Tag Archives: trippy

Mara Page 11

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This was one of those pages that was a real struggle, my original plans for the composition were not working, too busy and disorganized, in the end the composition became about the enormous toad head and her psychedelic portrait. There’s a bit of a Yellow Submarine influence in the psychedelic elements, as well as a dash of Vaughn Bode. I always loved the face make-up in Bode’s drawings. But to be honest, though the tribute was not intended, when I look at page 11 all I can hear is the Hypnotoad from Futurama.

Probably the most interesting story that ended up attached to this page happened after I had pencilled this and shot the video. I was asked to draw a cover for an upcoming Barbarella comic! I was thrilled, as much as I have very mixed feelings about the movie, I’ve learned to love the original Barbarella comics by Jean Claude Forest. But even for all that, Barbarella represents something to me, something that it inherently is not, something abstractly iconic in the mythology of my life. It was and is part of my love for Exploitation Cinema, a part of the elusive comics that formed my earliest influences, and the psychedelic chick aspect of it is part of what influenced my sense of self. In other words, when asked to draw Barbarella, I wasn’t drawing her, I was drawing what she meant to me, it was more like an impressionist interpretation of Barbarella in that I was offering my impression of who she was to me.

When asked to do the cover, I was really stuck, I felt so intimidated by the monolith Barbarella has become to me, by what the concept of Barbarella within the context of my life means… and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t come up with a decent cover idea… so I figured I’d swipe this Mara page, though changing it a lot along the way. So yep, there she is below… Mara transmogrified into her grandmother… Barbarella.

Barbarella Cover Justine Mara Andersen

Barbarella Cover Justine Mara Andersen

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Mara Page 2

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As I explained in the video, page 2 was in a sense a compare and contrast between the world of Mara’s DMT visions and her “reality.” The page was laid out with the same panel dimensions, and the top panels of both pages were meant to compositionally run parallel to each other.

So, I am showing them side by side below:

Side By SIde Justine's Mara Pages 1-2

Side By SIde Justine’s Mara Pages 1-2

I think in a sense this imagery is a meditation on how entwined the realities and dimensions we live in are, the reality and dimension of our fantasies, and that of our reality.

Yet there is MOST definitely a difference between fantasy and reality, something the political correctness movement has entirely lost track of. It amazes me how quickly people will assume things about an artist’s politics or philosophy based on the fantasies in their art. I was once asked (hell… not asked… ACCUSED) by an ass-kissing gallery owner about my erotic fantasy work, “What does this say about slavery? About women’s rights?” I said, “Uhm… nothing.” I am constantly astounded at how many people cannot tell fantasy from reality. Let’s face it, most of the stuff that happens to Mara I would not want to live through, but that has nothing to do with what I might fantasize about. Fantasies should never line up with ideology, if they do, then I think you have surrendered your imagination, or perhaps chained it, to your politics. Shame, isn’t it?

OK, rant over, Just for fun, and to show how page 1 and page 2 relate even more clearly, I have merged the two pages into one below:

Justine Mara Andersen New Mara Pages 1 - 2 Merge

Justine Mara Andersen New Mara Pages 1 – 2 Merge

To be honest, I don’t really have much of a feel for science fiction, too much technical stuff, I prefer the organic quality of fantasy, but for the story to work, Mara had to start out in a world in which she feels misfit, so I had to draw environments in which I feel misfit.

Whenever I draw science fiction, I tend to turn to Syd Mead for influence, the man who essentially designed Blade Runner. I turn to him not so much to copy, but to draw influence, I also turned to Roy G. Krenkel for influence, but I could not find the Krenkel in particular that influenced elements of this page.

Below I have included a fine example of a Syd Mead, a world I admire as an act of creation, but not a place in which I would want to spend any time, a place Mara is forced to exist in… at least for now.

And, last but not least, to help me make this dream come true, to help bring these visions and fantasies to light, become a patron of the arts: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

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