Friendly Friday: the Fairy Tale Princess Alethea Kontis

Trix and the Fairy Queen

Every once in a great while, I run into someone whose hand gestures are as wild (if not more so) than mine are. Enter Alethea Kontis, who has written stories for kids, young adults, and crotchety old farts like myself. (Okay, I’m not all that crotchety or crypt-keeperish, but definitely not a teenager anymore!)

Kontis’s versatility as an author is complemented by her efforts to generate and strengthen a sense of community between genre writers and artists. She is passionate in all she does, and that’s definitely something I can relate to! What I like about her work, is the fact that she’s the type of skilled writer who’s easy to root for. When she goes to a convention, she puts on a show; her costumes, infectious laughter and larger-than-life personality are part of her stories as well. Combined, Alethea is magical and drawn to the light she’s very much a part of.

When I think of Alethea, I consider someone who definitely has the “giant ball of knotted yarn” career path–a common journey for most of us. But, Kontis is also an example of someone who doesn’t give up; she’s the definition of persistence, and there’s no doubt in my mind that, one way or the other, she will continue to generate the success she works so hard for. Knowing her, I’m guessing when more blessings land on her glittering tiara–it’ll be when she least expects it. Won’t her happily-ever-after be fun to celebrate!

If you’re interested in her stories, check out Alethea Kontis on Patreon, her Twitter @aletheakontis, or visit the author’s website at www.aletheakontis.com. You can also see what books are available via Alethea Kontis on Amazon Author Central, too.

Mood: Deadlines will either eat me, or they already have and I didn’t realize they did.
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Uh… Four. No five!
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Hunting Pokemon
In My Ears: Some whiny dude. Seriously, if this song gets any whinier about some topic I cannot make out, I’m going to start howling at the moon.
Game Last Played: Pokemon Go
Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: La Belle et la Bete.
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.




Friendly Friday: Prisma Visions Tarot and James R Eads

The Magician | Prisma Visions Tarot | James R Eads

One of the things that I love about tarot cards, is that there are so many different ways to represent the images in a deck. I collect them and, of all the decks I have, one of the most unusual and beautiful is the Prisma Visions tarot designed by James R Eads.

The Major Arcana image of The Magician doesn’t do this deck justice. James is known for playing with light, and his style really shines through in a tarot deck. What’s really cool about the Prisma Visions tarot, besides the silver edging and the lovely box, is that each suit has also been illustrated as a panoramic piece. To see all four suits illustrated in their entirety, James offers full-size panoramic prints. I have a smaller print of the Ace of Swords, and I love the quality and theme he uses to breathe magical life into the suits.

In addition to the Prisma Visions tarot, which is the second deck he’s designed, James also offers prints and stickers of his illustrations as well. If you dig his art, you’re not alone! James also creates beautiful posters for bands and other gigs, too. He has a lovely portfolio, and I’m glad I have a little piece of his talented works.

If you’re interested in this artist, visit the official website of James R Eads or follow James R Eads on Tumblr.

Mood: Convention Fevah!
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: There’s really no point counting while at a convention.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Hunting Pokemon
In My Ears: Hustle and Bustle
Game Last Played: Pokemon Go
Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: X-Men Days of Future Past.
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.




Friendly Friday: Cats, Dogs, and the Imagination of Eddy Webb

Monarchies of Mau on Kickstarter

Eddy and I go way back to the days when he was working at White Wolf Publishing. I’ve worked with him on several projects over the years, and have been on panels with him as well. Last year was a milestone for Eddy, because he launched a new company called Pugsteady and kicked off a new post-apocalyptic fantasy game called Pugmire. In this futuristic Planet Of The Apes-meets-Dungeons and Dragons world, you play a dog trying to paw your way to a better tomorrow. Pretty cool, eh?

This week, Eddy launched a new game on Kickstarter in the same world starring cats! It’s called Monarchies of Mau and, if all goes well, I’ll be writing a story set in that world. If playing games is your jam, both Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau use a customized set of rules based on 5th edition. Both games are set in an ever-expanding world, and are family-friendly, too.

While I do have a vested interest in seeing Monarchies of Mau succeed, I decided to feature Eddy Webb today because I wanted to mark how significant this is for him. Unless you write comics or screenplays, many game designers and writers who work on media/tie-in settings aren’t always associated with the property. Here, Eddy utilized his past experiences, connections, and interactions with fans to successfully launch projects set in his own worlds, drawing upon his imagination. The Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter funded in 20 minutes! That, for writers such as myself, is a momentous occasion because it shows our potential beyond the normal, day-to-day work that we do. To me, that’s worthy of a big HUZZAH!

So, if you want an example of a writer who’s literally pawed his way to to dig up…er…build a healthy and growing business for himself, look to Eddy Webb for inspiration. He’s put the time in, and it shows. So happy for him!

For more about Eddy, visit his website at Pugsteady, or follow @eddyfate on Twitter and Pugsteady on Facebook.

    Mood: Punny with a side of eggs
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: More than I’ve had in two weeks but less than I normally do. Yes, I’m a Hobbit when it comes to caffeine.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Mouse to keyboard
    In My Ears: “Friend of Ours” by Elbow
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2
    Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Lucifer
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.



Friendly Friday: Unstealthiest Ninja, Bear Cats, and Studio DoOoMcat

Unstealthiest Ninja At The Beach by Studio DoOoMcat for Shirts at woot.com

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of making sure money flows to the artist. Often, I get super frustrated when it comes to T-shirts, because there’s a lot of designs being taken from DeviantArt or uploaded from an artist’s website — even at big box stores. For this reason, I often try to buy shirts when I know the source of the art; it does get even more complicated when adding in rights to actor’s likenesses and properties, too. Mind you, I’m trying not to hit you with the Hammer o’ Preachin’, but as someone who advocates for artists whenever possible I feel like I have to practice what I cheer for.

Enter Shirts on Woot.com, and its pro-artist attitude. They feature the artists who submit work to them, and you can learn more about them. That, dear reader, is how I discovered the super cute collection of Unstealthiest Ninja T-shirts illustrated by husband-and-wife team Studio DoOomcat. I love this aesthetic, and there are tons of great T-shirts by Studio DoOomcat that go beyond the clumsy ninjas. I dig the Unraveller of Worlds and the cuddly octopus RAWR!.

While on the site, I discovered that one of the artists, Alison Acton, also has a cute webcomic called Bear Nuts, too. She takes commissions, which are super cheap, and this studio has a ton of options if you’re interested in their aesthetic. I know I will be; I just have to figure out what I want!

For more about Studio DoOomcat, check out the Bear Cats Webcomic site and poke around some. In addition to the webcomic, both artists have done a lot of work elsewhere. There’s a lot to explore and read!

    Mood: Scrambling now that I’m not sick anymore!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: NOT MANAGED
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Ummmm… Does typing count?
    In My Ears: Dragon Age: Inquisition soundtrack
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2. You have any idea how frustrating it is to find that bloody chocobo dungeon?
    Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming in May.



Friendly Friday: Transformers and Dan Khanna

Soundwave Avatar

There’s something about Transformers that I find uniquely satisfying. Is it the big giant robots beating the crap out of each other? Maaaaayyyyyybe. Is it the hilarious way that Megatron would shut down Starscream‘s whining with a single glare? Or the fact that there were ultra-rare female Transformers who showed up in the movie but were thought to be extinct? Okay, maybe not so much. (Side note: I want that story. Did Megatron kill them all?) Starscream was definitely true to his name. But Soundwave, hoo… He was the shizzit. I mean, seriously, you have a boom box Transformer with a chest that can open and close to release other Transformers. That is legendary, right there.

Thanks to a re-issue of the original, I did manage to get my hands on this bad boy.

Soundwave

Fast forward to New York Comic Con many years later… I wasn’t able to attend, but for our anniversary my SO brought home several retro Transformers prints beautifully illustrated by Dan Khanna. As it turns out Dan has worked on Transformers for some time, and is a frequent guest at comic book conventions who can often be found in artist alley. Dan is one of the artists that I refer to as “hoofing it”, because he’s always on the road with a sketchbook in hand and another booth to set up. I honestly don’t know how he manages to live in NYC, travel as much as he does, and draw so beautifully. So awesome! Thanks to his busy travel schedule, I did manage to catch up with Dan the following year at C2E2 and enjoyed a “geek out” moment.

According to the Transformers Wiki (Life goals!), Dan started out as a fan artist before he was hired to work on the official line. This, right here, is a testament to what I keep preaching: fans become pros all the damn time. There’s no such thing as “just a fan”, and I’m very happy that Dan’s talent continues to be recognized and appreciated.

Known primarily for his work with Transformers, Dan has also worked as a colorist/illustrator on comics for IDW and Titan UK; he has also designed packaging for Hasbro toys as well. In fact, you could say that Dan is…more than meets the eye. (Insert groan here.) I’m hoping someone will tap his creativity for the sequel to Pacific Rim. Can you imagine Dan illustrating big, giant Jaegers beating the crap out of each other for a second time? Yes, yes I can.

For more about Dan and his work, you can visit www.dantheartguy.com or Dan the Art Guy on Deviant Art page.

    Mood: I forgot what day it is.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Eh… I admit NOTHING!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Holy spring cleaning, Batman!
    In My Ears: The soft, soothing bubbles of our fish tank.
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2
    Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: ONCE: Upon a Time
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Dark Ears Companion, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming in May.



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Monica Valentinelli >

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