Inktober and Guy Gifford

I always enjoy #inktober. Pen & ink is one of my favorite illustration techniques and probably the one I use most often. I always find it fun to do a few extra drawings in October for #inktober. Here are the two drawings I’ve done so far in 2023. As you can see, my 1930’s theme remains. Each of these drawing uses a different approach. The girl has quite a bit of stippling but the hoodlum has none, using instead parallel ink marks with some cross-hatching. I’m getting used to my…

Ode To A Bedsheet: What’s a Pulp Magazine?

Ode to a Bedsheet meme

Last weekend was my birthday and I was working hard to finish the first draft of the second version of my new “Moon Man” novelette. Funny thing, I mentioned this to someone yesterday at a meeting and they assumed I was finishing READING a novelette. “No,” I clarified. “Not reading, writing.” It made me laugh, she doesn’t know me very well. Anyway, the second attempt is much better. I liked the first plot and may still use it for another story, but it wasn’t hitting the correct marks for a…

Bryce Walton and the Many Faces of Dystopia

Bryce Walton meme

This week’s ROCKETEER is my first post about Bryce Walton, a mid-20th century sci-fi and fiction writer. He mainly wrote short works and for that reason is not well remembered today. I think he’s an overlooked writer, especially his dystopian works which are the subject of this week’s posts. Dystopian stories, if done well, can be very instructive for various reasons. Sometimes they are used by “powers-that-be” as predictive modeling for societal change. (We see all the time in “The Simpsons.”) Walton’s dystopias are wide-ranging, interesting, and sometimes prophetic. They’re…

Lybblas in the Spotlight: “The World is Mine”

Lybblas 2 meme

In my second post about pulp-era aliens we take a gander at one of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore’s Gallegher tales, “The World is Mine.” The five Gallegher stories are about a brilliant inventor who’s only brilliant when he’s drunk as a skunk. He invents “by ear,” solely from the subconscious. In this story he invents a time machine and shuttles in some Martians. These Lybblas are very cute and not at all as we usually think about Martians, then or now. The lexicon of aliens was much greater back…

Two new articles, a story in progress, and a drawing for practice

Rocketeer alien series meme

There seems to be a lot going on at the moment. For the next few weeks the ROCKETEER is going to highlight aliens in honor of the Chehalis Flying Saucer Party—a local event celebrating everything UFO. (It’s like McMenamins UFO Festival only smaller.) I’ll be discussing pulp-era and slightly later stories with the themes of invasion, alien manipulation, control, and humanity fighting back in stories ranging from the absurd to the deadly. The first in that series came out this week: “Tactical Error: This Star Shall Be Free.”  The story…

Westerns in Space: Or, Space Operas R Us

It’s been a busy couple of days here at the studio. First, I finished up a fun pulpy commission for a new book release. On Wednesday, in The Rocketeer, I wrote about the connection between Westerns and Space Opera (with picture examples!) Read The Rocketeer: “Westerns in Space”  Today, I received a few more books in the mail for my growing Robert Leslie Bellem reprint story collection. I’ve several new paintings planned, and of course new books on the way. In the midst of tremendous world-wide chaos, life can be fun! Count on it!

Is Anyone Incorruptible?

The Face of Parody/Is Anyone Incorruptible?

Fritz Lang’s visuals for Metropolis (1927) fascinate me. The story is pure socialist creed, but the imagery remains powerful even after nearly 100 years. I remember seeing the re-mastered version with Queen’s soundtrack during college. And I’ve seen the anime remake as well as enjoying Queen’s 1984 video– “Radio Ga-Ga” –immensely. (An interesting year for that video to appear on the scene, in my opinion.) Michael Wm Kaluta created outstanding images for a remake book of Metropolis some time ago. It was his drawings that inspired the title of my…