The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode CHEMO: The Town of Golden Woods. Julie asked for an abstract cover, and that’s what happened. The story centres around a hive mind, so to express that I used a hexagonal honeycomb pattern (Bees being quite symbolic of collective behavior), that was constructed and rendered in Blender 2.5. I’ve gone for eyes again, and mouths, because they’re such powerful images, it’s how we typically connect with others, it’s where we look when we’re talking to someone. I’d love to see this animated with blinking eyes looking around, and mouths speaking simultaneously.
My own eye and mouth is in that lot somewhere. The (lengthy) attributions follow …
The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode Dragon. So much fun doing a dragon! Especially when such lovely high quality source material was available for me to use. I’ve turned it very McKeansian again — I see I shall have to make a conscious effort to steer away from that next cover. When I did the dragon, Julie asked for a knight, a chicken, a potion and bowl of pea-pods. There was only room for two however. I modified the brilliant Rooster image to be somewhat cartoony like the tradition drawing of the knight, which makes the cover a bit more playful (the play has a lot of humour in it). I was dissapointed to have to eat into the basic cover design to make it work — feels like a bit of a failure. Overall, I really like this cover!
The cover artwork for Warp’d Space episode 5 Peace Day. This artwork was heavily inspired by the beautiful speculative and fantastic images of space travel found in the Terran Trade Authority Handbooks. In particular, the rendering of a space scene in very light colours, away from the traditional blue/blacks. I started out with yellows which became a lovely peach. This is my favourite cover of the series so far. The Drake was rendered in the new Blender 2.5 beta, which I’m starting to get to grips with.
I really need to find some time to re-create the 3D model of The Drake — it was good for my level of expertise at the time, and turned out quite well, but it is really lacking in texture and detail. This will be a project for the remainder of the year, neatly dovetailing with my goal to improve my Blender3D skills.
We’ve been looking for a house or land to buy for a while now, and we realised that houses in the area are overpriced, and none of them were quite anything we could imagine being happy in, for one reason or another. We found a block of 60ha in Redmond, which is about 25 minutes drive from Albany, somewhat inland. It’s a subdivided farm, with no buildings.
Settlement was last Thursday, and it all went through with no problems.
It’s about 10ha of pasture, and 50ha of bushland. The former gives us ample room for a house, vegetable gardens, chickens, Sue’s horses, and a few cattle. The latter we plan to leave exactly as it is. Growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Sue and I both developed a real awareness of the catastrophic amount of forest and bush cleared to make way for development and agriculture — both in Australia and globally. So much diversity has been lost, and so many species reduced.
We know about the orangutans, and the pandas and the gorillas and the snow tigers, but they’re abstract and distant. But I do remember that, growing up in Stoneville, that there used to be Christmas spiders (also called Jewel Spiders). I haven’t seen them for a long, long time. Where did they go? Why? I can’t help but think some variable changed by the gradual development of the area, caused them to disappear. I have no idea if the Christmas spiders are native to WA. All I know is that they were there, and now they’re not.
So it’s with enormous satisfaction that we’ll preserve the bushland. There are kangaroos. There are emus. There are bolete fungi, and coral fungi. There are magpies and kookaburras and crows. And we’re going to have a lot of fun investigating and cataloging the rest of the variety of flora and fauna that’s there. It’s a shame that a little had to be cleared to put in a new fence on the boundary (a legal requirement) but that’s the first and last clearing that will be done. We’re putting our house in the pasture area (away from the bush, and bushfires), and we’re planting more trees. We will keep the pasture — since the damage is already done, and it should absolutely continue to produce food (we’re already drooling over catalogs of heirloom seeds).
We named the place “Red Moon Sanctuary” after “Redmond”, and since it’s a special place for us, and something of an unofficial reserve.
Now we have a million things to do. The first and foremost of these are preparations to build a house.
The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode Cautionary Tale. A story about folktales. This cover wound up with a very McKeansian flavour. Dave McKean is certainly an influence on my artwork and compositions, however it’s usually not as pronounced. Maybe the folklore angle kicked in with some Sandman nostalgia.
The cover artwork for Warp’d Space episode 4, the second part of the story “For the Record”. The photograph of the actor was supplied to me, however I had to conceal a rather stylish hat, and replace his suit with something a little more functional and utilitarian to make it look like he belonged on a space ship — a digitally altered set of fireman’s clothes!
The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode Force Majeure. We kept it simple for this one: the business card of one “Beelzebud”, an infernal recruitment agent specialising in “Fat Male Comedians”, falling and burning. The unsubtle “We’ll Make You a Star” with the inverted pentacle “star” was a nice little elaboration.
I quite enjoyed this episode — the sound design was especially strong, and the deadpan world-weary investigator was funny.
Force Majeur is actually a legal term — which, in a story about infernal contracts, is a crucial point. It means “superior force”.
The cover design for the new Warp’d Stories range of dramatised short stories. This will be a general cover, and won’t change (aside from the text) from release to release. I initially was under the impression the stories would be all set in the Warp’d Space universe, which is main reason The Drake is an “illustration” in the book. I learned later that the stories would be general science-fiction tales (the first is drawn from the brilliant Project Gutenberg), but the illustration fits anway — saves me making a whole new space-ship illustration! The first episode will be released via the Warp’d Space site.
I’m really happy about the way this came together, and the look of it.
The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode The Idiot Box. This release was swapped in the schedule with Ill Professoro’s Daughter, due to a rather timely reality-game-show psychological experiment being conducted in France. This cover was done in about two hours, at very short notice. Luckily, I’d previously taken images of TV pixelation I could use. Most of the work was progressively distorting the series of eyes to look like scary jagged broken up television images. I like the eyes suggesting the audience, and the voyuerism of reality-television.