Amazanauts: Paradise Falls

Pencil and ink, brush and pen

January 2013

The idea for this strip dates back to the Amazanauts game I put together in 2008. In the game, an ultimate enemy called "The Anti-She" is referred to, along with her ability to weaponise love. Here we see this in action, as an archetypal action hero falls not to combat, but to heartbreak. Part of this comes from my fascination with superheroes, but rejection of their violent ways. Like many 21st Century westerners, I have very little experience of physical combat and violence. Love is the last adventure left to us, where we need courage, and risk getting hurt. This strip is an attempt to articulate this idea in the language of psychedelic comic adventure.

I had the chance to sit down and draw it thanks to David G Williams running a comic creator's course. This called for a short strip to be executed in traditional media, and this story won out in my head from a few candidates. It was great to work with a physical pencil again. Most of page 1 is inked with a sable brush and indian ink (borrowed from David). The rest of the strip is finished with a reliable Sharpie and Pitt brush pen. The indian ink was beautiful to work with, giving a really solid blackness that doesn't show up in the scans, but some thick sinuous lines that really suit the eastern flavour of the strip.
All in all, though, I prefer the accuracy of the Sharpie.

I saw this as a chance to atone for Gloriana J a little bit. There I'd written a strip set in a high tech pleasure satellite which had rather sparse and minimal backgrounds. Here I had an equally lush setting, and made more of an effort to do it justice. I'm now addicted to perspective drawing.