Happy Tuesday! So last week we wrapped up THE ARROW OF TIME story, but as I mentioned I have new art to share because I’ve created covers for each of the chapters. Also, even though I’ve collected the whole story in the archive (since pretty much day one), I realized that not everyone may know this.
So my plan is to post the new cover artwork each week (one chapter a week) and post the accompanying story pages from the chapter as well, in case you’re interested in re-reading.
Anyway, let’s get to the art, here’s the cover to the first chapter and the full chapter.
This is also a great opportunity for me to offer some overall thoughts and insights into each chapter along the way. I did post stuff for certain pages as I went, but I was really trying to not give away the story and spoil things. And because of that, it was hard to really keep track of exactly what I could or should say. In most cases, I went with the approach of just not saying anything. But now that everything’s been posted, it’s an ideal time to go back through and dig deeper and explain what I was thinking.
So one of the big things that got included in this chapter is the three types of people that I felt framed the idea of “edge” sciences:
- Those that stayed in their labs and universities and books and researched, researched, researched, developed theories and tests and pushing things forward
- Those out in the world who dealt with the consequences of edge science on a daily basis, and
- Those who took all of the knowledge that they had and applied it, no matter what the consequences were.
The key thing about this idea is that each of the “personas” is reflected in the three scientists in the story:
- Jeremy is the researcher, always striving for knowledge and pushing forward
- Lucas is the man-on-the-ground, out in the real world dealing with edge sciences and how they affect people, and
- The Professor is the character who’s going to apply all of this knowledge, consequences be damned.
I think what I wanted to do with these different types of scientists is to really frame edge science as a field of study that had lots of different people involved and lots of parties who have different interests that they want to protect. And to be honest, my guess is that this is probably true of the real world to some extent.
Now back when I was first writing the start of this story, I felt it was super important that I included that the public wasn’t entirely on-board with “edge” sciences. This kind of provided a key counterpoint to the three scientists in the story. I think the key thing to me was that I wanted to establish that edge science was really out there, crazy sci-fi stuff and could be very dangerous and that not everyone was ok with blindly letting scientists do whatever they wanted to do. So the protests served to really highlight that people had maybe had enough and were starting to push back. What’s interesting is that this has actually happened in the “real” world since I wrote this. The stuff that’s happened with the Hadron Collider, etc., kind of proves that in general, weird science freaks people out. I’ve probably spent way too much time over the years really thinking about technology and science and how it affects our lives. The minute I started using a computer in my artwork, it became apparent that technology was changing things and this actually started to be reflected in some of the art that I was creating at the time.
The other thing that I remember really wanting to include was how people that know nothing about edge science would actually try to debate with someone like Jeremy – ie. one of the top scientists in the world. Now back when I was first starting to work on this, the anti-vaccine debate was something that was going on and I found it really amazing to follow. What interested me the most was people who had no formal training in science trying to tell professional scientists that they were wrong.* The thing about this whole debate, is that it’s probably gotten worse as we’re not literally having a renewed debate about global warming (hard to believe) and “fake news” or “alternate facts” are part of our daily life. Anyway, if you’re interested in these types of things, I actually just read two really good articles that I’d recommend: “Why facts don’t change our minds” and “How America lost faith in expertise”.
So yeah, it’s crazy how some of this stuff seems more relevant than ever. Crazy times indeed.
*Maybe it’s because as a graphic designer and illustrator I deal with people who think that they’re designers and illustrators (it’s just pictures and colour, right?), but I could empathize with this debate.