Sunday, May 22, 2011

Holy hail, Batman!

Not snow; hail. Also, that stream is my sidewalk.
We had the single most torrential hailstorm a few days ago. Neither my parents nor grandparents could remember ever seeing hail this thick, ever, in their lifetimes. There was so much of it that the next day, there were still piles of it in areas where it had yet to melt off. Most were pea-to-marble sized.

My art has been on hiatus since then due to the fact that over seven gallons of water leaked (read: gushed) through my bedroom ceiling when the roof was damaged, and I had to do some emergency damage control and everything is in total disarray. Fortunately Roof Guy fixed it today, so now it comes down Cleaning Up. And being as there is a giant, vaugely Australia-shaped hole in my ceiling where the plaster came down, and my carpet smells like rotten roof water (I think there are probably some squirrel corpses up there as well) that will be a Not Very Fun Process. But the artings will return as soon as I can squeeze some workspace in amongst the clutter.

But you know, I'm not really complaining; a leaky roof is only a minor inconvenience to, say, the ridiculous number of tornadoes that have been hitting areas further south and turning whole towns into splinters. Or the massive flooding along the Mississippi river. Or earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, etc. We have been having a massive amount of thunderstorms and torrential rainstorms here lately, way more than is normal for this time of year. 

Mother Nature seems to have flipped her lid lately.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Meet Borfus the Dragon. 

Borfus, along with the Desbok, is part of a bestiary of creature designs I have been compiling. Borfus started out as an entry for a creature design competition held back in November by the Shiflett Brothers, in which the only premise was "monster rider." Because I like to keep a sense of fun about things, I went for a huge, unruly dragon.

Borfus, all told, is two feet long with a nearly two foot wingspan.

I don't think I intended to make him quite so enormous, but as I built the armature, that's what happened. So I went with it.

Unfortunately, due to a bout with the flu (and the fact that I grossly underestimated the size and therefore the amount of time necessary) I didn't end up getting him finished before the contest deadline.


I did, however, enter him in 2010's Spectrum Annual, but didn't get accepted in. Better luck next year I guess.
Borfus ended up being my take on the classic dragon and rider motif. Usually depicted as a wonderful, magic bond between the dragon and its rider, something that is coveted and desired by whatever human race occupies that particular fantasy realm, I went a different route. In Borfus's native homeland, his species have been domesticated for generations by skilled and extremely patient trainers; they are the quickest and most effective mode of transportation over dangerous terrain such as marshland or mountain passes. However, they are none too intelligent, difficult to control even when dragon and rider have been bonded since hatching, and are prone to veering off mid-flight whenever they spot an appealing morsel, leaving their frustrated riders clinging desperately while attempting to get them under control.
Dragonriders would in fact much prefer to be riding something else, but being as large flying animals capable of being domesticated and trained to carry riders and cargo are few and far between, they are stuck with these guys. The neighboring continent is occupied by a civilized, intelligent race of dragons who hold Borfus's kind in deep scorn, and would rather not have to claim them as distant cousins.