Just got back from CopperCon, the second day…getting a feeling that nothin’s gonna go in the art show. Ah, well. Everything selling (and indeed the majority of the work there) was very Standard Fantasy–cats, dragons, wolves, naked women with wings/swords/whatsits. (James muttered something about it being very ten years ago, but that’s probably unkind.) So it may just be the wrong sorta crowd for my thing, which obviously tends to the…err…odd. Still, que sera, sera–you win some, you lose some. Lots and lots of fan art, mostly Xena and LOTR, which I found peculiar–I’m mostly surprised they allowed it into the show, since it violates copyright left, right, and sideways, although of course, it’s unlikely anyone will go after that kinda small fry. But still, after the strict “Thou Shalt Not Hang Fan Art” rules at Trinocon, I was surprised.

Actually, the whole con rather suffered in comparison to Trinocon, which is terrifyingly well run–this seemed a bit more haphazard in many regards, the dealer room was surprisingly smaller, and the programming was rather less inspired. However, since I don’t know anyone here, that of course makes a huge difference, so I may be judging it unfairly in relation. And they did have science related panels on space, NASA, and chipping flint tools, and that’s inherently cool.

The art show was larger. The usual run of work–any art show is usually a bell curve, of course, and you get the mediocre middle, balanced by the stellar and the regrettable. Some nice 3-D stuff. A few quite good prints, mostly brought in by agents for Janny Wurts/Don Maitz and Therese Nielson–out of my price range, but neat to see in that size instead of the dinky little reproductions in my art books. Bid on some cool cloth art that was gettin’ no love–they were neat pieces going way too cheap, and I hope someone picks up some of the others. Lots of feather painting. I dunno if feather painting really became The Cool Thing recently or what, but I’ve been seeing it everywhere–evidentally it’s really big. And hey, when it’s done well, s’kinda neat, and takes a skill that I lack utterly, god knows.

There was also a presentation on digital illustration technique.

That was…interesting.

And I think that’s really about all I’ve got to say about that.

Ursula Vs. Porn Spam, Redux

Today, as I sip coffee and linger over my bacon and hashbrowns, there pops up in my e-mail an ad for “Beastiality Snuff!”

This is not the sort of thing I like to see over my breakfast. It does remind me of why I stopped reading Laurell K. Hamilton stuff–too much were-porn, not enough exorcisms. Nevertheless, I reiterate my earlier comments–if you really need to see footage of someone abusing a goat and then shuffling it off this mortal coil, you A) need therapy, or perhaps a bullet and B) are such a small, freaky minority that advertising is not effective to reach you, so the rest of us should not have to hork our coffee over the keyboard. (Given that the FBI’s best efforts would indicate that real snuff films, like satanic ritual abuse, appear to be an entirely mythical beast, I doubt it’s anything to get worked up about, however.)

In completely unrelated news, we have–finally!–good news on the Loki front. We had originally start at 2 units twice a day for insulin, gradually worked up to 5 units twice a day, heroic dosages for a cat, and nothin’. Still with blood sugar in the 400+ range, still with the shakes. Finally, the vet said “Okay, we’re gonna try THIS!” and injected 8 units directly into muscle instead of subcutaneously. An hour later, his blood sugar was down to a respectable 150, and the vet threw her hands in the air and said “Eureka!” Evidentally he was simply Too Fat. Her guess was that the insulin was going directly into fat and just not hitting the blood stream in any quantity. Put it in muscle, of course, and it gets around no matter how fat you are.

Since he had run through the other types of insulin with absolutely no effect, I was VERY relieved–I was having visions of having to put the poor butterball down to spare him a protracted, wasting end, and it was making me pretty unhappy. So, much relief. However, now I gotta skewer the poor cat directly in muscle tissue, which is a bit creepier than subcutaneous. The vet attempted to show me how to do it last night, but Loki had been in the hospital for two days, had blood drawn something like ten times, and been jabbed repeatedly as they tested multiple insulins and failed, so he was Done. Even a beast as docile as Loki has limits, and his had been reached. Not that he’d ever attack anyone–he never bites or claws, perish the thought, but he was flopping around and wailing like some kind of fish. The rare Arizona Shrieking Catfish, say. She put the needle in, he flailed and wailed and thrashed, of course jerking the needle out of her hand. It looked a bit like one of those nature films where they dart the animals, and it’s lumbering around in a rage with a tranq dart hanging out of its haunch, except that Loki was not going down at all. Finally we managed to pin him, she shrugged and said “Normally I’d have you do it, but I think he’s had enough,” and we took him home.

Did it this morning, forgot to aspirate the needle, but he sat munching a treat and not paying attention, as usual, so I think it’ll work out okay, if I can just remember to aspirate. The things we do for love…

The importance of font choice…

Hung my stuff at the Coppercon art show. I am slowly becoming more adept at hanging art. I trace this less to any skill on my part, and more to my willingness to let James hang it all while I fill out control sheets. Got 13 pieces up, including the big acrylic kirin, so we’ll see if anything sells–art show sales are still down, although they’ve apparently improved since the original economic toileting last year.

As we were driving back from the convention hotel, we got behind a car festooned with religious bumper stickers. One caught my eye in particular. It was one of those “Smile, god loves you” bumper stickers, but this one really stood out.

For one thing, the smiley-face accompanying it appeared to have been drawn by someone with a great deal of enthusiasm, but maybe not the steadiest hand. So it was Very Smiley, but its eyes were different sizes, giving it the look of the cheerfully concussed.

The best part, however, was that the designer had made two key decisions that had quite an impact on the message. The comma had been left out, and they had selected a large, bubbly font for “smile” and “god” and a small, sans serif, for “loves you.” The resulting message read “SMILEGOD loves you.”

Obviously, this raised a number of questions, like “Who is Smilegod?” “What does Smilegod want?” “Why does Smilegod love me?” “Should I love Smilegod back?” (Not unless he buys me dinner first.) “What are the teachings of Smilegod?” “Is this the cheery concussed visage of Smilegod, or one of his followers?”

Anyone qualified to speak for Smilegodism, feel free to show us the way.

Just woke up from a nap. For some reason, in my dream, in between some really bizarre segments where I attempted (rather calmly) to save a childhood friend from being eaten by ravenous Komodo Bark, and then attempted (much less calmly) to buy smoked gouda and oyster crackers, I dreamed I was walking down the sidewalk. Large flying snakes lumbered past, and for no apparent reason, in my dream, I was singing “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…”

Perhaps she’ll die.

Also, Mutley is the coolest ever.

I know I love my cat, because I wouldn’t get up at 7 AM for many other beings if I didn’t A) think there was money to be had or B) owe ’em a kidney. This may mean that I am a mercenary organ pirate, but really, I’m okay with that.

So I dropped the Loki-bear off at the vet, where they will be getting him on different insulin by the time-tested method of injecting him, then doing a blood test an hour later. The vet assures me that she’s never had a cat not respond to at least one of the three insulin varieties. There is a chance, unfortunately, that his somewhat drunken neuroapathy will be a permanent condition, but since it doesn’t seem to affect his quality of life that much (he’s already adapted pretty well to jumping up on things and beating up the other cat) and he’s not in pain, I’m not real worried. If he was suffering, that’s another matter, of course, but fortunately, doesn’t seem to be the case.

Been working on an odd commission–art for the side of my stepmother’s van. (She’s a mobile pet groomer.) Due to one of those inevitable scheduling miseries, it was do-it-in-three-days job, but it’s come out pretty well, and I don’t mind doing it–I get paid, and more importantly, I would die a thousand deaths to think that a relative of mine was driving around with clip art. However, having drawn six dogs of various breeds, (and one cat) I have A) felt trapped in a Primus song (Too…many….puppies!) and B) learned that dog-show people are at least as crazy as furries. At least the furries just dress up themselves. You should see some of these animals. Other dogs would laugh at them. However, since the van will be the showcase in a dog grooming show in Hershey, with my art on it, and she tells me that she thinks other groomers will be all over personalized art for their vans, she’s taking business cards along. So, y’never know–sometimes the odds things pan out well.

Woohoo!

http://www.graphicsmash.com

You can subscribe come the 15th, but the site is at least up, and will be featuring reviews of some of the thirty webcomics you can read there (all for the low low price of 2.95!)

I prepared a moving page (which I spent way too long on, but what the heck.) I’m so stoked I’m bouncing in the chair.

And fiiiiinally…since I haven’t said it here yet…

I would definitely NOT have gotten nearly so far with “Digger” if it wasn’t for all the people who wrote me and commented and said encouraging things and wrote silly songs and suggested plot ideas and generally got way more into the adventures of a wombat than I had ever expected. So thank you all, from the bottom of my black and withered little heart. *sniffle* I feel the love.

Since the nice people over at Hogshead Publishing don’t mind me showing this around, here’s the cover I did for their Crime Scene sourcebook on the Yakuza.

Arm of the Yakuza

Meanwhile, I finally got the next Digger put together. The backlog continues! (Graphic Smash will launch on the fifteenth, so not much longer now…) Thanks to the people who sent nifty song tidbits–this made me realize that our wombat has to stroll through the woods singing rather frequently, just so I can use ’em all! (Love that Molly Malone one…gotta use it next time…) However, I wound up getting kalluna to help me write yet another one because I realized I needed an unusual word in there to hang the next segue on. Which meant that we spent about an hour going through lists of mineral names, which was rather more interesting than it sounds–some of them are so cool! Moolooite! Abswurmbachite! Mathewrogersite! Uytenbogaardtite! What’s not to love in those names? If I have children, I’m naming ’em Uytenbogaardtite. All of them. (Fortunately, this is unlikely to occur.)

Finally settled on dichroite, which is an older term for iolite, “water sapphire” which was apparently used by Vikings for navigation because it can supposedly find the sun on an overcast day. This was just too damn cool a tidbit to waste, and even though I have no idea how to work it into the story, I gotta throw it in somewhere.

In other news, got the shit bit out of my legs while having a fantastic meal over at my father and stepmother’s, which I didn’t notice until I started scratching ’em in my sleep, and ripped the hell outta my legs. Since I cannot shave my legs while they are awash with mosquito welts, they have become stubbly, which only compounds the itch problem in new and exciting ways. I have bathed everything below the knee in Campho-Phenique, but it’s not helping. Sigh.

The Bad Old Days Live

Was flipping through the local rag here in Tempe while waiting for my fast-food teriyaki chicken to arrive, and noticed an article about polygamy.

More specifically, it was about a town on the Arizona-Utah border, called “Colorado City” which is pretty much run by one of the branches of Mormon fundamentalists that are big into bigamy. Since the local police are owned by these gentlemen, Arizona and Utah law enforcement have teamed up to send police there that will be unaffiliated with any of the locals, in order to try and crack down on the very nasty underage polygamy going on there.
Who knew this crap still happened?

I have always been sort’ve fascinated by the phenomenon of antlered does–about one in ten thousand female deer gets some genetic scrambling, and gets born with antlers. (I attempted to write a story about this once, which foundered utterly when I attempted to come up with a workable deer society. Deer really are vicious sexist bastards who keep harems, and I would sooner rip out my own tongue and nail it, flapping, to the wall than be responsible for more crappy kill-the-male-oppressors-with-your-unconventional-sexuality fantasy.) Some of the deer are males with undescended schtuff and some extra equipage, but a number of them are honest-to-god females who have fawns and all the rest, and just happen to develop antlers. These are usually weird or deformed, but anyway, it always struck me as neat, and maybe one day I’ll figure out some way to incorperate an antlered doe character into something more than a single painting.

None of that, however, is nearly as creepy as this: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0825_030825_carnivorousdeer.html

While part of me says “Hey, ain’t nature grand and adaptable?” the rest of me is going “Eeeehghgh.” Deers eating meat, even for such an excellent reason, seems like some kind of fundamental violation of the Way Things Ought To Be. (I know that there isn’t such a thing–there’s just The Way Things Are, So Deal With It, but still. Brrr.)