Friday, June 28, 2013

STATION ZERO update #3

My piece for STATION ZERO is just about finished! I say "just about," because I know I will inevitably discover little problems in the few remaining days before the submission deadline. I've learned that I need a few days of reflection time after I think I've finished a picture, to freshen my eyes and help me catch things.

Anyway, here's a little sneak peek of my basically-finished poster! It's come a loooong way from the sketch. I'm very pleased with it. I hope it makes people curious about the book (Picnic on Paradise by Joanna Russ), because I think it's definitely worth reading!

All 80+ STATION ZERO prints will be available in Light Grey Art Lab's online shop starting July 12, and the opening reception is on July 19. See you there, maybe?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

STATION ZERO update #2

Making slow progress on my piece for Light Grey Art Lab's STATION ZERO show -- but progress nonetheless!

Picnic on Paradise, as it turns out, is more of a wilderness survival story and character portrait than a pulpy sci-fi novel. I was actually surprised at how generally non-absurd it was -- I guess I was expecting something campy and dated that would be easy to make fun of. Instead, it was a stark, gritty, character-driven story firmly grounded in realism, with no frills, gimmicks, or laughable retro-futurist technology. The sci-fi elements are either understated or peripheral.

Maybe I was a little disappointed at first. I kind of had my heart set on drawing a green alien babe in a fishbowl helmet holding a little ray gun that looks like some kind of vintage kitchen appliance. But now that I've read the whole thing, I actually feel lucky to have received a book that I can respect rather than ridicule.

The story centers on, and is entirely driven by, a complex heroine named Alyx. A time-travel accident has flung her from her native ancient Greece into the distant future, where her natural survival skills make her extremely valuable. She is employed by the "Trans-Temporal Agency" to assist a group of ill-prepared tourists navigate escape a resort planet that has become the battleground of a commercial war.

Basically, imagine Xena in the future, trying her damnedest to protect people about as self-sufficient as the future-humans from WALL-E.

I had a hard time deciding what to draw for my cover redesign. All I knew for certain was I had to feature Alyx, who is amazing and badass. I ended up picking a scene that is never actually shown in the book, only referred to obliquely: the moment of Alyx's transference to the future.

Here's a little sneak peek at my sketch so far!