Category Archives: Books

Hild Fanart

I drew Hild from Nicola Griffith’s novel of the same name a few days after finishing the book, and about 4 months later I decided to scan it into the computer, clean up the lines, and do a quick color and background. Drawing Hild took some guesswork on my part. I do admit that while I was reading the book I made sure to note specific details about her appearance for later. The cross on her neck is smaller than I imagine it, but I do like how her beads turned out. The staff could have been a little longer, and I honestly have no idea what her slaughter seax would have looked like. Clothing was completely imagined by me. I wanted to draw her in pants and boots and a shirt without sleeves. Very selfish of me, I know. The coloring was even harder. All I could honestly remember was that her hair was chestnut brown (…I think?) and her beads were reddish orange (…I think?) I can’t speak very highly of my memory.

Drawing and coloring this without any research except for what I remembered was kind of fun for me. I’ll have to go back now and see how much information I can find about how things could have been more true to the book.

Another idea I had but decided not to go with was to have Hild standing in the forest with her eyes closed, and then drawing some birds and other wildlife behind her. I get a really strong sense of that scene now, when I think back on the book. Or of Hild standing across the cool, dark cellar staring at Gwladus, who stares right back. The items that Hild acquires throughout the first book really stand out to me. Her seax, beads, staff, and cross. I left out the cups that Cian gave her because I didn’t think she’d take them with her on what I can only assume to be some kind of tracking mission (I honestly don’t know. I just wanted her to look action-y) All of these items she gets are symbolic of what makes Hild, well, Hild. Usually I’m not big on stories that put a lot of weight on items, but I think it was done in a way that kept me interested. Made me want to draw it, and when that happens something is being done right.

Hild Fanart - Hild Art by Justine Lavoie

Game of Thrones Sexism – Part 2

So I realize that stating that I’ve watched only one episode is probably not helping my argument, but luckily, there is this great article on Tiger Beatdown that points out every scene with rape, molestation and/or domestic violence in the Game of Thrones books. Yes, I’m jumping from the televised series to the books, but still, this is by far the best resource I’ve found that proves my points. You should read it, it’s funny and sad and horrible all at once.

I really did try watching the second episode. I stopped at the scene where the ripped barbarian dude is raping the blonde chick… again. Sorry, that “gritty realism” is just too much for me! Again, this isn’t simply because I can’t read about rape. There are plenty of books that tell the story of rape in a non-offensive, serious way (I’m looking at you, Hild).

This may very well be the last part of my Games of Thrones Sexism series. I can’t find any reason to commit another hour to watching (or reading) something that doesn’t ever seem “get better” w/r/t being sexist.

Updates to the library and other things

I’ve decided to stop using the Now Reading Reloaded plugin and have moved my entire library to GoodReads. I have and can make friends on GoodReads and it’s better supported. Just tried searching for Dune in Now Reading and it said not found. Eventually I’d like to play around with GoodRead’s api, but they do provide some very basic (static) widgets, so I’m using those for now.

I’ve been using DailyLit for a few months now. I’ve been using it mainly to receive brief snippets relating to various history topics (greek, famous historical ladies), but I also like the idea of reading books like this (instead of how I usually do, which is to sit down with one for as long as I can possibly handle). If you’re interested, I’d recommend anything from the Wikipedia Tours section.

Also, a new sketch.


The Tunnel

I couldn’t read Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. I couldn’t read Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. Now I’m feeling like I might skip reading Gass’ The Tunnel.

I’m almost to the point of bringing it back to the library, but I feel bad because I specifically asked the library to carry this book. Finding that it didn’t exist in the WORLD database for the library system kind of surprised me. I’m torn between forcing myself to read the whole 600+ page book to see if I can get anything out of it and just giving up at page 60.

To make things even harder, as I was thinking about what to do while in the shower I randomly read the engraved name of my shower head: Kohler. That also happens to be the last name of the character in The Tunnel. Strange coincidences make things hard.