Tuesday, March 28, 2006

:: another dragon ::

i felt like making this one retarded...i did some sketches of a jellyfish getting beaten senseless and a monkey doing a hip shakin dance, while holding his liver...humm...

This week's Debacle: Skulls in the Stars

This week's debacle is Robert E. Howard's Skulls in the Stars. This story features Howard's character Solomon Kane, the wandering Puritan swordsman. To let you know in case you didn't, Howard invented Conan the Barbarian and was a contemporary of H. P. Lovecraft. I think these stories are pretty exciting. Skulls in the Stars is online here, but I'd recommend checking out some more Solomon Kane stories or Howard from the library. I'm going to read and probably post some Conan stuff eventually, which I can scan if needs be. Get to the reading and drawing. Later!

And as an edit to this post, I found a bunch more Robert E. Howard on the arthursclassicnovels site the one story is hosted on. If your're feeling fancy also check out The Hills of the Dead or The Valley of the Worm (I haven't read this one and I don't think it's a Solomon Kane story, but with a title like that it has to be awesome).

Monday, March 27, 2006

This week's Debacle: Any Takers?

If anybody has a story they want to do for this week, feel free to post it. I don't have anything ready now, but I can come up with something later after work. Go ahead and beat me to it! Sean, did you say you had some Russian folk tales? Some Baba Yaga would rock! Otherwise, I've got a bunch of stuff.


Firstly, thanks everybody for posting sofar! This is great, I haven;t had a chance to comment around but will do so tomorrow. Here's what I came up with,

I started out with some bad jellyfish drawings that looked like eric cartman (that you don't get to see) and then I got to these. I did some versions of the jellyfish with and without a shell (much sadder without). He started looking alot like a Dragon Warrior cureslime, but I was okay with that. It would be good to put some more work into him to make him different, like if I had some real jellyfish reference. Other than that there's a beginning to Rin Jin. I imagined him as having the power to transform between human and dragon forms, so as a humanoid I have him some mild eastern ogre features. I didn't spend much time on his dragon form.

Here's a beginning for a stoic looking Dragon Queen. I really liked her little horns and hair (it's starting to look like queen amidala, sort of). I started giving her this royal tank top / kimono outfit, which I should do a full version of. After drawing the serious face I tried doing some more relaxed expressions with mixed results. In the really light lines to the bottom left are some monkey roughs, one holding a sandwich.

This is the most developed of the drawings I did. I ended up thinking of Kurage's shell like a helmet (I wanted to draw some eyes on top, as if they were painted on or something. It would look pretty funny I think). This drawing was great until I realized that the scale relationship between Kurage and the monkey would make for a very uncomfortable swim (the monkey is huge!). Despite his size, he is still bedazzled by Kurage's tellings of Rin Jin's palace. The end! Thanks again!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

This discussion of my innards is disconcerting.

So this image pretty much popped into my head immediately when I read the story. I don't know what's up with my jellyfish. I just hope he looks appropriately stupid.

Here's my spin. . .

The fish doctor is actually a dolphin. Unaware that dolphins are not fish and are actually mammals the king entrusts the fish doctor over the care of his beloved wife. The dolphin, realizing the entertainment value of the situation at hand, orchestrates the entire events of the story. Outwitting the Dragon King the dolphin demands the liver of a monkey, the only mammal that falls slightly short of his own intelligence. The events that follow amuse the fish doctor's twisted mind as he initially tricks the monkey, is pleasured by Rin Jin's sorrow from the death of his wife, and takes part in the extracting of the bones and beating of the kurage.

Monkey and a Jellything

ok. i realized i had the time to post this now, and i might not have the time tomorrow... so i went for it!
.... i was also afraid that once i saw everyone else's beautiful sketches, i'd get cold feet...
so here are my sketchythings for Debacle #3!

ohkaaay~ not as impressive as your guys stuff. wah.
*insert lame excuses about crappyness here*

i really didn't know how to draw that jellyfish thing. i guess i still wanted to make it jelly-like, but that's not how it is in the story. so i kinda changed it to be a little more solid, even though i like my first, lanky jelly one probably the best... the way i started drawing it after kinda reminds me of these little bad guys in Super Mario World. oh well. :0
i first imagined Monkey as the Evil Monkey from Family Guy, but i drew my own, too-anime-cutesy-to-ever-be-cool version. maybe i went overboard on the hair. har har.
i also doodled the Dragon Queen as a joke. kinda. it started out that way. but then again... i have to live up to my "that anime girl" standards. wahhh.

well! i think i'd like to do more, too. maybe one more better one with a little bit more time put into it... but just in case that never happens, at least something is up! buuu. i'm really curious to see all your sketches!!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Welcome another!

Hey we have yet a new member, Pana! Everybody say hi and play nice. Also, I've added a list of Past Debacles to the sidebar. I don't know how to automate this, but for now I can update it manually. This way we can keep track of challenges issued easily, and visitors can know what's up. So yep, rock on.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Welcome to the Debacle!

Hey everybody, welcome some new contributors to Literary Debacle... none other than Brett and Val! Hey you two... Let Tom or I know where you want your name on the sidebar to link to. You know, like a "web-site" or something.

Otherwise, we have some basic rules set up if you want to check out some of the earlier posts. This week's debacle is Sean's doing, a Japanese folk tale called The Jelly Fish and the Monkey. It can be found here and this is Sean's original post. If you've got stuff to share try to have your artwork posted by Sunday night, but don't worry about it as a deadline. Have fun!

Oh man, thanks for coming aboard! Debacle on!

I AM 8 BIT contest


make 80's themed video game artwork and get famous! I hope you guys don't mind that this post isn't strictly debacle-related, but I thought you might be interested in checking it out. The deadline for emailing IGN your submissions is April 7. I haven't looked too closely at the rules but I think they are discouraging all-digital art submissions, but mixed media I think is ok.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


. . . keep rollin', rollin,' rollin

Queen Nitocris from "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs"

"The subterranean nymph that dwells
'Mid sunless gems and glories hid --
The lady of the pyramid!"

Here's the clincher:
Can you name both hard rock songs I referenced in this post?

:: dragon! ::

i got sentimental and didn't add the sword sticking out of his neck...perhaps later... i like this design a lot! its a disney homage, i didn't look at any disney drawings, jsut a photo of a croc, but still it's got a disney feel i think, and the colors are similar to black cauldron's dragons. wheeee!

:: progress ::

sooo, this isn't done, but i wanted to post it so ya knew i hadn't given up on debacl'in'! i traced it up in flash from a pencil sketch this time. i'd like to color it and add a sword stretching out the skin!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reading The Island of Doctor Moreau

I'm about halfway through The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells. This is the first Wells I've read and it's good so far. I've been suffficiently creeped out by some of the weird things running around on Moreau's island. Here are two rough's loosely based on characters from the book.

I drew in those brackets on the second creature because there are this group of hybrids on the island with this odd bodily proportion. Their upper bodies are longer than those of a normal human, so when seated they look abnormally tall but are of average height standing. Wells gives some great descriptions of their clumsiness of gait and it was easy to envision them. I built the chest barrel like a dog or other 4 legged mammal standing on its rear legs. It could use some adjustment, but it's still creepy!

Challenge 2 - pile of dragon teeth!

After reading the story I tried to render the dragon in a few ways. Instead of doing a straight up dragon (with limbs and such) I wanted to draw some wyrms. Above is the first attempt, with the beginnings of a scene.

Here are some other ideas. I was trying to make the mouth as large as possible so that the dragon could be swallowing Cadmus's pals whole. I should have included a soldier for scale or something... Anyways, the skullish one is sort of weird (a little too grimey for this story) but I like the one with the jackal/fox face. I think I rotated the snout wrong for that angle though and didn't bother fixing it. Onward to the spawn of the dragon's teeth!

Firstly I was thinking of doing some sort of clearly half dragon man as the dragon spawn but I wanted to take a break from things monstrous. After all, if these guys babysat for Cadmus they would probably have had an easier time looking more human like. Hopefully a fang or two and a mean haircut will be dragon enough. Here I also brought out my Gardner's Art of the Ages book from Art History to refer to some Roman-ish armor. I was looking mainly at a sculpture of Augustus from 20 B.C. His waist seems unresolved... maybe some sort of belt would help.

These scans look weirder than usual with the page tiling. Lame.

Challenge no.3 The Jelly Fish and the Monkey

I thought I'd try something rather different for this challenge. This is a Japanese folktale called The Jelly Fish and the Monkey. It was translated by Yei Theodora Ozaki in 1903, but the actual myth predates that by a good deal.

Here's a link to the tale. I hope you guys don't mind reading something more comical this week.

I find a lot of Japanese myth to be particularly sweet, charming, and humorous even if at times brutaly violent. I thought this was a good representation of that feel. This particular story is in a similar vein as Rudyard Kipling's excellent Just so Stories.

Challenge II Met: Europa on the White Bull

Here's my post for challenge II. I'm real happy with how this turned out. It's closer to my usual style than the Ibummy. I almost never draw non-anthropomorphic animals, so this was good practice.

Does anyone know if the movie The Last Unicorn came out of this myth or not? The whole bull driving beauty out of the land and into the sea thing is pretty strikingly similar.

Hey Pete, mind if I post a challenge next week. I'm thinking maybe a Russian or Japanese folktale.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Insert Quarter for New Challenger!

So here's my Ibis-Mummy or as I like to call it the Ibummy. It's nowhere near as fancy as Pete's drawings, but I had a lot of fun making it. His arms are broke on purpose cause he's a mummy.

My natural tendency would be too make an insanely cute mummy with pieces of brain showing just to make it more adorable, but I thought I should venture outside of my usual territory. This is a drastic departure from the round, clean style I have been drawing in for the last coupla years.

At first I was gonna make the parts fit together really poorly and have them be all different sizes, like the mummy was made from spare body parts, but I was worried it wouldn't read too well since it's already so busy with bones and bandages and junk.

Good challenge Pete!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Getting into myth: Read Hesiod's Theogony

For those of you interested in starting to read more classical mythology, a good place to begin is Hesiod's Theogony. You can find it here but I suggest finding a printed copy. It's cool that alot of the things we've been reading are open license and free, but I never did like reading from a screen and books are still more portable. The edition I have is translated and introduced by Norman O. Brown, put out by the Library of Liberal Arts (isbn: 0-02-315310-5). This book is short! The introduction by Brown is longer than the actual text (50 pages out of 87). The Theogony is great though because it gives the creation accounts for the Greek pantheon, roughly naming each major figure and many minor ones (a handful of nymphs in there), their genealogies, and a condensed telling of the Titanomachy. It's a good reference if you want to know who relates to who and how quickly. So yeah, books are good.

Challenge no.2: The Dragon's Teeth

Ok, here's the new thing. The Dragon's Teeth by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Get it here! I couldn't resist... the webpage is called Tales of Wysardry! Anyways, The Dragon's Teeth is from Hawthorne's collection called Tanglewood Tales, for girls and boys. Hawthorne took a handful of classic Greek myths and Christianized them for his young puritanesque readers. The stories are great interpretations. I'd reccomend reading the whole thing anyways, since the book is short. You should read more Hawthorne regardless of the case.

To get ahead of myself some, I think next week we may try some more myth stuff (I can pull from The Metamorphoses or the Theogony), and after that we should do some adventure stories by Robert E. Howard (some Solomon Kane or Conan).

So, read and draw by next Sunday! And show us your Egyptian Horrors!

:: very punny peter ::

so here's my take on the 5 headed beast and a mummy croc [it was totally the best, no wonder we all drew it!]. my flash sketch skills still aren't as good as my pencil ones, but it's a start! i might re-sketch these in my book when i get a minute to do it justice!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Response Challenge no.1: Mum's the word.

 Mummy Crocodile

Mummy Ibis

old school carrion crawler!

Here's what I've come up with so far. I'm beat now but I want to do more, possibly tomorrow. The crocodile mummy was fun (I enjoy crocodilians). I spent alot less time on the ibis mummy, but I liked it's missing lower jaw. I had some plans for a mummy jackal and rhino, and wanted to start an elephant but got tied up with other things.

But as a special bonus, here's a carrion crawler too! In case you don't know, the carrion crawler is a monster from Dungeons and Dragons that feeds on the dead. It's like a giant caterpillar (the larval form of some weird monster?) It's tentacles have the power to paralyze living prey. I gave this one a very squid / cthulhu head. It's a little more loyal to the original monster. I think for the newer rulebooks it looks more beetle-ish and has almost a snail face. Fun.

I'm looking forward to seeing everbody's stuff. I'll be checking through my bookshelf for a new challenge. I'm thinking we'll try something myth related this week. Later!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Post stuff by Sunday night

Post what you can by Sunday night. Just use that as a general submit time, by no means a deadline. It would be one thing if we had contests from this, but that's not our bag. Tom mentioned some things in a comment from the Challenge post, so aside from your favorites post anything alongside what you came up with, be it process, roughs, reference, etc. I'm really into seeing a persons thought/art process so show us!

Also, I've got some other ideas for good challenges in the queue but if you want to issue a challenge just suggest one. We could vote on them if we wanted, or just go round robin too (since there are only four of us it seems like it would be well paced). Not to mention we could have multiple challenges too if we get impatient... this is intense.

Ok weirdos, happy drawling!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

:: 20,000 leagues under the sea ::

so, i'm still not venturing far out of my stylistic comfort zone, but i'm working on it! ned land and pierre arronax, perhaps discussing pros and cons of life aboard their floating "prison." arronax obviously weighing on the pros a bit more than the canadian...orrrr maybe i just drew them on different layers and just wanted to make one post?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Challenge no.1: Imprisoned With the Pharaohs

Imprisoned With the Pharaohs, written by H.P. Lovecraft.
To briefly introduce it, the story tells of Harry Houdini's explorations of the Pyramids of Egypt. I have a printed copy of the story from The Transition of H.P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness from Del Rey that I will be reading from, but I'll try to compare the online version alongside for any differences. Read the story, let us know what you think and show us what you thought of (some of this may seem a little slow, but enjoy the atmosphere it builds). I read it over three years ago and can't wait to read it again. I'm not gonna bias you any further. Read and draw.

And some other recommendations to follow up on the first real post: obviously I've read Imprisoned With the Pharaohs before. I'd hope that whatever reccomendations we make may be from things we have read or are reading. Instead of considering it a head-start or something, think of it as screening content for great visual imagery and exciting themes. If you have some good ideas for something you are reading and want to do it for the group, suggest a title and we'll work on it. Stuff that can be found online or scanned is easy, but things that we may have to go buy or get from the library may take a bit longer (consider giving a weeks warning before issuing the challenge). We could even issue thematic challenges based upon an author's general work (like pick any story by Lovecraft or Robert E. Howard and draw something from it). Just some thoughts. If things go well we could probably create a nice list of these things somewhere. Please add anything you think would help. Ok, enough jab. Get on readin and thinkin!

The formal (not test) welcome to Literary Debacle!

Hey guys, welcome to Literary Debacle! Thanks for busting out the interest in this this weekend. I'm not gonna gab much, I just wanted to share a couple of reccomendations for how we might proceed with things. These aren't really rules, but just think about them and work with or around them if you want.

I imagine us doing two things with this blog: Read / Draw challenges and posting artwork centered upon inspiration from readings (or whatever ideas we may have cooking). I'm going to post the first Read / Draw challenge (have a cooler name for this?) after this post, but I figure we can have a weekly challenge up on Monday. Spend the week reading whatever is recommended, sketch on it and post some of your favorites by Monday. Then we look and enjoy and go on to the next week's event. Sound good? We can start with some short stories possibly, and even break things down to themes (ie: robotic farm animals) for a break. We can do N. E. Thing.

As far as other postings, let's see what inspires you, either more stuff from things you are reading or from any bit of intake you have. For example, say you think the new King Kong was done totally wrong, then show us your way of dong it.

I know blogger states in their license agreement that the individual who posts holds copyright over the content of their posts, unless otherwise stated. I'd like to re-emphasize this, that this is our public forum but whatever we create and put here is ours unless we choose otherwise. I'm not worried about us, but since this is a publicly available site we may attract looky-loos. Only post what you feel comfortable sharing (and feel free to mark your work © 2006 Whoever Done Did It).

If your readings are illustrated or you know of other illustrations of similar matter, try to avoid them if you can. Depending on what works we're already familiar with we may have a bias when depicting certain themes of work. That's ok, just try to find some fresh perspectives and explode your mind. We may want to refer to other artist's work too as style resources. All of this is ok, just tread lightly and don't let someone elses work over influence what you bring to post.

Also, so far I think it's just the four of us, but there's no reason why we can't expand this. It would be cool to keep this thing FOAF based (friend of a friend), but there may be exceptions or we might change our minds completely (exploded!). Share this blog around if you like and if someone wants in, let us know.

As fer now, I have to go collect my roommate's car but I will be back by 11pm, 11:30pmish with the first Read/Draw challenge. No hints, unless you are Tom and already know. Pants!

I may have forgotten something, if so I'll post more with the challenge. Thanks!

Vilkommen auf Debacle!