The Starks

The Urge

What kind of artist would I be if didn’t do a Game of Thrones piece?!

Like the millions of people who are into this amazing show, I. Am. Hooked.

And, when you get hooked to something, if you’re artisically-inclined the natural thing is to create art in tribute to that something.

I knew I wanted to something a little out of my comfort zone. I’m so used to copying a single image so thought I’d try something different and go for a collage.

I decided to draw Westeros’ most noble and unlucky family: The Starks. And their Direwolves.

This was a bit ambitious on my part, as it raised a number of challenges


Pencil-wise, I decided to stick with the faithful Staedtler Mars Lumograph 5H and of course the Staedtler Mars Technico 780Cs (2B, HB and 2H).

I’d done a couple of drawings on Daler Rowney Aquafine Watercolour paper before starting this piece, and I love how it’s possible to get dark tones that allow you bring a depth to the work that just doesn’t seem possibly with my usual paper, Smooth Bristol Board.


This was the most important challenge. When you think of classic collages, it’s hard not to conjure up the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film posters of yesteryear. The man responsible for these magical and wonderous pieces of art is Drew Struzan.

Of course, I’m not daft enough to even suggest I possess even a percent of this man’s skill, but his work certainly inspired me to think about the placement of characters and the over layout.

I’d like to recommend a young artist by the name of Kyle Lambert. I imagine many of you have seen the brilliant ‘Stranger Things’ - Kyle is responsible for the now-famous poster for the show.

Choosing the right references

Once I could envision what the finished piece might look like, I set out into the wonderful world of the interwebs to search for images that might fit well. As always with refereces, it is important they’re of a good usable resolution (i.e. not fuzzy) and not where the subject isn’t too far away (i.e. not too fuzzy).

Having a good catalogue of images at my disposal, I set to work.

Once I was relatively happy with the layout, I set to work on adding the detail character by character.

The likenesses are nearly there I think. In hindsight, I wish I’d used a more recent reference of Sansa as the one I used was from the first season.

I hope you like it!


The Alpha and the Omega of CHIKARA

The first main event in CHIKARA history was the match between the Black T-Shirt Squad of Don Montoya, Reckless Youth, and Mike Quackenbush vs. the Gold Bond Mafia of Colt Cabana, CM Punk, and Chris Hero. It was a fairly well received match that capped off the start of the new promotion, and featured two future tag partners on opposing sides.

The following year in 2003, in IWA Mid-South of all places, Mike Quackenbush and Chris Hero would form the team called the SuperFriends, a nigh unbeatable combination of indy wrestling stalwarts seemingly based on the fact that Quack and Hero and big comic book dorks. That aside, Hero and Quack seemed like good friends and better tag team partners.

Speaking of IWA Mid-South, in the 2004 edition of the annual Ted Petty Invitational, Quackenbush knocked Chris Hero out of the first round in an excellent match. Also in 2004, Chris Hero became co-trainer of the CHIKARA Wrestlefactory alongside Quack.

The match list for the SuperFriends isn’t particularly long, but it is impressive, including a tournament appearance in the very first Tag World Grand Prix, defeating the Toryumon Team of Skayde and Koichiro Arai in the first round, and wrestling to a thirty-minute stand still with Claudio Castagnoli and Ares of Swi$$ Money Holding.

So the SuperFriends is a fairly successful tandem, right? Right! So the second Tag World Grand Prix comes along, this one being the largest tournament of it’s kind at the time, containing 32 teams, 64 men in total. And all that is wittled down to the finals, where once again, Quack and Hero stand across the ring from Claudio Castagnoli, only this time Arik Cannon is playing the part of Ares.

The finals went as you’d expect, until finally, it happened; on Feburary 20th, 2005, Quack tagged in Hero, and Hero was all set to take on their opponents, only no; Hero turned right around, nailed Quack in the face, and dropped him. Arik Cannon pinned Mike Quackenbush to win Tag World Grand Prix 2005 for himself and Claudio, and suddenly the SuperFriends were no more.

Hero’s reasoning? Quack defeating him in the 2004 Ted Petty Invitational. Feeling humiliated by his loss, Hero bided his time, keeping one very thought in mind the whole time; Quack eventually lost in the tournament as well, and later complained that he hated going so far in the tournament and losing in the end. So, Hero knew his greatest revenge would be to take Quackenbush to the finals in another tournament, and cut him off at the legs once more.

Here’s the funny thing; this is a great heel turn and all, and a cool storyline, but because of this, EVERYTHING YOU WILL EVER COME TO KNOW ABOUT CHIKARA HAS ROOTS IN THIS ONE MOMENT. Everything.

For the next TWO YEARS, Quack and Hero would be at eachother’s throats, but never head on; Hero would only face Quack in multi-man matches, knowing he could duck and dodge Quackenbush whenever he could, letting his partners and seconds do his work for him. With this rivalry comes the creation of the Kings of Wrestling, which is a history lesson in it’s own right.

With Quack and Hero on different sides, so was the Wrestlefactory; the technico students would stand with Quackenbush, and the rudo students were steadfastedly on the side of Hero, and as such both sides would clash in the name of their respective mentors. In that regard, the second Cibernetico was built around this rivalry, though once again Hero escaped Quackenbush’s full wrath.

Two years passed since that fateful day, until finally, all sorts of factors culminated and exploded on themselves; Hero and Castagnoli were suddenly on opposing sides, and after defeating Claudio in an EXCELLENT match at the first Rey de Voladores event in April 2007, Hero was feeling cocky, and finally he did it; he offered Mike Quackenbush what he wanted, and gave him his one on one match, the first one on one match they’d had since TPI 2004 three years prior.

Oh, fun fact; Quackenbush was the special guest referee during that match. He slapped Larry Sweeney upside the face.

And so, at the Anniversario? event (that’s it’s actual name, question mark and all) in May of 2007, Mike Quackenbush and Chris Hero squared off for the final time, and after eighteen minutes, Quackenbush made history once again; on May 26th, 2007, Mike Quackenbush debuted the CHIKARA Special and tapped Chris Hero out, finally ending their two year long feud.

Now, what have we learned?

- Chris Hero knows how to hold a grudge.
- Quack and Hero’s rivalry set most of the CHIKARA roster against itself, with Quack’s proteges uniting against Hero’s proteges, and by 2007, most of the rudos were either in the Kings of Wrestling, or were Kings of Wrestling sympathizers.
- Because of Chris Hero, Mike Quackenbush had to create the CHIKARA Special.

What’s so special about the CHIKARA Special?

Well, that’s a story for another time.

anonymous asked:

I stumbled upon youre blog a few weeks back and im totally in love with youre art. I was wondering what types on pencils, pens, materials you specifically use? :)


im too lazy to number these im just gonna go from top to left to right

  1. uniball white gel pen
  2. sakura roll white gel pen
  3. pentel hi polymer eraser
  4. pilot pocket brush pen soft
  5. prismacolor premier fine liner
  6. micron pen
  7. stabilo fine liner
  8. weird… cheap no branded pens LOL WTF ARE THESE
  9. pilot penmanship fountain pen
  10. pentel black watercolor brush pen
  11. pentel watercolor brush
  12. zebra blue and black pen
  13. zebra mechanical pencil with red and blue lead
  14. staedler mars technico drafting pencil
  15. le pen drawing pen
  16. pilot duel end brush pen
  17. tombow pen
  18. zebra pen THAT I GOT FROM CHOU


Submitted by George Voniatis

External image

This is the equipment i take to work on a daily basis. The hard drives have all the projects i have completed over the years and an architectural library consisting of everything from rendering materials and stock images to photoshop brushes and tutorials.

I had a very long post on Mexican wrestling written about a year ago, but I ended up deleting the whole thing because it seemed way too tangential at the time, and boy, am I beating myself up about it now. In preparation for next week’s episode Beyond the Mat I’ve attempted to pull some of the threads in the post from memory.

So, I received a message following the preview for next week’s episode [name withheld for privacy]:

I was going to send this as an ask, but I don’t see that as an option, so don’t feel like you have to respond. So this is in reference to the preview for next week (11x15), so if you haven’t seen it yet I don’t want to give you spoilers. BUT when you DO see it: Dean + Mexican style wrestling. 1) he’s totally fangirling 2) the wrestler straight up WINKS at him and Dean has this awed look on his face. Which leads me to: 3) Did Dean’s love of Mexican Wrestling come before or after Ash dressed up like one when he rescued them in Heaven (Dark Side of the Moon)? I’m sending you this because you’re the reason I even noticed Ash/Dean.

While the scene in the upcoming episode appears to be “professional wrestling” (ie. show wrestling as opposed to sports wrestling), I think the aspect of Mexican wrestling (lucha libre) is very important not only for next week’s episode but due to the centrality of Dark Side of the Moon for the entire narrative.

In answer to the question, there were no references to wrestling prior to the scene of Ash appearing in the luchador mask. In the second season, Ash uses Spanish words indicating his cultural proximity to Mexico (not that of the Roadhouse context as such, located as it were in Nebraska, but the character’s personal connection). It also bears a note that in the third season, after the death of Ash, when Dean himself is dying, he wants to go to Mexico all of a sudden. Going to Tijuana in Mexico is the last thing Dean wants to do, his dying wish. It’s disguised in a humorous reference to a donkey show, but it is how he wishes to spend his last night on earth.

Then, in heaven, Ash appears to him in a luchador costume which @sandraugiga​ and myself discussed in the master post as paralleling Jo’s appearance in a Little Black Dress, as something that is erotic, sexy to Dean, if not for the audience.

Moving on to Carver’s story, Dean’s love of wrestlers and wrestling is revisited in Sharp Teeth in the eighth season, in Adam Glass’s episode. Then a wrestling past was retconned for Dean in the ninth season episode Bad Boys, also by Adam Glass. The less I say about Glass, the better. But the concept of wrestling and its importance to Dean has been carried over from the original narrative. There is a lot of history on the show laying the foundation for next week’s episode.

Wrestling is a very homoerotic sport, its roots harking back to ancient Greece where the sport celebrated the nude male form. Homoeroticism cannot be divorced from the sport, which is why strategies have been deployed for dissolving the homoerotic tension inherent in the concept. In the US context, it has been done through carnevalizing the sport, introducing a sense of the liminal, creating a space in the context of which certain acts are allowed that are denied to heteromasculine participants outside of the artifice. Having myself participated in combat sports for a decade, I can vouch that the acceptable level of queerness is constantly negotiated in homosocial spaces.

But the interesting thing is that Mexican wrestling in particular has created a special category for allowing and dealing with the inherent queerness in the sport.

Lucha libre, unlike the name suggests, is a staged performance following a script. The fighters, the luchadors, take on roles for the performance both inside the wrestling ring and outside it. The roles for the fighters are those of technico (the face) - the “good guy”, rudo (the heel) - the “bad guy”, and a third category, the exotico.

For those unfamiliar with Mexican wrestling, it may be interesting and strange to discover this category of wrestler that plays on sexuality and gender performance.

The exotico plays the role of a gay fighter, whether the performer is actually gay or not. It’s a role, and a role that is campy, humourous, liminal, a satire of masculinity. The function of the exotico is to reaffirm the masculinity of the other fighter roles by offering up an inversion of masculinity. The exotico can perform either the role of the technico or the rudo, although most often they are the heel. And the role of the exotico is not to lose to the other fighter, but often to ‘unman’ them, to deconstruct the machismo of the luchador.

Exoticos can swing either way, much like their over-the-top sexually; they can be a heel or a hero, but they do it in a style that is full of pomp and circumstance, all with a smack of lipstick, a touch of mascara and a knowing wink. [source]

If Ash from Supernatural were a luchador, he would be an exotico. Someone that challenges conventional masculinity through humour. Dean, on the other hand, exemplifies the rudo, the brawler, to Sam’s technico.

The masks or mascaras of lucha libre are further an analogy for queerness, concealing the identities of the fighters, and the removal of which can be considered 'outing’ the fighter, the act frowned upon.

But it’s not Mexican wrestling that’s featured in next week’s episode, but American professional wrestling. So, I thought we might also talk about Kevin Nash a little bit.

Kevin Nash is a mostly retired wrestler living in Daytona Beach whose entrance theme was Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, a song that has yet to be played on the show but which has personal significance for Dean as a character. Kevin Nash also went by the name of Oz, hailing from Emerald City, actually basing his character on the L. Frank Baum books.

His other character, Vinnie Vegas, was based on the film My Blue Heaven, which also contains a queer subtext we’ve discussed in the Dean/Ash masterpost. Even his main character Diesel is someone that would have found a fit in any Roadhouse, drawing from the biker aesthetic. Dude’s also famously appeared in both of the Magic Mike films. Kevin Nash has many points of connection with the show.

So, given that next week’s episode is to feature an aging wrestler, keep Big Sexy in mind while you’re watching. I know I will.