To make a long story short, my kitty boy needed a couple of vet visits–don’t worry, he’s fine–so I’m selling some original art to help pay the bills. (more…)

When I decided to get back into miniature painting, I did some research into different storage methods for paint. I was keeping them divided between two Reaper Miniatures plastic boxes, but it just felt inefficient and awkward. My research pointed me to Battle Foam and their P.A.C.K. system of bags.

I eventually decided on the P.A.C.K. 216 paint loadout bag with three Vallejo paint trays (I use Reaper Master Series HD and Scale75 paints in dropper bottles).

PackFront

P.A.C.K. 216 bag with my Cryx patch added.

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There’s nothing like venturing far from home to make you realize how difficult it is to be outside the gender binary in more conservative areas of the United States.

Sure, you hear about it plenty. You read the news articles and blog posts and your skin crawls at how awful people can be. You can try to empathize and put yourself in those shoes all you want, but until you have personally been on the receiving end of ignorant vitriol, you’ll never really down-in-your-bones know.

When a friend and I made plans for a cross-country road trip this past August, I did a lot of mental preparation for how an odd character like me would be received in more conservative areas of the country. I have no illusions; what I ultimately experienced was mild compared to what some of my non-cisgender brothers and sisters must endure. And I had the luxury of moving on right away and ultimately returning home from my road trip. The privilege I have in that respect is something I fully acknowledge and don’t take for granted. Still, what I experienced definitely left me a bit shaky at the end of the day.

"Not all gamer women like pink."

“Not all gamer women like pink.”

I’m used to getting called “sir.” Generally speaking, women who are able to grow facial hair usually choose not to let it grow out, whether for their own aesthetic preferences or due to social pressure. So between my curly muttonchops and propensity for presenting as butch, I get that it’s an easy mistake to make at a glance. Most of the time when it happens, I don’t feel compelled to correct the speaker; I’m not likely to ever see them again, and being unintentionally misgendered every now and then doesn’t–to me–warrant the discomfort for both of us that correcting the speaker usually entails.

However… (more…)

I’m usually quite shy about showing the process of a drawing, but I’m working to change that.

This past weekend I attended Death Salon: Getty Villa. I’m a tremendous fan of Death Salon, and I had never been to the Getty Villa before, so it was quite the experience. This was my third Death Salon, and it definitely surpassed expectations. As happened during Death Salon: San Francisco, I found myself keen on drawing by the latter part of the day.  (more…)

Yesterday morning, I checked my Facebook feed and found this right at the top:

shoebat

 

“Great,” I thought. “I’m sure I’m the ‘certain people.’ What sort of anti-gay misinformation is she posting now?”

Let me back up a bit. Brittany is my cousin. She’s a year younger than I am. We have a very long, very tense history. I was never particularly fond of her, and admonished throughout my life to remember that “she’s family and will always love you no matter what.” Those words became more and more hollow as time went by and I could never seem to find common ground with her, or ways to feel more positive towards her. It didn’t help when she and her mother found religion, which increased the tension between them and my atheist mother and agnostic pagan self. I decided to educate myself about what their church at the time taught about different issues, and specifically went looking for what they preached in regards to homosexuality. What I found wasn’t exactly heartening, nor was finding out for certain that Brittany agreed with the church’s teachings. To make a long story short, it’s been a point of contention ever since.  (more…)

Korrasami

I’ve been sobbing with overwhelming positive feelings for the past half hour. Why? Because of this:

"Turtle-duck Date Night" by Bryan Konietzko

“Turtle-duck Date Night (Detail)” by Bryan Konietzko

I’ve been celebrating the revelation that the Korra/Asami (“Korrasami”) relationship from The Legend of Korra is canon since it was confirmed by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino. My friends, bless them for their patience, have either been celebrating along with me, or enjoying my excitement from the sidelines. But the image above finally undid me, and a rush of emotions I didn’t realize I’d been holding in check suddenly broke free and came pouring out all at once. Now that the torrent has settled into calmer eddies, I can try to channel it into words. (more…)

"Dostoevsky."Twenty years ago today, “Gargoyles” premiered on the Disney Afternoon.

“Gargoyles” came along during a rough time in my life, and spoke to me on a visceral level. As someone who has ever been the “other”–the freak, the weirdo, the oddball, the outsider, the monster–it showed me that the “other” is often the unseen and unsung hero. That the “other” isn’t always alone. That, yes, being “other” is hard, but there ARE people who understand, accept, and embrace, and not “in spite of” the otherness.

And that was just the show. The fandom was my first true, broad support network, outside of my immediate family (and, honestly, the first fandom I was ever active in). Some people have moved on or grown distant, as often happens, but some people remain part of my extended chosen family. I found love for the first time, and learned about heartbreak and carrying on. It gave direction and a new kind of passion to my artistic skills. The fandom has taken me from one side of the ‘States to the other, and to other countries–journeys I never would have taken otherwise. It helped me become the person I am now.

There are other shows I’ve been passionate about, both before and since. But none of them have literally impacted my life the way “Gargoyles” has. My love for this show wasn’t–isn’t–a phase, a fad, or a passing fancy. It’s far too big for that.

That’s the reason I still love “Gargoyles” so much after twenty years. That’s the reason I have (the lesser-known version of) the Eye of Odin permanently inscribed on my skin. “Gargoyles” helped me get through my own time of darkness and world of fear.

So, what’s out there for anyone who’s now having a fit of “Gargoyles” nostalgia? I present the following:

Watching Manhattan

“Only living beings possess the ability to change, and make new choices.”

Memento MoriWhen I first heard about Death Salon, it had my immediate curiosity. I hadn’t finished reading all of the information on it before I made up my mind to attend. I could go into the details of WHY I wanted to go, but some of those are quite personal, and neither here nor there. The point is, I went, and it was amazing.

I heard about Death Salon via the Order of the Good Death (which I in turn heard about via Jezebel via a roundup of interesting Gawker media posts). The Order of the Good Death hosts some AMAZING blog posts about death, death culture, history of death and mortuary practices, and all sorts of other fascinating morsels. Order founder Caitlin Doughty is behind the infamous “Ask a Mortician” series, wherein she answers all kinds of questions about death and its trappings (go and watch a couple of episodes; I’ll wait).

Are you back? Okay, good…

[CAUTION: Frank and detailed discussion of death lies ahead; links may or may not be NSFW, and may contain graphic images. Reader discretion advised.] (more…)

On the heels of my previous post, I had a day that ran the entire gamut of responses to my appearance. Pull up a chair, dear reader, and allow me to share with you what the full range of reactions to my fuzzy self looks like.

It started when I was headed to my favorite comic book store in Santa Monica. I was in kilt, as I am wont to be on weekends, and waiting for a connecting bus at one of the local bus stations when an older lady approached me as she was passing by.

“Are you a Scottish boy?” she asked.

For the sake not having to explain the complexities of my family history (which does, in fact, include some Scottish ancestry) or appearance, I nodded and said “Yes, ma’am.”

She asked about the tartan, and then winked at me and asked if any of the ladies had tried to steal a peek. I blushed and replied “no, ma’am, not lately.” She laughed and smiled, and then went on her way. (more…)

“No, don’t look at her!”

“Uh, too late…”

You’d be surprised at the things whispered behind your back when people think you can’t hear them. We tend to assume that this sort of thing is the stuff of immaturity, only lasting through the torturous years of junior high and high school. But that’s not always the case. I’ve heard things whispered in public, at work, on the bus, and caught furtive stares just about everywhere.

And it’s something I knew would happen, and it’s something I’ve come to accept as part of the reality of my existence. It is, for lack of a better term, the price I pay for daring to buck the norm, and to do so in ways that are outside the “acceptable” ranges of strange, even among the weirdos.

"We are what we are; her opinion will not change that."

“We are what we are; her opinion will not change that.”

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