Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Instagram machine

As I'm gradually getting the hang of a smartphone, I now have an Instragram account! And my profile picture there is a sneak peek at the eponymous heroine of my upcoming webcomic, Paper Doll Veronika!

It looks to be a fun place to share both artwork and photos of nature round here and such. Feel free to follow me, and if you're thereon let me know!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Black and white training

I recently took over photo preparation at the newspaper where I work my day job. I use Photoshop to make the photos the right size and resolution, and adjust the contrast, color and sharpness so they look good in print. Every photo needs to be prepared in both color and black and white, so it can go on either type of page. The fun part is turning color photos black and white and adjusting the contrast. I’ve learned a lot more about light and value and what makes images clear and dynamic in black and white just from doing this.

This should serve me well as I embark on something I’ve been trying to do ever since I started my art career seven years ago — drawing comics. There are awesome people revolutionizing the independent comics scene right now, and I want to be a part of it. (My first offering will be Clockwork Dancer by Jon Del Arroz; a steampunk spectacular — please look forward to it!) It’s clear that I will generally not be wanted as a colorist, since I do not color digitally. So, I need to up my black and white game. 

I’ve been doing a lot of black and white since I started the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book, and most of my work for Sophia Institute Press is black and white. But that’s coloring book style — just outlines. For American-style comics, I need to have black shapes and shadows.

So as training, I've taken some pages of the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book and applying some black. Here's the St. John of the Cross page. More to come!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Prayer request for a mentally ill heretical art thief

A woman who calls herself Brother Andrew Blair as well as Brother Francis Clare has been taking my artwork without permission to use on posts attacking the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist. First, she made this post, citing my statements on the evil of Eucharistic sacrilege as an example of "stigma." Later, apparently under the impression I was unaware of this, she made the following comment on my post "The Eagle Doctor's Little Daughter":
Absolutely beautiful,
I am capturing some of this for my blog with the due credits harvard
To which I replied:
That is funny, since your earlier use of my work was to portray as “stigma” my statement that sacrilege against the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is wrong, and you did not see fit to inform me then.
After which, she edited her comment so that it changed to being anonymous. Then, she used my work again, without credit, on this post, which, though it is quite incoherent, seems to be attacking the idea of the Blessed Sacrament as the Source and Summit of the Christian life.

I have left a comment demanding the removal of my artwork due to copyright violation, and if she does not comply I will submit a DMCA notice to her web host. I have also made a request for a Mass to be offered for her. Alongside her attacks on the Eucharist, she is severely mentally ill, both unadmittedly, in that she claims to be a man, and admittedly, having "bipolar affective disorder with some psychotic episodes." So please pray for her.

To her, if she is reading, I say, Jesus loves you in the Blessed Sacrament, but He can only live in you if you stop lying, about Him and about yourself.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Aitkin Age column: Baseball, books and breaking barriers

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is plugging my brother's book!

My family spent many summer afternoons at Connie Lueck field, watching our cousins play baseball. Loads of fun, it was one of the inspirations for my brother Phillip MacArthur’s book, Summer, Broken, illustrated by my sister Anna. It’s a young adult story about a boy named Kenny who just wants to play baseball but gets embroiled in haunted houses, disguises and magic in a whimsical and nostalgic summer adventure. It can be found on by searching for the title and author name. [Or by going here.]
The homeschooled children of an English professor and an art teacher, my siblings and I have always been interested in creative storytelling.
Read the rest here.

I also refer to the statistically documented discrimination against males in science fiction publishing. The study I mean is this one, conducted by author Jon Del Arroz, for which they tried to silence him and sabotage his career.

Support indie and self publishing!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Eucharistic Lord, have mercy on us

First art I ever posted on this blog, a Corpus Christi oekaki

In deference to the feast of Corpus Christi, here is a re-post of what I think is one of my best theological rants, concerning the Kasperite heresy, the teaching that in some cases people in a state of recurring mortal sin that they have no intention of ceasing or repenting, should receive the Blessed Sacrament. Many dioceses now support this.
The Kasperite heresy, proposed by many bishops and supported by Pope Francis, is very, very wrong. Perhaps one of the worst things that people could be led to believe.
See, the premise is not: "Sexual relations in a 'marriage' after prior divorce is not a sin." What has been said is rather, "Let us allow sexually active remarried-after-divorce people to receive Communion." It has been framed as a "path" to... repentance? No, they don't say repentance. They're very vague about what it's a path to, but they never deny that they are proposing reception of the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. They just don't use that language, because it would hurt peoples' feelings.
Instead of hurting people's feelings, they opt to hurt, to kill, peoples' souls, and to kill Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Kill Christ? What?
I don't just mean how sins caused Christ to die on the Cross, I mean actual new actions of literally physically killing Him in time, now. How is this possible?

The Eucharist is the living Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, the entire His Own Self of Jesus Christ, God the Son. It's Him. Right there. In the ciborium, on your tongue, (please not in your hands...) stuck to the roof of your mouth, down your throat. Living. In you. Physically. Now, what if you're in a state of mortal sin? Well, my Baltimore catechism said about the state of mortal sin "Christ is dead in us." So, it logically follows that receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a state of mortal sin is, in the most direct way possible, killing Christ.

I know, He died once for all and He dies no more. And of course He yet lives, off in Heaven (must be a physical place somewhere because He still has His human Body) and as the Blessed Sacrament in all the tabernacles of the world, including people in a state of grace. But still, I think that the act of receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin can indeed be described this way, as taking Him in, and killing Him.

When the priest displays Him and says, "Behold the Lamb of God," it recalls not just John the Baptist, but also Pilate: "Behold the Man," displaying Him to the people and having them choose whether to kill Him or not. Letting them vote. Thus, when we are then invited to Communion, we are given that same choice. Let Him live in us or let Him die in us. Thus I think it may be argued that receiving the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin is one of the worst things one can possibly do.
In another essay, I compared a scene in a story where the hero shields his beloved from an explosion with his body to the reception of Holy Communion, the beloved being like the communicant and the hero being like Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I would also like to point out that at that time in the story, said hero was also suffering great grief and betrayal, and that beloved girl was the only person able to bring him any comfort. This too can be analogous. While Our Lord is most likely being desecrated all over the world, let us make our communions acts of consoling Him.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Former Patreon beneficiaries

I had done posts on all the creators whom I supported on Patreon, but Patreon grew worse and worse with the kicking people off for political reasons. When they banned Faith Goldy for reporting on the Antifa violence towards her, the call went out to stop one's pledges and get off the platform. I have now done so.

I encourage creators to use Freestartr instead. It's what I'm going to do once I get publishing my upcoming webcomic, Paper Doll Veronika.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate my support for the artists to whom I had been contributing on Patreon. Their stuff is still great, and I look for other future ways to show my support!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book! Summer, Broken by Phillip MacArthur

My brother Phillip has written a young adult book and it comes out today! It's really imaginative, nostalgic and very very funny. And it was illustrated by my sister Anna; you can see some previews of the illustrations here.
The story’s hero, Kenny, joins a baseball team for the summer, but soon becomes convinced that the opposing team is cheating by use of magic. No one else believes him except for one of his team mates who can’t speak English. Kenny is determined, though, and investigates occurrences of sorcery in the town. This leads him to a connection between the haunted house and the baseball field, and finds out that the witch living in the haunted house is connected to the opposing baseball team! Summer, Broken features magic, ghouls, investigation suspense, a deadly virus called the Cooties, an impossibly large fish, baseball, a great amount of running, and all sorts of summer fun. Kenny learns that doing the right thing is more important than becoming famous, and that although his parents’ rules might be strict, they just want to ensure his safety.
Buy it here!