Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Release the hounds, it's Sick Little Suicide #41, "Dunk On Hunter," in which we sniff out the win like a blood hound!
I drew a little spoof of Duck Hunt in support of Ammar Campa-Najjar for congress. As you may know, in California's 50th District, Ammar is challenging the national disgrace Duncan Hunter--previously merely a national disgrace for vaping in Congress--who's been criminally indicted to the tune of 60 counts, regarding his theft of over $250,000 of campaign funds for personal expenses.
But Hunter's not only a thief, this poor-man's Jason Sudeikis also used the funds to have multiple affairs. But this rich man's advocate is not only a philanderer, this cartoonishly unfit politician's also a flag-waving fraud. Hunter, an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran, used campaign funds on personal vacations and luxury purchases and used the military as a front to write these expenses off as campaign expenditures.
Most notably, he wanted to go on vacation to Italy, so tried to arrange a visit to a naval base there. They couldn't accommodate his schedule, but offered an alternative date for the visit, which did not satisfy Hunter's plans, so he told his chief of staff to tell the Navy "to go [F] themselves" for not complying with his whims. He's even invoked the Wounded Warriors as a cover for purchasing of shorts, claiming he was actually buying golf balls for the Wounded Warrior Project. The list literally goes on and on, and his complicit wife, whom he blames all his financial crimes on, was also indicted. I bet they look totes adorbs in matching orange jumpsuits.
As I understand it, this dishonorably drunken Hunter banks his career on living in a longstanding red district and floats along on his father, Duncan Hunter, Sr.'s name. His father passed his seat onto the younger Hunter after serving for 30 years, and so collectively, the Hunters have ruled CA-50 for 40 years--with an illegally purchased iron fist, no doubt.
Enter one Ammar Campa-Najjar: a young Obama-alum-turned-businessman, and now first-time congressional hopeful, who's worked his way up himself, refuses corporate donations, and pledges to be a check on the rampant, blatant corruption and self-dealing consuming the present administration. Being Mexican-Palestinian-American, he's been the recipient of some of the most racist attack ads in recent history, so he's got to overcome not only the raw inertia of a deep-red district, but also these lie-laden, putrid attacks on his character. It's absurd how much Ammar has to placate these ridiculous "concerns," but for what it's worth, he's taken the time to dispel all concerns any reasonable voter could have. If you buy into the racist ads, you're being willfully ignorant at this point.
Meanwhile his opponent is always in his military get-up in his crassest ads, pretending he's Mr. Military, yet we have him quoted in his indictment badmouthing the military, using injured vets as cover against their knowledge or wishes, and generally preying on his district's love for the armed forces, owing to its sizable population of military families. That's viciously manipulative and abusive, and is especially dishonorable coming from a vet himself, and that's not even getting into the derangement of relying on racist fear-mongering this guy has to do since he can't run on his record, which includes voting for the tax cut that happened to adversely affect his own district since that general tax cut was designed to punish anti-Orange states. And he can't run on his policies because he plans to attack healthcare, is raring to pass more millionaires more tax cuts at workers' expense, and is generally in lockstep with that orange fraud, to the point of being the second person to endorse him when that burnt-leather basketball was a total sideshow barking at Katy Tur beside an above-ground kiddy pool at a barbeque in the boonies.
So long story short, we need game over for Duncan Hunter, and all we gotta do is press start with Ammar.
Fun Facts: I had the idea for a Duck Hunt spoof a while ago, but haven't had a chance to finish it before today, on Election Day of all days, so here we go! This is what we trained for, this is why we play the game, we need to get out there and vote.
Easter Eggs: The rather than having little bird icons, I used rabbits since this hound dog infamously used $600 of campaign funds on airfare to fly his pet rabbit around. Instead of bullets, as in the original Duck Hunt, we have ballots, checked blue, of course. The district, CA-50, replaces the "SHOT" text from the original game's display. Just above that, the round number is replaced with "D = 1," meaning Democrats are number one, meaning we need to get as many of these guys in and as many Republicans out as possible in this election. The score is zero because that's the benefit Hunter's accrued for his district over the past 10 years, and naturally his hit meter's empty cuz all he ever does is miss.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Chik it out, only ONE (1) day until we #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so at long last, here's our very final poke, Johto Dex #001, Chikorita!
Dude, it's all been leading up to this, it's ours to take, we have it at our fingertips, we just need to turn out and get this thing done. If you or anyone you know can vote, please do so, we need everybody, no bench-sitters. We need to win overwhelmingly to send the message that we do not tolerate the viciousness, the blatant corruption, the daylight-clear self-interest these cartoon villains presently in power are perpetuating. It's one thing to complain online, but this is now game time, this is what we train for, this is the real deal.
So even if you vote in a blue (Democrat) district, we need to run up the score against these corrupt clowns in red, and if you live in a red (Republican) district, you absolutely need to turn out because many, many, many districts are going to come down to the wire and every single vote counts, with no hyperbole. Republicans were in charge of drawing districts in many places the last time they were redrawn (every 10 years after the Census) and have made sure to rig districts via gerrymandering--which is a technique of drawing severely lopsided districts--to favor and perpetuate themselves and restrain opposition. So in order to win what would be a normally winnable district, all else equal, to surmount the stacked advantage of a gerrymandered district, we necessarily need a ton of turnout.
The key to massive turnout is voters who don't normally vote, such as those who aren't as engaged or keeping up with things as closely as others, and of course first-time voters, which is usually younger citizens age 18 and up. Of special note, fellow minorities in particular need to come out--if we voted anywhere near our actual population, we would have this in the bag every single election. But we minorities tend not to vote as reliably as white voters, so it's imperative we get our people out to the polls. We can absolutely win this, but we need to turn out. It's in our hands.
Now, not only are your districts counting on you to put sensible people in charge who will actually endeavor to improve your lives by securing healthcare and environmental protections (clean air, water, etc.) and limiting the reach of violence (sensible gun control, more economic opportunities for people on the brink of desperation from underemployment or undereducation), but your country needs you to slam the brakes on this destructive administration on a national level. If Democrats win the majority by flipping as many districts blue (Democrat) as possible, they become in charge of committees, oversight, and investigations, by which they can actually hold these plainly corrupt monsters accountable by forcing them to disclose their backdoor dealings, with no protection from Republican obstructing the discovery of their myriad conflicts of interest. That's just the House of Representatives. If we can flip the Senate, then we can absolutely put an end to perhaps the most dangerous and longest-lasting parts of the administration, particularly by stopping the approval of all these radically conservative, partisan (Republican) federal judges, so that only more fair-minded, non-radical judges will attain these positions and will make decisions based on their reading of the law rather than basing judgments on party influence. These federal Judges are important because they serve lifetime appointments, meaning that once they get in, they're basically there until they retire or die. Republicans have been abusing their majority by ramming through as many of their radical, unqualified Republican judges as possible, and now they are perched on the bench for life. A majority in the Senate can stop that cascade of compromised judges as well as harmful legislation, like all these attempts to repeal or curtail healthcare.
And further on an even greater level, the very planet is relying on us to flip as many districts blue as possible. If we can achieve majorities in one or both Chambers of Congress (the House of Representatives or the Senate), we can ensure these senselessly destructive environmental policies aren't furthered, are are reined in as much as possible, and on top of that we may even be able to pass protections again. Ordinarily I don't care about the environment, but we're nearing the point of no return on the climate, meaning once we hit a certain level of damage done to the ice caps from increasing temperatures melting the massive glaciers up/down there, the damage will be irreparable, and we'll be stuck with a hotter planet and thus increased sea levels, complete with these violent storms we've seen in recent years becoming the norm, meanwhile more portions of countries will sink under sea level. Think of it like a someone chopping away at your arm, you can heal from a cut, but once that cut gets too deep, eventually your arm gets near lopped off, and once you're at that point, your arm is basically not healing back to normal, especially if it gets lopped off. Allowing us to get to this point of no return endangers us as well as our fellow humans around the world, so they are also counting on us to do the right thing and vote for the party that understands climate change as the existential crisis it is, and that's not even talking about the financial damage we're doing across the world by digging ourselves into a pit we're going to suffer for in due time--another global recession is at stake if we keep enacting these protectionist, self-injurious, short-sighted policies, which only serves to strengthen other countries' positions on the global stage (namely China) while we weaken into a secondary position.
So please, please do what you can to help change the course of history, it begins on Tuesday. The name of the game is slamming the brakes on a car careening towards a cliff. Once we have safe majorities, in future elections, notably 2020's Presidential Election, we can then start moving the car back on the road. But just focus on slamming the brakes on Tuesday. So again, please be sure to register if you haven't already (especially since many states' registration deadlines are coming up if they haven't passed already!) and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, aka TOMORROW.
Monday, October 29, 2018
I'm hopping with anticipation cuz it's just 8 mere days until it's finally, finally time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here's Central Kalos Dex #008, Frogadier!
We've been in a verily verdurous grove of forest-based pokes lately, so I wanted to make an effort to seek as different an environment as possible, say, the ocean.
I was so nervous having to take on MTGinktober and PokemonGoToThePolls simultaneously, but it kinda worked out--this is our last PGTP for October! We made it! Kinda. Ugh.
I mean, to be fair, we did fall super behind on Inktober, and it looks like we'll close at about 6 days behind as of the 31st.
But I'm getting myself to cope with failure, and besides, I'm itching to get back to full digital focus, oddly enough. AND an accomplishment in itself is that I didn't mess up my arm, back, hand, neck, or eyes this year, even while switching between traditional and digital for these challenges.
And speaking of not messing up, we're so close to getting this thing done, please be sure to register if you haven't already (especially since many states' registration deadlines are coming up if they haven't passed already!) and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
Nothing less than the planet is on the line here (not just as an international community of allies and leaders, but also as the environmental crisis grows closer to the point of no return), let alone your personal, national, and neighborly well-being. Please vote blue.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
MTGinktober pokes into Day 25, "Prickly," starring Zo-Zu the Punisher!
This was another tough one because nothing immediately leapt to mind. The closest thing was maybe something with Tetzimoc, Primal Death, but I really didn't feel like drawing that ugly, old dude, and I prefer drawing humanoids anyway. But Zo-Zu sounded interesting, especially the newer Wayne Reynolds version, since it was physically (jagged), figuratively (belligerent), and mechanically (constant, annoying damage source) on point.
Fun Facts: I actually met the original version's artist, Matt Cavotta, one year at Comic-Con. I had a portfolio review for what I later discerned was for either Duel Masters, or more likely Kaijudo before it was announced.
Easter Eggs: The background is largely based on the WAR version, but the mountain on the right comes from the OG version.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
MTGinktober cuts into Day 24, "Chop," starring Fumiko the Lowblood!
I wasn't entirely sure where to go on this deceptively difficult prompt, it couldn't be as simple as drawing a besworded character, so my initial instinct to Dakkon it up wouldn't cut it; chopping is a much more specific verb. I don't like drawing burly dudes, so in striving to avoid an ax-wielder, I went with a more subtle approach--chopping food with chopsticks!
Fun Facts: This is our second MTGinktober to feature a Kamigawan chopstick user, after last year's Graceful. Fumiko was a great pick for this iteration because I can easily see her snapping at someone or something mid-chomp and taking it out on her poor food, like someone she loathes just walked into her sight. I used my fudepen for the calligraphy and it smeared upon erasing(!)--super bummer since it chopped across a white area, so it was basically impossible to mask.
Easter Eggs: 福井 on the back banner flaps, like any of those good old noodle shops. I gave her tonkatsu with curry and rice, as that's one of my favorite JP foods when I need to really feel full (and warm up--one of the rare spicy foods I can tolerate). The only thing better is cheese curry from Sukiya, which is much easier to eat since it's far less spicy. Note the ridiculously tiny glass of water they give you.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
MTGinktober wades into Day 23, "Muddy," starring Cold-Eyed Selkie!
I wasn't actively playing during the Lorwyn block, but I've always been a fan of this eerie art, so I thought it would make a great mud-themed subject.
Fun Facts: My initial idea was a spoof of that famous Calvin and Hobbes illustration of them walking along a fallen tree, but it didn't feel muddy enough, and Mudhole likewise didn't quite feel right.
Easter Eggs: I hid my signature in her hair.
Monday, October 22, 2018
MTGinktober blings-blings up Day 22, "Expensive," starring Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Mox Emerald, Mox Sapphire, and Mox Jet!
This was one of the more interesting compositions since it involved a quieter, dreamier moment. I don't read much of the Magic lore, but I do recall reading the one about Tasigur for some reason--sometimes I'll randomly read a story just to check if it's gotten compelling yet--and unfortunately, I didn't find Mr. T terribly likable; he's kind of a jerk, so I wanted to draw him in a more agreeable moment, enchanted by his riches.
Fun Facts: This has to be one of the first drawings I've ever done of a bare midriff...I try to keep everyone tastefully under wraps. This old Zero Like Me comic, "Two Please," mighta been the closest contender prior. Also, as you can see, I had a huge ink spill, so I had to tone the pillow heavily, when I had actually just wanted to do a more delicate texture on it.
Easter Eggs: His pillow has little Turtleveld-style turtles to reference Sultai standard and MTGinktober alumnus, Meandering Towershell. Plus his arm ornament has the Sultai logo itself embedded in it. The room's lightly based on Youthful Scholar's digs. A banana's a must with Sultai, but we completed it with a Chiquita Banana style Chupacabra sticker. The featured Moxen are the Sultai ones. Tasigur's necklace chomping was inspired by Das Racist's "Brand New Dance" (yeesh, what an on-the-nose URL!).
So close you can poke it with a stick, there're only 15 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here's OG Alola Akala Dex #015, Sudowoodo!
It was a toss up to draw either this guy or Silcoon, which mighta gone great with the hat since they make a good Uncle-Sam-looking poke, but I love how weird Sudowoodo's design is.
Plus it's not every day you get to draw a considerably human-looking Pokemon, and this guy gets in the ballpark pretty well.
I also enjoyed researching his TCG appearances because they give him some gorgeous background art, which inspired mine.
Using all those blues in a green forest was a real joy, but I am aware I need to relax on leaning too hard on forests for backgrounds.
The background did give me a sorta Misty Rainforest vibe, though, which was pretty cool.
But don't get too misty-eyed yourself, just get amped up and register if you haven't already (especially since many states' registration deadlines are coming up if they haven't passed already!) and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
Sunday, October 21, 2018
MTGinktober chips away at Day 21, "Drain," starring Blood Artist trying to paint a self portrait of his idealized form, Zulaport Cutthroat, but it comes out as a Thief of Hope!
Drain is my absolute favorite Magic mechanic, which I fell in love with with Thief of Hope, back in the day. I almost-literally always draft the set's drainer effect(s) whenever possible, I just love the inevitability of plinking away at someone and since it's life loss, and usually independent of combat damage, they are utterly powerless to stop the relentless sapping.
Fun Facts: I had a hunch and--upon researching for this piece--I confirmed, that Thief of Hope was indeed the original pure black expression of the "lose one, gain one" effect, and I fondly remember looping many, many a Hana Kami and Soulless Revival, hopefully while my thieves looked on. I still have that 80-card, rubberband-bound deck from my early Magic days gathering dust somewhere.
Anyway, for a "Drain"-themed illustration, I definitely wanted to salute all my favorite incarnations of this ability, though I did have to miss out on a couple honorable mentions: Servant of Tymaret and Palace Siege (ah, drafted so many of the former, and actually played the latter in Constructed! I remember having my opponent triple pinned once: dead on board to my Brutal Hordechief and associates triggering Da Chief, to my Crackling Doom in hand, and to my Siege's trigger, all queued up for the inescapable win on the last of our extra turns--what a feeling, while my opponent scrambled futilely to find a way out of the deathgrip!).
Easter Eggs: This is obviously a spoof of Norman Rockwell's famous self-portrait. But I have Blood Artist seeing an idealized version of himself (assuming Magic Vampires have reflections), a strapping and flexible Zulaport Cutthroat, but like any artist, he nevertheless despises himself and interprets/draws himself as a hideous monster.
But the illustration includes other clippings as references in the upper right corner of the canvas, so I went with other favorite drainers--the noted Brutal Hordechief I played in my Mardu Standard deck; Scholar of Athreos, which I drafted countless copies of; Drana's Emissary, an utter tank of a card that I always attempted to draft, but that was so powerful it was a hard card to come by (drain usually benefits from being undervalued at a table, but this 2/2 flyer with an automatic trigger that also paid off the incidental life-gain reward cards was a beater no one was passing if they could help it); and lastly Basilica Screecher, a representative of the exquisite extort ability from Orzhov, which I never really got to draft, but that I enjoyed sampling at the prerelease (I could only play preres back then).
Norman Rockwell's composition also calls for a helmet, a book, a bucket-like prop, as well as a bird for the crest above the mirror, so I went with Helm of Kaldra, Jayemdae Tome, Bronze Calendar, and the vulture from Isareth the Awakener. The Japanese in the book says ルーベンの テキストだ, which just means it's my text, and notably, I'm using the Mark Tedin OG JMD Tome--since this is an illustration about illustration, I thought it'd be neat to include wonderful Magic illustrators I've worked with in the past, so he and the Algenator got representatives here, though I guess I've worked with Donato, too, only less practically (to be fair he painted both Helms of Kaldra, so that checks out, too). Speaking of that very Voss, though, and in keeping with tradition, the little swooshy B (ß) is swooped into Blood Artist's trim, on the white part of his suit tails, not to mention a little spoof of Hannes's famously super sweepy signature. Anyway, the drink on the tome is blood, and the shield just below the vulture is a reference to the five-dot arrangement on the Magic cardback.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
MTGinktober breaks through to Day 20, "Breakable," starring whatever the heck that thing is in Phyrexian Unlife!
I was not looking forward to how straightforward this illustration was going to be--and how similar in composition it would be to yesterday's piece--but I knew Phyrexian Unlife would be just perfect for this prompt, and regardless, everything was going to be all about the mood and the eyes, not an elaborate setting or composition.
Drawing all the cracks and stuff was a treat for sure, you just get to live the thrill of cutting loose while making sure not going overboard and feeling out when to pull back as necessary. And it feels like it wouldn't be an MTGinktober without somebody crying, so I also looked forward to doing some more convincing waterworks here.
Fun Facts: Oftentimes whenever there are notable hand poses in an illustration those are modeled after reference photos I took of myself, so this particular illustration probably merits at least a guest-starring credit to my hands. Also, I feel like Mirrodin and New Phyrexia have been cleaning up this year, what are we on now, three M/NP-related illustrations so far? That's gotta be a record.
Easter Eggs: In this piece I really got to do something I love doing, which is sneaking my signature into an illustration as furtively as possible--it's etched onto the right side of the drawing, just above her left eye.
Friday, October 19, 2018
MTGinktober burns up to Day 19, "Scorched," starring Ashling the Pilgrim!
This has to be one of the most straightforward pieces I've ever done: a fire-based character burning the page. Easy peasy.
Fun Facts: This one was a toss-up between Ashling and Homura, Human Ascendant, but the more firey of the two won out.
Easter Eggs: The background is loosely from Ashling's background.