The other day, quite recently, I clicked “place your order” on… a toy New York MTA bus. I can’t pretend it was for the youngster of the house, it was for me. No, it is not a mid-life crisis (heh… I’m sure others might differ on this point), and I will happily declare that it is not out of nostalgia for my time in the city, especially back in the 90s.
It’s for the book. I’ve an entire story set on a bus in Manhattan and I neglected to location scout a bus when I was last there. I figured I could work from tourist photos and so forth. Turns out that you don’t get many good tourist photos of MTA bus interiors, and not the angles I want. Then I discovered various online bus-loving subcultures that go through all the details of every model of NYC bus, with endless shots of the buses in different parts of the city… but still not many good interiors and no good overheads and so forth. (See Transittalk, for example – I now know way more about buses in New york than I ever thought I’d want to know.) Then I accidentally had an Amazon link show up in my Click to continue reading this post
So two very important pieces of news have come my way and I must share them with you.
The first is big news for writer friends especially. The long-awaited version of Scrivener for iPad has finally arrived! And it is really great, from what I can tell so far after downloading it and playing around a bit. (See my earlier post on why I like Scrivener, and how I use it, here.) I’ve done all the intensive writing that I need for the current book project and so it is too late to café test the iPad app on this, but I’m sure I will for the next big writing project! Now I can at least carry a version of the book’s manuscript with me and make small adjustments on the move, mull over pages I’ll be preparing to do final art for, etc. [Just in case you are wondering, I used Scrivener with a comic scripting template (with slight modifications) to write the prose bits of the book (which is a graphic book – see here).]
The second is that THEY”RE MAKING NEW EPISODES OF SAMURAI JACK!!!!! Genndy Tartakovsky, whose work I love, is still in creative control of it, so that’s good. It’s old news to many, but I just heard last week and I’m excited. Cautiously. (And now in the mood to watch some of the old series…)
In addition to swearing off drawing scenes with lots of windows (at least while I’m doing them), I’ve added crowd scenes*…
This station should have at least double the amount of people in it for the time Click to continue reading this post
Sorry I’ve been quiet for a long stretch recently. I’ve been tied up with travel, physics research, numerous meetings of various sorts (from the standard bean-counting variety to the “here’s three awesome science-y things to put into your movie/TVshow” variety*), and other things, like helping my garden survive this heatwave.
I’ve lost some time on the book, but I’m back on it for a while, and have Click to continue reading this post
(Apparently I spent a lot of time cross-hatching, back in 2010-2012? More on this below. click for larger view.)
I’ve changed locations, have several physics research tasks to work on, and so my usual work flow is not going to be appropriate for the next couple of weeks, so I thought I’d work on a different aspect of the book project. I’m well into the “one full page per day for the rest of the year to stay on target” part of the calendar and there’s good news and bad news. On the good news side, I’ve refined my workflow a lot, and devised new ways of achieving various technical tasks too numerous (and probably boring) to mention, and so I’ve actually got Click to continue reading this post
That is all.
(‘fraid you’ll have to wait for the finished book to learn why those shapes are relevant to the title…)
So, *that* happened… (Click for larger view.)
Anyone else finding this terrifying? A snapshot (click for larger view) from the Guardian’s live results tracker* as of 19:45 PST – see here.
*BTW, I’ve been using their trackers a lot during the presidential primaries, they’re very good.
(Spoiler!! 🙂 )
Talking about gauge invariance took a couple more pages than I planned…
Well, this conversation (for the book) takes place in a (famous) railway station, so it would be neglectful of me to not have people scurrying around and so forth. I can’t do too many of these… takes a long time to draw all that detail, then put in shadows, then paint, etc. Drawing directly on screen saves time (cutting out scanning, adjusting the scan, etc), but still…
This is a screen shot (literally, sort of – I just pointed a camera at it) of a detailed large panel in progress. I got bored doing the Click to continue reading this post
(Well, not really oops… It’s deliberate.) LIGO has announced another gravitational wave detection from a black hole merger! This time the black holes were 14.2 and 7.5 times the mass of the sun, and merged to form a new black hole of mass 20.8 times the mass of our sun, releasing a burst of energy Click to continue reading this post
I realized the other day, while on the train constructing more hands, that in this book I’m saddled with drawing lots of hands – almost more than any other single thing. Why? Well, this is a set of ten separate conversations, and most of the conversations take place when the people involved are sitting together. They’re not moving around so much, not flying or fighting as in an adventure or hero comic (sorry if you’re hoping for that) – they’re relatively still. As you might have observed about people, when they are sitting, they mostly adopt the same one or two poses for long stretches. The changes from moment to moment are not so great, and then they mostly cycle from one position to Click to continue reading this post
Doing a bit of old school inking for part of a page yesterday. Brush, india ink, bristol… brought tears to my eyes*.
*Mostly been digital inking/pencilling these days, sadly… time is of the essence.
Stephanie DeMarco interviewed me a few weeks ago for an article she was writing about the science in the TV show Agent Carter (season two). As you know, I did a lot of work for them on the science, some of which I’ve mentioned here, and we spoke about some of that and a lot of interesting other things besides. Well, her article appeared in Signal to Noise magazine, a publication all about communicating science, and it’s really a nice piece. You can read it here. (The excellent title I used for this post is from her article.)
It is a pity that the show has not been renewed for a third season (I’m trying not Click to continue reading this post
I’m trying to make the characters somewhat expressive, since you, the book’s reader, will be spending a lot of time with them. This means constructing lots of hands doing things. Lots of hands. Hands take time, but are actually rather fun to construct from scratch. I start mine as two or three planes hinged together, and then go from there, subdividing until I’m done.