Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Mosquito Rain"

There's been an epic amount of precipitation hitting our neck of the woods as of late, including causing all sorts of calamity across the state. Behind the balm of soothing sounds from the constant rain while ensconced within the cabin, I always think of the usual sequence of ever-rotating conditions which we can be relatively grateful for not having to deal with. As in "at least it's not 98 degrees (above) anymore" or "well, at least it keeps the smoke down from the forest fires" ...or keeping the mosquitoes down.

I'll never, ever forget the first hike I took in Alaska, and how a noble excursion with the best of intentions (hiking in to the Kanuti NWR on foot from the haul road - a problematic proposition at best even for the seasoned trekker I would eventually transform into) became a disaster that scarred me for life. No really - not in any serious way, just the psychological terror that resulted from my first baptism by bugs. We bailed after less than five miles in and after two days of slogging across tundra and enduring the insane biomass of mosquitoes. I can always recall with clarity the surreal experience of laying inside the tent and listening to the muffled popcorn sound of thousands of them bouncing on the wall... staring at the mesh window at a coat of insects where every quarter inch of space had a probing proboscis seeking out the moist meat inside.  There was a slight breeze that kept the swarm just slightly in front of us while we slow-motion stampeded back to the vehicle, clogging up our eyes, noses and mouths.
These last couple images here of the preliminary panel scanned from the sketchbook (the one with the wash, up above) and then this one here down below of the initial doodle scrawled on a scrap of paper, are interesting because they both reveal so much of the process by which a panel evolves to it's published version. Stylistically I like the aesthetics of all three variations, especially the bare minimalism of this one:

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