Writing for GeekDad has been a trip during these past few months. I’m not a journalist in training, but I sometimes play one on Wired.com’s blog. That recently happened when I dialed in to a conference call at the White House to learn about what is happening with President Obama’s new educational initiative. And if you’ve missed my other posts, check out some of the more notable ones below.
- Two Young Astronomers Recognized at the White House
- OLPC’s Vision and The XO Laptop 2 Years Later
- A Look Back at the OLPC XO-1 and a Peek at the Road Ahead
- Inventing a New Paradigm: SugarLabs and the Sugar UI
- First Impressions with Intel’s Latest Classmate PC
- Wil Wheaton’s “Memories of the Futurecast” Engages us with Awesome
- iMinds: 8 Minutes to Increased Knowledge
- iNudge: Brilliant Time Waste and Fun Way to Teach Kids About Creating Music
- TMBG’s “Meet the Elements” Music Video Educates and Entertains
- 7 Things to Like About Parental Controls in Windows 7
- Take the Red Pill and Enter the LegoMatrix
- Les Paul: The Passing of a Legend
- Teaching Kids to Rock Out, One Homemade Guitar at a Time
It’s been a trip writing for Wired. Challenging too to keep up with the one post a week deadline. But we get to write about what interests us and giving exposure to those things are part of why I’m so thankful for the forum.
Here we have three panels on the gypsy fortuneteller scene. Each panel is surrounded by a playing card boarder which is meant to illustrate tarot cards. Space for the text has been left below, but we haven’t created a font based on Sue’s lettering yet.
Below we have the first clownversation, and poster which opens up/introduces these characters. The conversation text is final, but again, without proper lettering. We’re unsure if we should use text boxes as we like the more literature-based format of text blocks integrated with the imagery.
Please share your comments below!
Sue has been working feverishly over the past few days, doing new sketches based on the photoshoot. The two clowns, Tiggins and Beggins are being redone with the expressiveness of our two good friends who played them during the shoot. Not much is changing, mind you, just the character’s faces a bit.
New to share, however, is the Gypsy Fortuneteller who tries to warn people of the impending doom she sees. As before, Sue’s coloring style is to scan in and mask found patterns, whether cloth or old textbooks. She’s working on a new process to make this easier and more exact, but an interesting visual choice that adds a unique artistic style to the work.
It was a gorgeous summer evening when our friends came over to play the various parts in Sue’s graphic novel. We are fortunate to have so many creative and theatric friends who with their props brought elements of the story to life. Sue will take these reference photos to begin illustration. She’s still working on the character sheets as well so we’re still a few weeks away from story-boarding.
I’ve uploaded some of the best or funniest photos to flickr. Feel free to click through to see what we put together. The photos focus mostly on the two clowns, but we also see the fortune teller warning various people of impending doom, shots of the circus grandmaster, and a few shots of the two young lovers.
More shoots are yet to come and we hope to share some more drawings next week.
Sue has begun working on a new art project, and it’s ambitious, original, fantastic, and quite possible, her most exciting opportunity to create accessible and publishable work. But first, a little background.
A year ago, when The Vitrolum Republic (then KSA) were starting our newest album, June was a month for a crazy amount of storms. It are those storms that are the bookends for Willow Song. And a few times Sue had to rush the kids into the basement with tornado warning sirens blasting. During one of these events she was wondering if a tornado had ever struck Milwaukee, which led her to several accounts of a tragic F5 tornado that destroyed the town of New Richmond, WI in 1899. The devastation on the towns people was made much worse due to a traveling circus being in town drawing most of the people away from shelter.
This led her to an idea. Well, that an having started reading The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. But the idea was to create a historical fiction graphic novel set in New Richmond on the day the tornado struck. For a year she let the idea simmer and a few months ago began attacking it in earnest. She’s written a synopsis of the major plot points and began working on the graphic illustration style.
The story involves a childhood reacquaintance of a girl living in town and a circus performer. He dreams of settling down, growing tired of circus life and she dreams of travel and adventure. There are also a pair of clowns dueling for the attention of an inventor’s daughter who travels with the circus but is strangely over protective of his daughter. And lastly there is a circus daredevil who’s latest and greatest stunt will be to fly to the moon out of a cannon with a rocket pack.
The first of the character sheets are complete, and I present to you the two clowns, Beggins Bottom and Tiggins Top.
She’s never done anything quite like this before and from what I’ve seen so far, I have no doubt she’ll succeed. The timing couldn’t be more perfect either. As I transition from working at Tecumseh, we’ll have more free time this summer to dedicate to getting the project done. My band is finishing that album freeing us to possibly write some music inspired by the novel; it’s kind of what we envision The Vitrolum Republic to represent through collaboration with other artists.
I’ll continue to write about this project as it progresses. Tomorrow we’ll be hosting the Wood St. Gang at our place for a costume party to shoot reference pics for the graphic novel.
We’re all pretty excited to see how this will turn out.
As Sue is working on gathering reference material for her new graphic novel, and because we’d never been to one of America’s foremost cultural events (historically, speaking that is), we decided to go to the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee. I wrote an account of the event for GeekDad. Below is an excerpt.
The circus is back in town! At least in Milwaukee, it is. And maybe for the last time.
A tradition in this town since 1963, The Great Circus Parade, hosted by Circus World of Baraboo, Wisconsin, is more than just a parade. It is a five day circus extravaganza of historical wagons, horse, camel and elephant rides, calliope automata, ferris wheels, and plenty of food and beer (it is Milwaukee, after all.) There is plenty to see and do on the circus grounds, but the highlight of the event is the grand parade through the streets of downtown Milwaukee this Sunday, July 12th
Having never been to the Circus parade or the festival grounds, we rounded up the family and made our way downtown. My son was excited shouting, “We’re going to the circus!” over and over again, but at age 3, I don’t think he really knew what that meant. However, as we snaked our way into lawn parking near the grounds, he began sensing what the circus was all about.