Sunday, September 4, 2011

Earth Invasion 2099

Don't let their doughy, middle-aged appearance fool you. The LAST thing you want is a squadron of Flarparian Shock Troopers overrunning your planet.

I wonder if anyone's ever written a story like that? A story about a race of brutal, bloodthirsty soldiers, but they look as unintimidating as possible to everyone else in the galaxy, and thus are never taken seriously. That'd make an interesting story, right? Wait, that's really similar to the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Never mind. Forget I brought it up.

I'm sort of breaking my personal rule about science fiction dates here. I believe that you should always have your futuristic sci-fi stories take place well after the present audience will be dead. That way you won't look stupid (to anyone currently living) when your predictions don't come to pass.

For example, in the Star Trek episode Space Seed we learn that the genetic superman Khan was overthrown, placed aboard a sleeper ship and exiled from Earth in the year 1996. I'm sure that when the episode was made in 1966, the writer thought that the 90s seemed impossibly far away, but even as a kid watching the show I knew that nothing like that was ever going to happen so soon.

Same goes for Space:1999. It was set on a moonbase full of advanced technology that we still don't have. What was the point of setting the series so close to the present? Would it have killed them to have called it Space: 2199?

As always, this drawing took a lot longer than I expected. Part of that was due to my schedule, of course. The aliens were drawn and colored pretty quickly, but I spent a lot of time futzing around with the background, trying to make it detailed without being too complex and distracting.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original sketch of the Flarparian Shock Troopers. I guess I was too busy to finish the second guy.

Here's the second, more detailed digital sketch.


  1. The bad guys in "The Last Starfighter" come to mind as deadly but really dorky looking. They looked like Larry of the Three Stooges.

    ...and I know that they're popular, but the Daleks never seemed all that threatening. Like vending machines on bad castors.

  2. I forgot about the Ko-Dan in Last Starfighter. You're right, Joe, they were pretty dumb looking.

    I think the screeching robotic voice is what sells the Daleks as threatening.


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