And so, on the final night of March during the winter that JUST WON’T FREAKING MAKE LIKE A TREE AND LEAVE…


…we’re still grinning.

Insane, but grinning.


I Am Cheered by the Damnedest Things

Is she in armor? Is she a cyborg, or perhaps even a total mecha? Is she wounded, is she broken? Is he fixing her, killing her, retrieving information, or about to switch her head? I don’t know. But stumbling across this picture went a long way to snapping me out of a fairly lethal gloom. I’ll take my tiny joys where I can find them. This picture is from “Metropolis” by Karl Lagerfeld for Vogue Germany, Feb 2010.

Thanks, fireandether.


Your Tuesday Evening Moment of Moebius



Just What the World Needs: One More Twit Mumbling in the Ether…

Yup. JUST WHAT WE NEED. Future tweets: “Flood (the cat) threw up again,” “Final Episode of Exit Vector ANY DECADE NOW,” and “If it’s Sunday it must be time for a Darker Shade of Pagan.” Oh boy.

Like it says, @SimonDrax on twitter.


HEXES: The Sunday Spectra 3/27/11

Photo by Acid Fool / Design by The Creep

Pagan sounds from the musical underground!

Playlist for 03/27/11

[direct download]
[subscribe via iTunes]
[podcast feed]

Julianna Barwick – Flown
Esben and The Witch – Eumenides
Metal Mountains – Silver Sun
Silver Summit – Acadia
The Unthanks – Gan to the Kye
Blood Ceremony – The Great God Pan
Pandemonaeon – Eater of Sorrow
Arkona – Liki Bessmertnykh Bogou
VocaMe – Petron Pavlon
Rajna – Cycleades

You can also listen to this show on the Pagan Radio Network!

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Imagining Mars

This composite of three artists’ renderings from 1975 was only wish fulfillment for an unnamed JPL artist; however, the landscape and the rendered shapes took into account what was known about Mars that year. Compared to Earth, Mars is further away from the light of the sun, very cold and very arid, and had a thin atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide but little nitrogen, an environment distinctly inhospitable to complex, Earth-like, carbon-based life forms.

“Life on Mars” was envisioned as low to the ground, symmetrical and simple. The artist drew silicon-based life forms, probably coached by others, perhaps scientists, who had thought about such possibilities. Peculiar saucer-like shapes stood only slightly above ground level, root-like structures reached outward for growth resources; a bundle of cones faced many directions for heat, light or food. Instead of reality, the images embodied the artist’s hope and anticipation of what future Martian exploration would find.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

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Pole Dancer by Andrea Gibson
She pole-dances to gospel hymns.
Came out to her family in the middle of Thanksgiving grace.
I knew she was trouble
two years before our first date.
But my heart was a Labrador Retriever
with its head hung out the window of a car
tongue flapping in the wind
on a highway going 95
whenever she walked by.

So I mastered the art of crochet
and I crocheted her a winter scarf
and one night at the bar I gave it to her with a note
that said something like,
I hope this keeps your neck warm.
If it doesn’t give me a call. The key to finding love
is fucking up the pattern on purpose,
is skipping a stitch,
is leaving a tiny, tiny hole to let the cold in
and hoping she mends it with your lips.

This morning I was counting her freckles.
She has five on the left side of her face, seven on the other
and I love her for every speck of trouble she is.
She’s frickin’ awesome.
Like popcorn at a drive-in movie
that neither of us has any intention of watching.
Like Batman and Robin
in a pick-up truck in the front row with the windows steamed up.
Like Pacman in the eighties,
she swallows my ghosts.

Slaps me on my dark side and says,
“Baby, this is the best day ever.”
So I stop listening for the sound of the ocean
in the shells of bullets I hoped missed us
to see there are white flags from the tips of her toes
to her tear ducts
and I can wear her halos as handcuffs ‘cause I don’t wanna be a witness to this life,
I want to be charged and convicted,
ear lifted to her song like a bouquet of yes
because my heart is a parachute that has never opened in time
and I wanna fuck up that pattern,
leave a hole where the cold comes in and fill it every day with her sun,
‘cause anyone who has ever sat in lotus for more than a few seconds
knows it takes a hell of a lot more muscle to stay than to go.

And I want to grow
strong as the last patch of sage on a hillside
stretching towards the lightning.
God has always been an arsonist.
Heaven has always been on fire.
She is a butterfly knife bursting from a cocoon in my belly.
Love is a half moon hanging above Baghdad
promising to one day grow full,
to pull the tides through our desert wounds
and fill every clip of empty shells with the ocean.
Already there is salt on my lips.

Lover, this is not just another poem.
This is my goddamn revolt.
I am done holding my tongue like a bible.
There is too much war in every verse of our silence.
We have all dug too many trenches away from ourselves.

This time I want to melt like a snowman in Georgia,
‘til my smile is a pile of rocks you can pick up
and skip across the lake of your doubts.

Trust me,
I have been practicing my ripple.
I have been breaking into mannequin factories
and pouring my pink heart into their white paint.
I have been painting the night sky upon the inside of doorframes
so only moonshine will fall on your head in the earthquake.
I have been collecting your whispers and your whiplash
and your half-hour-long voice mail messages.
Lover, did you see the sunset tonight?
Did you see Neruda lay down on the horizon?
Do you know it was his lover who painted him red,
who made him stare down the bullet holes
in his country’s heart?

I am not looking for roses.
I want to break like a fever.
I want to break like the Berlin Wall.
I want to break like the clouds
so we can see every fearless star,
how they never speak guardrail,
how they can only say

(Let’s check out a recording of Andrea’s knockout delivery!)

Pole Dancer
†  †  †

Vampires by Jaroslav Panuska

Jaroslav Panuska, “Spirit of the Dead Mother”

via Monster Brains


Design Process, a Crucial Pause: “Too Beautiful.”

From The New YorkerSamantha Henig:

“It’s very tricky to do any drawing of a tragedy,” said Christoph Niemann, who created “Dark Spring,” this week’s cover. When asked to come up with an image about the series of disasters that have hit Japan, he was hesitant. “A drawing often comes across as lighthearted, and there’s obviously nothing lighthearted about this thing.”

The earthquake and tsunami were instantly and extensively captured through lenses. Niemann said, “If I would make the most amazing drawing of a destroyed building, it would never be as strong as a photograph.” (See photos by Adam Dean, whose work ran with Evan Osnos’s Letter from Japan.) They were also natural disasters, while the emerging nuclear threat was “something manmade,” he said, and therefore more suitable for illustration—especially in contrast with traditional Japanese ink drawings, in which nature is a central theme.

Niemann was fascinated by the “eerie silence” in many of the interviews and video clips coming out of Japan following the earthquake. “Considering the force and destruction and scale of this, I thought it was a scarily quiet disaster,” he said.

The buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi plant do not have the hourglass shape we associate with nuclear power plants. “They have no recognizable shape whatsoever,” Niemann said. So he juxtaposed cherry blossoms with a universal icon: the radiation hazard trefoil.

Niemann’s initial version (below) followed more closely the model of Japanese brush painting. Our art editor, Françoise Mouly, “wanted to use the irony” but said she had a “reservation about how beautiful it was.” She suggested that “the image be set against black to bring forth the darkness,” and so “Spring Doom” (Niemann’s original title) turned into “Dark Spring.”

(Lifted whole cloth from The New Yorker site.)


Goethe’s Deathday, March 22, 1832

Final words: “More light!”

image via



So Warren Ellis said to his legions on his message board,

So here’s the deal:

You are an artist/designer. You have to put together the cover for a comic called THE FANTASTIC FOUR. It is issue 1 of this book.

You have been told that the comic is about four people who steal a spaceship, fly into space, get heavily irradiated by cosmic rays, and return to earth weirdly altered by their experience.

And that’s it. The bastards haven’t told you one more damn thing than that. Not a clue. They might all be women. It might be about the Indian space programme twenty years from now. For all you know this is a JG Ballard story, for christ’s sake…

It’s up to you what kind of company you’re at. What kind of comics you make. How you translate that description of The Fantastic Four. What era you’re in. Who you are, even. Go nuts with it.

You have one week. Go.

And the legions replied with dazzling visions. These are my favorites!

Xiao Mao

Dirtbag Kingdom

“The cosmic storm had irrevocably changed the lives of our intrepid rocket thieves.”

Chris G


“Well, the soviets WERE the first ones into space. soooo, why not a soviet FF? 🙂 🙂 :)”

Paul Sizer

Check out the whole thread.


The Sunday Drax, 3/20/11 [links, pictures, stuff]

Pagan sounds from the musical underground!

Playlist for 03/20/11

[direct download]
[subscribe via iTunes]
[podcast feed]

Hexperos – A Forest
Barn Owl & The Infinite Strings Ensemble – Levitation
Sleepthief (feat. Mirabilis) – Asunder
Grouper – Sick
The Moon and The Nightspirit – Csillagnasz
Monica Richards – The Turnaway
Warpaint – Majesty
Dyonisis – We Are
Claire Voyant – Lustre
Glasser – Apply

You can also listen to this show on the Pagan Radio Network!

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“AHHHHHHHHH!!! LOVE The Cult. LOVE Firewoman. Used to have MAD TEENAGE CRUSHES on Ian Astbury. I found out maybe 6 months ago he has a twitter account. Ended all crushes forever. Still love The Cult, though :)” — Anon

Let’s do some Cult, man


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Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark

Illustrated by Henry Holiday

You can download a 300dpi page scan of the 1876 edition of The Hunting of the Snark by clicking HERE.

Thanks, TSTF.

+   +   +


Water Lily

model unknown

(via fireandether)

UPDATE VIA COMMENTS: “Apparently it’s circa 1905 and is possibly Isabelle Lowe.  Here is the original flickr link.  Man, it’s a shame how this stuff gets lost in the shuffle; the information is usually all there from the get-go! flickr

(I suck…)

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“Spring buds are silhouetted against the rising full moon in Washington, March 19, 2011. Photograph by: Hyungwon Kang, Reuters”

Read more

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Hieronymus BOSCH
Death and the Miser
c. 1490
Oil on wood, 93 x 31 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

and finally


John Scalzi’s Electronic Publishing BINGO


Image Credits: WowRainbows (Sunday Drax); © Ellen Rogers (FireWoman); both designs by The Creep. In The Art Department!

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