Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
I spent another Saturday night drawing. And I finally did a model sheet for Mad Matilda as she appeared in the first twenty or so chapters of my upcoming novel, The Legendary Mad Matilda.
This full body sheet is based on the cover concept for The Legendary Mad Matilda, and shows the entire outfit she wore for VampJam 95. As the Queen of the Industrial Goth Raves Mad Matilda has a more aggressive look than the elegant one she wore as The Black Widow in Spellbound or the more businesslike one she wore in Spinsterella.
Industrial Goth looks usually feature DIY modded T-shirts, short skirts, spiked collars and cuffs and platform boots, and wild out there hairstyles. And to make Mad Matilda’s stand out, I went with different shading techniques so she wouldn’t be wearing a solid block of black. Goths often use textures and shades of black to break up the black, and I used that technique to make the blacks on Mattie’s outfit stand out in a crowd.
I drew inspiration for Mad Matilda’s Industrial Rave look from many of the outfits I saw Goth YouTubers like Amy Nekrotique, It’s Black Friday and Ligiea Resurrected wearing in their videos. The pigtails were inspired by the one YouTuber Rose Nocturnaila used to wear in several of her videos. And with the story set during the time where Mattie was in her Goth prime I had to incorporate V-bangs as part of her look. Because V-bangs are AWESOME.
The platforms in this design are a lot more elaborate than in previous sketches. Taking a look at several New Rock boots online, I decided to make Mattie’s footwear a bit more elaborate. New Rock Goth boots often use texture and shades to stand out, and I tried to present that in her boots. They kind of have a Jack Kirby vibe to em’ but that fits right in with the Industrial look Mad Matilda wears at her raves. These are based on the tall New Rock platforms with the springs in them; I think they’d be the kind of crazy footwear an Industrial Rave Queen would wear when she hosted her shows.
Work on The Legendary Mad Matilda is FINISHED. The manuscript is edited, pages are laid out and the paperback and eBook are uploaded to CreateSpace, Kindle, and a Smashwords edition has been formatted. All I need to release this book is money to pay for the cover. So if you can donate anything to my Paypal or my Patreon, I can get this book out by the end of the year!
Friday, July 21, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
A week ago Bakari Henderson was murdered outside of a bar in Greece by a mob of Serbian men after taking a selfie with a White waitress. While his death was a tragedy it could have been prevented if this young brotha understood the unwritten social rules regarding being a Black man in the world.
Barkari Henderson like many young Black males who grew up over the last 20 years grew up believing the lies about a “post-racial” America and a world that’s a “Rainbow”. And because they have some White friends they think that they’re free to do whatever they please wherever they please just like White people.
That’s a lie that cost Bakari Henderson his life. And it can cost many other young brothers their lives if they don’t understand it too.
When it comes to Black men, the world works differently for us than it does for White men, White women, and even Black women. And a Black man has to know how to set a course for himself to avoid the dangers around him.
Because Bakari Henderson grew up believing that he lived in the world of the “Rainbow” with his White friends he never taught that a Black man has a target on his back the minute he steps foot outside of his house. And that target grows larger when he travels abroad to places like Greece.
When a Black man goes out of his house he is on his own behind enemy lines. And when he goes into someone else’s country he is in the center of enemy territory. So a Smart Black man knows to watch his back and watch himself in his social interactions with both White and nonblack people. Because the wrong look, or the wrong move in a place like a store can lead to a Black man getting locked up or it can put him six feet under.
A Black man taking a selfie with a White waitress may be something innocent in some of the more liberal parts of America. But in some of the southern, midwest and western parts of America and abroad that kind of action can cost a Black man his life. Seeing him take that selfie with that White waitress was all the reason those Serbian racists needed to go on the warpath. These Beta White Knights saw a nigger in their bar with their woman in their country acting like a White man. And they sought to send a message to all the other niggers around the world regarding their women.
What happened to Bakari Henderson was no different than what Carolyn Bryant’s husband and brother and law when they planned to murder Emmit Till back in the 1950s. Those Serbs literally lynched him all for taking a picture with a White woman.
And just like 14-year-old Emmitt Till didn’t understand the unwritten social rules regarding racism in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s, 22-year old Bakari Henderson didn’t understand them about traveling abroad in European countries in 2017.
The times may have changed. But the racism is still the same. Bakari Henderson didn’t get the survival skills a Black man needs from his parents. And that cost him his life.
A Black man has to understand at an early age he can’t do the same things that White men, Hispanic Men, Asian Men, White Women Black women or Nonblack women can do in the world. They’ll always have social privileges and freedoms he’ll never have. Thanks to White Supremacy, he’ll always be perceived as an enemy and a threat. So he has to do things to minimize the danger to himself. That’s why it’s important for a Black boy to learn all the unwritten social rules regarding Black men in a White Supremacist world from an early age. Because the earlier he learns those rules, the earlier he knows how to avoid life-threatening situations like the ones Bakari Henderson and Emmitt Till wound up in.
Friday, July 14, 2017
I’ve been busy reading over my new Goth YA novel on The Legendary Mad Matilda. And I’ve got another chapter of the final chapter of the Spinsterella Trilogy to share with readers. This one takes you into some of the craziness of one of Mad Matilda’s parties!
My heart pounds in my chest as Ebony Darkness leads me through the crowds and down the hall over to some more bathrooms on the far side of the warehouse. I’m hoping what she has to show me isn’t bad enough to make me end the show early.
I push past the creaky door of the abandoned men’s room praying not to see something truly macabre. My heart stops when I see a babybat, barely fourteen years old dressed in mismatched thrift store clothes, bad eyeliner, and teased out hair slumped on the floor under the bathroom sink. “Oh my God!” I gasp rushing over to her.
I look into the girl’s glazed over eyes and quickly recognize the drug she’s on. Ecstasy. “Are you all right?”
“You’re Mad Matilda!” She babbles. “Man, I can’t believe I’m actually talking to Mad Matilda!”
This isn’t the way I wanted to be recognized by a fan. “Yeah, are you okay sweetie?”
“I’m okay. See-”
The girl tries to get to her feet and stumbles back down to the floor. Shit, she’s high out of her mind. “What happened?”
The girl manages to get enough of her faculties to tell me her story. “I was feeling nervous. And a guy said he could give me something to make me feel better.”
“Yeah...” The girl says as her hands creep towards her purse.
I reach into her purse and take out a couple of blue pills. Just like I thought. Ecstasy. “Where did you get these?”
“From a skinny Puerto Rican guy in a leather jacket.”
That sounds like Louie Escobar. I told that asshole he was persona non-grata at my shows. Looks like he’s here to make a fast dollar peddling pills at the expense of babybats. I catch the sick look on the kid’s face and realize she took more than one. “Ebony, I need you to get her to St. Luke’s-”
“But that’s all the way on Morningside-”
With all the drugs she’s taken we don’t have a moment to lose. “The faster she gets her stomach pumped, the faster she can start feeling better.”
“What are you gonna do?”
“I’m gonna have it out with Louie.”
The Legendary Mad Matilda will be out…whenever I get enough money to pay an artist to design the cover. I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later. You can help me get this book to the marketplace by donating $1 or more to my Paypal or my Patreon. In the meantime you can read the other two books in the Spinsterella Trilogy Spinsterella and Spellbound in paperback or e-readers today!
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I recently received a piece of digital fanart from a digital artist called rundotexe. And after they saw Bill Walko’s Isis covers he wanted to design his interpretation of Matilda Crowley, the lead character in Spinsterella.
I love this image because it looks just like I imagined Matilda as she came down the stairs to announce that “The Lady has returned to the manor” in Spellbound. It clearly shows every one that you don’t need to have a pale skintone to wear a Goth look and that Black women can be Goth and FABULOUS while being spooky.
There’s a lot I love in this piece, from the slight resemblance to Tia Mowry (one of the inspirations for Matilda), to the nuanced reference to Monster High. Monster High was one of my favorite toy lines (before the reboot) and I drew a lot of inspiration from it for many characters including Matilda. I have to wonder if they read Spinsterella and Spellbound and if they read my blogs and my YouTube Videos, because everything I talked about regarding Mattie is in this image.
Seeing this digital has me thinking a Monster High Spinsterella doll would look AWESOME on store shelves. Let’s make it happen Mattel!
I know I said I’d feature fanart in future eBooks, but I’m seriously considering putting this piece on the refresh cover of Spinsterella. As far as I’m concerned this IS Matilda Crowley!
I’d love to have this artist design the cover for the final book in the Spinsterella Trilogy, The Legendary Mad Matilda. If I can get in touch with this artist and we can work something out, I’d love to see their art grace both covers. The only thing holding up Legendary Mad Matilda is the cover, and if I can get the cover straight, I can get that book out by this Halloween!