Friday, May 25, 2012

IMC: starting the prep work.

Well, I've picked my Illustration Masters Class assignment

I'm going to be attempting cover art and a two page graphic novel segment for Our Human, by Adam-Troy Castro.  (Ambitious, I know. I may have to go with one or the other and if that's the case, I think I'll go for the two page spread. But don't hold me to that.)

The brief description/instructions provided by Irene Gallo:

A science fiction short story with an anthroprological feel.
Include at least one human and one alien figure.
"On a savage backwater world, the last ragged survivors of an expedition to hunt down the infamous war criminal known as The Beast Magrison set off into an inhospitable wilderness in search of the alien village that may be sheltering this beast. The hunters are aliens from two different species, the village is inhabited by strange aliens of yet another species, and Magrison himself is no sterling advertisement for humanity. Who’s human in this situation? The answer may surprise and upset you. This novella from acclaimed SF writer Adam-Troy Castro explores the fate of the dread Magrison. Readers can find out more about the world that spawned Magrison by tracking down his Andrea Cort novels, Emissaries from the Dead and The Third Claw of God."

Why did I pick this one?

I wish I could give you a really good answer for that: I have not read either of Castro's Andrea Cort novels (tho they are now in my queue) nor any of his other work, plus science fiction illustrating is a weaker area for me.

But, the story is amazing. And as I read it, various scenes jumped out at me with full visuals blooming in my head. And it's not hard sf: for example I won't need to kill myself trying to draw the interiors of a space ship.

So there you go.

Now I just need to start some initial characters studies for the brutish, militant Barath, the secretive translator, Mukh'than,  the village of timid three gendered Trivids, and.... The Human, Magrison. A ravaged waste of flesh wheezing out his last breaths in a mud hut.

(May 30th update, you can now read Our Human at TOR. Illustrated by John Jude Palencar.) 


  1. Galen,

    I am Adam-Troy Castro, the author of the story in question.

    I have absolutely no difficulty with you using the story as a homework assignment and hereby grant you permission, but I gently suggest in these days of the internet that it costs you nothing, and protects you quite a bit, to get permission in advance for such uses, especially if you're going to talk about it publicly on a blog. (Others have been known to get huffy.)

    I would very much like to see the art, once done, if you could do me the courtesy of sending a jpg or other attachment to my email address. You can do it through my website

    Good luck on your assignment!

  2. Thank you, Adam-Troy! It was a pleasure to work with your story. (and I love John Jude Palencar's illustration for the story.)