Starting on November 19, 2006, German-born graphic designer, illustrator, and writer Stefan G. Bucher, renowned and awarded as the creative force behind 344 Design, offered fans of his personal blog a daily dose of quickly improvised drawings, all of them strange but friendly monsters, recorded on video. He called it, Daily Monster.
The series of 100 monsters ended on February 25, 2007, but Bucher couldn’t quite quit the habit and started Weekly Monster just two months later. He’s also publishing a book based on the site’s creature collection, with a foreword by another one of the internet’s most famous social media creators, Ze Frank.
The typical posting on Daily Monster is fairly breezy, and includes a monster drawn in two to three minutes (the process is sped up in camera), comments and complimentary stories about the monsters from fans (the site has offered fans the opportunity to create their own monsters), and additional statements, poems, and responses from Bucher.
As Daily Monster progresses Bucher provides greater insights into the inspirations behind his craze-eyed critters and the direction of his art. Whimsical versions of Ralph Steadman’s hallucinatory, gonzo-style cartoons, each of Bucher’s monsters is a variation on a theme, a sort of Surrealist game filmed over his drawing table. The illustrator smears ink on a piece of paper by blowing through a straw and then illustrates around the wild blot. Bucher’s attendant description of his method might make an appropriate credo for the site. “Monsters are made of Id Ink. They manifest however they feel like manifesting. I’m just there to film the event.”
It might be said that if you’ve seen one daily monster you’ve seen them all, but because Bucher gives viewers an outlet for their creativity, the site becomes a forum rather than a mere showcase.
Singling out just one daily monster is probably a matter of personal taste, but the 38th daily monster struck a nerve because of its relative stark form and disturbing indeterminate identity.