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  • Listening to: assorted Synthwave tunes
  • Reading: a biography of General Vo Nguyen Giap
  • Watching: Animated Star Trek
  • Playing: Panzer General...still
  • Eating: leftover turkey
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper...my drug of choice
 Right now I'm taking a break after finishing up my trib for the Jarlidium Press anthro 'zine "North American Furs", then it's back at the artwork!  I've got to get the first of ten covers done for Superversive Press' big "Planetary Anthology" series...that's going to be nine planets (Pluto is counted as such), plus the Sun and Earth's Moon.  Of course the first one is Mercury and all the covers will feature a "Golden Astronaut" and will basically be a story in themselves of his odyssey  across the Solar System.  This is going to be one of the most extensive projects I've done and I have to make it count.  Also in the near term is another book cover with L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright acting as a go between, but I can't give more details on that till it's on it's way.  Then in early 2018 is another illustration project for another tabletop game by Paul Kidd!  It's gonna get busy!   And there's my ongoing work and that I also need to get back on the ball with doing "Tank Vixens"...lately been working up design sketches of the new sexy villainess in the story. 

On top of all that there's loads of art concepts that I want to work on, more vehicles (loads of ground equipment, tanks, mecha, etc...), more space scenes, aliens and adventurers, and of course more of those sexy SF&F gals!

Also on today's list between projects is bit of house cleaning...and giving the she-wolves attention. 

Forward!!
  • Listening to: Carpenter Brut- Anarchy Road
  • Reading: Necronomicon- H.P Lovecraft collection
  • Watching: Fire and Ice, the animated movie
  • Playing: Panzer General
  • Eating: Corn Flakes
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper...my drug of choice
  2017 has been a year of High highs, and very Low lows...but I keep on truckin', and will go on to better things.
But in general, 2017 has sucked muy mucho, but hopefully that's in life's rear view mirror, and through struggle, determination, and no small amount of faith will continue the climb up.

On the suck wagon side is DEATH. My father, whom I haven't visited with in years...and that bad is on me...passed away early this year.  I only wished I had an opportunity to have talked with him, but sadly dementia and distance prevented that from happening. How much I wanted to tell him how important he really was to me, and how now I understand his wisdom, and love. 

At about the same time, Kyla, the beautiful and soulful she-wolf and mate to my sweet Togo died.  She was old and had health problems and despite my efforts to revive her, she died in my arms. Her owner, my buddy PH, was totally heartbroken but he's got her and Togo's progeny and grandbabies.  She was a good mama wolf, and sweetest critter.

Then in May, Togo was struck by sudden illness and was dead in two days despise all the effort of the vets. I had to make the choice to have him put to sleep, as he was suffering and beyond saving.  My wounded heart was ripped open even more so...he was my boy, my heart, my ever present companion. There's still an abyss in my heart and world, but two of his and Kyla's granddaughters are working hard to fill...with sweetness, and a bit too much young wolf chaos.  But, still I'm happy to have she-wolves Freya and Sappho.  
And then there's the wear and tear of life, money troubles, increasing living costs, unwanted distractions, the loss of A-Kon, the troubles of friends, and my Mother's ongoing battle with cancers.  At times it's bit too much and the "ol' stoic " front caves in.
But I will endure, I will push on...Fight! Win!

And brings us my friends to the High Highs... little triumphs, but hyper meaningful to me, and a path forward.

First is my ongoing work on Tank Vixens, using Paul Kidd's great but long languishing script, trying to make my first comic book work awesome from the start...and that's muy hard.  Besides manga, my other comics interest area is French style...so my take on Tank Vixens might be little different...still with usual visual and scripted humor, but artistically more detailed.  That's an uphill struggle, but one I like...and hopefully y'all will too!

And let's not forget what kicked this opportunity off, my artwork for Mr. Kidd's "Starships & Spacemen" RPG supplement "The Lucanii Drift".   www.rpgnow.com/product/201735/…

Second, is the opportunities I've gotten from "hanging with the cool kids" in the "Superversive" and neo-Pulp wing of Science Fiction & Fantasy literature.  Great discussions, new friends, new opportunities, and now my FIRST pulp SF/F magazine cover!  I just finished doing the cover for the Superversive Press production of their SF&F pulp magazine "Astounding Frontiers", Issue #4.

www.amazon.com/Astounding-Fron…

  This was a different kinda subject for me, and it's a new independent magazine in the genre with a lot of room to grow.  Here's hoping I can contribute to the rise of fun and entertaining "Superversive SF" as a supporting artist( & a True Believer), and help my own growth and renown in the process.  By the way, I'm signed on to doing Issue #5's cover as well and likely other PAYING work...WOOHOO!!   It's amazing what a trio Sad Puppies will connect you with. Learn more about the ideals of Superversive SF&F here...www.superversivesf.com/2014/11…

Third is my work for "North American Furs", after knocking it out of the park with Winter 2015's cover, and ongoing contributions to Jarlidium Press' long running 'zine, it looks like I'll be with them for the long haul.  I need to finish up some new stuff for their new issue, the deadline is in November.  www.jarlidium.com/OLD/naf.html

Fourth is my work pace is beginning to pick up, with only outside distractions and the dayjob slowing things down.  I want to not just maintain the same ol' quality, but keep on improving my skills and work!!   I've also set a new t-shirt and other printable goods shop on Redbubble, so you can get all sorts of Artraccoon art goods and future home to more Geishabot products!! Please visit! www.redbubble.com/people/artra…

So, the Artraccoon is struggling and fighting, but hasn't given up...might be depressed often...but through hard work, persistence, seeking new & greater goals, and plenty of Spacesynth & Synthwave music filling my personal soundtrack, I will go on, and make more art!!  And getting some more commissions would be nice too!

So, watch this space.  More stuff is coming!
  • Listening to: God Is An Astronaut
  • Reading: Essays Of GK Chesterton
  • Watching: the news
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: Applesauce
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
Sunday at around 3:15pm I let my beloved Togo Wolf leave this life.  

He was more than just a pet, he was my friend, a pure love, and constant companion of nine years.  His end came suddenly, Saturday morning after his walk he started going into decline, by midday he was barely aware. The cause was a most likely a brain tumor that damaged his body's ability to control it's temperature, and that damaged his organs.

He would never recover, and I let him go.  My final act of love.

The Pain is so much, the void so huge.

Togo is survived by his large brood, one son, several daughters, and several grandbabies...including the two little she-wolves with me right now, sweet Freya and Sappho. 

It's a hard time for me. 
  • Listening to: SpaceSynth
  • Reading: Fahrenheit 451
  • Watching: the news
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: Turkey sandwich
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper...my drug of choice
  After talking with the current con-ops fellow, it would seem that I'm back in the saddle again to do A-Kon's badges and staff shirt. 

 Yay.  Sort of yay.  

 They want something else, no more Geishabots, "it's time for something new", apparently branding means nothing.  Also they want a male mascot along with a female one...sounds like the militant yaoi crowd demanded a change.  It would seem that some of you that responded to my last journal were correct about the way things are going, but they don't want to lose all of the old A-Kon crew( most of which have quit or moved on), and were seemingly happy to have me do the work.

 But I've got some ideas, and we will see what transpires.  But I'm not going to bust my ass over this, and my geishabots will still be made for me and y'all to enjoy here on DA and over at Pixiv.  The robot girls may also have a new enterprise to be a part of soon, if all goes well...but I cannot share any details at this time.

But Aki, Uma, and Hitomi...as far as convention work is concerned, they are retired...but their adventures will still continue in artwork.

I've just finished a very well received piece of art for that USAF intelligence flight. They were extremely happy with what they got, and wanted me to visit them.
Sadly, they were in Maryland, and I'm here in Texas, and I really don't have time for a trip.   They also promptly paid me, with a note that I earned every penny, and will be sending me a couple of the t-shirts and a group photo.     
Happy customers and new fans.

So, back at it...A-Kon back in the job cycle, got my submission to issue 34 of North American Furs to work on, I've got some things to do for my villainous patron...The Supreme Dark Lord of the ELofE, some more SF hardware, more aliens, and of course more girls. 
  • Listening to: SpaceSynth
  • Reading: Conan The Swordsman
  • Watching: the news
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: Cheap steak
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
 I'm upset.  Maybe I've become sensitive about my art and years of effort I've put in, but the seemingly off hand dismissal of the value of my work by the current A-Kon staff has really upset me.  It would seem that the Geishabots are no longer desired, it time for a change from the iconic robot girls, and the work has been given to others without notice.  Oh, they will be happy to use anything I give them and use it for any shortfalls in art coverage. Plus they will still let me have my artist alley table for this year.  
This has made me a tad bit upset, doing the work for A-Kon has ment so much to me. 

Why is it that I can have fans, followers, and contacts with other artists and SF writers, and be recognized for my skill and imagination by folks all over the world, but still get little recognition in my local area and by the convention I've done work for the last 26 years, when I'm remembered at all.   A rep from a USAF intell unit can find a way to contact me to do a morale t-shirt( and they were so stoked to have me do the work), but A-Kon's staff cannot...even though they have my info.  

I have always felt like an outsider in regards to DFW's cliquish fandom, like a comet that comes in once a year, produces a show, and then plunges back into the outer darkness.  
It would seem that the comet is now cast off...into the outer darkness...the light dimmed...far from home. 

The only thing that keeps me from completely despairing is that I do have fans and the attention of SF professionals, people that consider what I do as valuable and worthwhile.  It still hurts that I have to find such affirmation so far from home.  

I must work. I must do the work for myself.   
  • Listening to: Two Steps From Hell
  • Reading: The Fountainhead
  • Watching: the news
  • Playing: 6mm tank painting
  • Eating: Stroganoff
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
 Howdy!   On my "Artraccoon's Studio Page" on Facebook, I'm doing a series where I'm sharing a work in progress.  It's a loose step-by-step showing how I work on a piece of artwork. In this case a futuristic race queen posed on the nose of a racing aerospace craft parked at a show and race event. You all will see it from it's start as a BiC pen sketch, to inks, to digital colors, background development , to final composition...as I do it.  I'll try to do something daily on it, as time and work permit.  It's a glimpse into my process if you all are interested, and I hope you enjoy it.  Sexy redhead alert.   

You can get there from here... www.facebook.com/pages/Artracc…
  • Listening to: M83
  • Reading: Moctezuma's Mexico
  • Watching: the news
  • Playing: Assembling 6mm SF artillery
  • Eating: Burritos
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
Lot's of stuff in the works!! I just posted the "Rai Navigatrix" on DA and Pixiv and on my Artraccoon Empire FB page. Expect to see more Rai characters in the very near future.  Other SF works are coming soon as well...more aliens, Fel'Tap girls, more spaceships, and girls with guns.  Oddly there are several starship engineers in the works as well.  So watch this space!!
  • Listening to: God Is An Astronaut
  • Reading: Dune
  • Watching: the news
  • Playing: with my mecha
  • Eating: BBQ Chips
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
  Doing my morning Facebook check, someone posted at the Official A-Kon Facebook Group's page that A-Kon "needs a mascot", which just set me off.  What the heck have I working on all these 25 years?  Literally hundreds of pieces of art work have been done for A-Kon's badges and staff t-shirts, all featuring Aki, Hitomi, and friends.  It's insulting and considering we artists live for our work and it's recognition, extremely hurtful.  Whether out of ignorance, indifference, or ingratitude, the hurt feelings remain the same. Years of hard work, developing skills, keeping to a motif, and trying to produce work of improving quality seems to be unappreciated, or worse unimportant.  My part in A-kon is a small but visible part, I was there the night it was born, I was asked to let A-Kon use my Geishabot art, and to produce all that followed. I love doing it, even though at times I feel like I've been cast into the "outer darkness", only to make a brief appearance like a short period comet.  Despite my work I remain unseen, but by a few that know me and those who stop by my convention table and discover who I am.  I feel that I could fall off the planet, not another Geishabot ever be produced, and the average A-Kon goer would never notice.  This has left me upset...angry, heartbroken, and disappointed.  Please A-Koners, staff and convention goers alike, tell me that my work matters. 
  • Listening to: assorted Techno
  • Reading: Kolonie The Forgotten Empire
  • Watching: WALL E
  • Playing: C&C Tiberian Sun
  • Eating: English Muffins
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper

I'm always trying to improve my artwork, add new skills, and sharpen up old ones.  At this time I'm trying my hand at digital overpainting, especially after studying the work of various artists presented in assorted Design Studio Press books.  I thought that I would share this exercise/experiment with you all here on DA.  The current project entails taking a rough BiC pen sketch I did at the dayjob during lunch, a big mining machine digging out rare earth minerals. I've scanned it, and have started coloring over it in Photoshop.  Now I know this is not a big deal for most artists, especially ones more in tune with digital art methods. But for an "Old School Anime" guy it's an evolutionary step, one I hope will enhance my future work.  The idea is to learn this technique and use it to create cool and complex backgrounds, and free flowing works.

I've added the basic BiC sketch to my scraps section, and as I progress I'll share the images there. Eventually the final piece will be part of a composition that I will post on my main gallery.

I'll be happy to accept any tips, and hope that this will inspire other "Old School" artists decide to try new things too!

  • Listening to: ELO "Time" album
  • Reading: Rommel's Afrika Korps by George Bradford
  • Watching: Pacific Rim
  • Playing: PanzerBlitz (old school hex game)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Mr. Pibb

Finally got to 30,000 views! Thank you to everyone that visited, and doubly so to those that faved my artwork!  Perhaps I need to do a celebratory piece?  What should it be? Hmmm... Taking suggestions.

Right now getting pieces ready for my trib to the next issue of North American Furs from Jarlidium Press, but fear not I'll share them here as well ( and you all get to see them in color) so you won't miss out.  If you are an anthro fan check out North American Furs, lot's of great art in there to enjoy!  Find out more about "NAF" and more cool stuff from Jarlidium Press just visit www.jarlidium.com/

 

 

 

  • Listening to: Two Steps From Hell
  • Reading: Yamato 2199 art book "Earth"
  • Watching: Suisei No Gargantua
  • Playing: with 6mm tanks and mecha
  • Eating: burritos
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
Sorry that I've been lying low, but several issues had to be resolved and I've been working overtime at the ol' dayjob.

It's scorching hot in Texas this time of year, and considering that I work 10-12 hour days and bike 5 miles each way in my commute, I'm pretty ragged out.  I can't wait for Fall.  One of the issues that had to resolved was having a large tumor removed from my sweet pet wolf Togo. This of course meant $$$$! But it's done, and the critter is doing really well, and I'm glad to see both his cute expressive eyebrows.

My next goal is to score a used vehicle, my inner redneck wants a pickup...too bad we don't have UTEs in Texas. That means stashing cash again, yeehah.

My art pile is pretty full, multiple spaceships in the works, Stellar Horizons art, early A-Kon stuff...25th Anniversary coming up, more anime style SF and pin-up girls, and of course anthros. :)

Other goofy fronts, I keep adding to my art book collection, and learning new skills from them. At this rate DesignStudio Press just needs auto charge me each time a book comes out from them. Picked up "Battlemilk 3", it's bigger than "2" and is chock full of good stuff!
My 6mm army still gets it's procurement, and now that Steve Jackson Games is producing "Ogre" minis again I need to score some Mk Vs. My "DAK" could use one at the very least. And I'm a modeler, currently working on a Spanish Nationalist Heinkel He-70, for my Spanish Civil War collection.

So watch this space, I've got a lot of stuff in the pipeline...work and backlogged art permitting.

Take care Y'all!
  • Listening to: Handel
  • Reading: The Living City by Frank Lloyd Wrightt
  • Watching: Yamato 2199
  • Playing: Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun
  • Eating: turkey
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
Happy 2013 Y'all!!  Hopefully this year will be better than last.

Sigh...Dumbasses outside firing guns to celebrate the New Year.
  • Listening to: Nightwish( Tarja era)
  • Reading: American Military Aircraft
  • Watching: Courage The Cowardly Dog
  • Playing: Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun
  • Eating: Brisket
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
Howdy, I've been very buzy at the ol' job and that has been keeping away for awhile. That and a great deal of other turbulance that has finally been squared away...hooray.  I've been working on new "Stellar Horizons" artwork, doing the early work on next year's A-Kon art, and mucking about with some new stuff.  Of course this means more girls, more underdressed girls, and more underdressed girls with weapons.  It also means some new SF military vehicles and mecha, some new spaceships, and even some new aliens!  It's Fall here, in as much as a Fall we can have in Texas...in the 80's here...but change is on the wind and it's time to get in gear.   The wolf is doing okay, he's become even more clingy and is under the computer table as I type( how does Togo fit under there? He's not small...) and is making for a great foot warmer.  

I've gotten ahold of a digital tablet( thanks Brandon W.), and I'm learning how to use it. There's a lot to get used to, after years of doing computer coloring and art with a mouse only, but this will open new areas and new tools.  I want to get into some "painterly" styles and effects, and to help my enviroments and backgrounds improve.  But I'm always going to be a "pencil and ink" kinda artist, but it would be nice to develop new skills and have some new tools.

Other things I've been doing...
Well, I'm still building, painting, and organizing my 6mm Military. It spans subjects from WW2, Modern, and SF...so my Imagi-Nation's military is a bit eclectic.  So I can have my LeClerc tanks charging a position, while GEVs go for a flanking move, and PZL.23 attack planes bomb enemy mecha. YeeHaa!!
The newest units are two WW2 flying boats, a Consolidated PB2Y Coronado & a Martin PBM Mariner, the first units of my Navy Department. Yeah, I know...starting a navy with airplanes and no ships...but they will come later( eyeing GHQ's Vietnam War Riverine craft and planing some scratch built units..."Naval Orges" & Stealth boats). I need to score a digi-camera and photo my silly little army and post it somewhere, & maybe a gallery here too.  
I've also been keeping up the folks at the Arlington Archosaur Site and all their discoveries, very cool stuff. This area was once a river valley near the ancient coast( when most of Texas was a sea ) and they keep finding out new clues about life in this area. They find lots of huge croc fossils, massive turtles, and of course dinos( mostly the "duck-billed" types). They've also found the signs of a large forest fire, apparently a hazzard then as much as nowdays.  I've been sketching some dinos as a result of the inspiration...when I get some into a presentable state I'll post 'em here.

I need to get back to it, so till later...
  • Listening to: Juno Reactor
  • Reading: The Martian Chronicles
  • Watching: Spirited Away
  • Playing: working on 6mm SF tanks
  • Eating: Cup noodles and crackers
  • Drinking: Sweet Tea
I have survived A-Kon 22, and am now chilling at home with Togo Kami.   I didn't see too much at the con because I had to sit my and Stellar Horizon's tables, but I did enjoy the parts of the con I did see.  I really enjoyed all the people that stopped by and thanked me for the work I did on the badges and staff t-shirt, and their love for the style I use.  It would seem that folks still love "old school anime" style, and appreciate my keeping it alive.  Alot of badges got signed, and I sold a fair amount of prints, YAY!!  

My profits went into my dealers room raid (after covering costs...), and I still had money left over...some of which I used to buy dinner for my Stellar Horizons partners and friends...YAY!! Steak And Shake!!  The rest of the money goes into my general homefront funds.  Sadly, there's little I really want in the dealers room nowadays...but I did pick up the latest Shunya Yamashita book, two 1/144th scale VF-1 Valkyries, a 1/144th scale  CosmoFighter( Space Cruiser Yamato), a "Code Geass" Roman Album, Antarctic Press comic "Steampunk Palin"( too wierd to pass up) and few other comic books. I often will window shop artbook titles( and my eyes glaze at the $$$ con price mark up), and make note of ones I'd like to get, and plan to order them from Japanese booksellers at half the price in most cases( even with shipping).   

I got to do alot of people watching, which is a lot fun at a con..."does your Mama know you dress like that?"...and ate too many meals of Genghis Grill teriyaki chicken.  I also did some sketching and have a piece that I'm going to finish soon and post here on DA.

Thank you to all that stopped by and visited and expressed appreciation of my artwork, it has really helped re-charge me ,get me motivated, and out of the blue doldrums I've been in so long!!   I plan to have a larger table display next year and want to double( or more) the prints available and vary up the types of art for sale.   

So... I'm back at it, feeling better about things, and trying to not let the "world" get me down.

"Free RPG Day" is coming up, and we have a "Stellar Horizons" adventure module/ quick start rules set out for the event.  So find out if your game or comic store is taking part in "Free RPG Day" and get a FREE copy of "Stellar Horizons - The Road Less Travelled"!!
I think y'all will enjoy it, and it's a great way to get introduced to the Stellar Horizons game and the Valkyrie Games system.

Well, back to it...art to work on, Togo to walk and pet, chores to do, models & miniatures begging to be worked on, and people to contact. Oh, and badge art to post on DA!!

Life to live.    

                                                                          -Have a great day!
  • Listening to: Tron Legacy Soundtrack
  • Reading: Spaceships Of The Mind
  • Watching: World At War
  • Playing: painting E-100 tank miniatures
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Mr. Pibb
It's been awhile, and between work, various crisises, Stellar Horizons work, and Akon 22 artwork, I haven't had too much time to do anything.  I'm feeling worn out, both physically and mentally, and could use a change of routine for the better.  I'm trying hard to get some balance in life and get back "on the horse".    There's alot of things I need to nail down, but worrying about them isn't going to help.   So onward, Forward...

Stellar Horizon's is going to participate in "Free RPG Day" with a one-shot adventure module, so if your game store/comic book shop is involved with "Free RPG Day" look for a copy in the game box!!

I've got now a mix bag of stuff to do and as part of my goal of getting my world together I'm going to be cranking out stuff...mainly for sales at Akon, but there will be plenty of new stuff to post here at DA.  I've got some crazy ideas I want to get on paper, including a "not-Ogre" cybertank design, several space warships, and of course lots of girls.    

So, I'm gonna hang in there and do my best to try an enjoy doing art...and endure another hot Texas summer.
  • Listening to: Lacuna Coil - Karmacode
  • Reading: "Horizons" by Bel Geddes
  • Watching: City Of Ember
  • Playing: no time for games or models
  • Eating: Burrittos and Wolf brand chili
  • Drinking: Red Diamond Sweet Tea
The last several months have been punctuated by various trials, disasters, and griefs.  My little brother's fiancee has cancer and is under going treatment, my dear stepsister Donna lost her fiance to a long term illness.  Those issues and so many others, both large and small, have struck me, my family, and my friends. Even one of the wolf cubs , Eris, has been stricken and will have to have her leg worked on so it will grow right.  And one year ago Hunter Wolf was taken from those who loved him. I'm growing tired of trials, disasters, and griefs...I'm tried of my peace of mind and time being consumed by the remorseless world and my personal demon working overtime.
Everyday at work I'm professionally "perky and helpful", at home my peace of mind and focus lag and result in inaction.
I won't even get into the political and economic stupidity that also complicates my life...and millions of others. Let's just say "Hope & Change" aren't working out and I'm wishing for a "Pinochet" to do some house cleaning, but I'll settle for elections.


I MUST AND WILL BREAK OUT OF THIS!!

These issues have hurt my productivity, a client relationship( sorry Centurion13...I still owe you at least two drawings for your trouble),and are slowing down my Stellar Horizons work.

NO MORE!! WITH GOD'S HELP AND MY FRIENDS, I WILL GET THROUGH THIS KRAP!!

SO...ONWARD...FORWARD...

I'm still doing the work on the Stellar Horizons vehicle guide, some of the work I've already posted here...and in full glorious color( the book interiors are black and white), and I've still got some 35 pieces to go.
But I won't be posting them all...I've got to get y'all to buy the book after all!!

On the good news front, Armorcast is going to be producing the "Mercy" Fel'Tap Medic mini. I've seen the green sculpt and she's been reproduced faithfully!!  You can find the original piece of art in my gallery fav.me/dstrrn

Other projects are in the works, personal and commissions, including getting next years A-Kon art in order, my tribs for Jarlidium Press' next issue of "North American Furs"( issue #25, and my third issue to submit stuff to!).  Somewhere in all this I'd like to build some of the models lying around here...but art comes first...but the Earth Defense Battleship and Carrier models call to me, and so does this Tequilagunner mech and all those Zakus.

The battle of life calls, and there will be better days...

There's art to be done, wolves to hug, and a life to live.

I'll post stuff often, so WATCH THIS SPACE!!
  • Listening to: heavy rain outside & Kansas
  • Reading: "A Guide To Ancient Mexican Ruins"
  • Watching: Fox News
  • Playing: no time for games or models
  • Eating: mini-donuts
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
My friend and game developer,Patrick, has gotten the Valkyrie Games webpage up! There you can get your own copy of the awesome "Stellar Horizon" role playing game!

You can get there from this link:www.stellarhorizons.com/

The site is still underconstruction, so please bear with us. Some of the site art is old, and kinda embarassing to me...sooo I'll be re-working some of it in the coming weeks. Our kick ass "Kelly's Guide To Small Arms Volume 1" is up as well!!
This summer we will have the first volume of Stellar Horizon's Vehicle guide out( a very few pieces of the art has been posted here,in color ), then another module. Later we will work on the next volume of "Kelly's Guide to Small arms".

Togo is now a daddy!! Miss Kyla gave birth to their pups, seven in all!!
They are so cute! The count is four girls, one boy, and two unknown...Mama is very protective, so getting ahold of pups is a difficult, if not dangerous effort.

The last of the A-Kon art is in the works and will be finished this weekend, allowing me to get back to other commitments.
It's been kinda hard, the day job is kicking my arse hard...sigh...but at least I've got a job!
  • Listening to: Jethro Tull's "Songs from the Wood"
  • Reading: "Design For Survival" a 1960's comicbook
  • Watching: Nuclear Bomb Test videos
  • Playing: Just painting old Battletech minis
  • Eating: Frito Pie!! Burp!!
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
Typical Texas...from cold winter weather to warm spring weather, with no gentle transitions. But it will jump from extremes for the next month and a half...with rain and storms for punctuation.

   Well, I'm in the middle of another Stellar Horizons project, the vehicle guide and rules. Already I've shared on DA a very few samples of whats going to be in the book. There's a whole lot more in the book and a lot more for me to finish...sigh. Completion will be estimated for some time in June, BUT!!, will be running Stellar Horizons game demos at A-Kon 21!!

  Speaking of A-Kon, it's that time of year when I have to crank out the Geishabots for the convention badges and staff t-shirt. Sorry, but I cannot show those off until after the con, but I can show off the staff shirt( which anybody can get...including non-staff) as soon as it's done!! Of course I have to get stuff ready for the art show, even though sales have sucked for the last few years, and get things together for my table( displays, signage, etc, etc, etc...).

  Then I've got to get my trib ready for Jarlidium Press' next issue(#24) of "North American Fur". I really want to do some cool new pieces for the next issue...and don't worry I'll show( IN FULL GLORIOUS COLOR ) some off here on DA!!

On top of all this, I go back to work full time at the pool store...yay money! And of course there's art work I want to do for fun.

I'm going to be busy as hell.

Togo Wolf News!! Togo gets lucky!!
Togo Akaiokami, after persistant nagging of Kyla Wolf( and waiting for the right time of year), got busy making little wolves. Let's just leave out the ugly details, and leave on the note that there were two tries on as many days. We will know soon if the effort was successful and if we will be hearing the pitter-pat of little paws.

I've joined and contributed to several groups here on DA, something I strongly suggest you do if you haven't already, and the result has been more visits and faves!!  Plus, you get to see more people's work than you would normally see, or would have missed!!

Well...back to it, I've got one last background work to do for Mr.Satak, and those Stellar Horizons vehicles and A-Kon Geishabots aren't going to draw thenselves!!
  • Listening to: Era
  • Reading: Universal War One comics
  • Watching: UFO series
  • Playing: Mobile Suit Gundam games on PS2
  • Eating: Ham sandwiches and BarBQ chips
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
Extreme winter weather in North Texas usually takes the form of freezing rain and an inch of ice glazing everything...and we might even miss that sort of weather for a year or two. Snow is very rare, and we will at best get an inch or less maybe twice in ten years.

We've gotten 8 inches plus. The drifts are even higher...up to Togo's fuzzy belly.

WTF AlGore??...where's my Global Warming...ah hell, where's my usual North Texas krap weather!!?

I've never seen anything like this in Texas, and I've lived here since 1972!! Before that time, when I was a very little kid, snow like this was common during the winter because I lived in Washington D.C.

Now before I hear the usual statements of "deep snow is nothing unusual where we live" or "we deal with it all the time" from folks from places like "Snowmass, Colorado", "North Pole, Alaska", or "FrozenVikingNads, Minnesota"...please realize that this is TEXAS!! My fellow Texicans have trouble driving in mere sleet, and we can have bikini weather in February! You say "snow chains" and folks here might think you mean putting the chains you use in a bar fight in a deep freezer, or some unknown brand of flavored ice thangs! We've got sanding trucks, and no snowplows!! We are in no way adjusted to this kinda weather!!

I gotta say, It's beautiful!! My beloved forest is magical looking coated in snow. My buddy brought his big female wolf, Kyla, over and we went for a walk in the park...at midnight.  Because of the urban light reflecting off the snow and snowflakes...we didn't need flashlights.
It was so bright you could have read a newspaper that night, even in the woods!! It was awesome, even magical, and the experence was amped by the fact we were walking wolves!!  The wolves just loved it, plowing through the snow, and they got hyper!! This morning we got some pics of the wolves in the snow and I'll post them in my scraps as soon as my buddy e-mails them to me.
The bad thing is the trees, like the people in Texas, are not used to this kinda weather, and countless trees have lost branches or have snapped altogether.  The sounds of crashing foliage and snapping branches are constant in my beloved forest.  After all this is done, there will be signifigant damage to the woods.

But I'm gonna try to enjoy this weather, and hunker down here at the "ArtraccoonShiro". I've got plenty of food and firewood. I collected lots of wood the day prior, because I was expecting a power failure( Arlington's infrastructure sucks)...and that was when I was expecting a mere one inch of snow! Of course I'll get plenty of chances to dash around in the snow when Togo needs his walks.
  • Listening to: assorted techno & trance music
  • Reading: Samoletoi USSR (WW2 Soviet planes)
  • Watching: Haiti suffer ;(
  • Playing: Rogue Trooper on PS2
  • Eating: toast
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
Last night I finally saw the much ballyhooed "Avatar", and I found the visuals and movement quite striking, the screenplay derivative and basic ( I was wondering where Disney's Pocahontas' raccoon got off to...and that Kevin Costner did a better job in his original film ), and the characters were as cardboard as a pizza box.
And of course I didn't care much for the anti-West/anti-American, anti-GWOT, anti-bussiness, anti-industrial, anti-tech, and anti human message...and realise I've always been for the Indians whenever the American history subject of the "War on the Plains" comes up.

The hardware was kinda cool, but one has to wonder about having a combat powersuit with a big window, and having "Nam' era Huey style door gunners hanging out the sides just waiting to get gobbled up instead of remote mounted weapons.  But hey, door gunners look cool and having big glass cockpits on powerarmor let's the actor be seen...so I'll go easy on those points.
Of course I'd like to point out that the Na'vi's peace will probably only last 12 to 15 years. If the resources of Pandora are so important to the Humans to make them act so stupidly and risk trouble from their own governments for their abuses and/or failure, it's assured another expedition will be on it's way...either to re-approch the Na'vi or with massive force( more troops and AFVs, chemical weapons, nukes, etc...).
Considering that there are still separate nationstates, you know that someone else will try...the People's Republic of China for example( PRC powersuits and shoulder fired nukes being envisioned...).

BUT NOW FOR THE BIG ISSUE!!!! THE BIG STINK!!!! MEGA RABID RANT AHEAD!!

REALLY, I'M WARNING YOU ALL...RABID RANT AHEAD!!!

I can forgive all the above but not the BLATANT RIPOFF OF RODGER DEAN'S WORK!!  I too have been influenced by Mr. Dean's work, and I love his technique(s)...and I have even done some thing derived from his concepts( floating islands, wild landscapes, and bright organic patterns)...BUT DAMN!!...I will give him credit( and any other artist that inspires me) for the even the most slight inspiration!!  When I saw the "floating mountains" of Pandora, I was thinking cool...very Rodger Dean-like, and could have very easily have let it pass as something that many artists can come up with on their own.   But then there were the stone arches...
My first thought was "WOW! It looks like Cameron hired Rodger Dean!! What a great GIG for Mr. Dean to score!!"  So...later as the credits roll...nada...nothing...like getting a birthday present from Dethklok nothing...no credit at all!!!  "Well perhaps I missed it...getting old you know and his name might have been in that jumble of names associated with the various effect studios.
  WRONG ARTRACCOON!!...After checking online, there is no working association between "Avatar" and Dean. But there seems to be plenty of folks who noticed the theft as I did...like over at ArtistsUKdotnet's blog.  I even went over the Mr. Dean's website...figuring that if he had anything to with "Avatar" he'd mention it( after all,it would be a great chapter in his career)...but nope. In fact he links to a Google search comment.
   So, much like the corporate defilers of Pandora, they've plowed a virtual robo-bulldozer into someone else's "world", knocked over someone else's "Hometree" and extracted the valuable resources. It would seem that the "message" of "Avatar" didn't translate very far.  And yes,just like the Colonel in the movie, I hold Mr.Cameron responsible( the officer is always responsible for the conduct of his troops)...besides Cameron is an "art guy" too and held the reigns of artistic/design/imagery white-knuckle tight, so there is no way he didn't know what was going on.
All of this could also ruin Mr. Dean's "Floating Islands" film project too. Thus despoiling a whole another world...before the masses even know it's there.  Kinda "Terminator-sque", kill John Conner before he's born sorta situation. In a rather pervese turn, the "Shocked and Awed" Avatar groupies will shake their collective Na'vi-wannabe heads and scream about how "Floating Islands is a ripoff of Avatar".  They will put on their virtual Na'vi warpaint and blog themselves to war. And of course there's always the twisted corporate angle of trying to sue Mr. Dean for using his own ideas.   I feel sick just thinking about this...IT'S MADE ME MAD.

I MEAN VERY MAD...I WANT TO DO TO "AVATAR" WHAT HOWARD ROARK DID TO CORTLANDT HOMES!!!  WHERE'S MY FRIGGIN' DYNAMITE?!!!

I WANNA NUKE ME SOME BLUE PEOPLE!! I WANT TO FIRE ANTI-MATTER MISSILES (Comet Empire Style) AT PANDORA!! I WANNA GO "BLACK MOMBA" ON MR. CAMERON AND HIS ART STAFF WITH A HANZO SWORD!!

sigh...GEEK RANT TUNED DOWN...

"SO ARTRACCOON, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DONE TO FIX THIS?"

Number one, give Mr. Dean some public credit...and I mean so that the vast masses of Avatar fans WILL KNOW WHO RODGER DEAN IS!!

Number two, perhaps some $$$$ should be paid for Mr. Dean's work!!

Number three...AND MOST IMPORTANT!!!

Mr. Cameron should help fund, produce, tech support, and promote Mr. Dean's "Floating Islands" film project.  Cameron should help make Mr. Dean's vision make it to the screen (...and in 3-D no less), he should be yellin' from the mountain tops about such a project and the glory of Rodger Dean's work( shouldn't be too hard since he soooo obviously likes Dean's work).
That is BEST thing that Mr. Cameron could do with his fame and fortune(now partially ill-gotten in my view)...help a fellow artist make his vision come true, especially one whom you nicked so much from.
I'd love to see that happen.

Otherwise...where's my dynamite!!

                                    -Lee "Artraccoon" Madison