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This was my second diorama for ReaperCon but was the one not judged. The idea behind it was a Mousling adventuring party finding treasure but also finding that others were already there. I wish I had done more with it, such as adding more elements on the Mousling side and possibly a back drop but I was sadly running out of time and this was the entry that suffered for it.
By Lord of the Dish Pit
The time has come to once again pick up the pencil and inflict my vision upon an unsuspecting world. Rather than do the sane thing and start out with something like angry squirrels or grey aliens, or anything else that wouldn't require me to track down reference pictures or turn into a lengthy project, I decided to jump right back into concert poster/album covers, this time for bands with better names that don't yet exist!
Several reasons for this,
1 It's a very familiar format.
2 Wishing I'd been able to do this when Nuclear Krill took over the Randomness thread awhile back.
3 It's a format with interesting limitations.
The band name needs to have something to do with the image, (although when I was doing this regularly and getting hit with bands whose names didn't even evoke what genre they were, I usually ignored it.) and I have only one panel, if a large one to depict an image that not only catches the eye, but hopefully entices and entertains the viewer into forking over some cash by going to the show. A more personal goal was that even if the viewer didn't much care about or for the band or show depicted, they might at least enjoy the drawing and keep the flyer.
Before I ramble further, I'd like to shout out an appreciation towards whoever set up the Nuclear Krill Wiki, because that's going to save me so much time and sanity. Seriously, thank you!
I decided to go with the first album, 1985's Born To Krill. Made sense to start at the beginning, and one of my ideas is to have the krill grow steadily larger with each cover/poster. Also it makes the evolution if any, of their logo easier on continuity.
My rough notes for the poster. I spent some time searching for 1985 metal album covers in search of period fonts, and possible ideas for composition. Unfortunately, the vast majority were of band members or paintings that don't really translate to the 50s comic book style I aim for. The Born To Krill font is based off the poster for 1947's "Born To Kill". Wherever possible, I like to mix fonts so as to tug the viewer's eye all over the poster, and prevent the sameness of the lettering from blanding everything out if that makes sense. As can be dimly seen I penciled in a rough idea for the image. A nuclear plant going into meltdown in the back ground, and a krill riding a radioactive barrel over a nearby body of water. I remember a lot of cartoons using the radioactive barrel as a plot device in the 80s, so this fits the theme I'm going for and provides at least the bare bones of an origin story. Also it makes reference pictures easier to find. The coffee stain on the page gave me a laugh because years ago, almost all of my work was done at the coffee house, so most of my drawings had at least one. Thankfully they never showed up in the photocopies, and I view it as Agamenthar blessing the work in progress.
Three Mile Island will be the basis of the background, and this picture gives me a nice wide view of it to work with, and allows me to highten the realism by including all of the various structure, powerlines, etc. Since most of my work contains fantastical elements, keeping as much realism as possible in the presentation grounds things and keeps them from getting too cartoony.
Wally Wood was a master at this as shown in the panel. A ship in a bathtub takes on a seriousness it would otherwise not have. He was also a master at contrasting black and white, and I selected this picture so as to study the water. Our krill will be in calmer waters, but if I can pull off a tenth of this, I'll be happy.
And this is where I'm currently at. I have a love/hate view of lettering, this took three hours not counting the "R" in nuclear, which I finished up a few minutes ago. The challenge is always to get them large enough to be a focal point, yet still be able to fit them onto the page in a pleasing fashion. A lot of measuring goes into this, and as can be seen by the way the "R" is clipped off, I do usually run out of space. I also ink in the letters as soon as possible, because it's easier to draw around/ through them when the actual drawing part begins. The paper I'm abusing is 11x17, with a half inch border all around, a relic of the days when the copy service employees would end up lopping bits off by loading it in crooked. Outside of quick sketches I prefer this size, because it allows me to noodle in a large amount of detail even if it is a lot of space to fill.
Next up will be the joys of curved lettering.
So I finished up the insane project of Mouslings just in time for my son's celebration at school, the WIP is here:
Overall it drove me crazy, mainly because they are without a doubt the smallest things I have ever worked on and were extremely hard to paint. The kids really made me feel good about the whole thing though, as many of the kids (almost the whole class?) came up and were really appreciative of the gift. The teacher was even in awe of the detail on them and that I had hand painted them for all the kids.
So, here is which mouslings were done:
77286 Mousling King & Princess (3 each)
77287 Mousling Thief & Assassin (1)
77288 Mousling Sorcerer & Samurai (2)
77289 Mousling Ranger & Yeoman (2)
77290 Mousling Druid & Beekeeper (2)
77547 Mousling Eastern (2)
77548 Wizard Mouslings (3)
Here is the first Group of 21 that were Clear coated first, followed by the 9 who got clear coated and returned to the kids the following day:)
And now, closeups of the groups in no particular order :) As always, C&C is appreciated.