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My favorite sign at the Women’s March on Washington thus far just says “I’m Afraid.” Thank you, fellow ladies.

I am not looking forward to the future. It’s hard to have your viewpoint as a depressive person validated so clearly- how am I supposed to tell myself that my brain is tricking me into thinking the future’s not worth it when my country elected someone who insists on trampling everything – Everything (Who needs clean air? Or to be considered a person? Or to be paid properly? Or to have any nature left? Or PBS? Or to get an education? I saw someone mentioning their public library will probably be turned into a taco bowl dispensary, I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if that started happening.) – I care about? Who has done such awful things to women? Who thinks the Violence Against Women Act doesn’t matter? What exactly am I supposed to hope for? Oh right, time travel slash reincarnation so I can go back in time and be born rich and powerful so I don’t have to worry constantly about these things. But that’s not right. And if no one showed up at the inauguration from the past to swipe those Bibles away and yell “Psyche, this can’t happen!”, we’re totally not getting time travel. Damnit.

As always, The Onion is on point

However, I am also inspired by seeing so many women in Washington, DC (Hi, Evelyn!) and so many sister marches. Agitate the fuck out of that illegitimate idiot. Remind him that he and his administration are the worthless ones because they aren’t capable of actually performing any public service. It’s hard to serve the public. It forces you to think that the rest of the country are people too. It forces you to confront our shared humanity and can teach people how to be kind. Elected officials, though, are not kings, are not dictators, are not truly “in charge,” their job is to serve us. Our job is to make them.

Miss Peregrine can look forward and she's one of few reasons I try to.

Miss Peregrine can look forward and she’s one of few reasons I try to.

 

Miss Ozma, about to take down some patriarchal bullshit. As usual.

Miss Ozma, about to take down some patriarchal bullshit. As usual.

I also wanted to announce that since the only things I can contemplate writing about as of yesterday are horror and mental illness, that’s what I’ll be covering for the rest of the year. I’ve read many a horror novel, and I’ve managed to not already “review” some of the books on mental illness that I’ve read. I want to be useful, it’s always been one of my goals. I know that I have been before, so I’ll continue to bring the bitter but usually also funny viewpoint I have as a member of the lost generation until I’m rounded up as Obsolete, along with the satisfyingly calming guinea pig photos.

 

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There’s a new, rather dramatic mouse corpse in my basement.

While attempting to finish the piggy laundry today, I noticed a dead mouse in the basement. But it’s not just dead, it’s dramatically dead… upside-down, arms splayed, head thrown back, probably did a soliloquy on the way out dead. And because it’s being so attention grabbing, I was reminded that I have a store that I could be promoting more dramatically because tomorrow (October 17th) things are going to be 20% off. You may use this code: twentyoff-guineapigsbooks

A store full of guinea pig stuff!

Some of my items go nicely with The Walking Dead…which premieres next week, watch while wearing a jaunty scarf from the end of the apparel section.

Many items are Halloween appropriate, especially the Pigoween stuff.

Finny would like you to know that without the support of viewers like you, he might not make it into more than the two paintings (iPiggie and The Finny Awakens) you can currently get on throw pillows.

Finny would like you to know that without the support of viewers like you, he might not make it into more than the two paintings ( iPiggie and The Finny Awakens ) you can currently get on throw pillows.

 

 

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I’ve finished 47 paintings, 8 silkscreens, put out 1 e-book, and carved out my own little corner of an online store so far this year. Last year I did a little less. A little.

Seventeen of the eighteen "blind paintings" I finished. All of these will be available for an adorably low price at Wizard World Chicago, but they will also be wrapped up so no one knows which painting they're getting. Drawing and painting eight animal and bird skulls in one weekend is not something I advise anyone to do, regardless of how much they used to like painting skulls.

Seventeen of the eighteen “blind paintings” I finished. All of these will be available for an adorably low price at Wizard World Chicago, but they will also be wrapped up so no one knows which painting they’re getting. Drawing and painting eight animal and bird skulls in one weekend is not something I advise anyone to do, regardless of how much they used to like painting skulls.

 

All the printing for Chicago! I do think my Army of Dangers tea towel is my favorite of the five images I've printed on tea towels this year.

All the printing for Chicago! I do think my Army of Dangers tea towel is my favorite of the five images I’ve printed on tea towels this year.

 

Postcard swag.

Postcard swag. After the reception my images received at Wizard World Madison, I wanted to make it more possible to take home my aesthetic and I’m pretty fond of postcards.

Some of the images on these are no longer available in any handmade format… all three Danger Crumples takes over for Christopher Pike paintings went to a good home. And the one of Danger with the white starburst behind him was solely a commission. But! Fear not, anyone who picked up my cute little Merricat with the Zebras record, turned it over looking for a price, and then had to ask me only to recoil in slight shock (I like that one too), I had both postcards made AND posters. The poster is bigger than the painting, but still looks sassy thanks to my friend Rebecca’s skills.  Enjoy McWikken, Army of Dangers, Danger Dixon (not pictured, previously posted), and both Danger Who paintings (“) are also now available in full color posters – I didn’t get very many made, and of course, they are only purchasable in person from my booth at Wizard World Chicago August 18-19-20-21.

AND, to keep going yet longer, I also made several of my images available to be purchased on a variety of things via Redbubble . A link to my profile page is at the bottom of my blog, also on my About page, and I’ll have a more thorough post coming about my store in a few days so I can showcase all the products I think are particularly amusing. Here is a teaser photo –

The real reason I chose to put stuff up for sale besides being asked quite few times if I sold online (I sell handmade things in person, non-handmade online), I can now get Merricat on a throw pillow. And Horace. And Pere. And I can get a guinea pig skull duvet cover. It's ridiculous.

The real reason I chose to put stuff up for sale on Redbubble besides being asked quite a few times if I sold online (I sell handmade things in person, non-handmade online), I can now get Merricat on a throw pillow. And Horace. And Pere. All the throw pillows! And I can get a guinea pig skull duvet cover, or Finny as the antichrist on a duvet cover, or the golden Danger Crumples (not pictured). It’s ridiculous. I could have the weirdest couch decor ever. So could you, gentle reader. So could you.

 

47 Paintings, 8 Silkscreens, 1 Link – Wizard World Chicago profile

For those who cannot come to Chicago and wish to work on the amount of guinea pigs visually available in their home – my Redbubble profile

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I’ve been told I’m not good at recommending this movie…

The final John Carpenter film to receive the three pig painting treatment is Prince of Darkness. I tried to explain this movie to a friend of mine in the not so distant past and was told that I wasn’t really “selling” it by explaining that I like it, it seems pretty long, and that a lot of people seem to think it’s boring – but it has some really nice green tones and there’s what I describe as “Satan juice” in it. And old computers. And a very nicely lit classroom scene and this repeated shared dream sequence where the antichrist appears but it looks like the tracking needs to be adjusted. I see where he was coming from, but, I forgot to mention Alice Cooper was in it, so, that was probably the whole problem.

See? Satan juice. Corrosive Satan juice is compelling Pere and Ozma to wear 80s colors and reach out expressionlessly. I accidentally squirted half of my tube of titanium white on this when I was finishing the detailing...but I fixed it. Mostly.

See? Satan juice. Corrosive Satan juice is compelling Peregrine and Ozma to wear 80s smock-style shirts and reach out expressionlessly. I accidentally squirted half of my tube of titanium white on this when I was finishing the detailing…but I fixed it. Mostly.

 

There's also a scene where one student is translating some text and there's like a possessed computer moment where it says non-happiness inducing things, I've amended it a bit... the original messages did not involve hay. I assume because losing hay would be far too shocking for the world.

There’s also a scene where one student is translating some text and there’s like a possessed computer moment where it says non-happiness inducing things, I’ve amended it a bit- the original messages did not involve hay. I assume because losing hay would be far too shocking for the world. This image is going to be available as a postcard at Wizard World Chicago, as part of the movie set of postcards. So if you know any guinea pigs that can read and that you wish to play evil jokes on, I’ve got you covered.

 

Horace steps right into his role.

Horace steps right into his role. He’s also letting me know I messed up his little orange eyebrow.

 

The Finny Awakens

The Finny Awakens

 

These paintings also mark the painting debut of Finny, as the antichrist, the role he was born to play. He's not very happy about it. Too on the nose, perhaps.

These also mark the painting debut of Finny, as the antichrist, the role he was born to play. He’s not very happy about it. Too on the nose, perhaps.

I am one of several Smiths, yet again – Wizard World Chicago profile

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Shop smart. Shop…

…at the Guinea Pigs and Books booth at Wizard World Chicago, August 18-19-20-21.  Yeah, I know, that bit of terrible word play is not really going to pass muster; however, I have a good excuse in that I’ve been using most of my brain to work on paintings again. Paintings like these:

Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Very fluffy.

Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Very fluffy.

 

Danger Dixon-Rachel E. Smith

Guinea pigs sit down to use crossbows. They sure do.

 

Danger Crumples has taken over for Ash and Daryl this time around. Oh, and also Blaine.

 

iPiggie - Where I dared to question whether or not guinea pigs would use chopsticks, eat brains, and if Horace would dare to wear a sweater vest. They can do all those things, through the painful magic of painting.

iPiggie – Where I dared to question whether or not guinea pigs would use chopsticks, eat brains, and if Horace would dare to wear a sweater vest. They can do all those things, through the painful magic of painting.

These are but three of the six new paintings I’ve done since the Madison convention in April – six! And you bet there are Danger Dixon and Army of Dangers tea towels (and also prints on paper), Danger parodies only truly work if there are kitchen accoutrements. Plus, as established, I am a bit of a lunatic and I like tea towels with strange things on them. My kitchen will never be boring. Yours doesn’t have to be either.

Oh, and I should warn you, iPiggie is only available in mildly expensive painting and much cheaper postcard format. The world could not withstand the complications of an iPiggie tea towel. By the world I mean me, printing simplified versions of my two Danger designs was torturous enough.

Come facilitate further torture at Wizard World Chicago! Whee!

Here we go again with the linkage – Wizard World Chicago profile

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In which Peregrine becomes a bad babysitter.

Today is the first day of Wizard World Madison ( my profile on the Wizard World site ). There are only two days left to see my half-smiling face behind a table, unless I’m not there because I escaped to track down the Phantasm t-shirt I regretted not buying last year or I’m jumping through a wall of Funko Pop boxes like the Kool-Aid Man out of sheer joy.

Last, but certainly not least, in my “John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs” series is Pigoween (Halloween, such a difference a “pig” makes). This one has my favorite title card painting and features my Wisconsin-pig ladies Merricat, Ozma, and Peregrine – and Peregrine’s comically-sized phone. Also Michael Myers. Stalking babysitters has never been so cute.

The Pigoween title card. Lady pigs Merricat, Ozma, and Peregrine walkin' down some foliage-lined street.

The Pigoween title card. Lady pigs Merricat, Ozma, and Peregrine walkin’ down some foliage-lined street.

 

Merricat, suddenly cardigan-less, being stared at by Michael Myers.

Merricat, suddenly cardigan-less, being stared at by Michael Myers.

 

Peregrine is On. The. Phone.

Peregrine is On. The. Phone.

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Consider the Dangers.

My little man.

My little man.

Danger Crumples was the most important guinea pig I’ll ever have. I love all my pigs, they’re all so completely special to me, but Danger Crumples always stood out. He was very clearly the star.  As far as I’m concerned, he always will be. There’s no denying his charisma- I can’t think of anyone who saw him in person that didn’t want to pet him or didn’t try to get his attention. He’s pretty unforgettable.

On January 22nd, he passed away after a relatively swift decline. I stayed with him the entire time, making sure my best friend and the most consistently inspiring of all my muses knew how important and loved he was and still is. I also had him cremated so that he has to come with me wherever I move for the rest of time. He’d already lived in three states with me and taken every transition remarkably well, so, now he’s stuck in his bamboo box with a fly nameplate.

I was working on drawings of him for paintings and prints to bring to Wizard World Madison when he passed. As usual, he took some major roles – the tenth Doctor, the eleventh Doctor, the captain of the Elizabeth Dane-ger in Pigs in the Fog, an infected expedition member in The Pig – so he’s The Pig aka The Thing, anyway, YA author Christopher Pike, 1990s YA book cover model for said Christopher Pike takeover, and a little bit of the role of his not-real twin spirit- Hello Kitty. It’s very hard for me to draw and paint my pigs after they pass, so I left the painting of the Dangers until practically the last minute of my painting “schedule” and ended up painting seven Dangers at once. That was hard.

The seven Dangers.

The seven Dangers.

 

The Danger Who original paintings and Hello Danger.

The Danger Who original paintings and Hello Danger.

 

The Christopher Pike-Danger Crumples takeover. Danger Crumples Is Pigture Perfect.

The Christopher Pike-Danger Crumples takeover. Danger Crumples Is Pigture Perfect.

 

Being both the author and cover star made it seem appropriate to make the titles a bit more literal - Danger Crumples...In a Car with a Skeleton.

Being both the author and cover star made it seem appropriate to make the titles a bit more literal – Danger Crumples…In a Car with a Skeleton.

 

The biggest one - where Danger Crumples is joined by friends Ozymandias and Horace - Pigs in a Graveyard

The biggest one – where Danger Crumples is joined by friends Ozymandias and Horace – Pigs in a Graveyard.

 

( my profile on the Wizard World site )

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Are guinea pig parody paintings better than movie remakes?

My answer would be: probably. I would certainly enjoy a remake of The Fog starring guinea pigs, which is why I made The Fog the second target of my “John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs” series of paintings, available at Wizard World Madison April 8-9-10 ( my profile on the Wizard World site ).

Once nice thing about Carpenter's often short titles - they really leave themselves open for guinea pig parody. Also, Danger Crumples would have been an excellent pirate captain.

Once nice thing about Carpenter’s often short titles – they really leave themselves open for guinea pig parody. Also, Danger Crumples would have been an excellent pirate captain.

 

Horace and Ozma face a leper pirate inside their awkwardly spaced truck.

Horace and Ozma face a leper pirate inside their awkwardly spaced truck.

 

When I chose Merricat to replace Adrienne Barbeau's DJ character Stevie Wayne, I knew that she wasn't going to be playing jazz records in between warnings about the fog... She's got Zebras' The City of Sun, one of my favorite records from last year by the best band from(ish) Madison in my favorite of all my John Carpenter's Guinea Pigs paintings. Not priced to move.

When I chose Merricat to replace Adrienne Barbeau’s DJ character Stevie Wayne, I knew that she wasn’t going to be playing jazz records in between warnings about the fog… She’s got Zebras’ The City of Sun, one of my favorite records from last year by the best band from(ish) Madison in my favorite of all my John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs paintings. Not priced to move.

 

Despite the obvious futility, I always try to photograph the pigs featured in my paintings next to the paintings (unfortunately, neither Merricat nor Danger Crumples were available by the time I finished these). Horace and Ozma are not interested in my work. Of course they aren't. They don't even know I menaced them with leper pirates.

Despite the obvious futility, I always try to photograph the pigs featured in my paintings next to the paintings (unfortunately, neither Merricat nor Danger Crumples were available by the time I finished these). Horace and Ozma are not interested in my work. Of course they aren’t. They don’t even know I menaced them with leper pirates.

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Tea towel-palooza

So, this one time, in order to make things to sell at Wizard World Madison – my profile on the Wizard World site – I decided that I should do a massive amount of screen printing in one day and I deemed that day “Tea Towelpalooza,” the results of this lunacy are displayed below. I will be bringing all the successful prints I finished that day to Wizard World Madison on April 8-9-10, and as I am a big fan of unusual kitchen things (especially novelty tea towels, ever since I didn’t buy a Nick Cave tea towel the first time I ever saw one at a show in Manchester in 2005 – Never again will I refrain from buying a Nick Cave tea towel! No more regrets!), thirtyish of those successful prints are on tea towels.

This is the end of having available space in my living room until the prints dried.

This is the end of having available space in my living room until the prints dried.

 

That's right, it's Parks and Rec fan art tea towels. I do love a skull or a mini-horse, and this has both; so, Bye bye, Li'l Sebastian, you're 5000 candles in the wind and this is my tribute.

That’s right, it’s Parks and Rec fan art tea towels. I do love a skull or a mini-horse, and this design I created has both; so, Bye bye, Li’l Sebastian, you’re 5000 candles in the wind and this is my tribute.

 

I hand painted in the red side of every pair of 3-D glasses. It was meticulous. I will never do it again. David Tennant is a major super awesome guest at Wizard World Madison, so I hope he likes my guinea pig parody of his turn as Doctor Who.

I hand painted in the red side of every pair of 3-D glasses. It was meticulous. I will never do it again. David Tennant is a major super awesome guest at Wizard World Madison, so I hope he enjoys my guinea pig parody of his turn as Doctor Who.

And here's Danger Crumples in red as Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. Putting a fez on Danger was impossible to resist. He also has a bow tie.

And here’s Danger Crumples in red and blue as Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor. Putting a fez on Danger was impossible to resist. He also has a bow tie.

 

The dissolving of the Danger Whos. I will only print these images once - some of them went badly and I had to re-paint my screen filler and print them again, but, there's still a serious level of singularity in that these hand pulled prints and tea towels are going to be available at Wizard World Madison first and it may be the only time my hand pulled, hand packaged versions of them will be available.

The dissolving of the Danger Whos. I will only print these images once – some of them went badly and I had to re-paint my screen filler and print them again, but, there’s still a serious level of singularity in that these hand pulled prints and tea towels are going to be available at Wizard World Madison first and it may be the only time my hand pulled, hand packaged versions of them will be available. Also, I know it’s weird to see my human kitchen. I’m a person who displays a still packaged coffee cup for squirrels. I’m not going to open it and make them coffee, I barely know how to make coffee.

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‘Please, use the word….”hamburger time” when speaking to us.’

Ah, Metalocalypse. So useful. So helpful. I’m not reviewing Metalocalypse, which is in some respects basically a lifestyle/aspirational show to me; I’m also not reviewing any books in this entry. It’s the year-end for this blog, and it’s been a rather shit year for me and the pigs, and that seems to happen a lot…anyway, I couldn’t post about either of these events when they happened because they hurt too much and frankly, they still hurt too much, I hate losing pigs. I hate hamburger time. This year hamburger time struck in April and October and could strike again at any time for my little Merricat.

P is for Pammy, who died of a massive amount of interior tumors. She was five years old and knew every single one of the pigs in my “I’m going to start keeping guinea pigs again” herd of late 2008, which is one small reason why I miss her so much. She had a little star-shaped feetsie (Mischa!) in every incident, every epidemic, every happy moment that herd went through. And she was also super cuddly and quite a bit classier than all the other pigs (sorry, other pigs, it’s true and you know it). She was my first teddy bear pig, she lived in three states, she went through an amazing amount for a guinea pig and I thought she was actually a Terminator. She was not. Or maybe she was. First generation guinea pig Terminator. She probably was.

Pammy with baby Twiglet.

Pammy with baby Twiglet.

Snuggling with Thaddeus, the Romeo to her Juliet, including balcony scenes.

Snuggling with Thaddeus, the Romeo to her Juliet, including balcony scenes.

Pillow-napping, with her squirrely buttskirt on full display.

Pillow-napping, with her squirrely buttskirt on full display.

Like I said previously, she wasn’t eaten and she never will be. She did have free reign to investigate the mixing bowls though.

Like I said previously, she wasn’t eaten and she never will be. She did have free reign to investigate the mixing bowls though.

After Thaddeus passed at Christmas, she was stuck with Ozy and Danger Crumples to follow her lead. Thankfully, they all got along together quite nicely.

After Thaddeus passed at Christmas, she was stuck with Ozy and Danger Crumples to follow her lead. Thankfully, they all got along together quite nicely.

O is for Ozymandias, and once again I say fuck bladder stones.

I found Ozy after Mortemer passed away. He had been returned to a place where I bought hay and guinea pig food, and when I stuck my finger in his cage, he sniffed me and immediately popcorned. I took that as the sign that he was meant to join my herd. He wanted Belvedere to love him, and was sort of okay with being friends with Danger Crumples most of the time (they did seem to enjoy solving mysteries together from my chair), he loved Pammy and was a good companion to her in her final months; most of all he was a sweetheart of a teddy bear pig. He took over a lot of Belvedere’s duties after he passed, like sitting behind me on the chair and checking on me every so often by suddenly appearing right next to my right eye and chewing on the bars to let me know he was still alive when I got home. He passed a stone shortly after I got him, which was really odd and a very surprising thing in my experience – Pickles’ stones were huge, Bel’s stones were huge, I don’t know how Ozy “lucked out” with smaller stones for two years – and I altered his diet completely to try to save him from more stones. It didn’t work forever, but it worked for almost three years. I miss him and his mournful vocal tone dearly, he was the last of my teddy bears.

Ozymandias with the blanket that only he was ever allowed to use.

Ozymandias with the blanket that only he was ever allowed to use.

Here he is cuddled under Mark Sandman.

Here he is cuddled under Mark Sandman.

Solving a mystery in a new room with Danger Crumples.

Solving a mystery in a new room with Danger Crumples.

Charming the ladies, as always, with Miss Peregrine, his last little girlfriend.

Charming the ladies, as always, with Miss Peregrine, his last little girlfriend.

Danger and Ozy, still trying to get somewhere other than the couch.

Danger and Ozy, still trying to get somewhere other than the couch.

Finally, M is for Merricat, who isn’t dead yet. Merricat is about one year old, I adopted her with Peregrine after Pammy passed, and she has been diagnosed with liver cancer. She and I have a very strong bond, so, of course she has craptastic-genes. We evolutionary mistakes have to stick together. I decided against chemotherapy because she is so tiny and I want her to enjoy what’s left of her life and the prognosis for a runt is not ever going to be great. So far, she has been demanding, territorial, runs around purring, and gazes out from under her log bridge like a tiny demon in the morning. She’s glorious. It’s possible that by the time this posts she’ll be gone and I’ll have lost three pigs this year and it will still feel like I’ve lost three million pigs. No more hamburger time!

My tiny demon.

My tiny demon.

Her antics occasionally tired Pere out.

Her antics occasionally tired Pere out.

Danger Crumples and Merricat are tired of being photographed.

Danger Crumples and Merricat are tired of being photographed.

Merricat, Peregrine, Ozymandias, and Danger Crumples. They were an excellent mini-herd.

Merricat, Peregrine, Ozymandias, and Danger Crumples. They were an excellent mini-herd.

And now, a song for my little ones, courtesy of Dethklok (the Toki ones are always the best):

 

 

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