I'm proud to announce that the legendary Heavy Metal Magazine will be serializing the entirety of my graphic novel 'Salsa Invertebraxa' in 6 bi-monthly chunks, along with some awesome comics from big hitters including DC mega-scribe Grant Morrison!
This month see's the herald of his first issue as Editor-In-Chief, as he steers HM into taking a renewed leap into the punk-fantasy-phasmagoria that it was famous for.
There's a great twist if you're already familiar with Salsa and its ultra-ultra-widescreen format, as I'll be re-mixing it into the traditional comic 'portrait page' format, along with a few tweaks of text here and there, lets just call it the Salsa Vertical Metal Remix, so this will feel and play a little different than the one you already know
And if that wasn't enough to give me arrhythmia, I scored a cover too with one of the 'Prophets of the Ghost Ants' illos! Jeff Krelitz reminded me I've just joined the ranks of Moebius, Giger, Bisley and Richard Corben- one of the most prestigious honors that can bestow an artist.
The EW article has it all, here's the link! EW Heavy Metal feature
The moonlit scene half way down was partly a nod to a scene painted by one of my favorite concept artists, who worked on the biggest sci-fi series of them, any ideas who that might be?
More stuff coming v. soon, (including more character sketches)
Been wanting to do this for aaaaaages, the site I cooked up years ago on greasy old Dreamweaver is at last 'toast' - Here's a newly-minted-brand-spanking-box-fresh Mozchops website, Mozchops.com
Some pics in the galleries not yet seen on DA, and there's a gazillion pictures yet to be uploaded plus other pages yet to be built, so forgive the current sparseness. Expect frequent uploads in the near future including more paintings for the Prophets of the Ghost Ants project, and the Heroes of Might and Magic VII game, also sketches and various graphics, logo's, cartoons and stuff. I may even post up a bunch of photos and sculptures, but some of those go back twenty years to my college days, they've waited this long for exposure, a couple of weeks extra wont hurt.
Onward and upward
the initial sketch where the idea was born, and the first ant riding sketch
The author, Clark Carlton, and I discussed a lot in detail, how best to portray the rider, the armour and the ants, and of course how the scale and interaction is conveyed. The book's description of the ants is that they are quite real, and not mechanical, but they have a lustrous red-metallic surface, reflective, almost car-like in its quality, that if it was a car, it would be the Ferrari of ants, so we took that further and added small elements that suggest a high performance marque, the vents, exhausts, pseudo-spoilers and aerodynamic curves. But not going too far, and de-anting it, it had to remain very ant-like in its overall appearance.
The rider/commander was given a custom armour makeover that reflects the interlocking components of ant chitin, with the same flow of curves and panels. The antennae was a challenge. All the ant-co-habiting societies in Prophets survive only if the humans wear the pheremone scent of their specific ant kin, via two soaked rods. Of course, if you just put any old feelers on the head, they'll look silly, so the usual permutations of design had to run its course before we found just the right look (and feel?).
The scene requires that the character is in charge of a large organized group (trying not to give any spoilers away here), so you need elements to suggest organisation, hierarchy, military, traditions etc. that it's a well practiced and dsiciplined force and is built upon generations of history and experience, so markers are needed, insignia and pageantry. This also has to work in the context of tiny people who live in the world of insects, so materials feel cellular and natural.
The scene is full of action, so I drew up a very rough rough, to give Clark some idea, and to work out the aspect ratio (this is being viewed as an eBook illustration onthe Kindle primarily), but we're keeping the full finished scene under wraps as it is spoiler heavy. You'll have to make do with this.
Some more stuff coming soon
Still have a handful of paintings to finish for Clark Carltons epic "Prophets of the Ghost Ants", I've got a sequence of sketches waiting in the wings for the next update, which is just around the corner. It's been a really busy year, doing websites, promo displays, business logo's, and quite a lot of game work. This year I was brought on to do new designs and character sheets for Ubisofts' next installment of 'Heroes of Might & Magic", VII, < I think the release date is early next year>. Some of the characters (sometimes referred to as orthographics or ortho's for short) are now up on Ubisoft's website, this is only a fraction of what was done. I'll post some of the color work when clearance permits. Enjoy
More ortho's of yours truly at the Ubisoft site - (everything except the Wolves)
Heroes of Might & Magic VII Part 1
Heroes of Might & Magic VII Part 2
Mozchops on twitter
Most of the societies have aligned themselves with a chosen ant species, either domesticated or semi-wild, or other insects, such as cockroaches. Having slipped down the evolutionary rungs, we've lost technology, reverting to a middle-ages or a neo-classical caste system of slaves and hierarchical societies, with dominating religions and mysterious cabals of power, controlling the mindsets of all, including the worshipping of Insect Gods.
Obviously there's a lot more to Clarks book, he's already completed book 3 and there's a German translation of the first on the way. (Amazon link for english edition below).
We'll post updates here and on the official FB page (link below), if you're a fan of building strange new worlds and designing new races and cultures, this might be the nectar you need.
Personally, I LOVE this kind of world building, and can't get enough of it.
Prophets Of The Ghost Ants available on Amazon.com
Prophets Of The Ghost Ants on Facebook
Mozchops' on Facebook
Another creative god moves to the next celestial plane, one of the biggest influences ever in the realm of sci-fi and movie-making - thank you, HR Giger, for not diluting your vision, and thank you Dan O'Bannon (also RIP) for introducing HR to Scott, who knows if we'd have seen anything of his incredible work, will we ever see someone like him again in our lifetime? Who's the next Bosch?
Have a safe voyage out there Hans Rudi,
- Listening to: Reload - Enlightement
This has forced hundreds of artists to find new pastures, relocate their contacts and set up fresh portfolio's, not an easy thing to do at zero notification. But like the forest fire, such a meltdown can work wonders for manure and sowing the buds of re-growth. The biggest lesson learnt from this is the classic "don't keep all your eggs in one basket".
There's been a tremendous upswing in activity as sites clamor to fill that vast gap in the jungle.
DA is of course the biggest out there, so I have no doubts it's been picking up survivors.
But new domains have been popping up recently, almost spookily.
One of the best I've found so far is Drawcrowd, which is just pure eye candy from pixel a to pixel z. If you have an account there already, or want to set up a new one, swing on by when you're done, I've set up a new gallery @ drawcrowd.com/mozchopz0de8
and i'll be happy to follow your portfolio.
Another couple of places in the offing are Artstation, www.artstation.com/ which is very similar to Drawcrowd, but promising to offer more in terms of community interaction, your own website portfolio if you wish (with pro accounts)...
...and Zerply, zerply.com/, which offers artists a more "Linked-in" type of experience, with job offers, professional contact circles and whatnot. Have a sticky beak at these places, you might find something useful.
Of course, none of this is to replace the great resource that is DA, simply to share your work in different formats, and to ensure your web presence is earthquake proof and be able to withstand sudden collapses
If you know of other sites please drop us a link,
Onwards and upwards,
There's a huge hint over on the FB link, i.e the picture in question.....www.facebook.com/SalsaInverteb…
Ok, so armed with the clues and replies mentioned, when you find the Hidden Skull, be sure to keep it to yourself, send me a note/pm to identify the right part of the picture! mwahahahahah
I have a really big challenge for you.
As some of you know, my book is entirely about insects, fantasy one's, the jungle they live in, with a couple of glimpses of mammals, birds and protozoa. I was fascinated not only with the idea of a book about insect life, and their microcosmos, but also about creating a world without signs of human existence.
During the painting of a certain scene, I was suddenly inspired to acknowledge us, and as it happened, it became the ONLY reference to humans in the entirety of Salsa Invertebraxa.
Somewhere in the pages there is a human skull. Can you find it?
The first clue; It appears on a colorful double page spread. And it's among my DA gallery of course.
2nd clue; it's not on the "Termites Go To War" image, sorry that doesnt narrow it down much, but it might help
3rd clue; it is most definitely, unequivocally, a skull, and was painted as a skull - it's not exactly hidden, but more as a mimicry.
4th clue; Jodie Foster
5th clue; Hans Holbien
if this floats your goat, be sure to hit the link and stay tuned, there's plenty more in the catalogues, some juicy insights into the creative process that went into the design of the book.
Moz - Your interpretation is as good as mine, actually better, especially the Abraxas details. Originally it was going to be called Chitin, (but spelled Kaitin) the material from which all insects/arthropods are made from, and then I thought that would be too vague or esoteric. Then Dance of the Invertebrates was considered, but that sounded too much like a documentary, so I pondered on my own take of insects and thought to just twist the phrase to the same degree I twisted the insect designs, so that the suggestion was still there, but it's clearly of a different world.
Clark - Could you tell us more about your name "Mozchops?"
Moz - Mozchops is another skewed word, from the Permian era animal Moschops, which I named my cat after. It stuck to me when I used it for network gaming. Moschops, the cat, mysteriously disappeared years ago, without a trace or a goodbye note, somewhere in the Australian bush, so the name keeps his spirit around at least.
Clark - Please tell us more about your process. How much do you paint each day? Is all your work digital or do you do any actual painting? What programs and computer do you use?
Moz - Lately I've been doing commissions, more fantasy oriented for online games etc, but as a whole, not so much painting as before. I'm spending a lot more time with the family, after so many years enslaving myself to the project. I would be spending up to three weeks per painting for Salsa Invertebraxa, going to sleep at 3am every night for years. Now I do all my work digitally, as it's easier to work in layers and control all the separate elements, and re-arrange the composition.
I start with pencil on paper, and then digitally scan, and from there Corel Painter with a Wacom Intuous tablet, on a desktop PC, with a ginormous Syncmaster monitor. Which is all great, but ultimately there is no short cut — brush strokes still require the same patience, trial and error in digital as they do in analogue painting. My ctrl and z keys need constant replacing.
Clark - You have a very successful background as a concept artist and designer for video games and other media. For the six years that you worked on S.I. were you also working on other projects? Were you able to devote yourself purely to Salsa?
Moz - It was a modest career. I left the industry pretty much as unknown as when I started, except for the Re-Volt community, who have kept the game alive for over 12 years, which is remarkable given the brief lifespan of digital entertainment. The video-games paid really well, enough for me almost to survive for six years living on the cheap in SE Asia, so that allowed me to focus entirely on S.I. But I did try to work on it while I was full time employed, with only sporadic progress — it was impossible to make significant progress. S.I demanded all or nothing from me."
Continued @ Clark T Carltons Tumblr blog here ....clarkcarlton.tumblr.com/post/5…
LONDON FILM AND COMIC CON IS BACK AT EARLS COURT!!
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2013
The event is open 6pm - 9pm on Friday, and 9am - 6pm Saturday/Sunday. For early and standard entry times check out the TICKETS page www.btowstore.com/epages/Store….