Last night, I heard of Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire’s death from friend and editor Bret Kramer. This morning, my Facebook news feed contains numerous images and remembrances of this singular individual. So, I throw one more picture of ye Queen of Eldritch Horror into the void in the vain hopes that it should finally be full. I took it of Wilum holding a copy of the author’s sumptuous Centipede Press collection, THE TANGLED MUSE, in 2010.
I did not know Wilum well. We spoke briefly at conventions, and we occasionally interacted online, including a brief correspondence a few years ago. But I greatly admired Wilum’s work, a delirious, atmospheric brew of Poe, Wilde, Byron, Baudelaire, and Lovecraft.
Wilum understood the allure of the monstrous and the grotesque and shared that mystique with us in a wealth of stories. W. H. Pugmire was many things: prose-poet, too-humble “dweller in Lovecraft’s shadow,” punk, queer, Mormon, recluse, gender nonconformist, warm-hearted and gracious soul, icon. Now, perhaps, WHP is nothing. Now, perhaps, WHP is everything.