Clone's Dream

Tuesday and Thursday

Portfall Crud, and Life in Black and White.

Raphael refers to the "Portfall Crud", which may need some explanation for 21st century readers. Portfall Crud is not a particular disease; it's a wide variety of low-grade fevers, infections, colds, digestive problems, and general misery that commonly strike travelers who've made portfall coming from elsewhere in the Solar System. It happens because Portfall means joining biospheres that have been isolated from each other for anywhere from a few months to several centuries. The little bugs and bacteria and so on have diverged in different ways in each biosphere, and the traveler therefore has an immune system that isn't acquainted (yet) with the local bugs. The bugs of course quickly remedy this situation.

The Double Star was gone for five years, so the Portfall Crud in their case isn't really dangerous; it's on the level of low-grade colds. And, as Raphael mentions and Sammo affirms, a million myds (equal to about about 9 million 2007 Dollars) buys a lot of cold medications.

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gorgeous use of color!

Life in black and white

So far all the pages of Clone's Dream have been in black and white. And I mean aggressive Black and White, with no grays except for some anti-aliasing so my black line art isn't visibly jaggy. Several folks have emailed me asking me to use color.

The problem is I'm not ready for color yet. Take a look at Sammo's legs in panel 74 above. It's a natural pose, but I messed up the proportions and perspective. If I were working in color, I could color things to de-emphasize the legs and make it not look as bad ... but that's an abuse, in my opinion, of color. Black and white art, especially without grays, requires mastery of form and perspective and proportion. And I'm working right now in Black and White because those are basics of art that I need to master if I'm going to ever be a decent storyteller in this medium.

So, basically, what you see here is me learning to walk before I try to run, or fly. I'm in awe of comics that use color really well - for example, last week's update of Zap! was absolutely gorgeous. And by the way, worth reading since it's a climactic moment in a pretty well-crafted long-form plot over there. But notice how it's gorgeous. It's gorgeous use of color, in a scene with depth and perspective and background and detail that is all perfect. Here's an artist who can fly. But I think you have to do a lot of black-and-white line art before your use of depth and proportion and perspective get this good. So I'm doing a lot of black-and-white line art.

The other thing is that good art can't carry a story by itself. Oh, it's nice to have. But the fact is that it's the writing that keeps people coming back. And it's the people who are into the writing that I care about most as fans. Those are the people I'm making Clone's Dream for.

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Ray Dillinger ||   

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