Monday, May 30, 2011

Run, Spaceman, Run!

A rare copy of Run, Spaceman, Run! by noted sci-fi author Cadwallander Jones.

As always, this illustration started out as a simple little doodle. I sketch an alien in a business suit running, and scrawled the title above him. The original intent was to make it sort of a poster, I guess. Then for a while I thought I'd turn it into a movie poster. Then I scrapped that idea and turned it into a paperback book cover.

The background was originally much different; it was a cityscape with a central vanishing point. I couldn't get that to work, so I gave up for the night and went to bed. As I dozed off my mind said, "Hey, stupid, make the city just a row of buildings, then tilt it for more visual interest." That was a pretty good idea, so the next morning I heeded my brain's advice.

The title was hand-lettered.

There was a real sci-fi author named Cordwainer Smith, hence the name Cadwallander Jones on my cover. And Morton Sci-Fi... say, aren't they the people who publish Morty The Friendly Corpse comics?

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet. I did the Morton logo in InDesign, because I haven't quite figured out rounded corners in Photoshop yet.

 Here's the original sketch, with the vague poster design idea.

Here's a more refined digital sketch of the alien. His mouth kind of reminds me of Steve Buscemi's.

Off The What?

I feel it's my duty as a graphic designer and internet wiseacre to point out that this logo for the Off The Top hair salon actually has the bottoms of the letters sawn off. Shouldn't they have, oh, I don't know, removed the tops of the letters? I guess that might have made it harder to read, but it's still bugging me.

I want to know who's responsible and what they're going to do about it. I'm thinking since the salon was "inspired by Rex," that he's the one I need to contact.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Doctor Who Enemies Infographic

My previous Doctor Who Infographic (which you can see here or here) seemed to be a hit with folks on the interweb, so I thought I'd do another one, this time featuring classic enemies and monsters from the 1960s and 1970s.

When I first started drawing vector illustrations of the Doctors I established a specific cartoony style for them and utilized it here as well. The formula is basically a giant nose, big elongated head, a tiny body about half the height of the noggin, then very long skinny legs. This style lends itself well to human and most humanoid characters, but for robots and other monsters, not so much.

The Dalek was particularly troublesome. How do you apply that "head-body-legs" formula to something that has none of those? If I didn't make it cartoony enough then it would look like a normal drawing of a Dalek; but if I distorted it too far then it would look like I don't know how to draw (I've noticed that people who attempt cute versions of Star Wars characters have the same problem when they try to draw R2-D2). I went through many versions of the Dalek before I found the right proportions. I made its head as big as possible, then enlarged the eye stalk to comical proportions and then shrunk the middle "body" portion (containing the plunger and gun). I originally elongated the "skirt" or leg portion, but that didn't look right, so I compressed it, and finally came up with a version I could live with.

The Yeti was the last monster I drew, and it absolutely kicked my ass; more so than even the Dalek. The Yeti on the show had a ridiculous pear shaped body that didn't lend itself well to my cartoony style. I had a lot of trouble with its head. I scoured the internet and reference books for photos of it, but couldn't find any with a good view of it's face. After much searching I came to the conclusion that the reason I couldn't find a good photo of its face is because it didn't have one! There's just an area of black fur where its features out to be (Note: I am aware that there was a second version of the Yeti with a more defined mouth and glowing eyes, but few people-- including myself-- have seen that version. I wanted to go with the more iconic and recognizable faceless version).

I drew at least six versions of the Yeti, spending way too much time on it. Naturally the one that looked best is the last one I did, that I literally spent all of ten minutes drawing. Isn't that always the way? I'm still not 100% satisfied with the way it turned out. I'm blaming the source material.

I thought the Robot K-1 would be tough, but it turned out to be one of the easier ones. I think the easiest and quickest to draw of them all was probably the Sea Devil.

The actual layout evolved over time, ending up looking quite different from the initial version as I rearranged the characters to best fit the space. The text went through a lot of changes as well. There's always way more info than space, so you have to decide how best to describe a character in as few words as possible.

Special thanks to my pal across the pond, Ian Ledger, for providing reference photos and text corrections.

Drawn and laid out entirely in InDesign.

I usually post my sketches here on my blog, but there weren't really any to speak of this time. I sort of drew all the characters right on the screen.

Judgement Day Has Been Postponed!

Whoops! Not so fast there, all you people who think humanity dodged the Rapture bullet last week! According to Mr. Camping, the Rapture DID occur, we just couldn't see it.

He originally said the Rapture would occure on May 21, 2011, and that all of us who were left behind would have to endure firestorms, earthquakes and other hellish tribulations for five months until God destroyed the planet in October. Now he's saying God actually did judge us on May 21, but that he's decided to skip the earthquakes and such, giving us five months to get our affairs in order before the end on October 21.

So that means if you were pondering getting new carpeting for the bedroom or signing up for NetFlix, go ahead and do it; you've got five months.

It also means that Mr. Camping is once again ignoring the prophecies of his own bible.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Well THAT Was A Big Fizzle

Well, we're still here. According to Mr. (NOT Reverend, Mr.) Harold Camping, today was supposed to be Judgement Day for planet Earth. The righteous were to be lifted to Heaven as the Rapture began, while the rest of us would endure fires, earthquakes and a general hell on Earth for five months before God finally pulled the plug on the whole sorry mess.

Personally I'm a bit disappointed that it didn't happen. I was looking forward to the time off from work.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Things You Should Know About Me: Mockingbirds

I hate mockingbirds. I don't why, but my neighborhood is positively lousy with them. I'd never even seen one in person until I moved into my current house. Everywhere I go, there'll be a mockingbird, sitting in a tree singing away like an idiot.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who enjoy mockingbirds and their songs. Some are probably even impressed by their talent; that such a simple creature could so accurately mimic the calls of dozens of other bird species. These people are idiots. Mockingbirds are not talented. They're the plagiarists of the bird world. If they're so bleedin' talented, then why don't they sing their own compositions?

Nor are they pleasant to listen to. They are a plague and a pestilence, and an assault against the senses. Mockingbirds are the avian equivalent of a toddler who's trying to get your attention by saying, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, HEY, HEY, hey, HEY, HEY, HEY!!!!!" over and over and over until you walk out to the garage, open your toolbox and thrust Philips head screwdrivers deep into both ears.

There are thousands of other kinds of birds chirping away in my neighborhood, but for some reason they don't bother me. Perhaps because all the other birds sing in a regular and predictable pattern, which fades into the background after a while? Mockingbirds are constantly changing up their songs, going through their little sets like a bad stand-up comedian, so it's impossible to ignore them.

Also, every other species of bird in the world has the good sense to clam up and sit quietly once the sun goes down and darkness falls. Not our friend the mockingbird. Day or night, 2 pm or 2 am, doesn't matter. The mockingbird will be loudly - VERY loudly - imitating its brethren all night long, right outside my bedroom window. I'm hopeful the neighbors were all asleep when I was out in the front yard in my underwear at 2 am, throwing rocks at a miserable singing mockingbird in a tree.

Atticus Finch may think it's a sin to kill a mockingbird, but what does he know? He's not even real. The fact that I don't own a gun and my fear of incarceration are the only reasons I don't blow the heads off of every one of these miserable wretches that I see.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I'm working on another Doctor Who Infographic, this time featuring the Doctor's enemies. It's slow going, so in the meantime I thought I'd post a sneak peek at one of the characters.

Davros is a member of the Kaled race from the planet Skaro. The Kaleds fought a thousand year war with their enemies the Thals (also from Skaro). Centuries of radioactive warfare mutated and weakened the Kaleds to the point where they couldn't survive on their own.

Davros decided that in order to save the Kaleds he must mutate them even further, to their ultimate evolutionary state. He built special mobile life support units for them, thus creating the Dalek race. As a final touch, he stripped them of all emotion, save for a hatred of all things not Dalek.

At some point in the past Davros was injured and crippled in an unexplained accident. Like his Dalek creations, he can't survive outside his special life support chair. Blind, he sees through a single cybernetic eye and has only one functioning hand. He is a megalomaniac and tends to give frequent overwrought and over-the-top speeches, usually about how he plans to destroy the Doctor.

Davros has seemingly died or been killed on several occasions, but like all good villains, somehow always manages to come back to plague the Doctor and the universe at large.

Michael Wisher originated the role in the 1975 episode Genesis of the Daleks. Like most Doctor Who characters, Davros has been portrayed by multiple actors, most recently by Julian Bleach in 2008.

Davros is a vector drawing, done all in InDesign. At first I was going to leave off the coiled red wires around his head, because I thought it would be too tough to draw them in a vector program. But I thought I'd give it a go and after a few tries I came up with some curly wires I could live with.

Want to see more? Check out my new blog! All the cool kids are doing it!
I'm also on Twitter for some reason.

Things You Should Know About Me: Cherries

Welcome to a new feature on my blog, in which I share personal information about myself so that you, the reader, can get to know me better. Let's get started, shall we?

I hate cherries and anything cherry flavored. I especially loathe anything that's artificially cherry flavored. I can't even stand to smell cherries. It is my considered opinion that cherries are the Devil's anal polyps.

This hatred may stem from the fact that drug companies insist on making virtually all their medicines cherry flavored. I no doubt associate the flavor and stench of cherries with being sick. Same reason why I can't drink 7-Up-- the only time I ever drank it as a kid was when I was sick and my Mom made me drink it.

So if you're ever out and about and happen to see me in public, please dispose of any and all cherry flavored and scented foods and accessories in your possession. Thank you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Monster Bus Stop

Hey, whaddya know, I'm still alive! It's been a while since I've posted anything; blame that on a crazy work schedule, annoying and crippling computer problems, and a general malaise about the world that I hope I'll be over soon.

Looks like the high price of gas is even affecting monsters, causing them to park their cars and start taking the bus.

This illustration took FOREVER. I don't know if it was the lack of time, the computer problems or what. I used to be able to knock out a drawing like this in an evening. This one took a couple of weeks. Maybe I'm just in a slump.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original sketch. It's pretty close to the final drawing, with two exceptions.

Here's the second sketch. I decided I didn't like the student monster with the big horn, so he was replaced with a swamp monster type. The monster on the right hand side underwent a career change, from executive to construction worker.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Site Meter