Today’s Art (25th September 2018)

Well, although I hadn’t planned to make any fan art for today, a combination of tiredness and the fact that I’ve been replaying “Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines” (as a Tremere again too! I still can’t believe I didn’t realise that you could actually live in the Chantry on my first playthrough!) meant that I had the sudden idea to make a completely and utterly silly parody/fan art cartoon based on this amazing game 🙂 And, yes, the cartoon probably won’t make sense if you haven’t played the game.

And if you’re puzzled about the dialogue between Jeanette Voerman and Maximillian Strauss, it might have just been me (or my computer monitor), but Strauss looks slightly blue in the game’s intro movie. And, yes, the glowing purple thing on top of the Tremere Chantry reminded me a little bit of the “Eye Of Mordor” (?) from the “Lord Of The Rings” films too.

Likewise, if you’re puzzled by the dialogue between La Croix and Nines, “Boney” was a popular sarcastic nickname for Napoleon Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars… and well, this just seemed inherently funny.

Since this is a parody/ fan art, this cartoon is NOT released under any kind of Creative Commons licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Fan Art – Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines – Silliness” By C. A. Brown

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Today’s Art (18th June 2018)

Well, it’s been ages since I last made any fan art. So, I thought that I’d try to cram as much fan art as possible into a single painting.

Although I managed to include fan art based on lots of awesome stuff (eg: “Blade Runner”, Iron Maiden, “Doom (1993)”, “Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex”, The Offspring, Cradle Of Filth, “Deus Ex”, Sherlock Holmes [in a historically-accurate top hat], “Gremlins 2”, The Dopefish, Windows XP, “Heathers”, “Desperado” and “Star Trek”) there was still quite a a lot of stuff that I either forgot to add or couldn’t fit into the painting.

These include “Duke Nukem 3D”, “Silent Hill 3”, “American McGee’s Alice”, “Cowboy Bebop”, The Sisters Of Mercy, “The Longest Journey”, Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” etc… Who knows, maybe I’ll end up making another one of these pastiche paintings at some point in the future.

Since this is fan art, this painting is NOT released under any kind of creative commons licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Fan Art – Too Much Awesome” By C. A. Brown

Short Story: “Last Refuge Of The Splatterpunks” By C. A. Brown

Rick almost let out a blood-curdling scream when he saw that an online bookshop had placed a content warning on his 1986 novel “SCYTHE MANIAC!“.

In bold letters, it had read “This novel contains frequent graphic scenes of a grisly nature and is suitable for mature audiences only“.

For a second, he thought about getting on the phone to his publisher or firing off an e-mail to the press. It would be a way to stay relevant. But he remembered that, these days, teenagers don’t read horror novels any more. Even if they did, they’d probably obey the content warning.

These days, he thought, the press wouldn’t bluster and foam at him for criticising the warning. They would just tut at him in a “concerned” fashion. There would be a vicious stream of carefully curated outrage in the comments below every editorial. Some of these wholesome pacifists would probably send him death threats too. Rick let out another sigh. Since when, he thought, did controversy become such a bad thing?

His eyes drifted over to the bookshelf beside his writing desk. Twenty dark spines stared back at him, festooned with bold words like “DEATH RATTLE!“, “SKELETON FIENDS!” and “SPIKES!“. These days, he thought, it looked less like a trophy cabinet and more like the horror section of some indoor market book stall, frequented only by nostalgic old people.

There was only one thing for it. Rick made a phone call and picked up his leather jacket.

Thirty minutes later, he sat in the beer garden of The Fox And Hounds with a rollie in his left hand and a half-finished pint in his right. Opposite him, a man with long white hair reached into his own leather jacket and pulled out his mobile phone. It was a good, solid model from 2002 that could withstand horrors worse than either man could write about. It bleeped quietly.

Rick stubbed out his rollie and sighed: ‘I suppose you’ve heard about the content warnings, Dave. They’ll be putting them on your books next.

Dave let out a bitter laugh: ‘Fat bloody chance! They’d actually have to sell. Seriously, I make more money flogging my old publisher copies on eBay than selling new copies. Luckily, my remaining ten fans are wealthy, successful people.

Really? I thought you’d turned to bank robbery, or sold a kidney or both.‘ Rick chuckled.

Dave raised his bushy eyebrows: ‘You know, that would be a brilliant idea for a novel.

Taking a hearty swig from his pint, Rick said: ‘Too bloody right! Even better, there could be some kind of demonic ghoul who decides to stage a robbery…

…Of the organ bank. I love it!‘ Dave’s eyes shone brightly. For a second, Rick could see a hint of the stunningly handsome twenty-three year old man he’d first met at an author panel back in the ’80s. The crowds had gone wild when they’d appeared on stage. There had been nothing but a sea of leather jackets and heavy metal T-shirts. They were rockstars.

As Rick slumped forward, Dave muttered: ‘… and it wouldn’t get published. And you know why?

Rick was about to reply with an explanation that almost sounded like the conservative editorials that had hounded him throughout his twenties. But, before he could say anything, Dave just pointed towards the pub window.

Behind the faded glass, a widescreen TV played silent news footage of bombed-out cities, bodies on stretchers and screaming faces. A minute later, it was replaced by footage of police officers in some rural field somewhere gathering solemnly around a small white tent.

Maybe we’re just in the wrong market?‘ Dave said ‘With all of that stuff in the news, we should be selling our books on the bloody “Mind, Body & Spirit” shelf. They’re practically… relaxing…. by comparison!

Today’s Art (10th December 2017)

Well, with this digitally-edited painting, I decided to take a break from painting from life and do something that I haven’t done in quite a while. Namely, making a silly parody of a historical painting. This time round, it’s “The Cardsharps” by Caravaggio.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Cardsharps (After Caravaggio)" By C. A. Brown

“Cardsharps (After Caravaggio)” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (3rd September 2017)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the first comic in my “Damania Relaxation” webcomic mini series. If you missed the ‘old-school’ mini series (where every comic was self-contained), then you’re in luck! If you want to catch up on other old-style mini series, or check out some of the more recent story-based ones, links to them all can be found here.

This mini series basically came about because I had a mild version of comic burnout after the last mini series, which required a lot more effort than I’d expected. After over a month without feeling the enthusiasm to make comics, I decided to ease myself back into comic-making gently by making an ‘old-style’ mini series.

And, yes, this comic is a parody of the iconic ‘red room’ dream scenes from “Twin Peaks”. During the hiatus between this mini series and the previous one, I’d vaguely thought about making a “Twin Peaks”-style mini series called “Damania Resort”, but the idea didn’t really go anywhere. Just as well, I guess. It works better as a one-off joke anyway.

Although, in retrospect, I’m kind of annoyed that I didn’t make a comic about Harvey meeting Agent Cooper since that would be one hell of an interesting meeting. And, no, Harvey’s personality wasn’t inspired by Cooper’s. He first appeared in my comics something like six years before I first watched an episode of “Twin Peaks”.

Since this is a parody/fan art comic, this comic update is NOT released under any kind of Creative Commons licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Relaxation - Peak Performance (With apologies to David Lynch)" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Relaxation – Peak Performance (With apologies to David Lynch)” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (14th August 2017)

This silly “mid-2000s nostalgia” digitally-edited painting was surprisingly fun to make. Basically, after watching a few episodes of a ‘so bad that it’s good’ anime series from the mid-2000s called “Tokko“, I was in the mood for making another attempt at painting a ‘nostalgic’ painting set in the mid-2000s.

But, then, I realised that there’s a good reason why the world isn’t saturated with mid-’00s nostalgia. I may have been a teenager back then, but it was probably one of the most hilariously uncool decades ever (second only to this dreary, austere and puritanical decade).

Sure, flip phones were cool and maybe flame shirts were too (not to mention that DVDs are timeless, and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ isn’t a bad book) – but almost everything else was just hilariously silly – sickly alcopops, fake Chinese script tattoos, Limp Bizkit, boho fashion, “l33t haxxor” elitist nerdiness, emo fashion, chav fashion, that bloody ‘crazy frog‘, endless American remakes of J-Horror films, the sequels to “The Matrix”, MSN Messenger, MySpace etc…

So, this painting is as much a parody (I certainly had a laugh when making it) of the mid-00s as it is a ‘nostalgia’ painting.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Like 2005" By C. A. Brown

“Like 2005” By C. A. Brown

You Totally And Utterly Won’t Believe These Three Weird Ways To Upgrade Your Art Supplies At Home (That THEY Don’t Want You To Know About!)

2017 Artwork April Fools Day Article sketch

Well, I thought that I’d start off April’s roster of articles by taking this blog in a bold new direction!

Ever since I recently followed some handy banner adverts and instantly lost several pounds of belly fat using only half a lemon, saved hundreds on the electricity bill by placing a crude magnetic coil somewhere near the boiler and made myself look five years younger by peeling a sheet of perforated cling-film from my face, I now see that articles like those are the future!

But, this is – of course- an art blog (amongst other things). So, I began my research into some of the shady things that Big Art doesn’t want you to know and I was shocked!

Did you know that greedy art supply companies have been thought by some to deliberately sell downgraded art supplies in a sneaky ploy to get you to buy their “premium” products at vastly inflated prices? Yes, I certainly couldn’t believe it either!

Well, you didn’t hear this from me, but there are several clever ways to turn your ordinary, bog-standard art supplies into something that art supply companies might try to sell to you at up to seventy times the price you paid. So, let’s get started.

1) Magnetise your pencils at home and save hundreds!: The pencil sharpening industry would like you to believe that the levels of precision that you can get from your drawing pencils all depend on how often you use the useless, dangerous rubbish that they peddle to gullible artists. This obviously isn’t true!

Those in the know, know that magnetic forces play a large part in how precisely the molecules of graphite from your pencil adhere to the paper and, more importantly, whether they stay where you put them.

The pencil manufacturers, in cahoots with the sharpener industry, know this and it’s no coincidence that the really fancy pencils have been secretly pre-magnetised in order to set them apart from the more plebian offerings that they sell to you and me. A magnetised pencil doesn’t need sharpening. All the famous artists know it, and they’re laughing at you!

Well, you can have the last laugh! Magnetising a pencil is quick, simple and potentially guaranteed to improve the precision of your drawings. It even works on blunt pencils! All you need is a simple bar magnet, four triangular pieces of paper (equilateral!), some tape and a pencil.

Begin by rubbing the tip of the pencil vigourously against the south pole of the bar magnet. Once you have done this precisely forty-seven times, then gently place the pencil on a non-ferrous surface.

Use the tape to fashion your four triangular pieces of paper into a simple pyramid. Once you’ve done this, place the pyramid over the tip of the pencil and leave overnight. As many ancient mystics will tell you, the shape of the pyramid helps to focus the Earth’s magnetic field onto the tip of your pencil. The pyramid alone can quadruple the potency of the magnetisation process.

The results speak for themselves!:

A basic comparison of the results of using magnetised and non-magnetised pencils.

A basic comparison of the results of using magnetised and non-magnetised pencils.

2) Homeopathic paint for a fraction of the price!: As many will tell you “nothing is better than homeopathy!“.

Well, the paint companies know this and they’re deliberately trying to rip you off by bogging down their paints with far more pigment than is actually needed to achieve the desired effect. Only the ultra-rich get to use the good stuff – the homeopathic stuff!

After all, homeopathy relies on the magnifying effects of placing microscopic quantities of things in specially-treated water. Bogging down the water with large quantities of pigment instantly obliterates any homeopathic benefits that may have come with the paint.

To make your own homeopathic paint and stick two fingers up at Big Paint, just load your brush with paint like you normally would. Then rinse it under the cold tap for no less than five minutes. Place the wet brush on a non-ferrous surface and then heat a four-litre jug of water to precisely thirty-nine degrees centigrade. Once you’ve done this, dip the very tip of your brush into the water for no more than two seconds.

Once you’ve done this, heartily beat the side of the jug with the spine of a stout book no more than thirty times. Then repeat the entire process seven more times. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a lifetime supply of 100% homeopathic paint.

Your colours will be much more subtle, they will mix seamlessly with literally any other colour and, best of all, you’ll have got one over on the evil paint industry!

3) Smoother paper for literally nothing!: Wait! Before you instantly dissolve those five pounds of belly fat with that one simple trick that you read about online, put them to good use first!

They probably wouldn’t want you to know this, but the kind of paper that paper companies sell to ordinary people like you and me is riddled with millions of micro-creases! Micro-creases that can cause paint to appear blotchy, magnetised pencil lines to appear shaky and nano-dots of ink to spatter around the page. This is all deliberate!

Whilst we may not have the heartless stables of shaved gerbils that paper companies have been rumoured to use in their environmentally-unsound paper smoothing process, we have the next best thing. The softness of our own stomachs. When used properly, those extra pounds can be used to remove up to 95% of the micro-creases found in a sheet of paper.

Lie on your back, take your sheet of paper and gently place it on your stomach. Take care not to bend the paper! Once you’ve done this, then gently place your right palm on the back of the paper and slide it around your stomach in a clockwise direction at least 8.3 times. It’s that simple!

Yes, your paper may show the occasional harmless cosmetic macro-crease after doing this, but this is a small price to pay to get rid of those dangerous micro-creases!

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Happy April Fool’s Day Everyone 🙂