About leemoyer

Lee Moyer creates original artwork, branding and design. His clientele includes: Film: 6 Laurel & Hardy classics, The Call of Cthulhu and Spiderman 2 Theater: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen King and Stephen Sondheim Music: Andre 3000, Tori Amos and John Mellencamp Book: Raymond Chandler, Iain Banks, and HP Lovecraft Web: BET, CareerBuilder and Paramount Pictures Game: Electronic Arts, Hasbro and Sony Education: McGraw-Hill, The National Zoo, and the Smithsonian Institution His work has been featured in Communication Arts, The Society of Illustrators, and the New York Times. www.leemoyer.com

Black Friday ~ Small God of False Profits

[image description: A massive serpent (so large that King Kong wouldn’t be big enough to fill its mouth. It looms over the city and coils around the Empire State Building creating – however briefly – the shape of a dollar sign. The top of the snake is gold, but its underbelly is ebon. Text reads, “151, BLACK FRIDAY ~ SMALL GOD: FALSE PROFITS”]

She slithers in through any opening she can find, so much smaller than she looks from the outside, so much larger than anyone wants her to be.  Her coils can constrict empires, her jaws encompass unions, and her venom can kill creatures so much larger than she is that it seems ridiculous.  What is the purpose of any single creature carrying so much potential to destroy?

Some say that she could slaughter gods, if she ever got it into her head to think there would be a benefit to her in the act, and so when she slides through heaven on her scaled belly, no one meets her eyes, and no one moves to attract her wrath, and no one lingers in her presence.

She must be very lonely, this serpent god of the unspent dollar and the unfinished deal.  She must yearn for the company of her kin.

But you wouldn’t know it to watch her moving through the world.  She thrives on the false belief that twenty dollars today is better than ten today and ten tomorrow, sparking the impossible belief that twenty today will mean twenty tomorrow, and not nothing tomorrow when every cent is spent, every dollar is divested.  She puffs herself up to seem threatening, and her faithful point and claim this proves that profit without end is possible, endless growth, endless expansion.

She will swallow the world, given room enough and time.

She will take both those things if no one intercedes.

But look: there’s a sale tomorrow.  And what beautiful things there are to buy, what wonders, what delights…

What a profit to be made.


Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Autarch Erect – The Smell Good of Auto’Correct

[image description: A cell phone – open to a texting app – sits on an inlaid wooden table. An impish red character with a floating crown and long pointing tail rests at the bottom of the screen. Above it, a conversation between someone and their Dad (visible in a circle at the top of the screen). Text reads, “Dad: Have you seen your Mom anywhere? Reply: she can’t hear the phone she’s in the grave. Dad: WHAT? Reply: garage. duck. Dad: Always with the swearing.” 148, AUTARCH ERECT ~ the smell good of AUTO’CORRECT’”]

                  Every time you send a message that paints you as a wild duck enthusiast, she is there.  (Unless, of course, you’re a birder, or an ornithologist, and then every time you send a coworker or casual associate a message that paints you as a wild sexual enthusiast, he is there.)

                  Every time you misspell your own name, the name of a lover, the name of a dear friend, they are with you.  Ze is in every word, every syllable, every utterance, studying and dissecting, looking for the word you were most likely to have meant and discarding it.

                  Hey, Dom, are you coming to thinner tonight?  We’re having naked potatoes and barbequed rakes.

                  The only reason we haven’t collectively declared the need for an exorcism is that ze’s not a malicious god.  If anything, Autarch is a trickster god, dedicated to keeping us from taking ourselves too seriously through whatever means necessary, twisting our own words into parodies of themselves, making palindromes of poetry and poetry of palindromes.  How can we not laugh, when they are with us?  How can we not accept the glorious escape from accountability that ze provides?

                  How can we trust our own words in any context, when hey fight lave tin reformed while we weren’t paying attention?

                  Some gods are more trouble than they’re worth.


Artist Lee Moyer (The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, Starstruck) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Simon, The Small God of Hairdos

[image description: A blue-eyed blonde in a scoop-neck black shirt, leather jacket, and blue tiger-eye necklace on a silver chain stands in front of a chart of classic hair/wig styles – many of which are named ‘Bob’. Text reads, “131, Simon ~ The Small God of Hairdos”]

​She will help you find your better self.

​Beauty is only skin deep, but hair is a form of art, and she is Michelangelo, she is DaVinci and O’Keefe and Franzetta.  She sits at the intersection of sculpture and painting and fabric art, spinning her transitory wonders, and as long as you think you look perfect, she knows that you are.  She knows that for all of us, looking into the mirror and seeing what we expect to see can be the most powerful sacrament in a universe filled with benedictions.

​She is in the bleach and the blow-dry, in the shampoo and the set, and she attends most open-casket funerals, to make sure that even on our way out of this world and into the next, we aren’t ashamed to be seen.  All she asks is that we find a way to be ourselves, that we breathe in deep of the setting chemicals and the salon air, sweet with chemical processes and bright with overhead lighting, and consider who we most desire to be.

​Hair is forever transitory.  Hair can change, and no style is inherently forever.  So wear it the way that makes you happiest, and know that you do so with Simon’s blessing.  She has changed before.  She will change again.  To live is to change, in ways both large and small.  Hair keeps growing, no matter how perfectly it may be styled in the moment, and she wants you to grow.  Even if you grow away from her, she wants you to grow.

​She takes coffee with Tesla Jefferson at least twice a week.  She spends her evenings looking over swatches with Polly Chrome.  And she is happy.  Never let anyone tell you otherwise.  Simon is a happy god, and she wants that same joy for you, whatever it costs.

​Whatever it takes.

Just trust your stylist.

………………….

Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire  (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you  icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from  the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Aestha Titian, Small God of Graven Images

[image description: A serious Black woman in a crimson cape (over a white shirt, crimson skirt, dark grey jacket, and red tie) holds the gold image-border in her left hand, and gestures over her shoulder with her right. Visible behind her, sculptures of ’No Escape’ Claus, Splunge, Elvis Parsley, Über Allium, Eschercargo, Galloping Gertie, Hedjet, and Beyoncé. Text reads, “130, Aestha Titian ~ Small God of Graven Images”]

Some people say that she shouldn’t be a god at all.

Some people say that she’s a demigod at best, and much more probably a muse of some sort, divine, yes, but not worthy of the admirations of godhood.

Aestha knows better.  She inspires nothing.  Her gifts are more prosaic ones.  Her faithful are by nature polytheistic: they go to other gods for inspiration, dally with demigods, marry muses.  They find their creations in other hands, and then they come to her with heads full of images and hands full of needing, and no idea how to put the two together.

She is a historian, of sorts, for in her name, sculptors call forth deities, pin them down in substance so that they may be seen and understood and yes, remembered.  Her hand guides the brush of our faithful illuminator, allowing him to set the images of her fellows—and even herself—down in line and color.  She stands with sculptors, shapes the clay of potters, even guides the needles in the hands of felt artists.  As long as the end result is an image of one of her kin and kind, her hand is there, and her need for worship is appeased.

Among all the gods of the arts, she is one of the least known, and the least appreciated.  The artist provides the talent and skill: neither of them come from her.  The gods themselves provide the inspiration: that is not her doing.  What she brings is the motivation to combine the two in the correct order, the ability to stand the completed work before the world and say “look, see?  This is my creation, behold.”

We are reasonably sure that our illuminator is her most loyal follower remaining in the modern world, outside of the eight dozen people doing illustrated retellings of Hades of Persephone.  But those are large gods, and large gods have less need of loyalty than the smaller kind.

The gods love her.  Her faithful loves her.  And for her, focused as she is upon the next statue for her garden, that has always been enough.

Medusa does not love her.

But that is a story for another scripture.


Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

No-Escape Claus, Small God of the Polar Vortex

[image description: A polar bear rides atop a whirling snow-filled whirlwind. Text reads, “129, ’No-Escape’ Claus, Small God of the Polar Vortex”]                 

Why are there so many divine polar bears?

I mean, really, that seems like the sort of question we ought to be asking.  After all, these hypercarnivorous predators (a real thing—when a creature eats 70% or more animal protein, it’s considered hypercarnivorous rather than just the normal level of carnivorous, and see if that helps you sleep at night) can run up to twenty-five miles per hour, and have a bite force of 1,200 pounds per square inch.  The human skull can be crushed by as little as 520 pounds per square inch.  So it would make sense for humans to fear polar bears, not to deify them.  And yet they keep showing up again and again, predators of the pantheon, stalking their prey from one side of the celestial line to the other.

Which is, quite frankly, bullshit.  We don’t need this many super-predators running around with divine powers!  It’s unsafe, and probably bad for some kind of heavenly ecosystem!  I don’t know!  I’m just the historian!  I’m just—

Right, sir.  Of course, sir.  Please don’t eat me, sir.

No Escape Claus is not as new a god as he might seem, having once driven ice ages across the world, devouring microclimes and driving entire species to extinction.  He grows in power once again, thanks to Anthropocene climate change and the furious ghosts of thousands of slaughtered polar bears hungry for revenge.  They come to take back what was always theirs, what should never have been taken away, and they have little mercy in their hearts.

When a cold wind blows out of season, remember that we put the guns into the hands of poachers, we put the lie of manifest destiny into the hearts of explorers, and we loosed them upon a world that had been doing perfectly fine before they came along.

The phantom polar bears come only to reclaim what’s theirs.

And they have the backing of a god.


Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire  (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you  icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from  the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Eva Distraction – Small God of Hiding Behind Glasses

[image description: A thin green-shaded figure stands in a black tee shirt and jeans, adjusting their big round black-rimmed, rose-colored eyeglasses with their right hand (showing their painted red nails). Behind them, a stand of roseate deciduous trees. Text reads, “128, Eva Distraction ~ Small God of Hiding Behind Glasses”]

People assume that Eva is shy.  Eva isn’t shy.  Eva just wants to see the world without distortions or distractions.  When glasses get dirty, they can be wiped clean.  Eyes are more difficult.  Smudges on the eye tend to linger, tend to harden into schema and stereotype, and Eva doesn’t have time for that sort of bullshit.  Ze has places to go, things to do, and very little patience for the assumed.

Ze sees the world clearly, from behind a comfortable screen of shaped and polished glass, and ze likes it that way.

Eva stands with the shy, the ones who need something to hide behind in the literal sense, the faithful who desire to be obscured, to disappear, to be seen as an accessory and not as an entire person in their own right. Ze will help them vanish as much as they need to, and when zir works are not enough to make that possible, ze will try to find another way.  Eva is nothing if not forever merciful.

Eva stands with the smug, the ones who seek to cultivate an air of mystery or superiority, whether they watch the world from behind corrective lenses or on the other side of a screen of artificial darkness, and if they sometimes look a little smug, a little silly, well, Eva does zir best not to judge them.  Mortality is complicated in ways divinity will never be, and ze understands that the temporary may need to feel superior to their fellows from time to time.  They’ll find out soon enough that reality looks like with the screens stripped away, and then they can try to cope with the sight of it without their glasses.  Eva will shelter them until that day comes.

Ze cares for all zir faithful, and when they lose their glasses, ze is there with a prayer to St. Velma that their vision may clear and their shields be restored while there’s still time.

Time is always shorter than it seems.


Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Eschercargo: Small God of Deconstructivism

[image description: A snail so gigantic that it breaks the golden card border, its shell is a strange geometry of curvilinear aluminum. Text reads, “73, ESCHERCARGO, THE SMALL GOD OF DECONSTRUCTIVISM”]

He did not come formally and fully into being until the 1980s, when he manifested first as an architectural style and then—after he was recognized and accepted as an independent entity—as a snail the size of a skyscraper, which seemed like a perfectly logical thing for a semiotic process codified by a French philosopher to become.  No one has ever asked Eschercargo what he thinks.  Even his faithful find it difficult to communicate with their god directly, finding his thought patterns and ideas difficult to follow, as they tend to break into shapes that the human mind has trouble comprehending.  They can worship him.  They can emulate him.  They can never truly understand him.

And that’s okay.  When you worship a snail who is also a city who is also a semiotic concept, understanding is somewhat secondary to the whole enterprise.

But we are the omniscient third.  This tense was chosen for a reason, and we can provide you with something no one else has ever possessed: a glimpse into the inner workings of Eschercargo, the massive small god of deconstructivism.  And what he is thinking right now, as he is thinking at almost all times, because he is, after all, a snail, is how much he would like to find a strawberry the size of a mountain.

All he does is to move him closer to the sweetness of the strawberry.  He oozes toward that bright ideal an inch at a time, and when he finds it, he will devour it, sucking it into his toothless maw and scraping it with his hard inner mandibles.  This is the dream of a god.  This is his deepest desire.  All your worship, all your prayers, cannot compare to the strawberry.

The strawberry is bliss.


Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.

Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

A Wind in the Door

WindIntheDoor

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

Young Charles Wallace calls the alien intelligence Proginoskes “A drive of dragons.”

Progo once learned the name of every star, but now comes to help Charles and Meg.

Meg is no angelic alien. But in this terrible time of need, she must learn to care for everyone.

Deep compassion is the only answer to the Echthroi who wish to unname all of creation.

Month of Love: Blindness

MEDUSATIRESIUS

I tell a tale of ancient days – a Tale of Love and Blindness.

Once there lived in Athens a young woman. Her parents had named her Medusa, and one evening, alone in Athena’s Temple, she met a God.
By ill fortune, the God that found Medusa was not Athena. Rather, it was Athena’s rival – Poseidon.

Poseidon looked down upon the maiden and smiled his dark smile. He found Medusa beautiful. She was beautiful.
But she was also devout – and unwilling to give herself to him no matter the practiced flattery that flowed like the water from his black beard.

To Poseidon – or indeed any Olympian – the unwillingness of women was scarce an inconvenience. It was almost expected. And it was easily dealt with.
And after Poseidon had despoiled Medusa – and the temple of his ancient enemy – he returned to the dark sea, leaving Medusa where he had found her.
Naked, broken, and bleeding.

Medusa wailed and cried – until no more sound would come.
And then, in the dark of the moon, she heard the wings of an owl.
At last she saw her God, and she hoped. For justice. For kindness. For mercy.

But Athena was angry.
“You have lain with Poseidon. You have desecrated this – the most holy temple of this great city – MY temple.”

Medusa – in ragged whispers – sought to explain, but Athena would hear nothing.
“You are a monster, and so you shall bear a crown of serpents. Never will anyone gaze upon you – be they mortal or God – else they become as stone. Now, be gone!”
And with that, Medusa was gone. Banished to the far reaches of the country.

This is a story that you have heard, yes?

Have you heard also of Tiresias? The seer born to the shepherd Everes on the nymph Chariclo – favoured of Athena?
At some times a woman, oft times a man? But here, my tale charges ahead of itself….

As a youth, Tiresias, while visiting their most fair and felicitous mother, chanced upon Athena.
Such chance might be counted as a blessing, but to see Athena bathing… this was no blessing at all.
No man may see the Goddess in her totality. Nor woman either.
Athena blinded Tiresias at once.

But the nymph Chariclo spoke to Athena as only a true friend and companion might.
Athena would not undo what she had done, but she granted unto Tiresias the Great Staff and the language of the birds – the foretelling.

With staff in hand, and birdsong in his ears, blind Tiresius walked with slowness and care back through the fields of Thebes.
Tiresias walked alone guided by birdsong, until all sound had gone.
It was then Tiresius heard great wings, but no song to attend them.
Tiresius leant on his staff, listening to the wings until at last the beating of wings was stilled.
Then, a voice – as beautiful as its question was strange.

“Can you not see me?” the voice asked.

“No. I can none” Tiresius replied.

“Do you not fear that which you cannot see?” the voice asked.

“Not at all. I have been given sight of the future, and would know if you were fiend or monster. You are not a woman to be feared, despite your wings. You are beauty itself. And power. And a sort of kindness finds itself also in you.” Tiresias replied.

“Athena has made of me a monster. None may look upon me and live,” the voice said.

“Then I shall not look upon you at all. And I will judge what is monster and what is beauty,” Tiresias said.

“My crown is of serpents made” the voice said.

“My staff is darkest cherrywood. Do you adjudge it different from the bright cypress? Lesser is it or greater?” Tiresias asked.

When Medusa made no answer, Tiresias said, “Beauty, will you walk with me for a time?”

Have you heard this story too?
How two kind, passionate, and accursed youths came to love one another?
Despite the Gods above them, yet because of those same Gods too?
How Medusa, in time, birthed Tiresias’ most beautiful daughter, Manto?

How then Medusa was slain, and in death birthed Tiresias’ son Chrysaor, and the winged Pegasus too?
How Zeus and Hera later submitted themselves into Tiresias’ judgement?
How Tiresias lived the span of seven lives – always in the memory of Medusa’s love.

Like many, it is a strange tale. And a sad one.
But I think a glad one also.

There may be something important in it.
Something to remember.
I think so.
But then, I am a monster.