Saturday, December 19, 2009

Controlling the Animals

The comic I did for Moira's auction is now online here. The script was written by Victoria Janssen and it's a sort of bonus item for her novel Moonlight Mistress, which is a romance novel about werewolves in World War 2, which seemed to me like a good idea.

If some of the art looks a bit washed out to you and the red wolf appears to be purple in some of the pages, it's because the versions of these pages I made were substantially darker. It appears Victoria or someone else altered the brightness to make these pages much brighter than I'd intended them to be. I suppose it's not really my place to complain--she paid money for these. But I wanted to make it clear this isn't how I intended these pages to look.

People have complained before that my night scenes are too dark, that some of the details in the images are difficult to see. I fully recognise I'm going against the grain with my philosophy but it's my opinion readers and audiences have been a bit spoiled in the last twenty years, particularly by internet media. When one watches a film or television show from the 1970s, one is often struck by extremely dark night scenes. Think of Ron Howard blundering about in American Graffiti and some of the exteriors in The Exorcist. Nowadays, massive floodlights are typically used for night scenes, night scenes in video games tend to look like blue filtered daylight. Yes, one can say the audience "gets the idea" that it's dark and with the artificial light plot information is more quickly transmitted. But consider what we're losing--the menace, the sense of not knowing what's in the darkness a few feet ahead. It is frustrating, it's supposed to be. And we used to be in a place where we had to trust the director that this was the right image, and the feelings were part of the experience of the story. Now, audience hands in the pie has inevitably diluted the flavour.

Anyway, otherwise, I enjoyed working on the project. I think I like drawing cats better than wolves, but I did like drawing them. I put my original versions of the pages online here.

Speaking of animals and erotica, the first thing I saw when I got to the zoo yesterday was this;

If you can't quite tell what's going on, I wasn't sure either. But after the middle anoa walked away, I saw his penis retracting. So I guess he provides the communal protein for this outfit.

This monkey footage contains brief, graphic masturbation;

I'm pretty sure the little ones are of the same kind Klaus Kinski's seen tossing around in Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

Watching this warthog eat was fascinating. It was like watching a dinosaur eat;

I was really close to this lounging Jaguar, whose name is Oscar, according to a woman who was standing next to me, but the cage mesh makes him a little hard to see in the picture. He was staring at us with a distinctly unimpressed expression.

I particularly wanted to see this "Elephant Odyssey" thing the zoo's been promoting all year. It turned out to not only be about elephants but also about the prehistoric relatives of elephants as well as prehistoric relatives of other animals that dwell in elephant habitats.

Those are the bones of a large, prehistoric bear and a sabretooth cat.

The lions seemed far more interested in the zoo keepers on the other side of their enclosure, but I managed to get a couple decent pictures;

This jaguar had a lot more energy than Oscar--this one clearly wanted out, though I think they all do. Music's "When I Got Troubles" by Bob Dylan.

And, of course there were elephants;

I found this life size statue of a prehistoric hawk pretty astonishing;

Dung beetles, folks!

I rather liked the layout of this condor enclosure.

Meerkats engaged in a frightening search;

Music's from the Zoku Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei soundtrack.

Last night's tweets;

Rodents wonder what their brothers will find.
Small quick eyes peer back at the van of drunks.
Sake's better than beer and pot combined.
But the knowledge hides in the squirrels' tree trunks.

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