sketchbook

Feb. 16th, 2010 03:30 pm
egypturnash: (Drowning City)
So yeah, I was doodling direct in AI and the first thing that came up was Alecto.



I know her chin and ears are wrong here but I can't remember what's right (oh, there it is, in the icon). Also note that judging from the silhouette of the Superdome, the story's explicitly set in New Orleans now rather than in a dreamy copy of it with the serial numbers filed off. I suspect I'll be processing some lingering stuff related to Katrina when I do get around to doing this story. Sure, add that in to the other old wounds I'll be obliquely licking, why not?

I wanted to pull something from either the Heaney translation of Beowulf or from Gardner's Grendel to put on this first doodle but I have neither book handy any more, and the Internet wouldn't serve up a pirate copy of either.

Read more... )The "Midwinter 2011" date is not a promise of any kind. Although that'll be ten years since the central character walked into the back of my head and wrapped her cold, lonely self in a story I'd started to put together a few years before.

a fragment

Feb. 25th, 2009 11:11 pm
egypturnash: (Drowning City)
cut because some of you are still using table-based layouts for your friends list )

I dunno, I just felt like seeing if I could go to the place in my head where Alecto comes from. It doesn't come anywhere near as easily as it used to; this is good.

The 'he' in Alecto's narration is probably the elf who has a fling with her. Maybe. I'm not sure how this fits into the story, or if it does at all. One of these days I'll get Drowning City into shape and start drawing it. Probably not like this, though. Black and white is quick and easy, especially direct in AI like this, but Alecto's tale is grey.
egypturnash: (Default)
This is mostly for Nick. As per our conversation the other day, here's a list of the books that are a huge influence on The Drowning City, which would be great for reading if he wants to help me work out the story in the future. These are listed roughly in the order I encountered them.

Matt Wagner, Mage: The Hero Discovered - originally it was a more shameless rip-off of this combined with New Orleans nostalgia, and would have stayed in the trunk, but then Alecto popped up into my mind on the morning of 9/11 with her much more interesting path through the city.

Greg Bear, The Infinity Concerto/The Serpent Mage - lots of stuff here and there. I refer to Alecto's opening narrative as having come in straight off of "Death's Radio"; this is an image I got from Bear's book!

Gail Baudoino, Gossamer Axe - influenced my thoughts on the way time in the twilight realm of the elves is endlessly recycled

Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons - because Alecto is just another weapon to the elves

Terry Pratchet, Lords and Ladies - a nice meditation on the dichotomy between sickly-sweet nice elves and the dangerous, mercurial Fair Folk

John Gardner, Grenden - monster-as-protagonist

Ian McDonald, King of Morning, Queen of Day - especially the second half; the heroine's magic sword was an influence on the visuals surrounding the gun in the Drowning City-related 24-hour comic I failed to finish. The paracosmic craziness of the alien worlds in the end may or may not also end up in Drowning City...

Plus of course all the PERSONAL LIFE ISSUES already cited.

motivation

Aug. 7th, 2006 05:03 pm
egypturnash: (Drowning City)
Motivation to get off my ass again.

I sat down and worked out a page template today. Illustrator made it easier, but I still had to get things into the real world by hand! I decided on some page ratio numbers, and scaled that up to best fit a spread in the large paper I have.

I also just realized that the page ratio I've decided on - 2:3 - exactly matches this other pile of index cards I got. I've got a pile of 3x5" cards that holds almost every piece of text relating to this story, and I have these 4x6" cards I'd gotten along with them. And now they have, perhaps, a use: page thumbnails. Though a template for typing paper might work better, as squeezing dialogue into a thumbnail is a pain... I could always use the back side, or a second card. Hmm. Being able to shove a slab of preliminary work into my purse is really tempting.

I still don't know what medium I want to start in. I know it will vary; I know it will be greyscale. If I was more skilled in paint I'd seriously consider that. It's always been partially painted, in my mind's eye. I should do some experiments, I suppose.

This thing is over-ambitious. It always has been. But it's the shape the narrative has always had. It's at least two years of serious work, and that's kind of scary. I've never done anything this size before, even half-assed. And this is not something I can do half-assedly in good conscience.

I wonder if I should mention the trans metaphor angle when doing general promotion of it. It's never explicit; it's a layer under the surface. Would people interested in a trans comic be pissed when it's never about 'OMG it's senior prom and my tits are leaking and I'M GETTING A STIFFY'; would people interested in an angsty monster-girl comic be turned away by seeing the metaphor laid bare in some blurbs? It's about the experience of being trans without the particulars of being trans.
egypturnash: (Drowning City)
skitterstart waiting slow waiting waiting held back starved

fairy bells you imagine you hear Ringing in the distance
little songs of wallsofworlds resonating shiftless

In the ocean of the storms the glowing monsters gathered round
the pretty glitter mistress
In the ocean of the storms the rains came grey and sharp
Skies turn down and open up The stars sold nothing new
Crawling down the finger walls the open wound again




In the city of the storms the windows gathered round
the deep and open waiting
In the city of the storms the poison cup was loaded
Minds turn down and in the holes They dig their own demise
Calling in to run it down and bloody maws again




greyheld rainbows cut the air Heralds of the beauties
gallop down the web-shot ways cataleptic interest

In the prettiest of storms the glowing widows gathered round
the pretty silent mistress
In the deadliest of storms she calmed it with her voices
Cups held high and crash the hands Rain trickles every eye
Drowning in the lovely times the never times again




tower stands, tower falls, tower stands

Nine times nine times nine again
Resonations gathered round
And bones held power tight
In the ocean of the storms The twilight held the sky



And bloody clouds forecast the night that nail us to the world.
egypturnash: (Default)
Mm. Think I decided on Vanilla for the forum. Large but there's far larger. And it has no tables. And tweaking its features is not hellish, like it is for most boards. I need to finish skinning it, then wait for my host to get back to me on mysql access, and I'll be ready to put the shell of the site up.

More importantly, I went out today and pondered story over a milkshake and a scone. I'd gotten the whole thing mostly outlined last week, of course. Now I have the first chapter outlined. This is less of an achievement than you might think, as that part's been outlined in my head for a while - but I've got the whole story's shape in front of me now, so I could realize "hey, I need to introduce this character, and I can introduce this one while I'm doing it, too..." and stick that in there. Which is good. Especially as I considered a few bits floating loose later in the story, too, and started to find homes for some of them.

I need to start drawing this thing soon. It helps that my shipment of boobie pills arrived today. Yay estrogen!

But tomorrow, I have a quick AG bit to do. I'm debating making it more complicated to keep it interesting to myself, but I'd probably rather just get it done. We'll see!
egypturnash: (Default)
I intend to do Drowning City on the web. I'll be designing it with print in mind as well, but the initial medium will be the web. I'm noodling with site layouts in my sketchbook.

Thing is, I don't really read that many web comics. Not regularly. Just a few (mostly by people on my friends list) and usually in small clumps. What do people expect to see in a web comic, besides the obvious fact that the latest installment should be front and center? What's always a happy extra, what's going to feel like a lack?

I'm not sure if I want to administer a forum alongside making a comic, yknow?

(Any actual comic content probably won't happen for a month or so, btw. Work and a desire to get ahead on it and all that.)

well now.

Jul. 19th, 2006 06:20 pm
egypturnash: (Drowning City)
I have fourteen notecards with loose summaries of every narrative chunk of this damn comic. They're all written in purple, instead of the green of the other cards. This was an accident of not finding the green pen, to be honest, but that spurred me to use the color change to change thought modes.

Around the ninth or tenth one, I found myself getting really tense and a little bit shaky. Those are the worst parts of the story, and I found myself horrified at what I put the main character through. I had to stop for a while and clear my head.

I've been carrying this tale around in the back of my head for quite some time now. This is the first time I ever had it all in one place; this is the first time I ever held it all in my mind as a whole. It was a strange sensation. I'm not used to thinking thoughts that large and complicated. There will be revisions, but I've finally put all the puzzle pieces together.

It wasn't easy; they're all pretty much solid black.

It's the bleakest fucking fantasy story imaginable. I knew it was dark and nasty, but seeing it all in a sequence, having it laid out on a handful of cards like that... I was not a happy person when I came up with this thing. Not at all. And it shows. It's just one long downhill slide for most of its length. I have sections with labels like "Downward bitter spiral" and "Conversations with the dead".

I'm a hell of a lot happier nowadays. And, hey, Grendel isn't exactly a happy book either. Fantasy epics from the monster's point of view really can't be.

"I advise you to find a pile of gold, and sit on it."
egypturnash: (Drowning City)


Yesterday, I went out and got a pack of index cards. Cleared out some space to set up the drafting table [livejournal.com profile] kaputotter passed on to me when she moved out to California, and I started writing things on them, trying to reconstruct all the fragments of The Drowning City that I could remember. And trying to figure out what goes between those fragments so I can start drawing the bloody thing.

I suppose I could be using some sort of brainstorming program to organize my thoughts, but it's nice to be able to just stand at the desk and scribble lots of little notes. I can't get into too much depth because of the size of the cards. Editing is a matter of just tearing a card up and grabbing another one, something that's only happened a few times.

Eventually I'll try to organize them in a sensible way. And that's where I might be wishing for software. "Wouldn't it be cool," I thought, "to have some sort of augmented-reality tool for this? Scribble on virtual notecards and hang them in three-space. Collapse and open up hierarchies. Maybe something like the handheld aug-reality games I've seen demos of, where you track a registration mark and use this to overlay stuff..."

But really, a pack of notecards is a lot cheaper. And it's nice to have the physical feedback of writing on them, and of ripping one up when a thought goes the wrong way.

Some parts of the process need to be physical, for me.

I've been carrying this thing around in my head, poking at it in fits and starts. for either about five years or for ten. Depends on how you look at it. It's past time to put it on paper.
egypturnash: (Default)
Drowning City related stuff.

Read more... )

painting

Nov. 7th, 2002 01:44 am
egypturnash: (Default)
I played with Painter for a few hours. )
egypturnash: (Default)
I'm finally about to start work on 'Drowning City'; I have a piece of paper taped to the drawing board with my page sizes ruled out on them, I have pencils, I have a working Wacom tablet again, I have a scanner, I have some thumbnails of two test pages (to work the initial bugs out of my planned methodology)...

After ruling out said page sizes, I determined one final lack: Music.

Help me pick some. )
egypturnash: (Default)
Today was a slow, overheated, nothing day at work. I spent it shepherding a recalcitrant printer... ink had managed to splatter on one of the little rollers somehow, so I got to swab it off with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, occasionally hitting the 'form feed' button and hoping that it wouldn't end up with the roller in the exact same orientation as before.

I feel nasty amd useless after unproductive days where my brain is kinda off like that.

But then on the way home I started thinking about 'The Drowning City'.

Which is described herein. )

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