April Calendar: Magic Mirrors

The April calendar is brought to you, as ever, by my delightful patrons, who keep art in my life when the exegesis is nearly due. (Patrons also get the calendar early).


This month I decided for magic mirrors. I don’t quite remember why, but here we are. I had several ideas, but they kept turning into Dissertations Requiring Comprehensive Research on Aarne-Thompson Classification Systems. So I stripped this back, kept it pretty multi-purpose (there are a few specific references, of course), and tried to add a hint of Gorey. I particularly like the bat.


It is in two colourways: a nice wine/plum, and a horrible peasoup green which is one of my favourite colours because it reminds me of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow. (By the way, if you like Ruth Park, Australian literature, creativity, writing history, etc, I highly recommend Ann-Marie’ Priest’s small, delighted, indignant book A Free Flame – and there’s a podcast episode here with the interview that made me buy it: Avid Reader Podcast).

So here they are, printable for personal use, whether pre-coloured or to colour yourself.


Illustration Friday: Reflection

Illustration Friday: Reflection

In some other universe, Agatha Christie’s Ariadne Oliver lived, and her crime novels were illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Materials: Pen, ink, and a crash diet of Gorey-covered Sarah Caudwell novels.

The title is, of course, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott”, which also provided the title for Christie’s novel The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, and two previous Illustration Friday mock covers:

Illustration Friday: Adrift

Illustration Friday: Drifting

The Gashlycrumb Daleks

The Gashlycrumb Daleks

This instalment of the Dalek Game is, again, for Edward Gorey – this time his horrible little Gothic alphabet The Gashlycrumb Tinies. I find Gorey beautifully unsettling: never twee and rarely grotesque, his beautifully drawn miniature worlds of world-weary horror and Gothic ennui are so terribly, terribly civilised.

In other news: First glimpse of the cover of To Spin a Darker Stair (but there’s more to come…)

The Doubtful Dalek

The Doubtful Dalek

It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath
During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.”

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Edward Gorey’s splendid and bewildering The Doubtful Guest, which very slender volume is precise, inexplicable, enduring and self-contained – just as it ought to be.

In other news: Shayna has at last put up the photos and video of her 21st, which was just as beautiful as it looks (and so were we, although I successfully do not make an appearance in the video).

Little Sticky Notes

Five yellow post-it notes I took off my wall at work:


Presumably, I wanted to call home, buy Gorey’s Doubtful Guest and pick up the Bureau of Meteorology calendar for 2008. The last two went unaccomplished. Great calendar, though.

Making Money Made Simple
Noel Whitaker –>

Finally got the 20th anniversary edition. Read it. Good introduction to principles of personal finance, investment etc, and I’d recommend it to someone starting out to save (or who should start out to save) or interested in good stewardship of money. But one of those titles which misleads people on public transport (“The Guaranteed Secrets of Wealth!” and “Ten Steps to a Million Dollars!” screaming on the back don’t help).

Ezra Pound
Support staff day

Unrelated notes: I wanted poetry by the former and the date (gerberas, buying, for the purposes of) of the latter.


Interesting names – one from readings in feminist theory, the other from a handcrafted saint’s shrine (any conclusions about me based soley on that sentence are drawn at your own risk). I think Sojourner Truth and Harper Lee are two very beautiful names that would be cruel to inflict on hypothetical children. Except maybe as middle names.

Book Burnings & Birthday Parties

An idea, but I can’t remember what for. Possibly I liked the alliteration. I don’t now.

Books I did buy in America:

Wicked – Gregory Maguire. Very well written, but I’m not sure what I think about it yet – possibly because it looks like fantasy but is actually ‘literary’ and so reviewing it as fantasy (my genre) is like trying to review Unbreakable as a superhero movie. That’s what it’s about but not what it is.

Countess Below Stairs (a.k.a. The Secret Countess) – Eva Ibbotson. Sigh…. The precedents manager and I are having an Ibbotson bookswap, and what can I say but that these books are pretty much perfect?

Ready or Not – Meg Cabot. Just not as good as “All American Girl”. Which was just *fun*.

Maus – Art Spiegelman. I haven’t read it yet, but I do have the Strand/Art Spiegelman book bag to use once I have. Second hand with dodgy (im)perfect binding.

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation – Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon. A fascinating and good idea, but more emotive than I have come to expect from illustrated books (from which you can probably tell the sorts of graphic novels I have read). Worth the (second hand) purchase price just for the time line.

My Crowd – Charles Addams. Confession: Before I went to the Museum of Comic Book and Cartoon Art I did not know about Charles Addams – only the Addams Family. But… hehehe. Werewolf in a planetarium. Snrrk. :)

Amphigorey, Amphigorey II and Amphigorey Again – Edward Gorey. If you don’t know Gorey, think of Lemony Snicket as the lovechild of Gorey and Nesbit. At his wierdest, I adore him. Then there are the parts that would be excruciatingly crude, rude or gory if they actually happened on stage or you could work out what the heck *was* happening. For the record, my favourite Gorey is The Doubtful Guest. And no, I don’t know what it is. Possibly a beakless penguin-aardvark in tennis shoes.

Up and Down New York – Tony Sarg. Not a lot has changed.