An Unnatural History of Trolls

An Unnatural History of Trolls

IMG_2833This is sort of a belated review, but John Lindow’s book Trolls: An Unnatural History is out now, and EVERYONE SHOULD BUY IT!!! Seriously, this book, while a solid overview of the topic from a leading scholar in the field of Norse mythology and Scandinavian Folklore, is super accessible (well, as much so as a book can be while still remaining academic in nature). John has always been very at home…

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In which fantasy fiction with characters of color is subjected to the “historical accuracy” test and comes out on top once again…

(fyi this is the author of The Throne of the Crescent Moon, which has been featured for Fiction Week previously)


Seeing as this has to do with Vikings, I suppose I’m morally obligated to reblog this—plus, in the pop-culture perception of the Vikings, people really tend to play-down the extensive contacts with the Muslim world (I mean, OK, there is 13th Warrior, but I think that’s kind of a complicated and still orientalizing portrayal of things…). Hm, and now that I think about it—Thomas DuBois has a great book on the multi-faith milieu of the Viking age North, in which he primarily covers the interrelationships of Norse, Saami, and Christian beliefs (emphasizing the fact that no culture lives in a vacuum)—can’t remember whether he mentions Islam at all, but it would be interesting to learn more about that. Apart from the issues with our own colonial/post-colonial context, I would imagine that the fact that the main texts we use to study Old Norse mythology were written in the West (Iceland), while it’s the Eastern Vikings from Sweden (the Rus in many sources) who would have had more contact with Islam… (and of course, let’s remember that the word “Viking” is technically not originally an ethnic marker).

(Source: everythingrhymeswithalcohol)


Asbyrgi (Vatnajokulsthjodgardur National Park, North Iceland)- According to legend, Sleipnir, the Norse god Odin’s eight-legged horse, put one of his hooves down as the god rode by creating the horseshoe-shaped canyon Asbyrgi.

I’ve been here—super beautiful! Though my pics are mostly of a particular moss covered rock that I thought was pretty incredible. 

(via guthbrand)





Professional or not, no matter what art style, I wanna see how many artists are out there.


Hi there!

I guess I am supposed to reblog this…

Last of the pen brush sketches from this weekend—there is a lot in here that is not as legible as I’d like (click through the pic to DeviantArt for more notes), but it was fun to do something a bit more thorough again.

Last of the pen brush sketches from this weekend—there is a lot in here that is not as legible as I’d like (click through the pic to DeviantArt for more notes), but it was fun to do something a bit more thorough again.

Moleskine Penbrush sketches. I’m out of practice (AGAIN), but a few of these I felt OK enough with to post. The thing is, I really ought to pencil a sketch first then ink it, but I like to just dive right in—unfortunately that often means most of them don’t work out, and the ones that do are really just sketches, nothing polished. That’s kinda fun though. 

The final sketch is more of a complete product, so I’ll post it separately. 


It’s just been announced that Tony Mitton has won this year’s CLPE poetry award for his tremendous book Wayland (the only UK prize for published poetry for children…sigh). I reviewed this title for Booktrust last year but can’t seem to locate the link. Here’s my review in full to celebrate Tony’s…

Well. I guess I am going to have to get this. As well as finally update and publish my old paper on the original Eddic poem…

Meanwhile, don’t forget my illustration of the story (also on DeviantArt and Elfwood). 





Reblog for a chance to win a free brush set!
Hello, Digital Artists - my sampler pack has now been updated in my main shop so that it is consistent with my Creative Market offering. This set contains 8 of my best brushes from my larger sets to give people a really good sampling of what my brushes can do. For only $4, you can have 8 powerful natural media brushes: pencil, inks, gouache, watercolor, and oils. These brushes have been changing the way over 8000 digital artists around the world draw and paint - join the crowd! 

Thanks for your support, and as always, I will select three random Tumblr users who reblog this post and award them a free set. 

And speakin of FREE, remember: I have three fantastic ‘pay what you want’ brushes in the shop right now - Pastel Palooza, Wet & Wild Watercolor, and Mr. Natural (a wonderful inking brush). Check them out!

Happy drawing and happy painting, everybody.

- Kyle

Kyle’s brushes are EXCELLENT ..I’ve been using an earlier set and I’m very pleased with them..I would buy these for sure.

I don’t usually reblog these types of things but Kyle’s brushes are incredible and I use them daily. Even if I don’t win them I’ll definitely be buying these!!

Gonna buy this later when I get home! Hope there’s internet! D: 

I seriously don’t follow enough blogs. I follow 29, I’m going to try make around 100 so reblog if you post the following:


Lord of the rings
Harry potter
That sort of thing..

I’m saying reblog bc then more people will see it.

Well, OK, guess I’ll reblog it…

(via guthbrand)

Some stuff about digital folklore from my other blog, plus a Norse-meme generated by the guy who runs the Norse Mythology blog. I thought I had this set up to post automatically to my tumblr too, but apparently not—so I’m reposting it manually!