Is it because they provide us with a foretaste of our own mortality? Is it because they serve as a tangible reminder that beneath the flesh we’re all the same? Could it be their lustrous, ivory sheen? Or perhaps it’s simply because they’re just so effective at preventing grey jelly from erupting out of our ears every time someone pats us on the head? Whatever it is, there’s definitely something about that bony, toothy globe underneath all the skin and hair and cartilage and stuff that’s perennially fascinating. Yep, people sure do love skulls – and we’re not just talking about metal fans and phrenologists here, either. Illustrators love skulls, too.
One such connoisseur of the cranium is artist and illustrator Nick Sheehy – or Showchicken, as he is also known. His work has appeared in the likes of Nobrow, Tiny Pencil and Ammo, but If you’ve never before had the pleasure of laying eyes upon Sheehy’s work, imagine (if you will) a noctilucent version of The Owl and the Pussycat rendered by a badass tag-team comprised of Maurice Sendak and Pete Fowler and you will have some idea. It’s strange, folk-infused without recourse to cliché or tweeness, and full of crocodiles, boars, funny little bird people and, of course, skulls. Sheehy’s are skulls of an uncommon sort, though. They’re an ever-evolving species of animate, osseous organism in which the head-bone’s connected not to the neck bone, but directly to the leg-bone, the arm-bone, and quite often another head-bone – which is upside-down.