Friday December 14, 2007
Book 9: The Body Politic — Part V: Collecting
Author's Commentary: The illustration techniques in today's comic serve to... umm... illustrate one of the challenges of portraying gravitic combat. Consider -- unifield shields protect against all kinds of weaponry by leveraging projected fields, including electromagnetic and gravitic.

These shields would have to be effective against weapons whose energy appears in the spectra of visible light. This in turn means that a shielded ship should not be visible, or should at the very least be highly distorted. While this would be quite easy to draw ("just scribble something here, son. I'll blur it in Photoshop, and the comic will be done!") it would not serve to tell the reader much about what is going on.

By the same token, the shadow cast by the Touch-And-Go on the Morkweng is three kinds of impossible. TAG's shields should distort starlight preventing the penumbra, 'Kweng's tractor field should distort whatever starlight goes around TAG, and Kweng's shields really shouldn't be allowing light to fall on the battleplate. In short, there should be no shadow for us to see, even if we could see through the shields to the Morokweng.

I suppose someday when I'm in a hurry I'll just drop a starfield into panels like this, black some bits out, slap some distortion filters on the whole mess, and then ramble about how uninteresting space combat is to look at.


Narrator: Aboard the Touch-And-Go. . .
TAG: Captain they are attempting to crush us.
Captain Tagon: We won't go down without a fight! Fire all breachers!
TAG: You don't understand, sir. We are tractored and bubbled. They are pouring on the gravitic power, and beginning the process of crushing this ship into neutronium.
Captain Tagon: What about the breacher missiles?
TAG: I expect they shall end up quite compact, along with everything else.