Thursday, March 29, 2012
Good thoughts are appreciated, and I'll be back to work in a few days.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
This little beastie is a blog maintained by several current or former abortion providers and clinic staff. It's fascinating and inspiring. I start reading and find out tons of information I can use for my upcoming Frontlines of Choice sourcebook. And I've always seen abortion docs as heroes, but after reading a few pages of their lives, I am further awed by their courage and truly sorry for the bullshit and terror they have to live with.
Anyway, I realize that after Kodiak Island comes out, my next OA project will focus heavily on the Choicers. It's a good antidote to thinking about and writing about anti-choice terrorists. (The last art for Kodiak Island should be in tomorrow or Friday, BTW, and the book ready for publication by weekends' end). So Frontlines of Choice will be getting some MAJOR additional content. In addition to the clinic simulation rules (which are only loosely a D20 concept), I'm going to be offering tons of info on the Neo-Witch Midwife class and the Clinic Defender starting occupation.
I'll be expanding on what life is like in the 22nd century's 'abortionland'... that phrase, so elegant, comes from the Abortioneers blog, it implies not only the physical locality of the clinic, but the sometimes fearful, sometimes paranoid, often insular nature of the work itself. Abortionland refers to the psychological state of being an abortion doctor- the stress and the fear- as much as it does the geography of the clinic.
Anyway, this sourcebook will continue my theme of portraying abortion docs and clinic staffers as heroes. It will also get a lot deeper into what life on the ground is like for Midwives and their protectors in 2107. Right now, the draft stands at about 70% world info and flavor and 30% new character options and rules crunch. I'll start posting up some art from Frontlines soon enough. I've got some amazing stuff in route from Vic and I'll get some art from Amanda too.
Also, I've just put together a quick Pathfinder fantasy release, giving my take on the Myrmidons of Greek mythology. It's a fun little release, 9 pages long, less than 24 hours from conception to release, illustrated exclusively with stock art. I love quick projects like that, as they serve as nice vacations from my more complex OA stuff.
Anyway, it's a cowardly, ill-thought out and lazy excuse, which completely contradicts what Villalpandos told me by email last week. The KDT doesn't want the controversy of talking about abortion, especially not allowing the Doonesbury cartoons on stage. Those things are so blunt and vulgar they might force people to reassess their politics just through shock value. The paper also doesn't want the controversy of being known as a conservative paper that censors shit like this.
So the fuckers split the difference, do nothing and hope nobody notices. Anyway, I noticed, and hopefully some of you did too.
Friday, March 16, 2012
I decided to write a letter to the editor of my crappy redneck newspaper today.
Here is the letter:
I have come to expect shoddy and biased reporting from the Kerrville Daily Times, but the cowardice and propagandizing displayed by the paper this last week have shocked even me. Over the last week, Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury strip has published a series of cartoons critical of the recent Texas law requiring women seeking an abortion to undergo a ‘transvaginal ultrasound’. This is an unpleasant, degrading, and medically unnecessary procedure forced on Texas women for purely religious reasons. In his controversial strips, Trudeau rightly calls this unconstitutional action for what it is, the rape of women by the state of Texas.
Naturally, the Daily Times did not have the courage to run these strips. Nor did the paper even inform its audience that it was censoring Doonesbury. Instead, the Daily Times re-ran older strips without any indication the content they were censoring, nor the editorial staff’s reasons for doing so. Meanwhile, in Friday’s paper, the Daily Times ran a short article celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Pregnancy Resource Center.
Let me be blunt. The staff of the Pregnancy Resource Center, and the staffs of similar institution across the country, are lying, misogynist parasites. In the name of protecting ‘life’, these people ruin lives, squander potential and destroy hope. I wonder how many of the reports of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect filed with Kerrville police department are from the homes of women convinced by the PRC to continue a pregnancy that was not in their best interests. By censoring pro-choice voices and giving free publicity to anti-choice fanatics, the Kerrville Daily Times has lost any slim pretense of objectivity. At this point, the paper should expand its ad revenues by accepting full page fetal-gore advertisements from Operation Rescue and other domestic terrorist organizations. After all, that seems to be the readership being targeted.
A few minutes after hitting submit, I got this email from Carlina Villalpandos, managing editor of my crappy local paper.
Subject: Re: Letter to the Editor (online form)
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 18:39:50 -0500
Actually, the strips we ran were those made available to us by the service we pay for. This was not an editorial decision to censor anything; it was a decision to use THE strips made available to us through a regular subscription as we do on a daily basis.
We have a front page centerpiece story planned for Monday about The Pregnancy Resource Center's fundraising efforts, and we have dedicated considerable space to this organization in recent years and will continue to do so.
If you would like to have further conversations about our editorial decision making, I welcome them. But please be assured that Doonesbury comic strips reflect absolutely no editorial stance on this newspaper's part.
Kerrville Daily Times
429 Jefferson St.
Kerrville, TX 78028
(830) 257-0337 office
To this load of horseshit, I replied:
You CHOSE the service you pay for. You chose a wire service without the integrity to run the Doonesbury strips, and I'm guessing if you gave me the name of the 'service you pay for', I could plug it into Google right now and find incident after incident of conservative bias.
I know you have devoted considerable space to the PRC and the 'good' it does. I've read those stories time and again, and been revolted each and every time. The question is: have you devoted one inch of page space to the harm the Pregnancy Resource Center, and the pro-life movement as a whole causes?
Don't just offer 'further conversations' about editorial policy. CHANGE THE EDITORIAL POLICY.
Soon enough, I got this tepid counter argument.....
We do not choose or pay for comics on a daily basis. They come to us based on a year's subscription.
I totally respect your views on such pregnancy centers and welcome your opinions on those in our letters to the editor. Our coverage of this center is not based on our newspaper's support of it but a reflection of the activities of our community, which has a wide range of interests and options. We have covered activities as the Stand For Life, but we would also cover events directly in opposition of that event if it happened locally.
Again, I take no issue with your opinion on this issue. My only concern with your letter is that it incorrectly assumes that the comic strips chosen in the last week is a reflection of an editorial stance on this topic, which it is not. When we take a stance on an issue, we do it in an editorial, so that we can be very clear readers understand the opinion we are setting forth and assuming as a paper.
Any other items you find on our op-ed page — from cartoons to guest columns to letters to the editor — are opinions of the artists, writers and readers, which we deliver to our readership in an attempt to share a variety of opinions — their opinions, not ours.
Again, I welcome your opinion in our letters forum and hope that you will share your views there. I just wanted to correct your flawed assumption about our editorial process.
Kerrville Daily Times
429 Jefferson St.
Kerrville, TX 78028
(830) 257-0337 office
And finally, I sent Villalpando this gem.....
You are passing the editorial buck. You're sending me e-mail after e-mail explaining why you didn't do your job.
You buy a years subscription of a comic from a vendor, fine. First, it seems obvious your vendor is cheating you, by not delivering these five cartoons as promised and instead sending you five crappy re-run cartoons instead. You were 'shorted' by your vendor, and I hope you take that into account when it is time to renew your subscription.
Second, you are a JOURNALIST, at least in theory. I saw the story about the Doonsebury cartooons on MSNBC.com. It took me about 20 seconds to find the article on the site's main page. It did not takes weeks of indepth research. I didn't have to go undercover to find this story. I turned it up with a single web search.
You, as someone PAID to report the news, might of thought to inquire to your vendor as to why your paper did not receive the cartoons in question. Second, you as managing editor might have gone out of your way to either A: acquire the genuine cartoons, or B: have the backbone to run a short, clarifying sidebar on the comics or editoral pages of the Daily Times, explaining to the readers why you CANNOT run the 5 strips. You choose option C: do nothing and hope nobody notices. That's cowardly, that's unprofessional, and that's despicable.
Second, the article on the PRC's 25th anniversary was not on the editoral page. Instead, it was in the local section, mixed in with the news. Since we're talking frankly, did the reporter who filed that story do any original work, or just accept whatever press release you were handed by the PRC?
I wonder if she'll reply again?
Anyway, you'll notice I did NOT redact Villalpando's contact info, if any of you feel like giving her a ring and letting her know, in great detail, just how full of horse-shit she is.
This shit is kinda fun.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I'm looking to expand my roster of artists for Otherverse Games. My interests are primarily military sci-fi and superheros, with an emphasis on projects for my Otherverse America, Psi-Watch and Galaxy Command settings, though there would be occasional fantasy projects.
All styles are welcome, from photo realism to anime-esque simplicity. My final project requirements would be a 300 DPI image in TIF, JPG or PNG format. I usually commission single figure interior pieces with either no background or a minimal background, to be used as 1/2 or 1/4 page illos, though covers will occasionally be more complex (like Alex Garcia's kickass cover to the revised Otherverse America setting). I tend to re-use art work as much as I can get away with, too. Artists are welcome to resell images not specifically tied to the Otherverse America setting as stock art. For instance, if you create a generic space alien for Galaxy Command, use it in other projects, though if you illustrate an Otherverse American clinic defender wearing a bright orange vest saying "CLINIC ESCORT" that's mine, and is such a specific image I doubt it would be very useful as stock art anyhow.
Most often, I pay for images via PayPal, drawn on US Funds, half upon acceptance of the contract, and half upon completion. I can set up other payment methods, depending on where you are in the world: money orders or Western Union money transfers are fine, and I've used both methods to pay artists in the past. If you're worried about not getting paid, I'll provide contact info for some of the artists I worked with in the past, to verify how I do things financially. I don't start commissioning art for a project until I've got the money to pay for it.
If you're interested, drop me an e-mail with "NEW ARTIST" in the subject line at Chrisfieldotherverse@hotmail.com.
Please include a link to online portfolio, blog or Deviant Art account, as well as information on your rates and average turn-around time. I'll send a 'style guide' for the Otherverse America setting to anybody who asks, so you can see what the world looks and feels like, and if everything is acceptable to both parties, get you started on some projects.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
First off, like the Choicer faction in Otherverse America owes a visual debt to Alphonse Mucha, this sourcebook is heavily inspired by ukiyo-e and shunga prints. I illustrated the Fur of the Yokai sourcebook exclusively with classic prints, both because it saved money and it looked GREAT. Anyway, she decided to explictly reference this print, by Hokusai, for her racial illustration of the Bloodstrong Men.
Pretty amazing right? She'll be coloring the piece to resemble the print, and adding mystical kanji to the lovers' bodies during the coloring phase.
More coming soon.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
It's got a 'pregnancy resource center' here. That's actually the name, but the local anti-choicers prefixed it with THE as in "THE Pregnancy Resource Center", using both all caps and the definitive article to emphasize its prominence. Now, there isn't an abortion clinic for 40 minutes in any direction, but this fucking thing is still here, and its raking in money from the city and state to perform the mandatory ultrasounds my redneck state requires of women seeking an abortion. It's half blatant scam, half tragedy.
I pass this shit hole often, but aside from spitting on the parking lot as I walk past, I never have had any interaction with these schmucks. That changed today. You see, these people have had a new addition to the facility. A custom painted 2011 VW Beetle, in pepto-bismol pink and lurid green, slathered in pro-life slogans and one of those bar-code squares your phone can use to link to their website.
So I naturally have something to say about this. And I walk in the front door. Inside the tiny, too hot lobby you've got a Hispanic couple, both about 14 year old, she obviously pregnant and neither ready to be parents, waiting to see a nurse and be told how immoral abortion is. And on the front wall, beside the glassed in admitting nurses' station, you've got a framed quote from Galatians about how dirty and immoral sex is. There were other framed quotes, but I stopped reading after the first. And you have an advertisement for the upcoming release of October Baby, an anti-choice film that has virtually the exact same plot as the opening fiction of Never Born Again, but unlike my book, takes all that crap SERIOUSLY.
I knock on the glass, and the nurse, an affluent white woman in her late forties comes to the desk. I decide my weapon of choice will be sarcasm, if only because I left my Stinger missile launcher in my other jeans.
"You know", I begin, smiling a shark's grin, "I noticed that excellent little pro-life VW out there. It's great, really."
"Oh thank you!"
"Yeah, I know what that car and the custom paint job must of cost. I mean you could of bought tons of disposable diapers and formula for at risk mothers. But instead you're getting the word out, guilting women who are thinking of having an abortion. Good job."
"Oh I'm glad you noticed. God bless you!"
And I wave, walk out the door, and think.... these motherfuckers do not get how sarcasm works.
Fuck, I don't drink and I need a drink.