Saturday, April 22, 2017

Aitkin Age column: ePhones and smartbooks

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is a somewhat curmudgeonly ramble about telephones, Daylight Savings, and indie publishing.

I recently got my first smartphone and I’m still trying to figure out how to use it. The keyboard buttons are too small so I always hit the wrong letter. When I do get the word spelled out, autocorrect changes it to something else. When someone calls, I peck at the “answer” circle frantically and ineffectually; a prompt reminds me I have to pull the edge of the circle out to the perimeter of a wider circle, like concentric ripples on water. But like how the inner ripple of a wave will never catch up to the ones forerunning it, by the time I get this done, the ringer stops and the caller is redirected to voicemail, which I haven’t found out how to access yet.
I didn’t even have a cell phone until after college. I think I was the only student there who didn’t and this made me rather pleased with myself. It was inconvenient at times, though. The art school was three miles away from the university and I didn’t drive, either, so my father, a professor, would drop me off and pick me up at the ends of my three-hour drawing and painting classes. One day he didn’t show up. The art school had just removed the pay phone from the lounge area – they must have reckoned everyone had a cell phone!
Read the rest here. 

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Please give it back"


Scene from the backstory of Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. He doesn't know it, but she's pleading for his life!

I'm quite pleased with how the leaf shadows effect turned out. And I also really like how it looks in greyscale:


Friday, March 10, 2017

Aitkin Age column: My dream business

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about a bookish daydream of mine:

I like my jobs, at the Age and doing freelance illustration, and have no desire to stop anytime soon, but lately I’ve also been daydreaming of running my own business. It would be somewhat unusual and probably make very little money: a private library.

It would work basically like a normal library: people could borrow books. The difference would be that there’d be some form of payment for it, as the library would not get any government funding, so wouldn’t be controlled by a board and its management and books would be entirely up to me.

First inspired by the fact that my sister couldn’t find King Lear at the public library, my dream library would focus overwhelmingly on the classics, books that have stood the test of time, often centuries. Homer and Hesiod, Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Dante, Chaucer and the Pearl Poet, and everything by Shakespeare, to name a few. In more recent works: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Oz series by L. Frank Baum, Chesterton and Belloc, poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alice Meynell, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Emily Dickinson, novels and poems by Rudyard Kipling and Lewis Carroll, and others. I’d particularly want hardcover editions, engraved illustrations, embellished covers.
Read the rest here.

I mention wanting to do more reading. To urge myself thusly, I put a little Current Reading list over there on the sidebar. And as I finish books, I'll put them on a yearly list page so I have a record. This is mostly a journal-like thing for myself; like the above dream library, I don't know that anyone else would be interested, but it should be fun!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sketch for Masque Chapter V cover


Every month I don't get a Batman: Decadence chapter done, I try to post a preview for the chapter in progress. As it's been far, far too long since I did finish a chapter (March of last year,) I thought this preview should be bigger than usual, a whole page, the chapter cover in sketch form.

It's a difficult thing, making time for all the drawing one wants to do, when there's the drawing one was hired to do as well as the day job and the housework. I remember fondly the days when all the time that wasn't taken up by schoolwork was totally free... But anyway, I keep working at getting up earlier and cutting down on internet browsing and organizing work schedules more efficiently. Hopefully, the chapter will be ready next month, so that the time between chapters will not stretch to over a year.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Film non-review: The Lego Batman Movie

As I have stated my intentions to review things to be helpful to Christian parents, and as I am an avid fan of DC superheroes and especially of Batman, I might be expected to view and review The Lego Batman Movie. But I am not going to, for the reasons I will soon tell. I do not envy professional film critics, who must watch a wide range of movies that may be of interest to their readers, however unpleasant the experience may be for themselves. As I have not and will not watch it, I am not qualified to review it per se, but I vehemently disrecommend this movie to everyone, especially children.

I loved to play with Legos as a child, of course. But as they left off making their own original mileaus such as Aquanauts and Johnny Thunder and started overwhelmingly just making licensed tie-ins with popular franchises, my taste for them soured.

I also don't like that this movie is not made by any of the regular people who have produced so many excellent DC animated movies and shows, like Sam Register, Lauren Montgomery, Bruce Timm, James Tucker, Brandon Vietti, etc. Similarly, like many big-budget animated movies, it stupidly eschews casting voice actors in favor of big-name live actors, not acknowledging that the talents required are quite different, and contributing to voice actors' undeserved general second-rate status.

But these things are insignificant in comparison to the nods to sodomy they sneak in there, twisting and violating these characters. This article names an instance:
For example, two men adopting a son together sounds like a dream come true to Richard, the orphan Bruce Wayne adopts without telling him he’s Batman. That’s why, when Richard hesitates to board a bat vehicle without Bruce-Dad’s permission, Batman tells him he and Bruce-Dad share custody of him. Richard doesn’t need Bruce-Dad’s permission; he has Bat-Dads!
This solution thrills Richard, who unblinkingly climbs aboard (and later becomes Robin). The bubbly young man is tickled as he spells it out for viewers: Yesterday, he didn’t have a dad, and now he has two dads! Viewers may laugh, because they know it’s a farce: Bruce-Dad and Bat-Dad are one. Richard doesn’t learn the truth until the end, when Bat-Dad pulls off his mask to reveal Bruce-Dad’s face and tells Richard to call him “Dads.”
And I'm not sure the article writer realizes, there's additional insidiousness in what they did to Dick in this film. This is Dick Grayson, the first and most well-known Robin:


And this is Carrie Kelley, the third Robin in the very dark and violent Dark Knight Returns alternate continuity:


She is a girl.

And this is how "Dick Grayson" looks in The Lego Batman Movie:


Much more like Carrie than like Dick. They made over a boy to look like a girl, but in such a way that you would only realize that's what they were doing if you know a part of the source material that most parents are rather unlikely to know. THIS IS SICK.

Disgusting. In 1954, Fredric Wertham, in Seduction of the Innocent, made the false accusation that there were homosexual themes hidden in Batman. It seems this movie wants to make his slander true.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Daughter of Danger - what constitutes immodesty in art?

A while ago, the fourth book in John C. Wright's Moth and Cobweb series, Daughter of Danger, came out. I haven't read any of this series but I want to; but they haven't come out in paper yet, only as ebooks, which I don't read. I await the paper editions.

Anyway, there was a bit of a fuss kicked up over the cover art by Scott Vigil, which some called too risque and immodest. Here it is:


I myself think it's beautiful, and it reminds me of 19th century American patriotic art, like these:

by Mel Crawford

So I want to raise the question of the human form in art and the morality thereof. My mother was an art teacher and is a huge fan of Michaelangelo; we grew up being taught that the human body was a creation of God that artists portray for the sake of its Beauty, and that nudity was not necessarily sexual at all. But there were those in our parish and homeschool group that didn't agree, and since I've started my career as an illustrator, I've been told a few times that my drawing and painting women with legs and cleavage/breasts exposed is a scandal and an evil. (For whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be a problem with exposed chests and thighs of men.)

I do of course recognize that there is such a thing as salacious art meant simply to arouse lust. But I don't think all exposition of the female body is such. In this post, though, I'm more inviting opinion than arguing for my own. (I may elaborate on mine later.) So please let me know what you think!

One thing I observed, however. There were families in our homeschool group that were obsessive about modesty and almost puritanical regarding things like comics, anime, and video games. And it is, overwhelmingly, the children of those families who are now, unfortunately, living in fornication. Maybe it's rebelliousness or in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound mentality; of course I don't know all the factors or possible reasons, but it is a definite pattern.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Aitkin Age column: Glad to see this day

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about how happy I am that we have the president we have instead of the one that the abortion-worshipping, Islam-supporting, anti-Christian globalist elite wanted for us. There had been several letters to the editor and a couple columns lamenting the inauguration, so I thought the way that the majority of Aitkin County actually voted deserved some representation.

In the wake of the inauguration, newspapers and the Internet were filled with lamentation, claiming it will be horrible if President Trump does what he said he would, but then immediately gloating he surely wouldn’t do it after all. If so, what was the problem? However, these first few days, he already restored the Mexico City policy, got us out of TPP, presided over the first joint American-Russian attack on ISIS, and several other works. He’s doing what he said and I am glad of it.

I am glad that someone who said that my church must be made to change its beliefs will not be president. I always thought Hillary Clinton would win, so I expected that soon, any public expression of my beliefs, especially the belief that homosexuality is immoral, would be outlawed as hate speech. I didn’t trust Trump for a long time, thinking he was stupid and sure to lose to her. I gradually saw I was wrong and I am glad.
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ice in polish


Trying out nail polish again to color this drawing of the DC superheroine Ice, it didn't turn out quite as I wished, but well enough.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Twelve Days of Ace Attorney

It's before Candlemas, so I can still post Christmas things! Since the Christmas of 2016 is very significant in the Ace Attorney story, I celebrated this year by drawing twelve pictures of scenes that happened at Christmas in the series. Although just looking at the pictures without seeing character names wouldn't give away too much, there are spoilers, so be careful, especially if you've played some but not all of these games.

Christmas 2000

Christmas 2000

Christmas 2001

Christmas 2004

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2019

Christmas 2027

Friday, January 13, 2017

A kerfluffle -- and a little bit of a book review

I don't know if anyone here has visited my tumblr, which is linked in the sidebar; I put there pretty much the same drawings I put here, with a bit more nerdy fandom slant. But if you are a person of refined sensibilities, this is just a warning that you may not wish to visit it currently.

I had an altercation there recently with some homosexuals who attacked me for objecting to people claiming that a drawing of mine of three fully-clothed nine-year-old male children, friends saying goodbye, with one hugging another, was a piece of homosexual pornography--and they meant this as a good thing.

In this conflict, some very foul things were said to me, which I quoted in accusation, and I used some foul language in turn, so if that unsettles you, do be mindful.

I have learned through experience, as well as seen several people wiser than me demonstrate, that refusing to use harsh tactics against the enemies of decency does not work. They do not understand reasoned argument; they take advantage of any concession and merely screech all the louder that any refusal to acclaim perverse sexual practices is nothing but purest bigoted hate. The only thing that works is to shame them, call their deviancy what it is, and refuse to back down in any way.

I learned much of this from the invaluable book SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day, which I also gave to my teenage cousin for Christmas. If you have ever been concerned about what will happen to your career or reputation if certain people find out you're not as feminist, anti-white, pro-Islam, and pro-sodomy as modern secularism demands, you need to read this book.

I also thought of St. Thomas More as my model, the things he said to and about Martin Luther. Don't look at that if you're sensitive to foul language, either.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Aitkin Age column: Snow lessons

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about a Texan's experiences of Minnesota winter.

This will have been my third New Year’s since moving to Aitkin from Houston, Texas. When I first arrived and told people I’d come every summer of my life, they’d always say, “But have you been here for winter?” I would say yes, but admittedly, it wasn’t for the entire winter.
There’d be snow in Houston every few years, but it usually wouldn’t stick. It caused us kids great excitement and we’d try to be outside all the time it was snowing. Traffic in Houston is always difficult, but when there’s snow, drivers unused to it panic and it gets even more crazy. All schools declare snow days if there’s a quarter of an inch. Being homeschooled, we were unaffected, but that also meant we could take multiple recesses throughout the day.
Winter trips to Minnesota weren’t as frequent as summer trips and we looked forward to them intently. Once here, we’d spend all day outside in borrowed jackets, mittens and snow pants. The most fun I remember is when my brother, my cousin and I spent hours building a multiple-room fort complete with a toilet made of snow. (No, we didn’t use it.)
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

St. Dunstan coat of arms


I was commissioned to draft a coat of arms for the Anglican Church of St. Dunstan. I got to learn something new in heraldry: when the field and charge tinctures are switched like that, it's called "per pale counter charged."

Whisper: please join me in praying for their full Communion. Insofar as belief, the members I've met are already far more orthodox than most Catholics.