Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ninja Mountain Episode #25 - Three Way Split.

Its a big one this week as three seperate Ninja Teams assemble to deliver a triple whammy in a joyously confused magazine format. First up we have Anne Stokes and Socar Myles discussing the topic of being an awesome female fantasy artist in what can appear at a glance to be a male dominated world.

Next up its convention talk with Patrick McEvoy, Ralph Horsley and Jeremy McHugh - get the fat ole skinny on what to do at your next convention attendance! Whether selling prints or selling your soul to every art director you can lay hands on, this crack team discuss it all.

Lastly Andy Hepworth, Ralph Horsley and Jon Hodgson discuss the work and influence of truly awesome historical and fantasy artist Angus MacBride.

Subscribe on iTunes for free!

Show Notes:

Angus McBride:
Moar McBride:
McBride's work in Look and Learn:
Characters of Middle Earth on (which we only recommend when a book is waaaaaaay out of print):

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that since this is the first time I've been let loose in the itunes/feedburner control room on NM I probably did something wrong in making the show work. So bear with us if the magic doesn't happen first time. --Jon

Update - Holy cow, it would appear to have worked! Who would have thought it possible?


Unknown said...

I thought it was possible, well done Jon!!!!.. but Patrick is still my favourite! :P

Jon Hodgson said...

Patrick is like that lump of black stuff that comes out of the grill/microwave at the end of Time Bandits.

Unknown said...

Don't touch Patrick! It's EEEEVILL!!

Great work, Jon! Downloading right now. I'm glad I was able to make a short segment this week rather than missing out entirely, and VERY glad you were able to do the editing chores and uploading. I always knew you were destined for great things!

Jan said...

A great episode!
I'm especially grateful for the segment about Angus McBride.

It's obvious the three of you really like his work. I was thinking about something I could add - why I admire him so much and what I'm trying to learn from his paintings. And I couldn't think of anything important - you guys said it all so well.
Thank you!

(It's copletely irrelevant, but my two favourite pieces lately are from the Barbarians book. "Goths and Sarmatian" and "Magyars burn German fort". Both are quite unusually dark and have a great deal of the storytelling element.)

Jan said...

Oh, I forgot - I'm really looking forward to that MiddleEarth project Jon is working on!

Jon, can you say when it might be released? (or rather estimate)

Jon Hodgson said...

I'm afraid I can't say nothing at all about it, but I am looking into the precise details of what I can't say, and when!

Glad you liked the McBride segment Jan. His work has been amazingly influential for me.

Patrick - it is really quite astounding how I managed to make a blogger post, which automatically submitted the episode to iTunes. It took some talent! :) I have to confess I'm completely lost as to how that all works. Its like living in the future!

Cacodaemonia said...

Very enjoyable episode! As soon as I saw that Jon had posted it, I downloaded it to iTunes, opened Painter, and got to work. :)

It was interesting to hear Anne and Socar's perspectives. I've had the same experience of being mistaken for a man online.

The convention segment was also great, and has solidified my resolve to go to a couple cons next year. I really hadn't known that there were so many opportunities to talk to art directors and get your work reviewed, so I'll have to take advantage of that in the future!

I agree with Jan in regards to the Angus McBride segment - just awesome! I remember my parents having one of his books when I was little, though I'm not sure which one. All I know is that it had a number of the Middle Earth illustrations in it. I used to leaf through that book all the time, long before I even knew who Tolkien was.


Cacodaemonia said...

Oh, and I completely forgot to mention something I thought of today when I saw Anne's newest (and absurdly adorable!) submission to deviantArt. Obviously a podcast is not a visual medium, but have any of you thought of doing videos of your process, or even something like Patrick's WIP shots of one of his older Cthulhu paintings? I'd love to see more of your processes. :)

MuYoung Kim said...

They say that all good things must end...obviously, "they" never heard the Ninja's!

Great 'cast as always. The three segment format was a nice change of pace, and it always amazes me how much you [insert gender neutral pronoun] can fit in an hour!

By the by, I was wondering if maybe it would be fun if us wanna-be Ninjas and any Comic Con going Ninja's (i.e. Patrick) could do a little get together at the Con? Granted, hanging out with us lot might be considered, by some, their personal versions of hell, but what the hey!?!

Ninja Mountain said...

Cacodaemonia--It so happens that I am now producing a WIP series of articles on my blog featuring my work on the Art Order cover competition.
I figured it would be a good opportunity to post articles about my process.
Head over to
if you would like to have a look. :)

Ninja Mountain said...

That's a good idea Mu Young - though it's usually tough to get a bunch of people in once place at a con the size of SDCC... :)

Would anyone else be up for meeting? Who's going there this year?


Cacodaemonia said...

Thanks, Jeremy! I'll check that out. :)

Caroline H. said...

I have a question for the 'cast, but I can't figure out how to skype you or to email the podcast as a whole...
Info plz!

Ninja Mountain said...

Hey Caroline,
Jon accepts skype voice messages. His account is "jon.hodgson"

Questions can also be left here in the comment section of the blog.
Alternatively, you can also send an email question my way at or to any of us for that matter through our various websites. :)
Hope that helps!

Jaybird said...

Another great episode, Ninjas! Actually, I daresay this has been my favorite one in a while. All three segments were intelligent and entertaining.

The section on Macbride was particularly fun to listen to, as I've been a fan of his since the MERP days as well. A friend of mine is a big fan of pirates, and I was pleasantly surprised a few years ago to see some Macbride color plates while flipping through one of his books. Of course, he thought I was a total nerd for getting so excited about it. Now that I've looked it up on Amazon, it says quite cleary "Angus Macbride" on the cover, but I don't know if that was the case with my friend's hard cover. At any rate, it was a nice surprise.

Jon, it seems to me that portions that you (Jon) produce tend to be recorded at a lower level than the usual weekly fare. Yesterday, I was catching up with the last half of #24 on my iPod. After it concluded, the playlist automatically queued up #25 and I had to crank the volume up a few more notches. Not that it's a huge thing, I was just wondering if it is a matter of your personal preference to keep things more sedate? You are the mix-mastah after all! Or maybe it's just that damned metric system! Either way, good job on the editing and posting!

Finally, I totally missed the digital recorder pledge drive until you mentioned it in #25. Sorry to be late to the game (Patrick said he's already ordered a recorder), but I dropped a few bucks in the tip jar anyway. Buy yourselves some nice paintin' suits.

Caroline H. said...

That is helpful, thanks Jeremy! Expect a vm in a few min.

Eric Lofgren said...

Brill stuff as always, gang! Each segment was full of awesome news, incites and entertainments. Anne and Socar, that was some sobering stuff about how sexist, whether intentional or not, things can be. And hearing the others talk about McBride (whom I regret I only recently discovered) was a joy. Nothing like a good shot of nostalgia now and again. And if retrospectives become more common in the podcast please do count me in for one on Frazetta (RIP Ellie). In fact I demand it! :)

Anyway, Bravo!

Eric Lofgren

Ninja Mountain said...

Fanks, Eric. Yes, a Frazetta retrospective would be quite the bit of fun, wouldn't it?


Anonymous said...

Sobering, really? I thought Anne and I gave a fairly positive comment, overall, on our experiences with sexism (that is to say, we didn't have any truly egregious stories to report). I think the worst I could say is that there may be some behind-the-scenes sexism that, of course, I wouldn't be privy to, and couldn't possibly comment on.

Most of the direct sexism I've noticed has been oblivious, not intentional. Condescension that doesn't recognise itself for what it is. (Not saying ignorance is an excuse, but it's certainly better than malice!)

I tend to be of the mind that if no harm or offence was intended, it's not worth my while to take any.

riq said...

Great Episode!

Eric Lofgren said...

Socar, I guess my point is is that it's still jarring to realize that the divisions in class that sexism fosters is an issue that still has enough heft to warrant airtime, even in the 21st cetury. Whether innocent or not. I do hope your experiences and Anne's are more the norm than not.

Nicole Cardiff said...

Patrick, I'll be there Saturday and Sunday morning - I'll try and drop by Archaia or something and say hi.

Ninja Mountain said...

Cool! The current plan is for me to be at the Archaia booth on Saturday from 12 - 2pm, 3 - 4 and 5 - 7. See you there! :)

Cacodaemonia said...

Hey all. Have any of you checked out It's a neat site where artists can post their old and new work side by side, to show how they've progressed over the years. I was catching up on the site this morning, and saw amazing comparisons of Izzy Medrano's (ariokh on dA) work:

It got me thinking that you Ninjas should give it a shot if you have the time. I would LOVE to see some of your awful stuff from when you were young and impressionable. ;)

Ninja Mountain said...

If you wanna see a real stinker of an illustration from my sordid past, I am willing to post one right here.
It would be handy to have a bucket close by...

The funny thing is that this is not even my earliest stuff ( much of my earlier work was far better than this). I think I just had a REAL bad day. LOL

Cacodaemonia said...

Haha, what's up with the main guy's hand? And the giant table (bench?)? Thanks for sharing, Jeremy, and if you want to see some of my awful(er) old stuff, click away:

Anonymous said...

I wish I could find some of my REALLY old stuff--it was truly, irredeemably AWFUL. I'll check my computer later, and see if I can come up with anything pre-1999, but for now, here are some examples of moderate to severe lameness:

From 1999:

From 2000:

From 2001:

At one point, I totally thought these were AWESOME.

Jan said...

:D I love how Socar has a folder named "rubbish"! :D And also how the pictures in it aren't horrible at all.

Cacodaemonia said...

Haha, yeah, I need to make a "rubbish" folder for myself. ;)

Jan said...

Jon mentioned that Angus McBride tried to paint characters that would have the "ancient people" look.

It's interesting that period portraits (from 100 AD in this case) look a lot like characters in McBride's paintings:

Egyptian Mummy Portraits

(stolen from James Gurney's blog)

Another example could be the famous Alexander mosaic.