In the end … there is no end. I take comfort in that.
The End of the World that human beings worry about is primarily a collapse of their cultural world. The world – Planet Earth and the life upon it – will go on after human civilization fails. It went on after an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. Something else will evolve after humanity has made everything but insects and stupid yappy dogs extinct. Life will endure even after the arrogant apes with delusions of grandeur pass away. Heck, maybe some of those apes will figure out a way to stick around.
I’ve given away a lot of my drawings over the years. Friends will kid me that they are hanging onto them until I become rich and famous. Then they can cash out. Silly people. I’m pretty sure I was never on a path to fame, much less fortune.
Recently one of my more sensible friends sent me photos of some of my drawings from back in the day – the “day” being some thirty years back – sometime in Eighties, a time of big shoulder pads and nuclear holocaust. She said that she was reducing her possessions in advance of a move and some of the drawings were going to get reduced along with the rest of the stuff.
I’m fine with that.
The work I did before the Nineties has life and energy but a poor awareness of anatomy. I thought it would be fun to do new versions of some of the characters in those old drawings.I thought the two fellows above looked like they’d be good traveling companions so I worked up an illustration that featured them both.
I just noticed that the big mutant is lacking the earrings I gave his original. Aw well, I haven’t worn my earrings in years either.
Here are some of the sketches I plan to turn into colored illustrations over the next few months. No doubt I will get distracted and work up new sketches before all of these get completed. I’ve also started work on a graphic novel commission that I expect will take up most of the time that isn’t currently filled by my day job. This week I’m just posting these previews and a few other, older illustrations that haven’t made it to this site yet. There may be some weeks where I don’t post. Hopefully not but …
I don’t just walk, just get out and see where my legs take me, much any more. I work for the post office as a letter carrier and that job has me on the go. When I’m working overtime hours I deliver on routes that are less familiar but it’s all civilization. I miss taking the paths less traveled – the trails to places where nothing was ever built … or where the hold of man has slipped away.
I imagine that human beings have been imagining the end of the world for as long as humans have had civilization. Maybe they were imagining the end of the world when they were hunter/gatherers but I tend to think of world ending stories as stories of the collapse of civilization. Before civilization, specifically the sort of civilization that arises for agriculture, humans lived as members of small tribes and could carry their possessions from place to place as needed. After civilization humans had walls and buildings and … stuff. Stuff that filled buildings and required walls. And when humans have stuff they worry about losing it.
The world will end someday. The world as we, 20th/21st Century people, recognize it. Homo Sapiens as a species will go extinct. I hope that will be because a form of humanity evolves that peacefully replaces us. The earth and life will go on. The stuff we leave behind will be consumed by whatever nature throws at it. Or perhaps our descendants will pack it all up and recycle it. If so, good for them.
Most of the time I have an idea of how I’m going to color an illustration. I’ll make adjustments during the actual coloring process but I’ll try to achieve the image I first saw in my mind’s eye. The coloring on this piece is much different than I originally planned. I was going to color the soldier in shiny, high tech armor – maybe a little dirty but otherwise “normal”.
The night after I finished the inks on this piece I dreamed about coloring it – coloring it as if the soldier’s armor camouflaged him, made him transparent. I woke up, wide awake, at 2:30 a.m. and started coloring with the new image in my head. The result, to me, makes him seem like a ghost haunting the site of the battle.