3. Sabbath – Nick Mamatas
Like a knockoff Highlander, Hexen Sabbath has a cool name and a lady helping him through the modern world in addition to some knowledge drop from an angel into his 11th century head. What he does not have is an original plot to hang out in. The seven deadly sins are brought up frequently enough, Supernatural did them in with one episode, they were more dingy in the 1990s, and I did not find Sabbath had enough charisma or punch with his “I don’t die today because it’s not the right day, but maybe I do” thing.
I also had high hopes for the art gallery owner, but was disappointed that the show she’s trying to push was just a bullshit show even she knows is bullshit. Blank canvases? But you have her identifying 11th century crosses seconds earlier. Why doesn’t she have a show she really believes in? Wouldn’t that maybe make her more of a person who would be helpful and a solid lady character? Instead, there’s a drop-in angel who then peaces out and the gallery owner’s sometime hook up who at least knows some theology, but is also pretty one note…not unlike the choices for the sins, even if one is an obvious and disturbing political allegory for someone I’d like to stop reading about (not the author’s fault, just, it’s so now and so UGH).
The best parts really were the fight scenes. They were nicely choreographed and at least gave me something I’m not used to reading for a while and don’t have to take as fun on faith. If I can’t have a heroine who is both a forensic scientist and expert in metallurgy (or someone similarly informed), then I’ll take clangy and snazzy fight scenes.
I wanted this to be much more fun than it was. Carrying around a bag of heads should be more fun.
When Thorfinnur gets up from his nap, he’ll be ready to take on the other six deadly sins, forge some swords, and experience the quickening.
16. The Walls Around Us – Nova Ren Suma
The Year of the Pig is not over yet, but for my pigs it has been the year of Pig Death. Granted, one was terminal illness and two were really old age-related if you want to get down to it, but still. Three. I really should be reading and writing about A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck, as an aspirational thing or an impossible new year’s resolution, but, that would just be a title thing and a thing I want in year form. Instead, I have chosen a magical realism tale about a wrongfully imprisoned teen, her rightfully imprisoned cellmate, and the conscience-less ballerina who made their meeting happen…right before everyone in the child prison died and got all ghosty. Spoiler. Everyone dies. That’s a life spoiler.
The Walls Around Us is also a reminder of how talent makes people jealous. Even other talented people who are just insecure and need to realize that another talented person existing, especially one who does not have the advantages of money and support, is not going to hurt them. Advantages hurt people all the time, the ones who don’t have them, anyway.
Being born into or forced into a bad situation hurts too, which is why Amber the murderer in the story gained my sympathy to a large extent. Plus I totally get why she wants to dominate the book cart in juvie. Ori, who gets thrown into juvie for a crime she did not commit, well, she wasn’t born into good circumstances either and she is a massively talented ballerina. So she apparently has to pay, so that Violet the haver of all advantages and also technically a talented ballerina doesn’t have anyone to outshine her or make it clear she’s a criminal around.
The language in this book is beautiful and poetic in a way that did not bother me for once. I believe it’s because of how grounded it seemed. It didn’t seem like Nova Ren Suma was trying to avoid character development or the realities of these characters so she could wax lyrical about guilt or make life in prison an escapist fantasy (suck it, Suckerpunch), but it’s still a very unsettling story, both in plot and reading experience.
Also unsettling – how perfectly Ozma posed with paintings of herself, even at five years old. She was too cute. Too cute.
68. You – Caroline Kepnes
Stalk-stalkity-stalk-stalk-stalk. Okay. You reads quite quickly and is basically a great exploration of how not to end up in a relationship, how not to keep a relationship, how not to pursue anyone ever…it’s basically one giant flashing sign that says “DON’T” or like a relationship version of “Good Idea, Bad Idea” from Animaniacs.
Granted, the main character is a total stalker, but sometimes he makes decisions that seem kind of normal – manipulative and sad- but almost normal in this tech-driven age, and so it’s important to note that everything this narrator does is in the world of NO, just in case anyone thinks this book reads like stereo instructions. Sure it seems like a good idea to read things you know someone already likes before they know how hard you poured through their social media stuff to create a false sense of friendliness, but, how about waiting until they introduce it to you? Or just asking them about it instead of making it seem all spur of the moment connection when it’s really just your inner sociopath showing through before your shared laughter leads you to guide them into that cage in the basement? That’s at least a third, mutually agreed upon date thing. At least third. That way you know they suck before you have to worry about whether or not you want to release them from your basement cage. Think of the clean up.
Oh, side note, I watched the series well after originally writing this review and I stand by my Animaniacs comparison and, also, Joe really didn’t think about the clean up. It was all right, it did put a nice amount of emphasis on Ozma of Oz, and that’s my girl, so, I appreciated seeing her book since I don’t recall that aspect of the actual book.
Thaddeus never had to steal Pammy’s phone to learn her whereabouts since they lived in the same room and he whistled at her all the time anyway.
Filed under art, Books, Review
Tomorrow, I will be at Walker Stalker in Chicago! Tomorrow.
And this time, I am also planning on showing how my book cover parodies have become far more plentiful than they used to be. In the beginning, it was just Danger Crumples transforming Christopher Pike’s 1990s YA output, as seen here –
I do think with Danger Crumples I may actually have parodied these covers into being more coherent stories. Oops.
However, now that most of these are only available as postcards and I had more plays on piggie names in mind – more pigs have gotten their own book series and three of the paintings will be on display for the first time and also possibly the last time, I tend to make new things for every show that I do because I have a lot of ideas and very inspiring piglets.
Peregrine, crime boss and queen of my herd, finally got her own book series – Prey Street. And once again she meets with her most frightening enemy – the phone. This time she let Merricat pick it up, as if that would help.
Finny got a series too! Finnybumps, it’s very specific and allows him to intimidate Salem, just as he tries to from across the room every day.
This is my favorite new book cover parody. Ozma’s 80s horror paperback. There’s always been something ominous and yet flashy about how cute she is, which could only be expressed by painting her while drinking a lot of Tab.
Walker Stalker! Tomorrow! I know I’m no Jerry, who I won’t be able to see because I’ll be at my table, and I’m clearly not King Ezekiel, who I won’t be able to mention Hellraiser: Hellworld to (um, that movie has Khary Payton, future apparent (I haven’t seen it) downer Superman Henry Cavill, and the best but somewhat -to put it lightly – misused person on Vikings, Katheryn Winnick all in it, what a strange world we live in), but I hope someone comes and sees me anyway because I have a very wide range of stickers this time.
I am once again venturing out into the public to show my artwork and potentially sell a thing or two. This time I’ll be at Walker Stalker/Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in Chicago April 19, 20, &21 – I’m on the Walker Stalker side where my insistence on printing skulls and irreparably altering the world of horror to make it more guinea piggy makes more sense.
And now, a preview of some of the new stuff I’m bringing:
I’m not bringing Finny. He’ll be too busy riding his actual Big Wheel down haunted hallways.
Oh look, it’s the whole parody series of The Finning featuring Finny, Horace, and Mortemer- ready for you to stare at forever and ever. And ever.
I did finish this painting and I’m totally bringing it as long as nothing catastrophic happens at the scanning place I just took it to… As I’m on the zombie side of the convention, I continued my Romero parodying works with Peegshow. It really is finished though.
Night of the Living Ozma. She’s got her trowel, she’s black and whiteish and ready to eat someone controversially.
Stay tuned to this same guinea pig channel for a preview of the new book parodies. Yes, this time I will have much more evidence that my booth name Guinea Pigs and Books makes logical sense!
The traveling art show continues!! Next up GeekCraft Expo in St. Louis! It’s tomorrow!
I’m tempted to do that “Picnic game” they did on one of Daria’s best episodes, “Road Worrier,” only I’m not going to Alternapalooza, I’m going to GeekCraft Expo and I’m bringing…
Asbestos insulation, brine shrimp, the cryogencially frozen head of Walt Disney, a dromedary, a Eurocentric view of world history, and…
Finny as Samurai Finny with actual Finny! (Actual Finny will not be present. He’s not used to being around very many people, plus, not allowed.)
Daria, Jane, Trent, and Jesse did not get past “E” so now we’re in the clear and can skip to “I” for “iPiggie”
Ozma takes out one of my Liv Funko Pops in order to assert her dominance as the Liv in iPiggie – it’s a painting and a postcard.
Of course, now we skip from “I” to “P” for Porgegrine, available on posters and stickers and postcards so you can share the inspiration that a guinea pig Valkyrie can bring.
Some grumpy little icons.
GeekCraft Expo St. Louis is July 28&29 in the Grant Gym at Webster University. On Saturday it runs 10-5 and Sunday 10-4. Many hours to pick up something from me, the only person who ever has guinea pig art at these shows. It’s my niche and I’m sticking to it.
Have I mentioned that I’m going to be at SUPERCON? A few times? Well, here’s one more mention featuring works I’m actually bringing with me (unless something terrible and luggage related happens, then I’ll basically just have posters and postcards and two paintings):
First off, we have Pere-Barb, from my set of Stranger Things parodies, Danger Things. Peregrine does not want to be seen with Pere-Barb, I guess she doesn’t like her jacket.
Salem, like most guinea pigs, does not want to look at me the same way he looks in the painting. He’s following in the footsteps of greatness by being uncooperative. Also, for some reason this is hard to find on Threadless, so here’s a link. Real Guineas.
Brand new – Herdin’ 2 Electric Pigaloo, just in time if you need inspiration to save a community center of your very own! Ozma is running away from the responsibility. Running away – to Paris. Always go to Paris.
Pere is proud enough of her criminal empire to be photographed with the posters that you can ONLY get from me in person. Only. I’ll have them in my jacket.
And finally, these are most of the blind paintings that I will have. Now there are way more guinea pigs than skulls! (I do love skulls, there will be more skulls.) They are wrapped up and I have no idea which one is which because I was not in the room while they were wrapped. Each one is $5 and based on a Nancy Drew end paper. They’re literary. Like me and possibly you.
There are only SEVEN days until SUPERCON! !
My booth number is Q8. I will have things I painted and printed with my human hands and some of them are very new.
Like Salem. He’s really new.
Here’s Salem, with Ozma’s nose and Finny’s feet covered in popcorn. The first 80s movie he and I watched together was Real Genius. I adopted Salem to raise him right. Someday he’ll invent a laser that fills a house with popcorn. Someday.
I did more blind paintings – and more of them feature guinea pigs than they used to! And I have posters, postcards, stickers, tea towels, silkscreen prints with mistakes, silkscreen prints without mistakes, and of course actual paintings.
Of course, if you can’t come to SUPERCON which is in seven days, July 12-15… I have another deal for you – Threadless is offering free shipping on orders of $45 or more through July 19th, just use code: FREESHIP71844b112
I have added several images that will never be available anywhere but online, and the one of Ozma is totally available on a shower curtain. She’s the only guinea pig shower curtain I’m currently offering. She’s really cute.
33. Road to Nowhere – Christopher Pike
Rule of the road number one – If the people who want to pick you up when you’re running away from home are named something even remotely close to “Poppy Corn” or “Freedom Jack,” don’t get in the freaking car. Really, rule number one should be “Don’t get in the car.” Pike certainly does have a way with names, but of course, so do I. This is the first book of his that inspired me to parody him with Danger Crumples in the roles of author and cover model (and if there was any text to go with my painting, subject). I love a road trip story and this is certainly a trippy one…Poppy Corn. Really. I don’t think I’d want to spend my runaway time with Poppy Corn. Or Freedom Jack. Usually the dudes that are focused so hard on their “freedom” are total jerks. Teresa the main character should’ve thought of that.
Danger Crumples never wanted to run away, so he didn’t have to worry about the rules of the road, he did know how to call shotgun though, it was impressive once I figured out what he meant by that particular whistle.
1. “Chrome and Hot Leather” – Brass Hearse
2. “Adrenochrome” – Sisters of Mercy
3. “Dead Love (So Still)” – Widowspeak
4. “Drawing Down the Moon” – Blood Ceremony
5. “Bwamba’s Rambles” – Zydepunks
6. “Road to Nowhere” – Talking Heads
7. “How Dare You” – Electric Six
8. “Mjod (BBC Sessions 2010)” – Kvelertak
9. “Doomsday” – Kasabian
10. “Good View of the Violence” – Electric Six
11. “The Friend Catcher” – Birthday Party
12. “Wild Witch”- Restavrant
13. “Dead End Justice” – Runaways
14. “Come & See” – Protomartyr
Art Intrusion #199:
Here he is…road tripping to an unspecified location. The painting itself has sold…but it is available on stuff and things including metal prints on my Redbubble page.
28. The Dreamstalker – Barbara Steiner
Twins. There’s always an evil one and one just trying to live her life and have a boyfriend who isn’t her brother, the dream-murderer. Sorry. Spoiler there, but this book is from 1992 and I guessed the killer within the first dream sequence. He’s no Freddy, let’s just be clear on that. Kerr the evil twin is pretty overdramatic and keeps trying to force his sister to ice skate. And not go to college. And never leave him.
Thaddeus never wanted Pammy to leave him either, but thankfully they weren’t twins so he didn’t have to haunt her dreams or make her think she was a murderer in an elaborately petty plan to make her stay. She never left him out of mutual respect and the confines of guinea pig housing instead.
1. “Black Mass” – UNKLE
2. “Anger” – Catalogue
3. “Black Dream” – Samhain
4. “Ghost of Me” – Electric Citizen
5. “Soul on Fire” – Danzig
6. “This Modern Curse” – Espectrostatic
7. “Cruising for Mortals” – Terrortron
8. “Keep Your Dreams” – Suicide
9. “De Profundis (Out of the Depths of Sorrow)” – Dead Can Dance
10. “They’ll Clap When You’re Gone” – Chelsea Wolfe
11. “Things You Wouldn’t Like” – Wolfmen of Mars
12. “Drive-In Moonlight” – Terrortron
13. “We Use the Same Products” – Electric Six
14. “The Weeping Willows” – Espectrostatic
15. “Calling Them All Away” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
16. “With You in My Head” – UNKLE
Art Intrusion #172:
This silkscreen is a Pickles parody of an artist whose work I very much enjoy – Steven Rhodes. He parodies 1970s children’s book covers and often brings in some evilly hilarious subversion, my kind of thing exactly. His version, the original, non-guinea pig parody version, called Pyrokinesis is available in many forms but I got my pin of it from the Creepy Co. of Chicago (love them so very dearly as well). I am not selling any of this silkscreen online, it will only ever be available from me in person and so there are two opportunities coming up to get a white version (very limited)…or…
A blinding purple version that didn’t scan very well! There’s also a Freddy Krueger-looking green one and some various blues. The ink really glows in person and it hurts my eyes. Come attempt to barter for one at SUPERCON in Fort Lauderdale or at the GeekCraft Expo in St. Louis both during July!