Tag Archives: Night of the Squirrels: Dawn of the Interns

CBS Studios can’t tell a guinea pig parody from an actual copyright violation.

Today is my birthday. It is the second-most held birthday in the world thanks to New Year’s Eve… Anyway, today I woke up to a notice that Redbubble, the site where I sell the non-handmade versions of my work, took down the following painting:

Peregrine’s log saw something that night. It saw a corporation being a dick to a poor person about their guinea pig parody painting.

 

Because CBS Studios said it violates their rights. Fuck you, CBS. My nostalgic, guinea pig-centric television parody does not violate CBS Studio’s rights. This image has never existed before I painted it, it’s not accurately representing anything from the Twin Peaks universe- note that the inaccurate logo is a pun: “Peegs” is not “Peaks” and it is not accurately painted because I’m stuck with my human hands and I can’t perfectly match colors, Peregrine is not Margaret Lanterman and as far as I have ever seen, the Log Lady has never been in the Red Room – nerd detail, guys. My original concept utilizing the concept of parody and guinea pigs to put out something very cute featuring my little girl.

Parody has always been protected.

No one will ever confuse my work for any actual Twin Peaks merchandise.

And frankly, I don’t really sell all that much of anything I do, because it relies upon people who like guinea pigs to find it. Twin Peaks never involved guinea pigs. My Twin Peaks parody only has the possibility of profit if people who like guinea pigs find it. I’ve never sold a single one of my parodies in person to anyone who didn’t expressly become interested because of guinea pigs. The thing I’m parodying has always been the secondary concern. Always.

One last consideration – guinea pigs are not cats, the behemoth of the animal parody-trade.

Parody is protected.

Don’t go after artists who aren’t in your way.

I filed a counter-notice. I will update if I get my painting reinstated as it should be, I’ll maybe update if “screw you, poor artist person” stays the status quo.

 

Fuck you, CBS Studios. (Tulpa-Diane doesn’t even belong to you, CBS Studios, I bet you’re mad that I just parodied her phrasing and you can’t tell me to take it down.) Ozma doesn’t want you to break my heart on my birthday anymore, even if Funko Bob would probably support that.

 

This week I also found another site where people are stealing the first book of my Squirrelpocalypse Trilogy and now this, on my birthday, well… I’ve never been happier. I don’t know why it’s important to prevent someone whose work barely anyone is even interested in from making any money off it, further enforcing that they will never get to be who they are full time, but that is what I am learning this month.

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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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YA Megamix Summer III: Season of the Witch

The school year is already over for some people, so, it’s basically summer…of course some of those people are now done with their undergraduate degrees or graduate degrees, so in their case summer means “life anxiety season,” unless they already have jobs. Good luck to those about to go over the precipice of the shocking lack of opportunity, it’s not fun.

Anyway, I’m continuing my tradition of the last couple of years and “reviewing” only older YA books and including one hour long mixtapes I’ve compiled to go with them. This year’s YA Megamix Summer shall be known as the “Season of the Witch” because I will not be reviewing a single book that has a witch in it – just like the Halloween franchise entry – and it’s the third Halloween-associated movie and this is the third summer I’ve done this, and I am in the process of finishing my “John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs” painting series so I can bring all of it to Chicago in August.

To kick off the Season of the Witch, I’m going to post a mixtape of songs that have been carrying themes and revision-staples for my Squirrelpocalypse Trilogy. Somehow, these never ended up being chapter titles.

Mixtape:
1. Stormy High – Black Mountain
2. Ah! Leah! – Electric Six
3. Ash of the Mind – Agents of Oblivion
4. My Apocalypse – Zebras
5. Homemade – Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
6. My Dreams – Gun Club
7. You Don’t Own Me – Masquer
8. Queeny Gloom Doom – Zebras
9. Restarter – Torche
10. Hold My Hand – UNKLE
11. Down in the Park – Foo Fighters
12. Filled With Fire – Zebras
13. Skogsdotter – Finntroll
14. Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys

Also, this is Finny. It may not be clear in this picture, but he is a madman. Not a witch.

Also, this is Finny. It may not be clear in this picture, but he is a madman. Not a witch.

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Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Writing, YA Megamix Summer

Did I ever tell you my favorite color was blue?

In the Mouth of Madness is one John Carpenter movie I won’t guinea pig-ify- because it is just too close to home sometimes. As a writer, who has written while watching In the Mouth of Madness, and who writes horror things that could be considered ridiculous under certain circumstances, and who decided that it would be a good idea to finish her Squirrelpocalypse Trilogy before Wizard World Madison started, I can relate to the “Did I ever tell you my favorite color was blue?” scene from both Sam Neill and Jurgen Prochnow’s perspectives. When I finished Night of the Squirrels, I yelled the same way Sam Neill does. And I wanted some Cheetos, if you read it, you’ll be able to tell that I wanted some Cheetos.  I did not have any Cheetos and it was late enough at night that I decided not to go out for some. Such a dilemma.

Anyway, Night of the Squirrels is up and ready for purchasing via the usual ebook retailers, I’m waiting for distribution to finish to a few retailers, and it’s currently easiest to find via my Amazon Author Page (Who knew that title would be so hard to search for? Me. I am a librarian, so I know some searching, but, still, that’s why I also decided to use “Squirrelpocalypse” repeatedly and I should have used it when I printed the first cover…damn the permanence of printmaking!)

It's all three covers together at last!

It’s all three covers together at last! So squirrely.

 

Of course, I’ve also done some paintings and prints related to my series (I have a few sets of all three book covers, several of the Day of the Robots cover, and several of the Night of the Squirrels cover – all in multiple colors) for Wizard World, today is the last day, so…  Merchandising, where the real money from the novel is made!

 

 

I've always been inspired by the WPA posters. Not only because if I was alive during that time period, I would have been angling for a printing job, I'm also just super fond of the typography. This one recreates a scene from Night of the Squirrels. The travel poster, McWikken style.

I’ve always been inspired by the WPA posters. Not only because if I was alive during that time period, I would have been angling for a printing job, I’m also just super fond of the typography. This one recreates a scene from Night of the Squirrels. The travel poster, McWikken style.

 

Another WPA inspired one (oh, and although I am a printmaker, both of my WPA inspired works are paintings), this time in honor of Babette and Louis. Shiny purple!

Another WPA inspired one (oh, and although I am a printmaker, both of my WPA inspired works are paintings), this time in honor of Babette and Louis. Shiny purple!

 

They call her Regan Brite. This one is a silkscreen also available in glow in the dark green. This print was so involved that I barely came away with any to sell - and so I made some postcards of this version. A few.

They call her Regan Brite. This one is a silkscreen also available in glow in the dark green. This print was so involved that I barely came away with any to sell – and so I made some postcards of this version. A few.

 

Will you endure the placement of this link with me, one last time? my profile on the Wizard World site

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Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Writing

I’m just going to pretend he’s playing that saxophone for Daryl Dixon.

Welcome to YA Megamix Summer the Return!! This summer I’m not even going to pretend that I will stick to the Point Horror/Thriller imprint, even though I love it so; instead, I’ll be sticking to my Year of the Ladies only reviewing books by women rules, which isn’t very hard. Just like last summer, the track listing will make one sixty minute mixtape – and I made the first one extra hard to duplicate unless you received Electric Six’s Mimicry and Memories project by shoving money at them like I did. Sorry? Anyway…

40. Graveyard Moon – Carol Gorman

Sax solo! Occasionally I read a book that has a scene that stands out so much that I can’t help but forget a large amount of what happened in the story. In the case of Graveyard Moon, that scene is Miles’ sax solo. I’m going to go ahead and retroactively claim that I named my character Miles (of Schad, Miles, and Hirsch the “dude” saying sort of Greek chorus in Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, and the perpetually forthcoming Night of the Squirrels) after Miles in Graveyard Moon because of the sax solo. It does not really happen organically – Miles is not in the school band, he doesn’t frequent jazz clubs, and he is not Duke Silver, he’s the town outcast (of course) – it happens because Kelly the main character asks him if he played for Darryl, and then asks him to play for her. It is so bizarrely fantastic and ridiculous that I could barely stand reading about it. And that is what I have chosen to share from Graveyard Moon, the teenage murder mystery. Also, I really enjoy Carol Gorman’s writing. Damnit, sax solo, you’re killing me.

Murderface and Pickles demonstrate the ways to respond to an impromptu sax solo – hiding… or surprise.

Murderface and Pickles demonstrate the ways to respond to an impromptu sax solo – hiding… or surprise.

Mixtape –
1.    “Tired Eyes” – The Black Angels
2.    “Stop, I’m Already Dead” – Deadboy & the Elephantmen
3.    “Superstition” – The Kills
4.    “Follow You Home” – The Creeps
5.    “Ritual Knife” – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
6.    “Easy Lover” – Electric Six
7.    “So Young” – Suede
8.    “Endless Night” – Graveyard
9.    “Doom and Gloom” – Electric Six
10.    “Chocolate Town” – Ween
11.    “Perennials” – Widowspeak
12.    “Taxidermy” – White Lies
13.    “Somewhere Else to Be” – VAST
14.    “Snakes Are Charmed” – Torche
15.    “Bad Reputation” – Thin Lizzy
16.    “Blood Red Blood” – The Ettes

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Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Review, YA Megamix Summer

He can’t talk because he’s a pony… I think it’s his lung

40. Bronze – Kit Reed

Based on the three books and a short story I’ve read by Kit Reed so far (Enclave, Little Sisters of the Apocalypse, Bronze, & “Waiting”), I feel she is the Ween of authors. While there are some similar concepts in her books – strongly developed female characters (including likeable and non-likeable ones), an overarching sense of impending doom – if they weren’t labeled I wouldn’t have automatically known any of them were by the same author. Ween’s albums frequently span different genres and styles of music and it’s one of the reasons I love them so damn much. I’ve also enjoyed everything I’ve read from Kit Reed so far.

I do have a couple of issues with this one – for one thing, I read a first edition, with typos, and it ended with a comma. When I went online to research whether or not it is supposed to end with a comma (It could have been a period and it would have been just fine!) I found that this book has been largely ignored on Amazon – it has one review, one star (so, I have two reviews now on Dawn of the Interns and both are very nice, but it feels weird to me to be thinking that my book is doing better than something by Kit Reed in any capacity) and on Goodreads as well, one review with threeish stars, I gave my own book five stars (I like it. I’ve read it several times years after finishing it and pretending it didn’t exist and I like it. And other authors I respect also gave their books five stars, I feel no shame in liking my own work; I’m filling a niche, man, filling a funny, rodenty niche). And no one discussed the comma! So now I have to find another copy of the paperback or something to sort my punctuation business out. Anyway, the people who reviewed it didn’t seem to like it much, didn’t care about what happened and I guess that’s okay. That wasn’t exactly my experience.

My thing is that, while it’s got that little “a tale of terror” phrase attached to the title, it’s like reading a horror story by someone who is used to horror occurring in real life as opposed to being supernaturally based. There are some supernatural elements in the story, not many though, and they aren’t fully explored. I would have been very pleased if the horror had not been spurred on mainly by a consistently stated terror felt by the characters (I was happy that the priest who heard one of their non-confessions of whining was also annoyed by their inability to be direct about what was going on); if it had been environmentally presented in addition to being regularly stated it would have been better, as that would have allowed much more of a build in unease. To be fair, I am an artist and I suck at sculpture but Mr. Cheese doesn’t and he’s used wax to cast in iron, so I’m not oblivious to artistic processes, even lost wax. I think that gave me an edge in understanding the super-bitch villainess and her drive to keep the Benedict family name at the top of the artistic money chain, even by totally evil means. My artistic familiarity also allowed me to know exactly what the twist was going to be, but it did not play out as I expected – so, I have a lot of respect for that. For all the wailing and teeth gnashing and “you don’t understand!” of the terrified Benedict family members, I definitely will allow that the twist was nicely played out. If they’d said less and acted more creepy than whiny I would have appreciated it more though. There were zero times when I wanted to give up on the story, seemingly unlike other reviewers, and in contrast to the super-bitch villainess there was a meek but working on it heroine and Great Aunt Benta, the Gandalf of the Benedict family, so, yay for multiple fully formed female characters!

This is Peregrine. She’s newish and she looks like Sam the Eagle in certain lights. Surely, if someone was making a really serious, gigantic, multi-figure bronze sculpture, they’d want to sculpt a wax figure of her and include it. I mean, look at that stance.

This is Peregrine. She’s newish and she looks like Sam the Eagle in certain lights. Surely, if someone was making a really serious, gigantic, multi-figure bronze sculpture, they’d want to sculpt a wax figure of her and include it. I mean, look at that stance.

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Twist ending, shmist ending

39. Twisted – R. L. Stine

For the most part, I have been enjoying acquiring and re-reading the work of luminaries of the 1980s and 1990s YA pulp-paperback-size book boom. It’s been fun finding the patterns that R. L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney, and Richie Tankersley Cusick (especially these three, oh, the 90s) use and reliving some of my own middle school patterns of devouring stories rather than really engaging with them. As I may have mentioned previously, I spent a long period reading practically nothing but literary fiction. When I started working at a public library, I was reminded that I enjoy genre fiction and that I had a shitload of reading options and I’ve gone back to the devouring pattern – although the two books I’m reading right now necessitate some concentration. Spooky. Anyway, Twisted was my first hop back into the “Really? This is all there is to this story?” feeling. Some stuff happens that’s vaguely interesting, but I called the twist on the first page. And I can be kind of an oblivious reader because of the devouring pattern, so I am always surprised when I get the twist…especially on the first damn page. Bummer.

Oh, and speaking of pulp-paperback-sized book booms, guess what? Point Horror is back! With Defriended, ooh, ominous and timely… If Scholastic and I were friends, surely they would hire me to write some of these and I would kick ass at it and be so, so terribly committed. The random horror story is practically my reason for living. And I’ve managed to lampoon or honor nearly everything I like about random horror in the two books I have available from the Night of the Squirrels trilogy – Dawn of the Interns and Day of the Robots (the last in the trilogy will take care of the rest).

Soon, a picture of Pammy riding a mammoth will appear on Etsy. Soon.

“Is the call coming from inside the house?” – Pammy, inquisitive, sort of bearded.
“It always is if the writer’s phoning it in.” – Twiglet, hiding her face because I assigned her this technically sad-joke dialogue.

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Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Review, Writing

The name’s Pammy!

71. Sisters Red – Jackson Pearce

I was discussing heroines at a writer’s conference recently, both formally and informally, and I found myself agreeing and saying that the world needs more badass bitches. It’s true. There just aren’t enough examples of truly badass bitches in literature. Or at least I can’t name enough main characters I can describe that way right now and that is a problem because I seek them out. There are women you can argue as being cool, or having some skills, and I’ve said before that I think that writing I don’t necessarily like very much can be saved by including a lady with some skills, because then I can at least respect it. My method of designating one of my characters as a badass bitch was to give her an eye patch, which also happens in Sisters Red with Scarlett, lose an eye gain street cred. Regan is my own personal version of Snake Plisskin (and soon the description of my book on the e-reading purchaseable sites will reflect this as well). She’s going to get to the bottom of some shit, she’s not all that nice, and she can see through bullshit (usually). I’m saying all that both as very subtle self-promotion (May! In May it will be improved and sequeled!), because the lead character in Sisters Red is pretty much a badass bitch revised-Little Red Riding Hood style, and because my darling Pammy has turned out to be a badass pig just this very week.

Pammy, badass pig, just went through her second surgery to remove a tumor from her beautiful face. If you viewed her today from above, you’d think half her face was missing, the tumor was the size of a walnut and much cheek fluffiness had to be shaved off to sort it out. Pammy was the teenage mother of a clearly incest-based child, her daughter passed away of pneumonia, Pammy had onsetting symptoms but survived, then she demonstrated every symptom of having ovarian cysts (including hitting on every single other pig in the herd, even Murderface, her sworn enemy/fellow teen mother) and had surgery to remove all her ovaries (two cysts per) three months after the end of her pneumonia medication, moved with me to Iowa and moved in with Thaddeus, and now she had a walnut sized tumor removed from her face and she is peppier than I expected. She’s the She Ra of guinea pigs and I am so proud of her. She’s a badass. She deserves an action figure. And she will turn four in June. Bow to the Pammy.

She is Duke of New York! She is A Number One!

Vintage Pammy. Teeny feets and fluffy cheeks.

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Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Writing

Digression Post

So, the last post I made mere seconds ago made me super sad. And then, I noticed that someone found my blog by searching for “adjectives for guinea pigs” and my mood changed slightly – cute didn’t instantaneously come to mind, searcher?

Belvedere! I miss Belvedere!

Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty cute. Belvedere knows how to sit.

 

The other adjective that comes to mind (beyond like fifty synonyms for “cute”) when I think of guinea pigs is: Demanding.

I miss Mortemer too.

Yes, demanding is so much more than an adjective. I think it’s obvious that Mortemer wants something here.

Also, I wanted to mention that this week I screenprinted the new cover for Dawn of the Interns and I am super happy with it. I am quite fond of my Pickles model guinea pig cover , but it seems relevant to make a slightly more appropriate cover, since I have the skills. I would say I have the technology, but I’m a hand done art kind of person. My silkscreens are hand drawn, hand stenciled (no photo emulsion, it goes bad and might get on the carpet), and hand pulled – which often leads to tragedy. Twiglet, subject of the sadness inducing post and anchor pig forever in my heart, will of course be on the guinea pig version cover of the last book in the Night of the Squirrels trilogy. I haven’t written that one yet, but the new cover and the second volume in the trilogy, also with a guinea pig cover (featuring the beautiful Duncan) will be out in May.

I don't have to miss Thaddeus because I can hear him whistling right now. Phew.

“Snazzy” also comes to mind. Check out the Abyssinian moustache on Thaddeus. One could also use the adjectives: smart, fluffy, fuzzy, portly, or perfect to describe any number of guinea pigs.

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Now the kids are all standing with their arms folded tight

1. The Mummy – Caroline B. Cooney

Welcome to the year of potential unluckiness! 13! So my year has started off weird, at least, when I returned to the Great White North (per se) from Mississippi it got weird and it’s only been six days so I haven’t sorted through how confused I am about the weirdness. That’s vague. Moving on, this book was also somewhat confusing in that I kept wanting to know when the story was actually going to start. Emlyn wants to do bad things, in fact, she seems like the kind of girl who would pop in a tape of Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” while driving in order to seem more edgy. She steals a mummy from the local museum as part of an attempt to be edgy and bad and also to get some group of malcontents to be her friends…but then…they disagree about whether or not they should unwrap the mummy and steal her gold! Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? Well, I was expecting slightly more thrilling actions. The whole description of tensely stealing the mummy and tensely trying to get out of the museum during a fundraising event was not tense enough to justify me using that word to modify in the early parts of this sentence. In fact, the furrowing of a brow while trying to figure out what the hell I just said would be more tense. And I was a little surprised. I expect more from Ms. Cooney as I know she’s done some great work, but I’m on the outside on this one.

In other, non-relevant to this review but relevant to teen literature (sort of), news, that book I mentioned that I wrote at the end of last year ( Night of the Squirrels: Dawn of the Interns ) that begins my squirrelpocalypse trilogy and will have a sequel out by the end of May…is free for five days starting today. Of course, it’s only on the Kindle thus far and when I looked to see if anyone was interested in it right now it was number 13 in the Teen Literature & Fiction category of the Kindle store. Very specific category, I know, and it surely has dropped in popularity by now, but I’ve never advertised it anywhere but on here nonsensically or if you saw me in person and it came up. That’s a relatively rare occurrence. I didn’t even talk about how bleakly humorous it was while playing Cards Against Humanity after Christmas with other real humans, so, you know I’m very slow about trying to sell out hard. Hey, this is almost as long as my review! How rude to the more successful author.

Pickles knows that the people who are reading my book are in that closet, in the portal to an alternate dimension where I know how to market properly.

Murderface! And Pickles. End the year with Murderface being confrontational, start the next one with Murderface’s noncommittal expression and all will be magnificent.

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Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Night of the Squirrels, Review, Writing