So, here we have some scans of the first five pages to Waking World: Recall, done in 2002. I used sharpies back then for pretty much everything, and these pages show it. They have faded quite a bit in the past 7 years so these scans aren't great. The white stripe in the middle of pages 2 & 3 is unfortunate, but because of my scanner it has to be there. Can you tell that I was a huge Brian Michael Bendis fan in 2002? Yeah, it's a bit talky, but I love writing dialog so deal with it. I have a partially salvaged page 6 that I may scan in soon as well. Click the pics for full size.
Waking World was a project I started in 2001. Sort of a cross between Pan's Labrynth and Blade Runner I suppose. I was listening to Haujobb's brilliant album Polarity a lot back then, and it just created these images and stories in my head. I couldn't stop myself from creating. The only problem was, I wasn't comfortable with my writing back then. I had a very detailed, page-by-page plot, but was having trouble turning that into a cohesive story. Enter Casey Faulkner.
Casey was (and still is) a great friend of mine, and a brilliant writer to boot. We had many conversations, and shared many similar interests and ideas, and I knew he was the perfect writer for this. We got together many times, and he loved my basic plot/story. He didn't try to change things, but instead added so much to it. It was my first great experience working with another person creatively. We were going to tackle the issues of racism, class-ism, white collar crime, recreational drug use, the lengths people are willing to go to protect their own, and what it means to believe in a god in this day and age, among many other things all while telling a great science fiction crime drama. I was even more excited than before! He added a prologue that amped the story up a million notches. The pages were flowing out of me like crazy.
Then one day in mid-2002 the bad news came. Casey's car was broken into and much of the work was gone. His bag and laptop were stolen. Months of work down the drain. I was truly heartbroken, as this was, and still is to this day, my favorite work. I stopped working on it almost immediately, and I've never looked back until now.
I've recently found a bunch of the character sketches though, and even a few finished pages, so I thought I'd post them here. I like the style I've grown into over the intervening years, but am astonished at the level of detail I used to employ. I don't remember the whole of the story, but the basic plot elements are still there at the back of my braino-thingy. Finding these pages has really inspired me. I've begun sketching these characters again, and am re-working the basic plot into a script so I can begin anew. Waking World may still see the light of day sometime in the near future. Stay tuned. For now, here is some old shit. Click the pics for full size, and thanks for looking.
This is the main protagonist, Lycia. She is an Elven bounty hunter/gun for hire. She is the best there is. Period. If she's looking for you, you will be found. If you run, you just make it more fun for her. She is loyal almost to a fault, but if you get on her bad side... I first penciled this in 2001, and just recently inked it. I still love those boots!
This is Lycia's best friend, and sometime lover, Lucy Gunmetal. She runs the bar The Zone where the criminals and other lowlifes hang out. She, however, is one of the good guys, always listening and feeding Lycia information. She's a tough girl with a big heart. This was done in 2002 sometime.
And here we have Lycia and Lucy together. Again from 2002. For some reason I changed Lycia's look a bit, maybe trying to make her look tougher? Now I'm not so fond of it. Also, that gun is way cheesy.
Here is a scan of a print-out of a piece I did to show off the cast. This is also from 2002. I designed the logo as well. I don't remember many of these character's names, but I remember their purposes in the story.
The guy with the gas mask thing is Lexicon, another ex-lover of Lycia, and her heaviest competition. They are still somewhat friends, as long as there is no money on the line.
The guy with the stupid looking blonde hair was a petty criminal who stumbled onto something big, and therefore became Lycia's target.
The guy with the wings is Archangel, or Archie as Lycia calls him to his chagrin. He is the big money in the upper levels of the city, and the most powerful person in this world.
The guy with the crown is the big boss of Low-town, primarily the Rotlicht. If you need anything, he will get it for you at a price, but if you cross him you'd better leave the planet.
The person with all the glowy bits is... well, I'll leave that until later.
This is an old, really bad scan of the first page. I still love this page so much, especially the cybernetic panel borders.
Well, that's it for this trip down memory lane.
I will try to get some good scans of the other pages very soon. Keep watching this space for some new stuff in the next few weeks as well. I feel my writing skills may finally be up to the challenge now, so I may have some new pages up very soon. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in seeing more of. Comments, as well as criticisms, are always appreciated and encouraging as long as they are constructive.
So, my friend Adam, who was my best friend throughout high school and long after wards, who moved to Washington to live near me, who was like a brother to me for many years, and whose family treated me like I was blood, was found dead Monday morning due to self inflicted gunshot wounds. I haven't spoken to him in 5 years, after we had a falling out and lost contact, but this news really rocked my world.
It's weird. His death hasn't really upset me, it's more the fact that everyone who moved to Washington because of me has died in the last year. I wonder if they hadn't moved, would they still be alive today? Or, would things have progressed in the same ways? Do we really die "in our time"? Is this thought process selfish? Self absorbed? Either way, Adam has left the building.
Now, I'm just left wondering. Why did he do it? Was his life in Washington so bad that he felt this was his only way out? Did his family or friends see this coming, see any signs?
Adam could really be an asshole. It's true, and he would have admitted it. He was blunt, honest, and kind of a dick. But he was also one of the most loyal and generous people I have ever known. He tried to hide it, but he was also very caring and loving with his friends. He loved his friends and family almost to a fault sometimes. He will be very missed.
The one good thing to come out of all of this is that I have somewhat reconnected with good friends I haven't seen in years. People I still care about but just haven't had a reason to contact, until now. They are asking the same questions. And nobody has any answers. But at least we have each other again.
So, it's been a while since I've updated here. I have been job hunting like crazy since May, and still trying to do the odd comic/art job here and there. I start my new job next Friday though, and this weekend is the first annual Long Beach Comic-Con! More on that in a bit though.
Here is a picture of Deadman that I drew yesterday, and colored today. Really simple colors, but it looks good, no? This is the first successful free time drawing I've done in ages. It seems like when I have substantial downtime, my inspiration takes a vacation. I had plenty of things to do yesterday, but when inspiration comes knocking you have to answer the door. Hopefully, this inspiration will continue for the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed. I'm really proud of this piece though, and I hope you like it.
Now, back to LBCC. I will be sketching at the Mach 1 Wrestling booth. Wrestling booth, you ask? Yep. I designed the t-shirts that they will have available at a big event happening there, and probably at the booth as well. It was a fun piece to design, even though it was really short notice and some of the files were very small. I think it turned out really well though. I am a wizard when it comes to deadlines. I had, basically, about 24 hours to create it so they could get it screen printed in time for the Con. If you are going, make sure to stop by and say hi!
Also, Comic-Con was awesome this year! I finally got to meet Molly McIsaac, which was EPIC! Plus, Willie, Tony, Mike Colbert, Ben Templesmith, Tony Lee, James Moran, Dave Gibbons, Livesay, Brad Walker, iFanboy, and so many other cool people! I drank a lot, which is usual, but this year it was different. When I'm more lucid I will post more, including pictures. Crazy week is over now though, so it's back to job hunting, Bitter Pill, and lettering. I can't wait until next year! See you there!
So here it is, the finished Paul McGann Doctor Who piece I've been working on these past few days.
Why McGann you might ask? Well, even though his 1996 movie had it's faults, he was FANTASTIC as the Doctor. I feel really bad that my country sucks and didn't watch it, because he never got another chance (well, Big Finish Audio counts I guess) to portray our favorite time-traveling gypsy. I was looking forward to a new Doctor season, with new enemies, a new TARDIS control room, etc. Unfortunately we had to wait almost ten more years before Russel T. Davies brought the Doctor back. And boy did he bring it back!
I still may add some spacey background stuff in the top right corner, but as it stands I think it turned out pretty well.
The Drink & Draw Social Club OC Chapter meets tonight for the second week in a row!
Azteca Mexican Restaurant/Crooners Lounge 12911 Historical Main St Downtown Garden Grove 9 PM - whenever we run out of art supplies or drinks! Come hang out, even if you don't drink OR draw. We have the whole restaurant to ourselves, so it's all ages tonight! Do it for the children!
Well, barring any grammatical or spelling errors, here is my 4th and (hopefully) final draft. Please, if you read it, comment. Any comments, criticisms, or advice will be taken to heart. Oh yeah, Dr. Who News linked to it on www.twitter.com/DrWhoNews the other day! Awesome! Enjoy!
Doctor Who - The Sands of Shara
By Carl Jansson
There is something strange and terrifying going on at the Siwa Oasis in the western desert. There is a haunted dig site and a frustrated archaeology professor. And what are those strange glass statues? Can the Doctor solve the mystery before it’s too late?
It is a Thursday in 1946. It could be any Thursday. It is a day just like any other in the western desert. The scorching Egyptian sun shines down, oppressively, making everything hot and sticky. The sandstorms ebb and flow, blanketing the Siwa Oasis dig site in a fine patina of dust and sand as old as the planet itself.
It is eerily quiet amongst the ruins of mud-brick houses and ShaliGhali, the ancient fortress of Siwa. The towering citadel casts a haunting shadow across the desert floor. It has been a few years since the Ahmad Fakhri dig, and Emil Shara is now taking up where Ahmad left off, with funding from a mysterious benefactor.
Most of the crew have retired for the day, but Tara and Clive, two young archaeology students of Professor Shara, have stayed behind, using soft brushes to clean up two strange artifacts they've just unearthed.
Tara is in her early twenties, with dazzling blue eyes, burgundy hair styled in a bob, and curiously pale skin for a girl who has been working in the sun for the past three weeks. She chose to spend her summer away from school, on location, to “learn what the books cannot teach me”. Tara has only known Clive for the three weeks they have been working together, and, even though she has not said so, cannot wait until she is away from him.
"These are much older than anything we've discovered out here," exclaims Tara, "I've never seen anything like them."
"No, I suppose YOU haven't," Clive agrees, condescendingly.
Clive is rather tall, with well worn hands and skin from years of working. He comes from the North of England, where he lives with his mother and father. Clive is attending college on scholarship, one that he never thought he would acquire. He has had to work hard his entire life for everything he has, and has an attitude that reflects it.
Tara holds up one of the relics, examining its strange unearthly sheen closely.
"They just don't look like they belong here, in Egypt," says Tara, looking frustrated, "In fact, I don't know where they belong. What are they even made of? Clive?"
"Just do your job, I've got to use the toilet," Clive says, as he starts to walk away, in his usual foul mood.
There is a strange sound accompanied by a rustling of sand behind them.
"What was that?" Tara asks.
"What was what? I didn't hear anyth..."
Clive is cut off as a giant wall of sand rises from the desert floor around them. The wall starts to take on a vaguely humanoid shape.
"Tara, RUN! Get to the..."
Clive is cut off again as the sand giant envelopes them both, muffling any possibility of a scream. Then, the sand subsides, and all that is left are two shimmering glass statues.
It is ten minutes later, a little more than a mile away. This part of the desert is calm, even serene. There are a few camels off in the distance, but sandstorms have wiped away any trace of recent activity in this area. A lone girl rides along the dunes, on a magnificent white stallion. She is protected almost head to toe with beautiful and expensive looking robes and scarves, except for her brilliant blue eyes.
There is a strange, unnatural sound cutting through the tranquility. “Vworp! Vworp! Vworp!” A slight wind kicks up sand and debris, causing her steed to startle and throw her to the ground with an "Oomph!" A peculiar blue box appears, where just seconds before there was only desert. As she lay there, staring quizzically at this new addition to her surroundings, a door opens on the side of the box.
"What?" A voice from inside can almost be heard. "What?" The voice gets louder. "What?!"
A man steps out of the doorway, wearing trainers, a pinstripe suit and trench coat, carrying an umbrella.
"Well, this surely isn't Barcelona! Well, it could be, couldn't it?"
"Wait a tic," the man turns to go back inside.
Seconds later he returns, "Nope, definitely not Barcelona," exclaims the man from the box, “Why is it never Barcelona?”
He turns and sees a girl lying on the ground. "You," he yells, "what year is this?"
The girl climbs to her feet, cautiously, and addresses the Doctor, "Who are you?!"
The man offers her his hand, and with a big, bright smile introduces himself. "Why, I'm the Doctor! You look like you could use a hand."
"What is that, that thing?" She asks, pointing towards the big blue box.
"Oh that. Just a box. Never mind that though, are you alright? Looks like you had a nasty fall back there. Well, I say fall. Maybe summer, it's a bit warm for fall, don't you think?"
He smiles again, ear to ear this time, pleased with his last bit of wordplay. This seems to ease the girl a bit, and she reaches out her hand toward the Doctor.
"My name is Sara. It's a pleasure to meet you, doctor, um...doctor who?"
“Just the Doctor is fine. Soooo, what year is it then? I'd say late 19th, no, mid 20th century. Am I right? Of course I'm right, I'm the Doctor! I mean, I have been wrong before, but we needn't go there now. Nineteen forty-six sound about right?"
Sara looks at him as if he were thick.
The Doctor asks, "So then, where are we, geographically speaking, as it were?"
"Egypt," Sara replies, "the western desert, near Libya.”
"Ooh, the desert. I don't have much luck with deserts I'm afraid," the Doctor says with a look of slight disappointment on his face. "This one time, there was this bus, and a jewel thief, her name was Christina, and, well... since I’m here, I could use a tour guide. You busy? Of course you’re not, you don’t look busy."
Sara smiles at him and reaches out her hand. the Doctor smiles, grabs her hand, and starts toward the town of Siwa.
The Doctor and Sara come to the top of a dune, and looking down he asks, "What's that then? It looks like people have been digging. It looks fantastic!"
"Oh, no." Sara says, "We can't go down there. That's a bad place. Terrible things happen there."
The Doctor looks down at the site. It is desolate, surrounded by empty tents and the ruins of mud huts. "Oh, how cryptic. I like cryptic. But, how do you know? Have you even been down there? Of course you haven't. Let's have a peek then,” the Doctor says, again with his boyish, innocent smile. “Just a little one. Please?"
Sara doesn't even have time to protest, as the Doctor grabs her hand once again, and off they go down the dune.
The Doctor looks around the site, pacing, hands clasped behind his back, in deep concentration. "Now, I wonder..." He says to himself, and strokes his chin.
Sara is admiring some, seemingly, glass statues. She reaches out her hand to touch the face of the female, when the Doctor shouts, "Don't!" Sara jumps back a bit, and declares, "They are so beautiful though, yet sad. Look at their faces Doctor. Who would carve such things?"
The Doctor looks concerned, "There's something wrong here. Where is everybody? This place looks abandoned. There should be people, archaeologists, something!"
The Doctor reaches into his pocket and pulls out a yo-yo, then a water pistol, then a packet of jelly babies.
"Oh, come on! I know it's here somewhere. Ah! There you are"
He pulls out his Sonic Screwdriver, smiles, and gives it a kiss. He aims the Sonic at the statue, and it starts buzzing and whirring. Then again, at the other statue. With a saddened, yet angry look on his face he states, "Those weren't sculpted. Those were people"
Sara looks horrified. The Doctor puts away his Sonic, and just stands there thinking a moment, hands in his pockets. It is as if he’s waiting for something. There's a quiet rustle behind them, like sands ever so slightly shifting.
"You may have been right about this place after all. Sara, RUN!!!"
Just then, a wall of sand rises up blocking their path. Sara jumps backward and shouts, “Doctor! What do we do?!”
A strange sound emits from the sand, loud and piercing, almost like a shriek. "Other way, go the other way!" shouts The Doctor. And off they run, the sand subsiding behind them.
In the center of the city of Siwa, two local men are arguing loudly, while passersby go about their business. The men are both dressed similarly, in brown shirt, shorts, socks, and boots. One is wearing a scarf wrapped around his head, the other is wearing a fedora. The younger one, with the scarf, is Professor Arnold Liggit, of the University of London. The elder is Dr. Emil Shara, the head of the local archaeological expedition, as well as Professor and Head of Archaeology at the University of Buckingham.
"But Emil, we've already lost ten men! Now Tara and Clive haven't returned! These sandstorms appear out of nowhere, and they get worse every day! We simply must pull out!"
Mr. Liggit is exasperated with Emil’s attitude toward his men, as well as the entire expedition. Mr. Liggit joined the expedition to gain some notoriety, just as Emil, however he is not pleased with their progress.
“Emil! Are you even listening to me?”
Emil is pacing back and forth, while traders and merchants ply their trades.
"Bollocks! I've put a lot of money into this dig, and I want results! I have more men on the way. Nothing will stop this expedition. Nothing!" shouts Emil as he storms off into his tent, the small wooden door closing behind him with a loud slam. Mr. Liggit looks on with a mixture of anger, and disbelief, but a commotion up ahead takes away his attention.
"Mister Liggit! Come quickly!"
A local man in simple robes is running towards Mr. Liggit.
"Two more statues have appeared at the site! And Sara has brought a man, a doctor, she found in the desert!"
Mr. Liggit looks up to see Sara and the Doctor trotting up on horseback. The Doctor smiles, gives a quick wave, and says, "Allo, I'm the Doctor!" Mr.Liggit doesn't look amused.
"What the devil is going on here? Why were you wandering around in the desert? Where have you come from?"
The Doctor, pointing at Mr. Liggit, angrily replies, "Now hold on there, I've got some questions of my own!"
The Doctor climbs down off the horse, puts on his brainy specs, and starts towards Mr. Liggit.
"NumeroUno, where are all the archaeologists? This IS an archaeological expedition, right? There should at least be a few archaeologists, um… digging. I mean, I don’t know much about archaeology, well, I do know a bit. A teensy bit, mind you, but enough to know there should be at least a few archaeologists.”
The Doctor takes another step toward Mr. Liggit, and Mr. Liggit takes a step back.
“Number two, what were those horrifying glass menageries? Who is responsible for those? There is something terribly wrong going on here, and I want some answers!”
The Doctor stops for a moment, clears his throat, and says, “And third, could I have some water? I'm terribly thirsty you know. Walking 'round the desert and all that. It takes a lot out of a man, even a doctor. This heat makes it terribly hard to think."
And with that, the Doctor opens his umbrella and walks off toward the tents while everyone else looks on with a mixture of confusion and disbelief.
Emil Shara is in his tent, surrounded by crates and maps, shouting wildly into the phone.
"What do you mean three weeks!? This is unbelievable! I need those men now! Do I have to fly back there and pick them up myself? Well, thank you for your time!"
He slams the phone down on the receiver.
Emil darts out of the tent, right into the Doctor. He takes a step back and brushes off his chest.
"Well, allo," says the Doctor, "And who might you be? Hmmm?"
"Who IS this fool!? I'm Dr. Emil Shara! Who the bloody hell are you!?"
Emil puffs out his chest, hands clenched into tight fists at his side. The Doctor smiles, "Well, Doctor, I'm the Doctor! Pleased to meet me, um… you!"
Emil steps back, "What is going on here? Has everyone lost their senses?"
Mr. Liggit puts his arm around Emil.
"Emil. We are about to get to the bottom of this. This Doctor thinks he can help. He seems to think that the dig site is protected, or haunted, or something. Unbelievable, I know, but he seems to have answers to a lot of our questions. Don't you Doctor?"
The Doctor puts his hands in his pockets and blushes.
"Well, I have more questions than answers right now, mind you. But I may be able to shed some light on things, if you have an open mind that is. But first, let me see the other statues. I may have a theory."
Emil shakes his fist in the air, and shouts, “Now wait just a bloody second, Doctor, or whoever you are!”
“Oh, Emil,” Mr. Liggit counters, “If this man, this Doctor, can help, my advice would be to hear him out.”
Sara comes running up with a canteen, and hands it to the Doctor.
“Thank you Sara,” says the Doctor, as he takes a drink.
“Emil, I’ve said that I may have a theory about what’s going on here, but first I need to see the other statues. It’s the only way I’m going to get you the answers you seek. I can see you are a determined man, ready to get on with the expedition, so let me help you.”
Emil’s demeanor calms a bit, and he turns toward the door. “Very well, Doctor, come with me.”
Emil takes the Doctor around back, to a locked supply tent. Emil reaches into his pocket for his keys, and explains, “At first we didn’t know what to think. We… we didn’t realize what they were. We lost 13 men on that first day. We didn’t know WHAT was happening, but we needed to get this dig completed. I’ve lost far too much time and money here. I told what was left of my men to watch out for each other. Not one person was to go out there alone. And now Tara and Clive… it’s just horrible.”
As soon as the tent is opened, the Doctor rushes in, his Burberry wafting on the breeze. The Doctor pulls out his Sonic Screwdriver and starts examining the first of the statues.
“Now then, let me look at you! What happened to you? Aha! Brilliant! I think I know what we’re dealing with here. See I told you I’d figure it out. You may not know it, but I’m quite clever. Now, come on.”
The Doctor turns and leads the group back to Emil’s tent.
With everyone sitting around a rather small wooden table, the Doctor goes on to explain that something in that desert doesn't want the site disturbed.
"I don't know what's out there, exactly, but I'm going to find out. At least now, I know where to start. And I do SO love a challenge," the Doctor says with a smile, "Now, who's with me?"
Not a single sound from the group surrounding The Doctor.
"Nobody? Really? Well, I'm not used to that. Usually I can't stop people from coming with, whether I want them to or not. Suit yourselves then."
"Now wait just one second!" Emil stands up, knuckles on the table before them. "I don’t even know who you are, not really at least. Don't you dare go into MY site! With all the time I've lost already, I can't afford anything being disturbed!"
The Doctor glares at Emil, "Oh Emil, this bit again? What about the men and women you've lost!? What about them? All you care about is money and fame! Money won't bring your men back, and neither will fame, but maybe I can!"
Sara stands up and says, "I'm with you! This is my home, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let any more people suffer!"
Three other local men stand up, and together shout, "Me too!"
The Doctor smiles, and says to Sara, "I'm good, eh?" Then, to the rest of the group, "All right then, get whatever you're going to need and let's go! Allons-y!"
Emil grumbles under his breath.
The site is still vacant. There is an uneasy calm about it. The Doctor has already felt it, but it's different this time. There are forces at work that the Doctor has felt before, if only he could remember where.
“Everyone here then?" asks the Doctor, "well, of course you are. Brilliant!"
As backpacks are being unloaded, the Doctor takes a walk. He walks toward a Minaret in the distance. It looks strangely familiar to him, yet out of sync with his surroundings.
"Now then, what are you doing out here? Strange indeed…"
The Doctor mutters to himself, "There's something not quite right here. Where ARE you? What ARE you? What are you trying to protect?"
He sees something on the ground, shimmering in the noonday sun, half buried. Just as he's about to pick it up, Sara shouts, "Doctor!"
"Doctor, I don't see anything helpful here, maybe we should just leave. It doesn't feel right."
Just then, screams, screams all around them!
"Sara, stay here! I've lost too many people already, I won’t lose one more."
The Doctor runs off, and Sara grins a little mischievous grin.
The Doctor appears just as Emil is falling to his knees, dust settling all around him.
"They were everywhere! All around us. I told you we shouldn't come here!"
Emil is starting to lose it. The Doctor tries to console him, but it's too late for that. Emil jumps up and runs off into the desert toward town.
"Wait! Emil! Well, that was quick. A bit emotional, that one is," the Doctor mumbles, "Where are you? Why won't you show yourselves? Come on, I’m just a doctor."
As the Doctor says this, a shadow slowly rises behind him, blocking the sun. Under his breath the Doctor says, "There we go."
He spins around, Sonic in hand, and aims it at the giant. The creature lets out a shriek, just like the one from before, and starts to dissolve.
"No!" the Doctor shouts again, "No! Whatever's gone wrong, we can fix it! Talk to me! I can help you!"
And without so much as a goodbye, it's gone. Sara appears behind the Doctor and asks, "What ARE they?" The Doctor turns, with his head down, disappointment on his face.
"I think I just might know," the Doctor replies, with a suspicious look, "We'd better get back to camp. Where has everybody else gone?"
"They must have run off," replies Sara, "back to camp."
"Yeah, just," The Doctor mutters, and turns toward the camp.
The Doctor finds Emil, crying, in his tent. Emil is busily packing bags and crates. The Doctor, his hands in his pockets, asks, "What is this? So, one tiny... okay one GIANT, sand monster and suddenly you're going to run home to mum? What will everyone else think? You're their leader, the one they look up to, to keep them from being frightened. If you show them fear, what happens?"
Emil stops packing for a moment, and looks up at the Doctor. Emil explains, "This expedition could have put me on the map. I'd be the envy of the whole scientific community. The things we’ve found here are, quite simply, remarkable. Oh, you wouldn't understand."
The Doctor, genuine sympathy in his voice, asks Emil, "What have you been digging up? I mean, there's something down there, but I don't think it's bones. It's not bones, is it? Let me help you. I AM a doctor, after all."
The Doctor flashes a supportive smile at Emil, and Emil falls to pieces.
"I don't know what it is, but I know it's important. It's not like anything I've ever seen before, and I've seen it all. It's like metal, but unlike any metal ever catalogued. It's fantastically exciting! It has gears, and moving parts, and... you don't believe me, do you? The scientific community laughed at my findings. Said they were preposterous. But I know what I've seen."
The Doctor looks Emil right in the eye.
"I believe you. I've seen things too. Things even YOU wouldn't believe. I’ve seen the end of the universe, the Medusa Cascade, the Loch Ness monster, the Oodsphere, and even things I couldn't believe. BUT, I do know what's down there."
The Doctor explains, "Eons ago, maybe more, a ship from the Silistine armada went missing. They just vanished. Now, the Silistine were a race of silicate beings, the only ones in the known universe, I think, it's so hard to keep track these days. Well, there were the Ogri, but that’s another story entirely. So then, there was a war, and the Silistine were losing. The Silistine were a peaceful race, so a ship broke off from the fleet to find a home. To find a NEW home, away from all the fighting. I think they may have come here. But something went wrong, and they never contacted their fleet again. They were lost to time. Until now! Come with me!"
The Doctor grabs Emil's hand and runs off, toward the dig site.
Sara is in her tent, fuming, muttering to herself.
"That Doctor, he'll ruin everything! If only I'd recognized him earlier. How many regenerations now? What to do, what to do?"
She rifles through some crates and then smiles as she pulls out a slim, pen-like device.
"Ah, this'll do."
She stands up, almost triumphant.
"He's getting far too close to my work. That Doctor, his meddling is notorious. It’s time I did the rest of the universe a favor.”
Just then there's a voice coming from outside her tent. It's one of the locals, a little timidly, "Lady Sara, the Doctor and Emil have gone to the site."
Sara grins a malevolent grin as she puts the device back in her robe, "Very well Doctor, it's time I re-introduce myself. You can call me Sirana."
The Doctor and Emil are walking around the outside edge of the site, Emil much more cautiously than the Doctor.
"What are we doing, Doctor? Are we just waiting for those...things to come back?"
The Doctor smiles, "Yes, that's exactly what we're doing. I don't think we have any reason to be afraid, of course I could be wrong. It's exciting isn't it? Be on your toes, just in case."
The Doctor pulls out his Sonic Screwdriver and aims it at the ground around them. It starts buzzing and glowing, just as the sand starts swirling and rising.
"Ah, there you are then! Emil, let me introduce you to the last of the Silistine race!"
The sand in front of them rises up and forms a crude humanoid shape. Then another, and another. All around them the desert floor is rising up, and soon they are surrounded by Silistine. They are humanoid in appearance, but lacking any detailed features. Emil starts shaking, and gets ready to run.
The Doctor shouts, "No! Don't run, stand your ground. They don't want to hurt us, they’re as scared as you are."
And then, under his breath, "But, what are they afraid of?"
The Silistine are getting ever larger, closing in on Emil and the Doctor. At first there is just the one, then there are three, then five.
"Silistine, I'm the Doctor! I’m here to help!"
The largest of the Silistine backs off a bit. A strange voice, deep and calm, rises up out of the desert.
"Doc-tor? Doc-tor. Help?"
The Doctor relaxes, and calmly explains, "I know about you, what happened all those eons ago. I want to help, but I need to know why you're attacking these people. You are a peaceful race, I know you don't want to hurt anyone."
The disembodied voice rises up again, "Not attack-ing, defend-ing. Liv-ing in peace all these eons. Then she came. The bad per-son. The Time-Lady. She steals our ship-parts, our technology."
The Doctor is bewildered, "But, that's impossible! I'm the last of the Time-Lords, the only survivor of a war, much like you. There simply cannot be another."
The voice, this time coming directly from the largest Silistine, "She came in that. Her ship," it says, pointing at the minaret, "Crashed here. Steals from us. To fix. Gutt-ed our ship. Gutt-ed our home." The Silistine let out a collective sigh.
The Doctor steps towards the large Silistine, looks up to where it's eyes would be, and says,"I will help you, but you've got to leave these other people alone. They aren't involved with this Time-Lady. They didn’t know. Let me get to the bottom of this.”
The Doctor turns to Emil, “Come on Emil! I've got questions, and the answers are in that ship." The Doctor bows to the Silistine, “I WILL fix this, you have my word as a Time-Lord.”
Then the Doctor and Emil run off toward the minaret.
Just as the Doctor and Emil are about to reach the minaret, Sirana steps out from behind it brandishing a slim, pen-like device.
"Stop right there, Doctor!"
They stop dead in their tracks. Emil has his hands above his head, and is whimpering. The Doctor swats at Emil's hands, "Oh, stop that. Have some dignity, man."
Sirana steps forward, aiming the device directly at the Doctor, her blue eyes piercing straight into his soul.
"This is a cellular displacement device, one shot and you become nothing but a memory.”
So, Doctor, you're looking quite well. What is this, your tenth regeneration?"
The Doctor is incredulous, "Who are you, how do you know my name, and why are you stealing from the Silistine?"
Sirana smiles maliciously, "Hmm, you don't remember me, do you, Doctor? Does the name Sirana ring any bells? We were at Academy together on Gallifrey, all those regenerations ago. Oh, those were the days. Of course, that was before you stole that TARDIS and became a fugitive from your own people. I was there that day, glad to be rid of you. You still don’t remember, do you?"
Emil shouts, "Sara, what are you talking about? What is going on here?"
Sirana turns towards Emil, still pointing her device at the Doctor.
"Oh Emil, poor, trusting Emil. My name isn't Sara you fool. That was all just a clever disguise. See, I needed you and your team to help me dig up this site. The Silistine ship is buried here and I needed parts to fix my TARDIS. I lied to you, told you what you needed to hear so you would come here. Oh you earthmen are SO easy. Flash a pretty smile, give a wink, and you are mine. You were never going to get the chance to show the world your findings, I would have made sure of that."
As Sirana is distracted with Emil, the Doctor is slowly reaching into his pocket for his Sonic.
Sirana continues, "I fled the Time-War, and flew across the galaxy, but my TARDIS malfunctioned, landing me here. You were just a pawn, helping me get off of this horrible backwoods planet. Then, the Doctor appeared. I didn’t recognize you at first, but, dear Doctor, when I realized who you were, it was like fate intervened. Now Emil, I don’t need you. I think I’ll just take the Doctor’s TARDIS. Oh, and Doctor, hands where I can see them please."
But it's too late, the Doctor whips out his Sonic Screwdriver and zaps the device right out of Sirana's hand. She falls to her knees in the sand with a shriek.
"Sirana, you've put a lot of innocent people in danger. The Silistine were just protecting themselves from you, and a lot of people died because of it. This isn't our way. You took an oath at Academy, to protect the ancient Law of Gallifrey, and to temper your actions with justice and honor. You're nothing but a selfish coward."
The Doctor kneels down, and puts his hand on Sirana's shoulder. He looks her right in the eye, intensely.
"We are the last of our kind, Sirana. There was another, the Master, but he’s gone too. But now there’s us! We can start over now, just the two of us. We aren’t alone any more. Isn’t that great?”
The Doctor kneels in front of Sirana, “But first, the gift of Time has corrupted you, and I've no choice but to take you to the Shadow Proclamation to pay for your crimes."
Sirana jumps up and shouts, "Never!" as she runs off into the desert. The Doctor gets to his feet to chase after her, but it's too late. The desert swirls up around her, a tornado of sand and wind.
The Doctor shouts, "Nooooo!"
There is a scream, and the sands subside, and all that's left is a glass sculpture where Sirana once stood, and the cellular displacement device on the ground in front of it.
The Doctor runs up to the statue, and falls to his knees.
"Sirana, you could have paid for your crimes, and then we could have travelled together, the last of the Time-Lords. Why did you have to run? Why take the coward's way out, again?"
The Doctor hangs his head, one hand placed over his mouth.
The Doctor walks back to the site, head down, and calls out, “Silistine! Silistine! Show yourselves!”
He stands there for a moment, hands balled into tight, angry fists, until the sands begin to rise once more.
“Silistine! Why did you do that? I told you I’d fix everything! She didn’t need to die!”
The voice comes from the sand again, “Doc-tor? We did what we must. Not dead though. Stasis.”
The Doctor looks perplexed, “What do you mean, not dead? I mean, she must be. She sure looks dead. But, wait… then, the others, they’re not dead either? Oh that’s brilliant! I should have known. You Silistine are quite clever aren’t you? Oh yes you are!”
The Silistine, in unison, “Clev-er?”
The Doctor smiles, “Oh yes! Clever, clever you! I can still fix this! You’re free now, to do…well, whatever it is you do. I will make sure you have peace from here on. No more digging, no more Time-Ladies, just peace and quiet. No more turning people to glass though. Do we have a deal?”
The Silistine, in unison again, “Thank you Doc-tor.”
The Doctor replies, “Oh, you’re very welcome. I know what it’s like, being the last of your kind, just trying to find a home, trying to survive as best you can.”
The Doctor has a little bit of sadness in his face, but quickly shrugs it off. The Silistine melt into the background, as the Doctor turns to Emil.
“Right then, let’s fix this!”
The Doctor and Emil rush back toward camp.
Emil shouts to the Doctor, “What’s going on Doctor? What do they mean, stasis?”
The Doctor replies, “I’ll explain on the way back! Come on!”
He grabs Sirana’s device from the desert floor, and off they run!
The Doctor and Emil reach the supply tent in minutes.
“Now get that thing open Emil, and stand back,” shouts the Doctor!
He aims his Sonic Screwdriver, as well as Sirana’s device, at the statues, and switches them both on. There is an unbearably high pitched whine, and an intense blast of white light.
The Doctor covers his eyes, turns his head, and shouts, “Cover your eyes Emil! Don’t look at it!”
The sound grows louder, and the light more intense, and the statues transform back to their former selves.
There is a collective rush of breath and laughter, as well as bewilderment, as the former statues realize everything is going to be okay. Emil is shocked at what he sees.
He grabs the Doctor’s sleeve, “Doctor, that’s… that’s incredible!”
The Doctor smiles, flips his sonic into the air, and replies with a sense of accomplishment, “Yes, it is, isn’t it? Brilliant!”
Emil is still a bit puzzled and asks, “But how? I’ve never seen anything like it!”
The Doctor shrugs as he puts the devices into his inside coat pocket, “It’s quite simple really. The sonic waves from my screwdriver changed the properties of the cellular displacement device by way of dampening, and those combined waves converted the glass molecules back to their original state. Any first year Time-Lord knows that!”
Emil still looks confused, but tries not to show it.
Tara walks up to the Doctor, reaches out her hand and says, “I don’t quite understand what you did, but I thank you.”
The Doctor shakes her hand, as others walk up to thank him.
“No one dies today,” says the Doctor.
“Now, I’m sure you all have catching up to do, and I’ve really got to be off. From now on though, careful where you dig, eh?”
The Doctor starts back towards his TARDIS, but Emil stops him.
“What about Sara… I mean Sirana? Will she be okay? What will you do with her?”
The Doctor simply replies, “Save her.”
The Doctor and Emil stand outside of the TARDIS, saying their goodbyes. Emil gazes in complete wonder at the Doctor’s ship. He can just see Sirana’s statue in the TARDIS console room, behind the Doctor.
The Doctor extends his hand toward Emil and says, "I don't think you'll have any more trouble from the Silistine. I wouldn't dig here anymore though, just in case. This is their home, and you unwittingly disturbed it, but you're done here, right?"
Emil shakes the Doctor's hand, and replies, "No, I think I'll be moving on now. Maybe back to University. Field work is much too exciting for an old man like me. I think a break is in order, maybe I'll stick to boring old papers from here on out. What about you, Doctor?"
The Doctor lets go of Emil's hand, and steps into the TARDIS doorway, faking a smile.
"Me, oh, I'll be fine. There's a big universe out there. I've had enough of deserts for one regeneration. I think some fishing is in order. Yes! Maybe the Blue Moon of Pooch! It's quite nice this time of year, well... anytime of year really. You should see it, but... first, Sirana needs to be dealt with. I’ll take her to The Shadow Proclamation where she can reform, hopefully. She’s not all bad, I don’t think, just selfish and confused."
Emil smiles, and gives the Doctor a bear hug.
"You are a strange and wondrous man, Doctor. If you ever come back this way again, fish and chips are on me"
Emil turns to walk away, as he hears a “Vworp Vworp Vworp” behind him, accompanied by a mighty wind. He turns around just in time to see the Doctor peering out of the TARDIS, waving and smiling that big Doctor smile of his.
“I’d like that, Emil. So long friend.”
And then, the blue box, as well as the strange man from Gallifrey, are gone. Emil smiles, shakes his head, and walks off toward town.
Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything. It's not that I've been slacking though, far from it! I've almost finished Bitter Pill - Rush, AND I'm on my third draft of Doctor Who - The Sands of Shara! It has been two weeks since my shop, Comic Universe, closed, and I've been using the time off wisely. Besides my creative endeavors, I began planting a vegetable garden in my backyard! It's a lot of work, but it's also very fun! But enough about that, let's get on to some art, shall we? As always, click the image to see full size.
So here we have the penultimate page from Bitter Pill: Rush, inked and lettered. I will be coloring it in the next few days, but I really wanted to get it up.
This page is flipped on it's side for a reason. Rik's perspective has changed, and we wanted the book to reflect it. I know that flipping a book, to some, is an annoying gimmick. I hope that this doesn't come off that way.
And here we are with page 2! I may change the color of the captions boxes, but for now it's all done!
A little background on my coloring style for these pages. I started the book out with mostly warm colors because it fit with the theme of fear, and the intensity I wanted for the first page and a half. Reds and oranges, etc.
As he gets closer to (Salvation? Help? A way out?) the page takes on a calmer, cooler color palette. He may seem cornered, but there's something better waiting on the next page. I did keep to using warmer colors for the dogs in panel 5 though.
I'm not sure how well it works right now, but hopefully after page 3 is up, it will all make sense.
Please comment, critique, etc. I'm all growed up now and can take it.
Yeah! So, I found out this weekend that the first Bitter Pill story, Rush, will be published just in time for San Diego Comic-Con in July!!! It will be in an as-yet unnamed 2 story anthology. Kind of like a split 7". Then, it's off to the Archaia Studios Press booth to show Mark and see if he's still interested. (fingers crossed) If not, at least we'll have a hard copy for pitching to other publishers.
I decided, after much deliberation, that I really didn't like the colors I originally did. So, after really looking at a crap-ton of comics for inspiration, I re-colored it. I think it works really well now. I just need to get a "go-ahead" from Mike, and it's off to re-color the other pages.
Please comment and let me know if you like it. I am still new at this whole coloring thing, so any comments or critiques would be extremely helpful.
This has been one crap year so far. Besides my Mom's stroke, and my kitty Edward's injury, I found out a few weeks ago that my comic shop is closing at the end of April. This sucks for many reasons, not the least of which that now I have to get a "real" job, with bosses and such. With all the stress of my recent life I just needed a day off.
So, last Tuesday, The Dreamlord and I went to the Brea Dam to do some hiking and whatnot. We walked for hours, all the while bullshitting and taking pics. I haven't done this sort of thing in ages, and had forgotten how much I like going "out". I'd forgotten, also, that there IS nature in Orange County if you just know where to look. I did lose my hat at the end, but it seemed a reasonable sacrifice for such an enjoyable day. Here is some random photographic evidence. Enjoy!
Oh, and that is the stupidest tagging I've ever seen.
I am a professional hermit.
I like music, cats, Dr. Who, concept albums, tacos, and swearing.
I don't like people much, though I guess they do serve a purpose.
I used to run the best comic shop you'd never been to.
I believe drinking and competitive masturbation should be Olympic sports.
I draw funny books, although they really aren't very funny. Disturbing is probably a better word. Actually, disturbing is probably better than most words. I think it's due to years of practice.
I don't believe in Canada. I hear stories of this magical place to the north, with clean streets and polite people, and it just sounds so implausible.
Are you still reading this? Wow. Good for you! You can't see it, but I'm doing a slow clap right now, just for you.
Can I go now? I really have better things to do than write this stuff. I mean, I have customers waiting for their comics as we speak. I can't keep ignoring them just for you.
Ok, um...yeah. I'm just going to...yeah. I'm going to go now. Don't let the internet hit you in the ass on your way out.