Concerning Celestial Horror

In my earlier writing, celestial higher beings were benevolent and kind and all-knowing. The older I get, the more they’ve become alien and unknowable and horrific. Horrific in the sense of never knowing or understanding these higher beings.

Celestial horror for me is a mix of the impossibility of establishing communication (Orson Scott Card’s Descoladores) the cosmic unknowable (H. P. Lovecraft’s Cosmicism), topped with a bureaucracy that is crushing and insurmountable (Douglass Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide).

I’m sure not all of that communicates in these, but I’m working on it. These are the beings that Zenith calls to Earth in This Bitter Earth.

Concerning Inkwash Vs. Color

Color adds so much to a piece. I was reviewing pages from Deep Circuitry and noted that a lot of the lower illustration skill can be forgiven because of the color.

And then I saw the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and started thinking “how can I add color to my next project”?

Cons: Color theory is challenging and hard to get right. Fixing analouge color is challenging to fix in digital post. Color (done well) will be time consuming. Painting analouge color will be challenging to keep consistent for 100 pages. B&W is fast. B&W is classic.

Pros: Color (done well) looks fuckin’ great.

Well. Okay. Lots of cons, but the one pro outweighs them all. Great…

I think what I’ll consider is borrowing from Hayao Miyazaki’s method of minimally watercoloring his storyboards. From the Studio Ghibli movie, Ponyo:

Or, perhaps even keeping the process analouge up until color is required, and maybe doing color digitally. This would be faster and quicker to recover from mistakes. I’d probably even consider doing focus areas with cell, and everything else in watercolor style. This is the same method I used for Deep Circuitry. For example:

At this point, it’s a matter of exploring how it will fit within my current work schedule.

If script and thumbnail exist, then-
– Thursday: sketch
– Friday: ink
– Monday: ink wash
– Tuesday: digital touch up and lettering
– Wednesday: post and publish

There’s quite a bit of room within these 2 hour sessions, especially since I’ve been slacking (not waking up on time, not spending the full time actually working).

Concerning the Tracking of Labor Stats p2

I started digitally illustrating Deep Circuity (DC) around March 2020
I finished digitally illustrating in March 2021
1 year 0 months
400 pages in 52 weeks
Actual average is 7.7 pages a week
Intentional output was 3 pages a week

I started analogue illustrating Enter Cedar (EC) in Nov 2021
I’m gonna finish analogue illustrating in August 2023 (Note, I estimated 7.5 months back in Nov 2022)
1 years 8 months
100 pages in 60 weeks
Actual average is 1.7 pages
Intentional output was 1 page a week

That’s a pretty terrible decrease in my average. But I’m still pushing out illustrations for a full, finished 120 page script in a year’ish. So I got that going for me.

I think the better way to look at the data is that it’s taken my roughly the same time to finish the same amount of pages.

But, I could look at the extra 8 months for EC and round up, and then the takeaway that it’s taking me twice as long to illustrate by hand. Shit, am I saying I could have finished EC earlier this year and now be finishing up Where the Highway Meets the Corridor, had I just digitally illustrated it?

BUT, also decreased by weekly page output from 3 to 1. So I can’t be too hard on myself. Had I kept that up, I probably would have finished EC in a similar time to DC.

Yeek. Here’s a scene from East of Everett.

Concerning Energy Beings

So we meet the Erueniks in Deep Circuitry, Rachell and the other inhabitants of TVR are Erueniks. After Deep Circuitry leaves Eruen, the Erueniks develop a singular culture with a singular language and a obsession with finding entertainment and stimulation that isn’t TVR. They become super afraid of all technology after being abandoned in TVR (think Dune). This entertainment involves scouring the universe for DNA for genetic manipulation. This is how they find Earth.

And while they’re scouring Earth, they cause a great disaster and destroy their planet and they all turn into energy beings with no memories. Groph in Groph’s Green Wizardry is possessed by one of these beings. Eruen is also the planet that Titus finds in Titus Waiting.

I’ve been toying with redeveloping their visual look.

Concerning the Smaller Steps

I’ve told people that I wasn’t interested in making shorter works, like making short films. I believe this sentiment was mostly driven by economic needs (short films don’t make money), but this sentiment also caused my skills to be left wanting. I did do a few though.

Between Enter Cedar and my next project, Where the Highway Meets the Corridor , there is a handful of smaller stories that happen. As I explore color and water mediums, I revisited an older piece. It was fun. I’ll probably “rerelease” these pieces once I’m done posting the last pages of Enter Cedar.

Concerning “Where the Highway Meets the Corridor”

Do I really want this to be my next project? I really like the characters, I’m just not entirely certain the script is the strongest. It was my first big effort at writing a feature length script. I had written a lot before near the end of my contract writing and animating safety training videos down in Olympia. It’s a mockumentary, which is a style I really like to watch. How that will convert to a comic? That’s a good question. But, we’re going to find out. I think it’ll help that I like the characters so much.

This is Robert, Allen and Samantha. Robert is a chain smoking stoic sort of fellow, the sort of person who feels everything but fails to emote it. Allen is an alien who is obsessed with collecting firewood, splicing genes and playing banjo. Samantha is a passionate and idealistic thinking leader who prides herself on combining the functional with the superfluous. Both Robert and Samantha have known each other since childhood and since learning of Allen’s presence, have dedicated their late teenage years to protecting their alien friend.