A close up of an illustration I wanted to make of HP Lovecraft - or as I like to call him, Uncle Howard.
I've been yearning to try something new - and I may finally be close to getting it off the ground. For the past few years I've been working on my animation skills, mostly by making 'trailers' for other people's kickstarters. Soon I'll be showing off something I'm working on for just me. I did the illustration above last week as a warmup and a touch of self-inspiration to keep moving forward. Because I have promises to keep...
... and miles to go before I sleep,
"What if this world IS a simulation. Like a video game."
I spent all day today in cognitive dissonance. Feeling sorrow and anger over the events in Orlando while watching the E3 live feed of people in LA drooling over the latest video game shoot'em up. (while I painted blood and gore for the latest RPG project that pays my rent)
VR was all the rage at E3 today, and I started thinking about Elon Musk's comments about the very high chance that we are not in a real world but a simulation of one made by some other culture. About seven hours in as the crowd cheered for the latest installment of GOD OF WAR - I had a moment of clarity..
"What if this world IS a simulation. Like a video game. But we aren't here for 'fun'. We were put here because we are too toxic for the rest of society. We are a penal colony of killers and war mongers. Forced to live desperate lives, filled with hate and despair, over and over, until we can prove that we don't want it anymore. Our only way out to find the true path of peace, wisdom, and forgiveness."
This thought was immediately followed by "Oh... we are fucked"
Well Crypticon Seattle 2016 is over and I had a scary good time.
Sales were slow but this was a new market for me. I had never attended a horror convention before and going in blind was always a worrisome aspect of this experiment. There seems to be very little overlap between my fan base and the attendees of Crypticon. But where others may see that as a downside - I see it as untapped potential. I just need to retool my set up. Work up a few new ideas that better serve the tastes of the horror fan, and I think I could make a real go of it next year. Assuming that there IS a next year.
My rough polling of other venders suggests that sales were down for everyone. Having never been before I can't say if attendance was lower than normal ~ but one insider did say that the con didn't do as much promotion or advertising as they have in the past - and with so many other events happening on a memorial day weekend perhaps that had a dampening effect on the crowds.
On the upside, the fans that did come seemed very happy to be there. Spirits were high, and the media celebs that were in attendance were very friendly and approachable. Including Cassandra (Elvira) Peterson. Whom my wife and daughter got to meet and chat with. (I did not sadly - I was chained to the booth all weekend trying to make back the cost of the table and the few times I went on walkabout, the line for the Mistress of the Dark went out the room and down the hall.)
I made one new print for the convention. It was of the "Sassy Lassie with the Classy Chassis", and my wife managed to give one to her personally. whereon, I'm told, it was praised for capturing Elvira's classic valley girl sneer that few fanart depictions ever go for.
If you'd like one of the only remaining prints for your dungeon wall, head on over to the Art Print Shop and pick one up while they last. I only have (at the time I'm writing this) eight left and when they are gone I do not plan on making more.
My latest art print -- Squamous Island is the fictional location of the Fogg House in my once and future webcomic "ArcaneTimes". Discovered by the members of a shipwrecked crew in 1853. Those that survived the harsh winter found themselves changed by the experience and rather than seeking rescue, founded the first settlement there Port Manitou.
I've written a great deal of back history on the place over the years getting ready for that time when I feel I could write the comic itself again. The town and the surrounding area which I will detail more in the future serves as the creepy northwoods setting for quite a few of what I hope you will find as entertaining stories -
Elsewhere, sales at this years Emerald City Comic-con were mixed, but I got to see a lot of cool people and with the help of one patron, even got one of my Cactiod Jim posters signed by Nathan Fillion himself - so all in all, I'd call it good.
Now my eyes turn to the next convention on my 2016 schedule. Next weeks "Crypticon Seattle" (http://crypticonseattle.com/). This will be the first time I attend a 'horror' convention so I have no clue what to expect.
Looking over my portfolio I've noticed that despite the sheer number of monsters that I've drawn over my career very few of them have made it into print form. So now I'm digging through the archives to see if anything might appeal to them there 'splatter-junkies'.
Here or there over the last few months I've made time to record some short story readings for my favorite podcasts. Three are live now and a fourth will be soon. If you'd like to give them a listen - Check it out at ARCANE RADIO blog where I try to maintain links to every one of my weird little audio adventures.
Lastly - I got a job offer to work on the new edition of one of my most favorite RPG properties ever PARANOIA!
I bought the original West End Games white box set for PARANOIA back in high school some odd 30 years ago (good god... 30 years ago, I need to lie down...) - We loved it as kids. Some of my happiest high school memories come from running that game. I've bought almost every edition that came out ever since, and too now be a part of the game - as a cover artist no less - is quite a culmination of what truly is a life goal I didn't know I had.
That said - not everyone is happy about it. The Kickstarter that funded this edition is behind schedule and people are grumpy. Unfortunately some have decided to take that anger out on me and my shriveled art ego. I'm trying to stay positive and not let them ruin this happy moment for me. I am, as I said, a long... (30 years... oof!) term fan of PARANOIA. I know the subject matter very well and I'm very proud of the art I've done.