Right round….

Me, meeting a yellow fidget spinner for the first time:

“Oh hahaha it looks like those things that go in the middle of records

IN FACT….”

FidgetSmall

Alternate song lyrics I could have used for this post:

“Too much time on my hands….”
“I think I need help….”

Happy weekend!

Like buzz, buzz, buzz….

This zombee is a terrible pun, and I will display it SHAMELESSLY.

zombee

It is various pencils, not ink, and it is not actually drawn using any of my own possessions unless you count my hands, but there you have it.

Speaking of things that are not mine, how did I not know these little rainbow scratch board things existed?

kiki

LOOK AT THAT, MARVIN, MAYBE IT’S NO MASTERPIECE AND DOESN’T HAVE A BOW TIE AND I CAN’T ERASE IT WITH A MAGICAL SWIPE OF MY HAND BUT IT IS STILL WAY BETTER THAN YOUR STUPID CAT FACE, I HOPE YOU FEEL BAD FOR MAKING ALL THOSE KIDS IN THE 90s FEEL INADEQUATE ABOUT THEIR CAT-FACE-DRAWING SKILLS WITH YOUR SHOWING OFF AND YOUR STUPID MAGIC DRAWING BOARD, MARVIN.

I may harbor a tiny bit of repressed resentment regarding Marvin’s Magic Drawing Board. Don’t judge me.

Anyhow, requisite sketchdump.

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Duck? Superhero? Neither? Both? I dunno, but his buddy’s a fish.

inktober16-21Furry quadruped. Boring, moving on.

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Questionable skeletal anatomies and grumpy dogs, plus a bit of dragon. Very little happened during this class, obviously.

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Gross grub-beetle dude. I was all set to draw more here, actually, but someone brought a REAL LIVE ACTUAL BABY to class and it was right by my seat so obviously nothing was accomplished during that 40-minute period. Not that it was fussy or anything — it was actually more interested in the lecture than we were, as far as I could tell — but it had some very opinionated commentary and none of it was actual words and we were all very entertained.

It Begins (The Runty Pigeon, pt. 1)

September is traditionally a month when not a lot happens, art-wise, for me. No Inktober or NaNoWriMo or winter gifts and so on. Not tons of free time, either. However, I’m trying to do something about that this year, so I’ve forced myself to (almost) complete a sort-of-short story I thought up when I was … I don’t know, 13? For the sake of authenticity (hahahaha no I’m just lazy) I’ve kept the original title, “The Runty Pigeon.” All you need to know, I suppose, is that it’s a variation on “The Ugly Duckling” with some of my least-favorite parts of that tale changed up a bit. Also it’s all pigeons. So there’s that.

Since this is ostensibly an art blog, I will *try* to include an image of some sort with most entries, though that may not end up happening. Today’s “cover image” was the work of half an hour or so, most of which consisted of cutting a pigeon out of scrap paper and trying to shade over it without destroying said cutout (because using stuff to fasten stuff to other stuff instead of just mashing it against the paper with my other thumb was … too technical I guess?). The rest was making rectangles in Inkscape. Don’t judge me, I like squares. Even if the end result is basically a 90’s mass-market paperback.

Anyhow, here we go!

Pigeon

Prologue

Once upon a time, in a city just like yours, there was a bridge just like any other bridge. And under that bridge lived a flock of beautiful pigeons with feathers of every color. On a cloudy day you might have thought they were all the same shade of wet gray as the bridge and the road than ran beneath it; but when the sun shone, their soft feathers flashed with purple and silver, green and bronze. On those days, the pigeons would stand a little taller, knowing how beautiful they looked in the light.

The First Egg

One cool spring day, two gray pigeons were more pleased than any other pigeon, despite the clouds covering the sun. The first of their two eggs was beginning to hatch, and Mother Pigeon was certain it was going to be a big, healthy baby.

CRACK! One gangly pigeon foot kicked out from the egg, then another. “Such a strong little squab!” cooed Mother Pigeon (for a “squab” is a pigeon baby). “Just like Grandmother Columba!”

Columba was well-known among their flock as a brave bird. It was said that she fought off the Old Fountain Cat, a fierce and hungry creature that had hunted the pigeons’ favorite feeding spot for generations. Perhaps the cat had found a tamer flock of birds, or perhaps her owner had finally returned for her; but either way she had never bothered the pigeons again.

“Yes,” sighed Mother Pigeon as the first squab flicked the last bits of shell from its stubby wings; “I will name you Columba, and perhaps one day there will be stories of your great bravery, too.”

And so it was. Columbus (who turned out to be a boy pigeon, when he was old enough to be one or the other) grew plump and strong and handsome, and had many daring adventures. But this is not his story.

The Second Egg

It took a little longer for the second egg to hatch. Father Pigeon was on the nest that morning, and he had been hoping very much that the second squab would arrive during his watch.

CRACK! Sure enough, one little pigeon foot kicked out from the egg, then a little featherless face. As blind as any new-hatched pigeon, the tiny baby could hardly see more than light and shadow. Still, it somehow seemed to stop and look around.

“Such a curious little squab!” cooed Father Pigeon. “Just like Auntie Olivia!”

Olivia was more of a great-aunt, or possibly some kind of cousin — but she was everyone’s Auntie just the same. Known for her great age and her great cleverness, she was one of the first pigeons to live Under the Bridge. It was even said that she had been the one to discover the bridge after their flock left Brown Barn. Only Auntie Olivia was old enough to remember for sure; but either way, Under the Bridge was a good home. It was cool in the summer, sheltered from the rain and snow, and would not burn down in an autumn drought the way Brown Barn had in the end.

“Yes,” cooed Father Pigeon as the little squab pressed closer to his warm feathers; “I will name you Olivia, and perhaps one day there will be stories of your great discoveries, too.”

And so it was. But Olivia (who turned out to be a girl pigeon after all) ended up having a very different kind of adventure. This is her story.

Team Bookworm…

I don’t have much to write today; I’m currently working on something that will hopefully tide me over somewhat for when classes start again. More on that to follow.

Until then, here’s the (hopefully) final version of my riff on the Pokemon GO loading screen we all know and … well, know, currently available on Redbubble:

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I could use this space to rant about people/the media apparently using GO as a way to blame mugging/stabbing/whatever victims for not taking proper anti-stabbing measures while out walking or whatever, but I shall try to keep things positive for once. Dragons!

I’m having a flashback….

Okay, so. Ghostbusters.

First off we’re just gonna get the obvious picture out of the way, because of the clear visual similarities and because a few proton packs would make it far more simple to get those friggin’ Zubat into a Pokeball in Pokemon GO.

ProtonBat

Anyhow. While I’ve tried to avoid looking at the “BOOOO GIRLS” comments because seriously who wants to read that, I’m aware that many people were unhappy with the concept of remaking Ghostbusters with women. Mind you, I don’t remember seeing many complaints about remaking Jurassic Park with men (it got some token women, but by that argument there are plenty of side-character men in the new Ghostbusters), but there you have it.

Now, here’s the thing. There are absolutely some conditions under which I would have gotten angry at a female-led remake of Ghostbusters. If, for example, they’d tried to head off the angry males at the pass and cast a handful of hollywood staples — you know, the slim, seemingly-interchangeable ones who are probably great actors with individual human personalities but always get the exact same role, hairstyle and love interest whether it’s an action movie or a romcom — or implemented “girl versions” of the old Ghostbusters plotline and gear (y’know, for the sake of the kids … so the little girls will be able to understand that there are girls in the movie).

Instead this is literally a Ghostbusters movie with female actors instead of male ones. We again got a great crop of comedians known largely from SNL and other small-screen work. They have individual personalities, complexions, and body types, which isn’t really commented on or played to comedic effect aside from the broad initial characterizations of the straitlaced one, the kooky one, the optimist and the civilian. (Note that these are comedy archetypes but not really “girl character” archetypes, because the latter tend to be defined by what kind of love interest said girl is. Unlike even the original Ghostbusters, this movie is not a romance … and frankly the original could have stood to be a not-romance too, no offense to Bill, but dang Venkman was terrible/creepy at flirting.)

Nothing is incongruously pink or form-fitting or missing chunks of fabric. They don’t make a big deal out of the fact that they’re all women, any more than the originals made a big deal of being men, but they’re still feminine in a practical way (Abby apparently keeps her work key on her bra strap so she doesn’t lose it, which frankly isn’t a bad idea). Like most remakes, reboots and sequels made with a bigger budget and/or in an era of better SFX, they jumped on the chance to throw in more/more-involved fight scenes, but frankly that worked for me here. The big showdown with all the new Ghostbuster gadgets was really fun and felt a bit more satisfying … I seem to recall the original involving more blind luck. Now, maybe that was the point — it was a goofy comedy with a goofy premise — but now that we’re all familiar with the source material and the sequels and whatnot, that brief moment of pure glorious ghost butt-kicking and tech-flaunting felt warranted. Even if it’s an obvious opening for a new toy line of Ghostbusters accessories….

An aside of sorts: When I was watching the original Ghostbusters recently, I couldn’t help thinking of how convenient it always is that no matter how much the characters on shows and movies complain about the cost of buying/repairing something, they always seem to have more than enough money to do so in the end, because eew, actually having limited funds would be almost as gross as having to watch a movie where the woman actually has brown frizzy hair and glasses for the whole runtime instead of just until the makeover crew arrives 1/3 of the way through, I guess? So the twist on their new digs in the 2016 movie was a bit of a welcome surprise for me personally as well.

I could dedicate another paragraph to Chris Hemsworth as the beautiful but completely clueless — not “man-clueless,” mind you, like a television hubby who’s afraid of the kitchen, or “girl-clueless” like a stereotypical mechanically-inept female character, or even really “below-average-intelligence clueless” but just UTTERLY USELESS in a gloriously transcendent sort of way —  secretary (though the dude has a point, an aquarium is TOTALLY a submarine for fish) … but I guess I just did, and made it a run-on sentence to boot, so there’s that. I think if he’d been played more seriously I miiiight have taken issue with it despite the perfection of the role-reversal, but as it is he’s clearly just comic effect personified. And yet … somehow if you imagine that he’s Thor in-character for the whole movie, it’s still not *entirely* implausible. I would probably watch a “The Adventures of Dumb Kevin” spin-off.

So, if you didn’t notice, I liked the movie. Was it an artistic masterpiece? Perhaps not. Was it funny and entertaining and something I’d voluntarily hazard watching a sequel to? Certainly, and that’s more than I can say for Jurassic World, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Godzilla (1998/2016) (which, yes, were technically based on action movies, but took themselves waaaaay more seriously than the content, or in some cases the source material itself, warranted). The jokes hit, the cameos and callbacks didn’t feel too overblown (*cough*jurassicworld*cough* — talk about ruining childhood memories), and everyone seemed to be having fun. Especially Leslie Jones, because darned if she wasn’t genuinely laughing during some of those scenes. It sucks that some of the undoubtedly self-aware jokes in the movie (the angry YouTube comment about female Ghostbusters, and the “I don’t know if this was a race thing or a lady thing…” when the onscreen audience literally rushes out of the way to avoid supporting Jones’ character) rang all too true in the real world, because there are some days I like to try to delude myself into thinking we’re slightly better than ridiculous ineffectual comic demi-villains….

But enough with the bumming-out. Watch the movie, enjoy the movie, taste the — wait no, that’s Skittles. Anyhow, form whatever personal opinion of it you want, just be cool soda pop.

It’s too darn hot…

…so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Well, medium and surly more like, but you know what they say about blog posts resembling their owners. (That’s pets, you say? Eh, potato tomato.) It’s 91 with a heat index near 100, I think it’s unreasonable to expect anyone to be pleasant (though, kudos to those who manage anyhow).

So.

TWO. THOUSAND. SIX. TEEN. (SIDE RANT: WHEN SOMEONE IS READING OFF A LONG NUMBER FOR YOU AND ARBITRARILY CHUNKS SOME INTO NUMBERS INSTEAD OF DIGITS SO YOU WRITE OUT A SIX AND THEN REALIZE YOU NEED A ONE IN FRONT OF IT. WHYYYY.)

I know people kind of say this about every year, or they have been for a while at least, but c’mon 2016. You kind of suck. And it’s not just all the awful things people do and say to other people, it’s a bunch of completely unpredictable other things that just decided to happen at the same time because why not. As of 2015 I’d never even really considered attending a funeral, because in all that time nobody particularly close to me had died. In 2016 I had myself checking when/if services were being held for three different people within a month. And anyone with a face, pretty much, will have gotten at least the Cliffs Notes of all the less-personal unpleasant news from the year so far. I kind of want to just go live somewhere utterly unremarkable, that nobody’s ever heard of and nobody’s fighting over. But of course, that still wouldn’t help my friends and family who live in the actual real world.

A castle might be nice, though. A big, damp, chilly castle that’s basically a glorified primitive campsite, but possibly with wyverns. Grumpy wyverns I can make grumpy faces at, and they’ll grumpy right back, like a big scaly owl.

Yeah.

I could bring everyone I know and cram them in various spare towers and the wyverns could heat the place, I guess, if you’re into the whole not-constantly-having-the-sniffles lifestyle.

This grumpy-guts I drew in the blissfully air-conditioned public library during a 96-degree day that really wasn’t good for anything but reading (The Tygrine Cat, which is out of print but I got on interlibrary loan all the way from Abilene, TX, because libraries are amazing) and drawing. But I don’t even know how wings work, it just … I guess I didn’t fly enough kites as a child or something, because I cannot wrap my head around these things, but they’re folded anyhow so that’s okay.

So, look upon this Scale-Owl and forget your woes. Grumpy Wyvern wants you to be happy, believe it or not. But cheer up fast, because if you take too long it gets impatient and eats you.

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