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Hiatus until June

May 18, 2012

Hey guys, sorry for this! The last unit of my first year of med school is wrapping up, and I've got exams the next two weeks, and then I'm out of town, so a new page will be up when I get back from that. Whatever the second Monday of June is. Didn't mean to leave you hanging. Have had my free time taken up lately, admittedly by something more enjoyable than gluing my face to photoshop for a good 8 hours. But I'll be back, no worries!

No update this week

May 7, 2012

Sorry, was slammed with a huge exam and a presentation last week, had NO time to work on a new page. I'll make next week's count, promise.

Your assistance is requested

April 30, 2012

EDIT: New update on Cristina Penescu! She has sent me a picture of the piece in progress, we can all stop the internet drama now. If you wish, can you now switch the focus to once again telling her how great of an artist she is.

EDIT (Monday, 5:45pm EST): I have received a reply from Cristina. Please do not email her for the next 12 hours. We're trying the more-civil route first. EDIT, she has still sent me nothing. No proof of even having started on this commission. If you would like to email her again on my behalf, please do.

Thank you all for your help so far, I appreciate everyone being very polite about this. It is not my intent to threaten/scare her, just to get what I paid for, or a refund. You can see our email exchange on my tumblr. Also, I only agreed to ask you to stop the emails, please feel free to continue spreading the word on twitter, facebook, tumblr and especially DevART.

Dear What it Takes/War of Winds readers:

Last July, I came across this wonderful and super-talented artist on DevART, Cristina Penescu. She is a scratchboard artist. Cristina was offering a special deal on 5x7 scratchboards for $180. I had always wanted to get some art done of my faithful shuskamute Indy, and so I put $100 down, with the understanding the other $80 would be paid when the work was complete and ready for shipment.

Cristina has since not responded to a single email, note, or comment on her DevART. It has been 10 months. In fact, a very kind person on DA contacted ME to let me know she is somewhat known for taking money and never doing any work.

Well fuck that. For someone in my position to put $100 down when that represents the ENTIRE FOOD BUDGET for a month...that's a big deal. And as an artist who does commissions, I'm super pissed off. This woman has basically stolen my money. Paypal can't refund it (been too long), and DA is not the Commission Police.

I likely will never get my money back. I've accepted that. I have been patient. I have tried contacting her through many different ways. If anyone today is bored, angry, frustrated, or just wants to be a dick on someone else's behalf, I welcome you to join me in Operation: Biznatch. Here is how you can assist:

Got a DA account? Here is Cristina's. Please let her know that Kez wants her money back. Feel free to post my site and my paypal email address:

How about HER email? EDIT, removed, see top edit on this post.

Here is her personal site. AND IT HAS A CONTACT FORM, LOOKIT THAT.

Please no hate-speech (don't slam people for their gender, or come to other conclusions about them when you've never met them, that's just douchey), try to keep the swearing to a minimum, don't send viruses/spam attacks/etc. I just want my money back. I don't want anyone else here getting banned or reported for abuse on my behalf.

Don't know what to send? Try this: "I'm sending you this message on behalf of Karen "KEZ" Howard, a student out of Syracuse who commissioned you for a 5x7 scratchboard on July 6, 2011. You have accepted her money and have since refused to answer any messages regarding the status of this commission. At this point, you are a thief. Kez wants a refund. Check your inbox for her multiple emails. These messages will stop when the money has been returned."

Since she has in fact responded to my emails, but now wants to buy more time AND is still refusing to send a refund, here's the new message:

"Iím sending you this message on behalf of Karen "KEZ" Howard, a student out of Syracuse who commissioned you for a 5x7 scratchboard on July 6, 2011. You have accepted her money and have since refused deliver a refund or even a picture of the work in progress. At this point, you are a thief. She wants a refund or the piece completed. Check your email. These messages will stop when you deliver either."

Have any other ideas? Let me know.


: So she's sent a reply to at least ONE person who has emailed on my behalf saying that she has tried to contact me, but her emails have bounced back. As much as I would loooove to believe that, I just can't, unless she is entirely ignoring her DevART account. Which I don't believe because she updates it every few weeks. And I have left a comment even asking "so should I send you the REST of the money" without any kind of reply (February 2012). See it here. I sent her a private note asking for an update on Nov 11, 2011, again with no reply.

Furthermore, I received this note on DevART about her (ID info taken out):

"Hi, sorry to bother you but I saw your comment on Cristina's page about a scratchboard. I would be VERY wary of commissioning her as she is a known scam artist, and has claimed thousands of dollars on artwork she never delivered. There are articles about her here: [link] & [link]

She has nice art, but her business practices are shocking, not to mention her careless attitude towards commissioners. This is just a courtesy note, of course it's up to you whether you commission her, but I thought I should warn you.

You may even know all this already. If so, then again, sorry to bother you."

I may not be a big time artist. I may not have connections or money or friends in high places. But I do have an artist's indignation at being taken advantage of, and I have you lovely readers to spread this news all over the internet.

Chapter 9 - Still Alive 3 - Page 13

April 30, 2012

No new page as an incentive today, but you can vote to see a progression of the second panel using myself as a photo reference.

This is my favorite page of the chapter so far. Used a photo reference for every panel. I think it really helps the body language even if most of it talking heads.

And I just ADORE how Rennin came out. (You remember him? U'hano and Li'aylo were making fun of him wearing shoes a few pages back.) His expression just came out so very...sneeringly. As that was one expression I had to take about 5 pictures of myself to get right. The overlay on my own face is pretty disturbing, haha!

SpiderForest is taking a week off from our Comic of the Week feature, but since I only managed to half-ass my recommendation of Chirault 2 weeks ago due to travel/stress, I figured I'd just let you all know about that comic again. Chirault!

Chirault is the story of Kiran, a demon hunter who is a demon himself. He is accompanied by the hyper, lovable Teeko, a young girl-demon who was accidentally shrunken to tiny-tiny size. Kiran is the only demon who is also a demon hunter, and he has to put up with idiots who distrust him while at the same time not being killed by the forces he hunts. He's a nice guy! Just 'cause he's got a crown of horns and goes insane around certain magic doesn't make him a bad guy! Check it out, I've been a fan for quite awhile now.

And lastly, I got one last piece of awesome fan art/birthday art from Mark! Watch your step!

Thanks Mark! <3