I love fantasy and sci-fi and grew up as part of the Star Wars empire. I also a keen reader of graphic novels particularly Japanese manga like Fruit Basket, Naruto, and Shaman King. In fact, I did consider writing The Torcian Chronicles for almost a day until I realised I was not a natural story illustrator and it takes me even longer to draw the pictures than write the book, so the idea was shelved, forgotten, and never to be mentioned again.
Then in the crazy world of fantasy, I met Dr Machina.
Dr Machina can draw.
His art has been described as a modern form of Dada – however, I just think it’s inspired art.
‘Dr Machina is a part-human/part-machine digital artist. The work is strongly satirical, combining dark humour and absurdity, in the building of a fragmented science fiction universe.
In the absence of a traditional narrative structure, Dr Machina utilizes a decontextualized single-panel format – similar to those found in the Pop Art movement as well as political cartoons.
The source material is typically obscure vintage comics and text, which have undergone hand alteration and machine processing to achieve a distinct style.
The humour and parodic elements are intended to explore: concepts of appropriation in contemporary technoculture, juxtapositions of time/culture, and the future of art in the age of artificial intelligence.’ from http://drmachina.com/about.
The Torcian Chronicles-
This is one of his illustrations by Dr Machina based on the beginning of ‘TheTorcian Chronicles’ when Mesham is first volunteered by King Athemar to try to save Torcia from the Mivirian horde. I think it sums up Mesham’s point of view rather well. Unfortunately, the King has other ideas…
Extract from The Torcian Chronicles-
‘Do not worry,’ smiled Lokir malevolently, ‘We have taken your old age into consideration.’
Mesham frowned, sensing a trap.
‘Rejuvenation… We are going to take your physical body back through time!’ exclaimed the King excitedly, ‘By the time we’ve finished with you: you won’t even recognize yourself! This is going to be such an exciting experiment, err…I mean magic spell … You know I have been studying magical arts for almost a year now. I can’t wait!’
Well I can, thought Mesham grimly. He knew the spell. The greatest spell ever created by the Grand Warlock Wyrdirkin, just before his vanishing. It could only be attempted in the iridescent caves of Scir Dun Mountain, which were said to glow with the power of a thousand faulstan shards.
Mesham also knew that the spell had never worked. The only change the rejuvenation spell had ever achieved was to turn the living into the dead…’
The path Mesham had been put on was going to be a hard, uphill struggle often against the very country he was meant to be saving.
Read more about Mesham’s adventure in The Torcian Chronicles.
Dr Machina –
More of his work can be found in Single Cell.
‘Forget traditional narrative structure! Only one box is needed when Dr Machina gives the Pop Art and political cartoons a bio-hacked upgrade. But what’s in the box?
Go for a ride with a pioneer of experimental comics. Enjoy obscure vintage panels and scripts – hand altered, machine processed, and reborn into life in the 21st century.’
Contact Dr Machina directly if you are interested in commissioning art and/ or collecting at http://drmachina.com/purchase