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Artist of the Month: I interview Amanda Clegg

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 1, 2011, 4:36 PM

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Hello everyone! Thanks for participating in my interview poll-- you spoke, and I listened!

I have decided to interview one artist and author every month-- and my first interview is with :iconenginemonkey:, aka Amanda Clegg, portraitist extraordinaire, who painted Sophia Myles for the classic Doctor Who episode, "The Girl in the Fireplace" (which is one of my personal favorites).  She is a fascinating person whose art is inspired by her wide variety of experiences, which includes theatrical prop-making and exploring ruined Victorian sanatoriums-- we also discuss Doctor Who in nerdy detail.

Be sure to check it out!…

  • Listening to: people yakking in Starbucks
  • Reading: Bad Vibrations by Christine Pope

I'm going to be published!

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 15, 2011, 3:46 AM

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Alan and Celia by suburbanbeatnik Question of Time characters by suburbanbeatnik Alan Forrest Pin-Up by suburbanbeatnik Alan Forrest, Take One by suburbanbeatnik

I've got some incredible news for you guys. I've been shopping my manuscript for "A Question of Time" around-- and after several months and several rejections, it's finally found a home with Champagne Books, a wonderful indie publishing house based in Canada! It's coming out in November 2012-- I have a contract, and I've been assigned an editor. It's very cool to see how everything works on the inside now!

As you can imagine, this is tremendously exciting.  My personal illustration site will remain that, but I'm revamping my blog so I can feature my writing and my books there. Watch this space for more news, contests and everything.  

If you're wondering what the story is about, here's a brief blurb:

Successful author Celia Cavalotti is still mourning the death of her favorite teacher, who died in a car crash in 1989. But when a car crash of her own hurtles her back in time to the week of his death, she finally has a chance to set things right.

Finding herself in the 1980s is a shock to the extremely modern Celia-- but even more shocking is seeing her dead English teacher, Alan Forrest, alive before her very eyes. Alan is far more handsome than she remembers, and she can't resist the urge to flirt. After all, they have so much in common, like writing and a shared love of science fiction. Celia knows she's falling in love with him-- but can she use this opportunity to prevent his tragic death? What is happening to her? And why can't she seem to stay in one place and time?

So yes, it's got romance, death, sex, the 1980s, and heaping helpings of pop culture references (and Rick Astley too). It's totally awesome man... totally awesome to the max.

  • Listening to: WRAS-- Rotation with Alexis
  • Reading: Silver Snakes by Christian Dabnor

I'm featured in The Missing Slate

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 24, 2011, 8:30 PM

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I have some exciting news.  About a month ago, Moeed Tariq, the creative director of The Missing Slate-- a South Asian arts and lifestyle magazine-- contacted me, asking if I wanted to be the featured artist for the summer issue.  He first noticed me because of my Bunnie Antoinette piece; and he thought my work in general would fit the theme of the issue, which would be revolution (in honor of the Arab Spring) and women's rights.  He chose my Tanit painting for the cover, which seemed a perfect choice given that she's an ancient North African goddess.  

Inside is an interview with me, and you can read the issue for free online here (you do need to sign in through Wordpress to view the issues-- it's easy to register though).  A print copy is for sale-- you can also buy a PDF for the great price of $2.

I hope you guys enjoy!

  • Listening to: beep boop music on WRAS
  • Watching: Covert Affairs
  • Drinking: coffee

Happy Game of Thrones day-- I'm on!

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 19, 2011, 3:33 AM

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Jaime Lannister by suburbanbeatnik

So, today is the finale of the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones, which has turned out to be a really great show. And interestingly enough, my pic of Jaime Lannister has been featured on a special GoT fanart gallery on  (cabepfir has also been featured-- she has two pieces up!)

You can see my picture of Jaime here:,,20470…

  • Listening to: Videogame of Thrones- Digitapp
  • Drinking: coffee

I'm interviewed on BBC Radio!

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 13, 2011, 4:23 PM

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Free 'Amina' by suburbanbeatnik

So you guys probably know I've been closely following the unfolding "Gay Girl in Damascus" blog hoax, where a popular lesbian Syrian activist named Amina Arraf was actually outed as a white man from Georgia. Anyway, a very interesting development for me personally has happened in connection with this-- I was interviewed by the BBC this morning on "World Have Your Say: The Amina Hoax." I'm introduced as "Joanne from Georgia" at 19:12. I was asked by Nuala McGovern how much harm the Amina hoax has done, and I said my piece.

Anyway, it was a great experience (if only slightly nerve-wracking). I was the token angry American throwing out phrases like "an almost sociopathic disregard for the feelings of others" and "Internet Munchausen by proxy." I would have called Tom MacMaster an assclown if I could have gotten away with it, but I kept my language PG. (I did say that he was an "attention whore" though-- LOL!) But it was particularly awesome hearing Jelena Lecic at the other end of the line, saying how she WILL take legal action against Tom MacMaster. I had to restrain myself from cheering.

The episode will be available for download for seven days.  Enjoy listening to me sounding like a 12 year old!

  • Listening to: WHYS podcast
  • Reading: Linda LaRoque-- "A Way Back"
  • Drinking: coffee

Dark Valentine is dead

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 3, 2011, 2:49 PM

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I have some bad news for everyone. Dark Valentine Magazine will be closing its digital doors this weekend. The anniversary issue has been posted today on the site, but after today, the final issue will be archived on editor Joy Sillesen's Stony Hill Productions site, along with all the other issues of the magazine.

We plan to create a print copy of the anniversary issue later this summer and will provide updates on our Facebook group page, our twitter feed (@DarValMag) and on our individual blogs.

We had hoped to keep the site going for another few weeks, but issues with our hosting company have made that impossible.  If you have stories or art on the site, please archive to your personal computer.

Making the decision to shutter the magazine and the site was not easy. We loved working with the writers and artists who contributed so much over the past year. And we were thrilled by the support we got from the writing and artistic community as well.

We think you'll agree that we're going out on a very high note.  The anniversary issue is spectacular–from its awesome graphic cover by Jordan Boos to the 15 stories inside, illustrated, as always, by an eclectic and international cadre of artists, including :iconclockworkvirus:, :iconmarksatchwill:, :iconvictoria-poloniae:, :iconcapnflynn:, :iconjaney-jane:, :iconrosengeist:, :icontemiel:, and many others.

Thanks for a wonderful year.

We'll see you on the 'net.


  • Listening to: WRAS
  • Reading: Roberta Gellis-- "The Rope Dancer"
  • Drinking: coffee

Art in exchange for a dA subscription?

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 30, 2011, 9:48 AM

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My subscription to dA has run out. Would anyone like to buy a subscription for me? If anyone is willing to do this, I'll do a commission in exchange.

If you'd like to buy me a 3 month subscription (for $7.99), in exchange I'll give you an 8 1/2 x 11 pencil sketch of one character, no background ($20 in value).

If you'd like to buy me a full year subscription (for $29.95), in exchange I'll give you a 9 x 12 inked drawing of one character, no background ($40 in value).

If any of you would like to do this, just send me a note on dA. Thanks!

The Spring Issue of Dark Valentine is here!

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 4, 2011, 2:17 PM

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The vernal equinox won't be here for several more weeks, but you can anticipate the arrival of spring with the latest issue of Dark Valentine. As usual, we have a fantastic assortment of artists, including :iconmarksatchwill:, :iconsavivi:, :iconvictoria-poloniae:, :iconrosengeist:, :iconelenatria:, :iconjaney-jane: and many others, with stories by Allan Leverone, John Radosta, Trost, Jeannine Dotts, and more. Enjoy fifteen spine-tingling tales that are sure to get your blood pumping! Just click <a href="here to download a copy.

  • Listening to: WNYC
  • Drinking: coffee

Commissions are now open!

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 14, 2010, 12:45 AM

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For all those who expressed interest, I am now open for commissions. Here are my special deviantArt rates:

Commissions screenshot by suburbanbeatnik

(Click to enlarge)

If you have any difficulty viewing the image, they can also be seen here.

I charge the same for colored pencil work as I do for markers. In regards to paintings, the rates quoted here are the base rate. Depending on the complexity of the character and/or the background, I might have to charge more.

If the commission is under $40, then I need to be paid in one installment after the final sketch is approved. However, if it is over $40, then half of the cost of the commission needs to be paid after the sketch approval-- the rest of it can be paid after the artwork is completed, and before the artwork is shipped to the client.
Please contact me privately in regards to larger paintings in order to negotiate pricing. If these prices are out of your range but you still are interested in owning a piece of my work, we can negotiate a payment plan or some other kind of arrangement.

I do accept Paypal. I prefer to be paid with the 'gift' option, since otherwise Paypal deducts fees from my end of the payment.

If you have any other questions, please leave a comment, or send me a note. Thanks!

  • Listening to: WNYC
  • Drinking: coffee

Issue #3 of Dark Valentine Magazine is live!

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 6, 2010, 10:18 AM

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The winter issue of Dark Valentine magazine is now here! It's wintertime, and filled with appropriately dark tales by the likes of evil dopplegangers, Catholic priest zombies, invading aliens, spider-obsessed maidens and icy Russian snow queens. We also have artwork from the amazing  :iconjaney-jane:, :iconmarksatchwill:, :iconenginemonkey:, :iconclockworkvirus:, :iconstratosmacca:, :iconzephyrhant:, :iconnyrak:, :iconvictoria-poloniae:, :icontemiel:, and :iconelenatria:.  

Click here for a free download.… Enjoy!

  • Listening to: WNYC
  • Drinking: coffee

Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 25, 2010, 1:43 AM

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Hey everyone!  I wanted to let you guys know that I'm illustrating "Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain," a novella written by the very talented Christine Pope-- it's now live on the the Dark Valentine website. It's a fun and somewhat loopy love story that's perfect for Halloween reading, and a new chapter will be posted each day between now and Saturday, October 30th. It's based on the cult fan favorite song "Skullcrusher Mountain" by Jonathan Coulton about a mad scientist (is there any other kind?) who falls hard for one of his victims-- although Jenna Masterson, the kidnapped reporter, is more than a match for the scientist in question.

Please stop by and check it out (comments are love!).

Thanks everyone-- and thanks for all the comments, favs and watches.  I'm sorry I no longer to have time to thank everyone individually, but I really appreciate it!

EDIT 7/16/2011: "Skullcrusher Mountain" can longer be found on the Dark Valentine website (RIP), but it can be read here, or can be downloaded for free.…!

  • Listening to: Beat Police
  • Eating: Oreo cupcake
  • Drinking: coffee

Win prints of 'The Pink Carnation' comic

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 7, 2010, 9:23 PM

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As you might have seen in my gallery, I've been working with author Lauren Willig on several comic scenes from her book, "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation." Here they are:

Pink Carnation, Scene 1 page 1 by suburbanbeatnik Pink Carnation, Scene 1 page 2 by suburbanbeatnik
Pink Carnation, Scene 2 page 1 by suburbanbeatnik Pink Carnation, Scene 2 page 2 by suburbanbeatnik Pink Carnation, Scene 2 page 3 by suburbanbeatnik
Pink Carnation, Scene 3 page 1 by suburbanbeatnik Pink Carnation, Scene 3 page 2 by suburbanbeatnik

To promote the release of "Pink Carnation" in mass market paperback, Lauren is having giveaway of the second scene of the comics, over at her site. Enter a Facebook status update for any of the characters in her Pink Carnation series, and you'll be entered to win one of five from a limited, numbered print run of the Tuileries scene. You could have your very own copy, autographed by Lauren Willig and myself, of Napoleon shouting "JOSEPHINE!!!!" You know you want it.

The contest lasts until Sunday night.  Good luck, everyone!

  • Listening to: WFUV
  • Drinking: green tea

Issue #2 of Dark Valentine is here

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 3, 2010, 1:07 PM

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The autumn issue of Dark Valentine magazine is now here! It's filled with demons, wicked queens, Nazi zombies and steampunk inventors, from authors Allen Leverone, Gerri Leen, Karyne Corum, Christine Pope, and many more. We also have artwork from the incomparable :iconmarksatchwill:, :iconysa:, :iconom-nom-berries:, :iconnasubionna:, :iconstratosmacca:, :iconnyrak:, :iconvictoria-poloniae:, :iconjaney-jane:, :iconrosengeist:, :icontemiel:, and :iconelenatria:.  

Click here for a free download.… Enjoy!

  • Listening to: Lemon Jelly
  • Drinking: iced venti soy vanilla latte

Issue #1 of Dark Valentine is live!

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 22, 2010, 5:24 PM

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I'm the art director of a new online magazine, Dark Valentine, dedicated to dark fiction. Our premiere issue has launched today, and can be downloaded free here.

In the words of our publisher, "If summer is a little too bright and shiny for you, then we invite you to take a walk on the dark side with 120 harrowing pages of horror, fantasy, noir, and more." I had the chance to work with a lot of really talented artists, like :iconvictoria-poloniae:, :iconjaney-jane:, :iconrosengeist:, :icontemiel:, :iconelenatria:, :iconrinaswan: and :iconcapnflynn:, just to name a few.  The cover, which I illustrated, is Tanit, the Carthaginian moon goddess-- she's something of our patron saint over at the magazine. It was inspired by Stephanie Dray's short story "The Threshing Floor."

We also have stories from Christine Pope, Frank Duffy, Chad Rohrbacher, and Scott Laurange. There's flash fiction from Cormac Brown, Sandra Seamans, Carol Kilgore, and Blue Jackson, as well as paranormal noir from Agatha-nominated novelist Elizabeth Zelvin and Paul D. Brazill's innovative twist on an old monster.

I hope you all enjoy!

  • Listening to: WNYC
  • Eating: cookies

Dark Valentine Magazine is here

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 1, 2010, 9:12 AM

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I'm the art director on a new magazine, Dark Valentine, that is dedicated to dark fiction. The publisher, Katherine Tomlinson, veteran of the movie, magazine and publishing industries, is our publisher, and author Christine Pope is our valiant editor.

The amazing graphic designer/illustrator :iconsavivi: designed our site, which is now up and running. You can see the new Dark Valentine website here. I'm very happy with it, and I can't wait until the first issue.  

We are accepting submissions for story submissions and illustrations. Here are the details:

The first issue will be in May, deadline is April 1.

We’re soliciting entries for our THROUGH A LENS DARKLY (they’re not paid) and we will pay $10 for stories and $10 for illustrations that run in each of our quarterly issues of DARK VALENTINE. We know that’s not much but it’s coming out of our own pockets.) Web design is by the multi-talented Sarah Vaughn, whose stories and art you may remember from Astonishing Adventures Magazines #7 and #8.

We will be specializing in dark fiction—mystery, horror, romance, slipstream, urban fantasy, fantasy, sci fi, cyberpunk, you name it. Our influences range from E.A. Poe to Tanith Lee. We know you’ve got a story to tell us.

Here’s where you send it:

  • Listening to: WFMU
  • Drinking: coffee


Journal Entry: Tue Feb 16, 2010, 3:17 PM

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I'm published! My short story "Wendy" was published by Astonishing Adventures Magazine last month, and it's free to read and download here. It's a dark, modern take on the Peter Pan story.

Last year, AAM also published my essay about ancient Rome as depicted in pulp paperback novels from the '50s, '60s and '70s, which I called Toga Porn. It's also free to download. I hope you guys enjoy!

The entire magazine is available at Mediafire- - and issuu.… are lots of great stories and art by artists like :iconsavivi:, :iconelenatria: and :icontemiel:, so be sure to check it out!

It was a great experience working with AAM. I'm now working as art director on a new magazine called Dark Valentine which shall be debuting this spring.  More to come soon.

  • Listening to: KCRW Eclectic 24
  • Eating: Amy's Cheddar and Vegetable pasta bowl

I'm in New York

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:35 PM

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I'm sorry for the lack of updates, but this time I have an exceptionally good excuse: I just moved to New York!  Yes, I'm in Fun City.  What better place for an illustrator in the publishing field to be?

Thank you, everyone, for all the favs and watches.  I really appreciate it.  There shall be lots of new art soon-- everything has fallen by the wayside in the craziness of the move.

But I'm back! Keep an eye here for more exciting projects coming down the pipeline.

  • Listening to: KCRW
  • Reading: Christine Pope-- Heart of Gold
  • Eating: pumpernickel pretzels
  • Drinking: Becks beer

New Moon

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 7, 2009, 5:12 PM

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Last night I went out to the wonderfully retro Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, where I saw New Moon, the second installment in the Twilight "saga." I wrote a snide little blurb on my FB page, but I feel compelled to write a longer entry here.

When I heard last year that Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first Twilight movie, had been fired by the Hollywood boy's club, and Chris Weitz, the hack responsible for foisting The Golden Compass upon the world, had been put in her place, I knew this meant the sequel would be crap.  And I was right!

New Moon is a big snooze.  It's superficially pretty, but there is nothing engaging about it.  Even worse, it drags on for an ass-busting two hours and twenty minutes.  Twilight wasn't a great movie, but it was entertaining, it had a certain liveliness and charm, and the actors were engaged.  In New Moon all the performers struggle valiantly through the uninspiring material, but it's a losing battle. I felt sorry for Robert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart, who deserve better-- especially Stewart, whose character, Bella Swan, is so relentlessly self-absorbed, passive and navel-gazing that she becomes a gigantic black hole on the screen, draining the life from the audience.   

Maybe I would have liked the movie better if it were, say, an hour shorter.  It also would have been better if one of the side characters-- like Alice or Jacob-- were the focus of the movie, since they actually seemed to have a personality.  Bella had no function except to be continuously rescued, to stare gloomily into space, or to gaze dreamily into her sweetie's eyes. Get the girl some Prozac already! The two most intriguing actors in the movie were the ones playing the villainous vampires-- like Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria, and Michael Sheen as Aro.  However, they weren't given that much to do, which is a pity, since the only exciting moments in the movie came from Aro and Victoria being evil.  

Even worse, the movie really lacked the right sensibility.  Twilight had the right feeling of dreamy adolescent romance fantasy-- whereas New Moon just feels like big soulless Hollywood product.  I refuse to see any more of these movies in the theater.  It'll be interesting to see what they do with the horror show that is Breaking Dawn though.  Vampire caesarean section-- how is Weitz going to make that palatable, I wonder?

  • Listening to: NPR

Sarah MacLean's new website is up!

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 6, 2009, 1:41 PM

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YA and romance novelist Sarah MacLean hired me earlier this year to depict her characters from her two novels, "The Season" and "Nine Rules to Break for Romancing a Rake."  Her newly redesigned website is now up, and it features my artwork.  Check it out! She's a great writer. "The Season" is a lively, diverting little book, very much in the vein of Georgette Heyer, but with murder, adolescent angst and a heaping helping of romance!  

Her site: &nb…;

Thanks for the favs, the watches, etc.  Thanks also for those saying hi on FB and Twitter. I really appreciate it!

  • Listening to: NPR
  • Reading: Gayle Feyrer-- &quot;Prince of Cups&quot;

Facebook, Twitter and my blog

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 2, 2009, 1:59 PM

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Friend me, if you like!  I'd love to hear from you guys.  

Here I am on Facebook:…

And on Twitter:

Also, I'm finally updating my blog! My Mad Men fanart is the subject of my latest entry. Check it out!