Another week, another set of illustrations for the first story at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. This week I’ve started working on a different branch of the story (which is Part One of The Toaster with TWO BRAINS!) – because the format for Thrilling Tales is designed for (mildly) interactive, illustrated stories. In the course of illustrating these stories, I get to explore how different characters experience the same events, or events that are linked to those events in the other interactive branches.
That’s one way of looking at it. The other one is "Cripes! How many illustrations does this thing need, anyway?!"
A question that we very nearly explored last week.
But I digress. This branch of the story becomes something like a detective story: a crime’s been committed, and a couple of our heroes spend the day investigating it. It’s a puzzler, and no mistake. What’s fun about this for me is that because our future here is based on the 1920s and 1930s, the dialogue and the situation are flavored with a little Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. (If I could conjure up a weird stew of writers’ brains, these stories would be looking for a recipe that included Damon Runyon, Dashiell Hammett, Ring Lardner and Terry Pratchett.)
So without banging the viewer over the head with it (I hope!) I’ve used lighting here that’s a clear callback to film noir – the strong light and dark areas, and the Venetian blnds with their shadows and dusty beams of light. It’s pretty fun, or at least it was for me. It’d be easy to drive that over the top, but I hope I haven’t.
Anyway, I’ve wrapped up the scene that takes place in this office and in the coming week I’ll be building something else – someplace we’ll actually see just before this.
Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com