Saturday, August 21, 2010

"The Dammed"

“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.” - Robert Frost

This weirdness poster design started off as a last-minute idea for the final panel on the last page of the recent "God of Cartooning." As it happens there'll usually be a spin-off spawned from some project I can sometimes remix into a new piece, but in this case it wound up boomeranging back onto the original work, as I went ahead anyways and snuck the basic concept into
the three-pager: posted here at the bottom, now in retrospect it seems like that big blank space that had bothered me compositionally was suspiciously perfect..

With some choice Rachmaninov ("Isle of the Dead") cued up in the background, and a freewheeling sleep schedule (work on what I want, when I want, at least until the semester starts), this panel was a challenge and an opportunity to experiment with some new effects. In retrospect there are lots of issues and glaring weak areas that got lost in the haze of creating, mostly the cheesy 80's-looking video game look of the flame graphics. I envisioned Peter Jackson's epic balrog cave, but instead wound up with something more like the Looney Toon tunnel. "The Dammed" could be a companion piece to another, earlier panel, "Colony" - I smell a series comin' on. Ewww, vaguely sulfuric.
Aside from the several hours alone spent just on the lodge itself, it was like kneading a loaf of bread before getting totally baked, the layers kept having to be punched back down after rising with the evolving complexity: after working on something like this it's always something of a paradoxical let-down to have the end result look comparatively simpler than all the effort put into it. Such is life. For the most part there wasn't much linework at all, but the principle elements were still hand-drawn, scanned and converted before preliminary coloring and then importation into Photoshop. Hat-tip to 2007's "Sunshine" by Danny Boyle, one of my favorite sci-fi films, for influencing this imagery: the lava surface texture was swiped from a segment of a NASA shot of the surface of the sun. Printed up some proofs of the poster yesterday and they look spiffy enough for inclusion into the fall semester's faculty art show

“All right, then, I'll go to hell.” - Mark Twain 



  1. Dang Dude! Judging by those clean cuts on the logs, it looks like those beavers have chain saws in hell!

  2. Aw c'mon man, gimmee a break: at least they're green logs so as to not burn up so fast.
    I suppose there should be editors and commenters with pitchforks too...