To the average, healthy, normal person, the primary sense used to validate the existence of anything is the sense of sight. I know this is a piece of paper, because I can see it. I know what color “green” is, because I have seen it. We know what darkness is, because we have seen light. Therefore, I say that man fears those which he cannot see, for surely there is much to fear about what one does not know.
It is difficult to put to words what John Stanko has drawn because doing so would allow so many interpretations to unfold. But basically, the illustration shows a man leaned back while he is experiencing such extreme feelings, and his shadow, in almost the same form, save for the sword's hilt protruding from his head (suggesting that the sword is lodged into the man's skull). One can also note that the man wears a skull necklace stringed through the sockets, which could very well be a parallelism to what the man is experiencing. This digital illustration made by Stanko is entitled “Spiteful Shadows” - and rather aptly, I should say, because in its literal sense we see a shadow pierce through the skull with what appears to be the man's own sword. This action should prove to be fatal. Thus, the man must be in intense pain at the moment captured by the illustration.
Pain. More often than not, we do not know what causes our pain. It could have been caused by an enemy, or a friend, or a relative, or a special someone, or even by oneself. It could be so painful that one forgets where it came from, and remembers only that it hurt. We are caught off guard by it, unaware of its gravity, and, in such excruciating cases, forced to drop everything in order to find a remedy for the pain. You do anything to get out of the hole you're in - and by doing so, you blur the line between what's right and what's wrong. All that just to get rid of the pain.