The stores around where I live have already changed their window displays to orange and black, and the nomadic Halloween store is hiring its checkout staff. But monsters don't need to wait past Labor Day to be in fashion. Erik B. Krenz illustrates fun-loving yetis, werewolves, witches and ghosts and the kids who love spending time with them, plus scenes from Markus Zusak's novel The Book Thief featuring an incarnation of Death whose skeletal heart aches for humanity.Krenz is Minneapolis-based illustrator who cites children's books as one of his primary influences. While there's a definite children's book feel to Krenz's colors and style, he turns his illustrative attentions toward all manner of pop culture and literature: Pokémon, Rear Window, Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and Yann Martel's The Life of Pi among them. Sometimes, though, he opts for non-referential illustration, inventing his own visual language for concepts like sound and insomnia.

Krenz has a portfolio up at his website and he's posted many of his more recent illustrations to his Tumblr. But the bulk of his pieces live at his blog, Dreadful.