War of the Worlds: The Heat Ray
14×8.5″, pen & ink on bristol, 2015
↓ Read the rest of this entry…
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!
Hey! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been wondering if you’ll be able to pre-order the upcoming issue of Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex when the chapter is finished in just a couple of pages. The more I thought about it and weighed various preorder options, it struck me that I already HAVE the perfect mechanism for preordering the comic: The Patreon page!
The $5 patron level is the perfect way to preorder the comic – the price covers domestic shipping, and you’ll also get access to the digital copy (the $2 pledge reward) AND constant access to the process feed as I continue working on my next project. The current chapter will be completed very soon (I’m shooting for this weekend, with any luck and another day off of work), and when that happens all pledges will be collected and I’ll start putting together rewards including your shiny new physical copy of Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex #3!
After all Patreon supporters have their copies, and I’ve had a chance to drop some off at a few of the local shops, the issues will make their way to my Storenvy store, so if you want the earliest available copies, get your preorders locked in now!
Found a link to this nicely-written blog on the process of simplifying and moving into a mobile tiny home. Lots of things for me to go back and re-read when I have more time, so I’m just putting the link here for my own future reference:
Also, I rewatched this video about a nice and extremely tiny trailer-home built by Molecule Homes:
Lots of great little design and storage touches, and I’m a fan of the natural wood look. I’m not super-against ‘toxins’ as these guys are, but I’m not a fan of unnecessary plastics and particle boards.
Laugh While You Can, Monkey-Boy!
6×6, Pen & Ink on bristol, 2014
I know that John Lithgow has played many excellent, iconic roles, but for me his defining role will always be Dr. Emilio Lizardo, archnemesis of Buckaroo Banzai and unhinged host of a black Lectroid from Planet X by way of the 8th Dimension!
And if you haven’t seen The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, you really need to get on that, monkey boy.
Spent some time today working on scripts for the couple of stories I’d like to get to next, once I’ve finished with the current chapter of Ellie Connelly. See, the way I want to be working is this: Draw one chapter of a story, and script a chapter of a different story. When I’m done drawing the current chapter, draw the story I just finished scripting, and go back to scripting the next chapter of the first story. This way, I’ll be able to bounce back and forth between different projects and (hopefully) not get burned out on any of them. I’ve got a lot of stories I’m anxious to work on, and don’t want to wait until I’m totally done with this one before jumping to something else.
SO! The next story I’ll be doing is a 12-page introduction of an intergalactic adventure series I’ve wanted to do for some time, titled “STARHUSTLERS”. The name is an homage to the late Jack Horkheimer, who ran a weekly naked-eye astronomy series on PBS in the 80s and 90s (and can still be found at http://www.jackstargazer.com/ It’s about Captain Jaq Freon and the crew of the C4P3LL4, an AI-equipped shipping vessel. I’ve got ambitious plans for the series overall (it’s a first look at the bigger universe I’m creating with all of these comics), but the initial set of stories is just to introduce each of the crew members.
The Script, “Incident at Capsolm-4″, is already done, and I’m getting comfortable enough with the new page format that I’m really excited to get started and get familiar with the crew and their dynamics. So, look for that in a couple months when I’m done with Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex chapter 3.
Join paranormal investigator Ellie Connelly, her friend Henry Button and her uncle Everett, as they set off to find Everett’s missing colleague Birdsong Juno, who has been kidnapped by the dangerous and secretive Legion of the Mystic Order while searching for a mythical Vortex of strange energies believed to be hidden somewhere in the mountains of the northeastern United States. Can Ellie and her friends find The Eye of the Vortex in time to stop the Mystics from harnessing its unknown powers for their own nefarious purposes?
Patreon supporters have access to new pages and process sketches before they are posted here at lunarbistro.com!
Completed chapters will also be available to download as DRM-free pdfs.