Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seahorse Valley

This page is from an abandoned project called Seahorse Valley. The title of this chapter was actually inspired from the title of a Transformers episode: The Key to Vector Sigma. Here's a couple more pages from the same story.

The third panel on this page is a blatant rip-off from Jaime Hernandez.
It blows my mind how young Jaime was when he drew this thing. He didn't have to steal from anyone.

Here are some character designs for the protagonists.

I'm actually using Ned's design in my latest story Emordana. The name "Charisse" comes from Cyd "legs" Charisse, the dancer from Singin' in the Rain.

The whole bit where she's kicking around Gene Kelley's hat has to be one of the sexiest scenes in cinema history. I remember having to force my old roommates to watch this movie. They were confused not to be watching Die Hard ironically for the 100th time.

At some point, in a way too convoluted to explain here, I was going to introduce an android into the story named Blanca Lagos.

Her "black helmet" is a combo of Cyd Charisse and celebrity crush Louise Brooks, who has inspired many a cartoonist.

Here's some Dixie Dugan by John Striebel, who modeled the title charater after Brooks.

At the time I was getting into fractal geometry, the primary inspiration for the story. Julia was named after the "Julia set", a complex shape formed by equations.
The title itself comes from the Mandelbrot set, a similar shape that can be zoomed into infinitely. As you enter the crevice you see endless variations of a seahorse shape.  The seahorse valley.
After I'd finished Evelyn Dalton-Hoyt I thought I could dive into doing a graphic novel despite the fact that I'd only drawn a handful of comics. I learned the hard way that I wasn't quite ready. The whole thing became too unwieldy and other more expedient projects took it's place. Once a project sits around too long it loses it's potency and you have to move on. Of course, some of these concepts could work their way into a future story- but not in the way I had envisioned them at that time.

These days there's a lot of pressure on young cartoonists to produce graphic novels and do "serious" literary work. As a result we're getting alot of bloated, boring comics. There's kids coming at comics from an academic background. They're drawing like George Herriman because they were taught in school that he's an important cartoonist instead of drawing what they're most passionate about. Cartoonists who know they want to be artists but have no clue what they want to say. It shouldn't matter whether you're doing a biography on Dostoyevsky or a story about a cyborg seeking revenge. You just have to approach the thing honestly.

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