Friday, October 20, 2006

Planetary Adventure. Interplanetary Romance. Sword and Planet. My favorite genre or venue. And an out of date one.

When I decided that “I wanted to do just what I wanted to do”, which was to create a heavily illustrated novel, I followed my heart to the sword and planet venue.

I entered the field through A Princess of Mars (1911), which is where it really started. ( I am STILL not over the movie shelving ) I promptly fired through Burroughs by the bucket load. Burroughs created the bulk of of the genre with his Mars and Venus novels, but he was not alone. Otis Adelbert Kline, Lin Carter, Michael Moorcock and Leah Brackett have all worked within the field, but Burroughs was the template, and most original of them all.

Reading these old books again ( or some for the first time ) I find a wonderful freedom from the modern conventions of science fiction and fantasy. Romanticism and chivalry,a hint of exotic mysticism, pseudo-science, exotic worlds, and lots of sword play all wrapped up in one delightful package.

Granted it is almost a 100 years later, and many other authors and ideas have gone into the pot that is The Fire Gods of Venus,( I never set out to write a pastiche ) but what a wonderful place it has been to begin from.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

There is no way I'm going to blog everyday, but since I just started this and I have some new art, I thought I'd get it up here. This morning's offering is set in the wilds of venus. The geography of Venus is characterized by lush tropical plateaus (which are the populated zones ), surrounded by the low rocky deserts of the Jora Zi, a hostile environment that is visited, not populated, by those of the plateaus.

The dwellers of the Jora Zi are creatures of tale and myth, the Zadiya. Those that venture into the Jora Zi will attest to the presence of what they call Zadiya towers, or Draw towers. Draw towers collect vital energy from the local environment, which is then pulsed west through conduits to the processing plant at the base of the Fanged Mountains.

Okay, enough freaky explanations. I had a blast creating the tower, and ramping up it's psychedelic factor. More freakiness to come. - Jeff

Monday, October 16, 2006

Presently The Fire Gods of Venus is going through it's second rewrite - okay it's a second complete rewrite, huge chunks have been mauled, spindled or discharged before this - I need to turn my attention back to the art or something bad will happen. The need to paint is strong in this one.

Above is a new study of my main character George and his retrofitted back. George goes through a Venusian over-haul ( mutation ) on his arrival. I need to do a complete character sheet on George to nail the tattooing down, as well as the horn placement. But for now this it - I'm on a roll with a couple of environment paintings right now.