Minor Super WIP



Asked if I had anymore Superman art, I didn’t think I had anything worth posting.  But then, I realized I had been working on some art-deco elements inspired by Superman Returns around the time of the movie’s release.  They are close up details on the roof of the Daily Planet from that film.  I never finished them though.  All I have are these work-in-progress images.
I might start working on them again in the near future after I’ve moved into the new house.  I’m especially interested in those elements now since returning from my vacation.  I have since discovered that a beautiful, old, Art-Deco era building I fell in love with in Vancouver is actually used as a stand-in for the Daily Planet on the CW’s Smallville.  😀



Kryptonian architecture on the other hand is especially difficult to feign, but I know I’ll take another shot at it someday.  I was working on these in a terrain generator program a few years back (Terragen I think).  I thought they’d might make nice backgrounds to some actual detailed mesh work.  I did like some of the atmospheric elements, but the structures as I continued to tinker with them eventually left me uninspired.  I will definitely aim my sights on this again though.

~ by starstation on November 6, 2009.

4 Responses to “Minor Super WIP”

  1. What’s your take on Kryptonian architecture as it appears in the movies, especially the extended Krypton sequence at the beginning of Superman: The Movie, and the Fortress of Solitude in Superman I & II ?

    What are the basic tenets that you’d expect to see at work in a Kryptonian Kit-Home Crystal? (Plant it, soak it and see!)

    • Well, I love it for one. Always have. I was probably always drawn to it because of how unconventional it was. And while many think of it as cold and sterile I’ve always looked upon that as sort of a blank canvas. It is definitely austere and could probably get old after a time, but the ethereal majestic nature of it would certainly move me profoundly upon initial exploration.
      I’ve always loved the idea that the architecture is “grown” from the crystalline matrix and the powerful knowledge and energy that would have to be harnessed to predict and program the growth of such structures. I remember as a kid wondering if perhaps the Kryptonians hadn’t simply built their crystalline cities upon their world’s surface, but might have actually built the planet itself to their own specifications sometime long ago. Perhaps they grew their world from its humble core outward and then populated it with what they believed to be their superior civilization. Heck, maybe they even created their own miniature red star to function as they willed. After all, the scale and distance of the planet and the star were remarkably tight knit, and destruction took them both simultaneously. Though only speculative, this idea I had as a child seemed to be somewhat supported later by a director’s cut version of the first film; Where Clark returns to the Fortress of Solitude after he has donned the cape in Metropolis for the first time. Jor-El warns him of too much pride in his actions and that is was pride itself which ultimately lead to the destruction of Krypton. The staunch unyielding attitude of the Kryptonian leaders perplexed me in my youth, until I started to consider if they simply didn’t want to believe their world was in danger because it somehow reflected back upon them; if perhaps the destruction of their home meant a failure of some sort on their part. The first time I saw that Director’s cut DVD and that scene with Jor-El, a big grin stretched across my face. Pride indeed. Of course it is mere speculative interpretation, but it gets my creative juices flowing.
      I like the idea that the crystals pull double (or more) duty in that they are definitely structural but may even perform any of a number of other functions. Data storage, energy production, communication, life support… you name it and somewhere in there the crystals are doing it. I prefer to think of it as the foundation of their advanced civilization and that it has widespread applications for them. Remarkably, I’ve only seen a limited number of science fiction franchises take on this idea (though the idea may be widespread beyond my limited scope). The Tok-Ra of Stargate SG1 comes to mind with their crystal-cavern rebel bases.

  2. I think we’re on the same wavelength.

    I’m writing a gigantic epic (imagine the novelization of 2 seasons of a TV series) called “Tales Of Krypton” with the subheading “Dust Of The Sun” – that’s the title, theme and structure of my writing.

    Your theory blends so perfectly with my fresh revelations in the novel, based on my own reworking of the physics surrounding Krypton & Rao, and the physiology and history of Kryptonians. Now might be a good time to explain it.

    In researching the background of Krypton’s history as written and developed by the writers of the Gold & Silver Ages of the Superman comics from Jerry & Siegel & Joe Shuster to the 1960’s, I learned some curious things that I had to reconcile with the physical laws of this Universe we live in.

    First of all, Rao could not be a red dwarf as portrayed in Anderson’s novel.

    Though it makes it possible for Krypton to orbit its sun at approximately the same rate as Earth, or slightly longer (25/18), Krypton itself would be a dark, lifeless world with no liquid water. That’s not Krypton.

    For Krypton to be the world we know of and love, its star would have to be a red giant, as Siegel & Shuster envisioned and as portrayed on the silver screen.

    But in order for Krypton to orbit a bloated angry Rao at the proper distance to support life, it would have to occupy the same orbit as Jupiter in the present Solar System, where the Gas Giants begin, and where the biggest of them all forms, according to the mathematical models.

    But that is impossible naturally. In order for a massive solid-body planet like Krypton to form out of a Gas Giant, a delicate mixture of mass accretion and chemical and nuclear bonding has to occur, on an unimaginable scale –
    instead of terraforming, planet-forming! This process would also explain the unstoppable chain reaction occurring at Krypton’s core that Jor-El feared threatened to destroy Krypton, as well as the development of unique elements, especially Kryptonite, never seen on any other planet throughout 28 known galaxies.

    Which begs the question: where did all the extraordinary lifeforms, including the Kryptonian race, come from?

    A clue (to my mind) is in the history fabricated by the original writers of the Superman comics:

    There’s a reference to a goddess, a consort-queen for the god Rao, a beautiful life-breathing mother to Rao’s son, Krypton:

    Her name is Yuda, and her colors are Blue & White. I propose that the original writers were trying to draw out an Earthlike ancestry for Kryptonians and much of the carbon-based lifeforms, from dogs and horses to Rondors and telepathic hounds, and a parallel background (yet to be explained) for the other forms of life, like crystal birds and scarlet jungles and so on.

    The usual flip, glib explanation was that some mad scientist conducted an experiment many years ago. But maybe all these scientists weren’t mad – maybe they were tinkering with how to create life that would succeed on such a volatile planet as Krypton. And maybe much of that “mad” experimentation was being done from the 3rd planet orbiting a younger, smaller, yellower Rao – a blue and white planet called Yuda.

    From there, the ancestors of Kryptonians embarked on the most wonderful and terrifying project ever conceived –

    to forge a new home for themselves as their star aged, but before it could engulf their beautiful home. It may have taken 100 million years to execute – but obviously, they succeeded.

    Only one problem – in their struggle to survive on their new, unstable planet, forged from the dust of the “sun”, they forgot that a clock was still ticking, counting down to a zero set in the far distant future.

    Krypton could only ever be a temporary solution, because the chain reaction at its core would continue until the planet finally exploded from internal pressures, and Rao would continue to age until it finally went nova.

    All of which, of course, happened.

    I hope you return to developing your version of Kryptonian architecture: I’m also a composer and in concert (no pun intended!) with my writing I’m developing two major musical pieces, the first, “Majesty”, based on the orchestration and style of the Krypton Theme from Superman: The Movie, and the second, “Tales Of Krypton”, based on the Superman Main Title March by John Williams: maybe we could combine forces to create a Krypton flyover movie, showcasing the alien landscape and varied styles of architecture, from the classic sci-fi comic styles through to the cities and fortresses of the movies.

    (In “Tales Of Krypton”, I’ve acknowledged that Krypton hasn’t always looked like it does in the movies, explaining them away as being the products of different technological eras: thus, the Kryptonopolis of Superman: The Movie, is built on the site of the old city by programmed crystals, perhaps the crowning achievements of the newly-dawned Crystal Age. Whereas the old ghost city of Jerat has the look of the old comic book stylings and like the Star Wars cities because they were built during Krypton’s Metal & Mineral Age, when everything came out of the ground.)

    • Impressive. Very well thought out. I have to admit I don’t have that much in depth knowledge about Krypton as depicted in the comic series.

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