When you think of antique cameo portraits, you may imagine lace and jewels and armor and those ridiculous ruffs, but when it comes to who is actually wearing them, you probably don’t think of the chartreuse-complexioned vampire otherwise known as Lady Nosferatta Gladys Nikto.
Cameo Creeps are unsettling and often Lovecraftian mini-portraits of monsters that should never, ever exist. Look closer and you will see all the gruesome detail that went into this bloodsucking dowager lady (or whatever she is). The female incarnation of Nosferatu is made beautifully hideous with glowing red gems, decadent fabrics, contoured cheekbones, and eye makeup so fierce it could slay Sharon Needles. Her painted lips betray fangs that are just waiting to sink into someone’s jugular.
Nosferata, Count Casper Boarshead, Dame Hellgus of Lionbourne and the rest of these bizarrely elegant cameos emerged from the imagination of award-winning fantasy artist Chris Seaman, whose name you might recognize from the fantastical realms of Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, Harry Potter, Pathfinder, and Magic: The Gathering. Seaman hand-paints every horn, tusk, fang, and tentacle to make them mutant royalty. He manages to fit this many features and appendages into tiny terrors that are slightly over 4" tall and slightly under 4" wide. After the creatures come to life, both originals and reproductions are hand-varnished to last eternally, and custom-framed to haunt the corridors of your castle.
There are even—get this—Create-a-Creep sticker sheets, ideal for touching up photos of disowned family members.
Seaman was inspired to create Cameo Creeps by those inherently creepy Victorian portraits you always see hanging somewhat awkwardly in century-old houses that are thought to be haunted. He spawned them on Kickstarter, and the virus soon spread to comic, pop culture, and horror cons everywhere. Now these things sell out faster than a zombie can reanimate. Attire for these enchanting faces ranges from Medieval to Elizabethan to classic Victoriana, and the normality (or what you could at least call normality in those eras) of it all only makes them more terrifying.