Jump Drive N' Whale

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

As if I'd pass up the change to draw an airborne whale.

I'll first start off with the title of this particular entry. I think it's a play on the song "Jump, Jive N' Wail," by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. The whale pun is obvious, but NOT so obvious is the allusion to warp speed motors, also known sometimes as "jump drives." In reference to a hyper jump, or warp drive, etc. But maybe I'm just trying to hard / not trying hard enough.

Alright, so in the booksketch entry before I mentioned a missile being turned into a whale. That obviously wasn't the entirety of the scene. Another missile was turned into a pot of petunias. Very high in the sky.

Does that explain it? No?

Well, our rag-tag bunch of protagonists had just located this mythical planet, when its defense system sprang to life and launched missiles at them. Guided missiles, at that. Well, their target was none other than the Heart of Gold spacecraft that one of the main characters happened to steal. What's so special about this ship? It runs on an "Improbability Drive."

So, in other words, the harder you crank the engine, the more...improbable things become. For example, a pair of guided missiles turning into seemingly random objects/creatures seems highly unlikely right? Even downright improbable. Luckily, the engine was randomly turned on to a high improbability factor (the main character, Arthur saw this as their only means of escape).

SO, I hope that explains it. And I hope it inspires you to read the book (if you have not already). It is pretty probable that you'll enjoy it!


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I've actually just read HHGTTG for the first time recently. Until a week or so ago I assumed it was a kid's story about a child that gets hold of some universal guide, and goes romping around the galaxy getting into zany alien-scapades. Apparently I was wrong! There aren't any kids to be found. But there are lots of other things, like death, improbability and manic-depressive super-genius robots. Lots of quirky humor and imagination. Missiles turning into whales, and the like.

I quite enjoyed it.

The aforementioned moribund robot's name is Marvin. He simply loathes humans. And, well, most of everything. Mostly because he is so much smarter than everyone. And everything. At one point in the story, he is assigned to stand around and watch over an entrance to a subterranean passageway. Then the main character, Arthur, calls him up a hill to join him, but changes his mind when Marvin is halfway up the rock face. Sighing in resignation, Marvin trudges back down the rocky hill and returns to his station.

Lots of head-hanging and dropped shoulders. And sleeping, haha.

About the Illustration
This booksketch was done using Micron Pen & watercolors. I had it in my head that Marvin kind of resembled Helper from The Venture Brothers cartoon, haha. One thing I took for sure from the book's description was that he had downward-facing red triangle eyes. And he was humanoid in appearance. And he was metal (of course).

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

Remembering what fun I had reading Titus Groan (and thinking about how many booksketches it produced), I decided that it was time to enjoy the second book in the trilogy. Gormenghast continues immersing the reader into the sprawling titular castle and wonderfully unique characters. At the point of this creating this booksketch, I am halfway into the novel, which continues to chronicle the life of the young 77th Earl of Gormenghast, Titus.

I find it so interesting that these books don't have any real plot. Or, at least none that you can really point out. They are all about exploration. The only thing that remains constant is Steerpike and his desire for more control and power. Such devilish ambition!

In this novel, though, Titus is old enough to go exploring the character of the castle itself. He has this craving to explore both inside and outside it's walls. One point to take note of is how Titus thinks of his title negatively, and feels constrained by his well-monitored heir-to-the-throne life. Everyone else, however, freaks out if he shows any sign of disdain towards his "duty." He's a kid! Let him run around or climb a tree or something.

One rather large focus of the novel is Irma Prunesquallor's soiree. Irma decides to host (along with her brother, the Doctor, whom was previously booksketched) a party where she would invite only bachelors of her choosing. You see, Irma has never, how do we say, has known the love of a man. Or, really, has never flirted or spoken to a man. Besides her brother, of course. And she feels that she is being wasted. That her long, milky neck has been wasted. Or sharp beak-like nose. Etc.

So she convinces her brother (he loves to humor her) to co-host this party. The objective being to find her true love. Whom does she invite? The castle's professors, of course. Scholarly gentlemen, and such.

Except the professors aren't very scholarly, or gentlemanly. A nice portion of the book is dedicated to showing us a dozen or so of the professors and how eccentric and lazy they are. Each one possesses a unique personality and disposition. Leading the pack is the noble and elderly, but not too respected, Headmaster Bellgrove. With his silky white head of hair and perpetual toothache. Keeping up his facade of a dignified noble, has a tendency to turn away or hide his face whenever he feels a smile coming on.

Well, a rumor is started among the professors that Irma is gunning for Bellgrove. Which gets into his head, of course. And before you know it, the two are overdramatically thrown together, and all of this high-school crush stuff starts happening between a 50+ year old lady and a 75+ year old man. It's hilarious.

And that's why I had to draw it.

About the Illustration:

This one was done with Micron pen and Prismacolor pencils.