The Big Brains have moved into Retropolis this week: their teeming minions started out by invading my T-shirts, but before I knew it they’d moved out from that beachhead into my coffee mugs and mousepads. The way things are going I can’t predict where they’re likely to show up next. It’s a problem.
In order to solve that problem, at least on the T-shirt front, there’s a sale this week on my shirts: you can save $5 on an order of $25, $10 on an order of $50, or even a big brain-boggling $20 on an order of $100. That sale runs through November 20: note the informative banners at the sites where the sales are running.
That’s the T-shirt sections at Retropolis, as well as the Celtic design shirts at Saga Shirts.
So where did these invaders with the immense brainpans come from, anyway? They’re based on a minor (but important) character from my Thrilling Tale in progress, The Lair of the Clockwork Book. Once I saw how the little guy turned out I couldn’t help but put him on shirts and whatnot aimed at the Big Brained among us. Because there’s just not enough rampant holiday merchandising that’s aimed at people whose brains are bigger than Venus, is there?
Hey, I find a niche, and I decorate the crap out of it. It’s my mission. Or at least that’s what my mind believes is happening… ever since the Big Brain trained his glowing, thought-controlling eyeballs on me. Also, I make him sandwiches.
I can’t imagine how I’ve managed to miss the paintings of Eric Joyner, but now that I’ve corrected that I can at least enjoy sharing them with you.
A San Francisco illustrator, Joyner has painted this series of pictures that combine larger than life, vintage toy robots with other toys, world domination, and – inevitably! – donuts.
His Tin World series shows us a universe where giant robots really do look like old tin toys. Let the rest of the world beware! Shown above is what’s possibly my favorite: Fog of War, in which the situation does look pretty dire. Giant donuts roll out across the landscape amid the punishing fire of robots in their pressed-tin rockets, while robot soldiers march over the battlefield with their sparkers sparking and their lights flashing.
Robo Kong, on the other hand, is a more intimate view of the top of the Empire State Building… where the eponymous robot swats at determined baby pilots in their tin toy airplanes.
The series is all wrapped up in the book Robots and Donuts, while individual pictures are also available as prints.
I think I’ve got the major elements of Lew’s laboratory pretty well set: there was a lot of shifting and moving involved because at one point, which you’ll see if you embiggify the image, Lew’s experiment is underway and you have to have a pretty clear view of what’s going on.
I still need to do a little rework on the Chiralitron (that’s the big machine in the left foreground) and run some cables across the lab. But it’s pretty well set at this point.
Of course I’ve paid so much attention to that important view that when I pull back out to look at my other angles I’ll find some more to add. But it’s definitely getting there, if by "there" you mean here, but a little more so.
The first couple of dozen illustrations for The Lair of the Clockwork Book include Lew’s adventures, which begin in this room and end up somewhere inside the orbit of Venus. I decided to do this bit first because I want to be fully back up to speed when I work on the opening scenes and the illustrations of the Book itself.
‘I wouldn’t dream of entrusting my thermally sensitive materials to anything less than a genuine Thermos® device.’
– Harry Roy, Shift Supervisor, the Ferriss Moto-Man Corporation
Harry Roy knows his thermal containment devices. As you can guess, his work at the Ferriss Moto-Man Corporation demands the most effective thermal containment possible in today’s modern world: whether Harry brings a flask full of coffee to work or – daringly! – if he abandons convention and brings a flask of lemonade instead, Harry’s position requires him to keep that vital fluid at a constant temperature.
But how can it know? How can any thermal containment unit keep hot things hot, while also keeping cold things cold? How can it possibly know the difference?
Well, it’s just lucky for Harry (and for you!) that the mad geniuses behind these stylish, stainless steel Thermos® units have solved that problem for us all.
It’s great to live in the Future, isn’t it?
Yep. Like Harry Roy, you too can keep your hot things hot and your cold things cold without wondering which way to throw the switch, through the advanced retro-futuristic technologies of Retropolis, and those Thermos® guys.