Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Ten of Ankhs

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Six of Ankhs

"Quinquaginta Marti umbras."

I haven't seen my friend Marti for a while. She's enduring the same kind of convalescence prison situation that I had a few months ago. But a few days ago, she put this on my profile: "Since I'm the Queen of Everything, shouldn't you make one that hobbles around smacking young people in their shins with her cane when then don't get out of the way? Of course she'd be muttering, "Young whippersnappers," or perhaps something a bit more graphic..."

Inspiration comes from marvelous and unexpected places, and her request resulted in yesterday's card and today's, and may wind up having enough legs to get me through the last two also. I realized that the cane could easily be the Pharaoh's crook, but what's a crook without a flail? So here, our goddess has both -- and uses them to wicked good purpose. 

While this card isn't the Queen of Ankhs, if it comes up in your reading, you can call it the "Queen of Everything" card, or the "Whippersnapper" card, or -- and this is my preference -- the "Marti" card. Interpret it as "having aggressive wisdom," or in the reverse, "coming through, pipsqueak, get out of my way."

Oh, and the Latin at the beginning of this ramble? "Fifty Shades of Marti."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Five of Ankhs

Now that the suit of Snow is finished, I can move on to warmer climes and finish Ankhs. This is one of those drawings that started out one thing and finished another. 

May I present Tawaret. She's very tall. Or possibly in the foreground.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Winged Figure

I do this all the time: I'll have a flash of an idea and I'll jot it down, fuss with it for a while, and then realize that it's not going to work out. I'll save the drawing, file it, and forget it.

While I know that this was for the Noo Tarot, I have no idea what card I was working on, but it was probably for the suit of Ankhs. And it was only a month ago. I have dozens of "sketchbook" ideas -- from antiquity until now -- that leave me without inkling as to their original purpose. You'd think I'd be making notes on them by now!

What this shows, though, is an example of the bold colors I use when sketching so that I can see the shapes with which I'm working. The garments would have eventually become white, the wings probably golden, and Lord knows what on earth I was thinking with the headdress. One thing is certain: one of these days I'll need this drawing for something and there it will be, ready-made.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


My charming and beautiful daughter asked me to draw on of the characters from her novel, Daevos. This is him. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Four of Snow

Since the snow is rapidly diminishing and reminders of winter weather seem to be a sore spot for my friends, this is the last of the Snow cards I will present...until later.

This is a reworking of the original card -- The Slow Meteors -- that was responsible for the invention of the suit. I was never happy with the trails on the snowflakes, so it was on the redo list since it was originally drawn. It went through multiple iterations this time, most of which looked like The Blazing Fast Meteors, but I finally found a pattern for the trails and a color scheme that I liked. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Planetary Poker - Kepler-62

NASA's Kepler Mission -- like so many of their other projects lately -- is enjoying fantastic success. Kepler was built to detect Earth-like worlds around other stars and has found over 2300 candidates so far, including Kepler-62e and -62f.

Kepler-62 is a star somewhat smaller and dimmer than the sun. The fantastic thing is that its five-planet solar system has not one but two planets in the Goldilocks Zone, the region around any star where liquid water can exist. NASA's models suggest that both planets, while 1.4-1.6 times the size of Earth, feature planetary oceans.

Trivia: How many Star Trek episodes featured two M-Class planets within a single star system that were at war with each other? Kepler may have just found one of those solar systems...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - World Peace

Happy Earth Day, everybody!

When I drew the Universal Destruction Coloring Calendar in late 1986 and early 1987, I had a firm vision for the December panel: the earth exploding in space. I completed it with the legend, "Figure 12, World Peace." For the Noo Tarot, I decided to keep that title -- though "World Pieces" might be more apt.

Just call me Mr. Uplifting.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


"Baby It's Cold Outside" seems as appropriate a song as any for this chilly, cloudy day. Oh, Bing! You could sing!

A really long time ago, a friend at work asked me to draw a penguin in a fedora. I quickly drew one with a pen on a "re-purposed" memo, but he was unimpressed. Maybe this will be received better?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Seven of Snow Redux Redux

I've done two previous versions of the Seven of Snow and have loathed them both equally (enjoy the schadenfreude here and here). During the other night's round of insomnia, I revisited the card again, this time coughing up a snowman like a hairball. I looked at it, then looked again through one eye, questioned my sanity, and then added a scythe dripping with blood.

Then I gave up and went to bed.

Yesterday, having now been tasked by both my daughter and a friend at work to draw a penguin, I capitulated and did so. I put the penguin on the snowman's head. Then I giggled. To conform to other cards, I removed the snowman's eyes and realized that it was exactly what I wanted.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Five of Snow

So during my bout of insomnia overnight, I decided to attack the last remaining Snow cards. I worked on the Four, the Five, and the Seven. 

This is an homage to my beautiful and brilliant daughter who, before I even turned 40, demonstrated that her imagination was firing on more thrusters than mine. She suggested that I draw a penguin, and I yet might, but for now, an orca will have to do.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Six of Snow

Since snow is still in the forecast (and because I haven't finished the suit yet), I present...more Snow! This is a reworking of last year's "The Ice Age," which was originally envisioned as a Major Arcana card, but now seems to fit much better within the suit of Snow. I now only have the Five -- which I've never drawn at all -- and the Seven (which must be redone because I totally hate it) to go to finish this suit. Hurrah!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Three of Snow

The theme I was working under for this card was "silence." I was going to draw a standing stone with snowflakes burning through the surface from inside, but stone didn't fit the theme of the suit. Creating a standing stone of ice solved the problem. Perhaps I should draw "Icehenge" next?

In revealing this card in a reading, one might interpret the card as "creativity" or what I often refer to as the "core of brilliance" that I believe every person has. If reversed, one might see it as "writers' block" or some other creativity-stifling force.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Nine of Snow

Because we need a little, right this very minute.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Queen of Snow

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Eight of Snow

Since there's still snow on the ground, I'm concentrating on finishing the Suit of Snow. Also, since it's Sunday, here's a church.

From my dwelling I can see a very large and beautiful church. It's nothing like the simple, white clapboard beauty I've portrayed -- it's a stone marvel with two beautiful steeples, one of which serves as a clock tower. Every Sunday, I watch the churchgoers enter and depart with the seemingly tidal ebb and flow of services. And every Sunday I watch, how on leaving the church after their spiritual encounter with the Almighty, they rush to exit the parking lot as quickly as they can...and treat each other horribly in the process.

To say this confuses me is something of an understatement.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Ten of Snow

It's been Spring for three weeks and we're all angry because Punxsutawney Phil lied to us, the bastard. 

Here's some more Snow. 

Sorry about that.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Surprisingly Lovely

A friend of mine is expecting. She said to me that she had endured "surprisingly lovely third trimester puking." I felt bad for her, but not bad enough to not draw this.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Compass Points

It's interesting (to me anyway) to see how these sketches look finished. The original of this one was drawn in blue ink on orange paper with a legend to describe which color went where. 

I found fonts to match my hand-drawn text (Federation for "Compass Points" and Scrap Calligraphy for "allegro") and added my sigil.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - The Sycophant

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - The Automaton

Monday, April 8, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - La Granada

When I made my very long list of cards for the Noo Tarot, this was the third one I wrote down. I did about 30 seconds of image research before deciding on this design instead of the more common avocado-shaped grenade. I'm very fond of how gloomy this card is.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Infinite Prizes

I'm not a gamer of any stripe. I find that I am no match for first-person shooters like Solitaire and Free Cell on most days. But I love to make fun of just about everything, including video games and my friends who are video gamers. I recently joked that the new Playstation console was going to be called the PU and that it was shipping bundled with Lego GTA. I refer to Gears of War as Cogs of Conflict.

When I saw an ad for a new release with the giant headline, "Bioshock Infinite Prizes," I couldn't help sending my friend Kyle a screenshot along with the demand, "I want infinite prizes now!"

Within a few minutes he was at my desk. He snatched a note pad and a pen and quickly etched two lemniscates. "How's that?" he asked. 

Well, it was good enough for this to happen.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


In 1980, what I wanted to do with my life was design record covers. I have an entire binder dedicated to my (fairly juvenile) aspirations. Of all of them, this one has stayed in my head since I first drew it on October 6, 1980. 

This presentation is from memory, so I dug out the old drawing to see how accurate my memory is. I discovered that I had drawn this as a gatefold record sleeve with back and interior designs and place-keepers for band photographs. The imaginary band was Scream -- the album was called "Vocal Chord."

For this presentation, I used Arial bold converted to paths in Adobe Illustrator. I left the album title off and added my Hand sigil as signature. Now that it's out of my head, something new immediately leapt in to replace it.

Please stand by.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - The Viewing Angels

"Did you ever get the feeling you was bein' watched?" ~Bugs Bunny

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - The Actual Cats

The internet doesn't have enough cats. Just helping out.

Monday, April 1, 2013

House Saucerbottom

My friend Alex posted a message on Facebook yesterday of his House Sigil. He's a Game of Thrones fan (though is miffed that the TV series is called by the name of the first book, not the overarching title) and had a lovely explanation of his choices.

I, on the other hand, have never seen an episode of the show and have no real interest in it despite the accolades that have been showered upon it. But I know a good artistic idea when I see one, so I burned a few hours (when I wasn't sick as a dog) creating a Sigil for my Saucerbottom alter ego. Of course, then he posted a link to HBO's Sigil meme generator. (Mine's better, even though they had a pretty cool squid on there.)

The motto is a Latin variation of war cry of House Saucerbottom: "Yes, have some!"