pentacles, magic

A nice cup of rabies

Rantings with occasional art.

True Loathe
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

 

v-day-2016

Me and the ex-with-benefits, as dragons. Valentine’s day gift type thing.
Illustrator, about an hour. Most of which was spent with said XWB dozing on the couch next to me, with my leg sprawled across him.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


totally not an old self-portrait
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

CoonDrag

I was looking through my old site from 199x this evening and found this. It’s from back when I was a boy. I was totally not thinking about gender stuff. Totally. I did not ever have a raccoon character who was ‘me’, and I especially didn’t have one who I was playing on Furrymuck a whole year before I started playing Peganthyrus, the black dragon. I totally hadn’t started painting my nails back then and totally didn’t think orange was one of the better colors I had.

Totally.

Medium: probably pen and ink, colored with some mixture of Deluxe Paint and ImageFX on my Amiga.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


the dream of the underground show pitch
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I dreamed.

It started out as a web series. A man with an usual hobby: there were a few abandoned underground installations nearby. He would find his way in, go to the bottom, then challenge himself to find his way back up without ever using stairs/elevators/etc – he was constantly cutting his way through the ceilings, MacGyvering solutions up. Lots of first-person views with narration over it. Lots of cameras dropped here and there to watch him doing stuff.

Then the plot thickened. There were old experiments in there. Changed humans. Who wanted out, who wanted things he'd found. Just one or two or three. All fast, each deadlier than the last. He was hunted through the place, having to take them out one by one.

Until he defeated the last one in a way that had him and the last experiment thrown into a parallel world. An industrialized world, full of city, full of highways, where he knew nothing of the language. He had a moment of realization when he saw the same word on a packet of snacks and on a truck; he followed the truck and discovered the snacks were some kind of curled potato snack, began to decipher the language. Hid the envelope full of Dark Secrets (which may have been slightly malignly sentient?) from the underground installation's depths in the back of a file cabinet in the trucking office, while befriending the truckers and learning the language.

Then there were other shenanigans in this parallel world. The whole place felt vaguely run-down; not quite post-holocaust but post-something. A little post-communist Russia, perhaps. Standing on a rarely-used freeway overpass, throwing fireworks at soldiers who were firing back with live weapons, because he was just supremely devil-may-care and wanted to impress some gang of juvenile delinquents. Getting chased by some pack of semi-tribal lunatics, caught, and thrown into a weird death trap of some sort of little sprawling complex of asbestos-lined rooms they were ritually setting on fire, that was hung far off the ground. He managed to escape by finding a place it was *just* close enough to the massive pile of mattresses? part of it was hanging near, and sliding out of one of the many mockingly large windows in it. (There was something about how this death trap was designed as a huge instrument, where his agonized dying screams would mix with the air pulled through by the flames to create music, as would his screams if he chose to leap from its large windows to certain death below.) The people who'd put him in there gave chase, he avoided/killed most of them, and then was caught by a last few. Apparently he'd blinded one, and their code demanded that he must now serve as that one's eyes… he was being dragged off to further adventures as I woke up. And what about the nemesis from the underground complex this started in, who may have been thrown into this parallel Highway Exchange World with him?

How would he get home? Because clearly he would, the whole thing was told as first-person narration. Well, maybe I'll find out in some other dream.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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the dream of the magical girl and the season ending battle
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

“I have an adorable secret to tell you. You're brave.”

That's what the wizened matronly mentor figure told her young charge before I woke up. Said young woman was holding a naked sword in a large hall in an old mansion, waiting for the villainess who had been waiting for the whole season's length to show up for a long-promised duel with our heroine.

Right now the big bad was monologing. And nobody was really listening to her. At any moment she was going to get pissed off and start striking out with her firey body, mostly at our heroine. Who was standing there with a dumb grin as her sphinx mentor told her that secret.

A little earlier our heroine had been watching a couple of her housemates get drunk with some absurd pump/straw contraption hidden in the hilt of a sword. There were a bunch of half-monsters and magical people living in an old mansion, you see. And there were Halloween party shenanigans going on when the omens finally came together and the big bad came out of her room down the hall with doom on her mind. She had a grudge against our heroine but I don't remember why.

There was another dangling plot hook that might have been a factor in this fight: a magician forgotten in his room, busily doing a bunch of Western hermetic tradition majgick to Immanentize The Estachion. Which is something only our heroine knew was his goal, without knowing the significance of that phrase (basically, “make the apocalypse happen”). I thought that was going to come to a head at some point but evidently we got this other hanging plot hook first.

Also she was not entirely a magical person; there had been some stuff earlier with her pointing guns at people and losing one to a grumpy, very floofy black and white cat. The guns were weird little folding things that were improbably compact and had safeties that could pick multiple modes. Probably some high tech or magical multi-weapon, I guess. But she didn't have one handy. I guess this is where the cat that grabbed her gun in its mouth, got its head stuck in a box, and vanished, was going to reappear at a climactic moment.

She'd been living in a sort of igloo made from flattened cardboard boxes, in the middle of a room. Probably a library, I want to say, though I'm not sure why.

The whole story (which felt like highlights from a whole season's worth of character-establishing meandering) had taken place mostly in a huge pile of an old mansion. Not quite Gormenghast levels of Giant Crumbling Gothic Pile, but it probably filled a significant chunk of a city block. Everyone felt like they were college age, there's a good chance it was a frat house – well, or white, given that it was mixed gender. Maybe it was at a Magical School taking place in House Fuck You I'm A Dragon, I dunno. (Motto: Efutue; sum draco.) I'm pretty sure I could turn this dream into a show pitch with a few week's work…

Anyway. “I have an adorable secret to tell you. You're brave,” said the sphinx lady to the young heroine. Freeze frame, cross-dissolve to a messy painting of the scene. Cliffhanger for the next episode full of Exciting Fight, because that's where I woke up.

I gotta pee.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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I’m open for commissions.
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

commission-sign

 

I feel like taking a break from the Big Projects but I want to keep my hand moving. So I’m doing some commissions.

Terms: No roughs or progress shots. Full refund if I end up getting bored with the idea of commissions before the 13th. You’ll get a web-res and 300dpi copy, and I’ll post it publicly unless asked otherwise.

Drop me a line in email with refs and a tweet-sized idea of What To Draw and we’ll work it out.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


some bird booty
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Kalinda-blfc

I’ve had a lot of people ask if I’m going to BLFC this year, enough that I’m thinking of going.

Especially after I went to check this year’s theme and saw that it is “pop dystopia”, with suggested inspiration of Tank Girl, Jet Grind Radio, and Borderlands. I was all YES I’M GONNA DRAW MY WITCHY BIRD CHARACTER DOING MAJGICKAL TAGS. This’ll be my badge for the con if I go, and I’ll probably be doing similar stuff at the table for sixty bucks.

And if you’re wondering: yes that’s a sigil, no I won’t tell you what effect it’s intended to have, yes I will include one for whatever intent you desire in your badge if you want.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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back in Seattle
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Oh man I wasn't planning to hit the bed so early but evidently I just want to be totally naked after a week of constantly wearing clothes and the apartment is not warm enough to run around with my Scanner Anomaly hanging out right now.

Also me being super stoned may have something to do with the naked thing. Hooray for Seattle. It may be a drizzly rainy always-night city but that just means I'm in Bladerunner. Kickstarter to pump the Vangelis soundtrack through the streets all winter long.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Mechanically Inclined
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I took a few commissions at FC. This one was of a complicated character and was originally for inks; I decided to do it in Illustrator instead. Complex stuff is easier that way sometimes.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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FC2016: Badges
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I drew a bunch of badges in a 50s cartoon style for folks at this con. Here they are.
meee rook tugrik kurtmrufa Ceilyn Iris Cisco sifuri Thunderhoof Amethyst trouffee Pi Ben Coon

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

FC2016
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

 

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important pre-con prep from a few days beforehand

Thursday: I went to the airport and got on the plane. The scanner detected an anomaly in my crotch, which was pretty quickly resolved by me telling the TSA folks that I’m trans – no humiliating three-hour nightmare of patdown, screaming, and being held in a tiny room by an assortment of TSA and cops for me, just “oh yeah let’s scan you again” and hitting a different button this time so the image processing software expects me to have more stuff between my legs. Hooray for living in a queer enough city that this is a pretty uninteresting event.

I made an exciting new error in my flight choice for this trip and got a flight from Seattle to San Jose via Orange County, which meant that I spent about five hours on a plane with multiple families with kids going to and from Disneyland. None of the kids in earshot were crying, but it was a lot more time in an enclosed tube full of pre-used air than was good for me.

I shared a cab to the con with Matrices, who had made the same error. Hooked up with my roomies Iris and Nero, dumped my stuff in the room, and then we went off to dealer’s room setup. When I was mostly done setting up, the results of my flight hit me: I stood up and suddenly I had a cold. Fuck. I was gonna be one of the people who helped make the inevitable Con Crud happen, it seemed. My apologies to anyone who caught it from me.

Then me and Nero and Iris went to Pizz’a Chicago for pizza and beers. I got tizzly enough to shake my titties at Dana when she came in while we were finishing up.

There was a bunch of hassle with Iris and Nero getting their badges; FC was experimenting with making con membership separate from a dealer’s table. Which I and every dealer I know hates when cons do that, because it is one more damn thing we have to worry about remembering to do as part of the con prep. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who had these problems, because FC has said they’re not gonna do that again in the future. HOORAY. There were a lot of other problems with reg as well, and FC made a pretty good apology post saying “we tried some new things, they didn’t work, we’re sorry and won’t be trying them again” the next morning.

I was way too used up from the flight and the oncoming cold to hit the Thursday night dance, so I went to bed.

Friday: Yeah I definitely had a cold. And it turned out that there was a fly in the ointment of my plan to get a tiny printer and do digital badges: I’d packed up the printer, its input tray, its paper and ink, its battery, the battery’s charger… and left the power brick at home. And nobody had a 24v brick handy. I sat at my table taking badges anyway and drawing them. I also took two sketch commissions, which I really wasn’t promoting this year – I didn’t have them on my sign. But they all went to repeat customers who I was happy to work with. I got the first one 90% done thay day, along with the badges, and decided to turn the second one into a digital piece because they didn’t provide a book to draw in and I just really didn’t feel like wrangling their complicated character in real media. Illustrator’s easier for complex stuff for me.

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Breakfast in the sunshine at Whispers, a few blocks away from the convention center.

The combination of “having a cold” and “not having new stuff to promote” meant that I was really low-key at my table. I kept my head down drawing unless folks actually started a conversation with me. I still talked a hell of a lot but I wasn’t trying to grab everyone who slowed down and looked at my stuff with my pitches. It was kind of a nice change to not run Table Peggy. I still performed my usual post-dealer’s-room ritual of “lying in a dark room not talking to anyone for a half hour”, though.

After food I ended up back at the inevitable Homework Party in the hotel room. I got enough done on the badges I took the first day to make me not feel guilty about being off to the dance, and went out to shake my ass; sadly the DJ spinning when I got there really didn’t make my ass want to move. They kept on switching from music that had a beat to dreamy bits or random samples that just left the whole floor kinda waving uncertainly for multiple measures at a time; it was really kinda frustrating. Especially with me still nursing that cold. So I gave up and went to bed.

As I was lying there trying to sleep, I had these visions of lots of tactical displays about hunting down the last of an army. This is not the first time I have gotten that when I have a cold; I think it is my brain’s way of interpreting the news coming from my immune system.

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“This is my new fursona, a slutty anthro whatever-the-hell-Q*Bert-was. Her name is P*Beth and she will be replacing Peganthyrus immediately.” – me, during Homework Party

Saturday: I was still full of snot but I was pretty happy about it, because I knew last night’s not-quite-dreams meant I was in the cleanup and rebuilding phase of a cold, rather than the war-against-the-viral-invasion phase.

As I walked down the length of the convention center, I heard whistles and thumping. Ah, the teenage lady’s volleyball tournament was back. That would make for a really interesting mix, what with there also being a Smash Brothers tournament taking place in the convention center this weekend.

I sat in the Creator’s Lounge for a bit finishing off another badge, then walked a few blocks to FedEx-Kinko’s to print the things out. They were all very well recieved. I spent the day at the table finishing badges. And took a sketchbook from one semi-regular who’d been dithering about it for half the con.

In the evening, I sat around the room working on badges and poking at the piece I’d bumped to digital a bit more. I got most of the badges I’d taken done, with only one left. So it was off to the rave again!

I danced for a solid hour. There was no small amount of rubbing my gyrating ass against a few people I know.

And there was also a Dance Miracle.

There was this little girl in a mudkip kigurumi bouncing around the floor. She was getting a decent amount of space since the dance wasn’t super packed at the moment, and nobody wanted to step on the kid by accident. She wandered towards the middle back of the floor, and then a spotlight came on, with her right in the center of its swirling purple ambience. And she started trying her best to breakdance.

Everyone around her moved back to the border of the spotlight. A dance circle had spontaneously formed, and she was owning it. Oh, sure, she was falling out of a lot of the stuff she was trying to do, but she just kept on rocking it. It was beautiful. And cute.

IMG_2067.jpgLater on, outside the dance floor, I saw a candy raver furry holding her hand, and rolling one of their rave bracelets from his wrist to hers. Welcome to the PLUR family, kid. Have fun!

Sunday: I tackled the last badge I had to deal with, which was pretty complicated – the person it was for handed me a photo of an old electro-mechanical telephone exchange and said “can you draw a grey mouse in front of this?”. It was super complicated but it was exactly the sort of repetitive complicated stuff Illustrator is good at doing for me, so I said yes. And he paid me a bit more than the going rate, as well. I got that one finished, then sent everything that needed printing off to FedEx again, and wandered over there to pick them up. I forgot to mention that they should be printed at 4×6, so I ended up having to do them again, and everyone got a free larger print along with their badge today.

At the table, I was just starting to settle in to work on the sketchbook I’d taken Saturday when one of the people I’d done a badge for earlier came up with a cello case and some paint pens. I’d totally forgotten that he’d asked if I wanted to do that! But there was no way in hell I was going to turn something like that down; this sort of thing is part of why I come to cons in the first place.

I tried moving stuff around on my half-table to make room, but the case was just too damn big. Ultimately I had its head sitting almost at the far edge of the table, and its bottom perched precariously on the top of my chair, while I moved around in the limited space behind my table and the folks on the other side of the block of tables, drawing from a quick sketch I’d made. I kept on being slightly afraid I’d fall over on my neighbor, or on someone’s sign. Plus of course I got to remember what a pain in the ass paint pens can be. Especially when working on a slightly concave surface – the side of the case I was working on had a big bulge down the center. The first person to draw on it had taken most of the flat side with a big drawing, so I was kinda stuck with that. It was a giant pain in the ass and it was also a ton of fun, I will gladly do that sort of thing again if someone brings their Huge Awkward Item and something to draw on it with!

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Rough sketch transferred from the quickie sketchbook plan.

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how do I paint pens I don’t even

3BFA49D9-1CE2-414C-8747-27745D94C472

The artist at work. I think Jon took this photo?

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Pretty much done, I think. Getting a good photo of this was really not happening from this angle.

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Happy customer!

And then I just kinda settled down with that lingering sketchbook and chilled out doing a lot more noodly detail than that person was quite expecting. They’d asked for their character in Bloodborne, since we both play it, and I delivered a two-page spread of them standing in a particular hallway in Cainhurst with a lot of scribbly hatching and noodly clothing embroidery and red ink splattered on a lovely dress and a blood-red moon hanging ominously in the sky. They were pretty happy with the results.

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So am I, to be honest.

Table done, I hooked up with some friends who had a green card and got thoroughly stoned. Our quiet stoned chat on a little balcony turned into talking with an outgoing guy from FLARE (an organization that does medical support for multiple west coast cons) who sorta attempted to recruit us so he could win this year’s Ironic Joke Toaster award for best recruiter.

I ended up eating alone, because I kinda needed some Alone Time again. Went back to the room and worked on sketches for a few take-home badges I’d ended up with (one for a person who commissioned it on Saturday and wasn’t gonna be there Sunday, two for friends who asked on Sunday and got a “sure” despite my general loathing of take-home work). When I had most of this stuff sketched it was DANCE TIME again.

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Things you see on the way to the dance at a furry con.

The DJ playing when I got there really didn’t do it for me; he thought it was a good idea to run the same oppressive THUNP THUNP THUNP THUNP bassline for like twenty minutes. It was completely peaking the speakers and it was not really a tempo my feet were happy with. So I wandered about for a bit and hung out at an art party some folks were having at the dealers room, got some of my last badge stuff set up and roughed out, and came back later. I then danced for an hour and a half. If I hadn’t been tapped out from fighting a cold all weekend, I probably would have gone longer. I stumbled happily to bed.

Monday: I woke up with the back of my head still full of dance music. It was a good thing. Eventually it faded as my roomies and I set about picking up all our stuff and getting ready to be gone.

Tugrik came and picked me up; we went out for lunch with Moo and a friend of hers. I was persuaded to try Ethiopian and actually enjoyed it; I may have to experiment with that in the future. Lunch conversation partially involved various bits of behind the scenes con scuttlebutt, since Moo’s friend was the only person who wasn’t involved in making it happen one way or another. I think. Then Tug and I went back to his place, and chilled out watching “How It’s Made” for like three hours, followed by “Despicable Me 2”. Which I had been vaguely intending to watch for a good while, and found to be really good – I’m gonna have to dig up the first one now, and the new film from its director just got somewhat more likely for me to actually go see it.

Tuesday: I sat in bed for a while writing everything here up to Monday morning. When I finally crawled out of the guest room in a guest bathrobe, I chatted with Revar (Tug’s housemate) about his Fallout 4 adventures. I think we may have persuaded each other to try putting a few points in the sides of the skill trees we’ve been ignoring; he’s been a realtime player, with lots of really nice toys due to putting points into the crafting skills (how can I pass up the ability to make my dress bulletproof?), while I’ve been a VATS-orienteted player who’s always got a pocket full of critical hits waiting to be used (and how can he pass up the ability to get a 100% chance of a VATS headshot by burning a crit?). Then I chilled out on the sunny back porch for a while, listening to the strange noises the chickens they’ve got out in the back yard make. Eventually Tug let them out into the yard and I fed them a few sniblets of the orange I’d pulled off the tree to eat.

I also got a couple more badges done, and uploaded all of them to FA. There’s one more left to do as of this writing and I bet I’ll end up finishing it before I go to sleep. I’ll probably post them in another post once I’ve done them all.

Tomorrow: hang out around Tug and Revar’s place some more, probably make a serious dent in that last commission, get my stuff packed for the flight the next day. I fly through Santa Ana this time, which is gonna be just as terrible as the way out except maybe with less kids breathing colds? Ugh I should see how much it’ll cost to switch to something more direct… ugh it’s not worth like $250. Well. I’ve learnt for next time. I guess Southwest restructured their flights since last time.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


50s badges for furries
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

meee

rook

tugrik

I will be at Further Confusion this weekend, doing my best to pretend I’m a cartoonist from the 50s, even though I’ll be drawing all these badges on my computer and printing them out!

Table #70. Forty bucks.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


some comics reviews and some comics making
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Yesterday, I went out to a cafe with the intent of getting some work done on Drowning City. Instead I just sat there doing a couple of smaller things that needed doing and staring glumly at the last few pages of chapter 1 that don’t have a rough yet; I just had no energy. So I went over to Phoenix Comics and looked for some inspiration.

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These cost more than I care to admit.

The first thing I read was Frankenstein Underground (script: Mike Mignola, art: Ben Stenbeck, color: Dave Stewart). It is a story in which Mignola’s version of Frankenstein’s monster wanders around an underground world, punches a lot of monsters, deals with weird old mystics, and worries about Being A Monster – basically, it’s a Hellboy story without Hellboy, and all the overarching end-of-the-world doom Hellboy carries on his back.

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I opened it to a random page and took this photo. About half of the book is stuff like this.

Stenbeck does a really nice job of capturing the spirit of Mignola’s distinctive style without being a slavish copy; the whole book is full of shadows. He adds in more detail than Mike usually does, without getting lost in it like I find some of Mignola’s followers do – there’s a nice sense of life to most of the drawings in this book. And Stewart’s colors continue to add a delicately nuanced flavor to these tales of thud and blunder; he colors pretty much anything Mike’s involved in since like the second Hellboy collection. There’s nothing special or world-changing here; it kinda feels like a return to the core values that Hellboy was built on top of. There’s sunken-faced Victorian revenants, there’s ancient dark tentacle gods, there’s a rich dude with vampire minions and a collection of curiosities, and of course there’s a big, sad-shouldered monster running around punching the snot out of bigger monsters in an assortment of tenebrous spaces. It’s exactly the kind of supernatural pulpy nonsense Mignola’s built his brand on. And it’s a really solidly made piece of that supernatural pulpy nonsense. But it’s not doing anything mindblowing or new.

Rating: ★★★☆☆. A solid piece of Mignola methadone to tide me over until the collected Hellboy in Hell comes out. The finest quality ANSI-standard monster punching money can buy.

 

Then I decided to check out The Wicked + The Divine (script: Kieron Gillen, art: Jamie McKelvie, colors: Matthew Wilson). I’ve been hearing good things about it but hadn’t read it yet; as I opened it I tweeted “Things I know about Wicked + Divine right now: 1. There was a cute Asian boy at Geek Girl Con who dressed as Pearl from SU one day, and one of the characters from this the next, and had the good taste to buy both volumes of Rita. 2. Also it is about a bunch of gods being reborn in the modern day as various aspects of David Bowie. Which reminds me to go buy his new album.” So I pre-ordered that (it comes out today, still haven’t quite listened to it), put on my current favorite Bowie album (Outside), opened a bottle of beer I had hanging around (because this felt like a book to read with a beer somehow) and got to reading.

Five pages in, after a the prologue about a few nattily-dressed people sitting around a big table being oblique, I was looking at this:

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A few pages later, I was looking at this.

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Someone sweat blood (probably Gillen, judging from the process notes at the end of the second collection) thinking about the structure of these spreads, making sure it reads sensibly if you read the left page followed by the right page, and if you read four panels in a row straight across the whole spread. When I got to this spread I basically sat up and started really paying attention;  the original notes for Decrypting Rita had me planning to have all four stories running in parallel across “standard” comics pages. This is a trick I narrowly avoided having to do for about two hundred pages in a row; my brain aches just thinking about that. There’s a nice awareness of full-page and full-spread design in the comic in general; this trick repeats every now and then (sometimes with the 1-2-3-4 motif in the first spread I excerpted, sometimes without – it’s also a recurring bit of dialogue), as do some really lovely super-symmetrical layouts when the Gods are being all Godly. I suspect there will be some Very Important Pages at the end of the whole story that, if read one way, just conclude the story, and if read another will deliver an Important Message About The Thematic Point Of The Whole Story.

Anyway. There are a dozen of people running around who are earthly incarnations of various deities, who are also all rock stars. They are all going to die after two years of this, and they are all connections to The Source Of Creativity for all of mankind. There is infighting between them, there are rock festivals, there’s one lonely ancient immortal who finds and trains these gods, and there is a hunt for a few deities who have not manifested their earthly avatars at the outset of the story. There’s a nice double bait-and-switch about one plot element in the second volume, that ends on what is probably a huge downer if you’re not possessed of a casual acquaintance with some of the major stories of Greek myth.

There’s some nice color tricks going on too – most things have a fairly representational palette, but whenever the David Bowies do something Divinely Magical, the colors go all pure process and start getting a huge halftone thing going on, as they wield the power of Pure Holy Pop Art.

This is a story that is intensely aware of the fact that it is A Comic Book, in a very good way. I’m now eagerly awaiting the third trade, which should be coming out pretty soon. I should probably ask Phoenix Comics to hang onto a copy for me and bug me when it’s out.

I want to compare this to The Invisibles (writer: Grant Morrison, art: like a dozen different people over the course of the run) a lot. It’s got the same awareness of Being A Comic at it’s core, and it’s rooted deep in a distinctly UK pop-culture sensibility.

Rating: ★★★★★. I have a Doug Winger-sized comics-formalist boner for this thing. It’s also a sharply-written, fast-moving story with a lot of well-defined characters. Recommended.

 

After reading that, I still had more to read – the interesting-looking Private Eye, which I know nothing about except that Em at Phoenix recommended it (and that it was a full third of the cost of my purchases thanks to being an oversized hardcover), and all five issues of the Brandon Graham-edited anthology Island – but the massive comics-formalist boner I had from reading The Wicked + The Divine meant that I was fired up to go work on The Drowning City.

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So I put together a playlist full of music I’d always thought was the soundtrack (the Numan), stuff I was listening to when I was the self-hating guy I was in the nineties and early 00’s and coming up with the basic outline of this story (the Puppy and NIN), and some other gothy moody stuff I felt would evoke the right general attitude (the Crüxshadows, Aphex Twin, and Bowie). I’m surprised I hadn’t done this yet, to be honest. And I sat in front of the computer, pulled up one of the remaining pages without a rough, and started drawing.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.31.45 AM

This is the top half of page 8 of the first chapter of Drowning City. Yesterday evening it was just script. So that’s good. These are super messy roughs that are going to require a lot more work before they’re finished panels, but they’re enough to start with. There’s a lot of me scribbling and feeling around here; lots of drawing stuff at whatever size it came out of my hand, then resizing it down to fit into a section of the page without being incoherent. Well. Right now some of these panels are pretty incoherent if you don’t have the script next to them. But they’re scribbles I know I can turn into images that fairly unambiguously read as “1. The leader gallops up to Alecto as she darts to the hopeful freedom of a parking lot. 2. Horse rearing, he glares down at Alecto, blocking her with the flat of his spear.” – and so on, and so forth.

So that’s what I did last night. When I got up and turned on some music,  iTunes was still in the Downing City playlist, so I decided to take this from an assortment of tweets about me reading these things and write up something less ephemeral. It’s essential to take inspiration from outside of comics, but I need to remember that sometimes it’s good to just go read some good comics and get fired up to make more of them.

Anyway. As I was writing this, iTunes finished the Crüxshadows album it was in the middle of when I got up, and played the first track of the new Bowie album. I’m gonna go get some breakfast and listen to that, then get to some comics – probably Drowning City, as that’s what I’ve been doing for most of this week.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


suicidal ideation annoyances
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Ugh. Why is the part of my brain that keeps on muttering “your mother is dead, you feel like shit, kill yourself” over and over again the first bit to wake up and the last to go to sleep. Being up and doing other things drowns it out but it's always there first thing in the morning and last thing at night and I'm getting tired of its helpful reminder and suggestions for how to deal with the situation. Yes thank you for your contribution little depressive self-harming thought loop, it has been noted and considered; your suggestion of suicide is not one we care to consider any time soon despite your continued persistence. Now will you please shut the fuck up.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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New Years Eve Doodles
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I spent most of New Year’s Eve at a party hosted by Nick’s friends. I spent some time talking, drinking, and eating, but mostly I sat around drawing silly things.

image

Suggestions from people who would quite happily be pitching for those higher tiers.

image image image

I accidentally introduced Nick to “It’s My Beak” the other day, so I drew the rollerskating duck from the video to annoy him

image

“That top dude looks like if the Brothers Chaps did a SF cartoon.”

*draws more stuff that deliberately looks that way*
image image image image

Keith Hairy is my new graffiti handle.

image

I have a long-standing vow: if someone says “Draw me a yiffy vixen, Peggy!”, I will do so for free, and do my best to make them regret it with the drawing.

This one succeeded.

Then Nick and I got a ride back to my place and lounged in the living room cuddling. We spent most of the next day playing Assault Android Cactus on his computer; I unlocked a bunch of stuff in it because I have been playing that sort of game for decades. Looking forwards to the PS4 release of it.

 

 

 

 

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Some Sophisticated Lady
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I will be at Further Confusion in a couple weeks, drawing stuff like this and turning it into 4×6″ badges. I might take a couple of pre-orders; I’m not sure. Probably about $40.

The theme I’m using for these is “cocktail/tiki party”, which I think meshes nicely with the con’s theme of “1950s diner”. I may or may not have an endless loop of bongos playing at the table to enhance this ambience.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

image test
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Aaand this is a quickie test to see if tumblr mirror posts still lack a single image when posted from my local blog. Whee. Nice way to try and force people to use the new external editor if it is, wordpress dev team…

Unknown-1

edit. YAY! IT WORKS! That’ll shave a lot of hassle off of posting new art, then. And may increase engagement on future auto-posts of comics to their tumblrses, as well. Let’s see if changing the image changes the tumblr clone too – it started life as a frame of Lexy, now it’s me looking ominous.

edit. Nope! Didn’t change a single thing. Well. Now I know.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Test Post, Please Ignore 3: The Revenge Of Markdown
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Trying an iOS app called “ByWord” that is mostly focused on being a text editor but also has a WP plugin.

heirodules

Here’s an image: me doodling in the margins of Urth of the New Sun last night. There’s no inline preview.

The main thing about this is that it supports Markdown as its text markup interface. Which would be a lot more useful with a real keyboard, though it does offer a toolbar for all of that kind of stuff.

edit: Okay, if you used any images you have to tell it to upload them, it won’t do that automatically. It also doesn’t make any allowances for editing your post afterwards. It’s a really nice environment for writing in but those are both kind of dealbreakers for my intended use as a WP client. Oh well.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Test post, please ignore. Again.
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Here’s a test post from my phone on wordpress.com. Will it be less prone to dropping my posts on the floor than the app?

image.jpg

Here is a photo of the previous test post. Wow, it sure is hard to type stuff after it without rreplacing it instead.

 

Edit: Weird, the ‘publish’ button was ghosted on the phone. I poked at the draft via the web and it was available; when I looked at the phone again it was available there too. Strange.

I miss being able to natter out a thought too big for 140 characters on the phone. The WordPress iPhone app has an alarming tendency to drop posts if it fails to connect to the blog, which it constantly does for me. Which is especially punishing when you’ve been painstakingly pecking out a thought that size on the phone’s keyboard. Recently WordPress made a lot of noise about their new editors, so I figured I’d see if it would work better than that. And, well, it seems to have a better time connecting to my site at least, even if it’s kind of annoying because it’s stuck inside of Safari and tends to constantly be popping the keyboard up over itself…

 

(And wow, I like how there doesn’t seem to be any control over the size of the image I inserted.)

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


test post, please ignore
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

testing the wordpress.com post interface from my computer

.053-cybelle-n-hellbot

here’s a test image.

 

edit. HUH. Posting this way also actually posted the image to Tumblr instead of posting it as an external image, which is a REAL IMPROVEMENT in general – the official WP Tumblr sharing plugin does not do this, which makes my image posts super boring on there unless I take the time to make them to Tumblr myself.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Frater Billy’s Pocket Goetia
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Hail-Stan!-1

Hail-Stan!-2

So this is a thing I did for a zine Evan Dahm put together a while back. The zine was called “Hail Stan!”, and the basic idea was “misunderstood or misheard comedy Satanism”. It was printed in black on red paper. I’m pretty sure Nick helped me come up with some parts of this.

Every time I look at these I giggle, and think I’d like to make some more Pocket Goetia trading cards.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


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