Ellejohara drew it at my urging. She rules.
In other news, Opium rejected me again. They liked the piece I sent, but it wasn't quite right for the issue I sent it for, which is what they've said every other time I've submitted there. Frankly, I'm not sure what is right for them. But the beat goes on. The really frustrating part of this business is determining where you can publish and, once you've got some credits to your name, finding your audience/niche. I guess that's why people with the money hire publicists.
Meanwhile, I'm still struggling with writing from character. I've probably mentioned the tendency for genre writers to start from setting or concept and pour all their creative energies into that, which is fine, but it often leads to their awesome worlds being populated by stock characters. Which is fine too, but my ambitions extend beyond that, so I decided to play with some stock concepts a little bit in a piece I'm working on now, in which every main character is based on a Chinese astrological archetype - the ox, the rat, etc. I've had the concepts for some weird, absurd craftsmen swimming around in my brain for a while now, but I couldn't think of how to tie them to the page without being overly cartoonish. Blending those rough mental sketches with the Chinese astrology idea has borne fruit, and might be the answer I was looking for. I'm often hesitant about fully committing my weirder ideas to the page, which is a topic I'll dig into next time, but I should really learn not to be.