Monday, August 22, 2016


Some fan art for The Black Tapes Podcast, pretty scary at times, but unsettling just about wire to wire. It helps that while catching up, I marathoned these from 1am to 5am in this big, empty, old-timey mini-mansion out in the middle of Nowheremura, Japan.

I figure fellow Yalie Dr. Richard Strand's a little older, and is actually pretty much how I picture speaking-voice Steve Blum. In any case, this is not quite my first idea of what he looks like, but a nice starting point all the same. I should say, it's actually a bit annoying how podcasts tend to hate describing main characters. Always with the flowery descriptions of people main characters are talking to, but nothing to hang your hat on for the main homies.

I wanted to make this image look something like a pulp cover or something, you know, plenty of blank space for dressing. The top would be the series title of course, but for the bottom right, I thought it might be neat to include some kind of text, too. The full quote I was working from was:
I like the idea of “going down in,” and everybody is like that, everybody is a detective. The unknown is a magnet, and you can learn many, many things by going down in there. But it doesn’t negate a bright road, either...We love mysteries, life is filled with them, some of them are very abstract.

David Lynch
This came from an interview I was listening to while making this (usually listen to music and a podcast while working), and it felt quite appropriate for this series. And no, I'm not a Charlie Rose fan...the guy just interrupts and suggests to a frustrating degree, though I was actually impressed with his interview of that fraud "running" for President, wherein he actually calls that turd on his idiotic claims, though doesn't push as hard as he certainly could. Anyway, what were we talking about? Right, The Black Tapes Podcast.

I came across The Black Tapes via this listing of good podcasts, which I'm still making my way through. While some from that list were misses for me, The Black Tapes is definitely worth a listen. The first two episodes alone are a satisfying enough experience if you don't want to hang in for the at-present two full seasons, makes me feel like Ben 10 season 1 did, with the travel around and meet the freak of the week presentation style, and then it takes a much darker, more continuity-reliant turn soon enough, putting it in a trajectory all its own.

For this piece, I knew I wanted to draw Dr. Strand over top some scary, mysterious figure. But then I thought I'd drop some blood from his ears to symbolize the particularly pernicious nature audio takes in this series. I noticed the blood might make a neat shape, so it's kinda Alex Reeeegan hanging out in an alert pose in the upper left, I suppose. I didn't want to fully draw out either since I'm actually drawing a more straightforward piece of them right now, so I figured getting a little abstract in general would be ok here.

As for the background, we have a keyboard, since the series has a heavy musical element, plus a mysterious figure in a keyboard-playing position interlaced with a Golden Ratio diagram for kicks. The texture I used is one of my favorites since it has such a neat ring and drop of liquid, which I captured from a piece of paper I used to absorb the splash damage from a cold glass of water. But the way it rings around Strand's head hints at the supernatural qualities of the series, meanwhile it conveniently slices through his neck as well, hinting at some of the apparent danger he may be in. While I try to avoid using reds too heavily, the overall reddish wash felt necessary for the series' more sinister tones.

This was a fun little change of pace. I listen to a bunch of audio while drawing away, so I'm quite glad to have discovered the audio drama scene, since it was hitherto just music and/or interview podcasts. Want to do some more fan art of stuff...well, I mean, I have, but nothing feels good enough to post. I'm only posting this because I told myself the next one would go up. And so it is.


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