Westish Doodles

I've finally had the chance to sort out the pile of life drawing from the last three years at Disney ... in the process of picking out pieces to keep, I found quite a few doodles I'd forgotten about, including some of Herbert West and his unnamed narrator:

That is, the unnamed narrator falling prey to the rest of Lovecraft's canon ...


A couple weeks ago Radio 4x ran a reading of Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and when I was doing a bit of housekeeping on my blog I noticed I hadn't posted my more recent Innsmouth-inspired drawings.  No people this time, just a froggy fishy thing I drew on a paper-covered table at a restaurant and then further exploration thereon from my sketchbook.

These last few weeks, one would get the impression I do nothing but listen to Radio 4x  and draw all day.  This would be incorrect: I also listen to Radio 4 and the CBC.  :)

Animator vs Reanimator

Look at this – look at this – I'm updating twice in one month! Watch out for further signs of the apocalypse!

I've been fully occupied banging my head against the wall at work, but we had an optional design class so I took the opportunity for a diversion and brought in a project that's been simmering on the back burner* for a while: adapting H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West stories (PUBLIC DOMAIN!) into comic books, albeit fairly animation-looking ones. I didn't have much of a problem with Dr West:

His half-unwilling accomplice and the narrator of the stories was rather harder ... he's a bland enough personality not to upstage West but not so bland that he disappears completely, and he has to look at least moderately interesting.** I did three pages of thumbnails before I got something I liked, then a mediocre rotation, which I showed in class. Luckily the teacher that day was the incredible Andreas Deja and he had some good suggestions for ways to simplify and push him a bit more so I went back and did these:

That's something to be going on with, I think. They'll evolve a lot, I'm sure, before I'm done. Here's a test setup with the two of them ... the narrator's model hasn't been updated yet.

After the last class I realized what I'm trying to do with their shapes is basically this. Oh well.

*and will probably continue to do so until it boils dry and ruins the pot, to stretch a metaphor to the breaking point.
**He doesn't have a name in the stories but I came to the sudden conclusion that he can have no name but Howard Phillips.

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.

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.