Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Map 06.22.10

Photos are a little blurry tonight? Maybe it was the corn whiskey. Dunno.


John Evans said...

I was just rereading an old D&D book and came across the "cloak of poison" description. I couldn't remember where the name "Nessus" was from, so I searched a bit and stumbled on this blog.

The maps are cool. I particularly like the lettering, you have a great "font". (I'm assuming it's all done by hand, though, right?)

A few questions:

1) Why did you pick "Nessus Shirt Company"?

2) What's up with the names of the places? Some of them are cool, like "Red Mudge", "City of Glass" and "Thoughtless Exquisites". But "Luscious Cliffs"? "Girlmeat Thicket"? "Surly Coast"? "Faggy Bay"—srsly? (I like "Ampersand", though.)

3) Is there anything in this blog besides maps and clavicle shots? (I'm not saying there SHOULD be anything else, of course, I'm just wondering.)

beebe said...


Thanks for the comment. The font, indeed, is my own and it's done by hand. I just kind of made it up--I work as a graphic designer so I have a lot of little font fragments in my brain. The lettering is profoundly flawed: hand-lettering is a tedious process and--while I can stomach a whole lot of tedium--I have a hard time staying focused and I tend to get sloppy after an hour or so.

1. Nessus Shirt Company was an homage to Gary Gygax and D&D . . . I wouldn't be an artist if it were for that game giving me the idea that I could create worlds/stories/adventures of my own. Also, at the time I created this blog, I was feeling a bit poisoned by my own anger and bitterness. So I felt a kind of kinship with Nessus.

2. It's hard to explain the names of the places. Ostensibly, the map is the world in which my characters live. However, this drawing is turning more of a map of my internal landscape . . . but that dovetails nicely with the content of my drawings already. Some of the names are based on people I know and phrases like "Surly Coast" are attributes of (and tributes to) the person in question. Other names little phrases that I've heard/made up over the years and written down in margins of sketchbooks. Other names are made up on the spot and are chosen because a.) I like the sound of the two words together (ex: the rolling, sibilant sound of "Luscious" next to the hard k and breathy f of "Cliff") and b. I think the name is evocative enough that the reader/viewer will illustrate the phrase in their own imaginations. "What would luscious cliffs look like?" I want the view to ask/answer that question.

You're correct: some of the names on the map aren't stellar. But if I waited around until I came up with a list of names that was perfectly and exactly what I wanted . . . well, I'd never get anything done. So I just go and go and go and attempt to keep up the momentum, realizing the cost of momentum is occasionally making a few mistakes. But I'd rather make a few mistakes than not make anything at all.

3. There is a lot of stuff on this blog besides maps and clavicle shots. Unfortunately, this blog isn't organized as a portfolio of my work--it's kind of a work-in-progress blog (which, admittedly, can be tedious to sift through.) So stuff is scattered in here throughout the years. You could start with "The Ape Machine" link on the right. That's the last series of finished drawings I completed.

John Evans said...

I'm not good enough at graphic design to see how the lettering is flawed. Oh well. ;)

So the map is almost like a map of your own mind? That's a pretty intriguing concept, actually. Anyway, I suppose if you really want to have those names on your map, I can't tell you different! (I guess I have to admit that "Luscious Cliffs" is pretty neat.)

The Ape Machine drawings are pretty nuts, but very imaginative! I'm not sure I even know where to begin thinking about them.

Anyway, I hope my initial post didn't sound too negative. I suppose my ultimate reaction is more "bemused" than anything else. ;)