Digital Art Live Issue 35

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We are actively looking for artists or content creators who would enjoy the opportunity of teaching other artists in a live setting.

Would you like to work with Digital Art Live as a partner in presenting some of our live webinars? We’re particularly looking for artists and content creators with DAZ Studio and/or Poser in mind. Use the link below to submit your application and we’ll get in touch!


Front Cover: Detail from “Gillian’s Place” by Chris Hecker, who is interviewed in this issue.







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We re-visit Chris to find out how he’s faring, four years after our last interview, and to hear about his new book.

Drew makes comic-books with DAZ Studio and sells them online. We hear how he makes and promotes his work.

We interview German wallpaper specialist Gene Raz von Edler about how he sells his beautiful 4K and HD digital wallpapers.




“It’s important to not be intimidated by your own grand ideas. Sometimes they can be demanding and you might think that it’s something you don’t have the skills for. You should at least try and realize that idea. Don’t throw it away because it seems too complicated.”

“Doing a comic means I need much more mileage from my backdrop sets, so I almost always have to edit, tinker, combine and rework. Luckily, vendors have started embracing construction sets and modular products that let the user 5 build what they need.”

“… as a [DeviantArt] Community Volunteer I feature Daily Deviations to the whole community in a joint feature with my teammates; I also take care of the Wallpaper Gallery and as a voice of the community, I help with everything that is in my power.”

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Our regular fresh inspiration for sci-fi artists, available on iTunes.

LIVE Join our live webinar-based workshops for digital artists. Credits for pictures, from top left: Details from “Under Control” and “Under the Arch” by Gene Raz von Edler (interviewed in this issue); detail from “Hammer” by Drew Spence (interviewed in this issue).

Paul Bussey

Dave Haden

Editor-in-Chief, Conferences

Editor and magazine layout Support Dave at Patreon.

Copyright © 2018 Digital Art LIVE. Published in the United Kingdom. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. No copyright claim is made by the publisher regarding any artworks made by the artists featured in this magazine.




Welcome to our Christmas and New Year issue, the time of gifts and giving. It's also a time when, for many, money is ‘too tight to mention’. Artists in particular are likely to be ‘skint’, as we say in the UK. But thankfully we live in a Golden Age of free and low-cost software:— In 2018 the big news was Autodesk’s freeing of their leading 2D ‘sketch and paint’ software SketchBook Pro. This is now completely free on the desktop, in perpetuity. Autodesk’s generous move was likely a response to the excellence of Krita 4.0, their free open-source competitor. Krita robustly cured the sluggish brush-engine that had dogged version 3, while adding a raft of must-have features — including vector export, a Dark mode and storyboard/comics production support, all wrapped in an enjoyably friendly Photoshop-like interface. Krita is now even a competitor to Corel Painter and Adobe Illustrator. The overcomplex Clip Studio (Manga Studio) and the simplistic Comic Life will also have to watch their toes, over the next few years, as Krita’s new comics tools develop further. While other open-source graphics software is more difficult to love than Krita, excellent work is also being done in the pocket-money ‘$50’ space. The makers of Serif's Affinity series deserve special praise for bringing accessible clones of Photoshop and Illustrator to the masses, for a one-time $50. Here in the UK, Affinity Photo soundly beats the tired and overpriced £80 Photoshop Elements. Over in 3D, DAZ Studio 4.1.x has come a long way since the 3.0 version, and is free and nag-free. This must-have software is in continual development and has a growing user-base. The addition of the reasonably-priced $24 Scene Optimizer plugin opens up DAZ Studio to users who can’t afford a powerful graphics card. Optimizer quickly and easily optimises your scene, making an iRay render run faster while hogging far fewer system resources.


The DAZ competitor Poser 11 is not free — but there have been times recently when Standard has been on sale at a very low one-time price. Poser is especially unique and valuable for its nonphotoreal features such as Sketch and the Comic Book Mode. Poser Standard has both features, as well as seamless integration with Vue 2016. Savvy graphic artists should keep an eye out for more discounts in 2019, ahead of a Poser 12 release. If you’re considering writing a novel in the New Year then get the free open-source Scrivener clone Manuskript, now maturing nicely in a 0.8 Windows version. Those writing a screenplay or comic script will want either the open-source KIT Scenarist or the free Amazon Storywriter. Non-fiction writers will need LibreOffice Writer, since the free open source DTP software Scribus has horrible footnote handling and the free Affinity Publisher beta doesn’t currently support this vital feature. And let me not forget to thank owner Matt Mullenweg for his resolute commitment to free hosted blogs, with free gallery templates and a generous 3Gb of image hosting. DeviantArt continues to be a useful free home for emerging and hobbyist artists — and its hyper-active ponies can be tamed with the free DeviantArt Filter 5.x Web browser add-on. Trello is also a great free online ideas organiser and production scheduler. Finally, artists who listen to audiobooks while they work should get AIMP, a free and stylish desktop media-player that offers a surprisingly rare feature — easy bookmarking for audiobooks. Never loose your place in a free LibriVox audiobook again!

DAVID HADEN Editor of Digital Art Live magazine


Digital Art Live re-visits Chris Hecker in Germany, to talk about self promotion and to find out how he’s faring with freelance work for game companies and other clients, using Vue and Photoshop.

DAL: Chris, welcome back to Digital Art Live magazine. Looking back over our previous issues, we last interviewed you in the first issue of Digital Art Live. That was the first issue in which our new design values were ‘plugged in’, and you certainly made it special. CH: Isn’t it insane how quick time runs by? The world certainly did change quite a bit since then. DAL: How have things changed for you since then as an artist? What were your most pleasing successes during the interval? CH: I just recently made 3rd place with one of my artworks, in a contest held by CG Trader. That was totally unexpected and a great surprise. Especially because of the prizes! I now have the opportunity to gain some experience with a screen tablet [pen monitor?]. I also managed to strike a nice deal with Stardock for their Galactic Civilization game series. For the third game I was able to contribute a series of images. That was a lot of work but also fun. I tried out a couple of new techniques, to become more efficient. Aside of that I’m still very happy to see my work appear in magazines, books and all that. Maybe as a cover or something else. This will always feel special. I at least hope this feeling never goes away. For me it’s still unbelievable to see my work printed or published somewhere. DAL: Well, we’re pleased to say you have the front cover for this issue. So that’s another cover for the portfolio. DAL: How have you promoted your art and print sales over those years? What have you found to be most effective methods for 8 promotion?

Picture: “Endeavours 10: Towers of Entropy”.




CH: The best promotion is to create some great artwork and to put yourself and your work out there. The competition is insane, and it will become harder and harder to make yourself a name in the field of digital art. DAL: Yes, the world’s population of young people is booming. There will soon be about twice as many super-talented people in the world as there were in 1960. And all assisted by algorithms and software and the Internet, too. But that also a lot more people to sell to… CH: As well as the competition angle, it’s also about the personal time issue. I’m freelancing and have the ability to take care of my social media presence. Not as much as I want to, but good enough. You need to feed your audience and keep them interested. The best way to go is through social media. If you also have a mainstream job and a family to take care of, it’s hard to take care of everything ‘social media’ and deliver a constant flow of new content. DAL: True. Taking of great new content… or not… what’s the latest news on the Luminarium? As you’re a member of that illustrious group, could you give us an overview of their past activities in the last few years, and future exciting plans? CH: Luminarium is on an indefinite hiatus right now. A lot of the member artists have moved on and don’t have the necessary time to contribute anymore. Which is totally fine but also a little sad. Things change. DAL: Yes, I thought it might be something like that. CH: However! Some members of Luminarium and a second artgroup called Cosmosys have come together to form a new group called Aurora. is our site and we’ve had two exhibits so far. Some cool and inspiring stuff in there. Go check it out! We’re currently preparing a DAL: Great news, thanks. That’s the thing about the Internet. Turn your back on it for a year and whoomf… it’s reconfigured itself when you get back. Talking of constant change… software… has your secondary toolset changed since 2014, in terms of the plugins and additional software you use for your work? For instance, are you still using World Machine with Vue? CH: I would say World Machine has gotten even more important over the past years. World Machine in combo with Geoglyph 2 — very powerful. These two will probably play a role in the future too. But now I’m also looking into GAEA. That’s a landscape tool by Quadspinner, the guys who created Geoglyph. It’s powerful enough to almost replace World Machine, at least in my eyes. But I also think that World Machine will always be a great tool to fall back on, if some special situations come up. I just created a terrain asset I’m selling. That I created with GAEA, WM and Geoglyph 2. In the recent years I also started to use DAZ Studio more often than in the past. It helps me out tremendously if I need a10character for my


Picture: “Divin’”.

scene. With the newly implemented dForce engine for dynamic cloth simulation... it’s become even more interesting to work with!

DAL: And obviously Vue 2016 has been released, along with six service release patches, since 2014. We reviewed it in-depth here, when it was released. What are your thoughts on the new Vue 2016? I recall you were doing 300 hour renders when we last interviewed you in 2014, so the improved render speed in Vue 2016

must have been a boon for you? CH: Oh dear, that 300 hour render haunts me to this day. I have avoided crazy-long renders like that, since then. You see, the reason for that particular render needing so much time... clouds. Clouds are insanely hard to render. But the piece “Claim New Worlds” demanded some clouds and I decided to invest the time. And it paid off. I love that scene. Since then I only had one similar render. And I


think the reason why that one took so long was simply the fact that I “only” have 32Gb of ram in my machine. The scene contained some very hires PBR materials and these easily eat up your memory. So a lot of disc-swapping happened and that turns out to always be very slow. Vue 2016 in its early stages was far from flawless. But then a ton of fixes happened and now it’s doing a very good job in my eyes. Render speed did improve to a certain degree,


but I think it could still be a bit faster. Compared to other renderers out there it’s certainly not the fastest.

DAL: Yes, it needs as many CPUs as it can get. But those cores are coming, in the newer CPUs. CH: In the last few days a new Vue version was announced, and I’m still digging through the changes they did to it. It’s finally possible to properly load PBR textures for your objects. That’s a huge thing. PBR is very relevant these

Picture: “Gillian’s Place’”.

days and Vue needs to stay relevant as well. And again there is the promise of faster cloud rendering. Which I still have to test out.

DAL: Has the amount of time you spend on a picture decreased or increased, overall, would you say? CH: That’s a good question. As you know I’m an idiot and I have to go into some crazy detail when it comes to my work. Most of the time such a degree of detail isn’t necessary. And the detail work is what takes the most time. I can’t help myself. I just feel better if the picture has a consistent degree/level of detail throughout the scene. And I like the idea that there is always something to discover in a nicely detailed scene. But… to answer your question, from a personal feeling I think it neither decreased or increased. It depends on what I’m working on. I started to render my scenes a little larger compared to four years ago. Back then my standard was 5000px to 6000px wide. Now I’m between 6500px and 8000px wide. Another reason why I need more RAM. When rendering multipass with pixel sizes like that... your memory fills up quickly. Which slows the render speed. And sometimes Vue just decides to close, if you ordered Vue to render too many Multipass layers. I desperately need more RAM! DAL: Have you added any new tools to the Vue + Photoshop mix that you use to make your art? For instance, on your site you mention JSplacement? CH: JSplacement is a lot of fun to play with. Especially if you want to go a little abstract. I talked about it in the Digital Art Live “Into The Distance” webinars this year. I saw folks on Facebook playing around with it. Great to see! What I really need is a little more time for Mandelbulb3D. I think it’s a nifty tool to create some neat plates for concept art projects. Especially alien looking landscapes can be done here really nicely. It allows you to be very creative with the shapes it gives you. With Photoshop and some overpainting you can create some very unique looking scenes. DAL: Yes, Mandelbulb3D is still great for space art. Someone should really take it on, spruce it

up, get it fit for 2020. And what do you hope for from our ‘next Vue’ — Vue 2020, or whatever its official title is set to be? I hear that many people have been hoping for improved and faster clouds, for instance? Are you one of them? CH: The rendering of volumetric objects will always be a pain. But I’m sure there is always room to optimize the software to make the render process a little faster. There are a couple of things that I’m happy they implemented in the newly-released version. I heard the rendering of clouds is a little faster. And like I said, it’s finally possible to properly load PBR textures into the scene. A new user interface…. What I hope for in the long run is Vue to open up a little more towards alternative renderers like Octane. DAL: You mentioned you need more RAM. Would you go so far as to get a new PC for Vue 2020? In your interview in 2014 you said that your machine was built in 2010? What would be your ‘dream machine’ to run Vue at the start of the year 2020? CH: I would need a new hardware update anyway. The CGI environment has changed a lot in the past four years. Especially with PBR and hi -res texures that come with it. I described my dilemma earlier. Now you just can’t have enough memory to handle these hi-res textures. I last updated my machine in 2014. Shortly after our interview, I think. And it has done a great job so far. Helped me to create some of my best work! It’s even fit enough to run newer games in good enough settings. For the past two years I’ve been constantly checking new hardware though. But I’m still undecided. I think I will invest the middle of next year. It will definitely be 64Gb of memory along with an 8 core (16 with hyper threading) Intel CPU. I know that AMD has some really good CPUs now too but I’m an Intel guy. It’s definitely good to see that Intel has some serious competition again. DAL: Ah, right. Watch out for Intel and Vue. I can’t quite remember the details now, but last I heard you need to research the CPU core types very carefully to match them with Vue. For 14

To the left you see the picture created for the 2018 Digital Art Live webinars: “Into the Distance: A Masterclass on Scene Building”; and “Further Into the Distance: City Ecosystem Building with VUE, DAZ Studio and Photoshop”. Sign up the Digital Art Live free mailing-list to hear about more such great webinars scheduled for 2019!


Pictures: “Parse City”; “Into the Distance”; “Let’s Take the Boat Out”.

readers unfamiliar with Vue I should note that Vue is CPU limited, and a fast graphics card only makes a certain difference to preview windows and suchlike. So it’s CPU cores that matter, and the more of the right type the better. So that’s a difference from DAZ Studio, for instance, where you need a good fast graphics card (unless you use the Scene Optimizer plugin in DAZ). CH: You are correct. The GPU isn’t properly used in Vue and it’s pretty much entirely CPU centered. Which is completely fine with me. Although I must say again that it would be cool to see Vue open up to 3rd party renderers like Octane. Vue was tinkering with it’s own PBR renderer called “Path Tracer” but they never developed it further as far as I know. Too bad.

DAL: Ok, let’s turn to culture. What has inspired you in the last three years, in terms of sciencefiction? I see a certain optimistic trend in your recent renders — have you been sampling any of the recent surge in sci-fi that deliberately tries to get away from dystopia, doom and despair, and present an optimistic vision of the future again? Or have you perhaps been reading what are called the ‘New Optimists’ in non-fiction writers — Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist), Johan Norberg, Hans Rosling, Gregg Easterbrook and others? CH: That’s interesting, isn’t it? You’re right! Looking back at the recent years I agree, most of the projects I did do indeed have a more optimistic and brighter approach. I think I


wanted to challenge myself a little with more brighter scenes. You can nicely hide flaws in darker pictures and with nicely lit scenes you have to keep the detail consistent in every area. DAL: So true. I often find myself struggling not to ‘go darker’ with a picture. CH: …so going for a brighter/daylight look was a challenge for me and it resulted in more optimistic feelings within the scenes I created. I haven’t abandoned the dark though. My “New Los Angeles 3019” (Blade Runner inspired) piece has that dark and industrial look. DAL: Thanks. Yes, it’s also pleasing to see the increased range of mediums into which sci-fi is spreading now. We have a feature this issue on

completed sci-fi graphic novels, of which there are a growing number. Full-cast audio sci-fi is another growing area, with the equivalent of a compete series of David Tennant Doctor Who being added in audio. Then there are also gamebooks, card-game based storytelling/ comics, and probably some other formats I’ve can’t recall just now. And the genres are mutating within sci-fi, with more mash-ups and newly developing subgenres. Not all of excellent quality, it has to be said, and there’s a certain ‘interloper’ element which is not always welcome — ‘literary’ writers who ‘go slumming’ in sci-fi for one novel and then move back into their elite circles. But it’s all evidence that sci-fi is growing. Have you Picture: “The Hidden”.


sampled any of that sort of sci-fi yet, outside the big mainstream productions? CH: Remember an author named Richard Bachman? He released some really good sci-fi novels in the 1970s and 80s. “The Running Man” for example. Turned into a film with Arnold Schwarzenegger. DAL: Yes, I vaguely remember that name. CH: Well, it turned out that Richard Bachman was/is Stephen King! He just wanted to do something else than what he was famous for. So I’m all for artists who try out new stuff and are brave enough to see how it works out for them.

When it comes to reading I’m actually more looking into the past and classics by Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov or Philip K. Dick. Amazon started “Electric Dreams” this year, doing Dick’s short stories on TV. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in classic sci-fi. But you’re correct. Sci-fi is mixing up with all kinds of genres now. But this ‘mash-up’ thing is happening with pretty much every genre and medium at the moment. Not always producing the most amazing results... When it comes to inspiration then I’m taking it from whatever tickles my creative nerves. It finds me. I’m not particularly looking for it or wanting to force


myself into something. A little while ago I stumbled across a photo with a model who had struck a specific pose. And that pose triggered a series of images in my head. I hope I can start something with it soon. So yeah, inspiration can come from all kinds of places. It’s important to not be intimidated by your own grand ideas. Sometimes they can be very demanding and you might think that it’s something you don’t have the skills for. You should at least try and realize that idea. Don’t throw it away because it might be too complicated. And if you think you can’t do it...

try to keep the idea in mind and wait for the right moment to tackle it. DAL: Excellent, thanks. Now, you’re in the city of Nuremberg. What is the state of German sci-fi these days? We don’t hear much about Germany, in the English-speaking world. All I know about, without researching it, is… Perry Rhodan. What German titles or authors or artists should people look out for, that we don’t know about in the Anglosphere? CH: You want my honest opinion on Germany? It is very hard for homegrown genre material to be successful here in Germany. It’s very frustrating. Picture: “Halo over Sunset City”.


Pictures: “"Endeavours 13: Welcome Home" (top); Escape (right); "Things to Come" (centre); "Green land" (left).



To a point where I stopped looking for it in this country. The big media houses aren’t interested in sci-fi or fantasy. The only production that’s kind of interesting is Dark which is a German coproduction and series by Netflix. It received good reviews and has interesting stuff going on. But, as you can see, it’s co-produced by Netflix. Germany is a wasteland when it comes to risking something with an imaginative genre theme. Even though Germans do love fantasy, horror and sci-fi! But if some local production tries something, then it’s seems like it’s always a bad and laughable copy of something else. Literally every country on this planet is better with producing genre stuff than Germany.

short time. A challenge. So the first parts were done more quickly than usual and I worked with Photoshop filters a lot. For some scenes I took myself more time and others were done quicker. I understood which pictures have the potential to be ‘hero’ pictures and for them I invested a little more time for detail. “Leaving the Fields of Steel” for example. Part One of the series contained six pieces of a ship launching from a city into space to a station. Very simple. I decided to construct a little story of a guy who finally managed to get off that planet and move to his wife and kid who already moved far away into a colony.

So, I’m sorry to disappoint you... there is nothing to find here in Germany. DAL: Oh, that’s sad to hear. I guess that’s why I wasn’t aware myself, of what material there was in German.

“It’s important to not be intimidated by your own grand ideas. Sometimes they can be very demanding and you might think that it’s something you don’t have the skills for. You should at least try and realize that idea. Don’t throw it away because it might be too complicated.”

CH: When it comes to German artists, though… I’m following names such as Chris Kessler, Lars Sowig, Uwe Jarling, Aron Kamolz... to name a few that certainly are worth a look. DAL: Ok, thanks. Now, you have produced your own book I hear? Via Blurb? Could you tell us about the process on that, please, what it came to in the published version, and also how you promoted it. CH: Yes, I decided to pick some of my best work up to that point and put it into a book. I just wanted to have something for myself. Something in good quality and on very nice paper. When I was done I decided to make it available to the world. I haven’t promoted it too much, to be honest, but the rules are generally the same as mentioned earlier. Promote it on every possible social media channel. With a little luck and the right quality... it might make an impression and someone hits that “buy” button. DAL: Is the book your Endeavours series of prints? Could you tell readers about that series please? The themes behind it, and the overarching elements? CH: No, the book is not the Endeavours series. My Endeavours series started as an experiment. I wanted to create a simple series of images in a

Part Two contains nine pieces, and for years I was thinking about how to approach a second part. I decided to keep it simple again and show the journey of him to his loved ones on that new world. Along with some elements that allow me to plan ahead for a third part. I’m not sure yet how to approach it but we will definitely explore that planet a little more. Part Two also contains a series of ‘hero’ scenes. “A Promise in Light”, “Port Fenster” and “Welcome Home”. A lot of time went into these three scenes. Overall I invested a lot more time into the pictures than in Part One. 22

It’s interesting to see how the ‘hero’ scenes aren’t always the ones that make the most impact when released. Sometimes the simpler scenes make a better impression with the audience than the crazy detailed pieces.

DAL: Where you would you like to be by 2030? Both in terms of your career, your artistic work, and your geographical location?

Is there theme going on? Well, maybe a longing for having a family, a home and loved ones waiting for you. The only stuff that counts in life. Sprinkled with some sci-fi and mystical stuff that encourages the audience to speculate on ‘what it means’. I’m very proud of this series so far and I definitely plan to continue it at some point. DAL: You’re regarded as a master of your craft — big sci-fi landscapes with immense amounts of fine detail — but are there still aspect of your artwork would you like to improve upon next? CH: There is always stuff to improve! Something I strive for most these days would be to create something new. Something we haven’t already seen a ton of times. Which is hard, since everything has been there already at some point. Everything ‘art’ is a mashup of something that came before. That’s why a canvas completely painted black is considered ‘art’ in some circles. Ridiculous. That’s why someone like Banksy has my respect. At least he really manages to come up with new stuff that also has a meaning and solid idea behind it. I’m also trying to become more efficient with my micro-detail management. Not every picture needs superfine detail and I’m still working on finding a good balance. I guess that’s a process that never stops. At least for me and how I do my work. DAL: What are you working on at the moment? CH: Right now I’m preparing the release of a picture I have been working on forever. Fantasy based and not the usual sci-fi based stuff. End the year with a bang! It’s a big scene that, I hope, will leave a good impression on people who see it! Beside that I’m looking for inspiration and time to tackle some ideas – like the one with the pose I mentioned earlier. I want to end the year as smooth and relaxed as possible. 23

CH: I’m not the kind of person that is looking too far ahead. So my answer to all your questions would be an honest: I don’t know. What I hope for is that my art grows and that I will still have the opportunities to do my art stuff that point in the future. With some interviews done by you guys every now and then! DAL: That would be great. OK, well that’s a great point to end on. Thanks for your time on this, we appreciate that we’re moving toward Christmas and things are getting busy for many people. CH: I enjoyed your questions a lot. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my work. Always a pleasure.

Chris Hecker is online at: tigaerdesign/

Chris has a series of Digital Art Live webinar recordings available. Here are couple which may interest you: “Learn to Create Detailed Cityscapes: Masterclass Tutorial” “Vue Super Bundle” — inluding Vue and Photoshop Masterclass : The Making of “From Here I Can See the Stars”, “Spirit of Mars”, and “Future Grand Designs”. Visit our store for more details.

Also noted‌ non-superhero but not yet with complete stories:

Letter 44. Saga. Age of Bronze. Paper Girls. Isola.

Have a Christmas book token to spend? Here’s our selection of the best completed imaginative graphics novels from 2018 and the last few years.

Revoir Paris (2018, one volume, complete in French). Dreams of the past and future of architecture, based around the crew of an interstellar colony ship. Paper and ebook.

Karma City. (2017, six issues, complete in English). A finely realised and developed sci-fi police procedural tale in a future city, done in the Asimov tradition. Ebooks.

The Bombyce Network (2015, three volumes in one, complete in English). Intrigues and complex mystery, set in a retro-futuristic version of early 20th century France. Ebook.

The Spire (2016, one volume, complete in English). A weirdfantasy/sci-fi mystery-detective story, with beautiful art and lettering. Paper and ebook.

Planetes Omnibus (2016, two volumes, complete in English). A hard working team of orbiting space-junk harvesters volunteer for a mission to Venus. Paperbacks only.

The Alliance of the Curious (2017, two volumes, complete in English). A wild and weird supernatural cluehunting adventure, akin to a hipster Da Vinci Code. Paper and ebook.

24 If you read French, also look out for the superb 2018 time-travel graphic novel Une nuit avec Lovecraft (A Night With Lovecraft).

Anthem (early 2019 in one volume, complete in English). A faithful new graphic novel of the classic novella, a tale of finding individual freedom in a totalitarian future. Paper.

Hercules: Wrath of the Heavens (2018, one volume, complete in English). The ancient classic story of Hercules, done as a sci-fi comic with battlesuits and spaceships. Ebook.

He Who Wrote in Darkness (2018, one volume, complete in English). A fair-minded introductory biography of H.P. Lovecraft, for those curious about the master who inspired so much fave pop culture. Ebook.

Downward to Earth (2017, one volume, complete in English). A heavily changed adaptation of the classic Robert Silverberg novel, with lush eco-artwork. Paper and ebook.

Marvel Illustrated: The Iliad (2017, complete in English). Veteran comics writer Roy Thomas retains much of the language of the original ancient classic. Now in ebook.

Amazing Fantastic Incredible (2016, one volume, complete in English). Stan Lee tells his life story, from a childhood on the streets of New York to creating the mighty world of Marvel comics. 25 Paper and ebook.

Mezolith (2016, two volumes, complete in English). A perfect melding of the real and imagined worlds of a Stone Age northern tribe. New in ebook for 2016.

Beowulf (2017, one volume, complete in English). A highly acclaimed adapation of the famous Old English epic tale of heroes and monsters. Paper only.

Descender (2018, complete in six volumes in English). Finally, the amazing and highly acclaimed 32issue space opera series comes to an actual proper no-cliffhanger ending! Paper and ebook.

HAVE you missed out on an issue of our free magazine? Please enjoy this new handy double-page index of our past issues, and check if any are missing from your collection. Our 15,000 readers are also able to access back-issues of our previous title 3D

Art Direct. Every new issue can be sent to your email address, simply by subscribing to our mailing-list... Inset: Issue 28 (‘Future Oceans’ issue) cover art by Artur Rosa.

Issue 1 Oct 2016 Designing Future Cities ● Tarik Keskin ● Christian Hecker ● Gallery: Future Cities, a huge 32 page mega-gallery! ● The Imaginarium (regular feature, in all subsequent issues)

Issue 2 Nov 2016 Alien Plants/Creatures ● Matthew Attard ● Exidium Corporation ● Gallery: Ryzom concept illustrations ● Gallery and essay: the future bodily evolution of humans in space

Issue 3 Dec 2016 ‘A Galaxy Far Away…’ ● Neil Thacker ● Jean-Francois Liesenborghs ● Gallery: “These are not the planets you're looking for…” ● Gallery: SpaceX manned Mars mission 26

Issue 4 Jan 2016 The new Poser 11 ● Charles Taylor (on the new Poser 11) ● Ariano di Pierro ● Paulo Ciccone (the Reality plugin) ● In-depth 8,000-word review of the new Poser 11 Pro!

Issue 5 Feb 2016 Cosmos (space art)

Issue 6 March 2016 Cyber-humans + VR

Issue 7 April 2016 Future Female Heroes

Dave Hardy Ali Ries Tobais Roersch Oyshan Green (Terragen 4) ● Gallery: The art of the cosmic.

● Tara de Vries (Second Life) ● Ludovic Celle ● Elaine Neck ● Anders Plassgard ● Gallery: Future cyber-humans

● Leandra Dawn ● Aaron Griffin ● Paul Frances ● Troy Menke ● Bob May’s collages ● Gallery and essay: Female future heroes

● The Mars Society ● Ludovic Celle ● Gallery: Orbiting Cities in Space ● Gallery: Space Colonies/Outposts ● Gallery: Mars in 1950s pulps

Issue 9 June 2016 Blender: special issue

Issue 10 July 2016 Steampunk

Issue 11 August 2016 Future Landscapes

Issue 12 Sept 2016 Second Skin (tattoos)

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Colin Masson Thomas Piemontese Shane Bevin Tutorial: How to export a clean .OBJ from Blender ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: Blender art

● Renderosity ● Suzi Amberson (‘Kachinadoll’) ● Bob May ● Sci-fi in PC pinball ● Steampunk gallery ● Imaginarium

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‘Artifex’ Lewis Moorcroft Rob Wildenberg ‘Tigaer’: ‘making of’ Gallery: Future Oceans and Craft ● Imaginarium


Issue 8 May 2016 Our Future Frontier

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‘Pixeluna’ Paolo Ciccone Deane Whitmore HiveWire: new Big Cat for Poser ● Gallery: Second Skin ● Imaginarium


Issue 13 Oct 2016 Spacewrecks (TTA) ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Vikram Mulligan Xistenceimaginations Craig Farham TTA series tribute NASA’s rescue-bot Index of past issues Gallery: Space hulks wrecks, crashes

Issue 14 Nov/Dec 2016 Cybertronic ● ‘CG Artiste’ ● ‘Keplianzar’ ● Jacques Pena ● TTA series tribute ● Ugee 1910b pen tablet—in-depth review ● Gallery: Neon and ‘cyberglow’ artists

Issue 15 Jan 2017 Mistworlds ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Chuck Carter (Myst) Cynthia Decker Cathrine Langwagen Ulco Glimmerveen Evolo competition Index of past issues Gallery: Myst-like digital art

Issue 16 Feb 2017 Future vehicles ● ● ● ● ●

Syd Mead interview Vadim Motiv Adam Connolly Mark Roosien UK’s Bloodhound supersonic rocket-car ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: “Vrooom!!”


Issue 17 March 2017 Movie magic ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Greg Teegarden Tobias Richter Phil Dragash ESA’s Moon Temple Scott Richard Index of past issues Gallery: the spirit of the cinema

Issue 18 April 2017 Vue 2016 special issue ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Barry Marshall Vue 2016 R2 review Anaor Karim NASA’s tunnels W.P. Taub Index of past issues Gallery: Nature Grows on You!







Issue 19 May/Jun 2017 Sci-fi comics ● Patrick Gyger (leading sci-fi museum curator) ● Georges Peters ● Arne Cooper ● RoboSimian ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: comic-book 28

Issue 20 July 2017 Digital clothing ● Kim Schneider (‘Arki’) ● Melissa Moraitis (‘BlackTalonArts’) ● Marvelous Designer 6.5—in-depth review ● Jepe ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: Future Fashion

Issue 21 August 2017 Ecofutures ● ● ● ● ● ●

Hal Tenny Frank Little Organics in pulp art Linda Granqvist Index of past issues Gallery: visions of the ‘ecofuture’ ● Imaginarium







Issue 22 Sept 2017 Lighting for effect ● Joe Pingleton ● Davide Bianchini ● Characters in the public domain ● Lee (aka ‘Conlaodh’) ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: characters ● Imaginarium

Issue 23 Oct 2017 Gateway to space ● Neil Blevins (assets artist at Pixar) ● GrahamTG ● Arthur C. Clarke ● Oshyan Greene ● Gallery: Arthur C. Clarke tribute ● Imaginarium

Issue 24 Nov 2017 Abstracts in sci-fi ● Andy Lomas (The Matrix, Avatar) ● Erwin Kho ● Alastair Temple ● Gallery: ‘At the borders of abstraction’ in science fiction art ● Imaginarium

Interested in being interviewed in a future issue? Please send us the Web address of your gallery, and we’ll visit!

Issue 25 Dec 2017 Dynamic posing ● ● ● ● ● ●

Jaki Blue Tasos Anastasiades Brian Armieri Sugary Ashes Index of past issues Gallery: World of Wearable Art ● Imaginarium










Issue 26 January 2018 To the skies!

Issue 27 Feb/Mar 2018 Giant monsters

● Kevin Conran (Sky Captain movie) ● Alois Reiss ● Airships over Venus ● Vladimir Yaremchuk ● Index of past issues ● Gallery ● Imaginarium

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‘Sanskarans’ Simon Beer Jean-Marie Marbach John Haverkamp Index of past issues Comic strip Gallery Imaginarium

Issue 28 April 2018 Future oceans ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Artur Rosa Matt Nava (Journey) Samuel de Cruz Future oceans timeline Index of past issues Evola mini-gallery Gallery Imaginarium

Issue 29 May 2018 Fantasy portraits ● ● ● ● ●

Kevin McBriarty Rebecca Elsey Mirjam Index of past issues Gallery: fantasy portraits ● Imaginarium

Issue 33 Oct 2018 Abstract characters ● ● ● ● ● ●

Ulrick V. Jensen E. Golavanchuck Lovecraft posters Claudio Bergamin Index of past issues Gallery: Abstract Characters ● Imaginarium










Issue 31 July/Aug 2018 Sci-fi rocks!

Issue 32 Sept 2018 Design for videogames

Issue 30 June 2018 Alternative history ● ● ● ● ● ●

Mike Doscher Fredy Wenzel Small Brown Dog Index of past issues Alt.history tour-guide Gallery: alternate histories ● Imaginarium

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Robert McParland Darius (TheBakaArts) 3mmi Index of past issues Classic album covers Gallery: Rock album inspired art ● Imaginarium

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Wildfire Games Neal Stephenson Stefan Kraus World Creator review Index of past issues Gallery: Game themed artwork ● Imaginarium










Issue 34 Nov 2018 Future Interiors ● Tarik Keskin ● Daniel Maland ● ‘Petipet’ (Petro Apostoliuk) ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: Future Interiors ● Imaginarium

Issue 36 Jan 2019 Issue 35 Dec 2018 Getting value for your art Megacities ● ● ● ● ●

Chris Hecker Drew Spence Gene Raz von Edler Index of past issues Meshbox ‘H.P. Lovecraft 3D’ review ● Gallery: To the Beach! ● Imaginarium

Support the magazine via Patreon! Your Editor kindly requests your personal support, if you wish to help out with the production of this regular free magazine. As little a $1 a month will make all the difference. Please become my patron on Patreon, today. 30


Welcome to the first in a series of occasional ‘budget’ product reviews of neglected low-cost 3D content for Poser and DAZ Studio. In this first review we look at Meshbox’s old Lovecraft 3D character figure. What it is: Meshbox’s sub-$15 Lovecraft 3D character is an accurate model of the famous horror and fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft. It is unique in terms of its accuracy and detailing, and — being for Poser — it of course allows royalty-free commercial use of renders. Authenticity and aesthetics: Extremely authentic, and someone has studied Lovecraft hard to make this. The expressive eyes are especially good, and are the right brown colour. Requirements: Requires Poser to use fully, but will work in DAZ Studio — if you get the updated Lovecraft 3D version 1.1 from Meshbox’s Miyre store. It all works and renders fine with Poser 11. There is no need to remove any ‘eye gloss’ reflectivity to before doing a Superfly render. Dependencies: Lovecraft 3D is a standalone and has no runtime dependencies. Clothing and hair: The character loads fully clothed and with hair that is very basic, but the hair is all that’s really needed — as you’ll likely be 2D overpainting or using renders as ‘a pencils layer’ for comics / illustration inking. Expressions: Ships without expression sets. Morph dials in Poser give access to basic but surprisingly useful facial expression and mouth controls, and there is also a basic Age morph. There are no mouth phenomes. Some of the old Poser 7 expression presets work fully or partially. Note that there’s a free set of 24 ‘Face Expressions for Lovecraft 3D’ set at ShareCG. Body and hand poses: While M3 or M4 poses and expressions are available to Lovecraft 3D, this standalone character can accept poses meant for Aiko 3 and Hiro 3. Partial success was also had with poses for Nursoda’s standalone characters.

Dual eye-control: Yes. The ‘EyeTarget’ Python script (at Renderosity in ‘Poser Python tools’ by Kabuking) works fine in Poser 11, giving a grabbable non-rendering cube with which to quickly control the ‘look direction’ of both eyes. Runtime-bashing: No. This standalone figure cannot be adapted like an M3 or M4 can in Poser. Clothing cannot be removed or hidden. Clothing material can be edited only by manually repainting the single 2048px texture atlas map. Fitting the head to a more advanced body: Yes. We used the SceneToy 2014 Poser plugin to hide all elements except the neck and head, and got a reasonable fit to a standard M4 with M4’s Morphs++ INJ and the body-builder body toned down with a tweak of the “Emaciated” morph dial. ‘Neck’ was parented to M4’s hidden ‘Neck’, ‘Head’ to hidden ‘Head’. It wasn’t a perfect fit, but the slight overlap and skin-texture mismatch was soon hidden under clothing. Props: No additional props. But a wide variety of low-cost no-hassle royalty-free Poser props and monsters — of a broadly Lovecraftian type — are available at Renderosity, the DAZ store, Miyre and others. 3D Warehouse also has a very big curated Collection of free public-domain H.P. Lovecraft props in .SKP and Collada formats. In conclusion: While this character is likely to be casually dismissed by many as ‘old and low-poly’ and ‘for Poser’, it is still well worth the low price. It is the only option if you need a highly accurate 3D Lovecraft which can produce base renders for digital painting and inking over — for instance, as part of a digital comics production workflow. Meshbox has also gone to the trouble recently of making it work with DAZ Studio in a new 1.1 version (available at their Miyre store). 32

“… this standalone character can accept poses meant for Aiko 3 and Hiro 3.” Picture: The standard Lovecraft 3D was rendered in Poser 11, at 3,800 px. Four render passes were output: Comic Book Mode inks (b&w ink lines only, as Preview); Colour flats (Comic Book Mode off, as Preview); Toon Outlines only (via a Firefly render to .PSD, a Poser Pro only feature) to get all the inking lines; and a basic OpenGL Pseudo Shadows render (Preview render). Since all four renders were Preview or lines-only, they all rendered very fast. Ink render layers had white knocked out and all were then combined with a complex automated custom Photoshop action which uses one third-party filter, to give this pleasing 2D ‘graphic novel effect’. No toon shaders were applied. No re-inking or cleaning was undertaken, and you can see the process has flopped an unwanted heavy ink line over the jacket’s left collar — this would need repair. The uncanny ‘eye-glow’ has been painted in. Also output, but not used here, was a ‘pseudo ToonID’, as a Preview render, which could be used later to quickly mask and re- colour the final composite in Photoshop.


Yes, his jaw is meant to look rather strange and mis-shapen. H.P. Lovecraft suffered from a facial deformity.

We interview Drew Spence about making a long-running comic-books series with DAZ Studio, and about promoting it and keeping it fresh as the storylines and characters develop over time.

DAL: Drew, welcome to our free Digital Art Live magazine. Many thanks for your time on this in -depth interview. DS: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. DAL: Our pleasure. Let’s start at the beginning. When did you start making your own comics, and what inspired you to do so, back then? DS: I think I’m one of those people that, when I really like something, I want to do it myself. And consuming the media just isn’t enough to

satisfy my desire to be involved. When I started reading comics, I started drawing my own. DAL: What other comics were you reading back then? Which were your favourites and why? DS: I read all the common titles from Marvel and DC and such, but then I came across Heavy Metal magazine and that turned me on to a harder sci-fi edge in comics. I would still read Savage Sword of Conan and that storytelling was just superior and that made me want to tell 34



Picture: “Hammer”.

big adventures. I read a lot from First Comics and the other emerging indie publishers.

DAL: Good advice. You’ve been working on the story and setting for some years now? How has Force Six, The Annihilators developed since the early incarnations? Obviously the art is now DAZ renders, but what else has developed?

DAL: Was there someone around at that time, who helped your talent emerge, and maybe also gave you some training? DS: I had a college art professor who told me

“No one will take your art seriously until you do.” That advice stuck with me and started me thinking about always releasing my work professionally as a final goal.


DS: The concept grew with me. I started this as a kid, so originally it was very, very childlike. I had some good ideas and some really, really bad ones. Over the years, I would just think ‘What would they be doing now?’

I read Alan Moore’s Watchmen and it clicked. They could keep all the silly stories as early history and then have a more adult career after they split up. Even the writing — in high school, you could say, I had one understanding of relationships, which changed in college and then morphs again as a full adult — so the writing adjusts with my maturing sensibilities. DAL: Right. Incidentally, Watchmen was made with the aid of Smith Micro’s Poser software. Gibbons is on record on that fact, in an interview. Have you had a long term interest in 3D graphics? Was DAZ your first 3D software or were there others before it?

DS: Yes! I tried to make comics with an early version of Poser and it went terribly. Even the few books that I put out that were commercially available were a huge disappointment. I turned to other ways of making comics, until the CGI technology reached a point that was worth exploring again. DAL: It certainly is now, with Poser 11 and its Comics Book Mode. But how do you find the latest DAZ Studio for comics? And what might you like to see in DAZ Studio 5.0?

DS: Daz Studio is a wonderful environment that supplies a great many tools to get you going. It’s inspiring and the store is a magnificent treasure trove of well-crafted assets. Wow, that sounded like a sales pitch! /Laughter/ Seriously, beyond all the personalized ‘I’d like this and that’ there’s just a desire for faster rendering. I’d love a new improved iRay engine or some option to render faster. As tech marches forward, I’m waiting on the new possibilities. DAL: Yes, again Poser is good for that, because the Comic Book Mode runs in real-time, rendering in Preview. So the renders for compositing are done in a flash. Do you use additional software, as well as DAZ Studio? Or DAZ with plugins — if so, which plugins are more useful to you? DS: Oh…. too many to list. I might be a little strange, in that I always want the tools to build something from scratch — to achieve that ultimate level of control, but I also want have options for quick, one-click solutions! I have

programs that generate special effects, software that allows me to draw in atmospherics and pretty much anything I might ever need to illustrate. I can grab an HDRI product from the store or paint my own sky, clouds and stars. I can use a figure from the DAZ store or create my own. It always goes by what I think the best decision is at the moment — in regard to time and resources. DAL: How much time do you spend in set-up of a character for your series? Do you spend a day kit-bashing and refining each one to get a unique look that no-one else will have? DS: I don’t worry about what someone else will have. I don’t make comics for other artists or 3D enthusiasts or a person with a DAZ library or DeviantArt gallery. Sure, a lot of creatives support my work and I appreciate their interest — they make one of the most well-informed reader-bases. I make my works for the readers and anyone who will enjoy my stories. The only reason I spend so much time crafting a particular look is so that it fits the story. If I can find something that works right off the shelf or right out the cart, that would be great.

There are other artists who are really concerned with being original and unique. When you, the artist, are original and unique, you don’t have to worry about that. Your rare and special voice and vision will show no matter what assets and models you use. Anyone can draw a Marvel or DC character according to the company style sheet. Or copy something they’ve see in someone else’s book. The question is What are you going to do with it? DAL: Again, good advice, thanks. So do you find you’re able to get suitable off-the-shelf sets for your stories? DS: Coherent sets present a unique challenge. Unfortunately, many DAZ content assets are created for portrait-type renders. Doing a comic means I need much more mileage from my backdrop sets, so I almost always have to edit, tinker, combine and rework the set-pieces. Luckily, vendors have started embracing construction sets and modular products that allow the end user to build what they need. 36


I find I spend more time creating interiors than the outdoor sets. There’s so much more kitbashing with the layering of objects in a scene — to create a more believable lived-in space. DAL: The ‘layering of objects’, that’s a nice phrase. Yes, I’ve noticed, when analysing the pulp magazine cover artists, that they have this stage-designer sensibility. They were trained to know how to layer things quite deeply in the scene and with a certain formula in terms of how to do it. Is the straight ‘3D render look’ something you and the readers are happy with? DS: Many 3D comic artists want something that looks like a comic book. In other words handdrawn. Some haven’t really considered the comic as a storytelling medium. The comic medium is telling a story through pictures with some text. I can draw and paint and more, so why convert from 3D when I have the means to create an actual pen & ink comic? Let’s be clear, my 3D work is not a substitute for a hand-drawn comic. It’s storytelling in a different, but familiar medium. That said, I do like some of the Photoshop filtered processing of 3D that I see, but I find myself more drawn to the painted styles. DAL: Yes, the trick there is keeping the filtering consistent across frames and then across 28, 70 or 120 pages. Not easy to keep control of it. DS: I would often see a book that had a fine painted cover and pick it up and find that the inside was hand-drawn with a loose style. And I would always think What if someone made the whole comic like that illustrated cover?

DAL: Ah, yes… Brian Haberlin… DS: Actually I stumbled across Vincent Segrelles’ The Mercenary series and realized that’s what wanted to do — make something impactful with somewhat realistic illustrations. DAL: I see. So that leads nicely into talking about your own comics. For our readers, could you outline what Force Six, The Annihilators is, please? The setting, the characters, the basic plot setup?

DS: Well, as a kid, I would read a comic, watch a show or movie and then want to have my story happen in that type of world. So reading DC and Marvel, everything happened in a major city. But then I wanted them in outer space and then in a dystopian wasteland and, and… spaceships and robots and guns and laser swords and, and... so how do you create a world where all of that can happen? I set up a universe based on many different eras of human development, so my stories can involve and include almost anything I want. They are a futuristic assassination squad — mature sci-fi action. DAL: Thanks. And there was an earlier graphic novel you completed, I think? Was that Mark of the Griffin? Could you tell us about that, too please? DS: Mark of the Griffin started as a web series. Me and a crew filmed about six ‘webisodes’ and then I turned selected movie-frames into graphic comics. I also did the soundtrack, which continues to be a strong seller! It’s basically a low-budget action-vigilante series. Most of my comics have a soundtrack, which is available on every major digital music platform. DAL: Oh, that’s cool. DS: Music has always caused me to see pictures in my mind, so it’s not surprising that my comic leads me to hear tones and melodies. There are a few versions of the comic that have my music playing while you read, but some found it distracting so we stopped including it. DAL: Right. And there’s also a new Killer Butterfly series? DS: Yes! Me and my friends would watch the Saturday afternoon ‘Kung-Fu’ movies and then run outside and play-fight martial arts. That sensibility is what inspired the Killer Butterfly series. It’s the fusion of African, AfricanAmerican and Asian culture, all fused into an action series with a twist of magical spirituality. It’s brand new and built off of the success of Force Six, The Annihilators. DAL: That sounds great. What are three of your personal favourite page layouts you have created in your various 3D comics? 38

Picture: Page from “Killer Butterfly”.


DS: Here, let me see if I can pull a few up. It’s probably the action sequences where I’m doing fight choreography. I think character combat happens a bit different in my comics. I like seeing an actual fight sequence and less backand-forth rock’em sock’em. DAL: How do you devise the final page, typically? Is it the ‘Marvel Method’, of a brief synopsis, then art, then layout and only finally the dialogue written in response to the final art? Or do you write a complete movie-like screenplay with everything, and then add little sketched thumbnail panels down the side? DS: It changes. I spend an enormous amount of time working on these titles. There’s no way I can keep doing the same thing over and over again- sometimes for eighteen hour stretches. I’d go crazy, trying to only work in one way. Sometimes I keep the whole story in my head and render one scene at a time. Other times, I will write a script/screenplay with all kinds of notes and follow that. Mostly I try to remain fluid and always keep the option open to add more panels or change the story and dialogue.

DAL: I see, thanks. How have you promoted your finished comics? I see they’re available on Amazon’s Comixology service, but have you found other ways to get them purchased? DS: My books are available on all platforms and in every format. That’s ‘publisher 101’. I like to make it as easy for the readers as possible. So if there’s a place where you might think to buy a comic, you’ll find my stuff there. My most ‘home’ platform is Issuu, on which Digital Art Live also hosts its flipbook magazine issues. It’s a magazine style layout and the subscription service where my books arrive first. DAL: Great. Now, the comics marketplace is increasingly crowded, and will become more so as the digital download space and budget 10inch HD tablet market really takes off. Have you found it difficult to get publicity amid the seething monthly churn of comics? If so, have you found any especially effective ways to get the message out to potential readers?

DS: Well, it’s up to every person to be able to analyze their market situation and make use of their resources and reach. Everyone has different avenues for sharing their work and spreading the word about their wares. On a basic level, it’s the usual strategies. Go where the similar titles are and pitch to that community. Invest in your work with promotional campaigns and social media marketing. The more ‘meta’ answer is that the maker needs to do more than just make comics. The ‘if you build it, they will come’ system never worked. The more cynical truth is people will not help you unless there is something in it for them. People will usually not spread your work until there is a ‘credit’ to be had for the sharing. It makes them feel and look good to present something fresh and exciting. Business-wise, those in a position to help your business will do so when it makes business sense to them. DAL: Thanks. Personally I find that a finished story is a huge draw in comics, and marketeers should both highlight that and be more honest about that. We should be told if the trade ‘complete’ edition has a cliffhanger ending (Descender etc), and not a proper “The End” ending. I understand that some people like episodic comics, and that was certainly how I grew up on them in the Marvel-lous 1980s — when there were sometimes several months between episodes on the bi-monthly titles. But not now, that’s not for me — I want 240 pages, three or four hours of reading, a finished story with a proper conclusion. Ok, rant over…. /laughter/

DS: Right. Well then you’ll be happy with our release format. The comics start as single issues/episodes and then are combined into a bigger graphic novel-styled collection. So if you want a series, you can get the Force Six biweekly or get the entire story arc as a single work. So it’s never-ending, but you also get endings. DAL: You have a strong interest in the sci-fi genre. What are your favourite sci-fi works and why? Maybe not comics. Games, movies? 40


DS: My favourite movie of all time is Blade Runner. It inspires so much of my style and it was funny when people asked me if my character Vyktoria, a synthetic sinister female agent in Episode 9 “Mall Maul” might have inspired their character, the Replicant Love from Blade Runner 2049.

system where it’s as simple as drag and drop, but — at the same time — affords the storyteller ways to have creative control. There are a few drag and drop ‘manga-making’ comic sites, where you can use your Web browser to make comic strips, but I find them too limiting to be of any serious use. I do like the idea though.

For how long it takes to develop a movie and how little known my series was, I’m sure it was just a coincidence of how similar their look and mannerisms were.

DAL: What innovative format aspects of comics have you noticed and tried in the last few years? For instance, we’ve had motion comics — which often just gave half the audience motionsickness — and there’s an incipient ‘card-games that form comics’ thing happening. Did you try any of those ‘new formats’? If so, what did you think of them?

DAL: Any favourite completed sci-fi graphic novels in trade format that you’d like to tell our readers about? I see that Descender has just genuinely completed, at long last — have you been following that one? DS: Never heard of it till now, but it looks really cool with that watercolour-ish style. I’m so busy doing my own books that I have not looked at any modern titles. I met the creators of Agent 1.22, which is a great CGI comic. They have a title worth checking out. DAL: Thanks. How do you see your comics work progressing in future? Do you see yourself hiring a bunch of assistants like Brian Haberlin, for instance? DS: I think I have the same vision as most comic heads. I’d like to see the work spread across multiple mediums and also be able to host or launch other artists with similar imaginations. Help would always be appreciated, since doing it all yourself is tough! DAL: In the absence of a ‘virtual studio’ of ‘virtual assistants’, what would be your ideal “comics making software” — if there were to be one made that used 3D as a source? I guess we all want that magic “Make Art” button, but what comics making features would most help the production process? DS: Seriously, I’d like a faster rendering engine and that’s about it. It takes a huge amount of time to make these books and I would love for the process to be faster. I think every artist feels that depression when they realize there won’t be the time or resources to tell every story in their head. So I’ve always dreamed of an impossible-

DS: I think adding doo-dads and bells and whistles, that always removes the reader from the reading experience. A comic is a moving story told through still images. I like some of the effects, but wouldn’t want to replace the traditional user interface of flat pages being turned. DAL: Yes, I think Amazon’s 2017 HD 10” Kindle was a bit of a game-changer as regards the platform for comics. It changes things but without changing the page-turning format. $130 for a near-perfect full-page digital comics reader, lovely colour and seamlessly connected to comics stores such as Amazon, Comixology and (with a little side-loading) some of the indies. Opening up comics to many who can’t afford an iPad etc. What is your own preferred way to read digital comics, these days? DS: Actually I have huge monitors in my studio, so I usually read comics as full two-page spreads. I have a reader who sent me a picture of his smart TV displaying my comic. It was huge and epic on his flat screen. Many of my readers first look at the books on their phones and when they get home read it again on a desktop or laptop. My comics are high resolution with a lot of detail so I like to see everything up close. DAL: Right. So there’s a tip for comics makers: you increasingly need to future-proof the comic by testing it on an 8K mega-screen.



DAL: Finally, which digital artist communities do you use and recommend (on-line or off-line) and how have they helped your work?

DS: The DAZ forum is my 3D home. Not only do we get to interact with the Published Artists (these being the makers of the DAZ Store products and content) we also share resources, tips and tricks and troubleshoot for each other. It’s an incredibly mature and patient community that is run by great moderators and has a real sense of family. Outside of that, I share some of my comics, for free, on the various webcomic hosting sites. The talented artists at Comic Fury were kind enough to showcase their work in my first comic course trailer. I’m active in several Facebook groups — including one for DAZ users. DAL: Ok, great. Thanks very much for this indepth interview with Digital Art Live. Readers can buy your comics through Amazon’s Comixology, and you also have Digital Art Live webinars at the DAZ Store. DS: Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. Along with Paul Bussey, we created a series about making comics and it was very well received. It was great to finally have my own product for sale in the DAZ Store. I certainly thank Digital Art Live for being the catalyst and thank you for speaking with me today. DAL: Our pleasure.

Drew Spence is online at: TheDynamicUniverse Drew’s series of recorded webinars for Digital Art Live are titled: Comic Creation Foundation Course (Part One). Comic Creation Foundation Course (Part Two). Comic Creation Professional Coundation Course for DAZ Studio (parts Three and Four). 44


We take a glance at the simple but functional studio-desk of Robert Crescenzio in Australia. Robert specialises in digitally painted dragons and other fierce creatures. His work can be seen on a growing number of fantasy book covers.


See more work from Robert Crescenzio at: robertcrescenzio

We like the monitor arrangement, with an angled Wacom Cintiq pen monitor for drawing and close work, and a second desktop on the monitor behind for Web and utilities. Though we would worry about eye-strain if using the more distant monitor for any length of time. Everything appears to be tightly packed in, possibly to prevent the warmth-loving studio cat from squeezing in to sleep between the warm monitors! The iPad is also placed safely out of Kitty’s way, lying flat on top of the transparent neonlit workstation box. 47

Digital Art Live interviews the German wallpaper specialist Gene Raz von Edler about how he makes and sells his beautiful 4K and HD digital wallpapers.

DAL: Gene, welcome to the free Digital Art Live magazine. This issue is themed “Getting value for your art”, which includes the subsequent selling and marketing — so… we though your beautiful and sublime wallpapers would be perfect for that theme, since you also sell the high-res 4k versions. How long have you been making and selling wallpapers, professionally? GRvE: Hallo, thank you so much for this opportunity! I'm glad you like my digital wallpapers. Yes, I have made these wallpapers since 2015, but have done so much more seriously from 2017 onwards. DAL: I see. And what brought you to making such works? Was it a development of an existing impulse to create, and if so what form did that first take? GRvE: Well, at first I did not think about actually selling my wallpapers. But after seeing my art stolen, I then decided to ‘put a price on it’, so as to try to avoid fighting against thieves endlessly. So I sell the 4k version wallpapers, and offer the HD version for free through ArtStation. DAL: I see. Yes, I guess that’s one of the defences against pirates, albeit a slim one. Pirate site owners usually have a ‘professional code’ of a sort that pirates often have, that says that they don’t allow listings for something that has a free version somewhere. 48



Picture: “Under the Arch”.


DAL: Have you always been creative, even from childhood? Did you start young and train? Or did the impulse come — as it does for some — via acquiring the software for free and then deciding to ‘do something with it’? GRvE: Yes, I was always creative. I have ‘the art in my blood’! For instance, I learned to play piano when I was a child. Then I also learnt to draw with charcoal at school. And about 13 years ago, I started playing with Photoshop, which was the software that my father bought me to distract me in my long stays in hospital because of leukaemia. And that software became my window to my parallel universes. DAL: I see. What is your current software setup? Is it just pure Photoshop, or is there also a toolset of additional software and plugins that run alongside that? GRvE: Mainly, I work with Photoshop CC 2018 and Paintstorm Studio. I do not use filters or plugins. DAL: Interesting. You might want to check out our editorial in this issue, surveying the best free and low-cost software — you might be able to save a bundle of money per year, by replacing those two with the Photoshop clone Affinity Photo and with the free Krita 4.1. What inspires you? Is it perhaps traditional romantic landscape art, or science fiction movies, or a mix of both? Or is it through assembling a mix of source images, and then thinking — “ahaha! That would go well with that…” GRvE: Well, my sources of inspiration are actually my own dreams, emotions and feelings, and also nature and music. There have only been a few times when a feature film has been able to inspire me, as was the case with Contact. DAL: Ah yes, an excellent film. From the Sagan novel. How has the wallpaper business changed over the last few years, since 2015 or so? Have you seen any trends, either in sizes or demand for certain themes? Or in growth of demand? GRvE: Yes, the current trend in terms of sales is focused on 4k wallpapers and also HD. Formerly, the formats were different and were not in HD.

In my case, the heavier demand is divided between ‘outer space’ wallpapers and ‘dreamscapes’ and I like to create a mix of both trends. DAL: Right. So… you mostly create art to please yourself? Rather than to meet a trend or to commission, is that correct? GRvE: Not really. My creations are designed to please people, make them dream, offer them a ‘zen art’ to make their mind heal and breathe. DAL: I see. And when people buy, they get the full 4k wallpaper. And that would suit HD TVs as well. Projectors too. I bet your art looks fabulous when glowing on a wall via a good digital projector! GRvE: Of course, from monitors and televisions in HD to the most advanced in 4k in large formats. My wallpapers will suit the case of use in digital projectors, too. Generally, buyers use them on their electronic devices or [on small screens] directly from my gallery on DeviantArt. DAL: What are three of your personal favourite wallpapers that you have created? What did you learn from creating these, and what inspired you to create them? GRvE: Ummm… difficult to summarize, just in terms of three pictures! Of the last ones that I have created, my favourites are "From other world", which is by top ranking artwork on DeviantArt. "Magic book" and "The Pyramid". And through its creation I learned that I have no limits, I can do what I propose to do, if I want it. The inspirations for each of the three pictures came from my dreams. DAL: What are the most inspiring bits of feedback that you have had from your buyers, about what the wallpapers mean to them? Or the most unusual place you’ve heard of them being seen? GRvE: The comments that I appreciate the most are those that reflect the purposes for which the wallpaper was created. If my wallpapers manage to inspire people, make them think and dream… then, I have achieved what I desire the most. DAL: You use a Wacom Intuos Pro L tablet? 50

“… about 13 years ago, I started playing with Photoshop, which was the software my father bought me to distract me, in my long stays in hospital because of leukaemia. And that software became my window to my parallel universes.”


Have you thought about stepping up to a pen monitor, or are you happy with a tablet? GRvE: Actually, a month ago I received the Cintiq 27 QHD touch… DAL: Ahah, wow… congratulations!

GRvE: …but at present I use it for my more complex works, and use the Intuos Pro for the rest of the wallpapers and for the times when I work away from home. DAL: I see. What are the ways that you promote your wallpapers, and how much success have


you had in getting attention for them? GRvE: I do not really promote them much; that is, I publish them on DeviantArt and ArtStation. Practically, all my wallpapers are “Top” ranked, very successful. And I think it has had a lot to do with the fact that I publish wallpapers daily.

DAL: Ah, that’s a good tip, thanks… Many prolific artists just want to get on to the next thing, and are also temperamentally unsuited to ‘ra-ra-ra promotion’ anyway. But you’re right, just simple daily posting of something, even a ‘warm up’ piece, is a kind of promotion. Picture: “Among Us” wallpaper.


DAL: You mentioned your dreams. But are specifically sci-fi inspirations for your art? GRvE: Yes. I have a passion for pyramids, they are an iconic theme that appears in many of my wallpapers. They are also iconic ‘portals’ and can

contain everything from time travel, parallel dimensions to astronomical observatories… but in an unreal version. They are surreal dreams in stone, and I try to translate them into images. DAL: Right. Talking of landscapes, you live in


Germany. Has the scenery around your home influenced your art, in terms of the sense of landscape it conveys? I see mist, mountains — are there any art pieces you have done where you have mimicked actual scenery from near you home?

GRvE: Actually I live in a city, therefore nothing that I see inspires me to create a wallpaper! DAL: Ah, oh dear. Perhaps I have a too romantic idea of Germany as full of Bavarian-style castles in dark and misty forests. /Laughter/ Picture: “The Arrival” wallpaper.


GRvE: … but I usually spend seasons in Innsbruck, which is Austria, and the forests and their mountains are always a source of inspiration. DAL: Ah, so I was right. /Laughter/ That’s good. Do you try to create small fictional back stories for each of the artwork wallpapers you create? I can sort of glimpse little stories here and there, or think I can. GRvE: Yes, that's exactly what I try. Most of my wallpapers suggest several interpretations… and I enjoy seeing how many people are inspired by my work and how they interpret it. DAL: And have you ever considered making a series? I mean, when people play a slideshow, it would be a series of perhaps eight or ten pictures that tell a subtle story across time? For example, a rise from a primitive civilisation to a space-faring one. GRvE: Not really. I usually do series as wallpaper categories but not yet the kind of a continuous story that you have in mind there. DAL: Talking of slideshows, do you have any recommendations for readers as to the best wallpaper management and slideshow software? Free, or paid. GRvE: I do not work with slideshow software and so I cannot give you a personal opinion of how they work. But I do know some like Photostory Deluxe and ProShow Gold 9, to mention a few that seem to be good. DAL: To what extent do you use your own 3D renders in your work, and what software do you use for that? GRvE: I use 3D very little, and lately… nothing. I have the Vue Infinite software, though, to create landscapes. DAL: What are two of your favourite on-line resources relating to digital art? Be it a forum, online galleries, 3D model sites, stock sites or other resources? GRvE: On DeviantArt there is an extensive list of good resources and is known for its Public Domain License.

‘keep it real’ imagery to be found there, as much as possible among the covert Apple promoters that haunt such sites. That’s the problem with stock photography, it tends to need to please HR and Marketing people, and so veers strongly toward presenting a sort of unbelievable superglossy office-world that doesn’t exist. I created/curated a couple of packs of their more believable work photos, for use by people illustrating ‘the creative industries’ in magazines and careers packs. But, talking of DeviantArt, I believe that you are a “Wallpaper Community Volunteer” there. What does that involve, please?

GRvE: Yes, I am. Well… one of my main work roles, as a Community Volunteer, is to feature Daily Deviations to the whole community in a joint feature with my teammates. I also take care of Wallpaper Gallery, and as a voice of the community I help with everything that is in my power. DAL: Fantastic, what a rewarding job. What are three things that might pleasantly surprise our readers, about the wallpaper community? GRvE: We talk about the ‘wow’ factor. A wallpaper with ‘wow’ factor always surprises. There are also now interactive wallpapers (called ‘wallpapers of the future’), and detailed space art in 4k or more! DAL: Great. Yes, I’ve seen a few of those partially animated wallpapers, and I guess they’re likely to grow in popularity as systems and software support them. Well thanks very much for this interview. We appreciate your time on this, especially as it’s nearing Christmas. Readers can see much more of your work, and buy your wallpapers at the DeviantArt address below. GRvE: It has been a pleasure to share this time with you and the readers. Thank you.

Gene Raz von Edler in online at: ellysiumn/gallery/

DAL: Yes, Unsplash are good, and there’s a lot of 56

[In the wallpaper community] “we talk about the ‘wow’ factor. A wallpaper with ‘wow’ factor always surprises. There are also now interactive wallpapers, called [by us] ‘wallpapers of the future’.”

Pictures: “The Pyramid of Fire” and “Under Control” wallpapers. 57

This month your Digital Art Live gallery evokes the shift in viewpoint that happens over the Christmas period, as we turn our thoughts away from Christmas trees, tinsel, presents and mince-pies… and start eagerly anticipating a mid-winter holiday on some faraway beach...

Picture: “Taste a planet” by Alexwild of Russia.



Picture: “Sojourn” by Arvalis of the USA.



Picture: “Supertree City” by Sviatoslav-SciFi of Montenegro. 62


Picture: “Fish city” by Pinbuns of the UK. 64



Picture: “Nomad desert blimp II" by Adrian Mark Gillespie, TK769, of the UK. 67

Picture: “Tortue Ponte” by Anaor Karim of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Made with Vue.

‘Tropical techno’ science-fiction is a small but growing genre, and will likely grow further as hundreds of millions of optimistic young Africans and Indians join the world’s online communities. We recently saw a stunning big-screen highgloss example of it in the opening ‘beach world’ scenes of Luc Besson’s mega-budget movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planet. The ‘tropical techno’ look can be traced back to the likes of the famous 1983 cover of Asia’s Alpha

rock album, and perhaps further — think of the tropical techno-bases of villains in certain James Bond films or even Tracey Island in Thunderbirds. Doubtless there are many other historical roots to the look of ‘tropical techno’ to be found, if one cares to search for them, Currently contributing strongly to this ‘look’ is contemporary oceanic concept art if the kind we featured in our ‘Future Oceans’ issue (#28). 68

Such aesthetics may soon be drawn on for realworld projects. Hundreds of millions of people are rising into the middle-classes, all around the world. Beach holidays are likely to be ‘on their radar’ over the next decade. Grand new resorts will have to be built — and just look at the ambitious ‘sci-fi’ plans for such resorts in the Gulf states and elsewhere. Such places will open new opportunities for futuristic architects, then artists, ‘experience designers’ and more. 69

We should also mention two more home-spun trends. ‘Solarpunk’ is a relatively new trend that’s still mostly literary and has yet to start to emerge as any kind of artistic force. The best place to start on that is the original Brazilian anthology in its 2018 English translation:

Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World. ‘Seasteading’ is the other trend, which also has an eye to planting new living space in the shallow offshore waters.


Pictures: “Futuristic city” by U-Svetu Maste of Serbia; “Erevos: Salt Desert” by David Hakobian of Greece; “Drainer” by Ascary 71 Lazon of Mexico ('Hikaruga').

Pictures: "Aelita" by Valery Medved of the Ukraine; "Symbiosis concept art" by Steven Sanders; "A Place to Rebuild" (Um Lugar para reconstruir) by Wesley-Souza of Brazil.



VIDEOGAME: Monster Hunter: World We're now ready to recommend that readers consider the popular 2018 videogame Monster Hunter: World on the Windows PC. Readers who are avid console gamers will likely have already played the game. But those on Windows PC desktops, and who are infrequent gamers, may have overlooked it. Partly because, when the Windows version shipped at the start of August 2018, it was the usual ‘Big Console Game on a PC’ bugfest. But the game has since had bug squishing official patches on Windows, and will likely have had another one by Xmas.

The very well reviewed Monster Hunter: World does what it says on the tin: you hunt and fight big savage monsters, in richly realised real-time environments. You can play single-player or co-op, with a little monster-location help from the clouds of ‘scoutflies’ that gather about the behemoths. While Japanese action RPGs are not everyone’s cup of tea on a PC, the game has excellent magazine reviews, and should sell 15m copies by the New Year. It is said to be quite easy for new players to learn, and runs happily on a modest Windows gaming PC.

Our pick of the most inspirational art and sci-fi. Make your imagination LIVE!


Thanks to Capcom for the HD screenshot. 75

Book: Steranko

3D book: Mission Moon 3-D

Out now is James Romberger’s new nonfiction book Steranko: The Self-Created Man (Ground Zero, 2018). This is a longawaited study of the art and visual ideas of the influential Marvel comics artist Jim Steranko. The book is divided in three parts: the first is a comprehensive new biography of the man and his career in comics and movies; the second is an indepth interview with this shy and enigmatic comics master, in which he steps through 144 new innovations he brought to the comic-book during the 1966-84 period; and final part looks at his work as a conceptual illustrator for the movies, working for the likes of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.

Mission Moon 3-D: a New Perspective on the Space Race is an innovative book of 3D pictures,

In 2014 Marvel issued S.H.I.E.L.D. By Steranko (1951-1968). This was followed in 2018 by Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel Masterworks Vol. 3 (1968-1971). Both collections are available as ebooks.

complete with clear stereoscopic viewing glasses. The 300 restored 3D pictures together tell the story of the events of the Space Race that leading up to the famous lunar landings, and then the first manned landing itself. The 3D viewer glasses were designed by British astrophysicist and Queen guitarist Brian May, and Brian states that many pictures are printed as “true side-by-side full-colour stereoscopic 3D” for the first time, and that “Our small team has delved deeper than deep into the NASA archives” — finding around 150 new unseen 3D views. The oversized book has been elegantly produced by the famous MIT Press in 192 pages, in collaboration with the UK’s London Stereoscopic Company. The book also has all new text based on the most recent histories, and short new texts from Apollo astronauts Charlie Duke and Jim Lovell. Definitely a book for space historians to consider spending their 76 Christmas book tokens on!

Picture: Patti Perret.

Books: Works of Clifford D. Simak

Book: Brian Froud's World of Faerie

We're pleased to see the works of the great science-fiction writer Clifford D. Simak are back in print. His short stories have become available since 2016 as a series of Kindle ebooks, as the Complete Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak series published by Open Road. Amazon UK lists 12 volumes, with the most recent three released in summer 2017 and more to come. Each volume opens with an essay on one aspect of Simak’s work. Most of Simak’s novels have also been recently re-published as ebooks in the ‘Gollancz yellow-covers’ of the Gateway budget ebook imprint. We count about 20 of these on Amazon UK, of his output of around 27 novels, including the famous Way Station and City — which are the best places to start in reading his works. City is also available as an audiobook via Audible. The best scholarly and biographical work on him is When the

Originally issued in 2007, a new Revised and Expanded Edition of Froud's main tour-de-force book World of Faerie will be issued at the start of January 2019. The expanded 192-page version of the book will feature paintings, watercolors, and drawings never before seen by the general public. There is also said to be more text from Froud in the expanded edition, detailing his working life, his home-place in Devon, and his love of English nature and landscape. Drawing inspiration from the gnarled shrubbery of Britain’s windswept moorlands and heaths, Brian Froud is a leading English fantasy illustrator in the Arthur Rackham tradition and is best known for his classic 1978 artbook Faeries — which was followed by Trolls, Goblins and other beautiful artbooks.

Fires Burn High and The Wind is From the North: The Pastoral Science Fiction of Clifford D. Simak (2006, Borgo Press).


Brian Froud is also known for being the conceptual illustrator and costume designer who contributed strongly to the final look of Jim Henson’s well-loved fantasy film The Dark Crystal.

L’Esclat dels Comic

Nutty Professor Storyboards

Until 20th Jan 2018, Barcelona

Until 3rd Mar 2019, MoMA New York

The Arts Santa Monica, located in the famous Ramblas section of Barcelona in Spain, has assembled a substantial threepart exhibition on the cross-cultural history of comics. The show surveys the birth and Golden Age of newspaper strip comics in the United States — and shows how these then had a strong influence on the early comic strips and genre heroes which were made in Spain for Spanish-speaking audiences, from the 1930s into the mid 1950s.

Pictures, from left, across double-page: Detail from a comics panel showing jousting becloe the castle of Camelot. From Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant newspaper strip. Detail from a John Lauris Jensen storyboard for The Nutty Professor (1963). Stanley Kubrick seen on the spaceship set for the movie 2001. A still from Jan Svankmajer’s final film, “Insects”.

The storyboards for Jerry Lewis's classic comedy movie The Nutty Professor (1963) were recently gifted to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York City). John Lauris Jensen’s storyboards are his engaging and vivid graphic interpretations of the script, suggesting elements of performance, staging, lighting effects, camera placement, and cutting continuity. In all MoMA are placing on display 11 of his full storyboard sequences, alongside Lewis’s intentions and final expression as both director and performer in adaptating of the famous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story for the early 1960s. Jensen began his film career as an illustrator at the Paramount movie studio in the 1950s, creating scenic art and costume design for the famous director Cecil B. DeMille. Jensen later worked mostly on action movies but his collaborations with Jerry Lewis also included The Bellboy (1960) and Family Jewels (1965), proving he was equally skilled at visualizing physical and dramatic comedy. This exhibition will be of special interest to students of the 1950s and 60s style of 78 illustration, as well as movie storyboards.

Stanley Kubrick: the exhibition

Svankmajer: Alchemical Wedding

Opens 26th April 2019, London

Until 3rd March 2019, Amsterdam

London’s Design Museum will stage a major exhibition of Stanley Kubrick life and design work, and on his engagement with designers and writers. Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest film makers of the 20th century, spent most of his time living and working in Britain, and he often collaborated with British film-making and writing talent. It was here that he created an orbiting space station for 2001: A Space Odyssey, the War Room for Dr Strangelove, Overlook Hotel for The Shining, the Haze house for Lolita, and many others. He also collaborated closely with the likes of British writers Arthur C. Clarke and Anthony Burgess. The Design Museum’s exhibition will also take a major look at all aspects of his design and architecture work, and his work with key commercial designers of his generation. This ticketed exhibition will be presented in partnership with The Stanley Kubrick Archive, and with the support of Warner Bros., Sony, Metro Goldwyn Meyer, and Universal Studios. The exhibition will run until 16th September 2019, and booking ahead is highly advised during the tourist season and at peak times. 79

Eye in Amsterdam will present a major retrospective of the work of Prague's master animator Jan Svankmajer. His short films will be screened in cabinets, spread among a large exhibition of his sculptures, puppets, props and artwork, together with three ‘wonder cabinets’ filled with his collages, tactile objects, strange maps and drawings. There will be a programme of big-screen presentations of his feature-films. Most of his films were made from 1964 to the 1980s, under very difficult circumstances. In the 1970s his work was formally banned by the socialist regime in Prague. His surreal films were suppressed and he was blacklisted at all the movie studios and film processing services. But he eventually found a remote deserted chateau, away from the eyes of the secret police and informers. There he was able to make his Fall of the House of Usher (1981) and Dimensions of Dialogue (1982) — which Terry Gilliam later selected as one of the 10 finest animated films of all time. The government tried to suppress his new films abroad, but in 1987 he was finally able to make his Alice (in Wonderland) feature-film, aided by a secret British donation of a large stock of 35mm film.

Are you interested in being interviewed in a future issue of the magazine? Or presenting a webinar for our series? Please send the Web address of your gallery or store, and we’ll visit! Back cover: “One man and his droid” by Adrian Mark Gillespie, TK769, of the UK. 80