Quick one today. I was bu-hiz-sy today. This is Cedric. He’s the industrial lifting robot, who is in charge of all the dangerous activity on the Mallard. He loads the pots onto the launch, he uses the grappling attachment in his torso to fetch the bouys and reel the pots in again and stacks and ties them. The people on board can do this work in a pinch, but his large sturdy electromagnetic feet, herculanium frame, and powerful hydraulics mean he can do the job of six men with no fatigue or risk to life. Too bad about his attitude…
A slight deviation from my concept art, I’m combining business with pleasure today. Tangent Artists going to be publishing our first volume of collected comics, so I decided to work on the cover for said volume. The covers are going to be Tarot card themed, so here is Linus, the Hanged Man.
For this year’s Inktober, I’m doing concpet art and character design to prepare for NaNoWriMo. So here’s my first non-person design.
We’ve met, Zac, Lisa, and Henrik, so let’s meet the ship they have their adventures on. I give you, THE MALLARD
I modeled this interstellar fishing vessel after the crab-fishing boat Cornelia Marie. Like it’s model, this is a fishing vessel that must deal with, not only planetary waters and tides, but also the perils of space, atmospheric departure and reentry and solar radiation and turbulence, so this is the total air/water/space package. This way Henrik can always fish for SOME kind of animal. I kept the shape of the hull, and the wheelhouse. I added some thrusts and stabilizers, encased the prow with transparent titanium for observation. Also, the deck is enclosed with shields that can raise or lower when changing from atmospheric to interstellar.The deck is where all the fishing gear, launches, pulleys, winches and cranes are.
Also this boat’s origin is the Saturnal moon, Titan. Which has a harbour named for the UK town of …Ruislip… for some reason. I don’t even know. I’m kinda tired.
Any comments questions criticisms? Did I get something wrong? Leave a comment!
Here’s Day 2 and I reveal the first half of our 2 protagonists, Lisa Scott. I already knew that Lisa was an 11-year-old Earth refugee, but I was surprised by how much I learned about her while drawing her outfit and character design.
The gloves were fun, looks like she likes to pretend she’s a grownup while she tinkers with things, no doubt with that tool belt of hers, probably filled with mismatched tools with broken handles and other defects.
The tee-shirt she’s wearing is too small. Either she’s holding onto it for sentimental reasons, or because she couldn’t find a bigger one. Her socks (cut off in the picture) have no heels or toes, but I imagine she likes it better that way, since she prefers to wear flipflops. Perhaps, she’s like my girl and would rather go barefoot when she can.
That’s all for Lisa now. Stay tuned.
It’s that time of year again, folks! I might be crazy trying to do Inktober this year, but this is actually going to be less about drawing and more about learning to budget my time. It’s also about getting ready to start writing again. I’ve gotten so bogged down in old writing that I feel like I’ve forgotten HOW to write again. I really haven’t written anything new since 2014, and that’s a big problem.
So my 2016 Inktober album will be looking for inspiration and casting my book for NaNoWriMo. It’s going to be a pre-teen/teen scifi space opera, partly a comdey—you guys know me—that I’ve been sort of fleshing out with the help of my kids.
Today, I did an expression sheet for one of the main characters, Henrik Cates: the captain of the fishing star-ship, the S.S. Mallard. Want to find out more? Keep watching this site.
(Just a note: I will NOT be doing “Carpe Scream” this year. I just can’t do both projects, sadly.)
Today I watch a horror movie classic, in that it’s been widely lauded as one of the worst Science Fiction movies of all time: Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space.
This movie has been a classic because of all the bad movies out there, it’s one of the most highly watchable bad films. It goes through bad and out the other end to where it’s ridiculously funny. Cheap sets, bad costumes and frankly weird directorial decisions and a nonsensical plot (space people raise 3 zombies for… reasons) line make this a drunken elementary school pageant of a production. Highlights include:
This is a great movie to watch with friends and a couple of beers. And for added fun, follow it up with The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera, which is a brilliantly funny parody movie that borrows all Ed Woodliness of this movie and hangs a lampshade on it.
Today, I watched a classic Monster B-Movie, that wins the best movie song award: The Blob (1958)
This one features Steeve McQueen as a “young teen” that rallies a town to defend itself from an interstellar parasite that devours and absorbs flesh.
As far as movies go, this one certainly has a more sophisticated, compellingly written and well shot production quality, and is just plain entertaining. I love the cast, the varied characters, the real struggle of the teens fighting for their town and the people who eventually help champion them. My only complaint is that the pacing can get a bit slow in places.
It’s also not afraid to laugh at itself, which any horror movie should be if it can help it.
I remember seeing this one when I was younger, and finding the blob pretty terrifying. I mean, it “dissolves” you. How horrible is that?
As a parting gift I leave you with The Blob drinking game:
Every time someone says “Steve,” take a drink. Don’t die.
I can only seem to make sense of the passing of Terry Pratchett by writing about how he influenced my life and my work. The rest has been said by better people than me.
In 1999 I was drifting. I was in my first year of college, my roommate was sucking the life out of me, I was doing badly in classes, I was depressed, and I would possibly go weeks at a time without talking to another human being. I was miserable, and I could only deal with it by escaping into books.
After consuming several dozen titles, I came across “Equal Rites.” I had tried reading it in 7th grade, but I put it down in embarrassment because the first page had the word “sex” in it. I thought I’d give it another shot this time, so I began to read… and read… and read. I was done with it in three days, I recall skipping a few classes to finish it. I adored it. I laughed. It was rare to hear me laugh in those days, unless it was cynically. A little cloud had lifted off of my heart.
But it wasn’t enough. When I put it down, there was a hunger in me. I wanted to play in this world again I needed to play in this sandbox again and never leave it. I looked in the inside leaf to find out what other books there were and dashed to my college bookstore to see what I could get. I quickly finished Colour of Magic, Light Fantastic, Sourcery, and Wyrd Sisters. Over my 4.5 years in college, I bought EVERY book in the Discworld series that was out (Sorry, Mom. Most of it was money that was supposed to be for food and texts). When I’d bought them all, I’d bug the staff about ordering the rest. They started to recognize me by face after a while. It wasn’t uncommon for them to greet me with things like, “No, honey. ‘The Fifth Elephant’ isn’t here yet.”
And in reading those wonderful magical books, my eyes were opened.
Terry’s writing voice was like mine—the running Mystery Science Theatre 3000 that was always in my head when I read fantasy. He was pointing out tired plot devices and character tropes that I had long ago become sick of. He seemed to be as tired as I was of all the myriad of fantasy authors who were attempting to ape Professor Tolkien. Not only that, but he too became tired of his own fantasy world. As the Discworld series progressed, everything became less about heroes and more about the little guy. It wasn’t about dark lords and farm boys and prophecies. It was about parents, and career women, policemen, bureaucrats, teachers, journalists, hippies, kids—ordinary people, made extraordinary by their larger-than life personalities.
Philosophically, I was enthralled as well. His portrayals of Death, culture-clash, capitalism, government, women, and people of faith and non-faith alike made me question my world and see his world in it.
Later on, his bravery and humor, and cutting observations inspired me to make my own sandbox: Tereand. Linus Weedwhacker, I can’t deny, would not have been possible without Terry’s influence.
I’ve been blessed with some good reviews for my books, but the only one that made me feel like I truly succeeded—that I was able to give back some of what was given to me— was the review that compared my work to that of Terry Pratchett’s. I considered that a compliment of the highest honor.
God bless you, Terry Pratchett. Hopefully, it will be revealed to you how much we all loved you.
Terry Pratchett was born in 1948.
In 1971 he published his first book, The Carpet People.
The first Discworld Book The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983
He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2007 and struggled with it while still writing and devoting countless hours to raising money for further research into the virulent disease. He wrote over 70 books, finishing the 40th Discworld book, Raising Steam, last year.
He leaves behind his wife, Lyn, and his daughter Rihanna.
His family is currently asking for their privacy to be respected and for well-wishers to leave donations to justgiving.com
Okay, here we go! I’m going to embark on a project I’ve wanted to do for years. Just for you, my friends, this Holiday Season, I present to you: an illustrated Christmas Carol. Everyday until Christmas Day (when—fingers crossed!—I’ll put it all together) there will be a new fantasy-themed illustration and a section of text from Charles Dickens’ most famous work. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s today’s art: the cover.