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Monthly Archives: September 2009
“Neo City”, an animated short film by Hao Ai Qiang

Filed under Computer Graphics, Found on the Web

Neo City Futuristic Animation
Neo City is a wandering, beautifully visualized animation by Hao Ai Qiang (and company) that seems to show us what a futuristic city might be like if it had decided, one way or another, that we weren’t all that necessary. Or maybe we callously took off for parts unknown, leaving the city to evolve and amuse itself in ways that make sense to a futuristic city when it’s on its own. I couldn’t say, but I enjoyed viewing it anyway.

It’s a student film, and I haven’t had much luck digging up any more information about it. But the image below apears to be by the same artist, and it’s a lovely one.

Story of Time 1980
A Collection of Roy G. Krenkel Illustrations at “Golden Age Comic Book Stories”

Filed under Found on the Web

Roy G. Krenkel's IllustrationsGolden Age Comic Book Stories has collected a great selection of work by Roy G. Krenkel – some of it’s quite early work, like the one shown here, and interests me because the inking is so different from the distinctive style I remember from my days of whippersnapperhood.

There’s even a complete version of the only solo story Krenkel drew for EC Comics – it reads today like the paranoid, dystopian dream that a Libertarian might have after too much Welsh Rarebit.

Wonderful stuff throughout. I often wish that I’d held on to all my old copies of Amra, to which Krenkel contributed so many illustrations.

More Mad Science from the Retro Future

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Nope: it’s not a self portrait of me in the Secret Laboratory. I still have lots of hair. Though in fact there was a time when I did work in a place that looked a lot like this, even though the turbines were bigger there.

No, this is yet another illustration for my ongoing project Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

The pattern seems to be that I work for a whole week on an environment and then I (more or less) quickly produce a series of pictures in that environment. Still three or four more to go in here, which is the machine room under the Tower of Doctor Rognvald.

The payoff is – this is what I keep telling myself – that later in the story, and in its two following chapters, I’ll be able to use this same scene again and again. It’s a good theory, and I think it’s even true. But I should have another twenty to thirty days of image making before I can even think about opening the new site up to the public.

But scenes like this remind me why I think it’s a good idea to go through all of that.

If you haven’t figured it out, click on the picture to see it embiggified.

Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com

In which I pause for breath before stapling myself back to my desk

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Still at work on "The Toaster with TWO BRAINS"

I’m continuing my marathon with a series of illustrations for an online + print project based on my pulpish, imaginary magazine Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

This has quite a bit in common with a sprawling retro future comics project I was struggling with for a long time, and this one, though it’s much smaller in scale, shares many of the same difficulties that broke my ship on the rocks of that other project. Chief among those is the sheer volume of objects and illustrations that I need to produce.

Once I’d done ten of these, I was surprised to see that in spite of the long time I’d spent on some new environments and other objects I was still averaging about a day and a quarter per illustration. It didn’t feel that fast, believe me. And to you, that might not even sound fast. For me, though, that’s blazingly quick.

But I feel an unusual amount of pressure to produce the images quickly, and I don’t think that the results are as even as I’d like. There’s at least one illustration I mean to go back to and rework completely.

So I’m still wresting with fit and finish issues. Still, working on sequences like this one has let me experiment with all sorts of things, as we see here – where the story has gone from the broad to the narrow, and I’m starting to use wide angle "lenses" to reinforce the idea that the action here is largely internal in a character who’s become isolated. Neat stuff.

Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com

2010 Calendars now at Celtic Art & Retro-Futuristic Design

Filed under Works in Progress

Retropolis Retro Future Calendar
Celtic Design Wall Calendar

It’s that time of year again: the time when we realize that we’re going to get tired of looking at the "December" page of our calendars when January rolls around, I think.

If not that, it’s definitely some time of year, and therefore not a bad one to roll out my new calendars. So here they are!

The 2010 Retropolis Wall Calendar features twelve solid months of the retro future – full of faithful robots, death rays, and retro rockets. Highlights for the new year are "Space Piracy" and "Prairie Moon".

While on the other hand, or maybe on the other side of what I like to think of as "My Brain", we have the 2010 Celtic Art Wall Calendar – full of entirely different, although I hope not less interesting, things. Check out the knotwork spin on familiar symbols like the skull and crossbones, the Biohazard symbol, and the Chaos Star – along with some more traditional bits and bobs of Celtic design.

…Still flying high in the Future That Never Was

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Gwen Hopkins in her Hepmobile rocket

Still throwing up the girders and lofting the rocket fins, here in the Secret Laboratory. There’s stuff.

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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.