In the demented mad science project that is Lockwasher Design you’ll find a treasure trove of fantastic ray guns, robots, rockets, and autos that are assembled from the sort of bin-diver’s paradise that we dream of. Well. Some of us.
Vintage containers, Electrolux vacuums, spray guns, gauges and unidentifiable parts are here recombined into a retro-futuristic collection of bizarre and engaging sculptures.
There’s a stand-alone gallery site and a larger series of Flickr streams, all full of these wonders. Partake.
Via Boigboing, Via Neatorama, Via Aurelia. Nope, I got that last one from Rudyard Kipling. Via the Romans.
I was working on a side project, a downright heroic propaganda poster for the Retropolis Fraternal League of Robotic Persons, when I did this side-side project spin off from the idea.
The line “Although I am a servant, I am not your servant” is one that I read somewhere – I have no idea where – years ago. It’s always stuck with me.
I invented the Fraternal League of Robotic Persons in a news item at the Retropolis Transit Authority (it’s got an “On This Day in the Future” feature on the front page). Here’s what I decided I knew about the robots’ union:
On this date in 2033, robots throughout known space collectively formed the Fraternal League of Robotic Persons – the first instance of a labor union for manufactured beings.
This caused some confusion among biological citizens, none of whom had had to work for a living for decades – and in fact even the robots had labor-saving devices of their own. When asked why they felt compelled to unionize, the robots replied that they’d seen Metropolis and they weren’t taking any chances.
So while my original big image isn’t done yet, I spun this version off into a poster
, a clock
, and other gewgaws. You know me, I’m just like that. But I really ought to be working away at my City of Nova York. It continues to lumber on ahead at its own massive, deliberate pace.
Steve Forde has added some new work in progress photos of Go Hero‘s upcoming classic Buck Rogers action figure. The latest are some views of the head and helmet.
In fact since my last post about this, he’s also done some nice work on the gloves, shirt, and pants… and, come to think of it, the boots, too.
The body sections are still based on an off-the-shelf action figure body and that’s due to change. (In fact I’m slightly confused about how that’s going to work. But “slightly confused” is pretty much where I live, so I’m not worried about it.) Looking good!
All’s been preternaturally quiet around here, but there have been good reasons for that. I’ve been preoccupied with a couple of things that have kept me off the blog, you see.
At left is one of those distractions. It’s a closeup, or at least closeup-ish, view of the City of Nova York from my Empire State Patrol comics project – the city is the largest set for the story and I started it nearly two years ago. I’m hoping that I might be finished with the whole of Manhattan Island in early July, on its anniversary.
This is what I’ve called the “medium resolution” version of the city – the highest res at which the whole city would be visible – and it’s divided into large sections. The idea was that I’d use my low resolution version in the distance, and this medium resolution version closer in, with the addition of some “hero buildings” for the truly close-up bits that might show in a given image. Since I’m now on a much manlier computer than I was when I started I’ve begun to wonder whether I’ll need the low res version at all. We’ll just have to see.
One thing that’s typical of something that takes this long is that I may need to go back and rework the earlier sections of the city. The newer blocks are more detailed and, though they use the same materials as the old buildings, they don’t quite match. I’m working on a large number of rectangular blocks that make up Nova York’s outskirts. At the center of the city – which occupies the area of what’s now Midtown Manhattan – the streets are laid out in concentric circles that ring the Empire State Building. That’s the one remaining bit of our old New York.
My other recent distraction is an advertising campaign for my T-Shirt sites, Retropolis Transit Authority and Saga Shirts. I’ve had wonderful success this time around by advertising on webcomics and blogs – but online advertising is often a handy way to bleed money faster than you can count it, so the ads have taken quite a bit of my attention.
Golden Age Comic Book Stories once again thrills! and amazes! me with a collection of covers for Big Little Books featuring Buck Rogers, dating from 1933 to 1943.
They’re divided into sequential posts – as everything there is – so here are permalinks to the three collections:
Buck Rogers, Part One
Buck Rogers, Part Two
Buck Rogers, Part Three
This is a concept piece for my huge, looming, and intimidating comics project, “Empire State Patrol”. Which I think will take about as long to finish as the cathedral at Chartres. Go on, look it up. I’ll still be here.
There’ll be a common layout for all ten covers, which I think will be pretty much what we see here, and I’ve added an illustration for a scene in the second chapter. Since this is the cover for issue #2. I’m probably not really done with it, but finishing things like this makes me feel like I might be getting something done. Silly, silly me.
That’s Jake Rothman up on the rock, Marco Lippi down below, and Clay Hooper out back. They used to be construction workers. Now they’re rocket pilots. Life’s just crazy that way.
I don’t actually read the io9 blog every day, but I make up for it when I do. They’ve featured some great science fiction related topics and some entertaining silliness in the few months they’ve been up, and I enjoy it enough that I’ve been linking to it in the “Notable Blogs” blogroll over on the left column (well, on my main pages, that is).
So imagine my surprise and delight to find that they’ve chosen my Retropolis Transit Authority site as the only T-shirt vendor in yesterday’s Triviagasm feature, Scifi Clothing You Can Wear on the Street Without Fear of Reprisals. To wit:
So how do we pick just one? The answer is simple: we don’t. We just have a giant closet full of scifi shirts ready to go at a moment’s notice, and the flavor of the day is Retropolis. These awesome t-shirts have a steampunk/BioShock feeling to them, and the designs are retro-cool. Plus check out their entire vintage futurism t-shirts section as well for extra retro-style. The t-shirt really is the most widely used geek badge of honor out there, so make your selection esoteric and fun.
My vacuum tubes are glowing in appreciation!
Here’s a public service poster from the Future That Never Was: the Retropolis Civilian Conservation Corps’ TREES FOR TOMORROW program endeavors to replace all the trees we foolishly chopped down before we realized that we needed them.
Under the watchful eye of a Corps member, even an inexperienced robot is able to plant a new, living sapling out in the wilds beyond the wind farms and thereby make his own investment in breathable air for Tomorrow. Which he won’t need to breathe, of course – being a robot – but that’s just proof of his selfless dedication to a good cause.
This sprung up (if anything that took this long can be said to have sprung) out of my thinking about how Retropolis can do better than we’ve done not only when it comes to flying cars and faithful robots, but in making sure our planet stays a nice place to fly our rockets around in. I’m ditching the worst mistakes of the retro future (highways? cars?) and trying to reimagine it into something that makes a lot more sense than what we’ve actually done. So far.
One of the things I like best about the future is that there’s still plenty of it, after all.
There’s an archival print and there will be a poster quality print – once a bug in my printer’s online system is resolved, so I can make it available.