Hours in photoshop: Would rather not know Number of espressos: Approaching triple digits Dress sense while drawing: Hipster scrooge It's pretty regular in the comics (and film) industry to start with a script and work towards a visual realisation of that script. However, sometimes it's interesting to work backwards. I was wondering what it would be like to start with the image and work toward the story. With that in mind, I drew this, leaving the story pretty open. It's be awesome if any of the more writerly of hitrecord would be interested in penning a (pretty short) science fiction story to go along with this illustration. If not, as always, do whatever you please with it. Enjoy! SnickerSnack
Recent foreshortening/cel shading practice sketch. As ever, do with it what you will. Thus concludes my brief return to hitrecord! See you in a few months, maybe. Keep well.
The well seemed like the best place. Deep enough, and old enough to deter any of the curious, or worse, the lucky. Brackish water makes a good grave. But that was on the edge of town, and getting there unnoticed wouldn’t be easy. Other options were needed. Back-ups. Dismantling it and quietly dropping the pieces as he walked sounded good in his head, until he though how obvious is was to him, and therefore obvious to his pursuers. Sweat started to bead on his forehead, and he felt his breathing want to quicken in his chest. All his ideas seemed so obvious. It was too big to eat, and hiding it in or around his body was an amateur move at best. He looked at his watch. Not enough time, never enough time. Looking out the window, the street was silent, an empty cobblestone corridor, lit only by a lonely lamp. One of the old, victorian lamps, he thought, saving himself from exactly one second of panic. Time to go. He opened the window an inch, waited ten seconds for the screaming to start. When none came, he opened it another few inches, and squeezed through. The drop was further than he’d anticipated, and he made a clumsy crunch as he his boots connected with the cobblestone. A curse tried to escape his mouth, but he managed to catch it in his throat. Enough noise. West. Head west. Head west, and hope. He didn’t like hope, had always preferred to control his own situations, but hope was the last thing he had left. Having shunned it for so long, hope returned the favour, and left him with only the repressing, ever-constant threat of panic taking over all and everything. West, then. He headed west.
He could feel it, heavy in the inside pocket of his coat. Heavier than it seemed a few moments ago. Being one of theirs, this was entirely possible. Throwing his overcoat around him, he tugged up the collar and skirted along the road, keeping as close to the wall as he could, where the shadows held and the grass grew, drowning his silhouette, silencing his footsteps. He caught himself about to take a full step into the town square. Back-peddling rapidly, he slipped on an errant stone, and fell flat on his back, stamping on the bellows of his lungs, taking his air away. Rolling over, he coughed hard, and leant against the wall, letting it take his weight. Pushing himself up, he caught what was left of his breath and cursed himself. Smooth manoeuvre, J. Edgar. Leaning one delirious eye slowly around the side, he saw that it was deserted. An empty town square, the fountain surrounded by unoccupied benches and dead space. Soft light from no clear source. This was meant to entice him. The whole square was an arena. Designed to look safe, to seem silent. They’d given themselves away by turning the fountain off. Too obvious. He turned and headed south, to cut around the square. The well was still his best option, although not much. He caught himself wishing. Like hoping, he wasn’t a fan. But he wished hard he’d set up a tertiary drop box. Finding the previous two, or rather not finding them, was unnerving enough. Better to find them smashed and broken, than simply missing. Brute vandalism is so familiar. Reassuring. Their method was to simply punch holes in the world. A postbox deleted. The back-up locker, simply gone, no trace it was ever there but the memory in his head. They took an eraser to your life, took what was needed to turn you against yourself. Make you paranoid enough to start to think you really might be insane. He turned the corner of the last thin alley, and found himself on the main road. A hundred metres to the west lay his best, last hope. He patted his jacket pocket. He patted it again. It wasn’t there. He stuffed his hand wrist-deep into the pocket, grasping only air. He’d dropped it. Somewhere on the way? When he’d fell, by the town square. As he’d rolled over. Panic flooded his veins with adrenaline, his body forgot how to breathe, then remembered with a vengeance. He tore down one alley, then another, blind to danger, caution be damned. Slipping, sprinting, he arrived at the town square, but at the wrong entrance. The south entrance. Too late, too late. He made a mad dash for the alley he’d slipped at earlier, but only made it half way before he caught the movement in the corner of his eye. A man. Sitting quietly next to the fountain, unassuming. Feeding crumbs to a single crow. This was how they worked. Made you paranoid to the point of insanity, then, at the last moment, proved you right. The man turned, and with one hand, held up the package. That’s it, then. A fatalism came over him, a cold relief in knowing that it was over. That there was no need to run any more. The man patted the seat next him, motioning him to sit. So he sat, and wondered if you heard the gunshot, or just felt it. The man fed the last of his bread to the crow, which, figuring no more was to be had, took flight into the ink sky. The man turned, and leaned in to whisper.
‘Fancy a job?’ he said.
A fake poster for an imaginary comic book, namely A MURDER OF K.R.O.W.S! K.LEPTOMANIC R.OBOTRONIC O.VER-POWERED W.ENCH S.QUAD Shut up, Robotronic IS a word! I had so much fun drawing this. I have very little idea of what the story would be, but I figure it would at least involve quasi-robotic wrench wenches stealing experimental aircraft and raiding parallel dimensions for their expensive shiny things. Or something. I'll upload the individual K.R.O.W.S if anyone wants to play with them or anything. Play nice!
Concept art for the vector-hopping mechanic of K.R.O.W.S. I've left it pretty open, and it's ripe for remixing for whatever if anyone wants to.But it's largely an articulation of one of the main characters of K.R.O.W.S. slipping between dimensions.
It's good to go back to my natural home of inking. I missed it.
Greyscale sketch for this collab. Could use a short story to go with it, if anyone's interested.
EDIT: Cheers, guys! It might be less clear than I had intended in the drawing, but here's my take on this:
At the base of the sign? That's a city. A collossal city, with thousands of roads entering from every compass point. The sign itself is at least a mile high, with tens of thousands of small signs running up its side. The signs change and move, depening on what the majority of people in the city are looking for, whether they know it or not.
tl;dr: that thing is BIG
A mohawked Azu enjoys a rare quiet moment at the KROWS hideout.
More KROWS! This is a splash page I'll probably use later as a chapter opener for one of hayling's stories. It's a bit context free, as I'm still trying to figure out the art style for the graph novel side of KROWS. Cel shading seems to be working reasonably well. I'm still getting the hang of drawing our robo-girls, and wanted to play with jumpsuits and more subtle augmentations. And I wanted to draw a mohawk.
As ever, check out hayling's KROWS METAVERSE collab (http://www.hitrecord.org/records/940953), where you'll find all the story you can get your teeth into!
The first chapter, BROKEN CIRCUIT, is here: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/991164
From there, find SPUN OUT here: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/938026
and KROW HUNTING here: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/941010
If you *still* want more, my graphic adaptation and the original KROWS artwork is over here for your perusal!
I'm working on adapting the prologue at the mo into a 5-page thing. Tune in next week for more dimension-hopping cyberpunkery!
Phew. This one took a while. Endured what felt like a few ice ages here, a few eons there. Also drank enough whiskey to kill a small dog. But: finished. Playing with a slightly different, more painterly style.
Behold Emmory, exile of House Barsukov. Em's the defacto leader of the KROWS. Parter in KROWS-Science Iggy's described her to me as 'going through the world half bored half amused, but if you get her attention, she's sharp as hell.'
But, as they say, show, don't tell. And there's plenty to show. As ever, go run A.M.O.K. in the various collab.'s attatched to this, where you'll find story, art, and happy fun KROW times. (I say happy fun. It's a lot of cyberpunk swearing. It's great.)
The third of the KROWS profiles: Lilly, KROWS' haphazard navigator. An orphan adopted into the questionable care of the KROWS, Lilly demostrated an early talent for navigating the unruly seas of inter-vector navigation, a process which has slowly eroded her already tenous grip on reality.
Little-sister to all the KROWS, Lil's found her niche as their spotter, pathfinder and resident magpie, locating potential stashes of useful tech in local vectors, and dropping her big sisters off to play thief.
'The girl who stared into the sun' is simply a term I used to push the profile a little further, and how I've thought of Lil recently.
----- STANDARD KROWS EMERGENCY BROADCAST
- ALL KROWS NARRATIVE CAN BE FOUND IN ATTATCHED COLLABS
- KROWS TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR INABILITY TO ENDURE OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE
- KROWS TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY
- DO NOT ATTEMPT INTER-VECTOR TRAVEL WITHOUT NECESSARY AUGMENTATIONS
- If your stuff is shiny we will take it
KROWS RUN AMOK