Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas! Santa is a Hobgoblin

Whelp, the yuletide festivus is upon us. Before you trundle off to gorge yourself on food and gifts (and you know you will, nobody waits 'till Christmas day anymore) I ask you for the gift of patience while I blabber on about Germanic gremlins. See, all across Europe there are myths of little wildlings that can be coerced into doing the household chores with a little offering of milk and honey. This usually ends in stolen underwear and bitter tears of disappointment, because fae folk are tricky jerks. Some people call them Kobolds, some call them Hobgoblins. My personal favorite is Lob lies-by-the-fire, the lubber fiend. They take all shapes and sizes from red capped Will Huygen Gnomes, to tall hairy beasts but they all follow the same rulebook: leave an offering of sweets, stay out of their way, and hope for the best. Some are more likely to screw you over than others, but they never mean any (permanent) harm. They just do it for the kicks, Jack. Nothin' personal.

What does this have to do with Christmas? Oh, everything. What do you leave out for Santa? Uh-huh, and you're not supposed to see him are you? Think about the name: Santa Clause. German for Saint Clause. When the Catholic church converted pagan cultures, they would replace the local gods and spirits with Saints to make the transition easier. Yep. You've been making deals with elves your entire life, and you never even knew it. And under a sacred tree no less! You naughty little pagan. So go on, lay out the cookies and milk for Santa the Gnome, and pray he just drops the gifts off and doesn't steal your left shoe. Not like last year...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sasquatch Sound




Deep in the remote Ozarks, in a hovel carved out of a great old oak, there lived a sasquatch. Every morning, as the sun peaked over the pine thickets, she would pick up a well worn club and tap her name against the side of hollow home.

"Thump-a-Thump"

"Thump-a-Thump"

She would always be greeted by the echoes of her own name, then silence. She had only ever seen the face of her kind in her own reflection. Thump had been raised by the trees and wisened by the beasts of the forest. She was never without company in the lively wood. Still something inside her wanted to call out, and knew that a stick and a log was the way to do it.

One morning as she wailed on her tree, an answer came. 

"Thump-a-Thump"

"Thump-a-Thump"

"thunk-thud-throp"

Her heart skipped a beat. Blood rushed to her face, every inch of her shaggy fur stood on end. She wanted to move, but couldn't possibly decide what to actually do. 

"thud-thrup"

The confirmation that she hadn't simply imagined the noisy stranger sent her sprinting through the trees, bolting in the direction of the sounds. She left snapped limbs and cracked branches in her wake,   her great mass hurtling through the narrow gaps between trees with ease. Her large feet pounded the underbrush pushing harder and harder until she came to the edge of a clearing. Something wasn't right. She tried to stop, but the great moment of her sprint sent her sprawling. It was the smell, something had been burning. Thump had seen fire before, but never started one herself. With an insulated fur coat and a raw vegetarian diet, she had no reason to. 

"Thumpthudthumpthump"

She picked herself up and scanned the clearing anxiously. There it was, a pile of smoldering twigs in a burnt circle. There was something else as well. A grey cylinder lying on it's side by the fire. Thump cautiously lifted the sooth object in her great hands. She had never felt anything like it, it was softer and smoother than rock but not as rigid as wood. She gave it a gentle shake. 

"THUMPWUMPTHWOP"

The bucket sprang to life. "OOKE!" Thump reeled back in shock, and as it fell from her hands the lid popped free. To her surprise, a little pink nose poked it's way out of the open end, followed by a grey furry body. A opossum. Her mysterious caller had been a opossum trapped in a bucket.

She let out a great sigh, not of disappointment but relief. She realized that she had no idea what she would have done if it had been another of her kind. Would they have even been welcoming, or did sasquatch fight over territory like stags? Perhaps it was for the best. She collapsed on the grass, and stretched her arms wide. The opossum waddled it's way onto her chest, and curled into a ball of warmth. 

"Ooh" Thump grunted softly, content to nap the morning's excitement away.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Terrible Christmas Tree

It's almost Christmas, and all I've thought about for the last two weeks is dinosaurs. Thank god for Matt over at Dino Drac, who gave me a stupid activity to inject a little Christmas in my...Christmas.

The idea is to take a simple blank Christmas tree pattern, and slap a lot of gaudy crap on it 'till you feel like you've achieved something. And boy howdy did I achieve something.

Just... just let that soak in. Oh, it's terrible looking but I had a BLAST making it. There's nothing like throwing things at a picture, consequences be damned! Besides, looking terrible was kind of the point. It's just a genuine, unfiltered blast of everything a single person holds dear at Christmas time. If it takes longer than an hour or two, you're doing it wrong. If your Christmas spirit is a little winded like mine was, click that link above and give it a whirl. I guarantee it's the holly jolly placebo you need.

And so, in another move blatantly stolen from Matt, here's a numbered photo!


1. I guess I should mention the giant gorilla in the room, or giant Sasquatch lady as it were. It's funny because they're both APES. I probably shouldn't be typing this right after eating a three year old cereal straw. This is Thump-a-thump, another of those characters I've been doodling forever. But having her decorate a tree is about more than cryptozoological eye-candy. It's my own little homage to my favorite Christmas scene of all time: The Bumble putting the star on top of Santa's tree. The rest of Rudolph is nice, but give me that one scene and I'm happy for a lifetime. He's just so happy, and the elves love him...and...*SNIFF*

 Also, I can draw. I really can! I was just messing around in paint, I swear!

2. It's Clawdeen! I was really tempted to draw her too, but Thump took way too long and I was pushing the quality-to-effort ratio hardcore already.

3. Shine Sprite star! I actually had one of these made of cardboard on a tree in my room once. That sentence should have ended sooner. Oops. I've loved the idea ever since, even though they haven't been relevant since Mario Sunshine. Keep your overrated Starman, I'm standing by his tropical cousin.

4. Mammoth ornament! How are mammoths not a Christmas icon? They're big adorable animals that lived in snow! Owls don't even like snow. How did they land the whole winter gig? I guess there's only room for one holiday beast of burden, and Rudolph has name value.

5. It's Kleavage, our orc-y mascot as a plushie. Plushies are a must for me in the Christmas season. Doesn't have to be thematic, I got a giant stuffed rhino last year with no warning, and I was practically puking seasonal joy. Something about soft fur just says "winter" to me.

6. The tree I had in my room was white, and I've had a soft spot for them ever since. Yes, they're gaudy and awful. But I love them. Why? Because I LOVE THEM. Next question.

7. Tapir ornament! Tapirs are my favorite animal, and I'm a slave to my passions. No other reason, really.

8. The Batman Forever soundtrack. I like Batman Forever. There, I said it. It's purely nostalgia, but it probably means more to me than any other Batman movie. Nolan and Burton can't compete with childhood bliss and Val Kilmer. The soundtrack was a Christmas gift that somehow intertwined itself into my idea of Christmas, and I've been singing "Kiss From a Rose" all month. Like I do every year. Seal is my personal Sam the Snowman.

9.Tendril! Do I even need to justify this? It's Inhumanoids. Everyone loves these giant monster toys, and Tendril was always my favorite. Unfortunately ours was missing his head. I played with him anyway. THAT is how freakin' cool Tendril was.

10.Primal Rage figures. I covered how much Blizzard means to me here. I was going to put Blizzard in the picture, but I went with Armaddon instead since I don't actually own him. As long as we're pretending, might as well dream big. Someday Talon, Armaddon, Vertigo, and Sauron will join their demigod friends. I swear it.

11. The JP T. Rex, or as collectors call it the Red Rex. This has been the unattainable object of my childhood desires for time immemorial. I just got the Papo Rexy, which is honestly a better representation of the JP dino and I absolutely love it. But I'll always carry a flame for the Red Rex of my dreams. My own White Whale. They're actually only like 150 bucks on ebay at the most, but that might as well be a million at this point.

12. Batman Returns Catwoman! I'm not going to lie: I probably want this more than any of the other goofy things on this fantasy list. I used to have one. Then she disappeared. Then we got another. And she disappeared. Thus the Catwoman curse began. Literally every Catwoman I ever had as a child just disappeared one day without a trace, and the mystery just drove me to obsession. Now the only one I own is the Lego mini figure, and I'm constantly paranoid she'll be gone. This figure is also just really neat, and the packaging is lovely beyond words.

13. Wampa rug! This is one of those things you dream about but would never buy. I would adore one if I had it, but that white fuzz would stay clean for all of ten minutes before being damned to an eternity of dingy off-white. You just know it attracts dirt like nobody's business. So I commit my shaggy Wampa rug fantasies to the land of dreams, only able to imagine the furry wonders it holds.

Hopefully this is legible and in some way entertaining. Perhaps a hastily written, poorly made article is fitting for a hastily made, poorly conceived Christmas tree. I'm gonna' sleep off that cereal stick now.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Stegosaurus

--------

"So what do you make of this, Tim?"

"Well... it looks like a Stegosaurus walked over there- on its hind-legs- and laid down there. Somehow, it formed the perfect shape of a fertility idol. Breasts and all."

"A hoax then?" 

"Definitely a hoax. A stegosaurus woman? That's just ridiculous."

"But who would waste so much time making this...and why?"

----------

I've spent  the better part of my life obsessed with dinosaurs. So, given my *ahem* track record, it's not that surprising that I would draw a giant buxom stegosaurus woman. But the thing is, that isn't what a stegosaurus looks like. The head is wrong, the feet are too big, it's just off in general. I know what a stegosaurus looks like, so why did I purposely do it wrong? Now that is an interesting train of thought. Well, interesting to me. It could be horribly tedious and overly self-indulgent for you. Yeah, this is gonna' get "artsy" in a hurry so if that's not your thing then hey look up there. Dino-cleavage. How's that for a "covered lizard"? That...that was a binomial nomenclature joke. We're off to a good start.

The shaggy ferns and orange barren turf should be familiar to everyone: that's vintage paleo-art's bread and butter. Everybody has seen Heinrich Harder's paintings or the Invicta toys poster at least once, probably as an impressionable pupa. I love Jurassic Park as much as the next guy (no, lies, more. Much, much more) but I also adore the classic world of tail-draggers and swamp dwellers.There's just something so alien about that landscape, and the beasts that stomp across it. I can't even imagine a world like that existing outside of those gorgeous paintings, because nothing like it does.Sadly, the world at large seems to be embarrassed of our early adventures in paleontology. In the pursuit of "accuracy" we're losing an amazing fantasy art form. Who cares if it's wrong? It's still completely valid as escapist fantasy. And it's not like we really know anything about dinosaurs anyway. OH! CONTROVERSIAL!

Those early depictions of thunder lizards bring us to the lady herself: I adore the old-time Stegosaurus. They're fat, they're slow, and they're just friggin' adorable. Unfortunately, the more we understand about them the farther they slip away from me. They don't really have turtle-y heads, or ponchy gullets. They didn't pick fights with T. Rexes. Now that's not to say I hate modern stegos, not so! I still love the big burly critters. I just wish they were fatter and cuter. Is that so much to ask?  So what convinced tiny me that armor plated cow-lizards were the bees knees? Evidence A-1: Playskool's Definitely Dinosaurs



Yep, these two adorable creatures are from my youth. Made in 1988, this line of vinyl dinos straddled the line between cute and realistic. They were my brother's, and I guarantee they were my first exposure to stegosaurus and probably dinosaurs in general. Is it any wonder that the idea of stocky belly-draggers stuck in my head? They were apparently fast-food premiums from Wendy's, too, which I never would have guessed. I mean look at 'em! Those are nice sized toys, not the tiny low-detail stuff you expect to see. And there were alot of them. Every dino had multiple colors, and there were at least six different species. The entire line covered the old world dinosaur gamut, from tail dragging Tyrannosaurus to Brontosaurus. Wendy's was out to prove they had the biggest "D" on the block in  '88. "D" is for dinosaur.

Most of the dinosaur toys of the 80's looked something like this. Even the G1 Dinobots had archaic alt-modes. It was really Jurassic Park that shoved everyone in the modern direction, but Stegosaurus managed to stick to it's guns for a few years more. Then The Lost World happened in '97, and the cold hand of progress wagged it's finger and said no more big-mouthed fat Stegos. 

So, question number two, why is she brown and orange? Oh, that's an easy one. Fantasia, the Rite of Spring segment. The showdown between the stegosaurus and tyrannosaur is one of the most iconic moments in a film chock full of iconic moments.If you haven't seen this amazing piece of animation history (and a lot of you haven't, I'd wager) it's a series of animated segments set to classical music. Rite of Spring just happened to feature terrifying blood thirsty dinosaurs. Set to orchestra music. I know, but it's great trust me. There's also an entire segment about a giant demon hosting a monster orgy set to Night on Bald Mountain. Rite of Spring scared me more. In fact, I loved Bald Mountain. Huh. I'd love to link the whole segment here, but the swift hammer of Disney legal is unmerciful. Instead, I'll link the Stegosaurus page on the Disney wiki. Don't miss the stats bar on the side. I love his goal: Don't be eaten or die. A flawed hero indeed.

I also happen to own one of the old Lindberg model kit stegos molded in dark brown. I see the thing everyday, so it's probably subliminal suggestion as well. And I really like cream colored bellies on animal characters. No idea why, I just do. It's tied to some Fruedian childhood trauma I'm sure.

But there's still one last piece of the puzzle missing: all of the stegosaurus I've shown so far have cracked scaly skin, so why is she so smooth and round? The simple answer is that I can't think of anthropomorphic dinosaurs without thinking of "We're Back!"


Their wasn't a stegosaurus in the movie, but the big, chubby, round proportions should be pretty familiar. I absolutely love the way these characters look.  They manage to be detailed, yet almost completely smooth and featureless at the same time. And surprise surprise, they look like old-school dinosaurs. You can see the influence of this movie in a lot of my artwork, not just dinosaurs.I've drawn that chubby fold around characters joints without even realizing it before. I don't know if this is something everyone does, but I feel the way a character looks in my hand as I'm drawing them. That's why I draw so many curvy round characters, that's the sensation I enjoy the most. Well, that and I just like big squishy soft things. I get the feeling We're Back! is to blame for that.



Whelp, this has been the least educational article ever written about the stegosaurus. I hope you've enjoyed listening to me babble aimlessly about disjointed dino media. And if you didn't, you've already read the whole thing so what do I care? I'm off to see if the Jurassic World website has updated. Probably not. Just five more months...

        



 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Turkey Gobble Gobble 2014

It's pilgrim time again! Happy Turkey Farm Stimulus Day! 

Here's something weird I made That's vaguely thematic.


It's a take on the common theme in Native American myth of drowned women who become vengeful monsters. She's not so much vengeful as mildly irritated. Probably because wet buckskin chafes.

Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out for Eruptor from Skylanders and the new christmasy Pikachu ballon in the parade.

Now be thankful, you merry fatties :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Viva Piñata- 3 Random Piñatas I Dig

      I've been looking forward to playing the Darksiders games for at least a year now, so when Xbox gave away Darksiders 2 last month, I was pumped. I also downloaded Viva Piñata. A week later, I have yet to start Darksiders 2. My Sparrowmints are absolutely flourishing, though. In alot of ways, Viva Piñata is exactly what I've been looking for: cute fuzzy little monsters, and a world of mechanics I know nothing about. I can guess what moves a level 12 Pidgey knows all day, but I have no idea what a Sarsgorilla likes to eat. Man, Sarsgorilla looks terrible in print. I keep imagining a gorilla in a medical mask at a Chinese airport. Viva Piñata is an emotional roller coaster I never saw coming. From the joy of seeing your very first Fudgehog waddle over to a holly bush, to the mortifying helplessness of Professor Pester murdering said Fudgehog in front of you. It sticks in deep, that's why I've been scribbling piñatas left and right. So, here's a cobbled together excuse for me to post those scribblings!

 Oh, they're all anthropomorphic, too. I mean, I'm already drawing cartoon paper animals might as well go full crazy.

Bispotti- The Bispotti is the ladybug of the piñata world, and one of the very first you'll get in your garden.She's not the biggest or the fanciest, but it's hard not to get attached when you spend three hours breeding genetically superior uber-bugs. I like how feminine they managed to make a perfect sphere. They remind me of young French girls from the 30's, especially the wildcard version with curly antennae. So I drew her. I drew her like one of my French ladybugs.



 Rashberry- PIGGY! I have a healthy (or maybe unhealthy) infatuation with fat rolly polly cartoon pigs, and Rashberries have that look down to a science. It's like the perfect combination of Pumbaa and Tepig, and I convulsed on the floor like an idiot the first time I saw one. Their bodies bounce and wiggle when they move, and they act like every pile of dirt is the most exciting thing they've ever seen. Just pure porcine joy.


Flapyak- I have milked a cartoon Pinata shaped like a yak. Any day I can say that sentence is a great day. Fortunately, thanks to Flapyaks, I can say that everyday. These adorable shaggy beasts are the opposite of Rashberries. Everything they do is serene and plodding, slow and meandering. And thier udders have jiggle physics. Like ridiculous fighting game boob physics, but applied to a yak's udders! I think that's adorable. I probably have a mental deficiency for thinking so, but it's true. And little birds will land on the Flapyak's horns and it's just too freakin' cute. These walking shag carpets might be my favorite piñata so far.

This probably isn't the last you've seen of piñatas on this page. There are just so many, and I have to own them all! I HAVE to...to grow monkeynuts...water gem tree...feed...cocoadile... 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Madame Chau and the Snail






The harvest festival was in full swing in the Dao province, and the hawker stalls were bustling with the sounds of commerce. Standing in a prized lot adjacent to the best produce stands in the center of the square stood the Chow Chau Pyrotechnics booth, just as it traditionally had for decades. Manning the stall was the impressive Madame Chau herself, her golden mane, considerable girth, and sheer size cutting an intimidating silhouette. The great she-dog had been peddling the finest celebratory sparklers and explosives for years, just as her mother and grandmother had before her. The crowds swept in fast and hard in the cool morning, but dissipated in the heat of the mid-day sun. These middling lulls had become her most hated part of the entire festival season. Even the largest fan couldn't dissuade the heat, and the empty square did nothing to distract you from your own misery. So lost was she in her own grumbling musings, Chau had almost failed to notice the strange new customer gracing her booth. A tiny green and yellow snail, grasping a single coin roughly the size of his own body.

"..."

Even with the keen ears of a hound, she couldn't make out his words. She offered a great paw palm up, which the snail happily slithered upon. Chau gently lifted the invertebrate level to her nose.

"My apologies, could you repeat that?"

"I'd like a fire rocket, please."

The jade coin in his tiny grasp was amply sufficient, so she gladly exchanged it for a long thin explosive strapped to a narrow stick.

"Might I ask the occasion? Perhaps a wedding, or a newborn?"

His eyes grew as stern as could be expected from a snail's lidless orbs.

"A bird has been feasting on my family for far too long. This shall be the divine hand that sweeps it from this world."

Chau fought hard to stifle a giggle. She had sold many types of pyrotechnics, but never explosive ordinance to tiny vigilantes.

"Sir, I have to tell you..."

"Yes?"

His gooey face looked up at her own in the most implicit of manners. His eye stalks gave a slight quiver, and Chau melted.

"...tell your friends where you got them,and I'll give you another as a gift."

Gods be with the birds.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mother Rhino


As the morning sun rose, Mother Rhino awoke

to the sound of scuffling. Two meerkats had

found the body of a scorpion, and begun

fighting for the chance to devour the thing

whole. She reached a massive hand down, and

plucked the scorpion in two.

When the sun was high in the sky, she came

across a stumbling baboon. He had eaten

fermented fruit, and grown drunk on the

juices. Rhino gently gathered him up in her

arms, and set him against a nearby tree to

rest.

when she stopped by the waters edge for an

afternoon drink, she overheard the thrashing

of a crocodile in distress. It had swallowed

a young antelope, but the horns had become

lodged in it's throat. Rhino forcefully

grappled the croc round it's neck, and

squeezed the blockage free.

As the sun set on western horizon, she heard

the mournful cry of an ostrich whose egg had

been stolen. This was a problem with no easy

fix, but she laid a comforting hand on the

bird nonetheless.

When Mother Rhino at last lay in the cool

dark, eyes closed and sleep setting in, she

realized she had spent all day aiding every

Mother's charges but her own.

"Tomorrow" She softly whispered. 





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spooky Scary Time

October first. I can finally celebrate the Holiday I've already been celebrating for a month.



If you haven't already eaten Boo Berry, or built a shrine out of plastic skeletons, then 
1. shame on you 
and
 2. now's the time.



It's freaky creepy time. Get to it.
This is also my 100th post. Good thing it's a lazy one!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Vadoma the Gypsy

Two doll articles in a row. My finger is clearly on the pulse of modern culture.


I was meandering through the shelves of novelty salt shakers and broken waffle irons in Goodwill, when I stumbled across the omnipresent pile of naked barbies. You know the one. Every Goodwill has one. This lovely young lady caught my eye for two reasons

1. She wasn't an amputee, and she still had the use of her elbows and knees. That's pretty good for a doll. It shouldn't be, but it is.  

2. That glorious tawny lion mane she's sporting. I pulled her out of the pile feet first, and the moment I saw those tangled feral locks I knew I was taking her home. Even naked, she already looked like something right out of my head. Or is it "especially" naked? Probably that one.


So, something I never really talk about because I'm so preoccupied with monster women: I love gypsies. Love love love, love love. I know for a fact that Disney is to blame. When Hunchback came out, I went through at least a year of obsession with Esmeralda. She's still one of my favorite characters of all time, and I would probably shove a toddler if they had a greeting station for her at Disney World. Thus is the depths of my depravity.

The idea of the mystic palm reading Romani is one that I always enjoy, so I knew what I was going to do with miss naked Barbie before I left the store. 


Now she is Vadoma, mystical vagabond and exposer of unseen truths. She's also missing a thumb. I like to imagine she sacrificed it to seal away some ancient death spirit. Better than losing it to a teething toddler. Did I mention I scrubbed her down head to toe? You should always do that with anything you get from Goodwill. You never know when your new books previous owner was Gorloth the Living Disease.

She and Clawdeen look lovely together, and I'm glad they could overcome their werewolf/gypsy prejudices. Talbots be damned!


Now I'm pondering how to build a horse drawn cart, or a palm reading tent. Dealing with gypsies is a tricky thing...



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Clawdeen's New Threads

Being an artsy type leads down some unusual roads. Sometimes those roads involve being a grown man that makes clothes for dolls and takes pictures of them in trees. Put Anthony Hopkins in it and you've got the makings of a contemplative drama about LIFE. Not a life but the vague concept of LIFE itself. I had a point, I'm sure of it... Hey, look pictures!



Anyone who takes a minute to look over this website knows that Clawdine is my assistant/model, and I like to change up her look at least once a year. Problem is, most doll outfits suck. If you're not looking for a skimpy high fashion dress, or a puffy princess gown you're out of luck. Oh, and you want a color other than bright pink or pastel purple? Good luck with that. I am outraged. I plan to write a very strongly worded letter to Mattel regarding their inability to produce dolls for the male 18-30 demographic. HMPH!


In the mean time, I've concocted my own solution. In a fit of needles and swatches and Hawaiian Punch Polar Blast, I created my own outfit for our lurid lupine logistics...alliteration is not my strong suit. And I daresay, she looks pretty damn sharp. It's still pretty outlandish, but much closer to something you'd see a real human being wearing than half the crap in the toy aisle.



Now when I start reviewing Halloween crap it won't look like she's been wearing the same outfit for a year...

 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Sugar Troll


Most of the ghouls and ghosts of the witching season bide their time until October, but one particular beastie always arrives a month early. See, when the factories are busy pumping out chocolate and caramel and squishy jellies in preparation for the holiday season, they tend to make mistakes. Misshapen candy corns, discolored gummy worms, jelly beans that aren't beans at all. And all of these mistakes just aren't fit to be served to the discerning public, so they're tossed out. Great heaps of festively colored rejects. 
     But sometimes these mistakes refuse to be forgotten. Who are they to be deemed unworthy? And when a particular heap builds up the right amount pressure and social indignation, a Sugar Troll may be born. A great beast with a gummy squishy body, candy corn fangs, and jawbreaker eyeballs. Only one desire drives these glucose golems: MORE. More cotton candy, more fancy cakes, more caramel apples (minus the apple). Candy cannibalism is what they live for, and they don't understand the nuances of sharing. So when the night comes, and you're toting that bucket of sugary handouts, be careful. If a sweet scent fills your nose, and the bushes shake and tremble as if possessed, maybe you should leave a few of those treats there as a peace offering. Just in case.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Troll Blankets


 

 Violet blossoms hold violent promise
A sweet sugar coating
on a treacherous meal

fields of purple flowers
look most inviting
but hungry trolls they conceal

Troll blankets they are
and fittingly named so
shallow stems hide tunnels deep

Troll homes in the earth
clawed hands reaching for ankles
to drag down and forever keep








"See those purple flowers over there? They call 'em Troll Blankets. My mother used to tell us they grew over the holes in the ground that trolls lived in. They'd hide in the thick fields of flowers, waiting for children to wander in so they could grab 'em by the leg and pull 'em down.

I don't know about trolls, but the real reason you want to avoid them is because they only grow over shallow tunnels and around open holes. Any fool that trundles off into them is likely to fall through and break his neck. Troll Blankets are deadly tricky things, with or without trolls."
-Anonymous Norwegian Field Guide, 1938

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Salemi

Beware Salemi
She won't take your life
But she may yet make
A widow of your wife

Gather milk and honey
Take sweet breads in hand
Lay them out
Where the oldest trees stand

If it should please her
You'll soon see the beast
She cannot resist
An afternoon feast

Curled black horns
Adorn her thick mane
The great old She-troll
With a face full of fangs

Through jagged teeth
And wry lips
She'll tell you of gold
And sunken ships

Of treasures lost
Never to be found
Of kingdoms and riches
Under the ground

Stories and legends
Poems and songs
These things she'll spout
All the night long

Beware Salemi
She won't take your life
But she may yet make
A widow of your wife

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tapir and Anteater: A Beast Mothers Prologue

This little short story is meant to be a prologue and introduction to a (hopefully) much longer series I'm working on called Beast Mothers. Tapir and Anteater will be recurring characters in those stories.


Transcript:

    Late in the season of Summer, Mother Tapir and Mother Anteater bathed in a pool hidden deep within the Amazon. Shaded under the massive old trees, and refreshed by the cool waters, Anteater found herself feeling a bit philosophical.
 "It's a cruel existence for us, isn't it?" She asked Tapir in a melancholy manner. Tapir slowly turned a skeptical gaze in her direction.
 "What makes you say that, Anteater?"
 "Well, look at us. Our sole purpose is to protect our children, but there's only one of us each. How can one person be expected to keep up with thousands of animals? And if we fail, we just cease to be. No second chances. I mean, you of all of us should understand. Your own children are so few..."
 Tapir's face bore a calm but stern smile "My children have survived ice, leopards, and humans for ages upon ages. Your own ancestors survived the stomping feet of the dinosaurs, and the cataclysm that ended them. We aren't going to simply vanish overnight."
 Anteaters face flushed with embarrassment.
 "Of course, you're right old friend."
Tapir softened, feeling a touch of embarrassment herself.
 "I didn't mean to scold you. Just look at it this way: We were there to guide our children through all of those perils."
 "So perhaps they truly do depend on us more than we do them?" Anteater's melancholy had given way to friendly jest by this point.
   Tapir simply smiled.    

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hippo Strip

I like hippos. So roly poly and fun to draw.


And here's a vertical version with no god awful comic sans. couldn't decide which was better.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Safari Princess Emily

It's rare that I'm inspired by an action figure. I mean, when I buy one off the shelf I already know what I'm getting. I've seen video reviews and pictures and promotional photos... I already know why I want it and what for. But sometimes, something just falls in your lap out of nowhere. Something that the moment you see it, you can't help but think of the possibilities and potential fun to be had. This is one of those figures.


This is Princess Emily, from Safari's Days of Old line.  I'll be perfectly honest, I never would have bought her myself. I'm too wrapped up in mutants and monsters to notice more subtle pieces like this. But a friend of mine sent her to me in a box full of assorted other sundries, and I was super freakin' excited. She's just so... nobody! I mean that in the best way possible, obviously she's attractive and well made (I-it's not like I think she's pretty or anything... baka!)  But she has no predefined personality! She can literally be anybody you want her to be.

This kind of thing just couldn't be made by the big name companies. A detailed, fully painted figure of a completely original fantasy character? Not without Peter Jackson's name on it.

 
And she just looks so good with all of my little critters! I kid you not, I agonized over exactly which of the tiny buggers to use in this picture. From tiny King Gidorah to Lego trolls to Mordles, I considered everything and finally settled on these three. But honestly? I could have used any of them, because she just blends in so friggin' well. You put anything next to her, and it immediatley starts telling it's own story. As someone who owns way to many goblins and beasties,  Her Ladyship of the Woodland Critters is a very welcome addition that helps give a little contrast. I also like that she looks to be in her mid-thirties at least. Adds some diversity and realism to the princess stereotype.

Oh hey, remember Doom War? The Iron Man story where he and Dr. Doom travel through time?


She works for that too. Getting back to the friend who sent her to me, apparently she was going to donate a bag of toys to Goodwill, including Princess Emily. On her way back home, something told her to go ALL the way back to the store (at least an hour's drive), go in the back door, find the bag and get Emily. Gotta' say, I'm glad she did because I love this figure. Sorry Goodwill.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Safari Ceratosaurus

I love realistic dinosaur toys. Every time I buy a dino, I feel like John Hammond. 

"Welcome... to five plastic dinosaurs posed on a shelf!"

 And by five, I mean more like three. Those realistic dinos carry a hefty price tag, Ten bucks for one small unarticulated figure is hard to swallow no matter how scientifically accurate. Unlike Ingen, I must spare some expense. That's why when I found this Ceratosaurus by Safari on clearance at Hobby Lobby for two bucks, I uttered a small prayer to the saurian gods. The great sky Tyrannus had smiled his toothy grin upon me that day.



Look at that sexy therapod lady. Papo is widely considered the best in the dino toy game, but Safari can still give them a black eye or two, and for a much better price. If you can catch her in just the right light, all those greebly skin knobs and muscle indentations make her look like a living beast. And the junior Jurassic Park ranger in me is thrilled that she's not just any tyrannosaurus look alike, but a Ceratosaurus.

 That's a very specific, very obscure species to give the super-detailed treatment. If they gave out awards for diversity among pretend dinosaur theme parks, this little beauty would put me on top. They don't, because pretending toy dinosaurs are part of a zoo is generally frowned upon, but if they did...



I'm no paleontologist, so I can't tell you if she's completely true to the latest discoveries in dino-science. She definitely passes the "Ceratosaurus squint test", though. Three knobby crests on the head, slender T-Rex like body, smaller stature, it's all there. With a little paint she'd look just like the one in JP3 that refuses to eat Dr. Grant because he's covered in poopy. Class and discerning taste is a true indicator of a Ceratosaur. Couldn't say the same for a Spinosaurus. Filthy, filthy.


It's hard not to recommend this figure. Great sculpt, naturalistic paint job, and an unique species to boot. If you can find it on clearance, jump on it. But if you're like me and have a small dino menagerie, and just want to add a little spice and variety retail price is worth it. I mean, how many times are you gonna' find a Ceratosaurus that looks this good? Y'know, unless JP4 decides to be ALL CERATO ALL THE TIME! You never know.