Candyland #8

We're almost to the end! The last stop before the final destination is at Gloppy's Molasses Swamp. In later games (before getting rid of him entirely), he was turned into a Chocolate Monster instead of a Molasses Monster, and that might be the only major change they made that I consider a real improvement. He DOES make more sense as a chocolate monster! So, I decorated his swamp with candybar-cattails, nonpareil lily pads and a rather unsuspecting chocolate Easter bunny. Whether he's sneaking up on it to hug it or eat it, I'm not quite sure myself!

Honestly, I know it's not my most popular series, but I have been getting a real kick out of this. When I started, only maybe half my drawings were fully colored, so I've been taking the time to finish the half-finished ones, and touch up all the others. I have been working on art at least an hour a night, every night. I'm really starting to feel like my old self again. AND! I should have a fun surprise for you on the website once this series is done! :D

Candyland #7

My faaaaaavorite! QUEEN FROSTINE! Ruler of the Ice Cream Sea! I loved her as a little girl, I always thought she was the prettiest character on the board. The fact that her realm was close to the end of the game and you could sometimes pull a lucky card that took you right there didn't hurt, either.

In subsequent games, she got downgraded to "Princess Frostine" (girls like princesses and being the subject of power grabs, right?), turned into an ice skater, inexplicably sexed up in 2013 like all the other characters until some hysterical parent complained, and finally returned to some semblance of her former self (albeit still a princess and now living in the Frozen Palace.) But she'll always be Queen to me! <3

Candyland #6

Princess Lolly of the Lollipop Forest! My second favorite character, I'd say. This is her original design; I especially like the lollipop crown.

In the 2000s, she looked more like a little girl with barely a visible crown. In the 2013 edition, they basically turned her into a sexed-out candy-themed Bratz doll with a lollipop bra. In the most recent edition, they've turned her back into a normal little girl in "fairy like" clothing, but she doesn't look much like a princess. I guess she's a fairy now? And Queen Frostine is no longer her mom but her sister? All right.

Candyland #5

Today's next stop on the Candyland express is the Peanut Brittle House of Grandma Nutt! I always thought Grandma Nutt was a great character - just because she's an older woman, doesn't mean she can't cut a wholesomely charming figure, take a leadership role and be involved in her community! Even if that community happens to mostly be squirrels at the moment.

(Incidentally, her domain didn't originally have peanut-buttercups or bushes of Reese's Pieces. Those were just my personal embellishments. I thought they fit right in!)

She's since had her design redone several times, and in 2002 was given a dog named Bazz. He was supposed to look like a basket, but he kind of just looks like a dried turd with a face and a layer of peanuts on top. He didn't last long.

As of most recently, she has been renamed "Nana," which doesn't exactly seem very candy-related to me. I have no idea why they changed it. I guess they could have made her the overseer of ba"nana" candy - but she still has her "Nutt House"? Which is no longer made of candy and is just a giant acorn for some reason? Ah well, who KNOWS how they make decisions at Hasbro once the cocaine runs out!

Candyland #4

Coming through the pass in the Gumdrop Mountains, we encounter Jolly! Normally he's depicted playing with gumdrops, but I figured that all things considered, neither gumballs nor gummy bears would be out of place in his colorful domain.

Jolly was another one of those characters who, like Plumpy, has been removed from the game entirely. Endlessly discontent with his design, they've at various points shifted him into a rotund man in period clothing, and a blue dragon with gumdrops for spines. Jesus Christ, Hasbro, stop screwing around with Jolly and just let the fellow have fun with his goddamned gumdrops in peace!

Candyland #3

The board gets a little twisty at this point, so it's kind of hard to see, but it looks like the next stop along the road is the Licorice Castle of Lord Licorice! Also included are sharp rocks of hard candy and a few dark gummy bats. :-)

This is one of the few characters that appears in every single iteration of the game, and whose design has been the slowest to change. It makes sense, since he's the villain, and every good fairyland needs a villain! But it looks like the whole cast got a major overhaul in the last edition. Before he looked a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel, now he just looks sad and dull and, well . . . greasy.

Candyland #2

Next up on the Candy Land board would be the Peppermint Forest, home to the hard working hard-candy lumberjack, Mister Mint! Traditionally, Peppermint Forest is kind of a rough spot on the board since it's the place you can get kicked all the way back to when you're almost at the end, but it's still a pretty cute place, I think.

The people have spoken!

Well, you seemed to like the idea, so I'll start putting up the illustrations Mondays and Fridays, gives us both something to do, yeah? Well, candy kids, if we're going in show order, then we start with the grove of gingerbread sugarplum trees, and their guardian, Plumpy!

Plumpy wasn't my favorite as a kid; I was more partial to human characters, pretty princesses in particular. Even now he kind of gives the impression of a candy-themed, cut-rate Lorax. Still, that's not his fault - he seems like a friendly fellow and I tried to do right by him. I tried to give those gingerbread trees some proper character of their own, too. I wonder if their leaves are edible? Probably. I wonder what they're made of?

Feelin' better!

I took a four-day run down to Big Sur to hide out in a cabin in the woods (well, more like a cottage, and woods-adjacent) and just kind of wig out for a while. It was perfect - they managed to get the Dolan fire completely under control before I went down there, so when I landed, it was nothing but clean air, warm weather and blue skies. It was wonderful. I ate too much. I got lost in a nature preserve and ended up circling back to the ocean five goddamned times and briefly worried that if I ran out of food before I found my way out I'd have to eat a seagull to survive.

Most importantly, I took my Break; pages with me and devoted every evening and large chunks of each day to inking work. It's nearly done, I got two pages left. I feel great. It'll be going up on the site as soon as it's done, I'd say a healthy estimate is the first week of October. Work on Project Circe is going along fast . . . really, really fast. Scary fast, actually. It feels like I'm making up for lost time! But it's still not ready yet, not even close, and even I know I've been quiet too long and need to put up something to fill the gap.

So! I had an idea. Does anyone here remember Candyland? The old board game? I had a copy when I was a toddler in 1985. And yes, as an actual game, it kind of sucks - it's really more of a prettily-decorated Markov chain than an actual game. But hey, I was a little girl who loved candy and was possessed of an artistic temperament - actual game play came in at about eighth place, if at all! So, I recreated all the characters from the game I loved - and it's important to note that it's the 1985 edition, since not only has the game been re-released every several years since then, but drastic changes have been made - for example at this point, Queen Frostine was demoted to Princess Frostine, Princess Lolly became just Lolly, and Plumpy and Jolly have been removed all together. We get it, Milton Bradley, you don't think women should have power and you hate fat people . . . okay, that's just me being a dick. ;-)

Anyway, would anyone like to see my renditions of all the characters in the order of my original game board? All in high-production-value color, of course! I have black-and-white versions that I actually made into a little coloring book for a few cons, but it didn't do well. Anyway, I can put up a new illustration every several days, and hopefully bridge a little more of the gap between now and the next completed project - what say you, Street Team?

Feelin' gross

Hi, guys. I'm sorry there hasn't been much art or communication lately. I haven't been feeling much up to it. I haven't been feeling up to much of anything.

We've been experiencing such terrible air out here that it's seriously impeding quality of life. My place is not as airtight as I thought it was, and too much bad air is getting in and, of course, it's too late to try to find a purifier. In addition to the quarantine trap, now one can't even exercise without getting horribly sick. Some are still doing it, of course, but there are side effects. On my last day off, I was going to set up my old DDR set on my old PS2, but even just moving the furniture around to accommodate it was too much exertion in such crappy air and I was downed for a few hours. Mostly I just try to sleep it out. Caloric intake has not been suitably adjusted, so if the "quarantine 15" wasn't real before, it sure as hell is now. It makes concentration hard. Sometimes I throw on an an N95 around the house for a while - it's not comfortable, but it at least feels like it's helping. Who knows if it actually is, though.

Okay, this is getting bitchy. Here, I found something nice for you in my archives!

Since Rosh Hashanah is only a week away (l'shana tovah, y'all!), I thought it'd be nice to dust off an old piece of art I made for J Weekly back in the day. I don't know if I made it for the actual paper or a development office campaign, but I do recall it going over well. Anyway, give it a look, it hasn't seen the light of day since 2014. May a sweet new year be in store for us all! Starting with the air.