Christina Engela, Illustrated! #2


Yesterday I showed you some of my illustrations, drawn to illustrate some of my stories!

As I said then, I’m an indie author and self-publisher. As such, I’ve grown to rely on myself for most things – I write, I edit, I format, I design covers, I build websites, I market, I publish – and I illustrate – all my own work!

That said, I decided to show you all some of the illustrations I’ve done over the years! So here’s another five for you to enjoy!

Many of these pictures were included in a number of multimedia projects related to my writing, such as book trailer videos I used to promote my books!

Just a little repetition here – the process of completing these illustrations was quite a lengthy one – before I even got to the making of the book trailers! First I had to sketch each image out in pencil, then in thick or thin markers. Then I had to scan them in digitally and edited out little blemishes or other flaws on my computer. Sometimes I’d add glow effects or other refinements. After that, I’d save the black and white images to use in future coloring-book projects – and used a graphics app to color them in digitally!

Again, I realize I’m no Michelangelo – I know my limitations, but at least I didn’t make a couple of stick figures with speech bubbles and call it “art” – so save the criticism! Otherwise, enjoy! 😉 Comments welcome as always.

“The Bridge of the Kilgary” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1, “Static“)

This illustration is of the bridge of the ghost ship Kilgary – a commercial loderunner reported missing some 43 years before the hapless crew of the Mercury stumble across it in deep space!

I tried to show the interior of a futuristic starship bridge, contained within curved and angled surfaces, while also conveying the mystery – and lingering, threatening terror of the Kilgary. What had happened to her crew – why had they apparently just lain down and died where they were? Why could their cause of death not be established – even by the most sophisticated sensors aboard the Mercury? Most puzzling of all, why had the last entry in the Captain’s log been deleted?

“Attack On Starbase 91” (from Galaxii #2 “Demonspawn“)

This one comes from “Demonspawn“, book 2 in Galaxii. It shows the ruin of Starbase 91 – which had been attacked and destroyed by space pirates known as Corsairs – and as it was discovered by the starship Antares which had been sent to investigate.

I first sketched this particular image in ballpoint pen in a notebook back in 1992, when I was 19 years old! Much later, I scanned it in, edited out the writing lines and then did a lot of other detail work using image apps. The flares are from fires burning within, where air is leaking out, and the glow effects were added with PowerPoint. I redrew a simpler version of the same image to use in the book trailer video for the book a few years ago. It shows the view from the I.S.S. Antares as it arrives at the scene several days after the attack. Here it is below:

Okay – so technically that’s six images this time – in case you’re keeping count! 😉

 

“Hanging Tree” (from Quantum #5, “Prodigal Sun“)

This is a pretty dark one! It shows a lone tree on a hilltop, with a hanged figure which had been strung up from a branch. If you’ve read “Prodigal Sun” and its sequel, “High Steaks” you’ll know a little about it already – but suffice it to say, they tell the story of how hate rises on the quirky little colony of Deanna, where a slumbering, menacing side to humanity unexpectedly awakes – and not even the quaint little moons Ding and Dong can lighten the mood. Some very nasty things begin to happen there – as witnessed by the inscription drawn on the tree with paint:

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, “Prodigal Sun”, “High Steaks” and the next few titles to follow in the Quantum Series, are allegories for what’s happening in today’s world – the renewed rise of fascism, racism and eugenics… and the rise of heroes to stop it. The thing is, in order for the heroes to do their thing, they have to have enemies, and when your heroes are light, their foes have to be dark – and I had to dig deep in order to do these latest two books in the series!

“TR-714 Alliance” (from Quantum #1, “Black Sunrise“)

This image shows a the Alliance, the ship that first brings Cindy-Mei Winter to Deanna on her holiday! In the background you can see Dong, Deanna’s larger moon. The Alliance is of the Bannor Class, the largest type of Human loderunner, which travels around the Terran Empire dropping off and picking up all sorts of cargoes. Being largely automated, have only a token crew aboard. Rather than travel by a more usual cruise liner, Cindy-Mei opted for a quieter (and cheaper) trip aboard the Alliance. It’s while she’s onboard this ship that Mei meets Fred the Arborian.

“Trump, Trump, Trump” (from Quantum #5 “Prodigal Sun“)

I sketched this from a photo I found, to use in the book trailer video for “Prodigal Sun“. This illustrates the moment democracy ends on Deanna – when the fascist revolutionaries reveal themselves and strike – the moment their armed paramilitary wing descends upon Lupini Square, marching on, surrounding the people who’d gathered to welcome the visiting Prince Justin – who has only just been assassinated…

I wanted to convey a feeling of power, ruthless mechanized efficiency – a chill factor.

Since “Prodigal Sun” and “High Steaks” are filled with parallels between that world and what’s been happening here in ours, I thought the use of the sound-effect “Trump” appropriate to describe the march of fascism.

Well, I’ll leave it there for this time! Now you have seen 5 images that should give you a little insight into the stories I write!

P.S.

I included links to the titles these illustrations appear in, in the headings – leading directly to the books pages on Smashwords, where they are all currently available at massive discounts (up to 60%) during the lockdown season. 😉

More to follow soon!

Stay home and stay safe!


If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

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