tealin: (Default)
A few years ago, when Occupy was doing their thing and their grievances and agenda were in the news, I had this thought:

These are clever, resourceful, idealistic, fit young people in their prime, who evidently don't mind a bit of discomfort to prove a point. If they want to reject the system, why don't they pool their resources, launch a Kickstarter to cover the shortfall, buy some big property somewhere in the back of beyond, and start a self-sufficient cashless community independent of corporations and unfair government?

Then I realised the utopia I was imagining was essentially Redwall.

Before Harry Potter had crested the horizon, Redwall was my obsession. It went beyond an obsession, in fact; at a time when I was a fish miles from water, struggling in an unfriendly school, and otherwise alienated from everyday reality, the Redwall books were my refuge and salvation. I read them over and over, read almost nothing else aside from the books assigned in class, and more or less looked out at the world through Redwall's windows. They gave me somewhere to go that wasn't my own head, and I don't know where I'd be today if I hadn't had that.

Most of my childhood was spent in places that could not have been further, visually, from the verdant pastoral quasi-medieval world described in the books, so when I moved to the UK I decided I needed to reread them, now I've become more familiar with the architecture and biome described. I was also curious to find out how my perspective on them might have changed in the fifteen years or so since I cracked one open. I can't say I was necessarily expecting anything, but it was curious what I noticed ...

Having just finished 'Redwall' ... )

Sadly the re-reading experience was not as blissful a trip down memory lane as I was kind of hoping it would be ... Redwall itself is a tricky book because the author doesn't really find his groove until a third of the way through, and the worldbuilding that gives the other books in the series such a nice integrity is still a little shaky in this one – it's the only book with any suggestion of a human presence, the relative sizes of the animals are all over the place, and the history of Mossflower Country is a great big unknown. The adventure was grand and it was still pleasingly cinematic (and the set designer has improved a lot since I was 13), but I've been spoiled by an education in screenwriting and more grownup literature that has ideas and stuff in it; Redwall is sweet in its simplicity but it does kind of make me want more out of aspects of the story and characters which are probably not intended for that purpose. I am all in favour of just enjoying a good yarn sometimes so I will let it be, but it did slightly diminish my enjoyment of it on an adult level. But mainly, I think, it's that I don't really need it anymore – I no longer need to hide from the world, in fact I quite enjoy the world I'm living in now, not least because I can get to Mossflower Woods on the Tube.

I have a copy of Mossflower waiting for me, which I'm looking forward to because it's got Martin the Warrior in it and he's a good 'un, but I don't know when I'll get to it because I've got a giant stack of homework that I'm about to get started on ... It'll be good to visit for brain candy on a dark winter night, though. Boy am I ever excited for it to be winter again.
tealin: (Default)
I've been much too lax on posting lately – most of this year so far I've either been working on non-drawing stuff, or on stuff I can't post yet. But I had other things to do today, so of course I spent most of it illustrating a recipe. It's a recipe I love sharing with people because while it's time-consuming it's really easy, and both delicious and healthy.



The rest ... )


And if you have an appropriate pie crust recipe and substitute cheese, you can make it vegan, too!

Regrets

Feb. 7th, 2011 04:06 pm
tealin: (think)
Redwall Author Brian Jacques Dies

Dear Mr Jacques,

Thank you for helping me survive middle school. I'm where I am today in part because of you.

I'm sorry I never mailed the fan letter I wrote.

Cheers,   

Tealin

tealin: (Default)
So, I have a couple ideas for little sketches to put in here, but of course have not found/made the time to do them yet, which means I must delve deep into the archives.

I probably could have found something more recent than this in my stack of old sketchbooks but, well ...

Before I managed to break out of the battery hen coop of TV for the free-range factory farm of features, and was agonizing at my loss of drawing skills brought about by a year of scribbling structureless stylized animals on a Cintiq, I was trying to think of ways to keep my hand in. I am rather short of ideas, and while I had a few sequences I wanted to board I'm frustrated boarding on anything but a Cintiq, which I do not have at home. So I thought I would use some downtime to redo a comic strip I started when I was 14, then post the original drawings next to what would (hopefully) be a nice fancy comic page. Getting started involved rewriting the beginning a little because the setup was pretty corny, but from there on it would be smooth sailing, especially because all the ideas were already explored by my much more creative 14-year-old self.

Unfortunately the big uphill struggle at the beginning turned me off, and I was back at work much earlier than I expected, and haven't had a big swath of unemployment since. So to fill up the gaps in this last week of Lent I shall post the segments of the strip that I scanned a couple years ago (?!). Two, to make up for yesterday )
tealin: (Default)
Yesterday I rediscovered Sunset Boulevard ... It's been more than a year since I listened to it and I've never done so in LA before, which adds an extra dimension of whoa. I drained my iPod batteries on it yesterday. Also of note: the renewed addiction to the title song, which is cut 25 on my special personal recut of the London Cast Recording.* Track order yesterday went something like this:
1, 2, 3, ... 24, 25, 25, 25, 25, 26, 27, ... 42, 43, 44, 25, 25, 25, 1, 2, 3 ... 25, 25, 26, 25, 25, 25, 26, 27 ... 43, 44, 25, 39**, 25, 25, 25, 25 (pause) 25
You get the idea.
Incidentally, if Norma were a powerful witch and she transfigured Joe into a chimp at the end of the play, then it could be a circular story, as long as you leave out the continuity of the swimming pool, but that isn't mentioned in the recording.
footnotes )


Then, today, I rediscovered the soundtrack to Pirates 3, which I had semi-intentionally not listened to since I was down here this summer because I associate it so strongly with where I was interning then and working now and didn't want to dilute it. The movie may be so much twaddle but the soundtrack is just fantastic, easily the best part of the film. When I heard it for the first time back in May I was instantly plunged into a Redwall mood the likes of which I haven't known since I was about 15, and a shadow of this came back today, so I did some doodles:
Photobucket
(click to make biggarrr)

musical quote geekitude )

So, now I want to finish my Sunset board and draw small furry animals killing each other, with a sprinkling of tortoises and stone cities because I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to read Small Gods, and that Sweeney Todd comic strip I've finally got an idea for ... I suppose this all proves that the crucial ingredient I've been missing over the last few inspirationless months has been an overwhelming workload that precludes any drawing for fun.

Hurrah.
tealin: (Default)
Um, yes, so I've been working ... hence the lack of posts or anything interesting* to be posting about. Here, then, are my sketchbook offerings for the last few days:

Monday - Angua, who benefited from my wee-hour research into Renée Zellweger, who has the kind of eyes I was going for. I forgot I had only done her on the page by the end of the day Monday (Distracted by getting a job) so had to make up for it on...
Tuesday - ... when I went to the museum and draw some African stuff, mostly from the Sudan but also from ... Gambia? Gabon? Ghana? Some place starting with a G. Unfortunately most of the really cool anthropological display cases are off limits right now due to 'museum renewal' or some such thingermajig.
Wednesday - Having spent the day rotating an evil lizard creature, I thought I'd try my freshly-exercised-yet-still-quite-sore-from-the-atrophy-and-sudden-use design muscles on a Redwall chracater, the classic test to see if I've become any less boring. Um ... no. Also an attempt at making my ancient fish dude slightly less 'whelpish.' Also no.
TODAY - Went on another café drawing trip, this time to Ye Sketchcrawl Café (not actually the name) where the original group of sketchcrawlers warmed up on that cold November all those years ago.** It's past 1 so I'm not going to narrate them, you will be left to make up your own stories! 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

*When unemployed and a hermit, incredibly mundane things become interesting. Fact.
**I am too lazy to look up the post ... I think it was in November 2004.

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