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April 29, 2017: Website updated and revised.
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Namesake Portrait

Iskanderos086

The original that’s been defaced this time is a copy of a mosaic discovered at a villa in Pompeii. The subject is the Battle of the Issus, one of several where Alexander destroyed Persian forces in detail. The Scourge of the Persians advances from the left, lance raised to strike the enemy down, while the Shahinshah, Darius, cowers in his chariot. Among other traits, Alexander had the distinctly autistic feature of being unable to look people straight in the eye. This is why he’s traditionally (although not always) depicted gazing to one side.        Alexander the Great copy

 

I’ve drawn him looking straight ahead because I’m still a really cruddy artist and can’t do a three-quarter profile.

Alexander is my middle name, for those of you who are curious. It means “defender of men,” which is pretty ironic, considering the body count he racked up.

Oh No! Not Another Beer Ad (Abbreviated)!

I guess I'll just have to get a bigger scanner.

I guess I’ll just have to get a bigger scanner.

Antiquity and beer. The kind of combo that delighted Henry Fielding’s heart.  Too bad you can’t see the whole thing. In some ways, I hate the modern age even though I’m aware that to do the same gag 2,000 years ago, I’d have to cut it into a piece of stone and then carry it around from city to city so you could all see it (Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!). The painting that I defaced was done by a Victorian artist named Lawrence Alma-Tadema who was also a successful novelist. His highly idealized paintings are my favorite depictions of the Hellenistic Age. I’ll see about getting the whole image scanned soon and online. Salve et vos benedico, amici!

Generic Tuscan Pastoral Sunset Copy

Tuscany084

My artistic output increases in direct ratio to the number of meetings I must sit through. A recent chinwag session took place in a windowless conference room decorated with generic Federal agency art. This is my crude reproduction of one example, an apparent effort to portray a Northern Italian vista. No, I still can’t really draw, but I do believe that this is recognizable as a depiction of a landscape of sorts. Let’s hope someone else out there thinks so too.

“Isle Of The White Worm Spice” Now Out In Infernal Ink

Infernal Ink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot damn! The new issue of Infernal Ink is out and it’s boffo! Also sexy and terrifying.

Infernal Ink Magazine is a literary magazine with a focus on publishing extremely dark and violent adult fiction and poetry.

This issue features an interview with the sexy, talented, and one of a kind Heidee Nytes. “The Author Bordello” this month spotlights the passions of author Bob Freville. Moreover, and not least, this issue has my grisly tale of high misadventure, Isle Of The White Worm Spice.

My thanks again to Hydra M. Star for accepting the story. Like I noted previously, this publishing credit is a big feather in my cap.  Sensitive souls, please note that Infernal Ink contains adult content and themes and is not meant for readers under eighteen years of age.

You don’t think I write stuff for little kids, do you?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BPGZP32

http://www.facebook.com/infernalinkmagazine

Silvery Syphilitic Solace For Shipwrecked Sailors!

Pictures like this really are proof that I probably need to go get a second job to take up my time.

Pictures like this really are proof that I probably need to go get a second job to take up my time.  Actually, I think I’ll make my own home brewed cider and market it on the Internet as Silver Syphilis Cider (A spirochete in every bottle!).

 

 

 

 

 

Good Old Fashioned Apple Cider!

They asked for some art and, boy, did I ever give them some.

They asked for some art and, boy, did I ever give them some. Honestly, there’s absolutely nothing that I like better on a hot summer day than a tall, cold glass filled with Silver Syphilis! You should try the stuff some time. To sum up, one of these days Lagunitas IPA will learn their lesson. Until that day, I stand ready, pen in hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad News: “The Track” Withdrawn From Dark Passages Publishing

It turns out that the guy at the end of the tunnel has been giving me the finger the whole time.

It turns out that the guy at the end of the tunnel was giving me the finger the whole time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longtime readers of the blog may recall way back when (specifically July 24, 2016), I announced my neo-noir novella, The Track, had been accepted by Dark Passages Publishing:

http://mellonwritesagain.com/?p=769

And, if you go to the Dark Passages website, lo and behold, you’ll still find a listing for The Track:

https://darkpassagespublishing.com/catalogue/

Only the release date given is October 2017, over four months ago. That’s the third release date the website has listed. The Track was originally supposed to come out in spring of 2017 then summer. Finally October was announced with no further action after that. Three novellas on the website by other writers appear to be in the same situation with listings, but no actual releases and no active links to allow people to purchase the stories either virtually or in hard copy.

The Dark Passages website appears to  be moribund with nothing new having been added or done to it in months. The Track is the last work in the catalog. The same holds true for the publisher’s magazine, The J. J. Outre Review. I know small press ventures have tiny staffs, but Dark Passages appears to have been a one man show, run by P. A. M. Jensen:

https://darkpassagespublishing.com/masthead/

On January 17, 2018, I sent an e-mail to Mr. Jensen that discussed The Track‘s history, asked whether he had any intention of publishing the story in the near future, and gave him one month from that date to respond with the stipulation that if he failed to answer within that time frame, I would consider any agreement between us to publish The Track to be null and void. That deadline has expired with the result that the agreement between myself and Dark Passages to publish The Track no longer exists. I’ve sent word to that effect to Mr. Jensen in a follow up e-mail.

The purpose of this blog post is to make the fact public that neither Dark Passages Publishing nor Mr. Jensen have any legal interest in or right to publish The Track, despite anything stated by Dark Passages on its website or any other medium. The Track is an unpublished, original work and I’m the sole proprietor. No other entity or person has any interest in it. It is available for publication. Any representation otherwise by anyone else is a false statement.

I’m sorry to go on like this, making a noise like an attorney (my least favorite thing to do), but I’m afraid circumstances leave me no choice.  I’m dead serious about everything written above and have every confidence the law backs me entirely on this matter.

Just Another Dull Day In Downtown Ancient Sparta

The big hair indicates how old he is and keeps his massive brain warm. Ditto the spiked beard.

The big hair indicates how ancient he is and keeps his massive brain warm. Ditto the spiny beard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lycurgus is the (probably mythical) founder of the ancient Spartan ways from a dual monarchy governed in turn by a board of ephors to a male populace entirely devoted to war supported by a slave empire, and, oddly enough, the most emancipated women in ancient Greece. One indication of his fictitious nature is his name, which means “Wolf Charmer” in Greek and was one of the god Apollo’s titles, thus implicitly giving him a supernatural origin like so many Greek heroes. Like I said, he probably didn’t exist so I can basically draw anything I like. The Spock ear has been pointed out to me along with the big ski slope schnoz (I think it looks patrician and dignified). Note that the capital turned out fairly pretty, if I do say so myself. To sum up, I doubt the Spartan agora was this fancy on its best day, which is completely in keeping with the fantasy of Lycurgus as a bush headed spike beard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Melkart The Herdsman” Now Out In Mythaxis No. 21!

This isn't the magazine illustration, but I think it also captures the story's atmosphere.

This isn’t the magazine illustration, but I think it also captures the story’s atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue No. 21 of Mythaxis is now out, officially dated February 18, 2018. To quote Editor Gil Williamson, this is the longest issue of Mythaxis ever with my novelette at the end, Melkart The Herdsman. I’m delighted Gil saw the possibilities in Melkart. Longer stories are always a harder sell since they of course take up  space that several stories could fill instead. Curious readers aren’t to be daunted by length, however. Melkart is a quick, fun read, the written equivalent of the sword and sandal flicks I loved when I was a boy with a healthy dash of giallo creepiness for savor. Folks who often note that I tend to have unsympathetic, sometimes downright horrible protagonists can’t find anything to complain about here. Melkart is just another (Phoenician) name for Hercules and who could be more upstanding than that?  The ancient wanderer, the righter of wrongs wherever they may be found. Learn what happens, peregrini, when Melkart and his herd of giant, savage cattle trespass into the realm of Eryx the Rex.

http://www.mythaxis.co.uk/

Doug Allen “Steven” Tribute

I think this captures the spirit, but that's about it. I still can't draw.

I think this captures the spirit, but that’s about it. I still can’t draw.                                                                               

Doug Allen is a cartoonist who did the Steven comics from the late ’70’s well into the ’90’s for various alternative newspapers (pre-Internet when they still a thing). They were collected and put out as comic books by Kitchen Sink Press in eight volumes. I’ve been rereading a bunch of them lately, laughing myself sick like a little kid in the process.  Steven is the ultimate in antisocial humor. Allen has apparently quit doing Steven as far as I can tell, which is a darn shame. Since I can’t get any more from him, I made my own drawing of Steven as a poor substitute.

If anybody thinks this is crude and childish, I agree, but also think you should eat some paste.

http://www.dougallencomics.com/

https://web.archive.org/web/20100328080834/http://www.comicartcollective.com/dougallen/