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Archive for January, 2014

Grim Bunny 6

Uh oh! What has our hero/heroine/? gotten into now? OK, I originally did this sketch really super quick without thinking it through much, and the end result maybe was not as “readable” as I would like–but since this is kind of an informal sketch webcomic, I thought I’d keep it. I did try doing an ink wash to highlight things a bit more. Please share, like, etc! And if you’d like to participate more, great! Just tell me in the comments what you think is going on! Who is the Grim Bunny? What is TGB doing? What is the larger story arc? Or if you want to wait till I have more pics up so you can try to figure out how/whether they go together, that’s fine too! Just enjoy it!

Original tumblr post is here, and you can find archives of TGB here on this blog and here on deviantart.

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Honorable Mention

IMG_2451Hoping I’ll have better news eventually for this story (like getting it published), but for now I’m happy to have made it as far as an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. Last time I entered the contest I was in… hm, Jr College I think. Didn’t get anything then, so I guess that’s progress? The winners of each year’s four quarters get published in the annual collection, which is generally pretty good (and includes illustrations by the winners of the parallel Illustrators of the Future contest), and, well, it’s a pretty nice thing to have on your writerly resume–as Patrick Rothfuss found. I grew up wanting to be a novelist, but when I started college took a course in short story writing and generally tried to develop my shorter-fiction skillz (even published a retelling of a Swedish folktale in 2002). To my shame it was only after I started thinking of writing short fiction that I started reading it (apart from school assignments), but I’ve enjoyed it ever since (even if I’ve done a lot more reading of it the last ten years than writing of it). I’ve only occasionally subscribed to short fiction magazines (generally genre, like Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s, or Black Gate [speaking of which, the editor/founder of Black Gate gave me some really nice comments about my writing maybe 8 years back or so, and invited me to submit directly to him from then on…aaaannndddd when I was finally ready to they were no longer accepting submissions, and haven’t ever since. Gr.]), but every few months I will pick up a collection or journal–anything from Zoetrope (well, it’s been a while) to Analog. As far as genre fiction goes there are quite a few quality magazines online now–Daily Science Fiction (which also has super-short flash fiction), Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Ideomancer (where my poem The Cabin and the Stars was published a couple years ago), and more. Check them out! Short fiction was the heart of sci-fi and fantasy in the early 20th century! Support short fiction writers! It doesn’t take much, really. And OK, outside of genre fiction, I’ve been enjoying a collection of Alice Munro‘s short stories. So hey, if short stories are worth a Nobel Prize, they’re also worth reading! 😀

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OK, just pretend the caption actually reads "Carl = Manly Man!"

OK, just pretend the caption actually reads “Carl = Manly Man!”

Yes, it really is Carl day! OK, OK, just happens to be my Name-day (namnsdag–and thanks to Margareta for reminding me). In Sweden (and many other European countries) each day of the year is attached to particular names, originally coming out of the Calendar of Saints. My name happens to be the same as that of the Swedish king Carl Gustav (whom I got to have lunch with last year… though we actually didn’t talk, as we were not at the same table), which means it is also a Flag Day in Sweden, so PUT UP YOUR SWEDISH FLAGS!!! (um, thanks again to Margareta for pointing out that connection for me… let’s hear it for Swedish relatives!)

En riktig karl.

En riktig karl.

The names Carl/Karl/Charles/etc are all related (duh… but maybe you didn’t know that about Charles), and karl means “man” in Old Norse (as I am overfond of telling my students). Actually, I had trouble for a long time saying my name in Icelandic–the -rl ending has that same sort of saliva-y explosion that the -ll ending has, as in, for example, the name of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. The nuances in the meaning of “karl” vary throughout history and depending on context–“churl” comes from Old English “ceorl,” and “karl” in Scandinavian sources can range from something along the lines of the “common/free man” (see the Eddic poem Rígsþula) to the churlish nuances of… um, churl. It is also used as a modifier (“male”), as in “karldýr” (male animal), or, funny enough, “karlmaðr,” male… um, man. Well, “maðr” is usually translated (and is related to our word) “man,” but in this case it is best taken as “person” for “male person.” The Swedish word “kille” is sort of a “nickname” version of “karl” ie “guy,” and is similar to my nickname in Swedish–“Calle.”

Whatever. I just want to be able to tell everyone that my name is synonymous with manliness. Not that anyone would be surprised. ;P  Hm, maybe I need to put this on my CV…

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Grim Bunny 5

Fifth picture! My favorite so far. I am going to need to start making new sketches soon. The rules remain the same: Tell me who TGB is, what the story is for this picture, even how the pics relate to each other, if you want. But if you don’t care who TGB is, whether TGB is he/she/?, hero/villain, pursued/pursuer, etc, but just enjoy the pics, then be sure to like/share/evangelize! The tumblr version is here, and I also appreciate getting hits on deviantart.

Also, I realize bunnies have dominated this blog lately. Sorry, haven’t had time for anything besides these super quick posts. Right now I’m mostly wearing out my neck/shoulders/back/hands/eyes/brain translating this book on the theology of the body. Fascinating stuff, and I hope to put together a blog post related to it at some point, but for now it’s not leaving much time or energy for other stuff. Will try to carve out a moment for something more in the near future though.

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Of course they exist. And they even feature ninja hamsters in one of the books.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I stumbled on this while doing my own informal Grim Bunny series, but it was kind of a kick to find this series of children’s books anyway. Be warned, they are aimed at a VERY young audience. I can’t claim to be the best judge of lit for that age group, but hey, VIKING BUNNIES. I read this book with the ninja hamsters for free online (so you can decide whether your kids will like it or not–I’ve got to say, I was a little annoyed at how the 3rd person narrating voice was typed into the speech bubbles along with the dialogue, but I imagine that’s not a problem when reading aloud…). If you think your child will enjoy them, hardcopies are also for sale at the site–and from what I understand, they are also setting it up so that you can create your own Viking Bunny character! WOOHOO! And I think there is a game on the way too.

My take on a Viking bunny. Note the ears braided into a Viking beard. :)

My take on a Viking bunny. Note the ears braided into a Viking beard. 🙂

Now before you get too excited, these books will NOT help you pass your course on the Icelandic Sagas or Old Norse mythology. The costumes are cartoony fantasy stereotypes of Viking dress (is there a Baby Wagner dvd?), and in the story I read they are basically written as pirates (which makes the story I read an entry into the age-old Pirates vs Ninjas conflict, I suppose). Oh well. That’s fine. It ain’t SparkNotes (also, stay away from SparkNotes for class–I got SO SICK of reporting students for plagiarism on their Beowulf papers, and it was SO OBVIOUS that they were getting some info/interpretive material from outside proper academic sources, more a high school textbook than a scholarly journal. OK, rant over…)

And you know, after all the silly stereotypes we’ve had floating around of ninjas and pirates over the years, the Vikings can probably stand a few miniature faux-Wagnerian Care-Bear with swords bunny Vikings, right? Right. Meanwhile, I’m jumping on the Viking Bunny bandwagon with a sketch of my own. Maybe I’ll try some more, since I seem to have gotten myself into the bunny-business already…

EDIT: This person won the Viking Bunneh cuteness contest. I give up.

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Grim Bunny 4

The Grim Bunny on the run! You know the game–what is TGB up to? Who IS TGB? Villain, hero, antihero, victim? Male, female, otherwise? Is it morning or evening, or are there just really strong spotlights off beyond the upper right corner? Participate if you’d like, otherwise sit back and enjoy the show! It was fun drawing things from this perspective–not sure I’ve ever done that before. I hope it turned out alright!

Remember, you can also follow the adventures of TGB on my tumblr and deviantart!

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve had a viking or book related post–will hopefully remedy that soon, but lately I’ve been swamped with this translation project that I’m doing (I need to finish the first two chapters–90 pages–before I get my first pay check). That said… it’s pretty fun work! When I’m not stuck on a super obscure philosophical term.

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Grim Bunny 3 final

Just a quick addition to my Grim Bunny Series–check it out on tumblr or deviantart as well, or just check it out here, and tell me what you you can imagine about TGB! This entry is a bit sloppy, so you may notice some bits I cleaned up in photoshop… apologies to the purists. Pics 1 & 2 are here.

And I’m super sick right now, so I’m going to leave it at that and sign off. Will try to get to some other non-bunny blog posts in the near future as well, but my translation job is slowly getting into high gear now, and don’t have too much time apart from it (when I am well enough to do the work, anyway…)

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