Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 7

Here's another page I'm working with. Obviously also sans lettering.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 6

Completed page three. Halfway done(besides lettering, le sigh).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 5

Still fooling around with page two. And working on page three.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 4: Annnnd Page.

Anywho. Here's what the page looks like. There will actually be some cheezy lettering in that big white space on the top right of the page, in case you're wondering why that's blank. But yeah this is kind of the basic page. I'm still playing with things on it, but all of the elements are on it.

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 4: Ominious Clouds!

Yeah so here's, like last week the start of a page, that I should be done with sometime today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 4: Koala Ninjas

I promised Koala Ninjas. And here I deliver koala ninjas! These are the stand-in henchmen for this little comic I'm throwing together. What I've kind of changed in my process with this comic is getting the base characters constructed and uniformed out before I start. I like to try and get them in a few diffrent angles, and then fill in the gaps in between. But this gets kind of the general gist of the character, and gets me an easy to use springboard for the page.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 3

This may have been an instance where I made things worse, rather than better.

I think so. I kind of dig the depth the diffrent paneling creates here, especially with the characters sort of popping out of panel in a few places. Though that said, something I'm trying to change from Ophelia is from over using that effect, to the point where I end up with a book where all of the characters are literally crawling out of the comic.

Of course sometimes the right answer is somewhere in between:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 2

An update on this page. It's mostly done. But for the dialouge, maybe the panel boxes(I'm thinking of drawing in my own border there), and then some of the embellishments that I'm drawing in to finish up the backgrounds. I kinda dig it, personally.

Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go: Workblog 1

Fear not! In the billionth rebirth of my blog, this icarnation is kind of a live update sort of deal of my daily progress on the various comic projects I'm doing. Below are two characters and two panels from the first page of a comic I'm doing tentatively called Kiss, Kiss, Go, Go. It's a short story comic, like really short, but it's a taste of what I'm going to do on a much larger scale next year. Plus this is probably going to be put together as a Christmas gift in physical form to several lucky friends.

But anywho. Yeah. Oh and all of my artwork is done chopping and screwing images in photoshop, pulling from all manner of media, both online and offline.

I'm planning to finger paint the lettering for this project, by the by. It will be fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spring 09 Fashion: And also why Fashion Matters

Jeez. Wow I fell behind on this thing. I blame the liberal media and my inherent mavrickness. And also inertia, a full plate time wise, and the need for something to give.

Anyways. I'm here now. So that's what matters. But anywho I wanted to do a blog of some of my favorite things from the past few weeks of the spring 09 fashion shows in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. New York and London are very underepresented. Mostly because I thought both were pretty boring. Milan was a lot better. And then Paris was however much better Milan was than New York and London, times a billion. So a lot of these are from Paris.

I've picked my five favorites(no mean task) which sort of grab at what I liked best in general from the past few weeks. But I have all of my favorite looks over on flickr here. I didn't label them there however. But if you see one that you don't know where it's from, you can always ask me. I pulled the pics off of style.com and most of them are from the Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Marni, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, and Christian Lacroix shows.

Here are my five favorite looks:

This was my absolute favorite thing from all of the shows. It's from Karl Lagerfeld's brilliant collection. The tatoo jewelery I love more than death. I love the whole joined pant thing that was all over the place(and probably best done at YSL). I just love how cool and futuristic and comfortable yet elegant and hard this looks. It's so many things at once, but it's all awesome. I love it. This was also from the Lagerfeld show:

This is from Yves Saint Laurent which was probably my second favorite show after Marni. And these metallic drop pants were a big reason why. I love how it looks like this crazy wet metal. The shoes I also love. It is kind of the logical progression of that gladiator shoe, but looks oh so much better. I wish I had saved a close up, because the heal looks like the eiffel tower which is very neat. There were actually three pieces like this, but I picked this one because I heart green.

3.This is just two of the many many many looks I loved from Marni. Marni was far and away my favorite show. It made me the most excited, and led to the most immediete changes in my personal fashion. This show officially shoved me onto the knee high bandwagon. There's just a coolness about all of these patterns, and how effortlessly they are mixed and matched. It's this crazy liberation that is both put together, but not. And the jewelry at Marni was out of control. Consuelo Castiglioni, I love her for this collection. It's all so fun but so classy.

Viveanne Westwood was another huge favorite. Her clothes had this cultured pirate feel to them, and felt really versatile and fun. Plus I believe her clothes were green friendly. I call the first look up there superhero chic. But yeah. She had a TON of great stuff, and I definitely recommend going through her whole collection.

These are from Alexander Mcqueen, who Mare kind of turned me onto. My favorite things from his collection was the crazy patterened dresses like the first two here. And then I included the third one because it's the evolution of a cool dress that Mare was talking about to me earlier in the month.

6.I don't know that I'd wear much of any of what Givenchy rolled out. But as an artist I will definitely steal the ideas. Riccardo Tisci called these looks Western Bondage. Which kind of takes Narciso Rodriguez's bondage wear from in New York and ups the ante with this compeltely fantastic western tilt. Jean Paul Gaultier I think also put out a collection which was like this for Hermes. But I think the Givenchy collection better culls in the idea. At any rate, if you see a Western Bondage comic book from me at some point, well....this is where that idea started.

7.John Galliano was initially disapointing to me, but as time passes I'm returning to it more and more. I like the color pallette he was using. And the hats and wigs, which I loved from the start, only increase in fantasticness. I just love how light everything is.

Chanel was out of control. It was just this endless stream of incredible class and comfort. I actually liked it initially more than Galliano. But it hasn't really had the staying power for me, and it's kind of slipped behind some of the more exciting ideas.

8. I actually enjoyed Louis Vuitton a lot. Everything looks like a million bucks. And I liked the sort of tribilist flourishes on the bags(not pictured here really...ha).

Christian Lacroix was really good. Not better than some of the other shows. But there was some fun with polka dots and diffrent patterns, and just in general some good stuff to be excited about.

Mason Martin Margiela was scary fun.

Honorable mentions:

I liked Vera Wang a lot. I didn't find anything there like wholly creative or inspiring. But I've always liked her clothes. She makes clothes I'd feel cool wearing. So I can't not mention her. I like her sense of color, and I like how she puts the outfits together.

Narciso Rodriguez was probably my favorite New York show. I liked all of the crazy bondage wear he put out. This red dress was the highlight, and for the longest time I thought it was going to be the highlight of the season for me. I'm glad I was wrong.

Anyways. Like I said at the beginning. If you go here you can see all of my favorite 71 diffrent looks I saw. If you are so inclined.

And as an addendum to this, since this blog is primarily about magic. Fashion is magic, just like all of the other arts are. The way you can shape shift with fashion, the way that diffrent clothes can change how you feel and how you present yourself, and both your perceptions and people's perceptions of you is one of the definite elements to magic. And I think a lot of times there's a certain subset of of people in this world who don't see the point, and just are like...well I'll wear whatever I find when I stumble to it in the dead of morning...so I think it's worth, especially in times when the economy is tanking all over the world, to kind of state the case for fashion. I think even during the great depression, fashion had a role in making people feel better. Maybe you are poor and getting your ass kicked by the economy, but you can jump outside of that reality with the right outfit. Or you can even dress yourself to underscore that reality, as a kind of silent martyr to that time. There's so many ways you can go with it. But all of them are influential and all of them are as important as any art. Fashion like books, music, movies, comics, are the stories we tell ourselves. And it's one of the ways in which we change, adapt, defend, and attack.

As a magician one of the primary things you have to experience to understand the ways in which your will is imparted into the oozy woozy is that anything that you leave to chance that is under your control can be a weakness. If you aren't controlling your fashion, you're not controlling your identity, and you're giving away needless amounts of power that you could otherwise be using in your service.

There's a reason that priests, rabbis...ect. all have sort of ritual garb. Clothes are infinitely important, as is how you use them.

So yeah. That's my pre-emptive strike to the people who may read this and be non-plussed by the idea that I would focus this much energy on this topic.

While I'm at it though.

You could support some awesome artists who I'm friends with, who do the whole fashion kerbabble out of the Chicago-ish area.


They've actually got a lot of really cool guy stuff for my male readership. Like laser beams and werewolves type stuff. So check it out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rune of the Week: Berkanan

Old Norwegian Poem:
Birch has the greenest leaves of any shrub;
Loki was fortunate in his deceit.

Old Icelandic:
Birch is a leafy twig
and little tree
and fresh young shrub.

The poplar bears no fruit;
yet without seed it brings forth suckers,
for it is generated from its leaves.
Splendid are its branches and gloriously adorned
its lofty crown which reaches to the skies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rune of the Week: Sowilo

This week's rune is Sowilo meaning sun.
The poems for it are:

Old Norwegian Poem
Sun is the light of the world;
I bow to the divine decree.

Old Icelandic Poem
Sun is the shield of the clouds
and shining ray
and destroyer of ice.

Anglo-Saxon Poem
The sun is ever a joy in the hopes of seafarers
when they journey away over the fishes' bath,
until the courser of the deep bears them to land.

The lighthouse. A guide. A spot of optimism. Good times.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rune of the Week: Algiz

This week's rune is Algiz. Meaning Elk. The poem for it is:
"The Elk-sedge usally lives in the fen,
growing in the water. It wounds severely,
staining with blood any man
who makes a grab at it. "
It's Elk-sedge is actually a sharp bladed grass. This rune ostensibly stands for protection. The sustenance of the grass and the elk is bladed against the protection and defense mechanisms both have.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rune of the Week: Pertho

This week's rune is Pertho. There's not really any poems to post. It basically is life where Eihwaz was death. It is a rune about our possibilities and potential. Our beginnings not our ends. It's also associated with games and play.

This is the sole poem for the rune:

"PeorĂ° is a source of recreation and amusement to the great,
where warriors sit blithely together in the banqueting-hall."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rune of the Week: Eihwaz

This week's rune is Eihwaz. It means "yew" and is generally associated with the world tree.

The poems are:

Yew is on the outside
a rough tree
and hard, firm in the earth,
keeper of the fire,
supported by roots,
[it is a]joy on the estate.

Old Norse rune poem:
Yew is the greenest wood in winter;
there is usually, when it burns, singing.

Old Islandic rune poem:
bow, rainbow - "descendent of Yngvi"
Yew is a strong bow,
and brittle iron,
and Farbauti [a giant] of the arrow.

An interesting explanation of the rune comes to us from Barbelith poster, Cusm:
"The world tree. Motion along the vertical axis. Access to heaven and hel. The inner strength to change the self. Backbone. But change, we know from tarot, is just a nice way to re-label Death.

The Yew tree grows in cemetaries, and is sometimes said to contain the spirits of the dead below its roots. Its wood is made into bows, giving strength to hunt and being death to others. Its bark emits a hallucenigenic gas, a shaman tied to it may venture to the underworld. This rune is death, and every aspect drawn from death.

Consider the bow. In your enemies hands, it is death to you. In yours, the threat of death brings power of banishing and warding. The secret of this rune is in access to the powers of death, and communication through them. It is great strength to those who wield it, a bane to those it happens upon."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thoth Tarot Tuesdays: Princess of Wands

This week's tarot is the Princess of Wands. The Princess of Wands is the earth of fire card. Which is to say it's the fuel. The princess is in some ways raw energy. She is naked because she is unimpeded in her access to and relationship with, the elements. Probably not surprisingly, she is quite moody, and prone to righteousness. When she has been wronged, it is not something she lets go unavenged. If it seems that way, it's because she is laying in wait to ambush.

The Princess of Wands is as Crowley says: "superficial and theatrical, completely shallow and false, yet without suspecting that she is anything of the sort, for she believes entirely in herself, even when it's apparent to the most ordinary observer she is merely in the spasm of mood. She is cruel, unreliable, faithless and domineering".

Her positive attributes is that she is all or nothing. When something enters her sphere she consumes it. Her love is total, as is her anger. In many ways she's quite the individual. Her beauty and energy can be inspiring and attracting. Even if at times she seems wholly irrational.

She's someone who will get her way regardless.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rune of the Week: Jera

Jera, meaning a good year. The plenty of the harvest.

Old Norse Rune Poem
Plenty is a boon to men;
I say that Frodi was generous.

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem
Summer is a joy to men, when God, the holy King of Heaven,
suffers the earth to bring forth shining fruits
for rich and poor alike.

Icelandic Rune Poem
Boon to men
and good summer
and thriving crops.

It's good to be king, if just for awhile. Jera is the good times rolling. Cornacopia. That bountiful plentiness you see in early Southern Literature. You'll also note the presence of Kaunaz in it's design. This is life to Kaunaz's death.

Not a bad rune.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tarot Thoth Tuesday: Two of Disks (Change)

This week's Ophelia.
Last Week's Tarot.

This week's tarot is the two of disks. This card is called Change. Which I think is fitting given that it's the Chokmah for an idea whose physical manifestation is wealth. Change, wealth...get it.

Anyways, Jupiter and Capricorn rule this card, which is a bit of a problem as they don't exactly make the perfect match. The meloncholy and pragmitism of Capricorn is a bit of a downer for the youthful verve and forward push of Jupiter. This of course hits on a core tenet of change which is that it's the result of two forces fighting for balance. In some ways change isn't really about change at all. Crowley uses the metaphor of the Universe again for this card, and that's kind of about right. When you think of the universe you think of this great big static whole, that is kind of always there. But when you look at the smaller details, that stability is built on constant motion, constant warring, and constant change. The yin and yang is prominent here. Two warring energies who together make a harmony. The card directly speaks to this in it's presentation of the snake in the shape of the infinite figure 8.

What we find upon meditation of these elements is that this is a pretty accurate and full description of what change actually means. We are accostumed to view change in terms of it's beginning and end, but change is actually the infinite middle. Real change doesn't start anywhere or end anywhere, it just is. We're talking about a process, not an ends.

Anywho. As a bonus treat, here is the cover for next week's Ophelia associated with this card:And if you're wondering. No that's not Ophelia. That's a new character that is going to be introduced, and who will become quite key to the story.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Photoshopping the Divine: Personal Anecdote # 7337

This will be a quick blog as I'm quite sleep deprived at this point. But the above is my extremely modest altar to Odin, I thought I'd share it. The plan is to eventually surround the thing with artwork(and not burn the house down(I may need to move it to a deeper shelf).

The idea I had was that since I'm poor, and can't feed my deities with a bunch of rum and whatever, I'll make them art(need to get better toner for my printer first) and frame it and put it around the room. I was thinking of this in relation to how in my webcomic I've got the pages sort of set up as altars to different aspects of the card I'm working with and the dieties I work with. I'm thinking a similar thing can be done with the specific purpose of honoring the various gods I deal with, in this case Odin. This will also serve to enhance the relationship, with all of these visual cues around the room(part of why I think Iconography is so popular in most religions--I think for some people this type of thing can definitely enhance the experience).

Anyways. I wanted to pass along the idea of collage altars. And show you the modest beginnings at play here, and maybe in a few months check back in with an update on the sitch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rune of the Week: Isa

This week's rune is Isa. Meaning Ice. The poems are:

The Old Norse Rune Poem
Ice we call the broad bridge;
the blind man must be led.

The Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem
Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon.

The Icelandic Rune Poem
Bark of rivers
and roof of the wave
and destruction of the doomed.

We see in the poems a multi-faceted depiction of Ice. We see it's functionality and utility in the bridge, it's beauty in the gems it resembles, and then it's destruction in the waves. One thing that is interesting to note is that the first two poems focus on positive aspects with one negative caveat, and then in the final icelandic poem, that formula is reversed.

This is another one of those raw elemental force runes.
Gems are beautiful because they don't move, they're stationary, and always there for us to look at. For what it's worth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tarot Thoth Tuesday: Ten of Disks (Wealth)

If you didn't know, issue two of my webcomic Ophelia came out today.

And that also means it's time for a new installment of tarot thoth tuesdays. This week's card is the Ten of Disks-Wealth.

The ten of disks card is actually technically the last card of the deck. Because it is a disk card, it is also an earth card, and because of this it is the last group that goes down over the tree of life. And since it's a ten, it lands in Malkuth, which is the kingdom. Malkuth is sort of defined as the complete opposite of the abstract spiritual idea that kicks the whole process off. This is the peak physical manifestation of the journey through the sephiroth. It has a function similar to the Universe trump, in that it's a pretty positive card in that it's about wisdom, and true happiness--because it's the last card, it's also the mirror of the very very first card. So the whole of the tarot deck is building to this card.

Crowley writes of this card:
The Ten of Disks is called Wealth. Here again is written this constantly recurring doctrine, that as soon as one gets to the bottom one finds oneself at the top: and Wealth is given to Mercury in Virgo. When wealth accumulates beyond a certain point, it must either become completely inert and cease to be wealth, or call in the aid of intelligence to use it rightly. This must necessarily happen in spheres which have nothing to do with material possessions as such. In this way, Carenegie establishes a Library, Rockefeller endows Research, simply because there is nothing else to do.

There is another view to consider, that this is the last of all the cards, and therefore representes the sum total of all work that has been done from the beginning. Therefore, in it is drawn the very figure of the Tree of Life itself. This card, to the other thirty-five small cards, is what the twenty-first Trump, the Universe, is to the rest of the trumps....the symbol of the uniting of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, the accomplishment of the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness."

So in some respects it's both the first and the last card, because the imminations are never static, and while it represents an end, it also represents a beginning. This is probably the most transparent way I use this card for the next issue of the book. But a lot of the other themes are only going to be apparent as we get further down the road into the story.

Anyways. That's this week's card.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rune of the Week: Naudiz

First off, the launch of my webcomic has gone really well, and thanks to everyone who has taken a gander, and I hope it was enjoyable. If you still haven't read it, it's called Ophelia, and it's here.

Obviously it's Wednesday, so it's rune day. Today's rune is Naudiz. Naudiz means "need".

The three poems are:

Old Norse Rune Poem
Constraint gives scant choice;
a naked man is chilled by the frost.

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem
Trouble is oppressive to the heart;
yet often it proves a source of help and salvation
to the children of men, to everyone who heeds it betimes.

The Icelandic Rune Poem
Grief of the bond-maid
and state of oppression
and toilsome work.

The vision of need presented in the poems here is one born out of pain and trouble. It's the lemonade of that damn lemon tree, if the lemon tree fell on your house and made you homeless.

Here's a very lucid explanation from the Barbelith poster cusm:

"Naudhiz is another two edged rune. Need implies lacking, and hardship. Freya Aswynn links this with the future, the norn Skald, Niffleheim (the low underworld of mists), and fears. A need is something inherently connected to the future, as something to be fulfilled or quested for. It inspires action. It is also a signal of distress, should you make your need public. The need fires burn to call for help.

This rune is often used for protection, as a ward against trouble, to call for help, or to aid in meeting a need.

The positive side is in dealing with a need in a timely manner. Should the need be fulfilled early, hardship is avoided and prosperity maintained. It can serve as a warning, of dangers unforseen. Heeded, safety is found. Needs are fulfilled.

The fire burns in the night to ward off cold and preserve life. Fire is a basic essencial need, like food and shelter. "

So maybe this is a week to let your needs be known and see what kind of aid you can get to your cause?