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
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…
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
Hands have become almost as important as faces for helping communicate both ideas and emotions in the book. I’ve become a fan of constructing hands in various positions. In fact, I like it to an almost perverse degree, some might think, especially given how little people might even look at them. But then again, I’m known for actually enjoying -even looking forward to- dentist visits, so maybe this was predictable.
The prevailing culture is surprisingly and frustratingly simplistic when it comes to graphic books and comics. As late as 2017, we’re still at the stage that most people in the USA (and the UK), if asked, will associate the form with the superhero genre: people in capes and/or masks fighting crime and/or saving the world. The other association is with the Sunday funnies. This is unfortunate, and, in case you don’t know, far from the case in other places such as various European and Asian countries where the boundaries between written and visual literature are less rigid.
The confusion of form (visual narrative on the page) with genre (the subject of the narrative itself) drives me nuts, as it makes it very hard to get people to […] Click to continue reading this post
Loving this looser, pencil-finish style. My only wish is that I’d discovered it in August. But of course I know that I needed to do what I was doing in August in order to get to where I am now. So there it is. Personal evolution is a wonderful thing, isn’t it ? (Click for larger view. More about the book here.)
I love a diagonal vanishing point.
Click for larger view. The weird rim light on my hand is because I enhanced the contrast on the page so you can see the lines, but roughly masked my hand to keep the exposure the same there.)
This is to illustrate a scientific […] Click to continue reading this post
Yes, I’m still here. I realise that I paused posting for a while longer than I have in a long time (possibly ever!), and I’m sorry about that. There were a lot of things, not just the obvious one(s). Anyway, I’m still here… still drawing and painting away on the book, and working on a bunch of other things that I ought to tell you about at some point (some of which I need to get clearance for…).
The other day I went comfortably old school, pencil […] Click to continue reading this post