Saturday, December 05, 2009

My first text piece

In a way this is the most important piece of work I have ever done. I got the idea to build my own fictional world when I was about 15 or 16 and I've been developing this introduction piece since all that time and I think it is ready now. This introduces and explains the world in which all my stories and art take place in, so if I ever got something printed, this would appear at the start.
The idea was to create an ideal place to live in and suits all my desires. I wouldnt really like to have all the monsters in the world, but I needed to include places to explore my horror fantasies.
Since I've grown up in the time and place that I did, I often see the chance to explore issues, there are many opportunities to do so, since I have ideals and a fascination with certain minorities in my work. But I need to avoid all that, because I'm just not the sort of artist who does "issues". I've fallen into that trap a few times and I shouldnt have because this made-up world is about me having fun and being free from all my concerns about Earth and the issues that give me headaches. This is where I go to have a good time and I'd rather not bog the audience and myself down with all my worries. That would ruin the whole thing. You are supposed to be almost oblivious to Earth, although there are a huge amount of similarities.
Until 2 weeks ago, I'd always imagined this as a short comic story, but when I started to do it,, it just didnt feel right, so I made it a text piece. Over time you will see proper visualisations of these places,, so this piece is all about giving you a sense of what it might be like to live in this world, outlining all the most important things...

Ayvel is an eternally safe planet in an eternally safe universe. Ayvel is a flat platform instead of a more common sphere planet. Ayvel is 8 times the size of a normal solar system. Water falls over the edges of this platform planet, water falling seemingly forever downwards a length that no normal person could imagine. If you fly to the outer edges of Ayvel, you will see hundreds of sea monsters and a few boats flailing down the waterfall.

Three quarters of Ayvel is quiet fields, forests, mountains and lakes. Simple, completely safe, no dangers or annoyances, just perfect quiet peace. Vast spaces between each home. The homeless live a happy comfortable life sleeping in the fields, eating an astonishing variety of food from plants and trees, clean water in streams everywhere.
There are billions and billions of miles of empty fields owned by no-one. Even people with houses often like to sleep out in the fields and forests without any fear of anything happening to them.

The remaining quarter of Ayvel is on the outer edge surrounding the safe part. This portion can be fairly safe in certain places, but most of it is nightmarish uninhabitable terror lands without any sunlight at any time.

Ayvel is covered all over with an incredible variation of life and landscapes. There are millions of castles the size of large countries, lots of tiny castles everywhere too. There are mysterious places where reality distorts into something with different rules, misty foggy cloudy places made of bliss dreams, soaring emotions and wish fulfilment. There are also mysterious places where reality distorts into something terrible.

There are pockets and portals of different dimensions and realities. Special people create new realities and planets all the time. Planets float and fly around and planets within planets with their own suns and moons. Ayvel has millions of suns and moons of all different types moving around creating different amounts of light for different places. People like to go up on flying moons and ride them, some werewolves even chain themselves to moons so they don’t have to turn back into humans.

There are cloudlands in the sky, mostly home to winged people. All sorts of buildings, boats, castles and floating islands are up in the sky too.

In the most advanced areas of Ayvel they have shapeshifting solid gas houses than can stay on ground, high in the sky or even underwater. They can change shape, size, colour, transparency, heat, light and smell. The gas morphs when instructed to. They can also be used as transport.
Some people decorate these morphing houses with trees, plants and pools of water. Fish owners like to put their water and fish between layers solid gas walls and make some of the walls transparent, so the house looks like a large fishtank.

Churches and cathedrals are built for getting in touch with the dead, to learn about ghosts, because ghosts are all so confusingly different and complex in their natures. They live by an endless variety of incomprehensible rules completely different from one ghost to the next. People get in contact with ghosts in all sorts of ways.

The variety in animals and humans is also extremely wide, so people and animals never assume too much about anyone or anything they meet. Examples being that intelligent talking dogs socialize with regular dogs and you cant always quickly identify a joyously murderous vampire from a humane friendly vampire.

Humans hold very high moral standards, with minimal prejudices and there has never been any wars or mass conflicts between them. Bad people are very few and far between.
There is no religion, no marriage, no days celebrating anyone or anything, no gift days. Extremely few traditions.

Most people live atleast 200 years, the health is very good. Strong teeth, elbows, ankles, heels and backs. No mouth ulcers, no toothache, no aids, no cancer, no arthritis, no contagious diseases or viruses.
Nostrils and throats never have mucus, nostrils are permanently dry, breezy and clean.

There are hundreds of types of plants that drink urine and eat faeces. They go up your anus and clean it out completely. These plants are everywhere in all shapes and sizes.



Human Mollusk said...

You never cease to amaze me Robert. I'm really curious to see what tales you will bring us from this world.

Uhm, I have to say though - a planet with plants that crawl up one's anus is not exactly my idea of a perfectly safe environment...

Robert Adam Gilmour said...

Thankyou very much. But you may not get what you want, I've very much been moving away from stories and into picture sequences with story elements. I only have a small handful of actual proper stories.
Stories worth telling are very few and far between, most of time I'm enduring boring predictable stories for the imagery and acting in movies. Same with comics for the art. I think more artists should focus on incidents instead. They may seem insubstantial to start with, but they are much better than trotting out the same old stories shoehorned into interesting art. I honestly believe that most genre efforts would be better if they gutted out the story and kept the exciting incidents.
I read a smart essay on Murnau's Nosferatu a while ago, where the writer said that Murnau shouldnt have gone through all that copyright crap,, because all the good things about Nosferatu have nothing to do with Stoker's Dracula.
The plants would work very softly, and they are important to creating my idea of a more comfortable world.

I'm really excited about drawing and painting the shapeshifting buildings, I've never seen anyone else do that before.

Aeron said...

This is a fascinating glimpse into this fantasy world, Robert. It's a lot of fun coming up with these sort of epic complex fictional spaces, isn't it? I have sketchbooks full of ideas for two different fantasy worlds, a light whimsical one and a dark horrifying nightmare world.

Something you might take into consideration to help flesh out the place is to take into account historical events and how its effects have manipulated things. Maybe a giant meteor strike that left a certain part of the world sunken in. An epic war that pushed back the boundaries of the monsters to allow the peaceful areas to expand. Things like that. Maybe giant war machines that have been abandoned for longer than anyone can imagine that have grown over with trees and plants and become mountains.

I look forward to seeing how you expand on this. If you're more interested in describing the world vs telling stories from it, I'd suggest doing a sort of manual that has chapters devoted to plantlife, various species, weather patterns, etc.


Fun & weird, definitely would work very well for a weird dreamy piece with distortions &... more weirdness! But, where's the conflict? It seems like such a world could get boring after a while, even after getting my bottom cleaned out by plants.

Paleo said...

Lots of great ideas Robert, i can't wait to see it all drawn, but, a prologue? i mostly agree with you about the innecesary plot thing, wouldn't this fall on similar grounds? use this text for yourself, publish only the drawings, why explain it when you can draw it?* the reader will be better for it on the long run.

As for ass-cleaning plants, i could live with that as long as there's nothing, but NOTHING remotely similar to a cactus in that universe.

*especially when you're the one drawing!

Aeron said...

Something that could be fun is to have scientific illustrations depicting various specimens, maybe a cut away showing the insides, a selection of three or four of a species from a young age, middle age, to eldest, which could be dramatically different looking anatomies. Bits of texts with arrows pointing, like a diagram explaining things, could work well.

It would be intriguing if you could pull off a cold scientific look at the world, as with these sort of diagrams, as well as a wide sweeping historical look that touches on various larger events and how they shaped the world, then manage to fit in a more traditional narrative in there. Could get a bit complicated though!

As an example of how you could mesh a science book approach with a more traditional storyline, when a certain type of species appears, it could be followed by a two page spread showing it in diagram form, maybe blurbs of text mentioning mating rituals, habitat, favorite prey, etc.