Category: AoC News

Kitty Pins

It’s October. The season of black cats! The season of weird orangey-pink cats!

When I came up with the little AoC cat face designs I absolutely knew I’d end up making lil pins out of them at some point. Well, here they are – Hard enamel smiling cat faces, outlined in shiny gold trim. Available in the Big Cartel shop now.

Lots going on at Army of Cats HQ at the moment. Working away at some stuff for clients, editing a process video I’m really excited about, and got some new work from me to reveal also.

As usual world contains many things to feel anxious about. I’m still battling with that. But there’s lots of positive and progressive things happening too, and I hope in some small way my little bits of stuff and words and photos help contribute to the good side of existence.

Be kind & keep looking out for one another. x

Sinister Fish Ahoy!

Villagers by Sinister Fish Games

A while ago I created a logo for Sinister Fish a games publishers founded by my friend Dave Clarke, who I know from way back in the days of playing in bands.

Dave recently very kindly hooked me up with a copy of the last game as well as a very swanky Sinister Fish logo coffee mug and promo bits.

It’s always a cool feeling to hold something featuring your logo or design work but this is the first time I’ve had my work on a game like this – I have to say the overall package is very, very satisfying.

Villagers by Sinister Fish Games

The game is designed and wonderfully illustrated by Haakon Hoel Gaarder and sees you as a founder of a new village during the middle ages, in the years following a great plague.

There is a solo mode but I haven’t quite had the time to delve into it properly yet. I’m still in the stage of admiring all the cards and pieces and playing Scrooge McDuck with the coins.

Villagers by Sinister Fish Games
Villagers by Sinister Fish Games

I do play board games from time to time (currently in the middle of the Tainted Grail campaign) but haven’t been able to meet with the guys I play with for a number of months due to the pandemic. At some point we’ll hopefully be able to try out Villagers and see how we get on.

Sinister Fish’s lastest game STREETS, also by Haakon Hoel Gaarder, is on Kickstarter right now. It’s absolutely smashed it’s funding goal already – go check it out!

New Big Cartel Shop

>>> <<<

I have a new shop, hosted by Big Cartel.

To mark the occasion, there are some new items available – a very limited, A2 version of my ‘Mynydd’ Welsh Mountains print, the return of the ‘Coffee Cat’ patch, and I also dug out some copies of very old Melvins, Unsane, and Night Marchers gig posters I still have a handful of and put them up for cheap.

For the next week, you can also get 15% off your order with the code: NEWSHOP15.

My Etsy shop will continue to exist, as I get do get decent traffic for certain products, but Etsy have pushed a number of changes over the past couple of years which I haven’t really liked.

It feels like they’re pushing for shops to be as Amazon-like as possible, with free shipping and quantity of sales over quality of service. They also keep increasing the cut they take.

It’s their right, of course, to run their platform however they’d like but I feel like there’s been a marked change in their values and who they want to appeal to.

For now, my Etsy is still down while I update prices, shipping costs and images…

By contrast, Big Cartel has always been very good at supporting smaller, genuinely independent artists and sellers. I like their style.

The new Big Cartel shopfront will be the main shop – new prints and items will go up here first… Please do click on over and have a mooch around! If you’ve wanted to pick up any bits of my work, now’s a great time to support me (and don’t forget the NEWSHOP15 code!).

HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast – 10th Anniversary Merch – Pt.3

Well, by way of an update since last time, there were a whole host of spanners in the works when it came to the rest of the merch production but I’m happy to say we got there in the end and shipping has been in full swing for a few weeks.

The external stresses & general bullshittery has still been a source of anxiety but I’ve actually found some solace in my new life of tubes and packing materials.

It’s satisfying to carefully package these up and send them on their way to new homes. And I have to say the emails and messages from happy recipients have been really appreciated — there’s a lovely sense of community around the HPL Literary Podcast and the patience and goodwill of such folk is refreshing in our instant gratification Amazon era.

If you haven’t received a shipping notification yet, apologies and thanks for bearing with me. My collection of Old Ones is keeping several eyes on production so I’m sure I’ll get to your order soon…

General Updatery

Bruce Pennington Space Cats Painting
Painting by Bruce Pennington

Hello folks, here’s an update on some things.

The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast posters are starting to ship out. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on the tote bags and t-shirts, so people who ordered just a poster are inadvertently getting an earlier shipping date. Sorry for any upset!

Heads up to fellow UK people who sell posters and the like: postage to the US has just ramped up quite considerably.

This is affecting the shipping costs of the HP Podcraft orders, since the pre-paid postage reflects rates that are now out of date. This sucks but we’re just going to eat the costs, as it doesn’t seem fair to pass on the bad luck to the lovely people who’re already supporting the project.

In related news, my Etsy Shop is currently in Holiday mode while I concentrate on fulfilling HP Podcraft orders. Once I figure out the new US postage costs, it’ll be updated and back online. Thanks for the support up until now and for your understanding during the temporary break.

How is everyone doing anyway? I hope you’re all coping okay and staying safe. Can I be honest with you? I’m struggling with a few things at the moment. There are problems in my street with drugs and criminal activity and they are very slow to being resolved… it’s getting me down.

Thankfully there are a number of things keeping me going. Such as the great painting seen above, by British Sci-Fi art stalwart Bruce Pennington, which I came across via the highly explorable 70’s Sci-Fi Art Tumblr.

I’m also enjoying new music by my friend Paul Rafferty, who has done a solo thing called Doomshakalaka; and watching random YouTube videos of drummer Larnell Lewis, who’s chops are really superb indeed.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Stay well. Keep Going. Be kind.

Welcome to the blog

Photo by Camilo Jimenez

It’s funny, because I think every single previous iteration of the Army of Cats site has had a blog so it’s not really anything new. I’ve always had a space to write, to document process, or to share other folks’ work or just ideas I like.

Even before I created artwork for a living, I had a LiveJournal which I updated for years. It was really quite formative and allowed me to make an arse of myself trying out different artistic voices as well as making random online friends. Thankfully, in a rare moment of wisdom, long ago, when my lj days came to a natural end I deleted the account – after saving all my years of juvenile ramblings in a secret PDF file…

After that came a Blogger page, then a short-lived run with a thing called Posterous, before finally settling on good old WordPress, a platform I’ve really grown to like and – a rarity these days – actually trust.

For the past few years I’ve been content to use the various social media platforms to post day-to-day content and, while my ‘engagement’ isn’t bad, I’m just finding it more and more draining. Twitter in particular feels like a place you have to wade into rather than a nice, open space of creativity and discourse.

I’m tired of the adverts, tired of feeling like I’m battling algorithms, tired of constantly having to re-select ‘show latest posts’, and tired of spaces that essentially just aren’t mine.

As the brilliant Austin Kleon puts it on his own blog:

“Maybe I’m weird, but it just feels good. It feels good to reclaim my turf. It feels good to have a spot to think out loud in public where people aren’t spitting and shitting all over the place.”

Perhaps you feel similarly?

I’ve actually found myself really enjoying visiting other people’s blogs again. There’s a cosiness and an informality to people’s own spaces, particularly when they’re documenting some slightly weird, niche interest.

Model-maker’s blogs, record collector’s blogs, or blogs where someone is just scanning in old punk zines and flyers. I love stuff like that! It’s a reminder that the web as a platform was built by individuals, not just massive corporations (I remember when the Google search page had a ‘Blog’ button, showing you results only from blogs…).

So, here we are, a quieter, clearer space for me to document work and ideas.

I will, of course, still be posting in the usual places but I’ll be putting the real effort in here and linking back to it when I can.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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