War of the Worlds: Dead London
14×8.5″, pen & ink on bristol, 2015
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Pac-Man the Barbarian, 2015
Pen & Ink on Bristol, 8.5×6.5
Had this idea the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head, so I had to just sit down and draw the cover already. What if the Pac-Man video game were based on a previously-existing property, where Pac-Man is a He-Man/Conan character, and the maze is some sort of divine test he’s being put through? I’d like to complete the rest of the comic someday, but for now the cover is enough.
I did some thinking the other day in an effort to quantify my goals for various projects and start breaking down a plan to complete these things in time. Like, I know that I have about two dozen stories I want to tell in various comics, but I keep thinking about their timelines in very nebulous ways, like ‘Yeah, in a couple years when Eye of the Vortex is done…’ or ‘After I finish this chapter, I want to work on this other project for a while…’ Sometime last week I sat down and started mapping out immediate goals for the rest of 2015, and this is what I came up with:
- Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex, chapters 4 and 5 (32 pages total, plus covers)
- War of the Worlds folios 1 and 2 (12 pages total)
- Unannounced Comic Project, chapter 1 (24 pages)
I felt like this is a pretty conservative estimate of what I would like to have finished by the end of the year. Like, this feels like progress to me. On the surface it doesn’t sound like much – three full chapters of comics, and a couple folios of illustrations – but at 68 full pages, that’s well more than a page a week, which means increasing my output considerably.
I may make things easier on myself by making the Unannounced Project a minicomic, which would mean the pages are only half the size of what I’m currently doing for Ellie, but that will also likely increase the page count a bit. And since I’m not sure if I’m going to like that format for the story, I’ll probably end up needing to draw some test pages to help me decide. I may also switch to a different unannounced project, which would change the target number of pages. Who knows?
All in all, it’s going to be a busy year for me, and there’s no time like the present to get going on it! I’m off work today, and my immediate goal is to finish the next War of the Worlds piece before I head to bed tonight. Look to my Patreon feed for process pics throughout the day!
Last month, autostraddle.com posted this really great article focusing on Pamela Colman Smith, the under-appreciated artist behind the classic tarot deck imagery most-frequently referred to simply as The Rider Tarot Deck. Tarot users will recognize these cards as the foundation for my own Super 8-Bit Tarot deck, and I have to admit that I’m ashamed to have never really looked into the life of the artist before now. Colman Smith sounds like an inspiring woman, and it’s time she received the credit that is so woefully overdue. Take a moment to read this great article:
In 1897, H. G. Wells serialized a new science-fiction story in which extraterrestrials from Mars arrive near London, and immediately begin an invasion which catches the local populace unaware. In the 100+ years since its original publication, The War of the Worlds has been the subject of countless printings, a television series, at least two feature films and even a broadway musical. I’ll be paying homage to this timeless sci-fi classic by presenting my own interpretation of the work through a series of illustrations for each chapter. Prints of the illustrations will be available in a series of folios, but the images will all be presented here first:
So, last year I did some extensive work in designing and playtesting a tabletop game called StarSpeed 17. I even got to the point of developing a bunch of art for it before I ultimately scrapped the project. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew the game wasn’t as much fun as I wanted it to be.
StarSpeed 17 was basically an evolution from Mille Bornes, a vintage auto-racing card game from France. The basic mechanics were simple but problematic – it was always too easy to disrupt your opponents and too much of a challenge to make progress toward the goal. When I was developing StarSpeed 17, I came up with some pretty good fixes for the mechanical problems, but I don’t really think they made the game any more fun. It was challenging for the players, for sure, but there just wasn’t the sort of nail-biting excitement I was looking for.
I put the game aside for a while, but it’s always been in the back of my head to keep working on it, and I’m starting to feel like it’s time to give it another look. I’ve come up with a near-complete revamp of the movement mechanic, getting away from the card-based movement and moving toward a dice-based system reminiscent of another vintage racing game, Formula D. I’m also planning on adding in system stats for each ship, to add more variety and strategy for the players to work with. I’m still going to keep the modular board system, though I’m revising that as well so that the board sections are larger than before. This will make the track configurations less flexible, but easier to set up.
With any luck I’ll be able to set up a play test for the new rules in a few weeks, and will post the results here. Keep a lookout!
I am truly excited to announce the kickoff of a project long in the planning stages, a series of illustrations based on The War of the Worlds
by H. G. Wells! I’ve been wanting to do this one for a good long while, and now that I’m at a good spot to get started I’m just champing at the bit. I finished the logo this week and am just bristling to get started on the first full piece.
War of the Worlds will be a series of illustrations based on selected scenes from the classic sci-fi novel of the same name, one from each chapter. When completed, the first six illustrations will be collected into a 5.5×8.5” black and white folio edition. A second and third folio of six additional illustrations each are also planned, depending on interest.
The six chapters selected to be included in the First Folio are:
- 1. The Eve of the War
- 5. Heat Ray
- 10. In the Storm
- 16. The Exodus from London
- 19. What We Saw from the Ruined House
- 25. Dead London
Thanks to the LunarBistro Patreon Progress feed, supporters can follow the creation of these six full-page illustrations from sketches and studies on through pencilling and all the way to completion. Patrons will also be able to pre-order digital and printed versions of the folio at higher pledge levels.
I’m really looking forward to the challenge of creating illustrations worthy of one of the all-time great classic sci-fi novels, and I hope you enjoy following along.
Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex chapter 3 has been released for download on Gumroad.com! This DRM-free pdf file contains 16 pages of black and white art you can carry anywhere – on your phone, computer or tablet.
Ellie and the gang need Rocky Waters’s help to find a mysterious stone known only as “The Eye” before the Mystic Legion can use it to gain control over a powerful Vortex of mystical energy, but first they must rescue Mr. Waters from a gang of thugs who are tearing his house apart! The story continues from Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex, Part 1, with 16 new pages of black and white art!
And don’t forget you can also still get the first two chapters for free, featuring full-color art, in Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex, Part 1!