I’ve been so excited about this piece! So, here’s the final unveiling. I tried to be a lot more detailed with this one, and I used cel shading instead of soft. (Except the eyes and the hair rooty bit, obviously.) And I finally figured out eyelashes! There’s a bunch of process stuff over on the Radio Trees Tumblr, which you should look at.
One time they saved somebody rich (how you do the rich thing in the post-apocalypse is a mystery to Bri) and so some time later they got invited to a party. It was suggested to Bri that full formalwear may be a good idea, as stylish as her bow tie and fighting clothes may be. She could not quite be convinced away from the bow tie, but did dig up an evening gown. Marcus even did her hair. It was a nice evening, really.
The giant ants attacked during a slow song.
Bri and Marcus got the whole thing under control before there could be terribly much damage, thus saving a bunch more rich people. Bri began to understand how Kim Possible always had favors to call in. She kind of showed her class in her response to their defeated adversaries, post-fighting, although the rich people were still pretty grateful.
Marcus gave her the appropriate side eye. “You’re sticking your tongue out at them?”
“They ripped my dress.”
The ad had been a little weird, but she’d taken it, because hey, college costs money and so does absolutely everything else in the world. They’d accepted her inability to work a full day because of school, too, and set her up at a desk. When the paperwork she was given clearly, clearly screamed “questionable morality” and mentioned things she’d only ever heard of in Lovecraft novels, she’d mostly figured things out. After some brief personal debate and staring at pieces of paper, she’d kept on, hoping she could just keep her head down and get paid without chloroforming any political figures or stitching any terrifying hybrids together. And so far, all she’d had to do was sit at a desk in the office and go over paperwork. She’d ignored any of the suspicious behavior and appearances made by her coworkers.
Was definitely a kraken.
(You’re probably gonna need to see it in high res.)
So I had an update for you last weekend, but I had to take it down. I have this for you instead. We’re doing photomontage in my Design & Illustration class. This isn’t the final product (I don’t think I’ll be including the text), but it’s an alternate version that I like.
What’s this? Why, could it be that it’s the opening shot of the first episode of a certain upcoming cartoon? It could. In fact, one might even say that that’s what it is. And look, it’s in color! The cartoon is probably going to be in flat color, or at the very most cel shading, but trust me, it’ll be pretty. Don’t worry.
Bri is not exactly fond of the whole apocalypse thing. She’s not fond of being hungry all the time, she’s not fond of any protection she ever had being stripped away while the dangers lose their manners, she’s not fond of sleeping on park benches. She’s not fond of the crazy people who used to scream about the end of days not seeming so crazy anymore, of everyone else in the world seeming more so. She’s not fond of not having seen her apartment in about six months, of knowing it’s probably torn apart, maybe even fallen over. She’d be a little bit fond of not paying for stuff if there was any stuff left not to pay for. She’s really not fond of fighting something or someone for everything. She can feel the gash on her hip from that runin with a bearfish yesterday when she was down by the river, but if she turns over, it’ll just hurt more. She’s a little bit proud she’s hardly even afraid of bearfish anymore, but she’s still definitely not fond of them existing, or any of the weird crap rising out of the sewage these days. Did these horrifying hybrids always exist, just out of the public eye, or are they new? Nobody recycles anymore, that’s for sure.
And just as she’s finally drifting off to sleep, a giant, animalistic shriek all too close shocks her awake with the sort of petrifying panic she’s come to associate with waking up.
A gigantic owl with a …slug’s? lower half. (Why are the mutants always so big? How is the streetlamp even holding its weight?) It doesn’t seem to care that she’s there and, god, she isn’t even scared, either. Just annoyed.
Yeah. The apocalypse thing is getting old.
Hoh god this is late. Sorry about that. But it’s finally happened: a colored version of the owl-slug that I actually like. It occurs to me that I finished the original drawing around this time last year. I’d spent weeks working on it, drawing rows and rows of what turned out to be biologically inaccurate feathers, doing the pattern on the right wing, repositioning the head, working out the kinks in the flow of the feathers around the eyes. I even put three little stripes (not included in the colored version because it would have given me carpel tunnel) on every single feather. It was that wonderful sort of drawing that never goes wrong and never feels rushed, I just worked on little bits of it when I could, and eventually it was finished. I remember that for days after I finally decided it was done, I carried it around in my backpack (as I did all my drawings, to be fair) and pulled it out to show anyone who would look. Oh, those days before I discovered the internet.
I really didn’t mean for this to get so sunlighty, but, god, I just love sunlight so much. Also, when I first drew it, I wanted it to be a three panel comic (one for Bri sleeping on the bench while the owl-slug lands silently on the streetlamp, one for the wakeup call, and one for her realizing it’s just another gigantic, indifferent mutant and calming down) but by the time I finished this, I realized there was no way I could draw the owl-slug again on that scale.
The apatosaurus studied the location of the sun above it and reflected that it may not make it to the tea party on time. It furrowed its brows and attempted to fly faster.
Origin story (recorded in November 2011): I was at an aikido seminar in Roxbury, at lunch, trying to figure out something to draw because Mom gave my egg salad sandwich to an unfortunate Canadian fellow, so I had eaten what I did have (some chips) and I was bored. I said to my friend, Malcolm, “What should I draw?” He said, “A tyrannosaurus rex with rocket skates.”
And then I guess I just completely ignored him or something, because I haven’t got a drawing of a tyrannosaurus rex with rocket skates lying around. (I think I found some food at that point.) But then I got home and remembered the conversation about a week later. Huge, flightless dinosaurs flying was a fairly funny idea, and so I ended up drawing the improvement upon Malcolm’s suggestion that you see before you. It only took about ten minutes, but quickly became my most popular drawing. Friends, family, and Facebook acquaintances loved it, and my wonderful friend, Mira, who has her own shop on Skreened, even suggested I put it on a shirt. I went for it, and when I saw the interest it garnered, it became apparent that I might be able to do more with my drawings than devote a Facebook album to them. So I did, and thus Radio Trees was born.
So, clearly, a thank you is in order. Dear Canadian fellow who ate my egg salad: thank you. Without your hunger and my mother’s charity, I would have had an uninteresting lunch free of artistic endeavors, never asked Malcolm for inspiration, ignored his suggestion, drawn the illustration above, made my fortune of four dollars (and counting!) off THE SHIRT YOU CAN BUY of said illustration, and created this blog, which I love dearly. I will always be grateful to you.
Oh, and thanks, Malcolm.