It Has Been Revealed

You will no doubt recall, all of you, that I have been making cryptic pronouncements about a thing that I have done, which was evil yet awesome, which was to have been visited upon one of you.

Now it has been revealed — and it is this:

Yes, yes. A black velvet Wesley Crusher, delivered to none other than Wil Wheaton himself.

Wil tells the tale here. Trust me, you want to read it.

How do I feel?


And awesome.


Man, that’s cathartic.

(Many thanks to Bill Robison, of, for helping to pull this off. Folks, when you think of velvet paintings, for you or your loved ones, think That is all.)

Update, 9am 8/22/08: The thread about this entry on Fark (hi, Farksters!) has some pretty amusing Photoshoppery of the above picture.

71 Comments on “It Has Been Revealed”

  1. You mean it wasn’t me?

    I hate you I hate you I hate you.

    But damn glad I did not get a black velvet picture of Wesley.

    1) Wife would never of allowed it in the house
    2) I would never of allowed in the house. Ruin my street cred.
    3) Should of been him in the grey and rainbow uniform (buahahahaha) Now that would of been evil!
    4) I don’t know. Something funny inserted here.

  2. Scalzi:

    You are the Coke Zero of Evil. The flavor of evil, without any caloric backing. And Wil Wheaton is a damn good sport.

  3. Actually, I did mean to include this in my comment:


    ’s’nice. I can totally see this giving Jesus, Elvis and Bruce Lee some competition.

  4. catsparx – Canberra, ACT – Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning Australian author, editor and artist. Career highlights include a PhD in science fiction and climate fiction, five years as Fiction Editor of Cosmos Magazine, running Agog! Press, working as an archaeological dig photographer in Jordan, studying with Margaret Atwood, 78 published short stories, two collections – The Bride Price (2013) and Dark Harvest (2020) and a far future novel, Lotus Blue. She directed two speculative fiction festivals for WritingNSW and is a regular panellist & speaker at speculative fiction and other literary events.
    Cat Sparks

    Oh wow. Thats just about the most stunning velvet art I’ve ever seen, worthy of the great Leeteg himself:

    I ache with jealousy.

  5. Do you think that you can get something like that up for sale? I know some people who need Will looking over their shoulders. A black velvet Will just makes it more powerful.

  6. Thank you, John. This is the most evil and awesome gift I have ever gotten in my life.

    I’ve spent a lot of time around velvet paintings (I grew up in the Valley for fuck’s sake) so I know that one of the key elements to any one of these is weird lips. I don’t know why, but it’s a fundamental, load-bearing pillar in the construction of these magnificent works.

    In my life, I have owned two velvet Elvii, one velvet Erik Estrada (!) and now a velvet me-as-Wesley.

    You rock, John. I can’t wait to return your kindness … appropriately.

  7. Absoutely stunning, evil yet hilarious.

    The fact that the painting is kind of crappy makes it 100x better. It’s Wesley Crusher wearing hooker lipstick.

    Bravo John Scalzi, bravo…

  8. Natalie – Delaware – I write about books and culture and whatever else strikes my fancy. I have so many opinions. I was a finalist for the Best Fan Writer Hugo in 2017.

    That is truly impressive. Just…wow.

  9. “You rock, John. I can’t wait to return your kindness … appropriately.”

    *grabs popcorn*

    This should be good….

  10. The only thing that would have made it even more evil and awesome would be if the artist had given him those really big eyes like the Mexican kids paintings.

  11. That velvet painting website is scary, too. Clowns? Nixon? Cheney??

    Unless it’s intended as a gift for gun enthusiasts. Target practice, eh…

  12. OK. Now we know what we have to do. At Confluence in Pittsburgh next year, The guest of honor, our own Mr. Scalzi, must be presented with a black velvet painting of his cat-with-bacon picture. I don’t know anyone on the Confluence committee, but I’ll wager someone here does.

    Or, maybe even better, a light blue velvet painting of the cover of The Android’s Dream.

    BWA HA HA HA HA HAH HA indeed!

  13. rickg: This should be good….

    Yes, but I suspect that it will be some time before wil devises a suitably evil comeback. Afterall, Scalzi is . . . Scalzi. What bacon related product could possibly equal a black velvet painting?

    Also, you’re getting Farked again, Scalzi. Main page and all.

  14. Why does “black velvet Wesley crusher” look like “black velvet Natalie Portman in a Federation uniform”?

    And even more complicated, who would be upset by a black velvet Natalie Portman picture? Especially nerds? Like us? And does it look enough like Natalie Portman to satisfy nerds?

  15. Nicely done. Good friend’s know exactly when to remind us not to take ourselves so seriously.

    I can’t wait to see the return volley ;>

  16. Mr. Scalzi, I submitted your post to Fark as soon as I saw it. You sir are now responsible for my fist greenlit link on Fark. Thank you. If your site gets Farked, sorry.

  17. Damn is that all I have to do to get some comments, come up with a painting on black velvet? And all this time I’ve been busting my balls over nothing. ;)

  18. paranoyd – I am a father, an aspiring writer, and avid gamer. I am also into horror and scifi. I'm currently the Adventure league Local Coordinator for my area, and I'm really into the new FFG Star Wars RPG system. And I love a good curry.
    Corby Kennard

    Personally, I found it tasteful and appropriate, and will be giving velvet paintings for many celebratory occasions, like Independence Day and Memorial Day.

    I can think of nothing else that proclaims “I am HERE! I am NOW!” like a painting of you or a loved one on fresh crushed black velvet.

    I thank you for bringing this to my attention, John. And my loved ones thank you as well.

  19. You call THAT evil? Next time you see Ed Bryant, ask him about the black velvet painting he brought to Norwescon a few years ago. (Imagine Elvis, in his Suit of Lights, in the heavenly clouds, looking down mournfully on the lights of Vegas… and being comforted by Mr. Spock.)

  20. Part of the genius of the art itself comes from the small errors — the pip is on the wrong collar, the insignia looks as though it was painted by someone who had never seen the show and had never seen it, but merely had it described to him. The lips. The lips! A painting of Lt Crusher on velvet, rendered correctly, would never have worked.

    In commissioning such a work, did you need to steer him to make such ridiculous errors — or did that flow naturally from the artist? Whichever, it’s brilliant. That sort of error — that makes velvet paintings what they are — cannot be easily done both consciously and well.

  21. I did not offer suggestions to the artist, no, but indeed I hoped that the work would serve the essential spirit of the crushed black velvet medium onto which it was placed. And it has.

  22. Pathetic Earthling: The pip is in the correct place. Lose 100 quatloos.

    Everyone else: The only possible soundtrack for this…bestowal…is the Austin Lounge Lizards classic, “Paint Me On Velvet.” I commend it to your attention on iTunes or other fine music emporia.

  23. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, cranky.

    Can’t stop laughing!

    He looks like a weird mix of Phoebe Cates and some Thai lounge singer!

    Oh, god! You must have been in agony with keeping this to yourself.

    Holy Crap is that funny!

  24. Just…just…wow!

    Scalzi, you are all that is Man. Evil Man.

    Also, I’m torn between attending the Decatur Book Festival and getting you to sign The Last Colony, and watching hundreds of nerds in costume march in a parade. Suggestions?

  25. Once again, I am laughing out loud in my cubicle and my neighbors are thinking “what, another cat with bacon”. This is truly most excellent evil. Expect a call from Bad Horse in the near future, the Evil League of Evil needs men like John Scalzi.

  26. Re, the Fark thread: “Kim Jong Wil”. AHHHahahahhaaa…

    I just got to read around all the other threads and have to say I’m gratified to find I have so much company in my Sister Wendy-like insight into this example of fine art.

  27. Just think: as the internet evolves, the Wayback machine will preserve this moment forever. It will come to be the most visited node in the internet archive–floating to the top of the cache, vibrating forever in RAM rather than long-term storage, accessed by billions, and (eventually) trillions of weirdly post-human fans who visit it, a virtual shrine, day in and day out, and carve its likeness into Martian mountains, and beam it to distant galaxies, eventually genetically altering themselves so that they and all their descendents will possess a specialized neocortical organelle that superimposes this image in all its multi-pixel glory across their sensorium during even their most intimate moments…

    This is now our unavoidable future. And you, Mr. Scalzi, YOU are responsible.

  28. You’re a really, really nice guy, Mr. Scalzi. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. And like Captain Picard.

  29. People, just remember, this is what John does to his friends. Although, you know, it worked out really well. But just imagine what he’d do to someone he detested. Oh, the horrors, the horrors.

    And John, I bow in your direction. That was totally cool. And evil. All at the same time.

  30. I do believe that this nominates you for Evil League of Evil. But your admission to that esteemed group is ensured by the fact that Velvet Wesley appears to be wearing Hello Kitty salmon-colored lipstick.

  31. Anyone know where I can commission a painting on black velvet?

    I’m thinking Cats, dog and author playing poker would make a nice one. (Maybe the stakes would be stacks of bacon.)

    But copycat pranking is pretty lame.

    Anyone know if Margaret Keane accepts commissions?

  32. Wow, that IS evil. And awesome. Terribly awesome. Yet still evil somehow.

    I’m just glad to know what the evil to be visited upon one of us turned out to be.

    Good on you for sending that to him!

    P.S. For the first time I’ve finally seen a piece of Star Trek/Wesley Crusher/Wil Wheaton related memorabilia that I can say, “You know, you keep that. I don’t really want one of those. Really.” Astonishing! :)

  33. I’m awfully tempted by the Black Velvet Richard Nixon….I’m sure my mother would write me back into the will if I sent her that.

  34. Oh my.

    I’ve seen some evil. I’ve seen some tasteless.

    Seldom have I seen such an amalgam of tasteless evil.

    I am torn between amusement, revulsion, and admiration, and now must wait patiently to see how Mr. Wheaton will attempt to return the evil with interest.

    Good luck, Mr. Wheaton…

  35. Cleric – Miami Beach, Florida 33139 – I am the owner of Fire By The Palm Productions, a South Florida production company that specializes in fire-themed entertainment for events large and small, public and private.

    Dude, that is SO a picture of tiger woods… does ANYONE think that pic resembles the actual star trek character?

  36. neutronjockey – Jeff Richard (J.K.Richard) a.k.a. the neutronjockey, is a former nuclear mechanic supervisor and medical officer recruiter for the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged from military service in January of 2006. In his civilian life he is a digital artist, leathercraftsman, and writer living in Tulsa, OK. Occaisionally he commits to research work for SF/F authors. Jeff is owned by a gray Maine Coon cat while at home and three awesome horses while at the barn. <a href="">I blog on LJ</a>

    Is it on black velvet or CRUSHED black velvet…that would make it a crushed black velvet Crusher — I’ll take mine shaken, not stirred.

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