Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Go, look at these...

It's time for a pause, so I've compiled a post full of interesting and unique things to look at on the internet. Some of them relate to me and this blog, but many of them are just things I thought were worth some time.

Richard's Dystopian Pokeverse
First, in response to my recent re-posting of all of my older Strange Satellites drawings, blogger Richardjohnguy wrote this very flattering piece on his "Richard's Dystopian Pokeverse" blog offering up my Strange Satellites as a kind of new Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. There were some kind comments as well, especially one which read "At the very least, these look like who you’re put in contact with when casting “Contact Higher Plane.” I liked that quite a bit.

For those unfamiliar with the Monster Manual, it is a bestiary providing all sorts of monsters, beasts, dragons, demons, devils and other creatures for use in Dungeons & Dragons games. Truthfully, I never played many RPGs, especially the paper and pencil kind, although I did play D & D a bit when I was young. In spite of that though, I was very aware of the Monster Manual and absolutely, in every literal sense of the word, obsessed with it. I paged through my copy so many times that it fell apart and had to be rebound with copious amounts of masking tape. I still love that book, especially the original version, and that connection from Richardjohnguy was one of the best compliments my art has ever received. Here's the original cover, which still moves me...

Scrap Princess
I am thinking that as a result of that mention on "Richard's Dystopian Pokeverse," Scrap Princess (aka Toilet World! -- who will devour the sun) found out about my blog and left me a few kind comments. Those comments led me back to her own blog (I am always curious about people who leave comments) and at that moment my mind was blown forever. Scrap Princess runs a blog called Monster Manual Sewn From Pants and it is more or less exactly that. She is a brilliantly warped artist and is working her way through the Monster Manual sewing all the creatures from pants, buttons, and other fabric. It's just so stupendous it almost makes me want to cry. I am stealing one of her photos and posting it below so that, like any sane person, all of you will follow that link back and look at the marvels she has wrought. It's difficult to pick just one but...ah, screw it, I am posting two. First, her Gorgon...

And second, her Barbed Devil...

So so good. Scrap Princess has hinted at a possible trade, so I am looking high and low through all of my remaining drawings to find something suitable to offer her. I'd be deeply honored to give one of her beasts a good new home. And I can't wait to see what she does with my favorite D & D monster of all time, the remorhaz.

Sean Singer and Whale Poem
Moving along, I recently received a very kind email from writer and poet Sean Singer whose Whale Poem basically stunned me with its power and its imagery. A longer poem, and very worth every second spent savoring it.

Virtual Margin
Librarian and blogger Jessica runs a blog called Virtual Margin and in this intriguing post she addresses illness, relating it back to my own series of Radians. Those drawings were so personal and private for so long, so it's strange but good to see that they've made some kind of impact with visitors. I never would have expected that.

Remembered by my high school
In another completely unexpected development, someone at my old high school, Marion L. Steele in Amherst, Ohio, wrote some very kind words about me and the book Moby-Dick in Pictures on the high school web site. You may have to scroll down a bit to see it, I don't think it's possible to link to a specific post. This was surprisingly moving for me. I graduated in 1987 and while I didn't have a great time in high school, it wasn't especially bad either. I don't think about it all that much, but it meant quite a bit to me to be mentioned like this and I appreciate it very much.

I have been mentioned...
There have been many many more kind mentions of my book in a variety of places so I wanted to link out to them here. First, my book was a featured staff pick of Shawn D. at Portland's esteemed Powell's Books.

Next, someone at the New York Public Library mentioned my book as one of the Best Books I Read or Listened to in 2011. As a librarian myself, you can understand whhy this was so great for me. Although I am a bit puzzled as to why the New York Public Library does not own a copy of the book. What's up?

Blogger Nick Montfort wrote a nice review of the book on his blog Post Position. Thanks Nick.

Patrik Ward wrote some nice things about the book and about my art over at Readhacker. He also put in a plug for buying some art from my Etsy store, which I appreciated. I've still got about 200 pieces left to post and sell, so look for those some time this month.

I am honored, as always, to see some of my art show up on the FuckYeahMobyDick tumblr.

My art in...
And last, here are some photos of my art hanging in people's homes. Brilliant writer Robert Kloss, whose upcoming book The Alligators of Abraham has a cover and three interior illustrations by me, and his wife Karissa have provided a fine new home for one of my Moby-Dick illustrations as well as the three cover roughs I did for RObert's book. Here they are hanging on their walls. First, the White Whale...

Next, the cover studies, in a row, then each shown separately, then a detail of the gorgeous frame they chose...

As you know, seeing my art in a new home always brings me great joy. Many many thanks to Robert and Karissa.


  1. Thanks for the mention of my blog! I appreciate it. And also for introducing me to Scrap Princess' blog. SO interesting.

    I love the internet...

  2. You are welcome, Jessica. It was a very interesting post, and I was intrigued by the connections you drew.

    And Scrap Princess is phenomenal! How did I not know about this before?

  3. !!!
    aw shucks
    Imma gonna go all shy if you keep that talk up...

    Remorhaz? I can totally make you a Remorhaz if that's what you desire!

  4. Yes! Remorhaz! My favorite favorite D & D monster of all time! I would do just about anything for one. So would you like to trade art or for me to pay you or what would be best? I'm up for anything. Maybe I should send you a bunch of images of art I still have left first? A lot of it is gone...given to friends or traded or sold. But I think I could find something you might like. Lemme know.

  5. yeah send me images, at the email address listed on my blog, I would be totally stoked to have one of your art pieces!


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