Ghosts & Goblins : the fantasy art & games of Waclaw Traier

Best experienced in the Ghosts & Goblins PDF zine

My name is Waclaw Traier and I run two labels associated with dark dungeony art. One, called Droned Artworks, specializes in painting cover art, mostly Doom Metal, Dungeon synth and related, and also some stuff for fantasy or horror projects like illustrating tabletop RPGs or books. The other label, called War Claw Games, is about designing my own board games for which I love to have Dungeon synth or Doom Metal soundtracks.

My approach to painting is fully traditional, I use mostly inks and acrylics to build a basic mood on blank paper, by layering dark colors mixed with metallic ones, like golden metallic for example. And on these dark atmospheric backgrounds I then continue with building more concrete themes, mostly using white ink to make them pop from the dark background, and then I finish the figures with watercolors or other inks if it is needed. So, my style is quite simple, very intuitive and I would say it has almost a primordial-primitive quality to it, as kind of cave paintings, as some people say.

This style of simple and atmospheric painting is perhaps most appropriately shown in the new game I am preparing that War Claw Games will bring in the course of two or three months. It’s called Doom Pilgrim and it is a card based open-world adventure in a grimdark/medieval setting, for solo play, but with a multiplayer option as well. This project will be huge, with many expansions and add-ons, and it already has its own original soundtrack as well, made by the awesome dark ambient/Dungeon synth/neoclassical musicians duo Ange.Mac + Shaun Garea. It really rips, even using very nice vocals here and there, and I am sure Dungeon synth fans will love it. You can hear their current stuff (not the soundtrack yet) here, which I highly recommend:

And for my stuff, please visit or

Wyrd Question Daze : Will Kearney

Hi there. My name is Will Kearney, I’m a musician, artist and writer.

Under the moniker Sand Snowman I have been writing, recording and releasing music for longer than I would care to mention.

Young Pan

Vinyl & CD’s can be purchased here
Sand Snowman on Bandcamp
Prints and paintings can be viewed/purchased here



Where did you come from and where are you going?

I was born in Cork, Ireland, moved to London when I was 18, left London 10 years ago and now live on the South East coast. Having been on a seabound trajectory for over a decade now a move into the sea itself cannot be ruled out, so I had better develop gills, and learn to swim. 

What preoccupies your mind these days?

I’m currently writing a book, or at least *trying* to write one – it’s something I’ve been meaning to get on with for some time now.

The book is concerned with the Symbolist origins of Modern Art, and the culture that it grew out of (or against, as the case may be). I am fascinated by Symbolism’s forwarding of an “outlook” rather than a specific “style”( such as, say, Impressionism or Cubism) as well as what I would consider its ability to operate on a deeply archetypal (and Universal) level – I’m thinking here of how so many indigenous and traditional folk art’s feature animal/humanoid elements, the purpose of which is clearly for Symbolic rather than representational purposes. Likewise Symbolist Art abounds with Chimeras, Androgyns, and mythological beings, with a strong emphasis placed upon dream- reality, twilight, marginal and in- between places and states of being. 


I also hope to examine what I would consider the major schism between “high” and “popular” Art that followed the First World War, especially in regards to vociferous dogmatism ie; Clement Greenberg (“Anything that isn’t Abstract Expressionism is Kitsch) and Pierre Boulez/Theodore Adorno (“Anything that isn’t Serialism is worthless”). This had, I maintain, a calamitous effect on both “high” and “popular” art, with the former becoming a pretentious elitist edifice reliant upon – and in control of – funding, and indifferent to anyone unwilling to subject themselves to an atrophied model of Art whose main characteristic seems to be an ability to alienate, irritate and rehash the kind of old- hat avant gardisms Marcel Duchamp turned out over a century ago.

Whilst “high art” descended down Duchamp’s Pissiore, all of “popular” art was condemned – Duke Ellington & Jean Sibelius were, according to The Serialists, no more worthy than tin pan alley tat. With its abandonment by what was recognised as the serious critical class, Pop Art – especially music and film – was primarily adjudged for its commercial value; of course there has always been a monetary motive, and popular audiences weren’t *directly* affected by edicts of Art critics – and serious minded pop culture criticism did follow – but a path was set whereby aesthetic standards were significantly diminished, and lowest- common denominator, market- driven drivel flourished.

What has occurred – with increasing velocity over the past 50 odd years – is that pop has repeatedly eaten itself; whether it has sufficiently digested itself (and disposed of itself) is another matter, but it seems to me that, in terms of content, the lexicon is limited. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but I believe we are short- changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to be bamboozled by context – “the same old thing in brand new drag”, as Bowie put it.  

Of course, this is a very broad brushing of what is a nuanced, complex and highly subjective subject, hence my reluctance to get on with it.

Daphnis & Chloe
Faun & Nymphs

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell

Mint, peaches
Velvet, bark
Birdsong, the sea
Nature flourishing in abandoned industrial spaces 
Fresh cut grass, Nag Champer incense

A Soul’s Morning

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

I have recurrent dreams where I discover my home to have hitherto unknown rooms and floors. These are usually Victorian in design and in an advanced state of decay, with mildew and water damage  usually present. These dreams are unsettling and slightly sinister but I rather like them as I’ve long had a fascination both for abandoned places and Victorian architecture and design – I often use the latter in my paintings, the patterning of which seems to have a not entirely friendly sentience. 

A House Of War Our Home
Sirens Three

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

Yes, on a number of occasions ie; seeing/hearing people some time before they appear, having prophetic dreams and some genuinely frightening experiences that defy both description and rationalisation. 

Light Cover
Judgement Will Come At Night

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

I’m not so sure if it does, really. I tend to be the same wherever I am, which may or may not be a good thing. Nevertheless I try and remind myself that it is probably more important for me to work upon myself than to look for faults in my surroundings. I don’t know who said “everyone wants to change the World but nobody wants to change themselves” but I think there’s much truth in it.  

A Living Room

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

I’m always impressed by just how kind and decent most people are, or at least try to be. The news, twitterverse, commentariat etc do a good job of presenting everything as and in the worst possible faith – it’s refreshing how much we can agree with people with whom we don’t agree!  

Twin Archetype

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

I hope this doesn’t offend any U2 fans….

*Apparently* at a gig in Scotland Bono was delivering a mid-set monologue regarding poverty in Africa (He could have just donated his fee, but hey ho….). He clapped his hands slowly, saying “everytime I do this (clap) a child in Africa dies”, to which an audience member shouted “well stop doing it, ya evil bastard!” 

Preperation For The Final Mystery

Wyrd Question Daze : Paul Watson

I’m Paul Watson, and I’m an artist based in the south of the UK. I’m also the editor of Rituals & Declarations zine – well, at least until the final issue is published in the coming months. Both artwork and zines can be seen at and at

I can be found on both Twitter and Instagram

Where did you come from and where are you going?

I came from the industrial Midlands of England, and as a child/teenager watched it laid waste by Thatcher’s government. I’m currently living in the city of Brighton & Hove on the south coast. I have no idea where I’m going.

The Procession

What preoccupies your mind these days?

Artistic block; the accelerating rise of authoritarianism and bigotry; putting together the final issue of Rituals & Declarations; climate emergency & the anthropocene; the dark gloom of winter days; acid communism and social anarchism; trying to get the hang of driving around roundabouts without swerving into the wrong lane.

Untitled with staff

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell.

Taste: the first sip of the evening’s second glass of wine

Touch: damp moss on tree bark

Sound: my pencil scratching away on a piece of paper

Sight: a piece of drawing paper that is no longer blank

Smell: a cliché, but the smell that comes from turning the pages of an old book

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares


The Sexton

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

I again refer the interviewer to my artwork, which I believe answers that question better than I can with words.

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

In my artwork place emerges personified as a human figure. I can point to some of the figures and tell you exactly which small area of which piece of the local landscape it has emerged from. I won’t, though.

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

Inspiration has been rather a problem of late, unfortunately. I did recently read Jon McGregor’s 2017 novel Reservoir 13 and was really impressed by it. I’m always ready for a new album from The Sisters of Mercy, though.

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke.

I’m afraid that I’m no raconteur, and am not currently accepting invitations as an after dinner speaker.

Transformation Arc 1 (2 of 3)