professor odd

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It’s been a whirlwind… life, really. AnthroCon was there at the turn of the month, and as always it was a wild, exhilarating ride. So many good feelings, so good to see old friends again and kindle new ones. I missed Susan, who wisely stayed in the Netherlands this year and thus avoided the harrowing trip through US customs, but my partner in fundraising, Shujin, dropped in and was an immense help on Saturday and Sunday. Shujin and I debuted a quirky live-sketch show part iron artist, part charity auction. Shujin is a DJ and we took prompts from the audience, combined with his choice of song, and I drew them. The results were… as irreverent as one might expect.

Yet through the generosity of our audience we raised ~$375 for AnthroCon’s flagship charity, Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary. I managed to scrape together another $75 from charity brush pen commissions I took, so that’s pretty neat.

Commissions were somewhat lighter than in past years, but those I got were lovely, and sales were good. I under-ordered Professor Odd Season 2 singles, and sold out of Driving Arcana Rotation 1, but I had enough of Season One—though all but one copy has been spoken for now. Anyone want a signed copy of Professor Odd: The Complete Season One? Hit me up!

Oh yes, the Complete Season One is finally out! Here is the cover (I am so proud of it):

I will make a proper art post later with the whole thing. It’s a wrap-around illustration that took me months. Whew!

I missed my partners, who were unable to make it this year due to Boyfriend moving from TX to CA to live with Girlfriend, which necessitated a quick trip down to visit them on my behalf directly after the con. This, combined with the mountain biking camp for girls which I volunteered at last week (put on by Soul Sister Cycling) and I am now woefully behind on summer business. Which business has been compacted by our upcoming trip to Helsinki for WorldCon next month. What ho! Time to get off the blog and back to work! I’m on several panels at World Con this year, not least the Diana Wynne Jones panel and a storytelling/illustration panel with (heavy breathing) Rob Carlos and (heavy breathing intensifies) Claire Wendling. Wish me luck.

Also I have several new pieces of art to share. Expect a bunch of art posts in the coming week. And by expect I mean nag me about it on Twitter so I actually do it.

Thanks.

-G

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What a month. I am going to make a blanket assumption that everyone reading this is at least as terrified as I am at the political climate change going on, which is almost as dangerous to the future of humanity as the natural climate change we have even less control over.

But in the tradition of artists in times of crisis, and I am going to keep on doggedly doing what I do, as hard and as best that I can. To that end I’m extremely pleased to announce that Heliopause put out three new titles this month! The long-overdue third rotation of Driving ArcanaProfessor Odd #9, and last but not least the Perihelion 2017 issue of Apsis Fiction! You’ve probably already seen the covers, but I’m going to share them again, because I am so proud of them.

Looking forward to next month (tomorrow—eep!) things are going to be very busy on the Professor Odd front: we have Episode 10, “The Thousand Songs” coming out as a single, and—hopefully—the Complete Season 1 (episodes 1-6). The Season 1 volume is still in the process of being put together, but I can share with you the cover for “Thousand Songs” (which can also be found in Perihelion 2017).


It has been an interesting winter here in Oregon. Snowy and cold, we’ve had a minor respite these past ten days, but the prediction is for another good dump this week followed by rain—and just when the roads were beginning to recover! Oh well. It’s given me an opportunity to put to use the shoveling skills I honed cleaning up after horses as a teenager, and I’ve been keeping in practice for mountain biking by navigating the icy, slushy, snowy streets and bike/ped paths between my house and the gym, where I’m doing weight training and lap swimming. Gary Silver (my hardtail) has been tricked out with studded tires, fenders, lights, and flat pedals, so I can ride him in my snow boots. All this combined has rendered him a more reliable means of transportation that my poor little Fit, who performed beautifully in the snow and ice with her own studded tires, but was bested by the deep slush and has spent the last ten days hiding in my garage. But as this is what she often ends up doing even in good weather, it is of no great loss to me. My trusty Blue Sky Cycle Cart has been sufficient to haul the week’s groceries home from the nearby store, though dodging the potholes on the return journey (for the sake of the eggs) has made these trips quite exciting.

Bend is beginning to feel more like home, and less like some surreal, never-ending vacation. Part of this I am sure is that I have set to work in earnest on the titles scheduled for release later this year, and my studio is at last getting the use it so richly deserves.

And on that note I shall leave this post and return to it!

Ice bikes of Bend! Gary Silver is in the background.

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hint: click for full view!

hint: click for full view!

Colored pencils • prints and merch here!buy the book here!

Cover art for Professor Odd Episode 7: The Dogs of Canary Island. Now that the book is out, I can finally share the original cover art!

This was done largely over the course of January/February 2015, all in colored pencils, as I do with the Odd covers. Still getting the hang of doing art-for-book-covers rather than just art-as-illustration, but this one came out pretty good, I think.

As for the story… genetically engineered dogs. A sarcastic Borzoi. A long-suffering Akita Inu. Professor Odd wears a ruffly apron. Dave makes breakfast. ALISTER FLIES THE ODDITY. Also wormholes. Good times.

Buy the book and read it yourself!

Professor Odd is a series of science fiction novellas about a universe-hopping woman-thing and her friends as they travel the multiverse looking for pizza, nice beeches, peace and quiet, and sometimes helping stray dogs on the way. You can find more episodes on it’s Heliopause page, prints and other merch for sale on my Red Bubble store.

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It’s been a very busy summer and autumn. How busy? Well, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to blog here at all! But this is okay; I’ve been doing lots of writing instead—and I have the books to show for it!

 

RotationTwoCoverSmFirst, there’s the second installment of Driving Arcana stories, Rotation Two, which is out from Heliopause and available on all channels. You can pick it up from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Nook, Kobo, or have your local bookstore special-order it. (And yes, for Christmas shoppers, it’s available on Amazon Prime!)

07DogsofCanarySmSecond, “The Dogs of Canary Island” which debuted this summer in Aphelion 2015 is now available as a single! Search it on any of your preferred online book vendors, or find handy links over on it’s Heliopause page.

Also worth noting: I now have a Red Bubble shop! You can find the original cover art for Odd 7 there as a print, along with many more pieces! Do take a look!

On the convention front I attended Sasquan earlier this year, which was a blast. The WM and I took a road trip up through Oregon to get to it (we’re in California) and I got to visit some old friends on the way up and down. The greatest highlight of that con was probably Helsinki’s win for WorldCon in 2017, though the whole weekend was delightful—Mordor-like weather notwithstanding.

All that seems a long way away now, and never more so than last weekend when I was in Chicago for Midwest FurFest. This was a mind-boggling experience as I got to meet several artists whom I’ve long admired, as well as reconnecting with old friends. I took a short holiday in the city itself to visit the Shedd Aquarium, the results of which can be found on my tumblr, here, here, and here. Chicago is a wonderful city and I cannot recommend the Shedd enough. Also, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. and Smoque are two excellent choices for food.

Looking forward I have the usual Holiday tasks still in front of me, as well as the impending release of Perihelion 2016 next month. Also next month I’ll be traveling to Boston for Anthro New England, where I’ll have a table and will be dealing next to my partner-in-crime art, Mary Capaldi. I’ll also be doing a reading, and probably running around as Tachyon a lot.

So many things! Oh, and I’ve got the second Sir Camilla novel to finish in the mean time. Better get crackin’. I’ll leave you with the newly-unveiled Perihelion 2016 cover, and the usual reminder that twitter is the best place to follow me these days, and I post WIPs and other pictures to my tumblr.

Perihelion2016Sm

 

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ODS1Giveaway

So I’m doing a kind of cool thing. Sort of. I hope. Basically, I’ve made some tumblr posts and tweets of the Professor Odd single covers for season one, and I’m giving away gift codes to people who share them!

If you got here from Twitter, here’s what you need to know:

Retweet any or all of these tweets:

  1. The False Student
  2. The Slowly Dying Planet
  3. The Promethean Predicament
  4. The Elder Machine
  5. The Dragons of Geda
  6. The Monster’s Daughter

And follow @GrimbyTweets, and I’ll DM you a code to download the respective title from the iBookstore. E.g. if you retweet Episode 1, you’ll get a code for Episode 1. Retweet #4 and you’ll get one for #4. Easy as that! You only have to follow me so I can DM you; if you RT but don’t follow I can’t DM you.

You may retweet any or all of the tweets—but only the first retweet counts. So only one code per title. Faves are appreciated, but don’t count.

If you only want to spread the word, add “Signal Boost” to your RT.

If it’s been over two days since you RT’d and you haven’t received a code, make sure you’re following me and send a public tweet @GrimbyTweets to get my attention.

This offer is good through the end of June or until I run out of codes—whichever comes first. Codes are valid for four weeks, and only redeemable on the Apple iBookstore. Also, pursuant to their legal agreement, I can only provide codes to people in countries where my books are available in the Apple iBookstore (which is practically everywhere the iBookstore exists), and must ascertain their country of residence in order to give them the correct legal jumbo attached to the use of the code.

I’m also running the same game on my tumblr, which works pretty much the same way:

Reblog any or all of these posts:

  1. The False Student
  2. The Slowly Dying Planet
  3. The Promethean Predicament
  4. The Elder Machine
  5. The Dragons of Geda
  6. The Monster’s Daughter

And you will receive an Ask from my account with a gift code to download the respective title from the iBookstore.

You must have a Tumblr account (duh) with Asks enabled!

You may reblog any or all of the posts—but only the first reblog counts. So only one code per title.

Again, likes are appreciated, but don’t count. If you only want to spread the word, tag your reblog with “signal boost.”

If it has been over two days since you reblogged and you haven’t got a code, send me an ask stating such and I’ll get it taken care of!

That’s all! Codes can be used by anybody, so feel free to get them on behalf of friends! Coworkers! Your dog! Or keep them for yourself, if you’ve been curious about Professor Odd but haven’t been sure where to start.

~G

 

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For this week only (May 9 – 15) the first hit is free (if it’s the iTunes eBook). Now is as good a time as any to get yourself introduced to the series! The Season Two premier, The Dogs of Canary Island, is coming this summer in the Aphelion 2015 issue of Apsis Fiction.

More about Professor Odd here.

Professor Odd Season One

  1. The False Student
  2. The Slowly Dying Planet
  3. The Promethean Predicament
  4. The Elder Machine
  5. The Dragons of Geda
  6. The Monster’s Daughter

01FalseStudent 02DyingPlanet

 

03PredicamentSm 04ElderMachineSm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05DragonsofGedaSm 06MonstersDaughterSm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now that Professor Odd #6: The Monster’s Daughter is finally out I can share the interior illustrations I did for the special two-part finale! They are both graphite pencil on bristol board, and while the versions in the book were digitally adjusted/cleaned up, I’m also posting the original scan, since I think the texture of the graphite pencil looks cool. I was greatly inspired by the work of John Picacio, and I think it helped me in this case—since these illustrations are something of a departure from my natural style. As always, click the image to embiggen!

The Detective Raw

Detective Final

Subject 0D Raw

Subject 0D Final

Prints are available here (The Detective) and here (Subject 0-D). Maybe also check out the book?

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These are (rather bad) progress pictures of the frontispiece illustration for “Subject 0-D,” the second half of the two-parter Professor Odd season 1 finale, “The Monster’s Daughter.” Below, you can see the cleaned-up pencils with early shading, the rendered image, and lastly the finished piece alongside the print-out guide I used as a reference for the lettering (I had scanned in the sketch and placed the text in photoshop, before printing it out again).

OddProgress1 OddProgress2 OddProgress3

Graphite pencils on smooth 12″x9″ Bristol Board. This illustration (along with the matching frontispiece for part one (“The Detective”) will appear in the Professor Odd #6 issue coming next year, but the story will be debuting in the Perihelion 2015 issue of Apsis Fiction, coming December 2nd.

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Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. To keep tabs on what she is doing you can follow her on twitter @GrimbyTweets, and on Tumblr. You can also contact her directly.

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Lately I’ve been having thoughts on the process of my writing, and jotted down these notes as a reminder for myself of what it is I am doing. I look forward to coming back to them in a few years, to see if they still hold true. In the mean time, perhaps they can provide you with some amusement—and a peak into the churning muddle that is this author’s mind.

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Writing fiction is different from any other form of art I’ve encountered in that so much of it happens internally, where no one—not even the author, sometimes—can tell what’s going on. With drawing, there is the physical act of creating the image, which people can watch. It can be fascinating to watch an artist draw, or paint, and see the picture appear, as if by magic, on the page. And at the end, you have a finished picture that is immediately obvious to everyone around you. “Here I am,” the picture says. “This person can draw.

I’ve noticed that it is easier it is to talk about my painting than it is to talk about my writing. It’s easier to show someone a picture and say “I did that” than it is to convince them to read a story. A picture doesn’t take much time to look at, but a story takes time to read. Furthermore, most people can tell at a glance whether or not they like the picture, and then decide how long they want to look at it. With a story, sometimes you can’t tell until the very end, and it can be a bitter disappointment when it lets you down.

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Writing is an invisible sort of art that happens inside the author’s head, but also somewhere on the page, between the words and sentences and paragraphs. You’re not just painting a picture when you write a story, you’re crafting a whole landscape, with a road winding around in it, and readers walk down this road and experience your story.

I’ve been writing a lot of short stories and novellas lately and watching how my language changes from one story to the next. It helps that I have three distinct series running at the same time. The Bouragner Felpz stories are a bit of an early 20th Century pastiche with British mannerisms and spelling and a first person narrator with a storytelling style all her own.

The Professor Odd series is more American in tone, even though the principal characters are European. Professor Odd is more informal than Bouragner Felpz and has the (suitably) odd quirk that, though I have several point-of-view characters to serve as hosts for my third-person eye, I never use Professor Odd herself. The closest we get to the inside of her head is when she tells one of the POV characters something.

Finally, Driving Arcana, which is more like Professor Odd than not, still has a distinct style. While Professor Odd takes place in far-off universes, aboard spaceships, and on alien planets, Driving Arcana is set in a near-future version of the United States. The subject matter is therefore different, as are the types of stories I can tell. This in turn affects the language I use.

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Stories are communication, and like communication between two people, there is more to it than just words and their definitions. In person we communicate with our tone, our hand gestures, and our expressions. In writing, word choice can add subtle information to a sentence and fill out the landscape with hues and texture, subtly telling the reader about the nature of the landscape they’re in, and what’s in store.

Sometimes I read stories and I just know nothing too bad is going to happen. I can tell from the style of the writing. These always frighten me, because there is nothing quite as bad as rolling happily along until the writer pulls the rug out from under you and has something horrible happen at the end. It’s a betrayal, I think. If you’re not going to put up huge warning signs saying “cliff ahead,” at least have the decency to warn about the cliff in other ways. Maybe have some other cliffs looming about, or places where the road has been washed away. Things like that.

On the other hand, most writers like to keep their readers on edge, and so they write in a way that says “Could be cliffs here. Could be lots of cliffs. You don’t know.” I find these stories particularly satisfying, especially when at the end, everyone gets over the ravine unharmed.

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Stories are like puzzles to me. I turn the pieces this way and that, trying to see how they fit. I’ve become wary of pushing them in too hard, since sometimes, with enough shoving, I can get a piece to fit, but that doesn’t make it the right one. The right piece slips in easily, and it can take a while to find it.

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Stories are like four-dimensional paintings. They stretch out through time and space, into the limitless expanse of the human imagination. They are not like a performance: all the work happens behind the curtain, and when it lifts there is a book. But though the story exists then, it does not truly come alive until someone picks it up and reads it.

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The final piece to any story is the reader. It is the reader that gives it life, it is the reader that imbues it with its ultimate reality. Furthermore, each reader makes a slightly different reality, because everyone has differing experiences and opinions that color their perception of the world. And what are stories but little worlds, waiting to be activated?

Stories are a bit like a magic trick with a lot of audience participation. When I am writing, I find myself, like a magician, thinking not only about how things appear to the characters in the story, but how they will appear to the people reading it. What words I can use to spark the fires in my readers’ heads, so that their imaginations rise up and meet mine, creating a world even more vivid and realistic than I ever could on my own.

I can write a story much like a composer writes music, but it is the reader who plays it. Every time someone reads a story, a performance happens inside their heads. And they are the ones making that happen.

I think this is why reading is so much more mentally stimulating than, say, watching a movie. Because when you’re reading, you are actively participating in creating the story—even if you don’t come up with a single new idea or thought of your own, even though the writer did all that for you—you are the one who is making it real.

I can sing in the woods with no one but the trees to hear and the sound will still happen. But there will never be that magic of images and feelings exploding out of nowhere that happens when a singing voice meets the ears of a receptive listener. In the same way I can write a story and never publish it, never show it to anyone, and it will still exist, but there will never be the same, sudden magic that happens when a book is picked up and read.

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All art sparks something within us. All art is transportive. But I think stories are unique in that, though they may carry their readers off, at the same time, the readers are carrying them.

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Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. To keep tabs on what she is doing you can follow her on twitter @GrimbyTweets, and on Tumblr. You can also send her an email at goldeenogawa@gmail.com.

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So much is happening. So very busy. Haven’t had time to blog at all in a serious way. Hope you are following me on twitter—as that’s where the party is these days.

A couple of things have happened recently that I wanted to write about, however. The first is that Professor Odd #4: The Elder Machine is now available as an eBook and a paperback all over the internet, yes, and maybe in some bookstores too (you may have to ask yours to special-order it). Here is the cover, which went up on deviantART without the titles a while back:

04ElderMachineSmIt’s available from all the usual suspects, and you can read more about it (with direct links to where to buy it) over at its Heliopause page.

I have a lot I want to say about the cover, and some things about the story as well, but that’ll have to wait for another time. Meanwhile, Year of the God-Fox’s final book just went live over at yearofthegodfox.com and I would encourage everyone to go read it! It represents over two years of solid work and an immeasurable number of hours of watercolor painting… also I am rather pleased with the story. Here is its cover:

Book 4 Cover900

The individual books (there are four total) can be had for $5-$7 depending, and the whole series is $20. To read it, you’ll need to make an account and purchase the comic, which then gives you access to all the pages. All purchases are permanent, so you’ll be able to read it for as long as the internet exists. I am also hoping to come out with a print edition… eventually. Everything you need to read it online, however, you can find at http://www.yearofthegodfox.com/books/ … right now!

Now it’s back to the arting mines. I am working on another batch of Astral Chimera, and also preparing the first Driving Arcana book. Lots of work. Very exciting.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. To keep tabs on what she is doing you can follow her on twitter @GrimbyTweets. You can also send her an email at goldeenogawa@gmail.com.

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