It’s Blossom and Buttercup that he has to worry about.
Black and white — so you’ve taken all the color out of space?
Your page title doesn’t seem to appear in the speech bubbles. Did you edit one of them?
Now, is this attack commanded by St. Germaine or any of the other players we’ve seen, or are the outer monstrosities moving on their own?
Saving on colour?
Reminds me of “From Beyond”
Well said! Never thought of it that way, but I notice now that much of the plant life around is dying.
the b/w is amazing–very dramatic!
Love the B/W! Very well done and appropriate for the tense scary scene. And the little tiny shout-out to the “Doc Savage” pulps in “Bunny! Get to the Flea Run!” ? Swell, just swell!
If it ain’t got some Doc, it ain’t pulp.
This page does look great.
Not that the others don’t…
Are these Colours From Out Of Space or something more sinister? The Colours would explain the black and white.
9 more people who have more clues , on what is happening on this page, than I .
“Button Your Dusters and sit a spell”
Dammit Jim, ( & Larry 0 I havent even seen a Doc Savage in over 30 years. Do I need to watch some original Flash Gordon , too to decode this page?
“Ive heard hens squawking that made more sense”
Indeed, Win, Indeed. Isn’t , NOT being a fictional Bostonian supposed to lend me some insight, ( or just sight ) into what I am seeing?
Someone please walk me through this scene, before all reason flees me entirely
Let’s see if I can give you some help. All the various strands of the story are starting to coalesce here. Luther, at Jackey’s behest is translating Lovecraft’s stories into complex equations, using variables found in Erich Zann’s music. By use of those equations, Win and Nan have been “warped” through time and space to join the rest of the cast. Jackey, the mastermind behind all the investigation, has been less than forthcoming about a lot of things, and as he tries to move forward, Win and Nan rebel at the vagueness of things and demand an explanation, at east as to what part they are playing in the larger game. Jackey chooses not to comply.And then company shows up.
(The reference to Doc is just a easter egg, not necessary to the story. I toss in all kinds of stuff that I love, homages to favorite stories or artists, as well as many small incidents from HPL’s stories in that way. If you get them, fine; if not, it shouldn’t hurt your understanding of the story.
My other comment hasn’t appeared yet, but I wanted to add: drawings by schizophrenics are interestingly alien.
Hmm. I’ve approved every comment that’s come through for the last year or so. You might want to repost it. I’m curious about what leads up to this comment.
That explains why you post all of mine.
ROUTINE FIVE: from the Bowery Boys (the DeadEnd Kids), shorts from the 1940′s. As differentiated from ROUTINE 11, which was just to punch everyone in sight, ROUTINE FIVE was “hook….cook…and, book….”
I tried pasting in my comment but I fear the Internet swallowed it again. I’m going to try rephrasing instead.
Basically, besides the faces, the first panel reminds me of that September 2010 blog post about the sparse blobby picture which turned out to be a cowboy on horseback; you’ve represented everything with little disconnected blobs of white. I really liked that post because of one of my favorite parts in Mountain of Madness, where Lovecraft describes how the Elder Things drew using a juxtaposition of cross-sections and silhouettes. Lovecraft must have believed, like this Feyerabend person, that drawing is highly cultural; though apparently Lovecraft may have thought it would be at least mostly decipherable without the “cultural instructions”.
I’ve been trying to slowly work my way towards depicting what an alien drawing style might look like. I think the most alien drawings would be inherently primitive; before we Earthlings discovered perspective, we drew in a way that made perfect sense to us but didn’t really correspond to the way the world works or looks. An alien would presumably have more trouble deciphering those drawings than one done in proper perspective.
Huzzah, the comment went through! Here’s a link to that older post: http://lovecraftismissing.com/?p=4961 and here’s the passage from At the Mountains of Madness:
[i]Their method of design hinged on a singular juxtaposition of the cross section with the two-dimensional silhouette, and embodied an analytical psychology beyond that of any known race of antiquity. It is useless to try to compare this art with any represented in our museums. Those who see our photographs will probably find its closest analogue in certain grotesque conceptions of the most daring futurists.[/i]
I’m not sure the style as described makes any more sense than, say, the Teglon in Anathem, but I definitely believe truly odd alien drawing styles are possible. The basic line drawing style of humanity, even when very literal, involves first inferring the 3-D structure of the object being drawn, and then putting down lines corresponding to where the surfaces are curved most sharply away from our sight. An alien might do something very similar, except habitually put down very broad lines, say extending from the edge of the object to about where the surface is at 45 degrees from the line of sight.
Or, of course, something totally different.
In the broad sense, you are right. But drawing depends on how we see the world both phyiscially AND emotionally.Linear perspective is, at the core, a gimmick, and doesn’t represent the “real” world except in ways that we’ve been taught to expect. It is only a particular way of representing space. Traditional linear perspective is called 3 point perspective, but there are numerous other viable approaches to perspective. There’s 4 point, nine point, curvilinear and atmospheric perspective, and more. The Chinese also have a completely different approach to perspective, wherein things that are farther away, like mountains, actually get bigger. Medieval painting, which looks flat to us, uses, for lack of a bettter word, class perspective, where the more important people are larger and higher in the picture than those who are subservient. And you really ought to look at some of David Hockney’s work with space. His photo montage, Pearblossom Highway totally mangles traditional perspective while still remaining clear and powerful; he has done drawings of objects as they might be seen if every section were seen from a different point of view while walking around the object. It’s not quite cubism (which is multiple perspectives in the same drawing.) And if you aren’t familiar with the drawings of Paul Klee, check them out. They sound like what you are driving at in your description. One last thing (sorry, I teach perspective and am fascinated by it) remember that how we see space (not how we represent it, but how we actually discern it) is due to the way that our individual eyes receive light in a kind of funnel, and that the two eye funnels overlap. Closing one eye will drastically alter the way you see space. What would it look like to something with multiple eyes, all receiving their individual information at the same time? I’ve always thought the traditional representation of a fly’s point of view to be skewed. If you look through a wide angle lens, the distortion you see might be close to a fly’s sight, but who says all those receptors are aimed in the same direction?
I was thinking of perspective as purely physical, and I’d like to defend that view for a moment, though your examples of Chinese- and “class”-perspective clearly show it doesn’t have to be.
Basically, 1-point through 3-point, and even 4-point and ‘isometric’ and every other type of perspective I’ve normally seen done represent what a scene would look like through a particular type of (stationary) camera. I suppose it’s a gimmick in that it’s meant to let our eye glance around the scene without having our expectations upset, when in reality our perspective changes whenever we move our eye, that is, constantly. Also perspective assumes we will be drawing box-like things, and there are other ways of tiling space than rectangles! But hypothetical-camera-based perspective is generally a very good approximation of what our eyes see (except of course for isometric perspective when there are any distant objects).
I agree about the fly’s-eye-view! How are we to know how information from faceted eyes gets combined? Though, the time is coming when we might simply read the information off the fly’s brain in order to find out.
When we played around with one to three point perspective in a drawing class, I calculated within which regions it made sense to draw objects, which seemed pretty useful to people. I… don’t remember if I really came up with something for 3-point perspective; that’s the case that made me realize you have to think in terms of a theoretical camera. But with 2-point perspective just draw a circle with your 2 points across the diameter. Any rectangle’s corner touching that circle must look like a right angle (math fact!). Any right angle which looks like a right angle must be viewed with no foreshortening. So rectangular prisms touching the edge need to be drawn as plain rectangles. Rectangular prisms extended to the circle’s edge from elsewhere in the drawing must be infinitely long. And anything extended beyond the circle has to be *gasp* more than infinitely far away.
I really liked that idea at the time, and realized there were ways of drawing things more than infinitely far away even inside the circle. (Things infinitely far away vanish to a point. Beyond infinity, they start getting larger again.) I sort of sketched drawings with things from out side of space looming over the mere finite beings within, but didn’t make any real drawing. I should revisit the 3-point case. I wonder if there’s any correspondence between my more than infinitely distant objects and this Chinese approach you mention?
Hmm, really it might be easier than I’m thinking to make a pretty alien drawing style; just choose certain ‘visual primitives’ to over-rely on, like swirly Victorian penmanship-inspired art.
ANyway thanks for all the info! I’ll definitely look into a bunch of that stuff. Hockney’s approach is great for emphasizing whatever objects or angles you want to emphasize, and the Paul Klee gives me the idea that drawings can be a comment on a subject rather than a (conventionalized) representation (though of course, representing the colors rather than the shapes is another aspect). But no, I wouldn’t say either are like anything I described!
Two things: 1.Since, by definition, we cannot see to infinity, there really isn’t anything “beyond” infinity to grow larger in our “sight.” there is not fixed infinite point that has anything beyond it; if there is a fixed point, then it is not at infinity. 2. Traditional perspective can cause some weird distortions, so it is only an approximation, though a good and useful one, true enough for daily work. But, going back to the camera notion, the whole concept is based on the structure of our eye. A 55mm lens closely approximates the view of the human eye. Longer lens compress space, shorter lenses expand and distort space. These are mechanical things, but what if an alien’s eye is structured more like, say a m 18mm or 350mm lens? There’s not argument here, I encourage your experiments and maybe you can even share it with the rest of us when you get a sample done. (What kind of picture would a bat draw, I wonder.)
Though that’s true in euclidian geometry, it’s not the case in Projective Geometry, which adds points at infinity.
Yeah, I’ve been thinking of bats too! Only surfaces somewhat directly perpindicular to line of sight would bounce back sound, I assume!
“juxtaposition of the cross section with the two-dimensional silhouette” sounds like something close to a technical drawing (projections usually are more than silouettes, but are pretty close).
Discussion about cameras, lens and distortion, really show how our habit affects our perception.
I have a camera with APS-C size sensor, so all focus distances are supposed to be multiplied by 1.5 to get an 35mm film equivalent.
Recently I got a new lens, mostly for landscape and architecture. Its focus distance is 14mm (so it would be an equivalent of 21mm for full frame), however thanks to its complex optics, straight lines remain straight. So a picture taken, say, in front of a large building, looks very close to what it would be seen with a traditional lens, except from a greater distance (a place that is usually not available because it is inside or behind another building) and with exaggerated depth — what is usually exactly what you want to do in a narrow city street. But while looking through a viewfinder that shows the image from the sensor, a person taking the picture (me in this case) has this abnormal view — twice the normal angle, but no fish-eye distortion that we are accustomed to, to warn us about the nature of this view. However one distortion could not be compensated without creating some other ones, in this case stretching the objects toward edges and corners. What is absolutely fine for rectangular buildings and walls, as distant corners on those would look squished otherwise.
Once I was taking a picture of the street, and noticed a person standing in the absolutely worst place for the person to be in this kind of photo — close to the edge, so his shape was weirdly stretched while the buildings behind them looked perfectly straight and proportional to each other. The person was standing there motionless, without any visible signs of intention to move elsewhere until I taken the camera away from my eyes and looked at him directly. Without saying a single word, he started walking along the street, and only after seeing where he was standing by my regular eyes, I understood what happened:
He politely stayed out of what he thought, was the frame of the photo I was taking.
By its look, the lens did not give out any clues about its wide-angle nature, it’s physically long, has no hood and its front is covered with a flat filter, so the person assumed that it’s better to stop at the point far outside the regular 40-degree field of view, and I, seeing a supposedly normal view of the street, “forgot” that it’s actually 80 degrees, until the person entered the frame, and even then, after seeing him distorted, was still wondering what he is doing there. Lack of distortion that I was accustomed to, prevented me from recognizing an absolutely obvious situation. And the distortion I expcted, vs. distortion I really got, was merely a matter of common lens design and technology — one can imagine a culture that never seen a point in making fish-eye lens at all, and had all lens perfectly compensated for straight lines, and later someone would decide that it’s a great idea to produce a lens that preserves distance while distorting lines and angles.
So, back to the fly-eye view, it’s very likely that someone with segmented eyes (I am not sure if flies themselves do enough shape perception for this to matter), would perceive shapes perfectly normally because brain would automatically recognize lines and relative sizes while compensating for unusual angles and projections. We do not freak out when looking at a thin box close to our eyes, and seeing the opposite sides of it (try it, I just brought a mint tin to almost touch my nose while looking at it, and read “Altoids” on both sides, each seen by one eye), so I think, fly-eyed man would be fine with his vision.
That lens sounds cool, I’ve never heard of it before but I’m going to go see the guy at the Photography department today. I want to really SEE what you are describing. Sounds like a major breakthrough for things like you pointed out, narrow alleys, etc.
On an ethereal plane, I’m not sold that an “alien” sort of brain would process the information gathered in any way that we might consider “normal.” There is no compelling reason to think that an eye develops in the same way all over the universe. When the sailors in “The Call of Cthulhu” describe the city as containg non-euclidean geometry, they are onviously having trouble processing he shapes the are perceiving. Is this the fault of the shapes, or a limitation of human vision?
Ny the way, I am really enjoying this discussion.
True. Flies probably decide whether to go towards various patches of light and dark, but do a lot of their movement sensing through their body hairs. But dragonflies definitely depend on their vision for navigating around their chosen hunting grounds and catching prey. So we know some animals exist which use segmented, very wide-angle vision in a somewhat sophisticated way.
I’ve lost the link, but I just saw a story about researchers messing with a 360 degree camera mounted on a hat, then fed to the eyes in place of normal view. Supposedly after about 15 minutes for adjustment, people could dodge things thrown at them from any direction, as well as do normal tasks like riding a bike. I imagine you’d have trouble seeing your hands or really any close work, but apparently the brain is pretty good at adjusting to different fields of view.
It’s true an alien brain might find totally different visual information useful; but firstly, the basic design of the eye is really meant for resolving light into 2D images of the same type we, well, draw. Secondly that basic eye design has emerged many times, apparently somewhat independently, in terrestrial evolution. (There are some genes used by nearly all eyes, but they don’t have to do with the specific shape, which involved independently many times.) Thirdly, if there were a different set of information which an animal was using something like eyes to get, probably a different design would end up being most useful.
So on a more abstract level I certainly think aliens would pay attention to different information in an image, but I think Earth evolution provides good evidence that *most* aliens with light available would be using eyes to resolve the same sort of 2D projections as we do.
But, I do think mathematics provides a good toolbox for constructing plausible alternative views of the world. You can search for 2D Fourier Transform to see some sparklike diagrams which technically contain the same info as a given image. Aliens could, when drawing, care more about images which produce similar 2D Fourier Transforms. Other methods from calculus provide more vivid results; most people will undoubtedly have seen the ‘find lines’ filter in Photoshop which can sorta imitate human line drawings using the photo’s derivative. But there are other operations from 2D calculus which also produce useable images. Imagine something like a topographical map of the light and dark in a picture; or maybe aliens would draw three or four topographical maps in different colors of ink to indicate the shape of each color in the scene?
(Uh, postscript …I just had sort of a moment of clarity. Segmented insect eyes look just like the interior of light-field cameras (“shoot first focus later” cameras). I’ve read in the past that insects simply can’t see very far because they can’t dynamically focus like we can. Wouldn’t it make a ton more sense if they ‘focus later’, doing the focusing in their brains by comparing thousands of unfocused images the way a light-field camera does??)
Though I suppose it’s possible, I don’t think Lovecraft was thinking that the Elder Things made diagrams of the interiors of objects. The image I have now is that a cross section shaped silhouette is overlaid on top of the more literal silhouette. So an hourglass on its side would be a big circle with a little circle in it.
Lovecraft is Missing is Copyright 1998-2010 Larry Latham
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