Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hoop Skirts and Clockwork

So, around March of last year, I decided to buck up and be an Artist in the Jackson Southern Fried Comic-Con. Just one problem: I didn't know what to do. My roomie & anime convention veteran had an awesome gimmick- different characters as cats. Original, impressive, & adorable. I, however, do not have the drawing mastery of cute & cuddly animals she has. So we brainstormed & thought about it, & I finally got it.

I like movies/TVshows/anime. I like steampunk. I'm from the South. Let's throw it all together!

Introducing Steampunk Magnolias, a series of different characters put in the steampunk version of the Antebellum South.

I started with Batman's rogue's gallery
based on a costume I own for the most part. Need the red tights & shoes.

Someone called him the David Bowie Joker. I totally don't mind.

Moved to Final Fantasy VIIJust call him Confederoth

Some anime

WatchmenYes, that is a pickled squid. :3

& some fun movies.

See the rest of the series here. All Characters (c) their respective owners. Any ideas for the next batch?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Gift of the Golden Rectangle

So I'm actually gonna get all bloggy with my bad self. Sue me.

I'm a Mississippi girl & proud of it. Sundresses, preference of going barefoot, fried food, the works. The South is part of who I am & a fraction of that tends to show through my artwork.
Then I pop out art like this:

Here's my secret- I'm also a National Geographic girl.

Growing up in my house, fashion magazines were not that prevalent. No Vogue. No Elle. No Marie Claire. My mom had Southern Living & Better Homes & Gardens, which was boring because all the pictures were of food and houses. There were a couple issues of McCalls & Redbook her friend had given her that I hoarded and poured over (cause mommy fashion mags are swank, yo), but those were unique cases.

The other magazine n the house was the National Geographic.
How I lived to be told to check the mail and find that beautiful brown paper wrapping in the mailbox. I made a goal to rip open that sucker & read it before my dad. Even though I didn't always read it; my focus was on the pictures. Gorgeous, candid, world expanding pictures that blew a little kid's mind might've started her reading the dictionary for entertainment. (Odd, I know. I was that kind of kid.)

What really stuck with me was how Nat Geo presented people, and women in particular. In this model-infested, beauty-obsessed society, these chicks were Real. They had problems and fears and insecurities, and it showed in their faces. The women were not often thin. Dirt was on their feet and lines on their faces. But they were (& are) gorgeous. Ladies in saris, burkhas, babushkas, and tattered dresses have been the most beautiful women I've ever seen. They were beautiful because they were real and imperfect. (Take THAT Lady Gaga!) Here's just a taste of what I'm talking about:
There are a few issues I've read over & over, staying with me through the years. I brought them to college with me.

'African Marriage Rituals' November 2000: I nearly wore the cover off this issue. Whether they wear Berber veils, Ndebe beads, or Himba skins, every girl shares the universal experience of being a bride. The same emotions in western weddings are here too: joy, nostalgia, anxiety, even fear. As different and strange as each wedding is, I am reminded we are all the same as humans.

'Rana Tharu' September 2000: The article describes them as women of grace & it couldn't be more true. They wear homemade dresses, live in conditions we couldn't dream of, & yet they are fiercely proud, independent and strong. There is such strength in their gazes, I couldn't help but admire them.

'Untouchables' June 2003; Very much resonated with me & my loathing for unfair discrimination. It was the first time I felt a calling to the mission field. It would not be the last.

So, all those feral, tribal, powerful women I tend to draw, the come from here.These strong, imperfect, Real women were my supermodels and glamour girls growing up. And I'm proud of that. Just today I bought an old issue of Nat Geo at our Goodwill store. It's from 1978 & has an article about the marriage of a Swazi princess to a Zulu king. I can't wait to read it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oddford 25: Scheming Sneezes

Sorry Sarah, but you're a bit of a voice of reason at Oddford High, and some chaos needs to happen.

I thought how cute it would be if Sarah's friends take care of her when she's sick. It fit in perfectly with the current arc, so here it is. And oh yes, on some level, Karen *knows*.

Sarah, Labyrinth boys (c) Henson, Jones, Froud
Oddford (c) me

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oddford 24 New Kid in Town

Perfectly Valid Excuse #34: DA (where I ref all my descriptions for Oddford pages) was down for the first few weeks of school. Honest.

Rodion sure looks like one of those brooding charmers. Girls always seem to love that. Except for Sarah. it rare anything with a Y chromosome impresses her these days.

Obviously, I've been having fun with my visual coding. Spot the symbolism and win the internet. Hopefully I put in enough clues as to exactly where their biology teacher has been ;).

Sarah (c) Henson, Jones, Froud
Helena (c) Henson, Gaiman, McKean
Rodion (c) Dostoevsky
Turner (c) Disney, Rossio, and Elliot
Landon (c) legacy of Gaiman
Dr. Grant (c) Speilburg, Chricton
Calria, Oddford (c) ME

& I just figured out my sis-in-law & I have the same taste in blog layouts. Check her out:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oddford 23: No Good Deed

...Goes without a left-handed blessing. Calria is getting used to her terms of the Sarah/Jareth diplomacy contract, only to fear or her life on the way to school.

After 23 pages, I figured ya'll deserve some fanservice for your dedication. There's also a shout out to Ergo Proxy if you can find it. & kids, let this be a lesson to you, never ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Even if your mohawk does look that cool.

Sarah (c) Henson, Froud, Jones
Calria & Caleb (c) me

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oddford 22:

This is not an excuse, but I am babysitting, kay. I'm exhausted by the time I get home. Yet in some way, Oddford marches on.
If you thought Oddford was just going to be cute gags and obscure movie references, I am sorry for misleading you. Calria is the firstborn child of a High King. Complications will happen. Her cousin/guardian is a vassal king with a past.

Said past is about to catch up with him, and they are not happy he's put family before hedonism. Watch for further complications.

I suppose you're wondering as well, why is the protagonist of Crime and Punishment now an incubus? Well, summer before junior year of high school, I was assigned to read that book and do an annotation by a certain due date.

I wasn't reading enough to reach that due date, so my mother grounded me from the Internet until I finished the book. I read at least six hours of Crazy Russian a day for two weeks. It was an experience bordering on mental transcendence. I understood afterwards that there is a seduction in madness. It is as much a temptation and desire as for vice. That is what Rodya represents here. The temptation to turn your back on all your hopes and friends.

Jareth (c) Froud, Henson, Jones
Raskolnikov (c) Dostoyevsky
Dorian Grey (c) Wilde

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oddford 21: Doctor and Doctor

Sorry for the missing two posts. I was busy prepping and recovering from going to my first convention. Recap post to come.

Hooray! Oddford gets herself a real plot. *tear* I'm so proud. & we get to see the kind of buddies Jareth gets to have. You probably can't tell, but Giacomo is my best attempt at David Tennant's excellent portrayal of Casanova in the titular Masterpiece program. Hopefully, I shall improve with time.

& yes, Oddford's doctor is THAT Dr. Pierce.

Jareth (c) Henson, Jones, Froud
Jack & Johnny of Penelope (c) Witherspoon (I think)
Casanova (c) BBC, Tennant
Hawkeye (c) Alda

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oddford 20: Glitter Abuse

Biggest cure for boredom in Oddford: tease Sarah Williams.

About where Wes is working. I was once employed part-time at a suspiciously similar retail chain that carries little girls' clothes and will host birthday parties for the clientele. Part of our jobs at a party was to give all the girls glitter-heavy makeovers. Cannot tell you how many times I've wanted to do this to one of the girls.

Wes- psuedo Goldman
Sarah- Froud and Henson
Matilda- Dahl
Oddford- me

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oddford 19: Ladies Doth Protest

You get a group of girls in one room watching a movie with an ensemble of guys, this will happen. I guarantee it. At least with me & my girlfriends.

Yay for tag-team denial. Keeps the fan-comic industry in business. If we could make money off this. Which we don't. Or I wouldn't have to work retail.

The inspiration for this page was actually when I found out that Jennifer Connelly is married to Paul Bettany (who plays Chaucer) in real life. Go Google Image a picture of him & tell me there's not a slight resemblance to you-know-who-in-the-tight-pants.

Sarah (c) Henson
Helena (c) Henson
Wes (c) psuedo-Goldman
A Knight's Tale (c) not me
Calria, Oddford (c) me

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oddford 18: Blessed Cynicism

In which Oddford gets more surreal as Sarah finds out she is not the center of Mr. Jareth Marline's universe (supposedly). Also the end of the church arc. Though God may still be present in more pages of the comic. (He often does that in life as well).

Sarah, Jareth (c) Henson and Froud
Calria, Oddford (c) Me

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I have no idea about soccer but,

The Spanish have amazing animation!

A few days ago I stumbled across the small and sadly under-marketed film Nocturna from Spain's Headless Productions. It is officially my favorite animation of 2010. The 2D film has an excellent story, beautifully whimsical design, Adorable characters, and the animation is to die for. I haven't seen such clean lines or gesture since Kells! (I wonder if I could study abroad in Ireland or Spain ;).) Here is the trailer. I had to use the magic of the internet to actually get it (result of that unfair marketing), but hey, totally worth a look.

In response to that awesomness, I've been practicing my animation. Here is the beginning of my poor excuse of a demo reel:

And speaking of the World Cup, I'm not much of a sports fan but the music to come out of this event is phenomenal.

I think this is what Heaven will sound like.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oddford 17: New Church Family

Having Oddford set down here in Mississippi I don't think would be as relatable to others elsewhere. So I'm putting Oddford somewhere in the South Carolina/Northern Georgia general area, which seems a little more neutral to me. Atlanta is the nearest metropolis I could think of.

Guide for those unaccustomed to church culture:

New members- In the Southern Baptist Churches I'm used to, whenever a family joins the church family, they are called to the front of the church after the sermon so the rest of the body can welcome them on their way out. I was about four when we joined our current church and still remember meeting everyone.

Personal backstories: The story of how a person comes to Christ is called their testimony. At my church, a person's testimony is told during their baptism, or as part of a service to give the sermon context. I put a testimony here, because A) We needed to know vital info about the characters' relationship with God & B) it's nice to know where a person stands when you meet them.

Missionary dating- A term used in youth groups to describe dating a non-Christian under the excuse of "I'll bring him/her to Christ by dating them" Term often used with the Scripture reference of "do not be yoked with an unbeliever". It is not reported to work well, as it is easier to pull a person down than pull them up.

Thanks for sitting through the churchyness. If you want my explanation for why Fae royalty is in church, look here: [link]

Sarah, Jareth, ect. (c) Jim Henson
Calria, Caleb, Oddford (c) me

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oddford 16: Every Knee will Bow

And He is, you know. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, no matter what country (or reality). Yes, a solid chunk of the Oddford cast is Christian. So what? I'm not preaching; they just are. If you don't like it, up on the top left is a back button, and clicking it won't hurt my feelings. Sorry to sound so abrasive, but the last thing I want is a philosophical debate on something that's supposed to be fun.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oddford 15: Unforseen Problems

So for once, Sarah isn't the one in denial, and she has leverage. P.S.- I totally claim monkey-elf as a descriptive term. And yes, it is THAT Lydia with the odd friend.

A note to the kiddies: Sarah and Calria are being bad. ALWAYS wear your seatbelt. Thank you.
Sarah (c) Henson
the outfits inspired by Baum and MacGuire
Calria and Oddford (c) me

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Procrastination is one of my better qualities

I'd blame school for not being consistent but school ended three weeks ago. So I'm not a consistent blogger; C'est la vie. As an apology, here's the rest of the New York trip in mostly cartoons:

Day 4- March 14th
Got up early and was nearly run over by two half-naked Japanese boys on the way to the bathroom. (ahh hostels)Spent a lovely morning walking around the Village. Was a little culture shocked to see everyone out walking their dogs instead of going to church.
Had the best cupcakes in the world at Magnolia Bakery and bought absinthe gumballs in Urban Outfitters. (Most common question- Do they have actual absinthe in them? Me- *shrug*)
Got a touch annoyed with postmodernism at the Whitney.
Note: The folks in this photo happen to be my drawing professor on the right & his daughter, Leigh of the amazing blog Marvelous Kiddo. Go check it out sometime.
Funny thing happened though. A man and his wife were discussing a piece, and the husband was explaining all the deep subtext of putting a fly in one corner. The wife simply blew on the painting and the fly buzzed away. That woman is my hero.Spent the night in.

Day 5- March 15th

Spent the morning shopping with my friends and, being a large girl, felt like an absolute cow trying on clothes. (Got a cute shirt on sale in H&M though. Booyah!)

I did have fun practicing my contact juggling in Urban Outfitters though.
We got to the airport that afternoon. I with the last of the group to get to the shuttle platform when I saw the train pull up. I am rather proud of my momma hen/drill sergeant moment where I got everyone in my group on the train.
We had several hours layover in Atlanta where we talked and looked around.
But one of my friends did not look and see the great big sign she ran into.

That's finally it for the NYC recap, and in other news, Oddford starts back tomorrow! (& I mean tomorrow this time!) It's back by popular demand, so stay tuned. :D

Friday, April 23, 2010

Long Overdue NYC Recap: Day 3

Went to the Met.
(There was much squeeing over the Degas rooms.)
(and the arms/weaponry. Lots of weaponry. :D)
(Young Woman Drawing by Marie-Denise Villers. That's right, a chick in Neoclassical France. Atta girl!)

Got lost in the Met.

Several times.
Went through the rain to a vintage store recommended to us and found out it was not as price-friendly as our local vintage thrift store back home. Went through the rain to Times Square. Stood in the rain while the others got tickets. Got lost in the rain looking for a restaurant until we settled for a pizza place instead. Tried canoli in said pizza place and had a good laugh at George Michael on the television. Went through the rain back to the hostel. Narrowly avoided a case of trench foot from -well looky there- walking in the rain all day. Had a very funny, very art-geek conversation with part of the group. Turned in early.

Funniest part of the day:I am now Yoko. (Long story)

Surreal-est part of the day:Getting lost in Egypt looking for a restroom

Worst part of the day:Wind+Rain+Puddles+Converse= Miserable