Who Is J.R. Blackwell?

Shelter In PlaceIn a word?

J.R. Blackwell is Delighted.

The Shelter in Place Kickstarter is now online, and as I write this,  in less than 24 hours we have raised $2100 of the $2500 we need to reach our goal. I am delighted, amazed, and grateful. I put so much work into this project, so to see that people want to buy it is incredibly flattering.

If you haven’t looked at it yet, check it out. We are offering lots of rewards including the game in book and PDF formats, T-shirts, plushies, posters and photoshoots.

Due to the Kickstarter, I’ve just gotten a bunch of new followers, so it’s time for another “Who is J.R. Blackwell” post. I have compiled a list just for this purpose. Also, I like making lists. The area around my desk is a fortress of lists. But I digress.

<—Me, running from Zombies.


Also? I own a beard. More about that later.

This is what you can expect if you follow me:

  • Zombies
  • Games
  • Photography
  • PinUps
  • Fiction
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Cosplay
  • Jared Axelrod
  • My Amazing Friends
  • Monster-Hunter Priests
  • Dr. Mercury

In short, I am a writing, picture-taking bon-vivant with a penchant for storytelling .


In anticipation of this post, I solicited questions from my followers. This is what they came up with.

What made want to take pictures like those you take ? How did you begin ?

PeekI started taking pictures because my friends all said they were ugly. It was like an inside joke for them “We’re just a group of ugly people!” “Who would hang out with this group of ugly people?”

Except I didn’t find it funny. I felt that my friends were beautiful and I picked up a camera because I wanted to show them the way I see them – as fantastic, beautiful people. That’s where I began. After that, I began to see that the camera only showed the world in how you framed it, so you could set up scenes and create characters, and arrange things to fill the world with fantasy, or horror – not just to show what is there but to create characters, make a fantasy and tell a story. My photography grew from showing my friends to be beautiful to showing them to be superheros. And vilians. And zombies and faeries and princes and ponies.

Now I’m interested in storytelling. I like costumes, makeup, interesting settings and, most of all, creating interesting characters through my photography.

From whence does Dr. Mercury spring?

Were The World MineDr. Mercury was first invented as a role-playing character for a game about villains. The concept of the game was sort of a “Batman Begins” idea – these are the villains before they hit the big-time – before they gain all their powers, get their heroes. These are the D-List villains, the minor threats. The villains that the teen heroes fight. At that point, Dr. Mercury was a small villain who knew, just knew in her heart, that she would be big time one day.

I started to imagine what she would look like as an A-list villain, a total power fantasy, and that’s when I REALLY got inspired. That started me writing. And taking pictures. And answering questions.

Dr. Mercury is a total power fantasy. She is what we would do if we could do anything, have anyone, handle any situation. She is wildly intelligent, incredibly passionate with her own style. One thing I think is appealing about this character is that even though she is a death-trap building, blood drinking, evil laughing destroyer – she is also a character that loves deeply and passionately. She becomes very invested with her prey – and I believe there is something to that – something that is delicious about being wanted by someone.

Dr. Mercury has prompted responses from people more than anything I have ever done. There is something in that character that needs to be explored. The question I keep asking myself now is what – and how.

Speak of the beard. SPEAK OF THE BEARD.

Day Six: The MagusIn 2006 I was at DragonCon, and I was wondering alone in the dealers room. I turned a corner and I found myself, strangely, in a quiet place – with one vendor in the corner and no other people around. The vendor was selling special effects props, and I saw, hanging on the wall, the most realistic beard I have ever seen in my life.  I bought it right away. When I put it on, I was transformed. The beard inspired me to make a fatsuit, and found that with some strategic makeup, I could make myself look like a fat old man.

Many women spend a lot of time trying to make themselves look thinner, younger, and more hairless. To go in the completely opposite direction was liberating. If it weren’t so much work to put on, I would wear the beard often, because wearing it turns me from a tall woman, one who gets catcalls and other bullshit, to a short, old man. It’s like becoming invisible. It’s brilliant.

The beard and I have gone on great many adventures. When I was a burlesque girl, I used it in an act, coming on stage in the full beard and fat-suit getup, and then dropping it off to reveal the lady underneath. Crazy fun. I also met one of the most famous American artist, Jamie Wyeth in the full beard. The beard and I have had fun together. We’ve flirted with ladies, met famous artists, performed in front of audiences – good times.

What do you use to keep your brass balls so shiny?

With the tongues of beautiful people, my dear, their beautiful, pink little tongues. (By the way, this last question was asked by a sweet, gentle, mom-of-several-children. This is what I do to these nice people!)

And that’s me! Other than this space, you can also follow me on Tumblr and Twitter (jrblackwell), where I post often.