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True Detective. The Yellow Sign by flipation True Detective. The Yellow Sign by flipation
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche

I got interested in this tv serie when I read that had some references to the work of H.P.Lovecraft. As a true fan of Lovecraft's literature, I started watching the series and it caught me with that dark and disturbing touch that goes beyond the mere police investigation. The full weight of the series lies in the masterful play of both characters, which always face an ancient and forgotten world whose discovery can only lead to madness and death. This macabre and hidden undertone can only be glimpsed having read some of the works of Lovecraft and R.W.Chambers.

From the first chapters, the serie refers to The Yellow King and the cult around him who would perpetrate sacrifices to pagan deities. The King in Yellow is a collection of stories by Robert W. Chambers published in 1895, that revolves around a theater play that makes crazy anyone who reads or sees it. The works of Chambers inspired Lovecraft in creating his world of cosmic mysteries and extradimensional things far beyond all reason.

Rust Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey, looks a modern update of a character out of a Lovecraft's novel . A character whose history is unknown and that we only know what he tells us. Many of the Cohle's great metaphysical and philosophical dissertations goes  around the inability of humans to understand the unfathomable mysteries of the universe and nature. I believe that the series skips that Cohle should have some experience that eroded his sanity but he gotten some knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos.

When I finished watching the last episode of this great first season, I did a quick sketch and a preliminary color study that matches the style of the series and it's fantastic credits sequence. The illustration takes many elements of the final chapter where both detectives face the horror that lurks in Carcosa and the resident who dwells there.
True-Detective thumb by flipation True-Detective sketch by flipation 
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:iconwebspidrman:
Webspidrman Featured By Owner Edited Jan 19, 2016
After reading 'The King in Yellow', I think the series more closely addresses the views of Robert W. Chambers (and Ambrose Bierce) than H.P. Lovecraft.  I myself love both Lovecraft and Chambers equally, but Lovecraft was an atheist who considered the cosmos at large to be mechanical and material, and denied the existence of "higher" beings.  Conversely, Chambers thought there were means by which people might know absolute truth; he wrote about the contrast between nature and reality (which he believed to be God) and the possibility of seeing beyond the illusion of this "reality" via art to encounter a truer God or devil, represented by the character of the King in Yellow, the danger being that art may be but illusion created by the madness of man; these represented the two competing perspectives within his own soul: his love of art and his love of nature.

In 'The King in Yellow', we learn about the mysterious King in Yellow, who lives in the surreal world of Carcosa, which has black stars and seems to operate outside of the laws of nature; it might even be said that Carcosa seems to operate according to the laws of art as a remedy of sorts to the "tyranny" of natural law, but the reader is free to hold that the King may be a greater tyrant.  His name-sake play seems to share "truths" with people, but these truths generally drive them mad or cause strangeness to affect their lives.

Conversely, 'Hastur' is a, at least seemingly, benevolent if mysterious god of shepards who was invented by Ambrose Bierce and referenced in Chambers's book; I strongly believe that understanding Hastur as described by Bierce is central to understanding Chambers's invocation of the character in his book, an idea which, both by name and by theme, serves as a counterpoint to the King; while the King is the central theme of the early stories, the later stories focus upon the weirdness and "magic" of real life and nature, and this is no coincidence    While he is mentioned in connection to the King's play, Hastur seems associated with certain real stars such as Aldebaran and the Hyades, and is hinted that he might even be a star himself.  Hastur even makes an appearance in Chambers's story 'The Demoiselle D'Ys'; in the story, while seemingly connected with certain animals like falcons, he doesn't make an attempt to stand out and takes the appearance of a well-dressed, humble servant (a stark contrast to the King in Yellow who is described as a king who wears tatters).  Similar emphasis upon life and nature occupy the remainder of the book and, in contrast to the first part which emphasizes the otherworldly glimpses ascertained through art, puts a lot of emphasis upon discovery through others, experience, and nature, taking the supernatural to be found in these.

In a similar way, I think the first season of 'True Detective' continues this dichotomy between art and nature set up by Chambers's 'The King in Yellow'; it's probably no accident that the serial killer slays people and animals to create perverse art, trying to gain entry into Carcosa.  Rust Cohle, with his views, seems closer to the way of The King in Yellow.  In contrast, Marty puts his faith in his experience of the world (nature) rather than ideas, for better or worse trusting in the mysterious higher power he sees as guiding everything through nature.  Therefore, these two characters convey to the audience the contrast between the King in Yellow and Hastur: Carcosa and "living" space-time.
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:icontheantiflag:
Theantiflag Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014
HOLY CRAP!  The detail is astonishing, I do love the opacity of them of their mid section and the background is vibrant but not distracting, very well done.
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:iconflipation:
flipation Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconsomnolent-droid:
Somnolent-Droid Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
Amazing!!!
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:iconcarloshurtadosoriano:
CarlosHurtadoSoriano Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014
Magnifico trabajo!!!
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:iconflipation:
flipation Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Gracias!
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:iconcarloshurtadosoriano:
CarlosHurtadoSoriano Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014
:iconfeelingfreeplz:De nada, David!!!
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:iconfunkyalienlovers:
funkyalienlovers Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fantastic
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:iconfjft-art:
FJFT-Art Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
Genial muy bueno! es una portada para algún videojuego o novela? o es un trabajo personal?
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:iconflipation:
flipation Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Gracias. No, simplemente un trabajo personal que hice a partir de una idea que se me ocurrió al acabar de ver la serie.
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:iconfjft-art:
FJFT-Art Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
Ok ya veo, te ha quedado fenomenal :thumbsup:
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:iconflipation:
flipation Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Gracias!
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:iconrorus007:
Rorus007 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Very nice, the likenesses are there without leaving that natural painterly look behind! Well done!
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:iconflipation:
flipation Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconrorus007:
Rorus007 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
My pleasure!
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