Another stone in our shadowy ideological war with Communism fell today with our reopening relations with Cuba. Far too long have we shunned our neighbor to the south for what happened with Russia long ago.

I never understood why Cuba was left in isolation as we repaired our relations with Russia and traded with Communist China. Sure Castro wasn’t the biggest humanitarian but has any Chinese Goverment of the last fifty years not had the same issue? Oh I forgot, they import too much to our economy and now we owe them money.

Out neighbor to the south will benefit from the change as more Americans will slowly visit and likely change their economic situation. Cubans should be careful to not let tourism take parts of their country that belong to them. Anthony Bourdains recent trip to Jamacia comes to mind as Jamacians are slowly losing access to their own beaches so rich Americans can swim at their private leisure . All part of the trap of chasing the dollar.

And I find it quite fitting on a day when a former capitalism versus communism debate ends that it’s capitalism that has decided to not show the movie the Interview because of threats from a radical group.

In the days of Capitalism versus Communism we would have showed the movie just to spite the enemy and then airdropped copies of it into their country just to show we could.

Interesting times ahead.

I hope to visit Cuba one day.


Saga Volume 3 : Kill Your Darlings.


SAGA Volume 3: By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Collects Issues 13-18, Published by Image Comics.

Finally got around to Saga volume 3, and it doesnt have the same wow factor I felt with the first two volumes. Granted it’s still one of the best series being published today, but the first series hit me with the grand spectacle of this whole new universe Vaughan & Staples had created. The second volume played nicely as it cemented our characters story arcs and showed us a little bit about where we are going.


For me Volume 3 felt a little like an exercise in Vaughan demonstrating his writing skills around his like and dislikes around the art of writing. Since a central characther in this arc is the author Heist, Vaughan seems to exorcise some demons he has about other writers and the education of writing.

He even spends a few pages musing on the writing phrase “Kill Your Darlings”

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It’s hard to tell if he’s making a stance that writers should focus on what they love or not? ┬áIt hampers the progress of the story and at times it distracts from the plot causing part of this episode of Saga to feel essay centric and less grand scale epic awesomeness of the first two volumes.

Saga is a sweeping intergalactic ,well, Saga, but here’s hoping later volumes remember it is a big show, and perhaps not the perfect forum for a lecture on the art of writing.

One wonders if Vaughan whose work on Y The Last Man, was not just entertaining, but one of the most important political and social comics ever, wants Saga to be that kind of comic.

I’d be okay if it decides to just entertain.



Crafty Feast

Come see me and Jessica White Sunday from 12-6 in Columbia, Sc for Crafty Feast. Last chance to pick up creature paintings for you Christmas stockings.


The Companions

imageI started my long journey with R. A. Salvatore’s Drizzt books over twenty years ago. I was 13 browsing in a Barnes & Noble waiting for ice hockey practice to start. Something about the cover for Homeland drew me in and before I knew it was asking for books instead of other entertainment. My readership changed over the years as I grew older and I missed many Drizzt stories during my college years. I returned to the series when I opened a little used book store in Easthampton, Ma.

Reading the books at an older age showed me all the layers of storytelling I most likely missed as a teenage boy. I reread everything and caught up with all the books I missed.

Im torn with the Companions as it feels like a comic book reboot. We are getting major characters back which I’m sure will lead to great adventures but as a reader who had 20 years invested in these stories it does lessen the impact I felt as a reader when we lost those characters the first time around. Not sure how I will reread Cattiebrie, Regis, and Bruenors death again and not feel a little cheated.

Im glad the Companions of the Hall are reunited and can’t wait to read their adventures, but not sure I will ever have the same emotional investment now that they , like comic book characters, can cheat death.


Enjoy the day

2014 has been a wild one. Welcoming our son Milo to the world is the highlight of course and brings an amazing perspective and experience to my life everyday. I kind of knew he would change my life and made plans early to prepare for that. I eliminated con-news before the end of last year knowing that I wouldn’t have time for it with the changes. It forced me to slow down. I miss it at times and my participation in fandom events has slowed as a result but not in a negative way. I do miss wandering the hotel hallways late at night going to just one more panel or bumping into a friend waiting for an event. I don’t miss the
lines and I don’t miss the constant booking of hotel rooms and getting my registration in on time.
I do feel like in certain areas my fandom has been renewed by taking time away. I get excited now at the toy aisle of stores. I was numb to them before as I saw the same products every week in a different dealers room. I also don’t hesitate to buy art I like right now as that has also been less accessible. I enjoy genre television just the same whether I saw the actor on a panel or not. But I think the biggest change has been taking it one day at a time. I don’t plan much too far out as I don’t know what Milo will be ready for and when. It actually takes so much stress off and is pretty nice to see where the day will take me. I hope to one day share some of the experiences I had with fandom with him but excited to see it more through his eyes than to get back what I enjoyed. Until then, I go to work, come home to my awesome family and enjoy the day.


Updated the front page

Just added these 24 paintings to the front page. Two craft shows this month. Find me this Sunday at The Big Crafty in downtown Asheville, NC and Sunday December 13th at Crafty Feast in Columbia, Sc. See you there!


The Big Crafty

Excited to say I will be back at the Winter The Big Crafty at Pack Place in Asheville. Always a great show, see you December 7th!


Art on Record

art on record flyer gvillephoto 2
I have the following Pirate Girl as part of the art on record show at Earshot in Greenville, SC. The show opens on Sept 20th with a reception that day. Can’t wait to the see all the other artists participating.


Crafty Feast

Excited to say that I will be an artist at
Crafty Feast in Columbia, SC on Sunday December 14th. See you there!