Monday, July 23, 2012

7/23/12: Badges...and a LOT of Darkmoon!


 Left: My half of an art part of an art-and-items trade for angryprncess <3 Right: One of two badges for Punkrock-shefox, fancy badge!

Badge for Antique of Yum*Pop, for part of a commission payment.  This badge is done, except for puffy stickers.  I want to scan it when the stickers are on it, but those will only be added after I laminate it since to do so before hand would be certain death for the badge.  It's really cute...y'all will see it soon. :)
It's not scanned yet because I need to wait until I have enough to laminate so I'm not wasting the sheet with only two things on it and a ton of empty space.

 Darkmoon, supplementary for her ref to show her body hair (armpits, crotch, inner thighs, navel) which is very thick and very dark.  Also a vent piece about societal pressures to shave that due to my texture issues (mostly mild except when concerning this) are just impossible for me to give into.  The texture of my own shaved skin is repulsive and appalling to me and shaving is emotionally draining and takes forever due to exactly how thick the hair is.  Most of the time it doesn't deter me from wearing shorts without tights or leggings and mostly others don't critique me anymore, but I've been told I couldn't go on school trips, been teased, singled out etc. by both teachers and peers in school so it's hard for me to shake off paranoia about it.  Also I'm the only one of my friends who doesn't shave and it's galling for me to have to listen to others talk about shaving during the summer.  So, yeah, there's my rant.  Felt good to draw Darkmoon again.
I temporarily had a desk position at work that was really tedious and repetitive so I did some sketching...this, the badges above, and the work below...the whole post....basically was done at a desk during my lunch breaks and other times when I needed to get away from the task without actually doing anything too engrossing.

So you may remember my Feature Friday about theeverydaygoth, talking about her inspiring me to do a wardrobe cleansing.  I also got back into wearing gothy stuff-I had given up since I felt it didn't look good on me--but then I realized I was being ridiculous and had the right to feel pretty, so I went through my wardrobe and cleaned out a lot of things and resolved to wear my other clothes again.  When I went to see Rasputina in April I got all dressed up for the first time in ages and felt really good and looked really good--that reassured me that I look pretty good in elegant black stuff too.
Supplemental to Dark's ref, these are all outfits I own.
First sketch was the bottom left, by far my favorite.  Put this together for AC.  Hand-dyed pettipants!  Little cute goaty horns are from DMB.
The top left one shows a shirt that my mom and I are pretty sure she made years ago, gave to a thrift store, and I bought it. No joke. XD  Hair clips from the awesome Miss Monster.
Top right shows me in the only short-sleeve blouse I still own, haha.  Put that together for work in the office since I realized I didn't have to wear jeans and tees every day and looked grungy compared to others around me. :I
Bottom right one was the last and I ran out of room and it's my least favorite.  But the caplet is cute.  The bustle skirt is poorly made and the material is cheap and I'm trying to replace it with something better-made.
So a few notes: I layer a lot, wear mostly black, grey, and white, also ivory, also burgundy/wine sometimes, and some purple.  My use of blue is usually muted and rather limited but I have a few blue tops.  I layer a lot, hence the camis and transparent tops.
The crow skull necklace is from Skullery, it's another optional necklace for Darkmoon, but I also have an ankh and a circular chain mail necklace, so in addition to the two on her reference sheet, these are also all daily optionals.  I/she typically wear(s) two at once but one can be worn too.
I'll be making other cute goth sketches in the future as I update my wardrobe and will hopefully be doing fairy kei, lolita, and punk ones.

Warning: Nudity under the cut

This is ALSO supplemental to a ref, but Felix's ref only.  He can have Baphomet features--horns, bat wings, halo, visible chakras, etc.  The wings and horns are transparent/ghostly.  The sigil of Baphomet and inverted crosses aren't part of the form exclusively, rather, some of his many optional tattoos.  Also wax fetish.
Also super inspired by tons of Black Tape For A Blue Girl.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Martha Celestine Betourne

One of my oldest characters, well, kind of.  After 7+ years of inactivity I brought her back with a new name, design, back story, group of friends, personal everything.  Except the species and coloring.

Mostly a kink character but also a librarian, good friend of Carlos, a seamstress for Sugar Sweet, and a lifestyle lolita and goth.

Full Name: Martha Celestine Betourne
Nicknames: Puppy, Mouse, Good Girl, Sweetling (various pet/sub names)
Birthday: December 19, 1987
Height: 5’0”
Weight: 300 lbs
Body Type: Stocky, hourglass, voluptuous, obese.
Occupation: Clerk at Sugar Sweet Boutique, library sciences student specializing in Baroque manuscripts.
Ethnicity/Species: French Canadian, Papillon and small fraction of parrot (green coloration and bright eyes only possible by mixed bird x mammal ancestry).
Faith: Raised Catholic, now a Unitarian Universalist
Sexuality: Lesbian
Partner: Single, but has both sexual and nonsexual relationships with several dommes.
Siblings: Ray, 6 years older.
Music: The Deadfly Ensemble, Azure Ray, Current 93, Amanda Palmer, The Dresden Dolls, 8in8, Death In June, The Jezabels, Extra Life, Larkin Grimm, Rasputina, White Ring, Parenthetical Girls, Sam Mickens, The Ditty Bops, The Pipettes, The Antlers, This Mortal Coil, Vermillion Lies, Deerhoof, Poe, CocoRosie, Kate Bush, Clan of Xymox, Bauhaus, Rozz Williams, Cocteau Twins, Angels Of Light, Johannes Sebastian Bach, Hungry Lucy, PJ Harvey, Swans, Kyary, Skinny Puppy, Δaimon, Scarling, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Jacqueline Du Pré, Throbbing Gristle, Faith & The Muse, This Immortal Coil, oOoOO.  Goth, acoustic, experimental, classical (string especially), electronic, witch house, industrial, dream pop, no wave, freak folk, some pop.
Fashion: Lifestyle Lolita, enjoys classic, country, EGL, and sailor styles.  Favorite brands are Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, and Sugar Sweet’s classic and EGL lines.  Has to sew or re-construct almost all of her clothes due to her size.  Floral prints, tartan, gingham, vertical stripes, prints with vintage animals, blues and navy, neutral/forest greens, black, greys, browns, dusty pink, pale yellow, wine.  No sweet colors or pastels in general.  Classic sweet is acceptable but OTT or typical sweet is not.  Typically coordinates with shrugs, prefers to be modest and not show her chest and shoulders (or arms if she can help it).  Fond of bows and headdresses, hair ribbons, rosaries, pearl and flower accessories, and bird cage charms.  Does not over-accessorize ever.  Not as fond of lace, often avoids lacy dresses and accessories.  Wears neutral-tone maryjanes and Victorian-style boots.  Often braids her hair in various styles (French braid, herringbone braid, etc).
Personality: Incredibly introverted, very shy and soft-spoken.  She is rather private but not withholding with those she trusts.  She was raised by her controlling grandmother, who tried long after she was too old to treat her as a young child.  Martha was never allowed the luxury of privacy even in her room, and as a result is rather secretive and leads somewhat of a double life.  Her grandmother is prying and spies on her, so keeping her sexuality and interests apart means living them away from her home and family completely.  Hence, her sub life—despite being owned by several dommes—is not as involved as she would like.  She has poor self-advocacy and trouble communicating with others and often finds it easier to simply not try to make friends, go to parties, etc. or be a wallflower when she does show up (at concerts she often goes alone and talks to no one, except the band if possible).  Binge eater and anxious eater, was told by relatives and classmates her whole life to watch her figure, which only made it harder for her to do so.  Martha’s attempts to come out of her shell and not deny herself are challenging and hard to cover up but the amount of risk makes them more enjoyable.  She still lives at home and doesn’t feel comfortable having an actual girlfriend, but has been used, trained, and (without the romantic elements present) collared by several dommes.  Carlos, her friend and coworker, has largely helped her gain the confidence to explore more meets than she would have otherwise, and has helped her keep her confidence up regarding fashion.  Being heavier than most Lolitas, she has to sew or alter much of her wardrobe to fit her and is employed at Sugar Sweet as a seamstress.  Although her grandmother annoys and even frightens her, she still somewhat shamefully enjoys being cared for, controlled, and treated as one would a dog or child (puppy and regression fetishist primarily, age 4-5, no trainers or diapers), given little to consider (also has fun misbehaving, something she never does to her grandmother or other authority figure out of play situations). She also has an interest in various aspects of S/M, notably needle play (nonsexually with Carlos), spanking, and caning.  She doesn’t enjoy rope bondage and full-body extreme restraint, but does like being leashed, put in harnesses, made to wear chastity belts, being muzzled, and sometimes hobbled.  Also a food fetishist (rubbing soft, sweet foods, ex. pudding or tiramisu on someone, being made to eat said foods from another’s chest, etc).  Big on music, plays viola quite well—her grandmother pushed her to do well in that area.  Well-read and prone to being slightly snobbish about books, art, and music.  Writer, enjoys poetry especially and wants to be a performance poet despite her hatred of being the center of attention.  Largely into goth culture.  Hardly ever goes to Lolita meet ups or goth events besides concerts.  Although she has a hard time making friends and has very few, Martha largely enjoys her own company and is never without a book or note pad on hand.
Drugs: -
Likes: Books (texture, smell, etc), reading, Renaissance and Baroque artwork, the International style (early Renaissance), school and learning, sleeping, cooking, flowers, lolita fashion, European history, pet play, food play, regression, d/s, needle play, flogging, restraint, her ever-growing collar collection, soft and muted colors, being alone, concerts and goth clubs, dancing (when no one can see/no one cares to notice), shopping, surrealism, romanticism, sewing, designing clothes, museums, PBS, classical music, string instruments especially viola, decorative house items, crafts and craft shows, darkroom photography, quiet, writing stories essays and poetry, horror films and stories, Stephen Gammell,  fish tanks, performance poetry and performance art in general, winter, coffee, David Lynch, Neil Gaiman, Charlotte Bronte, Renaissance fairs, Salvatore Dali, sweets and baked goods—especially puddings,  mousses (any kind/flavor), chocolate, crème brulee, tiramisu, fruit tarts, angel food cake, and éclairs.
Dislikes: Being the center of attention, being spied upon, her figure, having strangers read her writing, energy drinks, sandwiches, cold hands, being startled, amusement parks, pop culture, mainstream media, metal, hip-hop, country, bluegrass, and most pop, waking up too early, loud things, being dirty/getting her clothes dirty, sports, being approached by strangers, anti-lbgtqpia, memes, pastel grunge, hipster fashion, being in crowds, racism/sexism/body type hate.
Movies: Rabbits, Elephant Man, Pan’s Labyrinth, Being John Malkovitch, Black Swan, The Hours, V for Vendetta, The Red Violin, The Wizard of Oz, Orlando, Girl With A Pearl Earring, Lolita, Elizabeth, Blue Velvet, The Secret of Kells, Red Riding triology, Hearts in Atlantis, The Merchant of Venice, Lady Jane, Mirrormask, Secretary, Nosferatu, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Shutter Island, Fight Club.  Surrealism, horror, period, drama, mystery.  She doesn’t watch movies often and prefers period pieces on television such as Downton Abbey, The Borgias, Tudors, etc. especially those in the Baroque and Elizabethan era, but certainly some others as well.  Also surreal shorts are always good.

Opaque black heart tattoos on each hand and one at base of tail.
Big & fluffy tail, white underside, black tip, green on top does not meet the black.
Fur is peachfuzz except in areas where feathering is present—her pink skin shows through on her stomach, shoulders, and legs especially.  Back is more thickly furred.  Any scarring and bruising from play shows through—can have bruises and marks from caning, spanking, flogging.
Dark green ears, tail, and forehead marking, darker hair.
Fur just under tail is the same green as her tail.
Full, soft lips.
Optional reading glasses.
Collars: she has many in different colors, some plain, others more embellished, mostly for play.  Her “good girl” collar is her primary puppy collar, for example.  Heart collar is her only every day collar, but it’s used for play too.  Her other collars are never worn unless for play or attending a related event.  Several are from different dommes and bear their signatures to show ownership, but Martha’s involvement in any D/S relationship is usually sexual and/or platonic only due to her desire to remain single and need to hide her lifestyle at this point in her life.
Can wear chastity belts as attachments to her harness, which are attached at the (again optional) tail restraint.
Muzzle—shown here—can be worn with regular clothes to munches etc.
Long blue-green hair can be braided, curled, put in buns, etc. enjoys Regency and Victorian hairstyles.
Eyes & forehead large, muzzle short & low.
Although there is parrot in her ancestry Martha has NO bird features, just her unusual coloration.
Small hands and toes.
Heavy and voluptuous.
Skin is very pink. Any scarring from play is very light and most fades away in a few months, so it doesn’t show up on her skin very much, but initially her thin fur ensures anything on her front or legs especially will show right through her fur—can be drawn with bruises and marks from caning and flogging.
Ears are not pointy, but rather soft and rounded with massive amounts of fringing fur.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Feature Friday 2: < Epic

I've been working on a four-page black and white comic over the past week or so (you'll see sketches etc soon!).  Although I'm writing a big comic project, I'm now making smaller ones to get used to making comics.

Working on this one made me think of The Less-Than-Epic Adventures of TJ & Amal (warning: NSFW), which is one of my favorite webcomics of all time.  I follow few since I'm really picky about my comics....but this one really catches you.

Not from the comic itself...Didn't wanna spoil anything!

It's human art, not furry or fantasy.  While some of it is adult the story itself is not explicit porn or anything, rather, a tasteful play-by-play account of two perfect strangers traversing America over the span of a week.
And that's all I'm giving away.  The artwork is AMAZING and full of so much feeling and detail...I'm constantly amazed.  The storyline itself and the writing are, touching, and dare I say it?  Pretty hot, sometimes!

If you haven't read it, check it out.  Even if you don't think < Epic is your probably is and you don't know it yet.  The sidebars are full of gay erotica and while this isn't really my genre of choice, TJ & Amal is NOT straight-up's so much more than that.

If you like it, you should check out the gift shop, get a few prints and stickers and maybe a know, support E.K. Weaver (who WRITES AND ILLUSTRATES THIS HERSELF, with a full-time job, updating weekly.  That's mad skills) and her ability to give us this terrific comic.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Two badge commissions

First is Moongara's art nouveau standard badge, won via auction on Furbuy :)
Bottled silver ink moon and lettering, shaded with markers to add a flatter look akin to poster work.  I can't find the piece online but I have a large book of art nouveau and arts and crafts work and there's a Mucha poster with this color scheme and stars of David which I used as inspiration for this badge.  Really happy with the results!   

Fancy badge for Magnus!  
I loved the design since lynxes are <3 for me.....and this is so glittery and sparkly IRL!  There's a glitter pen border around the letters and Magnus himself as well as a glow of bluish and regular iridescent media over an ink wash over the original paper since I felt the tag was a little too light.  So happy with the results!


Also, sorry I skipped the new blog segments--I've had a lot going on and was out of town over the weekend.  I'm going to try to sit down and do some entries ahead of time to prevent this from happening too often. :P as it is, Feature Friday and Inspirational Sunday may not be weekly.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012

First, I have an almost complete MLP set at last.
Fluttershy.  I imagine her willowy and ectomorphic, small-chested, frail but not sickly.  I'm close friends with several naturally thin people and went to college with someone who had this exact build--long legs and everything.  None of them have any issues with food, they're just like that, so no, I don't think Fluttershy is anorexic. :/
I picture her wearing a lot of loose, springy things that she could wear while gardening or taking care of animals, or lounging, but it would all be suitable for wearing almost anywhere, being neither too casual or too dressy.
This isn't complete because I decided to add her butterfly clip from the Gala, but it's more of an ear ornament, I guess, from the direction at which it's worn here.  I ned to re-scan it and then I'll start pre-orders.
Twilight's next to be completed, her hair accessory is done and two shoes were done, but one went missing.  Her dress needs to be transferred and then I can finish it.

The rest of this art is all kind of related to AC.  I got a gorgeous badge from Trey and wanted to repay the favor!  I wish I had had more time to hang out with xem, so I could've drawn something in return at the con itself....but I did this when I got home.  I scanned it after lamination so some of the shading, the snake especially, is a little off and the lettering is vivid sparkly orange and neon yellow, obviously bleached.
Xyr  fursona is based off of the rascals from Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, and I kinda took a few liberties with what I think an opossum x german shepherd would look like, and beefed up the muzzle a bit.  I always think of pronounced lips and long, strong mouths when I think of opossums, and I always think of power when I think of sheps...and I think of those dots on the sides of their faces.  I included that only to see it wasn't in the design when I was done, I felt kinda silly.  I hope this is appropriate for the hybrid, it was a little hard to do.  I'm happy with the result regardless.
This I did At AC itself for Gravey.  She did an ACEO for me too!  I was using her markers and one was starting to die, and the green inking looks a little rough to me but it was difficult for me to draw much of quality in the zoo, it was SO loud.  Still, I think it came out cute.  Her genderqueer character Ed. :)
WARNING: Nudity and adult concepts (typed, not images) under the cut.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Feature Friday 1: The Everyday Goth

A lot of you probably already follow this blog, but I decided to start Feature Fridays off with it nonetheless.

Mary's blog is very enjoyable and fun!  Her views on the subculture, being closer to my own age and mostly social with the community online, are really open and interesting--she doesn't take the subculture too seriously to start, and her writing style is quite accessible and always cheers me up.  I always enjoy reading and commenting on her posts.

Lately her fashion posts have helped me quite a bit as I've done a big wardrobe purge (she talks about justifying buying things as well as when you know you need to clean house) and in April, after seeing Rasputina again, I decided I still looked good in more elegant takes on goth and wanted to keep it up.  I had decided a few months before that I wasn't able to look good in it....but between discovering her blog and dressing up for the show I was re-inspired.

So, if you haven't seen The Everyday Goth, check it!
And there's a tumblr! 

Once again, congratulations on being able to study abroad in Scotland!  What an adventure! <3

This is why I really decided to start the Feature Friday segment today, and why I decided to start with Mary's delightful blog.....
I've been tagged by her blog!
(Am I supposed to make up questions or anything?....I'm terrible at being tagged.)

What are three things on your Goth "bucketlist"?
*Become involved in the monthly EBM/Industrial dances in the area.
*Meet more local goths and become good friends with them, introduce them to my friends, and have everybody get along great ;-; 
What is your favorite Goth song?
*Currently it's Remnants of a Deeper Purity by BTFABG, but I always have room in my heart for Disintegration by The Cure....and a lotta Siouxsie Sioux.  I can't pick favorite songs.
What's one Goth stereotype that you fit perfectly?
*"OH YOU DON'T KNOW MY MUSIC?  WELL.  WELL.  THAT'S....THAT'S OKAY I GUESS....oh dear god do you listen to Jrock and Chris Daughtery and are they seriously your favorite artists someone kick me in the teeth it's more enjoyable than this person's music tastes" 
i.e. the hipster music snob
What would be your ideal perfume/cologne scent?
*I honestly don't wear cologne/perfume...but I really want the human-scent from Perfume.  I would totally rule the world with my fabulous godly scent.  TBH, I far prefer wearing men's fragrances, but I enjoy smelling women's fragrances on others.  I'm so queer. ;-;
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
*Old Jack Off Jill  and I still kinda like Tripp pants....(I literally JUST got rid of my only pair...a few hours ago.)  I said J-Rock above but I kinda love Kyary >.>;; and OTT sweet lolita.....that's several, sorry!
What is a usual outfit for you?
*Band tee and jeans.  I work in a dusty, messy environment :/ When I even slightly dress up, I usually rely on layers.  I have a few lace and transparent ribbony tops I put over camis and the like...I'm fond of wearing leggings, tights, socks, etc. but don't always do so.  I often wear jackets and flannels with tops underneath, or thinner long-sleeve shirts with dresses or tops over them..  I have a few necklaces I switch out that I wear almost daily, though--a raven, a ying-yang shaped dragon-and-unicorn set with two little stones, my new crow skull replica, and another AC item (an art trade)--a Celtic knot-ish chainmail design--I used to have one from a really upscale goth shop in Quebec my parents visited (I couldn't go with them! ;-; I had school), but I lost it last year during graduation.  Otherwise my style....skips around from goth, punky-gothy, and fairy kei-ish, sometimes creepycute.  Usual is kinda...hard to describe.
Do you collect anything? If so, what?
*Art and badges and stuff.  Also specimens and bones, kawaii accessories especially charms, and collars.  I like stickers but am not an official collector by any means.  I used to casually collect vintage G1 MLPs, and my friends bought me some G3 and G4 ponies but I stopped taking in more, no room!
What's something you do subconsciously?
*Chew my cuticles.  
What's something you'd recommend? Anything. Clothes, movies, books, songs, whatever.
*Classical!  If you don't like it try it until you hear something you do like.  I don't know specific composers at all but I listen to the radio at work and that's the only station you can actually intercept without static in the department I usually work within, and I'm starting to notice I really have a thing for baroque composition.  I also LOVE classically trained duets and solos.  Not big on choruses and choirs at all.  I tend to strongly dislike them actually.
*The Shining.  If you haven't seen the Kubrick version do it if you haven't read the book do that.
The last magazine you read?
*IDK if this counts but the zine I was included in, Odium Comix :P 
The story of your username?
*Mylovelyastronaut - mis-hearing of lyrics from AFP's "Astronaut" that I started using a lot.
*Darkmoon--I think it was the name of a horse or dog or something in some fantasy series?  IDK.  Maybe I made it up.
*ADK - initials, played with a little.  Actually is another deceased relative's initials, but it was a way to make them include "darkmoon" without it standing out too much as obviously fantasy/furry/unprofessional.  I think it sounds better than my actual initials to say or spell, but I have gotten the "Adirondacks?" question once so far :/ 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mononoke Prints // Ink Spill Selections

At AC, this piece got a lot of attention.  So I decided to sell prints of it. :)
Each signed cardstock print is 11x14”. I got a sample the other day, the colors are really luminous and exact to the original. All the detail is preserved, which since I rarely do prints, I was a little worried about…overall it looks fantastic!

They will be selling for $12 including shipping. International shipping is $2 extra.

However, if you pre-order you not only get the signed print, but a few smaller 4x6” prints, and you are automatically entered in a raffle for a full-color commission with a simple background and up to 3 characters, which is typically $30-40 USD depending on how many characters! The image can be G-XXX. For guides to what I will and will not draw please see my commission page.

If you’re interested please email me at adkstudioss[at] with your FA/other website username and send $12/14 to the same email via Paypal.  The subject should say “mononoke print.” Your paypal email should be included in the body if it differs from your other email so I know who you are! Also list if you are interested in being kept up to date on the MLP paper dolls, and when those come out, you can get first dibs on them—I’ll email you when they’re ready for pre-order.

I am looking to have 15 people pre-order before I send out everything. When this goal is reached, I will email everyone who pre-ordered to let them know their prints are on their way, and will announce the raffle winner!

Like it says!  Each piece of paper is 4x4" and ready to be badge-ified.  Email me at with which number and which style you'd like.

Black linework:

White linework:
 Also, two for $25 still stands.

In other news, got a script from the co-writer of Shadowed Lives for a small 3-page comic, excited to start it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Inspirational Sunday 2: Sandman

Sandman was a graphic novel series published by Vertigo Comics and wirtten by Neil Gaiman.  It  ran from 1989 to 1996.
(covers all by Dave McKean.   To see all of them, click here.)

It changed my life.  I rarely read something where each concept aches in how much it resonates with me and my own views.  I rarely agree so much with a fictional work asserting so many philosophical concepts.

Besides that, the art is stunning:
(Screw Thor, the Sandman's inclusion and interpretation of Norse mythology is far better.)

A variety of artists work on each issue, and switch out frequently in favor of letting as many people as possible have a hand in the artistic process of Sandman.  This is part of its glory and genius.  Also, it's known for its unique approach to the traditional comic paneling style, using methods sometimes favoring effect over efficiency--but overall considered quite successful.

Sandman is about the Endless and how they interact in various worlds.  The Endless are neither gods nor mortals nor angels, but concepts solidified, ex. Dream, Morpheus, The Sandman himself, who rules over the realm of dreams...which encompasses storytelling, sleep patterns, ambitions...a lot of things.  Including Shakespeare.  Dream's a really fascinating character.
(Just look at him.  That mysterious face is every goth's fantasy.)
(Gotta love the hair.)

The concepts within Sandman assert ideas that resonate strongly with my own, as I stated, and I've found them to exist in many philosophical and social contexts which I also agree with.  They opened the doors to a lot of material I have been examining for Shadowed Lives and other projects as well as my own life and well-being.  Many concepts seen in modern spirituality appear in Sandman, as well as concepts of fantasy and science fiction relating to the universe instead of singular worlds and peoples.  I have always enjoyed far-reaching works in this particular space, such as His Dark Materials and other works by Gaiman, and much of my own fantasy and horror work deals with similar setups of shifting places and the idea of a fragile, thousand-faceted universe of universes.....I could go on.
The Endless themselves have been praised for not only having "real" women in their ranks but for just being such enjoyable, believable characters.  They may be solidified concepts but they act as real people and feel as real people.  They are an incredibly complex, beautiful cast.
(Meet the family.)

Things containing so much mythology and history appeal to me.  I love studying other cultures and places through the stories they tell...and Sandman is so much about stories of various cultures and historic times.

The art itself has influenced my approach to character design, atmosphere, and technique, especially playing more with bottled inks and try for looser, more atmospheric work.  Also, the way each of the Endless has their own speech bubbles is really cool.
Delirium's speech bubbles include wobbly text and tie-dye like colors which to me suggest not just her...well...delirious state, but her constant lack of certainty resulting.  Also, I want to draw Emilie in this outfit really badly.

Despair's is gravelly and flat.

Sandman is most easily seen in Lance/Emilie (who got "Delirium" hair when I invented them, about two years before I even touched the series) and Liam, actually (his starling tattoo has a Sandman quote on the banner).  I  see so many of them as living by Sandman, in a way, since it has so many good quotes one can apply to life and how it should be approached.....

"You are alive, so live." - Fables & Reflections
"Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost." - The Wake
"We not only could know everything.  We do.  We just tell ourselves we don't to make it all bearable." - The Kindly Ones

The last one in particular I often include in bios about myself online (including this site) since that quote has really stuck with me since I first read it.  I was obsessed with examining it from as many angles as possible for a long time after and have it fully committed to memory.

(Sandman: The only literature I truly want to put on my skin.)

Sandman's inclusion of the queer community is also someone such as myself, considering he is writing more than a decade ago about queers who were raised in the 70s, it's interesting (and upsetting) to see how society dealt with the community and to see how the community dealt with itself--the attitudes people were expected to present, etc. which can be examined through other works of fiction, but the fantasy inclusion to me makes it somehow more powerful.  This is, by the way, a subject you will probably see quite often on Inspirational Sunday....most of the comics and graphic novels I read are at least a little queer.  Volume 5 in particular contains a bunch of queer characters and allies.
(Wanda is my hero and one of my favorite characters in the entire series.  Also thus far the only trans character I've seen in the non-indie comic world.)

Now I'm all excited to go write and make some short comics!  Sandman does this to me.  I hope those of you who have not read the series are eager to pick it up now.  I've tried to stray from discussing plot too much, as there's too much I could accidentally give away....

NOTE: To those interested in starting the series, some argue sequence does not matter.  I don't believe this.  Some of the stories are indirectly related to the main plot lines, but they DO go forward and reading out of order will cause confusion.

Also, these stories work with some truly horrifying concepts and the art does not shy away from anything.  Nothing isn't shown.  If you are easily disturbed these may not be for you.

With that in mind, I recommend these more than any book, movie, band, artist...anything.  Due to their popularity, most libraries will have at least some of the issues available, which is how I recommend reading the books due to the cost of each individual volume.