In the meantime …

… work on book 2 continues. As it seems, the upcoming volume of Telaya & Dioman will be quite a couple of pages stronger than it’s predecessor, and will also feature much more dialog – in short, there will be much more to read. πŸ™‚

It’s title isn’t yet final. At the moment I think about naming it Hrug’s War.

I don’t want to spoil anything by revealing too much, so I’m going to be niggard concerning scene scribbles, WIPs, sketches and so on. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to show you some fragmentary stuff now and then, carefully selected to keep the greater workings hidden. πŸ˜‰

To make a start, here are a few:

… Cin’Thele, wearing something:
A Pinup

… a scene idea:
A Pinup

… part of another scene:
A Pinup
Humans are naked at times, too … even if they’re male. πŸ˜‰

During the Seelbach exhibition, Katharina and I talked a lot about ideas finding, sketching technique and related stuff. I tried to explain my usual digital workflow for page scribbling, which is probably best described as a stripped-down digital painting style, reduced to a few discrete shades of gray, cell shading only, characters often – but not always – blocked in as shapes first, outlines drawn later.
Unable to provide a proper description of how to find shapes by gradually refining contours of color blobs instead of immediately working on outlines, I gave up on verbal explanations, and went for a demonstration via tablet and beamer instead … turned out to be a bad idea, because I plugged the HDMI cable into the wrong tablet port and immediately shut it down. :/

So when she left, I promised her to capture a scribble session … which i finally did. Here it is:

PS.:
This has not been particularly fast, about 60min to complete.
Right before, I had done my daily gymnastics routine, resulting in an exhausted and extremely tremulous hand, I completely failed in drawing smaller detail …

Darkness Over Cannae Crowdsourcing

A bit of promotion for a very good friend and her inspiring project:

today, at 18:45, Jenny started the crowd funding campaign for her illustratedΒ  novel Darkness Over Cannae, about one of the most famous and successful military maneuvers in history, the climactic large-scale confrontation following a series of battles fought between Roman armies and the Carthaginian invasion force lead by Hannibal Barca, at 2nd August, 216 BC, in Apulia, Italy: the prototype of an encirclement battle, in which inferior Carthaginian forces managed to destroy eight Roman legions, and almost bring the super-power of it’s time to it’s knees.

It’s a very empathetically and emotionally arranged combination of narrative text and hand-crafted illustrations, which re-tells the events of that one pivotal day from the very personal perspectives of seven people involved in the battle.

Darkness Over Cannae Illustations
With friendly permissions of Jenny Dolfen

If you would like to help the first print edition of “Darkness Over Cannae” become reality, please visit her campaign, share and/or support it at

Darkness Over Cannae

 

 

Still there :)

First of all, thanks to anyone of you who actually supported the project over the last weeks. I decided to publish chapter 5, but as I am rather busy with other tasks at the moment, it will have to wait a few more days yet (among other challenges, our relocation is looming near … yes, we’re leaving the Black Forest area, for a variety of reasons … sad, it’s one of the most beautiful spots in Germany).

Currently, I’m also doing the promotional video for my good friend Jenny and the soon-to-start crowd sourcing campaign for her illustrated novel Darkness Over Cannae, an incredibly captivating, very emphatically written (and illustrated!) view on that one bloodstained day, which – almost – decided the Second Punic War in favour of Carthage.

Have a look:
Darkness over Cannae

I’ll write a dedicated announcement as soon, as the campaign launches.

This project also gave me a reason to finally dive into Blender’s video sequencer functionality (I can just say: great!), which implies, that the barrier to create the “This Side of Darkness” movie final cut has fallen.

It’s the next topic on my ToDo list now (except getting more book 2 work done, stemming the relocation) …

For my German-speaking readers, here’s a little content gap filler: these were the posters I showed at the Seelbach exhibition. There’s a bit of backstory, a Tanai legend on Amaro, and the Why-All-The-Nudity explanatory text in German.

Viel Spass beim Lesen. πŸ™‚

Miamone

The events of “This Side of Darkness” (and it’s upcoming sequel, too) take place on a earth-like world named Amaro, which is the larger of the Miamone twins, a double planet similar to the Pluto-Charon pair in our solar system.

I have to admit that this is not an idea I had right from the beginning, but one that evolved while I was working on TSoD and started to ask myself, what the story of that large moon would be, which kept slipping into the TSoD’s panels.

So I discovered, that this is no moon (but no, it’s NOT a space station either πŸ˜‰ ), but yet another planet, very close to the one Cin’Thele just explores – one, that is tightly coupled to Amaro by gravitational forces, and rotates together with Amaro around a common center of gravity, two objects that behave like one, shaped like a huge, asymmetric dumbbell.
Seen from each other, Amaro and Amian appear at fixed, observer-position-dependent locations in the firmament, just like satellites in a geostationary orbit.

While Cin’Thele travels west, she can see Amian deep over the Eastern horizon, on a clear sky.

Amaro and Amian have three larger moons, which also orbit around their common center of gravity, and several hundred smaller satellites forming a ring around them.

The Anukhai, who live in the grassy highlands of Olveare, see those small moons ascend from the horizon like a chain of pearls, touch the shape of Amian and disappear behind the twin, and finally reappear in the firmament, on their journey from one horizon to the other.

One of their legends is inspired by this nightly view: it tells of the moon wanderers, who descend from the stars to escort the bravest among their hunters, to the world beyond …

Admittedly, there are a number of consistency flaws in TSoD concerning this astronomical aspect. In particular, as far as I understand (I’m neither Physician nor Astronomer), such a twin planet should have a much slower day-night-cycle than what we’re accompanied to, because at a given energy level, the large “dumbbell” would rotate much slower than a single planet of the Miamone system mass would (see Wikipedia: Rotational Energy).
Meaning, that the sun-rise scene in the first chapter would occur dreadfully slow, Cin’Thele would probably have to dive several hours to see the sun rise by that distance. On the other hand, no one says she did not. πŸ˜‰

It’s Over: Thanks for a Great Weekend!

Need I say more?
The “This Side of Darkness” release party an exhibition in Seelbach is over, and it has been so much better than I had anticipated it.
I’m short of words, seriously, and am in a state of positive mental hangover at the moment.

Of course that’s also because it has been a first-timer for me: I’ve never-ever had a solo exhibition, never-ever organized such a thing myself, never-ever had the opportunity to introduce a comic book of mine, never-ever got thundering applause for a “movie” opening night even TWICE … never-ever been cured from the traumatic experience left by the last party-like event I organized at age 17 to complete disaster … πŸ˜€

Not to talk about the strange and wonderful experience of finally meeting people you’re befriended with for almost a decade without ever actually seeing or even speaking to each other, and observing how the “virtual” friendship just seamlessly turns into a “real world” one: Jenny & Katharina (pity, that you could not come, Toby – next time πŸ™‚ ).

Wow.

This maybe has been that weekend’s greatest experience. So great in fact, that we (meaning the “artist fraction”: Jenny, Rina, Basti and me) completely agreed on the necessity of a followup event as soon as possible. Theme to be found later on. πŸ™‚

I’m also very proud of having been able to feature works of them at the occasion
… and I’m even more proud to have the originals here now. Will post them here later.
It is a honour beyond words … thank you so much. πŸ™‚

Btw, I’m still missing my digicam, so I have not yet been able to take a foto of Rina’s so-damn-cool miniature painting of Sneaks (Schleicher), but you can have a glance on it at her Deviant Art site: click.

The weekend also played a bit of a creativity booster role.
Jenny pulled of an unbelievable scribble and watercolor run – view the sketch dump at her project site Darkness Over Cannae … which immediately caused more creativity eruptions: another spin-off of this weekend, with more than (literally!) running-gag potential: just have a look yourself!

Yeah, it will take a while until I’ll be grounded again … πŸ™‚

Before I finish for now, I would like to issue a special “thank you” to the address of Susanne Gerold, whom I met at Friday, together with her husband Gerd (a first-timer, too: cool, that you two found the time to come!).
She published an article on “This Side of Darkness”, which made me blush: “does she actually write all this on MY comic”?

It’s German only. But I could not seriously hope for a better review.
You can find it here.

PS.:
don’t forget: new chapter release is due tonight. πŸ™‚

Exhibition & Release Party in Seelbach, Black Forest

Exhibition Seelbach Poster

At February 28th, my T&D exhibition in Seelbach will open it’s gates for two and a half days.

At Friday, opening will be celebrated by what I call “release party”, without regard on the book’s actual release date. Anyway, I’m proud to be able to present the widescreen movie edition of This Side of Darkness at the exhibition, featuring music from Audiomachine, who generously gave me the permission to use it – thank you so much, guys! And fit’s sooo well …
Just watched it on big screen, with completed soundtrack for the very first time, and am still a bit in trance (of course I’m predisposed, because I’m the comic’s author, but hey).

Except that, there will be some drawings and paintings of mine, a bit of backstory to read … aaaand: pancakes! Made by me, the artist. Featuring sweet’n hot sauce, if you would. πŸ™‚

If you happen to be in the Black Forest area, just drop by. It’s free to attend! Would be great to meet you there.

Btw: Seelbach makes for a really nice vacation destination in it’s own right, it’s a small municipality at the western outskirts of the Black Forest, almost located in the Upper Rhine Trench.

A few Remarks on Cloth (or their absence)

As I guess this is probably one of the first thoughts most of you’ll have while reading the comic – why is she naked completely right away – I decided to provide a couple of thoughts on cloth and nudity in T&D.

First of all: it’s not meant to be sexistic!
Later on, you’ll find., that male clothing conventions are … relaxed, as well. πŸ˜‰

Tanai clothing habits

Tanai clothing habits

But why?
I wrote a bit about it in the FAQ section. I’ll do it a bit more extensively now.

It’s a pair of questions actually, instead of a single one:

  • Why is Cin’Thele naked right from the beginning?
  • Why do Salharin wear no cloth at all., or very frivoulous ones?

Answering question two also partially answers question one, so let’s start here:
Salharin are a different kind of people, when compared to men. There are visible differences, like their pointed ears (a classic), but the mental differences are of much more importance.
Salharin don’t have the same type of social and group instincts as men: in short, they don’t tend to form large colonies involving tight social structures, hierarchy, authority and obedience. Their individual behaviour is much less influenced by the desire to comply to social “rules”, than it is with human individuals.
They are loners by nature. Shame as an emotion caused by failure of compliance to expectations of one’s social environment, is alien to them. Instead, as they usually meet for the purpose of sharing pleasure in various flavours only, cloth, except from mere practical purposes like protection, solely fulfills a decorative role within their culture.

Nogh Clothing #2

Nogh fashion

Salharin, as I envision them, are an approximation of “perfect” individuals. They live forever, if not killed, in their world they never catch any disease, they don’t age, they feel few physical restraints, and are hardly troubled by discomforts like these in our world as well.

A “perfect” personality however would probably not perceive itself as split into two discrete entities – “mind” and “body”, one “superior” to the other, but feel as one, whole entity without intrinsic contradiction, existing in harmony with itself.
Such a being would certainly not see any reason to hide it’s physical appearance from view.

Nogh Clothing #1

Male Nogh fashion

So, finally coming back to question one … as far as it’s not answered already:
Cin’Thele just lost everything she had, including her memories, but also every single piece of matter she might have had with her, before she somehow got into that forest. As she is Salharin, she, probably unlike a female human, just doesn’t care much about the absence of cloth.
There just are lots of other questions to worry about at the moment.