egypturnash: (HGA)

October 2017: Astronomers in Hawaii discover an extrasolar object shortly after it’s slingshotted around the Sun. They name it ʻOumuamua, which roughly translates to “first distant messenger” or maybe “advance scout”.

June 2018: ʻOumuamua’s trajectory changed without any visible reason for it to do so. There’s probably a mundane explanation. It’s probably not a course adjustment on its way to the next destination. It’s probably not a deliberate wiggle to acknowledge that we were watching it and talking about it. There’s probably a perfectly fine reason for it being ten times shinier than the average comet, and there’s probably a perfectly sensible reason that its slow trajectory change was consistent with what a light sail would create rather than the abrupt change of a breakup or outgassing. There’s probably explanations for all the other interesting facts the chair of the Harvard astronomy department lists in this article, too. It’s probably not aliens.

January 2019: During a lunar eclipse, when humanity is paying a lot more attention to the moon than normal, something flashes on it near the middle of the eclipse. “Just a beachball-sized meteorite”, astronomers are currently saying. “Happens all the time, we just can’t see it when the sun’s on the moon.”

It’s probably just something mundane. Probably something boring. Probably not the work of an extrasolar probe that either knows it’s been seen, or doesn’t care if it is. It’s probably not something dropped on the moon by an alien probe.

Four days later, astronomers (again in Hawaii, with followup observations in London) notice a very low-mass object taking a highly erratic path around the earth outside the Moon’s orbit. Kinda like a trash bag blown in the wind. Looks really light for its size. It’s probably just a piece of junk that fell off of one of our satellites or something. Probably. It’s totally just a coincidence that the Popular Science article about this that I’m linking to compares it to the mechanics behind solar sails. It’s probably not some kind of exploration package ‘Oumuamua dropped off when it zoomed through the “Goldilocks zone” of our solar system. It’ll probably fall into our atmosphere and burn up, or get knocked out of anything resembling Earth orbit in a couple weeks.

Probably.

I’m probably just stoned and telling myself a story.

It sure works as the opening act of a first contact story, though. In the tiny possibility that it is one, I hope it’s more “The Day The Earth Stood Still” than “The War Against The Chtorr”.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

A while back I played this art game called “Sunset”. In Sunset, you took the role of a maid, wandering around a super awesome bachelor pad the developers had built based on a spread in a late sixties issue of Playboy. You found messes, you clicked on them, the screen faded out and back in, and then they were cleaned up again.

There was something about a romance between your character and the Brazilian dictator who owned the place, told through furtive notes left lying around as the game progressed. But I don’t remember anything about that. What I remember is that after a while playing it, I closed the game, got up, and did some cleaning around the apartment that I’d put off. I never returned to it afterwards and probably never will.

I bring this up because I am feeling the same sensation from Cultist Simulator.

I drag a few cards into slots, I watch a timer expire, and then I am told I have Made an Art, which resulted in some mix of money, fame, and the occasional emotion. Sometimes, at random, I am told I have made a Great Art. If I made it secretly about something majgickqghahl then I get a lot more famous a lot faster. Which is not without its own problems, but it sure makes it easier to make money making art that’s about nothing but my own passions.

I look at my Tarot deck and the obvious opportunity presented by reprinting it, and I feel the same sensation I felt playing Sunset: “get up”, my brain says, “get up, stop pretending to do this, do this for real”.

And maybe get up and break out the books on majgicqgh and try to spend a little time with that more days than not, too. Probably not to the extent that I become a notorious cult leader who sends her minions off to raid libraries and ruins for ever-more-esoteric texts and trinkets, that sure sounds like some work.

Cultist Simulator is a much more compelling system than Sunset. There’s a lot of things to play with. A lot of things to figure out. And I can feel it tickling the same parts of my brain that the beginning of an idle clicker game does, before it starts taking longer and longer to build up enough resources to do anything interesting. There’s a lot of neat little stories that assemble themselves out of the masterfully-crafted snippets of prose throughout the game, and those are fun to see when they happen.

But I can feel restlessness growing inside me. I can fee the urge to get up and resume the Great Work, whatever I determine it really is.

And if there is one thing this game has taught me, it is that Restlessness turns into Dread after a little while, and that if enough Dread piles up then you succumb to it. And die.

Five stars out of five. Would stop playing again.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

Some free writing around the prompt “what would be a cool way for elves to die”.


see nobody really knows how they die

because nobody’s ever seen one of them grow old and die

including other elves

they just kind of… wander away when you’re not looking, you hear their footsteps going out the door and they just never come back, or show up anywhere, ever again

rumors say that they just know they have to be somewhere else and will stop at nothing to get there without any interference; nobody has been successful at any attempts to keep a dying elf in one place, not even other elves, they don’t erupt into violence or magic or anything, people just find themselves loosening restraints without really thinking about it

(though some whisper tales of “turning to water like glass, from which twisting vines of flesh step out”)

generations of adventurers have perished looking for the Secret Graveyard of the Elves that some assume must exist somewhere; the only real profit anyone’s gotten from that is selling the maps (but, o brave voyager, I promise you this one is the real deal, I bought it off a little kobold who said she saw an elf gently come apart into a huge swarm of bees that she followed to a secluded valley full of a giant hive – she had some very good honey for sale too – no?)

and pay absolutely no mind to the scruffy folks selling jars of vapor that they claim is what an elf dissipates into, that’s just a really potent extraction of certain plants – they are right when they say that stuff will get you super high though


(i may have been huffing some keeb stoned off my ass while writing this, also the “twisting vines of flesh” is an attempt at “how would a medieval peasant describe the reverse of Dr. Manhattan building himself up from nothing through nervous system/muscles and skeleton/etc to a naked blue dude.)

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

It is the beginning of the year and it is time for everyone to post about how they organize their Important Stuff for the benefit of people who have made a new year’s resolution to Organize Their Shit. This is what works for me; I do not guarantee it will work for anyone else. It’s been working as a way to organize a mix of standalone drawings and big multi-image projects for most of twenty years now.

All of my artwork lives in one place on my hard drive: ~/Documents/gfx/working/. There’s a few other folders in /gfx/ but they haven’t been touched in years, as they’re the remnants of a former system I mostly abandoned.

This working folder mostly contains two things: a folder for each year I’ve been using this system, and a whole bunch of aliases to project folders. Each of those project folders lives inside the folder for the year I started it – Parallax is inside 2015, Rita’s inside 2012, the Tarot’s inside 2008, etc.

I do it this way instead of just making a folder for the project next to the yearly folders because this way I can rename those aliases without affecting anything inside them that has a file path in it. The projects I feel are currently in progress to some degree have a space at the front of their alias’ name, so they sort to the top of the list, above the yearly folders and below the ‘ . this year.’ alias, which gets pointed to a new folder around the beginning of every year. Deciding to take that space off the front of an alias feels momentous; it’s been sitting there for years, and now I’m declaring it either Done or Of The Table. It’s probably worth mentioning that everything below about 2006 is off the bottom of the normal size Finder windows will open at for me – I have to go looking for those things.

I also keep some of those aliases in the Finder’s favorites, so they’re quick to navigate to in a new Finder window or in a save dialogue.

Inside the project folders, I tend to have a whole pile of Illustrator files for the main body of the project, with Finder tags to mark the completion state of the file. In progress is purple, blue is finished, yellow is posted to Patreon. There’s a second blue tag for “double finished” which I only started using on Parallax, since I’m mostly working on that in double-page spreads. Rita’s just a long list of files with blue dots now, since it’s done.

And next to that pile of The Actual Pages is folders for other stuff. A folder of final web renders of pages (and a ‘ finals’ alias so I can get to it quickly, since that sorts above all the pages), and a few other folders for… stuff. Model sheets, web sites (which might contain aliases of folders deep in ~/Sites/, that get used when I fire up MAMP to run my local development copy of WordPress), fan-art I’ve gotten, book publishing stuff, ads… whatever. Make a folder, don’t just put it in the same pile as the raw pages.

There’s a few non-yearly folders in the main /working/ folder for stuff that I have to deal with now and then: resumes, files for the print book I take to conventions. They feel like they don’t belong to a year, it’s a judgement call I make now and then.

I feel like the big guiding principles here are that stuff never moves but aliases do and that everything for a project is in one place.

If I want to find a particular standalone drawing I usually go over to ~/Pictures/My Art/ where I stick pngs/jpgs of all my finished pictures, make the icons big, and look for it. That’ll tell me the year and then I can find its source file pretty quickly; the filename I make it under is usually never the final image title, and I never bother changing it. It could maybe be more efficient but I don’t have to do this often enough to really try to optimize it.

When I do a batch of commissions they’ll end up in a folder with a name like “april commissions” in the appropriate year that’ll get an alias at the top of the list. And maybe even an alias on the desktop – which I mostly try to keep clean, for what it’s worth. I don’t have any in progress so there’s none of them currently visible.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

dreaming on the canvas, summoning an old old friend

air + water + power = smoke; there is no ground to be found here

whisper words, tell a story once more time

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

I dreamt I was in a city, full of artificial sunlight. All day long, and all night long too. I was getting more and more tired and just couldn’t get any sleep because of this fake daylight.

Eventually the scene shifted and I stopped being tired. I think that’s a first, though. I’ve never been tired in my dreams before. I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

ten years

Dec. 28th, 2018 05:27 pm
egypturnash: (HGA)

I am going through the giant prints left over from the gallery showing of the Tarot deck, so I can hang some of them at Morsel, and I am realizing they are from 2008.

That’s ten years ago. And it feels like a while. Some of these pieces I’d want to spend a bit more time on now. Some of them are still just fine by my current standards. My anatomy’s gotten better with subtle stuff but these are still perfectly fine drawings; I think the biggest change in the work if I was to do them from scratch now would be that I’d go from rough to final colors a LOT faster – I was still laboriously pulling paths out with the pen tool back then. I think it was near the end of the whole thing that I discovered that the pencil tool has settings, whose defaults render it useless, played with those settings, and switched to it for pretty much everything shortly afterwards.

I wonder if I should make a regular practice of drawing some kind of bright, happy flat piece once a month. As a vacation from the giant task of a fully-painted comic. I could do it as porny commissions with my alter-ego, like I did this December, or I could do them as my cleaner identity and regularly print them out and do galleries. Finding subjects feels like the hard part; I could start going down some prompt lists? Or I could occasionally just ask my followers/patrons for an assortment of words, then shuffle them together to give me some directions to draw in. (If I wanted to be topical it might be fun to do a series of Chaos Deities, since that sure feels like the theme of the past couple years. Eris, Kali, Tiamat, Kek (yes probably with a frog pin), Azathoth, etc, maybe even paired with Law Deities from the same pantheons because that would be a lot of chaos to evoke in my personal life without some balance…)

 

(more: hmm, really I could just mine “a selection of deities” for multiple shows. wisdom would be fun, I could use more of that in my life.)

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)
Here we are at the end of another year, at the beginning of another long frozen winter. Hopefully the last one I’ll spend this far north in a long time, if not the rest of my life.
I feel aged and empty and alone. My family is gone. My memory of them fades. Did we have any particular Christmas traditions? I don’t think so. Just the usual ones practiced by people who live in a theoretically Christian society but make no pretense of believing in that. There were gifts, and a tree, and tinsel, and lip service to traditions from frozen lands that none of us ever lived in. I understand more of the whys and wherefores of the winter traditions deep in my bones, now that I’ve lived far enough north for the changing seasons to steal more and more of the Sun away until there’s only a few precious hours of it in any day, and I will never like them.
And more and more I come to loathe these ceremonies grown up around the raw need to huddle together, share warmth, share light. and share scarce resources with those who were unlucky this year and don’t have enough to survive the winter. The relabeling of them as “Christmas”, honoring the birth of a prophet I don’t follow, who was probably born in the summer anyway. The way it’s become a frenzy of buying things, with a thousand cheap gifts made by a thousand woefully-underpaid elves in Chinese factories given to a thousand people who don’t need them. The way it’s become a celebration of Family when I have always had very little of that, in a culture that pushes everyone out into their own little box, the better to sell everyone the bare needs of existence in individually-packaged servings.
It is Christmas Eve and I am alone and I am tired and cold and really I want nothing so much as to go to sleep, wake up three months from now, and leave the North forever. “And barring that”, a small part of my brain says, “suicide sounds good.” To which I roll my eyes and reply that it always sounds good when I’m sad and tired and empty and cold, and I will only give such ideas serious consideration when I am comfortable and warm.
And so, once again, as I have for most years of my life, I say fuck Christmas. Fuck Santa Claus, fuck gifts under the tree, fuck this propaganda about spending time with your family whether it be the one of blood or the one you’ve made, for I have always been an antisocial beast who does not love much or easily.
Burn it all, that I may be warm for one wonderful day.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

I dreamt that it had been announced that there was going to be a comic based on the monster cereals – Count Chocula/Frankenberry/etc. People had started posting weird takes on what they thought it would be; deliberately-ugly short nonsensical strips. Some of these were “going viral” online. The people actually doing the comic posted a plea to stop doing this and wait for the rich worldbuilding they were doing.

I managed to find a link to where the comic was being posted, but not promoted. It was a single panel strip, presented in the form of a VR scene of a fire hydrant with a sticker of the single panel on it. It was neither funny nor good.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

So. Nick and I are thinking about doing some changes to the Patreon campaign, and we’d love your input on it.

We’re thinking about adding a few payment tiers that tie in to the dual-sided nature of our current project:

  • two $1 tiers, one for people who think the VX10 chess club types are cool, one for people who think the hippie space dryad Mixolyne are cool – there might be some extra stuff released only to the appropriate tier at some point, but right now it’s just a fun way for you to get a little involved in the story
  • a $2 tier for people who prefer not to have an opinion on this – neutrality has its costs!
  • a similar trio of higher tiers – $5/$8? – where you can submit a character sheet that will go into a pool, which we will pull from whenever we need a minor/background character, either for one side or both. Roles like Redshirt #2, Background Diner #7, or Guard On Minor Planet With One Line. There’d be no guarantee of ever winning the pull though I think I’d want to weight it towards people who haven’t won it before.

They’d all stay as payment per-page, with the same ability to put in a monthly limit in case I suddenly start putting out lots more stuff.

Do these sound like fun ideas? Maybe like fun ideas at different prices? Everyone would still see the current mix of early pages, occasional WIPs, and whatever other little random thing I might feel like sharing about the process of my work; that’s never going to change.

We are also very open to suggestions. I’m not the only artist some of you are supporting – what are other artists doing that you wish I did? I’ve seen people doing regular times they’re open for chat, offering higher tiers with chances at commission slots, critique of patron’s artwork… anything else?

ALSO: we are thinking about doing some extra stories as short audio dramas. These would be written by Nick and put together by a few of our friends; I’d be involved in the plotting but would keep my main focus on drawing more pages of the comic. We see them as generally being short side stories rather than a place where Important Plot Events happen; they may add nuance and depth to things but the core story will always be in the form of the comic. Is this a thing y’all would be down with paying for alongside the comic pages?

(If those go over well I might fool around with turning them into little animatics. Maybe even recruit some folks to fully animate them, as baby steps towards the long-term dream of turning this into a crowd-funded cartoon series. Someday. Maybe. No promises.)

We’re also going to spend some time rewriting the basic “support my comics” pitch, show some more examples of the art, stuff like that. I haven’t really changed it since I first set it up back in 2014 and it’s just kinda time.

Anyway. Tier revamping, things you’ve liked other artists doing, maybe add short audio dramas into the mix. Whattya think?

(And as always, thanks a ton to those of you who’re supporting my weird-ass comics!)

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

hallowme

Oct. 25th, 2018 10:26 pm
egypturnash: (HGA)

This morning, I wandered through the local instance of the pop-up Halloween store. It was a lot bigger than I expected, possibly due to using space that the former tenant (a third-party Apple retailer) was using for their repair offices. This may have been related to my decision to spend an hour doodling my fursona as a Sexy Witch tonight. With an angry green cat in her lap because that has basically been Nick’s fursona around the house lately. Mostly. Furries are weird, okay?

I also finished two pages of Parallax that had been in the works for a while, and posted them to Patreon today. Which is always a nice feeling: yay, I get paid a couple hundred bucks more at the end of the month! Onea these days I might even start paying most of my rent from comics again.

Tomorrow: haul stuff to the convention center, set up for Geek Girl Con, which is this weekend. And next weekend is gonna be PatreCon, thanks to them impulsively running a contest to choose a few creators to give a free ticket and hotel stay, and picking my half-assed, sassy entry as one of the winners. (“Maybe I’ll learn something that’ll let me triple my patronage; maybe I’ll hit it off with someone who’s better at promotion than I’ll ever be. Maybe I’ll just end up sharing a drink with some of my LA animation friends and get a gig that’ll pay well enough to let me extend my financial runway a couple more years.”) I still feel really weird about this and wonder if there were next to no entries (it only ran for a half a week, and they asked applicants to do Something Creative to say why they should be chosen to attend but didn’t mark uploading a video/image/etc as mandatory; I nearly abandoned the application when I got to that, but just rambled for a couple paragraphs of text instead), or if my crazy obsessive drawings actually stood out from the pack. Who knows. Either way I was able to persuade them to comp a conference ticket for Nick as well (what with him saying he’d like to try and take over some of the stuff that’s not drawing; we’re going to attend talks scheduled against each other and take notes), and paid for a couple of airplane rides with the Business Account. I’ve also contacted said Animation Friends about sharing lunch/a drink/etc.

Anyway. It’s getting to be about bedtime, I think.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

Now and then, some artist finds a really hilariously impractical piece of clothing, and draws one of their characters wearing nothing but it. And sometimes the combination of clothing and drawing is strong enough to become A Thing that circulates around the Internet for a few days.

Every now and then I end up drawing one of my characters in one of them.

The item in question is a short pink hoodie, with a huge half-circle cut out of the front. Kind of a bolero hoodie. It could probably look pretty good if it was accessorizing the right outfit, really; I feel that matching the claw polish to the hoodie went a long way to making it look less terrible. As did being a tease who’s deliberately not using it as an excuse for full frontal nudity.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

NSFW: cartoon dragon titties.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

Another one of those “I answered this on /r/AdobeIllustrator and thought it would make a good technique post” things.

How to make a cute little string-art effect.

1. Draw some lines
2. Use the Blend tool to click on the end of the first line furthest away from the next one
3. Repeat until you run out of lines
4. object>blend>blend options to bring up the number of steps
5. to fix that one line you clicked wrong on, select it and do object>path>reverse path direction.

If you wanted it to really look like the nail-and-string-on-a-board kits I remember doing in the seventies, you could maybe add a highlight and a shadow by putting extra strokes on the whole blend:

Adding nails is left as an exercise for the reader.

Suggestions: dotted lines, custom arrowhead, custom art brush with a nail at one end and the “stretch between guides” scaling option in its settings, a custom art brush that’s *just* a nail plus some blank space and the “stretch between guides” scaling option applied to the whole blend as a new path atop the appearance stack shown here – maybe with a low level of effect>distort & transform>roughen applied to mimic the look of nails hammered in unevenly?

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

slick

Oct. 16th, 2018 10:31 pm
egypturnash: (HGA)

late night self-indulgent doodling whilst listening to spooky ambient country music. i tried a variant with machine-stippled highlights and shading for a ‘scaly’ look but it was too noisy, so you’ll never see it.

click thumbnail for the full nsfw image.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

I had not really thought about what would be at the bottom of the pile of assorted paper stuff I should Really Get Around To Dealing With Soon that has taken over the left third of my desk. But it does not surprise me at all that at its bottom, I find letters expressing their condolences for the recent death of my mother. Which was in 2015. I’ve been kinda useless ever since, in a lot of ways. The comedy option winning the Presidency of the US on top of all that hasn’t helped matters either.

Right now my apartment is a mess. I still haven’t really cleaned the kitchen up from when they opened it all up to replace a pipe in the wall and deprive me of the garbage disposal. There’s a pile of Nick’s books in the middle of the studio, next to the pile of stuff accumulating around the chair that needs to have its new legs put on by someone competent to drill big serious holes through wood. Laundry perpetually gets put off until it’s at a crisis point. I used to have an aspect of myself I called “Miss Fussyspider”, who wants everything to be neat and tidy and is quite willing to stonedly put in the constant low-level amount of work needed to keep things that way, and I haven’t really let her run ever since all these things started piling up. Because at the bottom of that pile there is some stuff that needs doing but is very emotionally painful to deal with.

I kinda feel like moving is going to be helpful in this. I’ll have to look at every single thing in this apartment and decide if it is something I want to bother hauling across the country. I’m sure I’ll accumulate more stuff but at least it’s a time to pare it down to what I really need to keep myself healthy and amused.

At least the pile of paper is neater now, and I’ve wiped about three years of ash off the corner of the desk the bong lives on.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

This morning I got stoned and decided that a galaxy-pattern catsuit under the bathrobe I still hadn’t bothered changing out of was a really good fashion choice for the morning. Then Nick said I looked like a far-future Arthur Dent who has truly become a hoopy frood who knows where his towel is. Because really, what is a bathrobe but a towel you can wear? He had it with him all along.

When he’s not travelling, that spacesuit is always with him. It probably converts into a useful backpack or something. Because after what he’s survived, there is no way Arthur would want to let that thing out of his possession. Ever.

 

In the shower I thought about this drawing as a pitch for a H2G2 cartoon adaptation.

 

* The spacesuit has invisibility capabilities; when Arthur’s not using it for that he has it just display whatever random imagery/video we feel like genlocking in there.

* The spacesuit can recycle his fluids into a substance almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

* Perhaps it is the latest model of the Guide? Compacts into an easy-to-carry box of roughly Gameboy size when not in use. It does NOT have a Genuine People Personality. Nobody wants that when they’re floating alone in the void of space.

* Every episode starts cold with Arthur in some tranquil setting (possibly wherever he finished last episode), when suddenly, disaster strikes and he is, once again, floating in the cold void of space. He sighs, dons the spacesuit, and begins reciting something similar to the Litany Against Fear centered around the words “Don’t Panic”. Cue “Journey of the Sorcerer” or some imitation thereof, opening titles are a montage of bits introducing Arthur and the main characters of this episode with Arthur still floating in space waiting for the Thumb to say something’s in range. As the opening titles come to a close, there’s something detected; Arthur turns on the Thumb capability of his suit via a closeup on his hand making a hitch-hiking gesture. Music climaxes, smash cut to episode title as the music fades, then we rudely drop Arthur into the middle of whatever mess we’ve thought up for him to muddle his way out of this time.

 

“You’ve essentially just reinvented Doctor Who”, said Nick when I pitched these ideas to him. Arguably yes, though I feel there’s a big difference: the Doctor is good at solving huge problems like “an entire universe has been converted into Daleks, who are now invading this universe with the aim of turning it into even more Daleks” while Arthur is good at averting problems well before they get to that point, or just not being where they are when they happen. His primary skills are being that super chill surfer dude who is really, really good at staying calm in the face of crisis and helping other people de-escalate. He does not necessarily solve the problem he’s dropped into in every episode; sometimes he just ends up running.

Also another way this is different from Doctor Who is that the Doctor is not costumed so as to look like she’s naked under her bathrobe. Arthur is. Because nobody really takes you seriously as a threat when you look like you’re naked under your bathrobe.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

an epiphany

Oct. 3rd, 2018 01:32 pm
egypturnash: (HGA)

So the other day I was reading this article about a town in Iowa full of dairy farms and its inherent contradiction of going all out for Trump despite completely depending on immigrant labor. And during the night, something hit me, and I felt like the world turned inside out for me: All these “illegal immigrants” that rural white folks get so riled up over are the indigenous people of North America, pushed out by multiple waves of European colonists. When they come back they get to work at the shittiest jobs for slave labor rates, with the threat of deportation hanging over them should anyone speak up; it’s the people who just walked on in and waved guns around who’re the real illegal immigrants here, using the classic deflection technique of calling the other side what you are.

It’s, like, sure, I’ve had all the pieces to this realization, but it never really all came together until late one night when I was in my late forties and I kinda feel incredibly stupid and part of an utterly horrible system that I’m powerless to change and I kinda wonder if the world would be better off if the Black Death had wiped out 90% of Europe.

(I wonder if part of why it took so long to put this together was spending the first twenty five years of my life in a city that has deep scars around the history of slavery, and had gotten rid of not only its original locals, but pretty much all evidence that they even ever existed aside from place names and a weird Mardi Gras tradition. There were some “Hispanic” people around town, living the same middle-class life I was except for sometimes speaking Spanish to their parents, and that was just kind of… normal.)

There is a very high probability that I will choose to do absolutely nothing about this realization beyond what vague leftist waffling I already am, and that kind of horrifies me too. Just another day in the United States of Omelas, a place powered entirely by continual misery and suffering that I can currently afford to look away from.

Anyway. Hi, I’m a honky from the Gulf South and I just now realized wwhat Middle Americans and rural Westerers are really talking about when they talk about “illegal Mexican immigrants” and holy crap the entire history of the European expansion into this continent sure is a massive five hundred year old tornado of misery and pain isn’t it. I guess I never noticed that because I was a bit distracted by the massive four hundred and something year old hurricane of misery and pain started by the Triangle Trade that I grew up in. I am sure there would still be pain and suffering in the world if not for rich white people, but goddamn there we sure have caused a lot of it in the name of profit.

I wonder how stupid and naive this post makes me sound.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

2018: Well look what I found in my drafts when I wanted to link to the big post I did about Needlemousevember last year. Apparently I never posted this. It’s been sitting in my WordPress drafts since September 21st. So I’ve added Needlemice 15-20, which covers all of the work I did for Needlemousevember. Everyone is talking about Inktober again and maybe I will do Needlemousevember again, because it sure is fun to start most days by making a really stupid picture of Sonic.


So back in 2009, a dude decided he was gonna brush up his inking skills by doing a drawing in ink every day for the entire month of October. He gave this the name “Inktober”. Since then it has grown into a Major Thing for a lot of internet artists.

This year, though, it started to get a little out of hand IMHO. I saw one friend debating which set of prompts they were going to build a buffer of Inktober drawings back in the middle of August. I started seeing this ongoing argument over whether you could do Inktober properly if you were working digitally. People will do these crazy, elaborate drawings for it; it’s become a big Thing.

One day, I found myself doodling a crappy Sonic, using none of my usual working methods in Illustrator. It made me laugh. It made me laugh even more when I posted it with the hashtag “#needlemousevember”. Especially because it was still August.

I did another one the next day. And another. And pretty soon I’d started drawing these things most days. There have been some missed days, but I don’t care.

Here’s the first fourteen. More to come, I’m sure.

The rules of #needlemousevember, if you care to participate, are:

  1. Draw a Sonic.
  2. Don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes drawing your Sonic. GOTTAGOFAST.
  3. Trying new tools, new workflows, and new methods is encouraged, but by no means mandatory. Making your drawings gleefully off-model is also encouraged.
  4. Personally I try to avoid using ‘undo’. If I make a mistake who cares? It’s just a stupid goofy drawing of Sonic.
  5. Stop drawing Sonics when it stops being funny. If it’s before the end of whatever month you have declared to be #needlemousevember then that is perfectly fine.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

egypturnash: (HGA)

Late last night, I woke from uneasy dreams of apocalypses with an idea sitting heavy in my head:

R’lyeh is an ancient waste storage site, and C’thul’hu is the waste itself.

The weird “architecture” of the place is just a bunch of nasty spiky stuff the Elder Race put on top of the buried waste, to mark it as a place to leave barren, ala the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site. The seven-pointed Elder Sign? Their symbol for “radiation hazard”. Or for whatever kind of hazard can be found at Waste Storage Site RLYH, one of many such sites spread out across the galaxy wherever the Elder Race stopped.

Perhaps Cthulhu is just an abbreviation for something like the giant mass of corium known as “The Elephant’s Foot” that’s deep in the heart of the ruins of the Chernobyl reactor. Somewhere in the long chain of translations from the Elder Race’s writing to modern English, there was a language that required everything to have a gender, and thus a giant psycho-radiactive pile of KL5-LO got called “he” and had people trying to pronounce its chemical label as a word.

It is dead – it was always dead – but it still lays there, still has power, still can kill you with its invisible tentacles of radiation. Stay away; do not approach. “But in strange aeons even death may die” – its half-life is measured in billions of years, and eventually this remnant will be safe. Good luck, whatever creatures come after us.

I doubt I am the first one to have this idea.

Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.

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Margaret Trauth

February 2019

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