Saturday, May 22, 2010

current project, current news

Firstly, Sweet Enemy and I are test-driving a new cat. He's a fat gray tom with notched ears and funny light gray stripes. He's very vocal and prone to growling (which means nothing, apparently. He will growl while purring and while bumping you and acting all lovey). He's the cat of SE's cousin and needs a new home as her two boys are having trouble understanding that cats aren't plushies and her husband doesn't like cats**.

He's nervous and hid under the bed most of the day, but seems to be adjusting. A bit. Updates to follow.

Currently, I'm working on Page 100 Project. I first saw this on Drawn and it is the genius idea of artist Jason Turner.

What you do is take a book, open to page 100 and make a comic page of that page. It's a challenge, especially in a dialog-heavy page, or a scene-setting page. I've got three planned. The first is from Sabriel*** an fantastic novel by the inimitable Garth Nix.

Here's the text:

"...of wide, low steps, carved with intricate patterns. Whether they meant something, Sabriel didn't know. They weren't charter marks, or symbols of any language that she knew, and she was too tired to speculate. She concentrated on one step at a time, using her hands to push down on her aching thighs, coughing and gasping, head down to avoid the flying snow.

The path grew steeper still and Sabriel could see the cliff-face ahead, a huge, black, vertical mass, a much darker backdrop to the swirling snow than the clouded sky, palely backlit by the moon. But, she didn't seem to get any closer as the path switchbacked to and fro, rising further and further up from the valley below.

Then, suddenly, Sabriel was there. The path turned again and her little will-0'-the-wisp light reflected back from the wall, a wall that stretched for miles on either side and for hundreds of yards upward. Clearly, these were the Long Cliffs, and the path had ended.

Almost sobbing with relief, Sabriel pushed herself forward to the very base of the cliff, and the little light rose above her head to disclose grey, lichen-veined rock. But even with that light, there was no sign of a door-- nothing but...

Here's the pencil:

Here's the ink. The black background hasn't been put in in real life, yet, but I plan to. I want to have these as actual pieces of art to hang. It should keep me from cutting digital corners as I've done with the previous comics.

The other two I have in the works are Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (this is pencilled, but not inked) and my favorite Keroac novel, The Dharma Bums

More to come!

Listening to while posting: Bernie flopped on the floor behind my chair purring; he's out from under the bed!

**I've never understood disliking cats. I don't own a dog, but I love 'em. I love cats, too. What's wrong with a cat. It's like a vibrating pillow you have to feed occasionally. What's there to dislike? Litter box cleaning maybe, but that could be considered less gross than big piles of poo in the yard (or a dog that pees on his own front feet like my sister's late German Shepherd)

***I'm posting no link. This is because any synopsis would ruin the book. It is so original and non-derivative that any synopsis would make it seem stupid. I will only say that it is a fantasy novel, but I'd be very, very surprised if you've read one like it. I used to sell books and every customer I recommended this book to came back to thank me. Go buy a copy today.


Arjan said...

I really like the 100 concept!
There'll be a pic of one of my mini's somewhere this week..still busy finishing in between work, study and sleeping..

btw..I've had an 'error' occur every first time I type in my password in blogger.. (and no..I didn't make type-o's) is it just me or has blogger been shit for the last month or two..
It already made commenting a battle in itself..

Rambler said...

*Love* the Sabriel page! Can't wait to see the others.

Ditto re: disliking cats. Also, "a vibrating pillow you have to feed occasionally" is my favorite description of them yet. Sounds like Bernie will settle in just fine.

AndreZero said...

I think the Page 100 project would be more interesting if you used a completely random book that you hadn't already read. Having read the books you are using, I'm sure you have some context going into them.

Cats shed. And they are really sharp and pointy on one end. Correction: really sharp and pointy on 5 ends.

Arkonbey said...

@Arjan: I'll be checking out those minis tonight. It's about time!

@Rambler: Glad you like it. When you return Bartimaeus, I'll do one of that. We're really hoping Bernie will adjust.

@az: It would be harder not knowing the book. By page 100, most characters have been introduced their looks are finalized. Also, to do it right, I'd have to read some earlier to see if there's any context I need to know (for instance, in Sabriel, it's in page 96 or so where it tells how she's dressed).

Also, Dogs shed as well and, while they are only pointy on one end, the number of ER visits for dog attacks are just a little bit larger than those for cat attacks.

AndreZero said...

I'll admit, I didn't follow the link to the Page 100 Project. I assumed part of the challenge was to use only what was on that page. After reading the actual site, I see that's not true. He actually proposes it as a book you have read and liked. I stand corrected.

jasonturner said...

Hey I just noticed your comment on my livejournal. Great page! I love that book.

I will add this to my list...