I hope this finds you all well.
After nearly a year of art practice and study, as well as a nearly talmudic examination of comics ranging from Kirby's works, to DC One Million; Werewolf by Night; Clairmont/Cockrum/Byrne/Cockrum X-men; Godland; Conway/Andru era Spider-Man; Barks/Rosa Ducks; Megahex; Crumb's works, and a shit ton of stuff I am likely forgetting, I have commenced to create comics again. I have probably burned as much time studying storytelling and inking styles as I have penciling. Old school inking is really a very lovely, under-appreciated and dying art. Anyway, as to whether or not all this time was well spent is not for me to judge. I also read a bunch of Dickens (as should you) so, regardless of all else, it wasn't a total loss.
The new page concludes the first 'issue' and is up here: Pg. 21
You can read it from the beginning and perhaps engage in a bit of schadenfreude as you watch someone flail about whilst engaged in the execution of a trivial task, which nevertheless, resides well beyond his capacity. Personally, I rarely pass up the opportunity to witness and comment upon a bit of public buffonery. I especially enjoy taunting drunks, the elderly, middle-school marching bands and lost pets. By way of advice, I feel compelled to mention that one can maximize the personal enjoyment of such activities by carefully selecting targets incapable of meaningful retaliation.
To engage in an innocent pleasure of a similar nature, follow this link: Book One Cover
Updates will continue sporadically, but I hope to put up a cover and the first page of book 2 late next week. My art sucks, but I make up for that by being glacially slow.
I have opened comments or will shortly. I lust for feedback, but do not feel any obligation.
Gaming posts will likely be in short supply for the near future. As I have committed to this project and "Caverns of Empire" the prose novel I am writing. As this focus has not wavered in the past six months or so, perhaps due to the chemicals the state forces me to injest on a daily basis, I don't see it shifting on to anything else, gaming or otherwise, until one or the other of the current projects reaches a stage of completion.
Here are a few things from the sketch book, these are all a little rough, please no bully. (Just kidding, I can take it).
Take care and thank you for reading. You're okay.
Oh, I almost forgot, in the hopes of stimulating considered and intellectual feedback, I have attached a thoughtful and insightful letter from Uncanny X-men 134. Please find it below:
I'd like to playtest some of the Cosmonaut/Age of Lead stuff. My tenative plan is for four players; I already have one, so three spots remain. We'd play 6-8 sessions, over skype starting at 10:00 am Mountain Time. Each session would last between 2- 2 1/2 hours. Particulars of class choice and whatnot can wait until a group is assembled. Ideally, I would like to start this Thursday or the next. Please send me a mail at themetalearth at gmail dot com if you are interested.
Just to head off potential questions: I am not interested in google plus hangouts, in the least. Social media sites are not my bag, man.
More on Note-maps and Timelines.
When I edit this into a final document, the instructions will be more seamless; as it stands, however, after a period of reflection, I feel like the previous entry was more or less this:
Let's fix that by:
MAKING A COSMIC NOTE-MAP:
Answer the question:
What goes on the map?
In supers, anything goes. Unused campaign settings for other games make ideal alien worlds- regardless of genre. High fantasy; dinosaur planets; post apocalyptic science fantasy; giant robots; giant monsters; space monsters; worlds or whole sectors of space like the Old West or ancient China; Cthulu or whatever else you can think of, it can almost certainly be encompassed within the boundaries of your superhero universe with little or no trouble.
Make a list of what you want on the map.
Artifact (planet sized or larger)
Center of the universe
Inimical alien empire(s)
A breach in space-time leading to ?
Dead worlds, destroyed by war, disaster or time
Fingerprints of the ancients
Important: A complete inventory of planets and sundry is not required to begin making the map/working on the timeline (Steps 3-?). You can mark down a few planets and then let your ideas cook for a few days before adding more. Further, this is a good time to work on the timeline, and think about any gods or natural forces that might be tied in with the fabric and history of space-time. Dig?
Today's example is a map of Drift Sector, a volume of space nested within the larger Earth? Universe map shown in part three of this series.
What goes on the timeline?
Birth of the universe
Origin of the space gods
Origin of space monster
Birth, rise and fall of great empires
The rise of super powers on earth
Humans go into space
Galactic and or terrestrial wars
Formation of important groups
Below: a sample timeline: I find it helpful to put early events at the top and and move forward in time as I go down the page.
Lay out the map.
Note- the creator should feel free to modify any and all of this from materials to paper size to format.
For this map, we're going to use a sheet of standard printer paper in landscape orientation.
Make borders of 1 inch at the top and bottom of the page, and 1 1/2 inch on either side. Within this frame, thinking about the worlds you want in your setting, lightly draw in some circles and other shapes to represent the planets and such. Name stuff. Think about the inhabitants and the heroes and villains associated with the sector and its planets. Take notes on the side. If you are short on ideas, look at the list in step one- or read the homework.
Add some detail to the planets and other objects. A few lines here and there make a big difference. Be expressive!
Write a few words about each of the map's features in the margins. You need not be comprehensive. For instance, in the example below, I have yet to key the eight moons of Dominion; I am still mulling over their exact nature.
The map is perfectly servicable as it is, but you may wish to add Ink and color. I colored mine with the ipad app, Art Studio. I also cleaned up the text and added some campaign ideas I had while working on the map.
Okay, now it is your turn. Make a map.
The Mighty Thor 131-133, Thor's first true foray into deep space.
Tom Strong 11-12, a great story featuring a "counter" earth.
Next time a world map, and some NPCs, or such is the plan.
I am adding a second class, Cosmonaut Esper; a starting adventure which links into to a weird wilderness, which in turn links into Equitorial Empire Province: Karakul (map on your right, follow the tags from there). The EE/ Age of Lead stuff was originally concieved as a setting for cosmonaut nonsense and I may include an introductory Age of Lead appendix as well.
Here are some maps:
I don't wish to give too much away, but one major challenge of the minisetting is finding a way past the Barrier