zeldathemes
Confessions of a Suburban Beatnik

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I’m very proud of this private commission I finished about a couple of months ago. It features Thomas Cranmer and his wife Margaret (a German lady whom he married secretly), flanked by his patrons Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
The size is 18 x 24; the medium is acrylic on wood.  

I’m very proud of this private commission I finished about a couple of months ago. It features Thomas Cranmer and his wife Margaret (a German lady whom he married secretly), flanked by his patrons Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

The size is 18 x 24; the medium is acrylic on wood.  

Reblog if you want one of these in your askbox:

askboxmemes:

  • A compliment or insult
  • A story
  • Why you follow me
  • If you met me what would you do
  • A cute message
  • One thing you want to tell me
  • One thing you want to know about me
For #inktober I drew Lieutenant Schrank from West Side Story, easily one of my favorite characters. As played by character actor Simon Oakland, he’s so hardboiled and yet so adorable!  Look at him, he’s so gruff and angry but totally sincere. To quote pulp cover blogger Rex Parker, “I love old-timey tough guys with their high-waisted pants and short loose ties and rolled cuffs and adamant stances and aggressive cigarette-gripping.” That just sums it up right there.
References courtesy of Mambo to Murder and the Simon Oakland tribute site run by lucky-ladybugs-lovelies (It’s weird to think the guy died over thirty years ago, when I was a clueless tot rocking out in the summer of ‘83 to Eddy Grant and Donna Summer, but life is weird that way). 

For #inktober I drew Lieutenant Schrank from West Side Story, easily one of my favorite characters. As played by character actor Simon Oakland, he’s so hardboiled and yet so adorable!  Look at him, he’s so gruff and angry but totally sincere. To quote pulp cover blogger Rex Parker, “I love old-timey tough guys with their high-waisted pants and short loose ties and rolled cuffs and adamant stances and aggressive cigarette-gripping.” That just sums it up right there.

References courtesy of Mambo to Murder and the Simon Oakland tribute site run by lucky-ladybugs-lovelies (It’s weird to think the guy died over thirty years ago, when I was a clueless tot rocking out in the summer of ‘83 to Eddy Grant and Donna Summer, but life is weird that way). 

Random fannish post alert!
I’ve heard it said that a hero can be defined as someone who does the right thing even if they don’t want to. IMO, Lt. Schrank is the unsung hero of West Side Story, because even though he’s not a particularly sensitive or pleasant guy, he is doing his best to prevent the gangs from killing each other. I recently rewatched the movie, and I found his grim, honest dedication to his job downright refreshing in a movie filled with a bunch of people who spout high minded crap about love but then otherwise act like sociopathic assholes. 
Also, Simon Oakland was pretty hot. I have a thing for film noir, and I love how he carries off the hardboiled detective look with the fedora and the suit— not to mention the squinty gaze and lovely profile. You can arrest me anytime, Lieutenant Schrank!
(Image originally from here.)

Random fannish post alert!

I’ve heard it said that a hero can be defined as someone who does the right thing even if they don’t want to. IMO, Lt. Schrank is the unsung hero of West Side Story, because even though he’s not a particularly sensitive or pleasant guy, he is doing his best to prevent the gangs from killing each other. I recently rewatched the movie, and I found his grim, honest dedication to his job downright refreshing in a movie filled with a bunch of people who spout high minded crap about love but then otherwise act like sociopathic assholes. 

Also, Simon Oakland was pretty hot. I have a thing for film noir, and I love how he carries off the hardboiled detective look with the fedora and the suit— not to mention the squinty gaze and lovely profile. You can arrest me anytime, Lieutenant Schrank!

(Image originally from here.)

eccecorinna Here you go— here’s some of my childrens’ book work, hosted on my agent’s site!

So, I’m not dead… just working my ass off on a children’s book about a locomotive engineeress (it’s very cool— imagine Little Women with trains and more action). Here’s a sketch I did a few months ago, inspired by the epic Orbital song. 

So, I’m not dead… just working my ass off on a children’s book about a locomotive engineeress (it’s very cool— imagine Little Women with trains and more action). Here’s a sketch I did a few months ago, inspired by the epic Orbital song

So recently I was hired by indie start-up press Eliana Press to be a sketch artist for the Donald Sterling hearing— here’s a sketch dump of the drawings I did for 7/21-7/22.  

To make a long story short, Sterling is in the middle of scandal due to some virulently racist comments caught on tape, and the NBA has stripped him of team ownership and banned him from the league for life. His estranged wife Shelly, the team co-owner, on behalf of the Sterling Foundation, has been trying to sell the team to ex Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who bid 2.5 billion on it. However, in this hearing, Sterling and his crack legal team tried to block the sale.

Anyway, what a cast of characters! What an experience. There was so much drama; it was like being in the middle of a TV show.  I did a lot of sketches on 7/23 and 7/28, so another post will be coming soon.

joannerenaud:

I originally wrote this blog post back in 2010 on my ancient blogspot blog; and here it is revised, expanded and updated. It used to be that I could only think of eight romances that would get on my top ten list; that was why it was only originally eight. But since 2010, I’ve read a lot more…

Reblogged from my writing blog— a list of my favorite romance novels. Enjoy!

suburbanbeatnik:

Hey there guys! I am super excited about The Queen’s Cavaliers, a game I’m illustrating that’s currently up on Kickstarter. Inspired by The Three Musketeers, it’s a baroque clockpunk tabletop RPG sent in an alternate 17th century France. So there’s swashbuckling ahoy, with dangerous ladies and complicated men, along with all other sorts of Errol Flynn type shenanigans— and more fancy baroque fashion than you could shake a rapier at! 

We were recently featured on the No Pun show, and also on io9. If the game takes your fancy, I hope you’ll consider supporting us; I’d love for the book to look as gorgeous as possible. 

The Kickstarter runs until June 3rd— and thanks again!

Thanks for all the reblogs, guys! And I have good news— the Kickstarter actually ends on June 6th. I have a problem remembering things, I guess. Oops!

Nero/Poppaea photo collages! This is not my usual thing, but a friend of mine did the top left collage since she knows that N/P is my 1rst century Julio-Claudian OTP, and I took it and did a few variations on it with various iPad photo apps. I’m fairly pleased with how they turned out, especially the bottom two. I think of them as four aspects of a relationship, which I believe to have been a romantic one, but Fraught by all accounts.

So yeah. Poppaea was actually a pretty interesting character. She was from a not-particularly-distinguished family from Pompeii, and her mom died when she was 17, at the behest of the notorious Empress Messalina. Roman women took the names of their fathers; but at some point Poppaea (the daughter of Titus Ollius, so I imagine she was likely born Ollia) took her mother’s name. With that, she started her own Anne Boleyn type meteoric rise, where she ended up causing the death of Messalina’s daughter Octavia and marrying Octavia’s husband Nero.

Much ink has been spilled about her amber hair and “preternatural beauty,” and pulp writers have gone to town imagining Poppaea’s sexy, slutty wiles.  The lady was seven years older than her husband (quelle scandale!) but, as Nero married her when she was pregnant with their short-lived daughter Claudia, her fertility was most likely one of her biggest attractions. She did, after all, have a son from a previous marriage, while Octavia was most likely barren.

And although there are lots of stories about Poppaea bathing in milk and being extravagant, she continued to be a local girl. She owned a tile factory in Pompeii and made sure that Pompeii got lots of government assistance after a big earthquake in 62.

Even more interesting is that she was pretty involved in the Jewish community. Tacitus, of course, is pretty quick to dismiss her as an evil HOOOOOOOR but Josephus (who actually met her) spoke very highly of her as a god-fearing Judaist who was quick to help imprisoned priests and “pled on behalf of the Jewish people” on at least two separate occasions. Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions have been discovered at her home in Pompeii too.

Tacitus and Suetonius both claim that Nero kicked her to death when she was pregnant with their second child, but I find that pretty unlikely. She was 35 years old, and neo-natal care in ancient Rome was not really up to modern standards. Most likely she died of a miscarriage. Nero was overwhelmed with grief; he made her a goddess and (according to Pliny) burned a year’s worth of Arabian incense at her funeral.

A poem was even recently discovered in Egypt; it was all about Poppaea’s ascension into heaven, and her grief at being torn apart from her beloved husband. In the poem, the grief-stricken empress is counseled by Aphrodite:

"My child, stop crying and hurry up: with all their heart Zeus’ stars welcome you and establish you on the moon…" 

Poor Poppaea! Don’t listen to those uber-patriarchal historians who’ll be slandering you fifty and sixty years after your death; I believe in you!

Regardless, I imagine she’d be pleased to hear that she hasn’t been completely forgotten, two thousand years later.