Tag Archives: cats

[nsfw-ish] Adult Circus Flyer

circus poster_review

It’s…a commission!

In keeping with my new principle of not censoring the fact that I am an adult who participates in as well as illustrates adults activities, here is a little promotional flyer I drew and wrote for an upcoming event. The Coyote referred to this piece as “X-rated,” but I give it a soft R at best. The language is the sexiest thing about it. Writing the text was a lot of fun. My love of alliteration is one of the things that got me through 6 years of copywriting. If only all the products had been circus-themed adult events, maybe I wouldn’t have burned out of that job.

For this piece, I downloaded 2 new fonts: Medicine Show Caps and Cirkus, both of which are adorable. I referenced many old circus posters as well as images of big cats and spent a lot of time trying to get the background to not overwhelm the foreground. There is a particular artistry that goes with this circus style of poster, immediately recognizable, immediately eye-catching, slighting disorienting. The idea of a circus is to put you in a particular emotional state: altered, receptive, heightened…. The imagery is the beginning.

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All about Me

all about me_edited-1.png

You might think it’s about you. But it’s not. It’s about me.

Radical self care. For me it tends to take the shape of being incredibly selfish. Sometimes it seems like something I don’t get to do very often, but on the other hand, drawing webcomics is incredibly selfish in many ways. It’s absolutely all about me. My art has always been all about me. The difference is, it used to be novels that a half dozen people read, and now it’s comics that 100s or 1000s of people read. But they’re still about me, my life, my experience, what I’m going through. Even if they seem political or altruistic, even when I do something like the Patricia Jabbeh Wesley comic the other day, or all those Bonnie Jo Campbell comics, I’m still in it. It’s still about me.

My brother told me yesterday that my comics were getting very dark. I say the world is getting dark. The comics just reflect my perception of it. But actually, I’ve been taking great care of myself since the election.

Not, of course, as good as my kitty, Lupin (pictured above). We could all take lessons on radical self care from cats.

Purr or Scratch?

kitty love_edited-1

The dilemma is real, the struggle eternal. Fortunately, the kitty flow chart is a simple one.

Apparently, my genius cat, whose terrible behavior has been documented elsewhere in this blog, decided to swipe at The Man because–get this–he stopped petting her. You can’t win with cats. And yet, just as I’m sitting here writing this, she politely tapped on my hip to signify that she wanted to sit on my lap. So I should change my posture to accommodate that fleeting desire. Which lasted all of 25 seconds. Now she’s sitting on the desk looking suspiciously like she’s going to knock a mirror on the floor. I should take care of that.

In the meantime, you can consider buying my book, supporting my Patreon,  or ordering my merch.

Next Time, I’ll Get You a Rabbit

cat present_edited-1

Is this slice of life, or is it a complex metaphor for my relationship with my husband?

I had a rare opportunity to write about my cat today. I mean, someone else specifically requested professional quality writing about cats for publication on a paying website, and I wrote about mine. I have written about her before and also attempted to paint her for this blog. This cat is a very particular representative of her species. We’re talking the archetype of Kipling’s cat who walks alone. She wants all the comforts of home and none of the restrictions, and while we mostly understand each other, there is clearly nothing I can ever do to communicate to her that there is no type of animal, dead or alive, that I would even enjoy receiving as a present. So she just keeps trying.

Actually, I should count myself lucky that she’s never brought me a rat, but that’s probably just because there aren’t that many rats around here. There must be Norwegians, because there are Norwegians everywhere, but I’ve never seen evidence of one. If she got a rat, it would probably be a packrat, but it doesn’t seem like she’s ever brought a packrat in. Maybe they’re super-delicious and she keeps them for herself.

Also, I recognize that it was extremely unprofessional to draw that woman’s hands with zero fingers but I did draw her fingers, over and over again, and all of them looked super freaky and I called it a day. No fingers for you, freak out lady. She’s lucky. I originally uploaded a version where the joint on her left arm was backwards. It looked crazy painful. Her hair started out with best intentions but lost something in translation. That rat is just gross as can be. Actually, it could be grosser. But it’s pretty gross. Seriously, if my cat brought that inside I would probably cry.

Dragon Comics 117

Who has time to read when there's a Buffy sing-a-long starting in 10 minutes?

Who has time to read when there’s a Buffy sing-a-long starting in 10 minutes?

Honestly, I think one of the nicest things about Comic-Con is that it’s a venue for the weirdos to let their freak flags fly, and to see that they’re not alone. I get that this subverts the intended purpose of the Con, but we live in a tough world, and if spending 3 days out of the year dressed at Pikachu is what you need to survive, I wholly support that, and will work to make the Con a safe place for you to do so.

I love comics, obviously. I don’t buy a lot of them, because I am poor, and because I am partial to graphic novels/trade paperbacks, having little patience for story lines that are doled out a dollop at a time over a space of years, and because I have very little shelf space left and would rather borrow comics from the library or a friend and not have to store them if I don’t love them enough to make them part of my permanent collection. The allure of that type of acquisition eludes me, as well. If I buy a comic, I’m damn well going to read it, and I’m going to use my bare hands to turn the pages. I maybe even dog ear it as I do so. But I’ve known serious collectors, and I support that madness too.

There were probably fewer than a half dozen straight up comic book dealers at this convention: we have 3 major independent shops in this town, all of which were represented, and maybe 1 or 2 retailers came out of Phoenix. Most of the vendors weren’t selling comic books. They were selling swords and wigs and T-shirts and plushies and stuff that’s of interest to people who come to comic book conventions. Even the artists weren’t primarily selling comic books, but were instead selling paintings of dragons, or their own drawings of popular characters, or books with more words than pictures.

But comic books are the catalysts. And while the Star Wars area was bigger than the Marvel section, and I don’t even know what to make of the replica cars from non-comic related movies and TV shows, there’s room for every fandom at a good Con.

Cats don’t comprehend insomnia

Cats recognize faithful servants and reward them well.

Cats recognize faithful servants and reward them well.

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I walked through a darkened hall and stepped on something cold and slightly moist with my bare foot, and I knew exactly what had just been squished beneath my naked skin, because I’ve stepped on dead mice before. The cat helpfully leaves them in my path, on the only rug in the entire house, because, despite the fact that I feed her regular food and treats every day without fail, she apparently considers me a terrible hunter. The mice are pretty easy targets; they live in the compost heap and even I’ve killed one (by accident, with a pitchfork, while turning the pile). I can’t get myself worked up over mice living in the compost heap–they’re kind of cute when they’re alive, and even though my neighbor in convinced they probably carry the hantavirus, the heap is a pretty safe distance from the house–but the cat is vigilant about their community, and spends many hours a day sitting on the wall, gazing down at their home with dedication to an ultimate goal.

The dead ones are better than the disabled ones. In her quest to teach me how to hunt, she tried bringing me creatures with broken backs, still alive, but unable to walk. She must be perplexed when I let The Man finish them off for me. He grew up on a farm, and has more experience killing animals. In addition to mice, she has gifted me with many lizards, a sizable number of songbirds, and on one memorable occasion, a snake. It was a worm snake with a broken back, able to dart its head around, but paralyzed on the back end.

To her credit, we had a terrible cricket problem in here before she decided to move in, and, mysteriously, since her arrival, the house is no longer infested with crickets chirping their heads off all night in the walls.

In case it’s not obvious, this is another insomnia comics. Insomnia comics are drawn the night after insomnia, when the gears of my mind are sticky and don’t want to turn. I’m sure plenty of funny things happened today, but they didn’t want to be comics. There was the mom pushing a kid in a stroller even though that kid was clearly old enough to walk, and threatening to take away his dinosaurs every time he made a sound even though we were in a room full of screaming kids, for example. That’s weird, right? But I’m too tired to make sense of it. Oh, and then there was a conversation I had with my 86-year-old grandmother, during which she made fun of climate change deniers. And at dinner, we bumped into some friends we hadn’t seen in a while, one of whom is a physicist, who told me that his Ph.d. thesis disproved the concept of teleportation. There’s got to be a joke in that somewhere. Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember how to be funny. Right now I’m just kind of stressed out.

Today also should have been the day that I started my holiday bulletin board, but I was too tired to think of a picture or decide on any text. As my mother always said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Long Hair Kitties for the Fluff!

Soft kitty, crazy kitty, tangled ball of fur...

Soft kitty, crazy kitty, tangled ball of fur…

The problem with painting from live models when you want to paint a cat is that cats make terrible models. They have no trouble posing themselves; effortlessly, they assume all manner of provocative positions, seemingly begging to be capture for posterity. And then, just as you start to get the outline of a decent sketch, basically the moment they notice that you are looking at them, they move.

So I don’t know about this little painting. I did it about a month or so ago and of course it’s not quite right because the cat was done long before I was. You can sort of tell what it’s supposed to be…but it’s not great. Can’t recall my original motivation in using so much red in this painting. The cat in question, my current cat Lupin, is a real Halloween cat, almost completely black except for a few white hairs and a little charm on her throat. She does spend a lot of time lying splayed out in the sun, so her belly is bleached brown, but she’s generally hard to capture visually because she basically sucks light into herself like a black hole.

While I was working on my original painting and trying to make it into the one I published (and also covering up a lot of the red and some of the silver) the cat just randomly sat down in front of me in almost this exact post, but I decided to just ignore her, knowing that if I tried to make any serious study, she would immediately move.

Suna was a princess, or possibly a queen.

Suna was a princess, or possibly a queen.

Even though they look similar, this is a totally different cat, Suna, who passed away a couple years back. She was actually a tortoiseshell, even though here she looks entirely black. I knew Suna as a kitten, when the Bear and I went to school in Ohio, and then many years later as a mature cat when I came out to the Sonoran Desert. I can’t remember which moment in time this sketch is from, but it’s either 1997 or 2005. I suspect the former.

I was looking everywhere for this picture when I first started the blog; I wanted it for another post on cats last year, but it was just nowhere to be found. Friday night I ditched all my friends who wanted to go to a bar and randomly started cleaning some of the clutter in my office. This sketch was stuck in a transparent plastic report cover along with the design for my second tattoo and a bunch of Winsor McCay reproductions. Makes perfect sense.