Kekaki Kotaki Knights

Last year was ink drawings of samurais, and this year it’s knights.

From the moment Seattle-based artist Kekai Kotaki posted the first of his thousand and one knights, I knew it’d become a weekly delight to see his new creations. Last Year, Kotaki did a small set of sketches featuring samurai designs, which featured stylish heavy inks, accented by bold colours, and showcased his ability to apply creative license to an iconic warrior. I loved the project so much, that I reached out to Kotaki to have a chat about his knights.

“I tend to try pick a theme each year and try to run with it as long as possible,” Kotaki explained when I asked him about the project’s origins. “Last year was ink drawings of samurais, and this year it’s knights.”

tumblr_n4ga4q2Gl41rtdsh3o1_1280kotaki-knight-10tumblr_n6pl5lyR4D1rtdsh3o1_1280

I even joke about making a book called The One Thousand and One Knights, but I had to hold off on it, because 1,001 is quite a lot of knights.

Most readers of A Dribble of Ink will know Kotaki for his work as a cover artist (notably, Peter Orullian’s The Unremembered, and The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson). In addition to his work as a cover artist, Kotaki is also known for his work on Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet’s popular MMORPG with some of the most iconic world and character design in the genre. Kotaki’s fans will recognize the abstract, ethereal concept art and landscapes from his time with Guild Wars 2. He does tone and epic encounters better than anyone else in biz, so these character studies — simple armoured knights, direct and full of personality despite their facelessness — are a pleasing diversion for the artist. Read More »

tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o2_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o5_r1_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o1_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o8_r1_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o6_r1_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o4_r1_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o3_r1_250tumblr_n714ychayj1rtg760o7_r1_250

Images via Sokka’s Cactus Juice

The first two seasons of The Legend of Korra were problematic for a few reasons. Chief among these is its lack of an identity and defined set of goals. Avatar: The Last Airbender established its goal in the first episode: save the world from the machinations of the Fire Nation and its power-hungry leader. The Legend of Korra, on the other hand, can’t decide if it’s a coming-of-age story, an exploration of social and political revolution, a buddy-cop comedy, or an epic fantasy. Instead of dedicating itself to a tight focus, it splits its attention between all of these themes and doesn’t do any of them particularly well. Read More »

musica-do-silencio_by-patrick-rothufssthe-slow-regard-of-silent-things-by-patrick-rothfuss

While fans wait patiently for The Doors of Stone, the third volume in Patrick Rothfuss’ massively popular Kingkiller Chronicles, the author has been busy on several projects, including work on the final volume, The Doors of Stone. The most imminent of these, due for release in November, is The Slow Regard of Silent Things, a novella announced by Rothfuss in April, 2014.

If there’s anything that Rothfuss wants to make clear about The Slow Regard of Silent Things, however, it’s that the novella is not the third volume in the Kingkiller Chronicles. “It’s not a mammoth tome that you can use to threaten people and hold open doors,” Rothfuss explained in his announcement post. “It’s a short, sweet story about one of my favorite characters. It’s a book about Auri.”

In the announcement post, Rothfuss revealed an early synopsis for the novella:

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is set at The University where the brightest minds work to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy. Auri, a former student (and a secondary but influential character from Rothfuss’s earlier novels) now lives alone beneath the sprawling campus in a maze of ancient and abandoned passageways. There in The Underthing, she feels her powers and learns to see the truths that science—and her former classmates—have overlooked.

Read More »

hugo-awards-2013-transparent1
On Fanzines and Hugo Noms

Voting for the 2014 Hugo Awards opened on Friday, June 6th. I’m using this opportunity to reprint the introduction to A Dribble of Ink’s collection included in the voter packet provided to all eligible voters. Whether you’re a voter or not, you can download the collection below -ed.

Over the past several years, vast change has come to many of the fan categories at the Hugos.

The “Best Fanzine” category has seen a dramatic shift in the past two years, since SF Signal’s first nomination, and traditional zines are being replaced by blogs and online magazines. “So never the twain shall meet…,” said Mike Glyer, of the many-times nominated File 770, describing the seemingly impassable gulf that exists between the online community and the traditional fan community. I don’t believe Mr. Glyer. While this divide between the two fan communities is undeniable, genre fandom is ripe with opportunity for creating a global fan community that embraces diversity—of voice and publishing platform—and challenges readers, authors, and publishers to become more inclusive and welcoming than ever before. Read More »