Here are 2 maore images I have been working on as illustrations for a ‘young adult’ fantasy novel involving flying ships that my S.O. is writing. I don’t know if the drawings will interest any publishers or not, but Annie (my s.o.) and I have been collaborating on these drawings for a while now (we talk, I draw, we talk some more, I redraw). Annie says the drawings have helped her ‘visualize’ the story a little more clearly. It’s been an interesting and challenging experience thus far.
The top picture is a floating ‘school in the sky’ which is protected by a ‘bubble’ and a large set of gates. I drew it before, but this version is improved a bit and includes the bubble/gates. The gates figure into the story so I needed to include them.
The second is one of my few forays into watercolor and pictures one of the flying ships. I’m pretty happy with the ship but think my watercolor technique needs work — especially with the clouds. Unfortunately, with watercolor, once you paint it, it is there — no ‘white out’ and very limited overpainting seem to be the rule.
I don’t know when I will get time to do more watercolor; maybe this winter?
According to the Chicago Tribune, a fire recently destroyed ‘The World’s Largest Stove.‘ The stove had been built for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and had later been moved to Michigan where it was on display on the State Fairgrounds. With the recession and double digit job losses the norm in our state, we Michiganders feel we have suffered enough in the past couple years — and now we have lost ‘The World’s Largest Stove.” Fate is a bitch.
Representative Phillip Hinkle, R-Indiana, has resently joined the ranks of politicians who campaigned against ‘the homosexual agenda’ (their words, not mine) while also attempting to arrange a homosexual encounter with another man. Just a guess on my part, but I’ll bet the young man he contacted via Craigslist was not his first walk on the wild side.
I’m all for consenting adults being allowed to do what they do behind closed doors and keep secret the details that have no relevance to their job performance — but why does it seem that a month cannot go by without someone who has publically endorsed the conservative party line on homosexuality getting outed?
In other gay news, Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann has recently announced that if elected president of the US, she would seek to overturn the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,‘ (which I guess means that all of the soldiers who came out of the closet as of September 20th this year (when “D. A. D. T.” officially ends) will have to go back into the closet when they once again reinstate “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and all the soldiers who knew that ~10% of their comrades were gay a week ago will suddenly have to pretend like they don’t know that). Nevermind that The Pentagon has already determined that it is time to update the sexual orientation policy. Nevermind that a plurality of soldiers currently serving have said it’s time to drop “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” She’s gonna get the gays in uniform back in the closet because that’s the kind of promise that gets her base excited (how appropriate to refer to them as ‘base.’)…
I wonder how many of those ‘anti-gay’ Bachmannites are also a little ‘light in the loafers’? “Shhhhh! My congregation thinks I’m straight!”
Why is it that the majority of politicians who describe themselves as ‘social convservatives’ seem to want to suggest that ‘government get the heck out of our private lives‘ whenever Michelle Obama suggests that kids ought to eat an apple once in a while, but they do want to try to get the government involved in the sex lives and living arrangements of consenting adults? Am I just not understanding the whole ‘smaller government’ thing?
Zak S. from Pornstars wrote a really interesting blog post the other day on some musings about what ‘cool’ was and where our concept of cool might have come from… including ruminations about ‘coolness’ being connected to a kind of otherness that a teacher of his associated with African art and religion. I’m not doing it justice; go and read it for yourself. For clarity, we are talking about ‘cool’ as social currency, not temperature (although I think the premise presented on Zak’s blog connects the two).
The type of cool I am thinking of is calm and collected. Nothing disturbs the composure. Perhaps that related back to the quality of ‘unnaturalness’ that Zak’s teacher saw in some African art. I don’t know. But back in the Pleistocene era, there used to be a show on TV where Henry Winkler played a ‘cool’ dude named ‘The Fonz.’ The Fonz was like a cartoon of cool in a sitcom about the 1950s that never was. For one thing, I don’t remember any racism or cold war paranoia on “Happy Days;” the show mostly concentrated on sock-hops and who was taking who to the high school prom. When it was on the air, I only watched it when my sister had charge of the channel changer because it was a “girl’s show” (like ‘Love Boat’ or ‘Fantasy Island’). I much preferred ‘Batman’ or ‘The Six Million Dollar Man.’
Although I don’t know much about African art and religion, I’m not sure that I’m buying Zak’s former art history professor’s theory about the origin of ‘cool.’ Even discussing it is hard since these days people use ‘cool’ to describe anything vaguely positive… so while many might say the character portrayed by James Dean in ‘Rebel without a Cause’ is a ‘cool’ guy, getting a discount on a haircut or a box of cornflakes might also be ‘cool.’ For the sake of discussion, let’s stick to cool as having a certain social cachet.
It is strange because when I was a youngster, many of the things I liked were considered ‘not cool’ by my peer group… but now they are somehow considered ‘nerdishly cool.’ So spending my Friday nights playing D&D and killing balrogs and orcs was not cool in 1978… at least not in my neck of the woods… so I find myself a bit baffled that these things have become more socially acceptable in some circles. Did and interest in dorkish pursuits like D&D become cool over time? Did it become cool because people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates became rich and famous and everyone wants those sexy little devices like iPads and smart phones… so, somehow having ‘nerdish’ interests has suddenly become “cool” because some of those nerds suddenly made a lot of money and people were admiring them in publications like Wired magazine?
If cool is being distant and unemotional, I’ve never managed that.
In David Cronenberg’s film, Videodrome (1983), an ethically challenged cable news station manager is becoming addicted to snuff film videos, and, while watching them and fondling a Walther PPK pistol (James Bond’s gun), he discovers that a vaginal-like slot has appeared in his stomach. So he does what any reasonable person would do in that situation — he begins to nuzzle the strange opening with the barrel of his weapon, finally jamming the whole pistol and hand in there (which seems to be either painful or orgasmic)… and losing his pistol when his stomach vagina suddenly dissapears.
Given that he has made ‘body horror’ films like Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and Videodrome, I wonder if Cronenberg’s mother read things like Kafka’s Metamorphosis to him when he was in utero.
Despite the datedness of some of the technology (pirate video involving Betamax tapes and cable scramblers), the movie was great. The wikipedia entry calls it “techno-surrealist” (which is pretty apt) and it’s interesting to try and go back to when “cyborgism” and William Gibson techno novels were still new concepts. The paranoia in this film would make Phillip K. Dick proud. Debbie Harry is great as a seductress/masochist and there was a lot of wierd shit in it, which allowed me to forgive the clunky dialogue. Plus there is an exploding hand that blows a perfectly timed escape hole in the back wall of a store that is like a cartoon — funny and wierd. The protagonist escapes through the hole into a street full of people who are ignoring the fact that a wall just exploded and a dude with a vagina in his stomach came running out. Perhaps that kind of stuff happens pretty often in Toronto. James Woods stars as the stomach-vaginaed Max Renn.
I started a poll to find out which apocalypse readers would prefer; please choose from the broad categories listed, or, if none of them tickle your fancy, add suggestions below.
I’ve grown just a little tired of zombies now that they have started showing up in mattress store advertisements, but I might also be suffering from “If other people like it I no longer should” syndrome… deep down, I suspect I will always love the shuffling hordes of undead… so I think ‘zombie apocalypse’ would be my favorite. But maybe I just want to shoot people but not have to feel bad about it (“Hey, I didn’t kill them… they were already dead!”).
Alien invasions / triffids / Terminators, etc., have a lot of appeal, especially if accompanied by desperate fighting on the part of a rag tag band of plucky survivors. And, fuck it, I realized I left ‘robots from the future’ off the poll, but now that someone has voted (me), Blogger tells me that I cannot edit the poll. Dammit! Perhaps ‘robots from the future’ could be assumed under triffids/sleestaks, etc., or ‘space invaders.’ I probably should have included ‘computer goes beserk/Y2k/Skynet’ and ‘robots from the future’ could be included in that…
Rapture / sun going nova, etc., don’t appeal to me because, well, no one gets out of it alive and the whole thing is just over. I saw some film about a nuclear bomb going off when I was a kid and at the end of the movie everyone is just lying around dying with their hair and teeth falling out — not how I envisioned the end of days. That movie still gives me the creeps; I wish I could figure out what it was so I could watch it again.
So, how about you? What is your favorite ‘END TIMES’ scenario?
Illustration for the DCC RPG. I’m limiting myself to displaying the images that Goodman has already shown the public; there will be more pictures in the book coming out later in 2011.
Tomb raiders from the DCC RPG. They have not yet noticed the scorpions creeping up behind the sarcophagus they are attempting to despoil.