In going through piles of old artwork in an attempt to cobble together a portfolio, I found the alphabet I'd designed for Dragons. It's now vectorized and can be seen here if you're interested, and might be followed up by the guide on how to write it if I can find where I put the scan...

Revisiting the Post Office

This scene suddenly struck me as I was walking home yesterday. Usually I fritter away my independence on cooking dinner or doing dishes, but today I decided to cash it in and, in an uncharacteristically impulsive move, deviated from my walk home and spent two hours drawing in the library's café. This is the result of that.
This is the scene from Going Postal where Antimony Parker and his Aggie come to thank Moist for delivering the ancient letter. I've bent the text a bit and had Aggie be the old woman in the following:
    'I said is it true you're opening the old place again?' she repeated. 'My granddad used to work there!'
    'Well done him,' said Moist.
    'He said there was a curse!' said the woman, as if the idea was rather pleasing. [...] 'It lives under the floor and drives you maaad!' she went on, enjoying the syllable so much she seemed loath to let it go. 'Maaad!'
It's been far too long since my Going Postal drawing spree... I miss it so. Maybe I'll pick up my cruelly interrupted Clacks Board when I go 'on hiatus' in a couple weeks.

Painted Pirates

I like the effects I see people get in Open Canvas but never had the time or patience to figure it out for myself... I've been poking around with my revised pirates after work (and, now, this weekend) so here's the result. I've probably forgotten things and could fix others but that's about the limit of my patience (for now) and ought to get back to work on my portfolio.
Oh yes, and I've changed some of the characters and tried to fix some silhouette problems. I hope it looks better... I realised while painting this that I actually know very little about drapery; I know how to express it with useful symbols in line form, but as far as knowing its form well enough to paint it ... no. Sigh. Time for more studying. After the portfolio.

Seattle Coffee Pirates

My sister tried to get a sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks on Sunday only to discover that, according to the barista, there was no sugar-free cinnamon syrup in the entire city. Considering that the number of Starbuckses here would warrant a container ship specifically designated to keep this city stocked, that's quite something. We concluded that the syrup had been hijacked by the notoroius Seattle coffee pirates.
I think I'm going to go over this again and sort out some silhouette problems that I stumbled into when drawing them all separately. (That was a brilliant idea.)

Six Shots by Moonlight

I promise this will be the last Herbert West picture for a while (unless the tow-headed little fiend hijacks my mind again); I'm getting a little zombied out for now. This image came into my head the last time through the readings, though, and I couldn't resist. It turned out okay, I suppose, for having started life as an oversized thumbnail that I got carried away with. It's not textually accurate and I cheat the light a lot but I hope it's good enough that this can be ignored.

This is what lunch hours are for.

Masquerading as Originality

I spent Friday afternoon drifting in and out of naps, being beset with a bad case of cold head – that woozy, floaty, drunk feeling that comes with some colds and which medication doesn't seem to touch. While somewhere between sleeping and waking, this thing came into my head. I think it came from a combination of two pictures Meghan has up by her desk. Maybe it's even less original than that. I so rarely have an image enter my head that hasn't been put there by a book or radio show or movie, I'll take what I can get.

Re-Animation Formula

Of all the Lovecraft stories I've listened to* I like the Herbert West ones the best. This is probably because instead of the main character having wacky things happen to him,** as in most of the stories, Dr West makes them happen, or is at least responsible for 90% of the plot. It must also be said that I find myself identifying with his monomania and emotional detachment, for better or worse, though my interest lies more in imparting life to lifeless lines rather than dead boxers or decapitated Canadian officers...

Anyway, here's a mediocre artistic encapsulation of the formula to the stories (which you can read here if you're interested):

Apparently Dr West = Milo + Wiggins ... erm.

*Thanks to Sean and his CD burner ... I haven't managed to actually read any yet, though considering I haven't been able to actually read anything for the last two months any such attempt would probably have failed anwyay.
**I wonder what Mr Lovecraft would think of me describing his horror as 'wacky'...

Slightly Fishy

A generous friend of mine was kind enough to burn me a CD of H.P. Lovecraft stories, which I hadn't been introduced to before. Here's an attempt at depicting 'the Innsmouth look' ... I'm afraid it came out rather more as a graphic style than a set of physical characteristics. Mike Mignola seems to be able to do it possibly without even trying, though he's brillant and well-read enough it's probably conscious.

Kung Fu Eye Action

Me: ...I always pictured Shadwell kinda scrawny but Moody, if not buff, then posessing a shadow of his former action hero self.
SMK: Moody with Kung Fu Eye Action

Thanks to a well-timed viewing of A Muppet Christmas Carol, Mad-Eye Moody is, has been, and ever shall be Michael Caine in my head ... though here he looks a bit more like Billy Connolly. Probably 'cause he's being silly. And I have forgotten how to draw convincing impacts, if I ever knew. Throw in more secondary action! Yeah!

P.S. In case anyone was left hanging by that Dragons post, and hasn't seen this yet, I got a bit carried away and wrote a sort of essay on what I like and dislike about genres of fantasy.

The Scapegoat

Sometimes it's beneficial to attempt a caricature from memory, thereby getting a more accurate impression of the character rather than relying on specific details. I was resuming my long-abandoned attempt to caricature Billy Boyd as Pippin for a friend's Christmas present (I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this blog so I think I'm safe in saying that) and noticed he has roughly the same eye shape as Lee Ingleby, so I doodled this little Hollom on the way home from my sister's. A distance of a year or more from the last time I watched Master & Commnader (?!!?!!!?!???) seems to have benefited me in this regard.

Lemony and Beatrice

I picked up the Road to Perdition soundtrack yesterday, and upon listening to track 13 (appropriately) I was struck with this image of the meeting between Lemony Snicket and Beatrice (not that Beatrice, obviously) over a root beer float, as implied in The Beatrice Letters. The picture is better if you've read the book[s] and/or are listening to track 13, but I hope it stands up on its own...

Dragon Dragoon

The presence of dragons is a pretty good indicator that something is the kind of fantasy I don't really like. The scalèd beasts are useful for comedy, at times, though. My dad put the image of dragons on horseback into my head and I couldn't resist.

Snicket Photos

I took my camera on a walk, on a recent rainy day, and managed to snap some shots in the vein of the odd dissociated photos in Lemony Snicket's Unauthorized Autobiography. Unfortunately I couldn't convince all passers-by to dress in period costume or amusing disguises so they're all landscape shots, but I'm inordinately proud of them nonetheless.


A Bit of Madness

This sequential gag sketch took far too much time and effort, but it was fun. It stars William de Worde from Terry Pratchett's The Truth, Haruko from FLCL, and Rimmer from Red Dwarf. I read this line in The Truth:
He went back to his lodgings and had a look at himself in the mirror over the washbasin. A large R, printed in bruise colours, occupied a lot of his forehead.
He stuck a bandage over it.
... and the following just dropped into place. (Click to enlarge)


There's a show on BBC Radio 4 called Genius which asks for 'brilliant, if unworkable' ideas from the audience. One fellow last week suggested that chickens in battery farms be given virtual reliaty headsets to make them think they're free range and thereby lay more or better eggs. Eventually the host presented the unavoidable train of logic that this would lead to the Chicken Matrix, which prompted this from me:
Truly a noble use of Photoshop. Yes, indeed.

Sign of the Season

Now that the weather has cooled down and is getting wet, it's time for the innappropriately dressed girls to pop up like mushrooms. Their native habitat is the shopping district downtown and their diet appears to consist solely of venti lattes from Starbucks. Calls vary slightly by the individual but generally consist of complaints about the weather delivered in a nasal tone and sliding up in pitch at the end. Scientists are still uncertain as to how their fattening diet is not reflected in their gracile physiques, or how, despite being well-connected to general media, they remain completely ignorant of the weather forecast.