This nail art is six levels of meta. It’s a riff on the biblical Ten Plagues of Egypt, only updated with “modern” plagues. Some of them, like, anti-vaxxers and gun violence, are sound choices; others, like NFL scandals, are a bit more…niche. (I do like the hazmat suit and the drippy blood, though.)
This made me wonder if nail art featuring the original Ten Plagues was a thing, and of COURSE it is. The same business responsible for the Modern Plagues nails, Midrash Manicures, actually sells decals depicting cow skulls, googly-eyed flies, and phlegmatic-looking frogs. A quick google also turns up some neat freehand versions like this one at 10 Blank Canvases and these (found at Marjorie Ingall).
Incidentally, Midrash Manicures has done different “modern plagues” for the past few years; you can see the whole collection here. I’m not sure why iPhones qualify as a plague, but whatever.
Passover begins April 3 and Easter is on April 5, so there’s still time to paint your nails with cutesy little reminders of divine horrors.
Canis Mortuus Familiaris – Artist Jeremy Dower has a series of illustrations featuring ghostly, monstrous dogs. There are ostensibly more at his site, but since it’s all Flash-based it can’t be linked to directly.
Bailey Henderson – Sculptor of an ongoing series depicting fantastical creatures like a cockatrice and a rather adorably porky tusked seal. I also like her Octopus Lady illustration; it’s not everyone who can look so serene with a cephalopod perched on their head.
H.P. Lovecat – “Because there exists no method known to man, more terribly suited to expose the cosmic meaningless of existence than pairing the words of H.P. Lovecraft with seemingly delightful and charming pictures of adorable kittens.”
Russian Fairy Tales – Artist Uldus Bakhtiozina takes photos of vignettes based on Russian fairy tales. Some of these would be amazing cosplay ideas.
Nihilist Arby’s – Arby’s is a U.S. fast-food chain (although they also have locations in Canada, Turkey, and Qatar; the hell?), but this amusing Twitter feed could just as easily apply to the fast-food restaurant of your choice.
Zombie Bear – You know how I know that the whole “zombie” thing has jumped the dead, decaying, yet-horribly-reanimated-by-eldritch-forces shark? It isn’t Death Troopers. It isn’t the Nerf zombie-fighting gear. It’s this zombie teddy bear that you’re supposed to give as a token of your affection. Would somebody please shoot the zombie craze in the head, double-tap just to make sure, and then bring back vampires? Please?
David F. Sandberg makes amazing short horror films. I mentioned his short Lights Out – Who’s There a while back, but didn’t realize it was the second film in a loose “series” featuring a woman who really, really needs to move out of that apartment. The first in the series was Cam Closer, then Lights Out, after which came Pictured, Coffer, and the latest is Attic Panic, below.
Also be sure to check out his ultra-short See You Soon, in which he manages to scare the crap out of you in a mere 14 seconds.
Watching Sandberg’s stuff alone is a very, very bad idea.
Designer Mitch Barchi created this attractive Adventurer’s Kit for quick, portable roleplaying:
My goal was to create a portable kit that anyone could pickup and play a quick, or introductory, roleplaying session with little to no prep time. I created a simple overland map illustration for the lid using the Art Institute of Seattle’s lasercutter. I also included a standard set of polyhedral dice since they are used in many roleplaying systems. Many roleplaying systems also use miniatures, I wanted to include some basic minis for the players. The miniatures featured in these sets are vintage unpainted Heroscape monsters. Also provided is a Moleskine notebook with gridded paper if the player or game master want to map a dungeon or take notes. Each kit also includes a pamphlet for the excellent hack and slash World of Dungeons RPG system.
There are a couple of photos of the interior on Barachi’s site; the dice and miniatures are kept neatly in place with a foam insert. He doesn’t give any dimensions for the box, but assuming that the pencil inside is a standard-size #2, it’s probably about 10″ (25cm) square.
This would be a fun project to make as a gift for a tabletop gamer. You can find unfinished wooden boxes at craft stores or online; a flat cigar box like this one would work pretty well, but if you’re making a D&D-themed kit you may as well go a step further and use a treasure chest.
If you don’t have access to a laser cutter, a color printout of a map or other artwork could be decoupaged to the top. It’d also be possible to decorate the exterior with glued-on jewels or other decorations, but if the kit is intended to be portable you’d want to be careful to use flattish, sturdy elements that wouldn’t be chipped or dislodged by knocking about. Alternately, the wood could simply be stained or painted.
Foam padding for the interior is available at craft stores, but the dice and miniatures could also be put in little fabric bags to keep them from rolling around.
The notebook with gridded paper could also be themed; this “Smaug’s Scribbles” one from Etsy is cute. This “dragon skin” one is probably a bit too expensive to include in a DIY gaming kit, but it might be possible to find something similar made from faux crocodile leather.
This is a fun, thoughtful gift that could be personalized and embellished in all sorts of ways. You never know when an adventure game is going to suddenly break out, so it’s best to be prepared with a portable kit.