Monday, December 16, 2013

Entry 207: AMNIA CYCLE pages 34,35,36,&37

That's right, four pages this week. Exciting huh?

Also, my first splash page for this series. Followed immediately with the second splash page.

So the idea of planets connected by an ocean is an idea that I had in high school. In a creative writing class I wrote a sci-fi story where two planets were connected by an ocean. The plot of that story had something to do with a voyage through the ocean and a sea monster.

The idea doesn't work at all in the real world, but I always liked the visual of it in my imagination. I'm glad to give that idea a home here in Amnia Cycle.

Next week-- No Amnia Cycle. Sorry, but hey, double post this week... Actually, next week I'll be starting my other webcomic, SAGITTARIUS A* It's another sci-fi  about a space fighter piolot, but other than that, it's a very different story told in a very different way.

Blogged AAaaaaaaaaanndd...     blogged


  1. Yes! The dual planet idea! This was the big influence on Kismet. I think I'd called them Dasra and Nasatia. Your visualization of this idea is perfect- better than I ever imagined it. The reveal of the two planets was also perfect- really exciting! I saw the ridge on the planet and was like "What is that? - Oh wait!" Can't wait these planets are like. I'd love to do a story based on this world in the Dustinverse. I'm getting really excited by this story now. -Deej

    1. I'm glad you approve of this incarnation of the idea. I actually don't have names for these planets yet. For a while I wondered if one of these planets (or even both of them together) was Apoli, the place Amnia said she was looking for. But I've decided that nether of these planets is Apuli. So, yeah, they need names. Where did you get Dasra and Nasatia?
      Yeah, when I realized I could have Tara end up at this place I got pretty excited by the idea. What I like is that it feels like she's been going out in to the middle of nowhere, away from where the action is, but with these twin planets it instantly feels like she's arrived at some place important and special. That's what I'm wanting it to feel like anyway.
      I'm glad you liked the reveal, too. I'm glad that it had the effect I was aiming for.
      It's really gratifying to get to use rhythm in ways I don't get to in work for hire jobs. Like doing a 13 panel page with a grid and then following it with 2 splash pages. I've never gotten a script calling for a page longer than 8 or 9 panels, and I've never been asked to do one splash after another…. I almost did a third splash, but I decided to not.
      Anyway, yes, I'm wondering what these planets will be like myself. I know certain things about them, but there is a lot I'll be figuring out as I go.

  2. Love it. Great idea & looks fantastic as a sequence.
    Brings to mind Kubrick's star child as well, but that's probably just me.

    1. HEY, FRANK! Nice to hear from you. You've pointed out a Kubrick-nes in my work before. It's too flattering. I'm a BIG Kubrick fan. I can only hope that it's not just you and that I'm actually managing to absorb and utilize that influence.
      I will say that 2001 is a big influence on Sagittarius A*. I think you'll see it in the first couple pages.

    2. No worries there, Dustin. You've done the Kubrick influence proud both in S.H.I.E.L.D. and now in Amnia Cycle.
      Nice tease there for Sagittarius A*. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us.
      And you make a great point about the rhythm you're able to get into as a storyteller when you're freed of restrictions.
      Not to lay it on too thick, but the way the "camera" moves in Amnia Cycle also had me referencing Miyazaki imagery,
      which I'm well aware is one of your great joys & influences, as well.
      So, yeah, mission accomplished. It's always great to see work that uses seminal influences as a springboard, rather than as straight homage.
      Somewhat related: Have you seen the movie "Moon"? It came out in 2009 & I only caught it recently & really dug it. When you mentioned the Kubrick influence, it came to mind & I'd be interested to know what you think of it if you've seen it.
      Btw, please don't think my absence from commenting has been due to a disinterest in your work. 'Cause it's not.
      I became the owner of a comic-book store in May of this year - yeah, I know, crazy idea, that - and have had lots of plates spinning in the air, as small-business owners in their first year are destined to have.
      It's an exciting, scary time, and it's the epitome of putting my money where my mouth is.
      So...that's where I've been. But I'll still look in here & chime in as often as I can manage.
      (And I did sell issues 2, 3, & 4 of S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol.1 to a customer last week! :D)

    3. Haha. Yes. It did occur to me that I might have lost your interest. Which is a feeling I've felt a number of times. Like the people who liked my Star Wars work, where are you guys now?;).. I probably lost some of them when I moved from Live Journal to here… oh well... So, it's nice to know you still like me:)
      And that's cool about the store! Congratulations! That IS crazy, but exciting. Do you mind me asking what store is it and where it's located?
      You know, I did see Moon. It was a long time ago now, so I don't remember exactly what I thought about it. I do remember the 2001 influence being pretty strong. I gotta say that I remember being a little disappointed by it though. I remember being really intrigued by the doppelg√§nger and the mystery of that, but then I didn't feel like the answer to that mystery was very interesting. It seemed like the obvious answer. I guess I wanted to be more surprised. Then I think everything just kind of played out the way I expected it to… I think part of it just came down to what I wanted the movie to be and it not being that. I don't think it's bad by a long shot. And I almost always like Sam Rockwell even if I don't like the movies he's in… I think if my buddy hadn't said that he thought it was really great, then my expectation would have been lowered and I'd be more forgiving of it's short comings. Anyway, that's what I remember about it.
      … I think I've finally figured out how to prevent the being hyped thing from effecting my movie watching. I used to "think something would be bad, but hope it proved me wrong." Well now I've lost hope, but I'm open. Things are probably bad and I don't care or hope for them to be good… but I'm open to them having something good in them.
      Anyway, I've actually been thinking about doing a couple post about influences. I specifically wanted to show some of the influences on Amnia Cycle.

    4. My store's name is San Diego Comics. (I won't insult you by spelling out the location. :)
      At the moment, the online presence is strictly through Facebook & Twitter, and I have LOTS to do, since this was a very old-school shop with tons of back issues that I purchased. I'm working on streamlining inventory & eventually reaching a balance between the old & the new, with the hope that the comics-buying crowd in this area will be open to a bit more than a strict diet of superheroes. Very much an uphill struggle where that's concerned, along with working to change existing perceptions of the store. Still very early days, & I'm extremely critical when judging my own progress, so...nose to the grindstone & all that. Thanks for asking, btw. I felt if I just burst in here & announced it, I would be pimping things up a little too much. :)
      And please do compile a few posts about influences on your work, both past & present. I always find those very interesting & insightful.
      Re: Moon: I accepted the Kubrick influences that it wore on its sleeve (thought it had a lot of Silent Running in its DNA, as well) and was pleasantly surprised that it concluded with one of the clones actually seeking out a life on Earth, rather than being eliminated in one way or another. Tour de force performance by Rockwell, for sure, in a non-bombastic way.
      I hear what you're saying about hype & expectations in the entertainment we consume. I tend to keep in mind the aphorism that 85% of everything is crap, and that it it's up to us as individuals to seek out the remaining 15%
      that stimulates us. And personal taste & sensibilities makes that 15% vary wildly from one person to the next, usually.
      Let me run this one by you: Have you seen the Soderbergh/Clooney remake of "Solaris"?
      Now, THAT'S a sci-fi flick that I thought was hitting on all cylinders, and from a thematic standpoint it hit pretty close to home personally.
      If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it wholeheartedly & would love to hear your assessment of it.
      Go ahead. Watch it. I'll wait. :)

    5. I did see Solaris back when it came out... I think I also saw the original. I think I saw the original first and not long before I watched the remake. I think it effected the viewing. But it was so long ago, I hardly remember. I should re-watch it.
      I've never seen Silent Running. Would you recommend that?
      I appreciate you not wanting to use my blog to promote your store. (Honestly, I don't think it's the best place to promote anything. No one is reading this:)
      But seriously, that's great! I can see where the store is at on google maps. Was it there in 2003-05? When I lived in San Diego I don't think I ever went there.
      Getting superhero comics readers to recognize that comics have a lot more to offer is a frustrating struggle... It's even more frustrating to try to get comic book professionals to recognize that. I'm curious what your goals are and what your plan is. My favorite comic shop here in Portland has all the superhero comics in the back. You would have to ignore a bunch of art/alt-comics, Euro comics, all ages comics, manga, etc, to get to the superheroes. And when you get back to the superheroes you realize that it's just one more kind of comic, there are a lot of options... I don't know. This is Portland though. You can't throw a stone without hitting someone with a webcomic or a comics professional.

    6. Derailing this conversation for a moment:
      A very Merry Christmas to you & your family, Dustin, and great health & success in 2014.
      Thanks again for making this blog an engaging & articulate window into your work process. Hit count be damned, this is one of my favorite places on the internet.
      I have a lot more info to pass along about my store plans & its history (if you're interested), but I'd prefer to speak more off the record, and this IS a public forum. (Dude, there ARE people reading this - after my last post, I got hit up on FB to like a fan site for your art. A worthy cause & all, and no prob, but...I'd rather not hold a Town Hall Meeting when I'm being blunt about business matters.)
      Don't know if my e-mail address links to this at all, but I'd rather continue the business talk part through personal message, if that's alright. If you've got my addy, feel free to give me a go-ahead. If you can live without it, that's cool, too. :)
      I do recommend Silent Running. Very low budget, low-fi, but plays into the Kubrickian reliance on AI and also was way ahead of its time in addressing the diminishing of earth's natural resources. Awesome lead performance by Bruce Dern.
      Not laden with sfx, but has a lot of emotional resonance.
      Once again, Merry Christmas. Think I'll go entertain the family now. :)

    7. I hope you had a Merry Christmas too!
      I am curious about your store and your point of view of the industry. I would really like to hear about it. It can't seem to find your email address anywhere. Mine is in my contact page. You could just e-mail me.
      About the face book fan site, that's just my brother. My family thinks I should be on face book and twitter, but I am not convinced. So I think my brother is just making it happen in a way. I've been doing tumblr, but even that can often drain the life out of me. I've considered quitting many times.
      Anyway, e-mail me, I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. That's pretty cool. It reminds me a lot of a binary star--but with planets instead!

    1. Yeah. That's kind of what it's like. It's a binary planetary system. Also, the planet with the ocean hemisphere is in sychronuous rotation, where one side is always facing the other planet. Like our moon. Their shared center of gravity is slightly closer to the ocean planet, and it's possible that they have moons that circle both planets, orbiting that center of gravity… It sound like it makes sense, but I think if two planets were this close they would have to be orbiting each other really fast to keep from falling into one another. The tidal forces would crazy… it just don't work… But maybe there are other factors at play in this universe.