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Hanzo had his 6th birthay party yesterday!

photo: my pit bull Hanzo greeting a balloon

Hanzo politely greeting a balloon that he was SUPPOSED TO MURDER.

For the past 5.5 years, any time i have given Hanzo a balloon, he has happily destroyed it with his poky little claws and bitey little teeth. If given a choice between a cardboard box, a stuffed animal, and a balloon, i’d bet money he’d pick the last one first.

photo: happy pit bull Hanzo on his way to his birthday party

He noticed there was a party on the other side of the field and was like WHY ARE WE STOPPING LET’S GET THERE NAO

So i got a bunch of people (and their kids) to blow up a buttload of balloons on his (approximate) birthday and come to this big grassy field and release their share, whereupon we expected that Hanzo would destroy the surfeit of inflated gifts in a fit of balloon-chasy glee.

photo: Seamus unloading the balloons from the car

Briar is only too happy to help Seamus unload balloons for Hanzo’s party.

Only… many of the balloons started to pop as soon as they hit the dry grass, and perhaps thinking this meant they were full of fireworks (which he doesn’t like nearly as much), Hanzo ran away from the others.

photo: Hanzo running away from a balloon gift

Hanzo dashing away in terror from Nupper’s gift.

Fortunately, he still had tons of fun… i think he knew the party was for him, even if he didn’t get the balloon thing, and he got to see other dogs and eat lots of sneaked chips and fruit and pizza crusts that he shouldn’t eat (which i guess is good, because one of the guests accidentally threw away his dinner, haha. Don’t worry, i gave him a second, smaller dinner to make up for it).

photo: Hanzo eating watermelon

At least his historical love of human food he’s not supposed to have hasn’t disappeared.

And like a little stripey superhero, Briar was there to make sure the humans were not disappointed for spending hours blowing up balloons, because she was happy to pop them for our amusement, and then to chase her ball while the little kids threw it.

I haven’t thrown a party in…years? And it reminded me why i don’t, haha. I slept for fifteen hours afterward and i could have slept more if i didn’t remember i owed some graphic design. I had a great time, though, and so did the dogs! Thanks so much to the people who wasted all their oxygen on balloons, because he was pretty happy to see them (and their food) even if he didn’t much care about the presents <3 And Briar was all about them balloons:

photo: my pit mix Briar, gazing longingly at a balloon

LATEX MURDER IN HER EYES (the way Hanzo was supposed to have)

(Hanzo and Briar slept even longer than i did, so also thanks to everyone’s children for tiring them out so i could get some work done! haha)

flames

Disclaimer: the following post contains stupid animated gifts representing opinions and views that are mine and do not reflect those of any of my employers, which you already know if you’re not a complete fucking idiot since this is my website and not DakotaArtStores.com or Tor.com or Nightmare-Magazine.com or NerdyAuthorsXXXCams.com.

If you don’t know why i’m making this post, in short it’s because i agree with Chuck Wendig’s “I Stand by Irene Gallo,” Kameron Hurley’s “The Revolution of Self-Righteous Dickery will Not Be Moderated,” Matt Wallace’s “When We Drive out the Innovators We Are Left Only with the Sad and Rabid,” The Mary Sue’s “Tor Condemns Creative Director Irene Gallo for Posting About the Rabid/Sick Puppies on Her Personal Facebook” and Gawker’s “America’s Largest Sci-Fi Publisher Gives in to Reactionary ‘Sad Puppies’“.

I must be a terrible writer, because i’m speechless. I can’t… it’s… it…

"Flames" from Clue
I mean, basically i’ve just been doing this for the last twenty-four hours.

supernatural_horrified
There is something i want to say though.

animated gif: Jack Black saying WTF
No, seriously. In the midst of Gamergate, should we really be making blog posts with open comment threads for scolding women who are already the targets of angry, bigoted, cretinous men?

animated gif: some sports guy saying "no way"
I shouldn’t even be making this post because it’s criticizing the guy who runs the company i work for, but i also like to sleep at night, so it’s not like i can keep my disappointment to myself.

animated gif: Spangler from Malcolm in the Middle, typing
Maybe the only people who should be using the Internet are women. I mean check it: an ill-considered but still-true post on a woman’s Facebook, and the male response is to throw her under a figurative bus and then hand the keys to a bunch of psychopathic, misogynist, racist, homophobic assholes?

animated gif: Damon from Vampire Diaries rolling his eyes
I AM EMBARRASSED OF BEING A GUY. Jesus Christ we’re awful. We make everything a contest, we mansplain, we’re the largest demographic of violent trolls online, and you know who doesn’t have skidmarks in their underwear? Women. Women don’t have skidmarks. I have verified this on several occasions and am prepared to declare it empirical.

animated gif: Boys are yucky

Still, in spite of being embarrassed on behalf of my gender, i’m glad we had this talk. I feel a lot better now.

animated gif: Neil from White Collar doing his hat trick

Who wouldn’t after digging through several hundred animations of Matt Bomer? Meow.

Queers Destroy Horror: Call for artists!

Award-winning anthologist (and swell guy) John Joseph Adams has been using his resources and expertise to amplify minority voices. I am SO excited to be involved!!! (For your convenience, that was a truncated punctuational representation of a million exclamation points.) Queers Destroy Horror is the latest in the lineup, and it’s shaping up to be amazing: edited, directed, written, and illustrated by queer people.

I’m the Art Director for QDH, and i could use your help. I have a few artists in mind, but i also want to see artists i’m not usually exposed to–your favorites, not just mine. Here’s your chance to promote queer artists (that includes yourself!). We’ll be commissioning a few interior illustrations as well as a cover. Cool bonus: i also hunt down covers for Nightmare Magazine, so artists whose work doesn’t get chosen for QDH still have another shot at a reputable, paid opportunity.

What am i looking for? Work that could be described as any of the following: creepy, grim, dark, spooky, disturbing, suspenseful, chilling, impossible, mysterious, weird, macabre, terrifying, #cannotunsee, and of course, horrific. My favorite work often implies a story, and i often love images that, when described aloud, cause the listener to demand to see it.

Because of spambots, i’m going to use a temporary address for this solicitation: QDHart@plunderpuss.net. Send me a link to an online portfolio, an art blog, etc. Please do not send attachments or links to galleries which require me to log in to see the content.

If you want to include something about yourself/the artist, that’s fine, but it is entirely unnecessary. Frankly, i am so busy i can’t guarantee i’m going to read it. But i WILL look at the art! If you have any questions, feel free to send them to the same address or comment below.

Thank you. Send me your favs, e’rrybody!

IMPORTANT! ECCC

Hey, if you are heading down to Seattle today, please send me an e-mail at ECCC2015@plunderpuss.net and let me know ASAP. (And no, i don’t want a ride, haha. <3) THANK YOU!!

whew

Lying in morning sun, reading aloud to the other mammals.
If I had a million bucks i’d spend my morning the same way. (via Instagram ift.tt/1FqODV1)
That Instagram shot was a couple of days ago, but it seemed like a good photo for this post, because i feel a LOT better. We went from this (tl;dr: in spite of good credit/rental behavior/reliable employment, no suitable domicile would take my weirdo family or our pets and i was preparing to live in my car) to this:
  • I probably have a safe place to stay with both dogs + one cat. I am embarrassed to admit this, but i am superstitious sometimes, so i don’t want to talk about it any more until i actually am moved in. I’m sorry, because i know some of you are really worried about me, but i’m not willing to take on more stress right now, even unscientific phantom stress. I promise (you know what’s coming…)
    art: Last panel of Bill Watterson's October 25, 1986 "Calvin & Hobbs" strip
  • The cat who won’t enjoy this mystery place much is going to live with a friend for a bit. She lives alone and her beloved cat passed away last summer, so he’ll get lots of cuddling and an entire apartment as the only pet.
  • My partner and i secured a fairly big storage unit so when we have a real home again, we won’t have to replace all of our belongings (or toss out the irreplaceable ones, like photos)
  • S.E.E.D., No Keys, and a couple of generous donations have left me able to take care of basic moving costs (right now, these include: said storage unit, transportation of remaining must-have items, pro-rated first month for move-in, deposit)
  • I think there might be enough left over to fix my bicycle or start a fund to buy a new one (it’s a ten mile ride to work, and in its current state, my bike won’t last long under that kind of heavy use).
  • I rode the ten miles there and another ten back yesterday as a test, and it turns out i can do it without even getting sore. That was unexpected and welcome news!Also, it’s a gorgeous ride–i really enjoyed it at least in good weather. Check this out, and try to imagine it’s not a crappy phone pic and that you can see the colors of the snow-laden dormant volcano and the cherry blossoms along the road:
    photo: Mt. Baker + cherry trees along the highway
I’m not excited about two+ hours of commute for work, living so far away from one of my partners, even partially splitting up my pet family, or being a small queer in an undersized hillbilly farm town (again! f*$#!!), but i’m still immensely grateful to the friends who are offering this refuge. One of them is a fellow comic artist, so we can draw together :3 And there is some sun peeking out of the clouds on long-term housing plans as well, though i’m going to be even more superstitious about sharing those.
Yeah, you guessed it…
art: Last panel of Bill Watterson's October 25, 1986 "Calvin & Hobbs" strip
So even though i am still preparing to live in my car because after the run of crap i just endured, i don’t trust anything right now, i’m fairly hopeful that i won’t have to. Pets are all safe, important stuff is safe, and O Happiest of Days, No Keys just updated! I’ve been working on the wallpapers i promised in my Patreon–they should be up soon (i’m pretty busy packing, so hopefully y’all are okay waiting a wee bit!).
Thanks again to everyone who helped out. This is the scariest, most stressful thing that has happened to me in my entire life so far, and it really proved to me that i have surrounded myself with good fabulous amazing people. ♥

No Keys

graphic: header to the comic "No Keys"

No Keys” is about four friends looking for suitable lodgings and finding each prospect hilariously uninhabitable.*

It isn’t fictional enough, i’m afraid, even though i guess we haven’t looked at any legitimate haunted mansions or houses constructed entirely of broken glass (“You’ll never need a boxcutter or a letter opener again!”). And we are better looking than the way i draw us, haha. But anyone who has had to move knows how tough it is to find the right space to call home.

The least fictional part is the fact that we still don’t have anywhere to live and we  need one too damn soon. I’m writing and drawing the comic for shiggles, because we need something to put a smile on our homeless faces, but i’m also hoping it can shake out a little cash that i can put toward moving costs when we do find the magical fairytale rental(s) that will accommodate our unorthodox family, or failing that, toward a downpayment and repairs on a house (which we’d buy through a community land trust because we’re hippies).

If you enjoy the comic* and you’d like to fund its continuation, drop by my Patreon and pledge. There are some pretty bad-ass rewards and goals! If you’d like to get a gift for someone else as a way to help me out and gently stun two birds with one non-lethal projectile, you can check out S.E.E.D., a collaborative art project that’s helping me fund NOT living in my car.

 

* At the moment, because of technical difficulties (i just can’t get a break this month, haha) it’s being hosted on ComicFury, but that’s temporary. If for any reason nokeyscomic.com doesn’t work, for now you can use nokeys.the-comic.org.

This is what I see every time I come home, even if #Hanzo and #Briar couldn’t possibly know when i’d be back.

via Instagram ift.tt/1FRG7BGvia Flickr http://flic.kr/p/r2iz3v

S.E.E.D.

painting: artist interpretation of a witness account sent to S.E.E.D.

S.E.E.D. is dedicated to collecting firsthand accounts from witnesses of anomalous activity, even and especially in direct defiance of government suppression efforts. If your government has  succeeded in preventing you from hearing about the “seed” landings, click here to access the data that S.E.E.D. has collected and published so far.

Witnesses are encouraged to participate by sending in their own experiences with a nominal processing fee. The cross-referenced data will be published as free information online as well as sent directly to the witness in case any of several panicked governments succeeds in closing down our website.

(Continued)

No Keys & S.E.E.D.

I think it would be in poor taste not to gloss over the details here. I may or may not be more forthcoming later. Basically, the landlord decided to sell this place three months after we moved in. This affects not just my partner and i and our pets, but also two dear friends + their pets who had been approved to take over the lease in the upstairs unit. We all have to find a new place to live ASAP, and our buttholes aren’t lined up with the stars or whatever, because the house-hunt isn’t going well.

There is a pretty intense likelihood that come April, i’ll be living in my car. I would never, and i cannot spell NEVER with enough capital letters to stress this, rehome my dogs or my elderly cats. Anyone who suggests i do so is no longer my friend, forever. You’ve been warned.  One of the cats i’ve had for over half of my life. She would easily rather live with me in an Audi 4000 than go to a new home. My dogs and i love each other, not the house we’re in. I will find the magical fairy tale rental that 1) doesn’t say things like “Dogs under 25 lbs with prior approval” or “No more than two pets per unit” and 2) fits me, my pets, and my partner + his work equipment. (In our dream situation, so magic fairy tale + extra unicorns, we can find a house big enough for us AND our beloved friends, so that no one is left trying to pack their life into a storage unit and a car, and we all have live-in pet care, and table-topping buddies, and and and.)

But i have to be realistic: at this point in the year, before all the students leave in June, the available rentals are few and not well-suited to us. So i’m planning for it as if it’s inevitable. Using the word “homeless” about myself is surreal: I have fabulous credit and an excellent rental history both here and at my last place (where i rented for ten solid years). My dogs have obedience certificates, available references from their veterinarian and trainer, and all my pets have a clean history with my landlords.

I have a few potential leads, and if one of them pans out in time to keep me out of Chateau de My Car, the other sad reality for me is that i’m painfully short for moving costs (which may include buying a small supercheap fifth wheel or RV to make wheeled living more bearable) and possibly a deposit and a pet deposit. I don’t make much money and our savings were wiped out during the November move (in celebration, we had one $30 Christmas present between us).

Which brings me to the reason you’re reading about my misfortunes instead of me dealing with them privately as per usual. I have two artistic fundraising endeavors launching this week! Since i have the privilege of skills, i’ma use ‘em.

First, No Keys is a weekly webcomic about bizarre house-hunting shenanigans with the aforementioned beloved friends. Here are our avatars:

drawing: cast of my supernatural house-hunting comic, No Keys

That won’t launch until Wednesday. You’ll be able to fund this through my Patreon, but you don’t have to–you’ll also be able to tip me with PayPal directly, or if you’re as hard up as i am but you enjoy reading it, just pass the link around! (I’ve missed doing a webcomic, so this is actually a silver lining: my situation is pushing me into doing something that i’ve wanted to start for awhile. )

Monday, there will be S.E.E.D. I’ll leave you with an image–details tomorrow!

painting: artist interpretation of a witness account sent to S.E.E.D.

Are y’all messing with me. Because seriously.

I am so busy i shouldn’t even be writing this, but i can’t not tell you what just happened. I CANNOT KEEP THIS TO MYSELF.

I stayed home from retail-work so i could build special cat furniture to keep one of them from peeing on the bathroom floor right next to the litter box, like a total asshole. She refuses to share. Then i spent hours sweating as i moved/organized boxes in the garage because we have new roommates a’comin’ and they might need some space up there. Then i had an intense prep session with my co-presenter for our cats in coffee workshop on Tuesday, which lasted just under five hours. I was about to start working on stuff for the next issue of Nightmare (woo!) when, i shit you not, the ceiling began to leak a mysterious, dark brown fluid that smells like delicious smoked sausages.

Let’s go over that one more time, folks.

The ceiling began to leak a mysterious, dark brown fluid that smells like delicious smoked sausages.

photo: ystery liquid leaking from our ceiling

I DON’T EVEN.

art: Last panel of Bill Watterson's October 25, 1986 "Calvin & Hobbs" strip