Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tanith and Stuff

Warning: I say naughty words and talk about sex in this one.

Haven't posted too much on ole G+ in recent days. So what have I been up to, besides hitting FB with political posts? What's the status? What's the scoop?

I haven't dived into Black Pudding #3 yet. I have 7 or 8 finished pages that MIGHT go in there, but they MIGHT go into their own book. I haven't made up my mind. It's part of a sandbox setting that would not fit in an issue. Maybe I'll dish it out one part at a time. I don't know.

I'm doing a bit of commission work and thinking about slowing down on it so I can focus on my own stuff. I'm always happier when I'm doing my own thing. Call me selfish. I like to do what I like to do and I don't like to do what I don't like to do. And while commissions are fun and I love getting my work out there to more eyes I sometimes feel hemmed in or dragged down when I have several on my plate at the same time. I've never been cut out for that kind of work like so many other great artists seem to be.

My good friend Cyd is running a Penny Hack for us on Mondays, which is probably wrapping up soon. At that point I will ask my cohorts to indulge me once again and dive into a campaign that is largely inspired by mixing up Tanith Lee, Robert E. Howard, Frank Frazetta, and Richard Corben. Some good ole S&S in a project I've been calling Dead Wizards (or Kanebok... not sure how it will appear yet). I ran this once before and it was nice but this is a totally revamped version. Trying some ideas. Breaking the old game down and working from its bones to make a new toy. If all goes well, this will be one of my 2017 publishing projects.

And, while I'm on it, I just gotta say Tanith Lee is fantastic. And queer as fuck, as my friend put it. I read Death's Master when I was 14. Have you read Death's Master? Homosexuality, attraction to cross eyed people, necrophilia, and a sex-shifting hero. It's no wonder I was so comfortable in my 20s drawing boobs and bits. Any inhibitions I had about whether or not sex was an appropriate topic for fantasy were destroyed by Lee's verbosity.

I'm currently enjoying Night's Master (the first book of the Flat Earth series) on audio. It's been many years since I read it. I had forgotten just how twisted it could be. You get demon-on-mortal sex right there in part one and then a dwarf-like demon (the Drin...sort of like duerger I think) fucks a giant spider. Yeah.

I mean, these are not porn books. They are not titillating. They don't get you off. These are dark, twisted faerie tales. Lee weaves wondrous, luscious, beautiful tapestries in her books. Each tale blends into the next, linking characters across space and time. This is where I got my great love for mythological or fable-like settings. IN my own broader fantasy setting, for example, there are a set of core entities. There are 12 of them, more-or-less. They are the gods and demons of the ancient world and they show up in nearly all my work. The Worm Witch, mother of 100 Dooms, was in Pan-Gea and again in a little sci-fi comic I did called Red Path. And she has been mentioned in numerous Labyrinth Lord games I've ran. When I run little one-offs I talk about Black Wing, the Bringer of Death. Or Hunter-Raven, also known as Frimm, God of War and the North. I talk of Nexus the World Tree and Sun and Moon. All of these beings linked together in a single narrative but split across many worlds.


This I owe to Tanith Lee's brilliant Tales From the Flat Earth series. Dark and delightful they are indeed.

Lots more to say about Tanith Lee's influence. But not tonight.

6 comments:

  1. There was a Tanith Lee story in Sorcerer's Apprentice which I read as a kid. I just found it baffling; it didn't mean anything to me at all. Honestly though a lot of the fiction there was a little over my head. I should go back and take a look at her again sometime.

    RE: Tanith and gaming, Tasha Robinson described the game _Dread Geas of Duke Vulku_ as "like living in the best Tanith Lee Novel"...

    https://twitter.com/TashaRobinson/status/762047444565852161

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    1. Neat. I rarely see a Lee reference. Very cool.

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  2. The thing that surprised me the most is how natural the sexual situations are in the context of a dark fairy tale. It seems to reflect human sexuality better in some cases....

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    1. Yeah, I think so. I think its because fairy tales are sort of primal anyway. They tap into elemental fears and desires and emotions. People in these stories do not behave rationally, they tend to act on emotion or impulse, even when they know the outcome is not going to be good. I think we all relate to that.

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  3. I had not heard of Tanith Lee until you mentioned it (saw your 7 things article on multiverse.world). I look forward to checking it out!

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    1. Hope you enjoy them. They are full of awesome, dark ideas, which is why I love 'em.

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