Very Controlled

I just finished this commission that’s been lingering all month. Hooray!

 

Noelle is a very good pony who enjoys taking opportunities to let other people tell her what to do and think. It’s a nice break from reality.

a couple of commissions

Here’s some of the stuff I drew in exchange for money over the last month.

This is a caricature of Matthew “Troubadork” Legare, enthusiastically performing Comedy And Music and maybe even Comedy Music at the Renfest. The hat is based on one he has in reality.

Don’t you just hate it when you find a gorgeously-decorated bottle that turns out to be an empty genie bottle when you finally get it open? And then suddenly it’s full of genie, which is to say full of you?

Wait, I mean love. Who wouldn’t enjoy getting turned into a gorgeous genie with the power to grant anyone’s wishes they wanted?

The Archangel Dragons Of The Directions: Raphael

I have been commissioned to do a set of illustrations of the dragonsonas of the angels one calls upon during the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, if one is a neophyte in a magical system derived from the Golden Dawn documents. This is the first one. There will be at least three more.

Raphael is the Lord of the Spirits of Man. He rules the Air signs of the zodiac, and is also the angel of the golden sphere of Tiphareth in the middle of the Tree of Life. He is helpful in matters of transmitting ideas, safe travels, healing, and the intellect.

He carries a caudceus, despite this direction, element, and color scheme being associated with the Tarot suit of Swords.

If you look at him from the right angle sometimes he has a hat that looks like a pie-plate with wings on it, and a nametag that says “HELLO MY NAME IS HERMES”, with the name crossed out and RAPHAEL written below it. Whenever I ask him about it, he just waggles his eyebrows suggestively and makes the Sign of Harpocrates at me. Sometimes he makes suggestive gestures with his caudceus, too. Maybe you’ll get a straighter answer out of him. Ask him about that caudceus while you’re at it, he’ll probably make some interesting reading material start showing up in your life regarding the snakes that snooze deep inside you.

Hermanubis

So I was sitting around late at night, a little stoned, reading some books of ceremonial magic, when something in the back of my head sat up and said “hey, you should draw Anubis”. And, well. I mostly did. Sorta:

Hermanubis is a Greek deity who is somewhere in the space between Hermes and Anubis in their roles as psychopomps, which is a fancy word for “the nice guy who shows up after you die and gently leads you to the underworld”.

Both of them have other jobs – Hermes deals with commerce, transmission of knowledge, speed, travel, thieves, and sleep, while Anubis is a bit more focused, with responsibilities like ruling the land of the dead before his brother Osiris took over, mummification, and presiding over the judgement of your soul. But Hermanubis is where they blur together into one slightly saucy jackal dude, who definitely shines with the dark light of the Underworld rather than the bright light of Divine Knowledge. He’s still a beacon, though.

Illustrator, one hour, no sketch. I should try to get this printed on very deep blue card in gold.

a fresh coat of paint

According to my file dates and names, I built this version of my website in 2011. Visually, it remained pretty much unchanged – I built a few new styles for the various comics, but largely I just changed it by writing new blog posts and uploading pictures and comic pages.

Today, I found myself suddenly compelled to sit at some picnic tables under a highway overpass in City Park (this is much nicer than it sounds, trust me) and work on a new front page image.

I chose to keep it similar to the old one:

…but holy crap it’s a lot more detailed and fluid. And it probably took less time to do, too. The new one took about an hour and a half, plus some more time digging up my old CSS toolchain and changing the rest of the website’s colors to match. (Hooray for CSS pre-processors.) I’ve got no idea how long the old one took, but I have a vague memory of struggling with that under-chin angle on the face. This time I just knocked it out quickly, and came back for one brief touch-up near the end; I think I mostly spent my time fooling around with more detailed takes on the caduceus, and deciding how frilly to make the big swath of hair. Also this one, like, kind of actually looks like me, if you ignore the fact that I sure as hell do not have that kind of ass, damn. If only.

I guess I’ve changed elemental associations from Fire to Air or something? I have no idea what that will mean for the future. Maybe I’ll be back here in another decade or so with a new take on this.

Anyway. If you wanna see it in its full glory then go visit the front page of my site.

a bunch of commissions

Over the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of commissions instead of working on Parallax. 2020, you know?

 

Here’s some moderately large images of the clean ones; click for the full-size version.

And here’s some thumbnail links to the NSFW ones. Click for full-size.

(The last one there is for me and the SO. I wish I had managed to take a Horny Sex Slave Vacation to Cartoon Saturn during the last few months of 2020.)

the miracle of life

Over the past twelve weeks, we have gone from “one of the cats that lives under the house just came in and had two kittens at us” to “there are two young cats wandering around the house who will hopefully be enjoying a meeting with the neighbor who is interested in adopting them”. We watched them grow from tiny little nuggets who couldn’t do anything but squirm sightlessly towards their mother’s nipple and peep loudly when they needed to have some help eliminating waste, to a couple of sleek mini-panthers. (Both of them are pretty much entirely black; one has white toes on his left rear paw just like mom.)

And lately I have been thinking about how amazing this is. A collection of chemicals can ingest other collections of chemicals, break them down, and build them into a new collection of chemicals that can run around on its own. Even if you look at this on a purely physical, anti-mystical level that’s pretty goddamn amazing. Even when you feel like you’re drowning in kittens because you have to pass through the room they’re in to do anything because you live in a shotgun house, which is a series of rooms linked directly to one another with no hallway (except for the little one around the bathroom).

A cat came into my home and made some kittens and it’s kind of amazing.

Also I am very glad I am never gonna have kids because, damn. This has been stressful enough.

a modest proposal: basic income edition

Shower thoughts. And dishwashing thoughts.

Awrite, so one of the right-wing objections to the idea of “basic income” (“everyone gets enough money to live on”) is that nobody has to work for it. And that there are a lot of jobs that need doing that nobody would do for fun.

I have a suggestion for getting around this. Everyone who gets the Basic has to spend one day out of the week working… in one of those jobs. Four days a month gets you enough money to not need to take any other job, if you live a modest life. With “enough” determined by regular examination of how much it costs to live where you live and not have your living situation be a deep cause of unhappiness.

How these jobs are determined could vary. Ideally every citizen has some voice in what jobs are allowable for this. Some jobs are for the state. Some are for private industry – businesses could come to the Basic Job Bureau and apply have people come work for them. But there is a price for the businesses that do that; if you take advantage of the free-to-you low-level employee provided by Basic, then you have to do the one day of Basic Work as well. Whether or not you want to. With your pay shared out to all your employees instead of going into your pocket.

There are probably many objections to this, starting with “yeah good luck getting the rich assholes who’ve never worked a day in their life to agree to it”. There would also be exceptions to the “everyone” parts of these. My hope would be for there to be more exceptions made for people just running on Basic than people with multiple employees.

Bureaucracy would include things like “keeping track of what people end up doing well and taking pride in, and who is an early bird or a night owl” and “making sure everyone gets whatever training is needed for this week’s Basic Job” – I could see you ending up with a monthly rotation of gigs rather than something new every week, for instance. Maybe sometimes your Basic Job is working alongside someone doing the same thing for the first time, and training them. And also “making sure that no Basic Job requires risk to life and limb”.

Anyway, I am sure other people have had thoughts like this. But I had them today while cleaning myself and the dishes and felt like sharing to see what kind of reactions I get.