Sketches, Scribblings, etc
- Those Helpful Algorithms
- Random Machinery
- Cover Fun!
- Arundhati Roy Interviews
- American Cinématheque Event
- LIGO Does it Again!
- Character Design on iPad…
- Laying it All Out
- At NPR West
- Writing Hat!
- Bolt those Engines Down…
- Almost Within Grasp!
- Silicon Valley
- Advising on Genius: Helping Bring a Real Scientist to Screen
Thanks for all the great compliments that many of you have been sending me about the cover of the book. The final version of the cover is essentially the one you’ve seen before (it is on the MIT Press website here, and you can currently pre-order at amazon and other booksellers the world over – for example here), but the blue is a bit lighter (some people at the publisher were concerned that the figures were a little too subtle and wanted them much brighter, I did not want them to light so that they’d get lost in the lettering…so we compromised). Click the image to see a sightly larger version.
For those of you who want a deeper dive into the background of all this, I thought I’d share the sketches I made back in early April when they asked me to design the cover. (Click for larger view.)
It is always good to explore options, and also to give design options when asked to design something… I was secretly hoping they’d choose my favourite […] Click to continue reading this post
Well, just a small semi-real corner of it… it’s an establishing shot for a new setting in the aforementioned short SF story. I did roughs on the subway on the iPad and now I am laying down the final lines in black at my desktop. I’ll try and show you the final thing that results later.
Here’s a video glimpse (less than 1 min. long) of my working through designing the main character for the upcoming graphic short story I’m doing for an anthology to be published next year. (See here for more.) There’s a clickable still on the right. I had started sketching her out on the subway a few days ago, and then finished some of the groundwork today on the bus, taking a snap at the end. From there I pulled it into ProCreate on the iPad pro, and then drew and painted more refined lines and strokes using an apple pencil. Faces are funny things… it isn’t really until the final tweaks at the end that I was happy with the drawing. I was ready to abandon the whole thing all along, having decided that it was a failed drawing. So you never know. Always good to persist until the end… wherever that is. Last note: This drawing style is more detailed than I hope to use in the story. I will work out simpler versions of her for the story… I hope. Video below.
[…] Click to continue reading this post
So, this is what the early stage of the graphic short story laying out process looks like. For me. I actually do it old school with pencil and paper, and actual laying out. You can click for a larger view but I’ve blurred out some bits – because spoilers.
So…20 pages works nicely. 16? Hmmmm…
Well, yesterday evening and today I’ve got an entirely different hat – SF short story writer! First let me apologize for faking it to all my friends reading who are proper short story writers with membership cards and so on. Let me go on to explain:
I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you the full details yet, but the current editor of an annual science fiction anthology got in touch back in February and told me about an idea they wanted to try out. They normally have their usual batch of excellent science fiction stories (from various writers) in the book, ending with a survey of some visual material such as classic SF covers, etc…. but this year they decided to do something different. Instead of the visual survey thing, why not have one of the stories be visual? In other words, a graphic novella (I suppose that’s what you’d call it).
After giving them several opportunities to correct their obvious error, which went a bit like this: […] Click to continue reading this post
I just noticed! The book is now in MIT Press’ Fall 2017 catalog, and so you can see the cover and read the blurb they wrote about it! See the full thing here (a pdf; on page 9). Alternatively, here is the online page for it. (I can also reveal what I could not say before: Frank Wilczek kindly agreed to write a foreword for it.)
This. is. so. exciting.
I don’t know about how you pre-order yet, but when I do I’ll let you know.
Update: I also noticed that you can pre-order at a special price on Amazon! The link is here. (Pre-orders are helpful, so don’t be shy… 🙂 )
I’ll be at Silicon Valley Comic Con this weekend, talking on two panels about science and its intersection with film on the one hand (tonight at 7pm if my flight is not too delayed), and non-fiction comics (see my book to come) on the other (Saturday at 12:30 or so). … Click to continue reading this post
So an unexpected but very welcome message from my publisher a while back was a query to see if I’d be interested in doing the cover for my forthcoming book. Of course, the answer was a very definite yes! (I knew that publishers often want to control that aspect of a book themselves, and while some time ago I made a deliberately vague suggestion about what I thought the cover might be like, I was careful not to try to insert myself into that aspect of production, so this was a genuine surprise.) I’m focusing on physics research during this part of my sabbatical, so this would have to be primarily an “after hours” sort of operation, but should not take long since I had a clear idea of what to do. I worked up two or three versions of an idea and sent it along to see that they liked where I was going and once they picked one (happily, the one I liked most) I set it aside as a thing to work on once I got finished with a paper (see last post) and the (prep for as well as the actual) trip East to give a physics colloquium (see the post I never got around to doing about that trip).
Then I had terrible delays on the way back that cost me the better part of an extra day getting back. So I worked up some of the nearly final art and layout […] Click to continue reading this post
Another Sunday share: It’s almost entirely freehand iPad line work for this chapter of the book. Here’s a peek at what turned out to be a fun page in progress.
(As you might guess, if you know me, the tree form is relevant to the narrative… feel free to guess what that might be.)
It’s a discussion about gravity. But not in the way you think.
(For those interested, the hands and head were done on paper with pencil… then I connected them roughly digitally, which you see in progress…) Click to continue reading this post