03/07/12 Book II Intro


For a while now I’ve wanted to draw myself on the bridge of the I.A. Star Banger, so I seized the opportunity.

And, Whoot! This was the last strip for book 2. I have things lined up with the printer and it should be all on schedule. Excited!

Oh, and it means I have to finish plotting book #3 by Monday. Oh dear.

And you may remember I mentioned that you might maybe feel the desire to nominate “Spacetrawler book 1” for a Hugo Award under the “Best Graphic Story” category, here is a final reminder (which I utterly lifted from Howard Taylor’s  Schlock Mercenary blog with his permission).

“The nominations for the 2012 Hugo ballot close this Sunday, March 11th. It’s possible that you have empty slots in your nomination ballot, especially in the Best Graphic Story category. To that end here are some suggestions. They’re in no particular order, except my own work is first:

  • Spacetrawler Book #1: the Human Seat (My kids read this book on the road-trip to WorldCon last summer. Yes, I encourage that sort of behavior.)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication (not that I think you have forgotten it’s eligible, but, the person next to you might not have been paying attention.)
  • “Schlock Mercenary: Deus Ex Nauseum” (the bonus story released at the end of Book 7. I suspect not very many of you have read it. If it gets nominated, a reviewer PDF will become available. This is not a bribe. This is simply a fact you might not have been aware of until just now.)
  • Skullkickers Volume 2: Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood (only available in print as of this writing, but you should be checking out the Volume 1 archives online RIGHT NOW.)
  • The Adventures of Doctor McNinja: Space Savers(I have it on good authority that Brandon Sanderson loves him some Doctor McNinja. A LOT.)
  • Drive: The Tesskan Revolt(My friend David Kellett has been itching to write true science-fiction for a long time now. Drive is where this love shows.)
  • Starslip: The Araag Im Encounter(I should have had Kris Straub killed before he told all the good space jokes. It’s too late now.)

That’s seven choices, all excellent, and five of them are available for your perusal online.  Now you can’t claim ignorance when your ballot is partially empty. And if you’re not eligible to nominate things, hey, I just provided you with a bunch of reading material…”

Thanks, Howard!


  1. John H

    I hope Christopher did not really get eaten …. it looked so realistic with all that great detail and stuff.

    …… Love your great artwork Chris. You are a good story teller with a great sense of humor.

  2. Prairie

    hee hee! cute! Panel 3 really captures something of your mannerism. Panel 9 makes me a-scared! (Osama bin Baldwin! eeek! run away!)

    Thanks for another round of Spacetrawler! 😀

  3. stevegallacci

    Great little behind the screen piece, but who is that scruffy imposter? As we all know the real Chris is a dashingly hansome man of great power, not some poorly groomed ‘character’.

  4. Rafi

    Hey, Chris, I love the realistic style in which you drew your self-portrait. There was another strip of yours I read in which you drew yourself in a similar style; I can’t remember what it was, just that it was black-and-white and it was another instance in which you were addressing the fourth wall.

    Anyway, I’d love to see you do an entire strip in that style. Hey, maybe you can use that approach for Book 3! If not, possibly your next project?

  5. Coyote

    I think this is only the second time I’ve ever laughed out loud from an expository filler strip outside continuity. It’s really cool of you to explain some of the reasoning that goes into your work – but even if you hadn’t, I assure you that your awesome backgrounds don’t go unnoticed, and that they have the very effect on me that you describe.

  6. Far

    For your consideration: A man not where he thought he was…

    I think it might be interesting to occationally put yourself hiding
    in a scene’s background, as a stowaway on the Starbanger.

  7. Have to say I agree 100% about backgrounds – I’d read that McCloud line somewhere before (haven’t read the book) and it never sat right with me. I’ve seen otherwise engaging and well written sci-fi comics like Kris Straub’s ‘Starslip’ undermine themselves with a lack of environmental context and detail.

  8. Night-Gaunt

    Spare backgrounds can be useful as detailed ones can be. I find them both useful. I just have to be careful not to over do the detail. An your work is great! You have that balance an your sets look right. The best compliment I can think of is that I don’t usually notice your backgrounds unless they are relevant to the story. They are so real in appearance. Well done again!!!

    PS it reminded me of the old TZ where Rod Serling would appear in the beginning on set an sometimes later depending upon the story.

  9. Christopher

    To those who asked about the similarity to “Basic Intructions,” It is a fine strip, I’m flattered, but, no. I simply had Beth take pictures of myself walking through the motions and I drew from those. I’ve been doing realistic work in this method since about 1998 when I drew health-pamphlets for my day job.

    @Night-Gaunt, for sure! And there are a million ways to do a million projects. The trick is finding the right balance for you and your project. I do another common thing in that I usually start with a pulled-back shot, so the reader knows the greater environment to some degree, and then (for the most part) I never have to show where they are again and can just do close-ups. 🙂

  10. The instrument filled background didn’t seem alien or disconcerting to me.

    Rather it put me in mind of my Navy days, Military ships have lots of compartments that have a lot of hardware, controlls and plumbing showing, so do military aircraft.

    I would have congradulated you on how well you simulate shipboard scenery, a famiailiar environment for me.

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