Thursday, May 31, 2012

Myst Comic Notes #2: Star Fissure

Warning: Major Nerdiness Ahead

If you know Myst, the “star fissure” is a big motif in the The Book of Atrus and the games.

So in the comic, I’m not showing the cleft full of stars scene until later. But I did want to hint at it. So when I was thumbnailing Chapter 3, I came up with the following:

At the end of the rain scene on page 45, we see the cleft from above. Then in the next panel on page 46, we see a similar sized panel but with the camera looking up, at the stars. In my mind, seeing the two panels in succession composites them into an image of a star fissure.

Then I realized that, when printed, page 45 are not next to each other, but front and back of the same sheet. So I made sure that the cleft panel and the star panel overlapped each other.

I imagined that if you then held up the cleft panel to the light, you could see the stars from the star panel shining through. And it would look like the cleft was full of stars. I was totally nerding out.

I used photoshop and an overlay layer to simulate what it might look like (see photos).

Now that I finally got the [link] copy I printed using MagCloud, I could see how it actually looked. I took a picture holding the book right up to a lightbulb. The effect is not mindblowing, but I think it’s still pretty cool. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Printed Myst Comic, Part 2 (with Magcloud)


I was contacted by a representative from MagCloud who apologized for the crumpling/discoloration issues and offered to send me a free copy. I received the copy yesterday (5/12/2012) and it looks great! Thank you MagCloud!


These pictures look exactly like the ones here, but they are actually different books! (sorry the pictures aren't as good)

For the previous book, I used For this book, I used, recommended to me by Artoveli and Shoomlah.

I can't say I like the MagCloud or the Lulu book 100% better than the other. They are mostly the same, both have pros and cons. In case anyone's interested, here's my thoughts comparing the two:

The Magcloud book was definitely cheaper than the Lulu book. That's a big plus in its favor.

The sizes are different. The closest fit for the comic on Lulu was 7x9 inches. The Magcloud size is 5.5 x 8.5 in. The Magcloud is smaller, but still a comfortable read (for me anyway).

Lulu's page size is proportionally taller than my comic pages, so I can't have my pages maximally to the edges if I want more inner margin (and the Lulu version needed it).

The MagCloud size is longer than my content, so there's room for an inner margin. And the content goes right up to the other edges (top, bottom, outer). I like that.

I think the Lulu one was a little more polished. The Lulu cover was glossy (I kinda liked that). Also, two of the MagCloud pages were somewhat crumpled. And one page had a slightly discolored bar across it. Overall, nothing terrible, but I thought it was worth noting.

Magcloud printed significantly darker than Lulu. If I print with them again I'll have to remember to lighten my images a bit first.

Also, MagCloud automatically puts a small QR code on the back of the book in the lower right hand corner.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Myst Comic Notes #1: Minerals

A few weeks ago, I went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. It was a real delight. It's got that great old-timey naturalist vibe that I associate with Atrus.

They had a great collection of minerals. I got really excited when I saw ones some Myst related ones. I took some pictures.

There's some sulfur, which is all over the volcano where Atrus and Anna live.

Atrus uses galena (lead sulfide) for his battery.

In my Myst comic, Anna points out a chunky white mineral as a type of feldspar:

Given the rock is andesite, then the feldspar is more specifically andesine, a plagioclase feldspar.

I was somewhat confused by the display though. It says on the "Feldspar Group" paper that they don't have Plagioclase feldspars on display. But they did have andesine.

 In fact, my understanding is andesine, albite, oligoclase, labradorite and anorthite are all part of a series known as plagioclase feldspars. I don't understand why plagioclase is on the list as an individual species name.

Any geology lovers out there know why that would be? Is there a single feldspar species known as plagioclase?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Art's Not Finished Until Lots of People See It

Warning: big ramblings ahead

A piece of artwork or film is not finished until a lot of people see it.

It doesn’t become what it is until the audience participates in it. I might finish it, I might take my hand out of it and say its over, but from there, it enters a new place.

The artwork first started from an extra-personal place. The voices of society, your own voices (which develop from sources outside yourself) go into the creation of the artwork. Once it goes through you, then it goes out into society, to percolate in the subconscious of others.

And that process can take a long time. For some immortal pieces of art, it never really ends. People see it, it stirs emotions, which generate commentary, which affect the perception of the piece by others. In that way the piece changes through time. As the artist, you can’t control that process, but its affecting the artwork nonetheless.

That’s why the artist’s work is not finished when she finishes drawings/painting/animating, whatever. It’s not finished until she puts it out into the world, promotes it, and exposes it to as many people as possible. It’s just not finished until lots of people have seen it.

I’m thinking about this because I have a hard time with promoting my work. If I frame it as an extension of the creative process, rather a realm outside of it, then maybe it will be easier to do it. I’m trying to remember that other people’s reactions to my work, however surprising they are to me, are just as important as my own perception of it.

What do you guys think? How do you view the promotion/exposure of your own work?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Myst: The Book of Atrus Comic - Page 55

This is the last page of Chapter 3. I need to write and thumbnail Chapter 4. Stay tuned for a new page in a few weeks. :D

Check for the latest page, or read from the beginning.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Myst: The Book of Atrus Comic - Page 51

Read from the beginning.

Gehn doodlings

Fooling around with character design for Gehn.

At some point, I’m going to need to draw Gehn for the Myst comic. I’m looking forward to it. I was doodling him, trying out different things. I don’t know why he’s wearing a toga like thing in some of them … I think I was mixing it up with my classical anatomy studying.