The Mari Lwyd (pronounced Mah-ri Lloyd) is a wassailing folk custom found in South Wales. The name means “grey mare,” and refers to a hobby horse made from a horse’s skull mounted on a pole, which is carried by an individual hidden under a sackcloth.
A group of people would accompany the Mari Lwyd to local houses, where they would request entry by singing a song. The householders would be expected to turn them away, replying through song, and the two sides would continue singing their responses to one another until one side relented. If the householders gave in first, the Mari Lwyd team would be invited in and supplied with food and drink.
This tradition typically takes place sometime between the winter solstice and New Year’s Day. While some scholars have tried to append a Christian interpretation to the Mari Lwyd, claiming it somehow represents the Virgin Mary (?!?!), my own personal belief is that it stems from Welsh pranksters trying to scam booze and food from their neighbors by way of a horrifying puppet, and is closer in spirit to Halloween than Christmas.
As someone of Welsh descent, I wanted to create a winter holiday card that spoke to that aspect of my heritage, and which leans into my (perhaps relentless) love of Halloween.
Either way, I wish you a happy time this winter, with bountiful food and drink of your choosing!
Waaaaay back in the early days of the pandemic, Melanie Gillman organized and edited a digital zine of recipe comics called Parsley Sage Rosemary and Quarantine. You can still snag a copy of the whole zine on a pay-what-you-want basis, but since the rights have reverted I figured I’d share my recipe here:
If you want that whole “recipe with life story” thing, hit up the Patreon link. If you want the recipe and NOTHING ELSE, stick with Studio NDR.
Other Goings On
So yes, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated here. Honestly, like a great many other artists, the bruising ordeal that has been 2020 has pretty much done in my creative drive. I have been struggling to make anything more complicated than a sticker of a bear drinking bubble tea (it is a very cute bear, though).
So right now I’m mostly focused on trying to take some down time, in hopes that actually officially chilling for a bit will help recharge the ol’ batteries.
I do have the next chapter of Valley of the Silk Sky thumbnailed, though I have not yet commenced penciling (that’s what I’m hoping to get the energy to undertake).
I do have a VotSS short story that has not previously been published online that I intend to start running in January, so there will be comics come the new year, even as I hide in my hidey hole.
The Denver Zine Library 2021 calendar is up for preorder! I illustrated October, for which I did a very Colorado take on Halloween. $1+ Patrons saw some of the work-in-progress images for this, and now you can see the whole, finished piece!
Also, if I knew how to say, “I speak some Japanese, but not much and not well and I definitely don’t understand colloquial speech as opposed to textbook constructions,” I’d say that. But I don’t, so “I don’t speak Japanese” it is.
New Feeps, you say
I do indeed. I updated my Feeping Creatures Etsy shop with some new items, including stickers, zines, and original art. Check it out, and maybe snag some indie art by an indie artist?
I will, of course, have a large assortment of queer & trans comics with me, including copies of the Monster Journey trans masculine comics anthology pictured here, in which I have an exclusive Valley of the Silk Sky short story. I’ll also have lots of art and merch of the Feeping Creatures variety.
So! If you’re in the ATX area this weekend, you should definitely come to this show.
I realize I haven’t posted much here lately, but I have indeed been working on new comics. I just wrapped up a new autobio story I hope to announce soon, and I have several pages of the next chapter of Valley of the Silk Sky penciled. Once I’m back from STAPLE!, my goal is to get that VotSS chapter done.
If you’re wondering why things have been quiet here these last few weeks, it’s because I’ve been focusing on posting updates over on the Valley of the Silk Sky website.
You can, for example, read several pages of “Medicine; Run” right now, as I work my way through the weekly serialization of this short story.
You can also buy the minicomic edition if you’re impatient, or if you prefer to read in print. Neat!
Will I ever post this short story to Studio NDR? I don’t know! Maybe. I just feel a bit overwhelmed with maintaining a billion websites and social media accounts, ha ha. For now, it lives in its own little corner of the web.
Yes, I’ll be there! Once again you can find me in Small Press, where I will be sharing table L-06 with Stacked Deck Press (publisher of We’re Still Here, in which I have a short story, as well as several queer & trans-themed coloring books in which I have illustrations).
I’ll have a few copies of Monster Journey, the all-trans masc anthology from Pocket Bear Press in which I have an exclusive new Valley of the Silk Sky short story.
If you can’t make it to SDCC, you can snag Monster Journey online in either physical or e-book form.
I’m also working on some Feeping Creatures micro zines, featuring a bunch of artwork you probably haven’t seen before, so keep an eyeball out for those as well.
So yeah, been busy, even if I don’t always manage to post about it here!
Speaking of punnery, that there is the title of the all-cat art show I’m in, and it opens this very weekend. My pieces in this show come from the Feeping Creatures side of my artistic output, so expect monsters and cuteness.
Come to Spectra Art Space at 7 PM on Saturday, February 9 to party at the opening reception and revel in the feline art.
Spectra is located at 1836 South Broadway in Denver, CO. Come to the thing!
Now that the chaos of SDCC is done, it’s time to move on to the next chaos: the Tiny Art Big Ideas show here in Denver, hosted by Spectra Art Space.
The concept for the show is simple: dozens of artists have submitted hundreds of works, all of which are 6 in x 6 in x 6in or smaller. Hence Tiny Art!
My work for this show mostly focuses on the Feeping Creatures side of my creative endeavors, so look for wee monsters in the form of sculptures, drawings, and enamel pins.
The opening reception for the show is tonight, July 27, at 7:00 PM. You should come to that if you can. If not, the show will be up for the next month, so you still have plenty of time to look at all the itty bitty arts.
I’ll be returning to the STAPLE! Independent Media Expo for the first time in 4 years! It’s happening this weekend, September 9-10, in good ol’ Austin, Texas.
This will be the convention debut of my new enamel pins, the Caterpillar and the Catstronaut, so come snag ’em while they’re hot! (Or if you can’t make it to STAPLE, you can buy them online in my Etsy store.)
MEANWHILE. I have set up a Feeping Creatures Threadless shop for all your POD monster needs. Shirts, bags, phone cases, shower curtains! All kinds of fun stuff. Click on an image to see all the different designs associated with it.
I need a new phone case anyway, and am thinking I might go with the Toxoplasmoids version. I mean, why NOT cover your phone in adorable bacteria.