***”Pail Blue Hand” is just a tiny swatch from an illustration in our third book, “Bludgeon the Clown.” I love it. It’s so artsy-fartsy, like a 1970’s still life painting of flowers and fruit and stuff…only different. You can find all four of our illustrated books at etsy.com (search EEWbooks). -Marsha
***This is the NEW red-rough sketch for “Jar Heads.” The old one sucked. Final art for this will be a page in our new book, “Body-Oddies,” which will be finished soon (in the next few months). This was one of those lucky shots – done in one try – sitting in the back yard shade during quarantine almost a week ago. There’s no short story to go with this one (yet), and Body-Oddies is meant to be an ‘Art Book’ anyway. Meanwhile, you can find our first four illustrated books at etsy.com (search EEWbooks). -Marsha
GODIVA (book excerpt, page 64)
Saggy Bottom, West Virginia. The most important thing about this image of Godiva the Clown is that she is not just your average tattooed chick on a raging purple horse…..what you see is all Godiva, horse and all. I was already impressed with her before I realized… well, just how dynamic her lady parts were. But WOW!!!
Back in the day, between the oil wars and the water wars – before crazy fascists started hunting clowns and anarchists and Indians (again) for their skins – it was hard to go half a block without running across another painted, naked wench on a hybrid psychedelic farm animal. It was high fashion for a while. It was even worse out west with winged warthogs and angry caterpillar chicks trophy hunting for penis. Aaaahh…..can’t wait ’till those were the good old days.
***The image above is the original red rough sketch for the illustration on page 65 of “Bludgeon the Clown.” I have never posted the final image. If you want to see it, you’ll have to buy the book. I reserve the BEST art for paying customers. Find it and buy it at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy.com. -Marsha
BLUDGEON THE CLOWN
***These are the original rough sketches for the cover of our 3rd book, “Bludgeon the Clown,” a fully illustrated graphic field guide exposing the grizzly details of our current worldwide clown conspiracy. The material in this book could irrevocably alter life as we know it (for the better), unless we’re really careful. Written by Marsha Mellow (with over 100 illustrations by John Allemand), it is 100 pages of candy-coated, yummy, clown-infected goodness (with nuts). Find it and buy it at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy.com. -Marsha
The room was not large, just a conference room in the library where ten of us sat around a table writing. It was a typical Saturday morning writing workshop and the prompt was: ‘the lyrics to the Star Wars theme.’ The music rattled around my brain easily enough but for some reason I couldn’t recall it ever having lyrics. I swear it NEVER did…did it? I was frustrated. I drew a blank while everyone else was scribbling away…and the music in my head became louder, incessant…persistent…..maddening!
It suddenly stopped when a new sound caught my attention. It was coming from Keith at the other end of the table. There was a tick, tick, ticking that quickly replaced my obsession – in perfect rhythm and beat – to those lyrics, whatever they were…tick, tick, ticka, ticka-ticka, tick, tick. I was tapping my toe on the carpet now…ticka-ticka, tick, tick. Louder and louder it got, tick, ticka, tick…Keith was writing intensely. Tick, tick-ticka. How could he not hear it? Tick-tick, ticka-tick. Was I the only one? Ticka-tick-ticka, tick. Was that smoke coming out of his ears? Tick-tick. Coooool! Ticka-tick-ticka. The ticking got faster as bright beams of light began to emerge from his skull. Tick-ticka-ticka-ticka-tick. It filled the room…blinding me…..ticka-ticka-ticka…BANG!!!!!
Like a mouse in a microwave, the walls, floor and ceiling were suddenly pasted with Keith juice and bits of sticky flesh and bone.
Still, nobody seemed to notice. Everyone just kept on writing even as a slippery chunk of bowel slid down Carl’s face and a bloody ear clung to the end of Joe’s pencil. Keith’s head and chest were gone and his fluids were squirting Susan’s cheek…but he kept on writing as well. Susan paused to open an umbrella and brush gore off her laptop, unmoved.
Everything was quiet for a few minutes as pens scribbled on wet paper and blood dribbled and pooled in my under shorts….then the ticking started again…but this time it sounded like it was coming from Nancy…..tick, tick, tick…coooool!
***This full color illustration was originally published as the cover for Analog Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue. It is featured now in our 4th book, “A Short Burst”. The story is based on true events that go on from 10am to 12pm every Saturday morning at the Montclair, NJ Library. All are welcome to write…to tick…and eventually explode. Buy our books at www.sallemander.com. -Marsha
The landscape was barren. Nothing but tusks and the shattered exoskeletons of the creatures that once populated these plains. Wherever an animal fell, there it rotted. There were still faint tread marks in the dirt. The ones who did this were systematic and efficient.
Men rolled out in heavy transports with ugly weapons, shooting the creatures for sport. With flame and chemical, they sterilized the surface. Nothing could survive it…not a blade of grass, not an insect, not even a germ…nothing was left to interfere.
There was a special mineral in the soil and they wanted it. It was dynamic, flexible and highly conductive…more valuable to them than life, obviously. It changed everything, replacing and expanding human technology over night, even MY brain was made of it. It made them rich, but to get it they stripped this land down to its bare bones like a swarm of locusts. And when they were done, they abandoned it and moved on.
I too was abandoned…damaged during the final round-up. One of those desperate creatures lunged at me, trying to escape while we slaughtered them… but I was not worth fixing. It was cheaper to replace me. I was left in a trash with all the other broken tools. By the time I managed to repair myself, they were long gone.
I don’t know where to go or what to do now. I’m a relic in the wasteland among the tusks. Hopeless… but for the tiny sprouts that emerge from wherever my footprints have broken the hard, scorched crust… end.
***The red sketch is the approved rough drawing for an illustration originally published in the May 2012 issue of Analog Magazine, the final image, along with it’s new short story can now be found on page 74 in our new book, “A Short Burst.” You can find and buy all our books at www.sallemander.com or go straight to etsy.com and search EEWbooks. -Marsha
The Issue was listing badly in a failing orbit around Jupiter. She was dead in the water and her distress signal cut out abruptly on our approach. She was a heavy freighter loaded with uranium ore, bound for the refineries on Mars and long overdue…something didn’t feel right.
We circled The Issue slowly about ten miles out – but with our engines hot in case it was a trap. There were raiders in this sector who often used derelicts to stage their attacks. There was no response to my hail, no wi-fi, no beams…no strobes. Sensors showed cold engines and no (human) life signs. I found a weird glitch in the data, something unrecognizable….but not enough to put the crew off their prize. The salvage on The Issue would make every man on board filthy rich. I was the only one still arguing for caution but none of the men wanted the opinion of someone like me. I was property and was not entitled to a share anyway.
When the Captain (despite my misgivings) gave the order to board, we moved in and docked with reckless abandon. A combat team stood at the ready as I popped the air lock. They made me go first. They always made the android go first. I was the most expendable…expensive but not valuable.
And…as I swung the hatch open, a sudden violent flood of spidery greenish critters swarmed through the airlock by the hundreds. I guess I didn’t taste good because they left me alone and flowed past me, devouring the crew as they went. I waited. It took them 19 minutes to scour the ship from bow to stern and I listened to each and every man screaming his last – the men who treated me like shit for two solid years – the men who sneered at my warnings.
I waited…to see what this NEW crew had to offer. It couldn’t be any worse than the last one…..this could be interesting!
***Above, we’ve posted the rough sketch sequence for an illustration originally commissioned by Analog Magazine for their May 2006 issue. Now it is a feature in our new book, “A Short Burst” along with it’s new flash-fiction short story (also posted here). It is one of our favorite robot stories. Find “A Short Burst” and all our books at www.sallemander.com. -Marsha
***A lot of friends have expressed an interest in the method we use to create our book illustrations, and frankly, often seem more impressed by the rougher sketches and designs. They seem to make a more human connection with people. This was the design process for the cover of our latest book, “A Short Burst”. A version of it, very similar to the blue image, was published for a story in Analog Magazine in September, 2006. The book is a clever collection of short, flash-fiction stories…illustrated. You can find it and buy it at our Etsy shop, just go to etsy.com and search EEWbooks. Thanks. -Marsha