Book: American Gods

For my year-long book cover project, I present these three covers for American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I hear there’s a movie or show being filmed of it now, so I wanted to give it another read. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite storytellers, and this is probably one of his best. I love the way he casually reveals mythology woven into the fabric of reality, picking and pulling at hidden strands ’til they bulge and fray on the surface.

I would definitely read this book again. It’s a keeper.

pencil, digital effects (Photoshop), photo

Up next for the book cover challenge: The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick.

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My first garden, yay

garden2016

I successfully grew food this year, and thereby achieved one of my life goals. I’m really rather proud of our results—we lost the squash and taters early on, due mainly to inexperience and beetle larvae—but the eggplant, pepper, and okra were rather prolific… and delicious. I have included in the drawing members of the Organic Defense Team:  two resident lizards, Fred and George (who I never saw again after Hurricane Matthew *sadface*), the toad that visited occasionally, and a representative from the ladybug squad. Oh, and the little orange spots all over the background represent the marigolds.

We even grew a 6′ tall papaya tree; it volunteered from the compost and was 2′ before we identified it. It never bloomed or anything and even if it did, we don’t have a mate for it (papayas have male and female trees, did you know that?)

I learned a lot, had tons o’ fun, and look forward to stepping up my efforts next year, with total self-sufficiency as the end goal. y’know—if the world doesn’t all go up in flames before then.

Sharpie fine points, color pencil, ink/watercolor.

Book: Pyramids

Angie Brown | Bookcovers Ah, Terry Pratchett cracks me up. Clever, clever man.

Pyramids, the seventh installment of Pratchett’s Discworld series, is set in a land that looks, smells, and acts a lot like ancient Egypt. My favorite part of this book is a minor supporting character— a camel named You Bastard, who is, in fact, the greatest mathematician in the world.

“It’s not for nothing that advanced mathemathics tends to be invented in hot countries. It’s because of the morphic resonance of all the camels, who have that disdainful expression and famous curled lip as a natural result of an ability to do quadratic equations.”

Apparently math skills evolved as a survival trait among camels, and also because they spend a lot of time just sitting around with nothing to do but count grains of sand and work out complex algebra in their heads. So yeah, makes total sense.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, full of puns and witty banter. It’s the last of the Discworld series that I currently have in my possession, so I’ll be taking a break from Ankh-Morpork and surrounding lands for a bit… unless I run into a herd of Discworld books at a thrift store—they’re the type of book that usually travels in groups, y’see.

Next up on the reading list: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

In other news, my map of Turkey is being featured this week on They Draw and Travel, as one of 2015’s Most Hearted Maps! (I never posted that one here- it was a super surprise Christmas gift for some very special peeps.)

Issue 7 of Ionic is due out soon, with another illustration by me. Ionic is a free online magazine about the intersection of art and science. This issue is all about 3D printing and I’m looking forward to seeing the other ARTicles.

And thus concludes my first post 2016. Happy New Year, everybody!

Book: The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Angie Brown | HeinleinI have a read a few other books by sci-fi forefather Robert Heinlein, and I especially liked The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. This book, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, takes place well after the events in Moon, and involves some of the same characters. Plus there’s a cat in the title, so I was pretty sure I’d love this book.

I did not. I think ol’ Bob got tired of writing it half-way through and forgot where he was going when he started. Just when the story begins to get some conceptual meat on its bones, it just ends.

Abruptly.

Furthermore, the titular cat does not even show up until  page 288 of the 388-page book. Pixel, as he is called, is not at all relevant to the story. Neither is most of the book, for that matter. Maybe I just don’t get the literary significance of what Heinlein was doing in this book, or maybe it’s just not his best work.

I drew some covers for it anyway. Because book covers are cool, and I make book covers now, for every book I read, whether I like it or not.

The text on the third cover is a little poem, it reads “Tree-San in a little pot has no bearing on the plot. NEVERTHELESS… the bonsai tree has a bigger part”

Spoilers: The bonsai tree storyline doesn’t go anywhere either. It’s another chekhov’s gun.

“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”
— Anton Chekhov (From S. Shchukin, Memoirs. 1911.)

CORRECTION: It’s a violation of the Law of Conservation of Detail, an “anti-chekov’s gun” if you will, or a red herring, if you won’t.
Next up: Another book from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld: Pyramids.

Top 10 places to sit & purr really, really loud

Angie Brown | Best places to sit and purr really, really loudKeeping with the theme of yesterday’s post, here’s a doodle page from my sketchbook entitled “The Best Places to Sit & Purr Really, Really Loud… or just nap“. (Author’s Note: I only have two cats. Not like, eleven. Also, the “someone” upon whose shoulders a particular cat likes to drape herself is –surprise– me. I do not own a yellow towel though. Everything else herein depicted is 100% true.) 

The Salad-Eater

Angie Brown | the salad-eater

This is a fun little sketch of Jenkins, my little salad-eater. Jenkins turned a year-old this spring. Her hobbies include parkour, extreme napping, chasing feathered things, and sampling the potted flora.

(Said flora has been researched for potential toxicity issues, and anyway the plant has been moved outside for the summer and is thriving. Everyone is fine.)

Her head is ironically large in this drawing. She’ll grow into it though.

In other news, I spent all weekend on a 3-piece wedding invitation suite, which I’ll be test printing/proofing today and then posting here soon. It’s all hand-lettered and watercolored. Get excited.