Doing the most GUD

Another kickstarter announcement!
One of my favorite literary magazines of all time, Greatest Uncommon Denominator, is holding a kickstarter drive in order to fund issue #7! They are one of the most beautiful, most carefully curated spec-fic literary zines I’ve ever read, and seeing another issue from them is something I’m pretty invested in. Honestly. They’re up there with Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet in my estimation. 

And, bonus, in addition to copies of the magazine they’re giving out handcrafted Vogon poetry (lucky you!) and postcards featuring my art from their 2010 Halloween Monster quiz! If you’ve ever wanted to own your quiz answer in hard copy, this is your chance!

Baby VW

Right now there are 17 days left to get in on the action! Don’t waste time, I’m sure there are people you know who need the above postcard desperately. Think of them!

 

Winter scrabblings

Oy! I just noticed how long it’s been since I updated my blog. A long time (Happy Hallowe’en again everyone!) I’ve had a lot of projects (Village by the Sea! Fireside Magazine #3! And others) not to mention Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and the impending time-crisis that is Christmas.

I don’t really have much new to show or talk about, but I feel bad for the blog-neglect so here: some things from my sketchbook! 

Dragon FalconerPeacock Dragon

Have a wonderfully dragonish day and I’ll be back!
(Soon, I promise.)

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe'en!

 

We were lucky enough here in Annapolis to weather hurricane Sandy with relatively little damage (relative to the poor folks in New York, and Ocean City, and many other places where the weather came down hard.) So in celebration of everyone’s favorite day of eeriness, and for our luck in still being here after Frankenstorm, here’s a Hallowe’en card!

And if you aren’t arbitrarily barred from giving blood (for reasons of sexuality or travel history, etc.), consider taking a look at where you can donate blood in your area!  What’s more eerie and kind-hearted than pumping your blood into a bag to give a stranger, after all? It’s the best kind of tricksy Hallowe’en treat, I say.

Though I hear they appreciate getting dollars, too.

Just a reminder

Only 5 days to go on the Fireside Magazine Issue 3 Kickstarter, and we still have more than $4,000 left to raise. If you’ve been thinking about throwing in a donation, now’s a really great time to do it! Help support great art, fiction, and fair pay to contributors!

Remember,

Issue Three will include short stories by Daniel Abraham, Elizabeth Bear, and Mary Robinette Kowal, as well as one by Lucas J.W. Johnson… We’ll have a comic written by Rachel Deering and drawn by Christine Larsen. And our artist for the issue is Lisa Grabenstetter.

And if you contribute anything, you get a copy of your very own! Pretty damn exciting, yes?

How to: Opt out of Paypal’s shady new policy update

UPDATE: I notice that folks are still checking this post as a source of info! That’s great! I just wanted to add that the nice folks at The Consumerist have put together a template to make opting out easier!
It’s also come to my attention that ebay, which Paypal owns, is implementing a similar policy change. The ebay deadline is November 9th! Get a template and more info on that monkey business here.

Totally un-art related! I was pretty skeeved out by Paypal’s new policy update, which states that

The update to the User Agreement is effective November 1, 2012 and contains several changes, including changes that affect how claims you and PayPal have against each other are resolved. You will, with limited exception, be required to submit claims you have against PayPal to binding and final arbitration, unless you opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate (Section 14.3) by December 1, 2012. Unless you opt out: (1) you will only be permitted to pursue claims against PayPal on an individual basis, not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action or proceeding and (2) you will only be permitted to seek relief (including monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief) on an individual basis.

I don’t trust Paypal at the best of times (they’ve screwed over several of my friends) but this is really a red flag for me. I mean Paypal, an almost monopolistic entity on the web that handles tons of peoples’ money every day, is almost entirely unregulated, and has a habit of seizing funds and freezing accounts at whim? Who even reserves the right to do this without explanation in their policies? That Paypal wants to block users from participating in class action lawsuits? No no no.

So I emailed them a number of (initially polite but increasingly irate) requests to be opted out and sent written verification that I was opted out. I took screenshots of these requests, just in case Paypal decided to be extra skeevy and not acknowledge my requests. This morning, I finally got this:

To opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, you must mail an Opt-Out Notice to:

PayPal, Inc.
Attn: Litigation Department
2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95131

Please note: Your Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2012. The Opt-Out Notice must state that you do not agree to the Agreement to Arbitrate and must include your name, address, phone number, and the email address(es) used to log in to the PayPal account(s) to which the opt-out applies. You must also sign the Opt-Out Notice for it to be effective.

You can view this Policy Update by logging in to your PayPal account. To log in to your account, go to https://www.paypal.com and enter your member log in information. Once you are logged in, look at the Notifications section on the top right side of the page for the latest Policy Updates. We encourage you to review the Policy Update to familiarize yourself with all of the changes that have been made.

Thank you for being a valued member of the PayPal Community! We wish you continued success using our services.

Spreading the word because I want to give as many of Paypal’s users as possible the opportunity to opt out of this sticky mess.

Remember: Opt out of policy update section 14.3, Agreement to Arbitrate, and send out your request well before the December 1st 2012 cut-off. Also probably best to keep a copy of your letter, and request that they give you written verification that you’ve been opted out.

Hallowe’en approaches…

And to celebrate, and because it turns out I’m not the only one who loves them, I’ve drawn some bats!

Little brown myotisFruit bat

A little brown bat, because those are the ones that you mostly spot in the skies around here, fluttering against the summer twilight like determined black butterflies. And an Egyptian fruit bat, because they’re so objectively cute that I think even your average chiroptophobe has to find them endearing. Happy October everyone!

Grangy, or Of Rotting Logs

An illustration I had to scrabble to finish after returning from Canada is online already! It’s for a story on AESciFi (The Canadian Science Fiction Review) by Michael Hodges about a strange little critter and the nebulous give/take relationship it has with the narrator.

Grangy

I decided to experiment a little on this one, and it’s the first illustration I’ve inked entirely by brush. I really like how it turned out, I have to say, and it was so much quicker to do than with a dip pen. I obviously didn’t go for as fine a line as I normally do with a pen (not everyone is as proficient with single-hair brushes as Niroot), but I think the effect worked for this subject. Working on another quick personal piece at the moment to see whether I feel like sticking with this method. I’ll report back.

Oh and a reminder! The Fireside Magazine funding drive has 17 days to go. Donate $25 and you’ll get a signed high quality print of the cover art, by me! *hint hint*

Fireside Magazine

I’m ridiculously thrilled to announce my involvement in Fireside Magazine issue 3!

Fireside Kickstarter screenshot

For those who haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a robust multi-genre literary magazine that focuses on good good storytelling and great treatment of its creative elements. Issue three will contain fiction by Mary Robinette Kowal, Daniel Abraham, Elizabeth Bear, and Lucas J.W. Johnson. And I get to illustrate all that! Plus the amazing (I am not kidding) Christine Larsen is illustrating a comic by Rachel Deering for the issue, which should be absolutely gorgeous.

But yeah, I get to contribute four illustrations (including the cover). Can I reiterate how thrilled I am?

If you need to catch up on the back issues, you can do that either by heading over to Weightless Books or by throwing at least $9 to the kickstarter (you know which one I’d recommend…) I’ve read them both, and give a hearty reader’s endorsement.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

This thing called Spectrum Fantastic Art Live happened for the first time this year, and because I didn’t really know what it was going to be like I didn’t put much effort into going (though I had the poster up on my fridge for months. Crowbot!) Then I heard that it was amazing and everyone had a really great time there.

So I will be at the 2013 SFAL! In fact, I will be sharing an exhibitor’s booth with Evan Jensen and Galen Dara. More info when I get it!