After a long time of working on a personal project, I've finally completed it. This two panel piece was my attempt to recapture my memory of being in my older brother's room in the 1970s with rock posters placed prominently which towered over me when I was a kid. It was the Meatloaf: Bat Out of Hell poster that got my attention. It was also at the time Rush became huge in Cleveland, Ohio which my brother was a huge fan of. Even though the illustration is to the best of my memory as much as I could recall. I never understood the music at the time due to being deaf, but it was not until decades later when I started getting into some classic rock such as Pink Floyd where things started to click.
I said to myself, " Man, these guys really knew how to compose their stuff! ". It was still the Bat Out of Hell illustration, famously done by Michael Whelan, that ingrained itself into my mind all those years. It was one of those various influences that made me want to be an artist. But there is definitely a sense of symbolism involved in the two panel piece, especially the first one.
Especially one 2112 Rush album cover that ties in with the actual pose of my younger self that connects with my creative mission. And I quote from this wiki page as it states this connection quite well:
" In the year 2062, a galaxy-wide war results in the union of all planets under the rule of the Red Star of the Solar Federation. By 2112, the world is controlled by the "Priests of the Temples of Syrinx," who determine the content of all reading matter, songs, pictures — every facet of life.
A man discovers an ancient guitar and learns to play his own music. Thinking he has made a wonderful discovery that will be a boon to humanity, he goes to present the guitar to the priests of the Temples, who angrily destroy it and rebuke him for unearthing one of the "silly whims" that caused the collapse of the previous civilization. He goes into hiding and dreams of a world before the Solar Federation. Upon awakening he becomes distraught and commits suicide. As he dies, another planetary battle begins resulting in the ambiguous ending "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control." (This spoken section was created by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson reportedly "messing around with a tape recorder.") On the "2112/Moving Pictures" episode of the television series Classic Albums, Neil Peart confirmed that he intended the ending to be a happy one as the people of the Solar Federation are liberated. "
The idea of the Starman holding the guitar would be like me awakening to the creativity of visual art as the real world resists the idea of fantasy illustration as not a form to be taken seriously. So instead of the guitar, it's my pencil or brush. And hiding away in my own world until awakening to the harsh realities of condescension that sequential art, back in the day, was considered beneath society's standards. Today, it's become mainstreamed and accepted.
The shadow of my older brother can be seen lip synching to the music that's playing, even though you can't see him since he's way behind me.
The STOP sign was definitely there in his room as I remember it along with other items, including his denim jacket he used to wear all the time where he could reach for his cigarettes from the front pocket. One could see cigarette smoke coming from the ashtray atop of one speaker, but it's not really a cigarette one which is actually a counter-cultural version of it, stemming from the hippie era.
The second panel shows the present time of being in my studio space working away, surrounded by wall scroll posters of my favorite anime/manga. There is definitely a technological shift between those two panels from the large stereo speakers to that of my iPod being played from the corner. And my original hearing aids from the first panel consisted of chest straps ( which was a pain ) to that of the BTE ( behind the ear ) version of today. It's somewhat subtle but it's there.
What was interesting is that Paul Pope, a well known comics illustrator whom I follow time to time, created a short story called " 1979 " based on his experiences at that era, and I believe it's long out of print. I did'nt know about its existence until I stumbled across it. This was while I was working on this project in the same time. I think the underlying message is to keep going, no matter what.
The entire project was done on Manga Studio software after I scanned in the original drawings as a foundation. The panels are actually 11 x 17 in size and when compiled together, it's much larger that it appears to this web version.
I've considered making it available as a print on my Society6 store but we shall see.