th book), “A Short Burst” an illustrated collection of flash science fiction.  You can find all our books and other products at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at Etsy.com.   -Marsha


My Favorite Place


I really can’t think of a favorite place                                                                    but I love the idea of flavored space,                                                                     which happens to rhyme with ‘baby face’                                                          like the horrible growth on my cheek.

I like the idea of an ‘open mic’                                                                                  as long as I’m never the Mike.                                                                                 Exposing my guts to a crowd if you like                                                             might make some people freak.

 I never accepted an open ‘Hand Shake’                                                               though I don’t mind a hand made cake.                                                              Swallowing fingers is awful to take                                                                        but easy to grasp – so to speak.

But my favorite place is up my nose                                                                        where adorable ‘nose hair’ grows,                                                                           which is usually better than ‘smelly toes’                                                             ’cause its cute and fuzzy and chic.

***Lets take a little break from our holiday shopping frenzy for something adorable and wholesome.  This little ditty makes John giggle like a tickled toddler every time he reads it.   He’s done rough sketches of all the ‘Body-Oddies’ it mentions so far (even though we only used ‘baby face’ for this post).  Even though “Body-Oddies won’t be out until next year, you can buy our 3 already published books at our EEWbooks Etsy store or by following the link above to www.sallemander.com.  Thanks.  -Marsha



Darryl woke up with that feeling again – impossible to describe but all too familiar at this point. He kept his eyes closed for a while longer, savoring the dream he was having about his old, normal life…before all the changes…before every morning became a horror show, wondering if he would find another growth.

He did his best to soothe his anxiety, tried to make lemonade out of the lemons that seemed to be smothering him.  After all, how could yet another, extra hand possibly be all that bad for a skilled craftsman who worked with his hands?  Each one seemed to have all his talent and strength.  His productivity tripled, he was making money hand-over-fist (no pun intended) and for the first time in his life, people found him “kinda” interesting…..

But…waking up every few days with another fully formed hand growing out of some empty patch of his flesh was really starting to effect his insanity.

***This was a tough image to pull out of John’s thick head, but with an iron skillet and a power drill I finally managed it (long story).  It comes from our new book project, “Body-Oddies,” now scheduled for publication in 2019.   -Marsha

Creepy Clowns

***This is the cover art for our “Creepy Clown Coloring Book.”  There’s no short, flash-fiction story or clever rhyme for this one, John simply saw these guys hanging out at the blues club on 17th Street one night and did a sketch of them on the spot.  Besides the coloring book, we’ve used this image for a sticker, a 11X14 print and a greeting card.   You can find our books by following the links above to www.sallemander.com.  For all the other stuff we make, you can find us at the Atlanta Comic Con, July 13-15.    -Marsha

Search Me…

Search me-image-40

They were big and beefy and incredibly strong.  They were aggressive, poking their weapons everywhere and they smelled like belligerent fear as they shouted and snarled.  They had plate armor like insects but were pasty and bony underneath with beady eyes and a ridiculous tuft of hair on their tiny heads – like hand puppets.  They were most definitely …ALIEN!

When they landed their starship in my back yard and demanded; “Take me to your leader!”  I was so stunned – so baffled that I froze and just blinked at them.  Their exasperated captain tried again; “Where are your leaders?!” sneering with contempt, as if I was a child.  I simply shrugged and said, “Search me…”

Now…I don’t know if they misunderstood me or just had a REALLY strange sense of humor…..but being held down in a medical lab with a gnarly probe approaching my buttocks is taking things waaaaaay too literally.  These humans area  nasty bunch.

***This story reminds me of my last colonoscopy…And can anybody explain what the deal is with Aliens and anal probes?  They’re almost as bad as the CIA (at least Aliens ask intelligent questions).  This was the (lucky) 13th cover John did for the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Analog Magazine.  You won’t find this image in any of our 3 current books but you can find our books by following the links to www.sallemander.com and our Etsy shop.   -Marsha