Herbal ginger tea with lemon is my drink of the day to help soothe my poor throat and chest. I’m admiring my beautiful new print by Charlotte’s Woodland that I won in her recent instagram giveaway. All it needs is a frame :)
I have read so many faery tales
Through adversity True Love prevails
I wonder why there are not more
Where the Knight lies bleeding on the floor
After he dropped his Witchling Maid
And kissed another - she felt betrayed
So reclaimed his heart with knife and blade
To replace the heart he stole from her
Now she’s happy
Long before I became
a digital artist, I used to draw comic books. They emerged from the roughly
scribbled note books and sketches, I’d been keeping for years. I’d originally
planned to be the writer with a very talented friend doing the art. As our life
began to go in different directions I was still making notes and drawing
characters. I slowly learnt to draw storyboards and eventually comics myself.
Over the years, I’ve
accumulated boxes and boxes of sketch books, storyboards, comics, stories and
even a handful of plays. All of this has coalesced into a place called Cat
Mountain, the mountain by the sea.
I’ve been planning a
website to put it all on for a very long time. As the work slowly emerges, the
keen eyed of you will spot shades of Love and Rockets, Sandman, and most of all
Bloom County, in these tales. All of which inspired me greatly to make comics myself and whose influence is impossible to deny. Along with a million other bits of books, films and
music, all mixed up with the many fragments of my life, that have been thrown
into the melting pot.
I’ve spent most of
my adult life in the company of musicians, artists, actors and ne-er do wells.
I’ve met more eccentrics of both the lovable and the roguish kind, than I care
to remember. Most of them on the run from whatever can be called normal life,
and so was I. This off beat sensibility has permeated deep into my creative
Working on these
stories and characters was where I first began to realise I was trans. Most of
the main characters were female. Similarly watching films I always identified
with the lead character. Recently I saw an interview with the trans newsreader
India Willoughby, so many of her experiences and emotions resonated with me.
These latent trans
feelings finally crystallized playing online video games. I couldn’t abide
having a male avatar, presenting myself as male just seemed so wrong. Having a safe place to explore and nurture my
female side was one of the happiest moments of my life. It soon became obvious I
couldn’t keep it inside any longer.
Then a serious
illness in the family turned my life upside down. My Mother’s health began to
deteriorate. It wasn’t something that had come out of the blue. The worst fears
of the family became fully realised and she was eventually diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s. Although it has brought the
family much closer together, watching my Mother slowly die as her mental
faculties fail, has been heartbreak after heartbreak.
Not surprisingly the
artistic routine I’d spent years building up, went completely out the window.
Replaced by years of travelling from one side of the country to the other and
the eventual, inevitable relocation.
Somehow I ended up on Twitter and managed to
establish myself as a digital artist and online Dominatrix. Even as I was
creating buckets of digital art, in my heart of hearts I wanted to get back to
writing stories and drawing comic books. To return to the journey I had begun
so long ago.
Once upon a time
there was a lost boy who lived by the mountain and the sea. Deep inside the lost
boy was a lost girl. A lost girl who had always been there, trapped for such a long long time. Singing, calling, crying out from underneath the rubble. A girl with
The girl summoned
all her strength and climbed towards the sunlight, turning the boy inside out.
There she stood on the top of the rubble, watching and listening, as the wind
blew through her orange hair. After a long contemplative silence, she turned
little, there’s a voice in my head.
‘Return to Cat
Mountain.’ is what the voice said.”
Concept: Beauty & the Beast, but without the Classic Faerytale Happy Ending
If you’ve seen the Disney movie Maleficent, remember how she made her curse basically “unbreakable” because the concept of “true love,” as it appears in faerytales, doesn’t actually exist?
What if the witch who cursed our prince (we’ll call him Adam) used the same principle? What if he already had a girlfriend (or boyfriend) and everything, but then he ran out of rose petals, and it still wasn’t enough to break the curse? What if instead of some magical kiss from someone he’d only known a few weeks just instantly turning him human again, he was stuck in the form of a beast for the rest of his life?
Now, imagine that Adam’s partner (guess we’ll call her Belle) doesn’t care if he’ll always be a beast, but she can’t stand to see him being so miserable about it, so she constantly encourages him to love himself, and once his confidence has built up enough, she convinces him to go outside and try to live like a normal person instead of just hiding away in a castle for the rest of his life. Obviously, this is going to take some work and preparation, so Belle starts going around to nearby towns and chatting people up, making friends, so she can eventually introduce them to her boyfriend and they can become his friends too.
Over time, the word spreads that there’s a cursed prince who’s friendly and just wants to live a normal life. People are intimidated by his appearance at first, but most eventually come around and are kind to him. Those that aren’t may form protests against this beast being allowed to coexist with humans, but you can bet your butt that Belle and Adam’s friends are there with their own counter-protests, fighting for nonhumans’ rights to be treated fairly and equally.
Maybe there are other cursed beings who hear about all this going down, so they get together and support each other as well. Eventually, it just becomes a common occurance to see beasts and talking animals, and all sorts of other magical creatures walking around in towns and cities alongside humans, and it’s a great relief for everyone.
Adam thinks back to that day, many years ago, when he realized he was doomed to be a beast for eternity, only now he doesn’t feel so doomed. He looks at Belle, smiles, and holds her hand. She smiles back and thinks of all they’ve been through together, the things they’ve both sacrificed for each other and compromises they’ve each made for the good of their relationship, and this beautiful world they’ve built together, and only now does she truly understand what true love is.