Thursday, December 21, 2017

SJW "Next Generation" stories are terrible

 There's a pattern stories follow when they're written by cultural Marxists--also known as SJWs--and most especially particularly when the stories deal with "the Next Generation" of whatever saga. Examples are Legend of Korra, several current Marvel comics, and, it seems (I haven't seen them myself but from what I've heard) the new Star Wars movies.

This pattern is to deconstruct and denigrate the earlier generation. You know, the one that made people love the story in the first place.

Legend of Korra made Aang have been a terrible father, never told us whether Zuko and Mai married or whom/if Sokka married, and made Toph a slut who was still as selfish as she was in the pre-learn-a-lesson part of "The Runaway," not to mention making the heroine contrivedly homosexual, so that there will never be another next generation.

Marvel comics have replaced almost all their major heroes, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, with new characters, the old ones left in humiliation: Thor unworthy to lift his hammer, Steve Rogers disgraced by that Nazi business, Peter Parker a failure.

And Star Wars, I have heard, has made Han and Leia divorced and their son hate them, Luke having abandoned all hope – which I just realized was his signature virtue in the original story – and has both Han and Luke die pathetically.

I may be wrong about this last one because, as said, I haven't seen them, and I know some Star Wars fans who still love the new films. But I also know of many fans who feel betrayed, just like I did with Korra.

It makes me sad for those who loved these stories, but it also makes me very grateful that the story I love most of all, Ace Attorney, did not do this when it had its own Next Generation segment. So I started to think, what would it have been like if Ace Attorney had been given the SJW treatment? It's an interesting thought experiment.

Spoilers follow for the Ace Attorney series up through Apollo Justice.

It might appear on first examination that Ace Attorney did indeed do something like this in Apollo Justice, with Phoenix disbarred in disgrace, drinking too much, fallen so far from his brilliant career as the defense attorney who always believed in his clients and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. But this is not actually a degradation of Phoenix's character. The secret is the turnabout. Phoenix was unjustly disbarred, is actually most knowledgeable and in control of the situation, and arranges everything so that Apollo will come into his own and defeat the murderous plot years in its infernal fruition. The key to the whole game and trilogy – indeed, the key to any real good Next Generation story, is the older generation nurturing and bringing the rising generation into its own. It should be about passing on the torch, not trampling on the ashes of the past and cursing the darkness.

Spoilers follow for the Ace Attorney series up through Spirit of Justice.

So, what would the second Ace Attorney trilogy have been like if it had been written according to the cultural Marxist playbook? Well, Phoenix's alcoholism would be a much bigger deal and make it so he'd have never risen from his ashes of disbarrment, and Apollo's disappointment in him would have carried through to a rejection of his guidance. Apollo would not be allowed to be the central figure of the trilogy that he is, because he's male! He would have fallen in Dual Destinies when he loses faith in Athena (who would be the main hero overall). It wouldn't have been Phoenix who rescues him from his grief and doubt in a healing way, no; Athena, who wouldn't lack confidence or be suffering traumatic panic attacks, because she'd be a Strong Female Lead, would just show him how wrong he is. Then, oh my goodness, Spirit of Justice. Fathers are the thing which must be brought down most of all in the SJW worldview. No father figure can go without being shown to be wicked, a failure, or weak in some way. So not only would Apollo's feelings that Dhurke abandoned him never be counteracted, Jove would have to be shown to be a failure too. They'd probably have him leaving baby Apollo to the flames in an effort to save himself. And a revolution leaving a theocratic monarchy intact? No way! Rayfa, like Prince Wu in Korra, would abdicate and pursue self-fulfillment as a dancer, and Nahyuta would lose his faith.

Aren't you glad it isn't that way? I sure am. If there's one thing I've learned from the disappointments of Korra, Homestuck, Doctor Who, it's that the SJW Narrative makes for horrible storytelling. That's 'cause it hates Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

Let's make stories that are better than that.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Comics by Jon Del Arroz

Jon Del Arroz, author of Star Realms: Rescue Run and For Steam and Country, has a Patreon up for development of future projects, particularly comics. There are rewards of short stories, drafts and bonus scenes and exciting stuff like that! 

I would contribute but it would be a bit circuitous, as some of it would be going back to me, as I have the great privilege of working with him on one of these upcoming projects, a steampunk comic called Clockwork Dancer! I'm tremendously excited. It's got fascinating characters and I'm really looking forward to exploring the mechanical, architectural, human, and ... artificially human visuals in the art. 

Jon is great to work with, generous and encouraging. I will do my best and I hope you will take a look when the time comes!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Remembrance process

Lineart for my Remembrance picture:

And with the figure ink-painted:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Film review: Justice League

My plan to review movies seems mainly to be running along the DC Extended Universe set of films, because I love these characters very dearly, and some of the films, namely Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman, have been amazingly excellent. So I was waiting for Justice League with great anticipation. I was afraid to expect something wonderful, but hoped it wouldn't be as bad as Suicide Squad. The announcement of Joss Whedon's involvement troubled me, as he specializes in the kind of snarky banter that makes the Marvel movies so unimpressive to me, and he's one of the many Hollywood liberals unable to avoid spewing vitriol for a single moment since the last presidential election. I held on to hope, but deep down expected mediocrity. Turns out, my deep down expectation was correct.

Justice League

In short:
On my first viewing,

How good is it: Basically decent and fairly entertaining, dragged down by lame writing including political preaching, unremarkable cinematography, banal music; and more than anything, paling in comparison with past installments.

For whom do I recommend: Not suitable for children under around 12-13 due to foul language. I don't really recommend it, but it's an okay superhero movie for light entertainment. And of course, it will be a necessary part of this story, which I hope will get better again.

I'm placing the cut further down than usual on this review, because I have a particular piece of criticism for a scene that's a spoiler. (Albeit one I think everyone has guessed.)

The writing is full of that snarky, sarcastic Whedonian banter that I dreaded. Worse, there's political signaling, with wicked white males threatening a saintly female Moslem storekeeper and out-of-nowhere preaching about climate change. That's mostly at the beginning, however, and can be forgotten once the plot gets going. I had expected the worst offender in the snark department to be the Flash, played by Ezra Miller, but he was actually pretty funny, well balanced with serious moments involving his incarcerated father, as well as his interaction with Batman.

Ben Affleck's Batman was once again outstanding and the best part of the movie. A core part of the character, especially seen in the eighties and nineties comics but rarely seen in adaptations, is that Batman is extremely sad and extremely kind. While given a few poor lines in this film, Affleck still conveys this sadness and kindness better than any other portrayal I've seen, and the only one I haven't seen is George Clooney. The scenes where he instructs a panicked Flash on what to do in his first battle and where Wonder Woman tends to his dislocated shoulder are gems.

Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, was okay, with some interesting characteristics. He could have used more energy and variation in his delivery.

The character that most disappointed me was Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa. The film can't seem to make up its mind whether to make him a gregarious, jolly fighter (as he is in Batman the Brave and the Bold); a grim eldritch warrior (as he is in Justice League Unlimited); or a loner lighthouse seadog (as he is in Throne of Atlantis); and he wavers uncertainly between all three. His scene with Mera in Atlantis is awkward and confusing, with backstory unnaturally shoehorned in when they should be talking about the monstrous conqueror who just attacked.

Said monstrous conqueror is Steppenwolf, voiced by Ciaran Hinds and played by a poorly-textured CG behemoth. I was greatly looking forward to a big screen portrayal of Jack Kirby's New gods, so brilliantly foreshadowed in Batman v Superman. I still have hopes for Apokalips and Darkseid himself, but Steppenwolf was quite unimpressive. He had no memorable lines and was not frightening.

But the thing that, more than anything, deprives the movie of the solemnity and emotional power of the previous films is the music. I do not know why they switched from Hans Zimmer to Danny Elfman, but it was a disastrous decision. Instead of Zimmer's throbbing, character-driven thematic tapestry, we get repetitive, forgettable fanfare that is just like any other Hollywood action flick. Scenes that could have been powerful are not, because the music contributes nothing.

I have one more evaluation of a particular sequence, which is spoilery and so below the cut. Overall, it was okay, but could have been so, so much better.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Morality of Fiction: Elsa and Quirrell

Image copyright Disney
Image copyright Warner Brothers
On this blogpost about the satanic evil of the song "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen, which declares "No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free!" there are several responses defending the movie by pointing out that Elsa's acts were portrayed as doing harm; she's not the good guy, they say.

It's true this is a mistake people frequently make: thinking that if a character, any character, voices a bad moral principle in a work of fiction, the work and the author are promoting that principle. I saw this mistake in action once when a Catholic publication, back when the books were new, featured an article making the common claim that Harry Potter was Satanic.

The article had a selection of quotes from the first book meant as evidence that it preached evil. Among them was the following, rather similar to the sentiment in "Let it Go":

"There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it."

I knew at once that the article-writer was not honest. That statement is said by Professor Quirrell, the villain of the first book, at the climax where Harry confronts him, the good vs. evil showdown. It is meant to show us how evil he is and tell us what Harry as the hero, and thus the moral of the story, stands counter to.

So, is Elsa a villain like Quirrell, voicing abhorrent moral principles for the hero to stand against and thereby teaching the viewers to likewise fight against such ideas?

Let's examine the differences between the characters, how they're portrayed. (I must note here that I have not seen Frozen and never intend to. But I know the plot, have read the lyrics to "Let it Go," and most importantly, have observed with great frequency (indeed, it is absolutely unavoidable) the manner in which the character Elsa is marketed.)

Quirrell is weak, cowardly, and smells bad. He sold his soul to evil in a disgusting bodily violation maintained by a cursed ritual involving the slaughter of unicorns. He is foul in deed and aspect. Nobody wants to be Quirrell.

Elsa, while she supposedly learns her lesson at the end, is all along an attractive figure. She endangers the land, yes, but in a pleasant-looking way. She's beautiful, sultry, wearing a gorgeous sparkly dress and living in an ornate fairy palace. Every little girl wants to be Elsa.

Now, there are plenty of beautiful and charismatic villains whose principles are still portrayed as wrong. But is Elsa's self-will really condemned? What is, overall, encouraged and glorified? Look at the way "Let it Go" is celebrated. Most of all, LOOK AT THE MARKETING. Are girls being encouraged to want to be the unfettered, selfish Elsa or are they not?

Parents, do not be fooled by Disney's family-friendly reputation. They have repeatedly promoted sodomy in their films and amusement parks. They preach self-will, pride, and rebellion against the laws of God.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Specifically-movie Wonder Woman fanart for Armistice Day. I really liked that movie. It wasn't feminist at all after all! I just hope Justice League will be okay...

The background is my first try using gouache in a full piece. My results are rather amateurish, but I'm eager to learn its ways.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In the spirit of Inktober

Here's another small Alt☆Hero fanart, which I did with a ballpoint pen while on lunch break:

Rebel and Soulsight. I don't know if they'll have anything to do with each other, but I look forward to finding out!

I had hoped to do Inktober fully this year, but the ol' schedule is too full. Now that I think of it, I actually am drawing with ink just about every day (I almost never draw without ink after all) but it's for publication so I can't post most of it. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Recent cakes

Tried a third time to make strawberry shortcake, using this recipe. Since I couldn't get it to rise enough, I made two cakes and used them as layers. That was rather too much cake-to-cream ratio. Next time, I think I'll seek out a softer sponge cake recipe.

Then I tried a New Orleans torte from the Perfect Endings Nestle cookbook. It consists of meringues layered with cream cheese chocolate filling.

It turned out well, but is almost overwhelmingly sweet.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Patreon Beneficiary: Chateau Grief

The second of the webcomics I contribute to on Patreon is Chateau Grief by Jean Guillet.

It's a very strange story, about a near-omnipotent (maybe? we don't know the extent of his power) telepath who rules an island off the California coast and his dealings with a mysterious woman who is shipwrecked there. 

The people of the island, Eynhallow, and the society thereof are kooky and fascinating, and the 3D-rendered architectural backgrounds astounding.
Guillet also does weekly landscapes of places mostly in California, along with historical background. Both are very colorful!

Cathedral Peak by Jean Guillet
Most of the Patreon rewards are tutorials for digital art and so aren't of interest to me, but the reward I wanted was the privilege of seeing each comic page a week early, because this is a story where you're always dying to know what happens next.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Rebel yell

Quick fanart of the character Rebel from the upcoming Alt☆Hero project, an independent superhero comics series by Castalia House to counter the storykilling leftist preaching that I understand Marvel and, to a lesser extent, DC are engaged in. I had no idea how bad it was because I don't read any superhero comic published after 2011, so I was shocked and angered to see the Thor excerpt found here.

Rebel has an awesome costume that I think could become truly iconic like the best superhero designs are.

UPDATE: The project has been launched!

Friday, September 22, 2017

No more monthly Decadence previews

I didn't always put them here, but I'm ceasing to post monthly previews for my Batman fancomic anywhere.

The monthly preview system is NOT helpful towards making progress on the next. Because of it, I had been doing as follows: Working from the script I have written, I thumbnail a page, then, because I need something that looks relatively polished for a preview, I start drawing said page, a little each day. On the 25th of the month, I scan some part of the page I'm working on and post it as a preview. It's a frantic, discouraging catch-up game, and it's not working. It does not encourage me to work faster, and it's disjointifying the flow of the chapter. The whole chapter NEEDS to be thumbnailed before starting on the pages.

Ideally of course, I'd have finished the thumbnailing and be well underway with the pages by the middle of the month. But it was always the case that, being a fancomic, Decadence would have to take a back seat to creative works that I could make money from. In the past, these were mostly freelance jobs, but right now I'm on the cusp of launching some projects that would make money and would actually be stories from my own creative vision: a comic in collaboration with a significant author and an original webcomic. The comics industry is in upheaval. Now is a key time to plant new seeds. I definitely still also want to tell my story inspired by the legend that is Batman, so I'm getting rid of its monthly preview so that I can work on it more steadily and efficiently alongside all these endeavors. Thank you for your patience and attention.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Patreon beneficiary: The Silver Eye

Recently, I started contributing to some artists on Patreon! I think it's a really fun system--although since it has kicked people off for being politically incorrect, I will not be using it myself once get my original webcomic up and running. I hope to be using Freestartr! But Patreon is not so evil that I'm going to forego supporting these storytellers (and getting their rewards) just to spite it.

Anyway! One of the artists I'm supporting is Laura Hollingsworth and her comic The Silver Eye. It's a fantasy adventure that's confusing on the first read, rewarding on the second, and very funny on both.

Here's an excerpt that's both characteristically funny and gives the general premise:

A fanart of it I did recently won second place in a contest she held:

There was a cash prize, so... so far, I've actually gotten more money from The Silver Eye than I've contributed to it. But even were that not the case, the rewards are really worth it; there's loads of interesting stuff that's perfect for the fact that these are the sort of characters that you want to know more and more about and see in all kinds of situations.

The Patreon page is here!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Aitkin Age column: Homesick due to Harvey

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about Hurricane Harvey:

Houston, Texas is my hometown, where I was born and lived until three years ago. Needless to say, I’m paying attention to Hurricane Harvey. Some of my family had to evacuate for higher ground, others are dry at home but floods cut them off from the rest of the city. My heart goes out and it may seem strange but I wish I could be there, not just to help but to experience this.

Going through a hurricane is like nothing else. Before and after Hurricane Ike in 2008, we took walks. It was unnaturally quiet yet the people one did meet were very friendly and talkative. The combination of strong silence and greater conviviality is unique. As the winds approach, trees move in ways you never thought they could and the wind echoes all night. After Ike, we had no power for two weeks. My job was a dishwasher for a household of priests; water and gas worked so we carried on, washing dishes by hand by the light of altar candles. I was amazed how quickly things got back on track, both with individuals, trooping out to buy chainsaws and clear the roads, and the city, setting up alternate signaling at broken traffic lights and hauling off debris. Now I see rescuers carrying people of all ages and races to safety, my acquaintances using social media to offer places to stay, vehicles to help.

There is ugliness too, looters, who reportedly shot at the “Cajun Navy” – Louisianans who came to help. Racists on Twitter encourage these criminals, one saying, “Please only loot white owned stores and stores owned by Trump supporters” and some political cartoons mock the victims as racist hicks. It figures, when shortly before, a man was arrested planting a bomb on the statue of Richard Dowling, a Confederate officer, and the communist group “Antifa” (who were rioting in Berkeley while groups they call fascist were helping hurricane victims) made an effort to destroy the Spirit of the Confederacy statue.
Read the rest here.

If you want to give alms, it's always best to give directly to people in need rather than to bloated organizations. So here's a Catholic homeschooling family that my family knew, very active in pro-life work, who lost their house to the flooding. Go here to help.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

VBS illustrations

Some illustrations I was recently hired to do for Vacation Bible School lessons. With the top one, I had to think up symbols for the Corporal Works of Mercy (of which "Care for the earth" is NOT one). What do you think of my choices?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Steampunk sketches

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Electrical Surge Kickstarter

My brother Phillip has developed a card game that he now hopes to produce. I've played it a lot, and it's really fun, fast, and easy to learn, while being really unique, different in structure from any other game I've played.

You can see what it's like in this video:

To support this project, go here! And if you chip in $20, you get the game when it's ready!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Aitkin Age column: Old buildings are the best

My latest column at the Aitkin Independent Age is about renovations and architecture:

Many are concerned about the upcoming courthouse construction because of the cost. I’m also concerned because of the beauty.
There are many reasons people renovate: repair of deteriorated features, need for more space or new functionalities, conformity to codes and regulations, and updating according to current design sensibilities. I arranged these reasons in descending order of how much, in my opinion, they are worthy of changes to architecture. The last I find of little worth at all.
For the preservation of history, man’s material craftsmanship should not be destroyed. This could be taken to a ridiculous extent, saving every scrap of ephemera, but in the case of buildings, we should not assume because something is a few decades old it’s of no value and should be conformed to present day fashion.
Read the rest here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Summer Sunset process

First I went through some of my many photo albums (these are physical books of photos I took with film) and found a suitable sunset for reference.

I did a quick study to figure out which colors I wanted to use. I used Winsor and Newton pan watercolors and watercolor markers, Faber-Castell brushpens, and Copic, Prismacolour and Mexpy markers on Canson Universal Sketch paper, which isn't really meant for wet media but I love how it looks on it nonetheless.


I did the sky first, to set the palette for whole thing.

Partially colored, with just some of the markers I used. They like to fall off the drafting table.

Now coloring is finished; I just have to touch-up ink the lineart. You can see the lack of outline definition especially on Apen's (the dark-haired fellow) face.

And a digital photo of the finished painting. For posting I use a scan, not a photo, because the resolution is better, but each version captures some of the colors that the other doesn't.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summer Sunset

I felt the need to draw some folks with an old truck, so I made an entry for the Summer fanart contest of the webcomic The Silver Eye by Laura Hollingsworth. Its setting is medieval-ish, but it has an American sensibility that I very much enjoy and so expressed here. I'll be talking more about it shortly!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Aitkin Age column - a little book

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about the works of a fellow columnist:

My job description is “typesetter,” but in this digital age, it mostly consists of using the copy and paste functions, then conforming the text to the paper’s format and style and correcting grammar. When we get a submission only in hard copy, I have to type it by hand. With things like legal property descriptions, this can be tedious (though I do enjoy the precise, formal language), but sometimes it’s enjoyable.

Columnist Mildred Reinhardt always sends her submissions on hard copy and it’s obvious why – the pages are clearly written on a typewriter. This is uplifting. It’s good to know that some people are still using typewriters today. I also enjoy the content, usually about what things were like during her childhood. Daily life of years past, with details like food and candy, dresses and furniture, is fascinating.
Read the rest here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pieta sketch detail

Detail from the sketch phase of some commission work. I really like how Our Lord's face came out.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

You are my Sunshine

Fanart for a recent episode of the Dice, Camera, Action! webseries; it's just watching some folks play Dungeons and Dragons but it can get terribly exciting and emotional.

One of a few times I've worked with a limited palette to save time; it also makes for interesting mood I think.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Really looking forward to the movie--I heard it's not so very feminist after all... we'll see!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Aitkin Age column: Unlikely allies?

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about Mohammedans and those who praise them.

The week before last, two events happened, one in a country across the ocean, one in our own state capital. In Manchester, England, a group of Islamic terrorists set off a nail bomb at a concert, killing 21 people. In St. Paul, H.F. 2621, a bill to further penalize female genital mutilation, which is practiced by many Muslim immigrants, faced strong opposition as it went from the House to the Senate.

On the face of it, it is utterly mystifying why leftist progressivism supports Islam. Progressivism is feminist – Islamic countries honor-kill women for dating without permission, mutilate their genitals and forbid them from getting an education, owning property or driving cars. Progressivism is pro-homosexual – in Islamic countries, homosexuals with adult partners have been thrown from rooftops. Progressivism claims to be in favor of freedom of expression and of the arts – Islamic countries outlaw criticism of Islamic teaching, tax or execute followers of other religions and forbid representational art. And yet, noticing the connection between Islam and terrorism is called racist and Islamophobic, and liberal politicians ensure thousands of Muslim migrants continue to pour into American and European cities. Corporations defend it strongly, with Facebook and Twitter censoring anti-Islam posts; and it’s the only religion taught and made allowances for in any public schools.
Read the rest here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Unfinished Sprites drawing

Unfinished ink drawing of the first set of sprites from Homestuck. I was once so enthusiastic for this story. I even did the art for an official t-shirt thereof.

But, like Dr. Who, (which is interesting since they're quite referentially connected) it got really, really intrusively preachy of the politically correct homosexualist narrative, as well as heavily deconstructive. I still feel like I should finish it someday, but going by the reactions of people I know who did finish it, the ending in no way lives up to the incredible, medium-revolutionizing creativity of the early parts.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Birthday cake and flowers

For my birthday this year, I again tried to make a strawberry shortcake like you see in pretty pictures.

Though it didn't quite rise enough, it was much better than last year's attempt.


I still have to try again sometime, however. The flowers, by the way, were sent as a gift by my father and mother.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Aitkin Age column: Conditions of life and death

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is in reaction to some recent articles therein espousing an instrument that can be used to protect against one's medically-sanctioned murder or to facilitate it, so I was compelled to enjoin against the latter.

There have been some recent articles about advanced health care directives. By all means, it’s a good idea to prepare one. But I beg you, do not let it be used for killing.

End of life ethics is a very difficult area. I’m not a doctor, so I cannot tell exactly in what circumstances treatment is futile. I don’t know enough to judge individual cases. But I do know the absolute moral principle of never killing a person except in defense. We are not morally obliged to do absolutely everything possible to extend a person’s life for as long as possible. But we are morally obliged never to take action to bring about their death, even if they wish us to.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beyond flight

A very quickly-done ink painting of my Decadence redesign of Batman Beyond Batman that was intended to be given as a gift to Will Friedle, who voiced him, but then his convention appearance had to be cancelled. The friend who was delegated to give it to him suggests waiting for if he can ever come again, but I think if that happens, I can hopefully do something not so rushed and thus, much better!

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.