A Physical Manifestation of Regret

I don’t know why I’ve been hesitant to share this one, all my art has been equally angsty lately, but I’m trying to be more abstract. Domas quickly became my favourite character in Ranking of Kings, his grief and regret physically manifest in attacking and permanently disfiguring himself. Spoiler: everyone gets a redemption in this story, but I think Domas’s arc is wrapped up too simply. I’m left thinking about the complexities of this character.

The Hallucination

I survived the colonoscopy, they didn’t need to perform surgery beyond the biopsies, I won’t know what’s wrong with me for a couple of weeks still.
Waking up from the anaesthesia was horrific, I was drifting in between dreams and reality, both seeming to be equally real. The hospital was on fire, I called out to Snake, he stood there doing nothing. Then in reality, I kept trying to turn over on my stomach and crawl away. The doctors were yelling at me to open my eyes, I couldn’t figure out why they were getting angry at me. I didn’t understand why one of them kept poking me so hard in the ribs, I would have punched her back, but I wasn’t lucid enough. I thrashed and writhed around, the doctors all had to hold me down and sedate me, I then starting hallucinating that certain rape scene from Berserk. I woke up later in another room, still struggling to regain consciousness.
They later asked me if if I was afraid of snakes. “Why?” I asked. “You kept saying there were snakes”. I laugh, “Oh, Snake, that’s the codename of this character in this game I like”. Thankfully one of the nurses was a gamer, so he got it.
It could just be that I had a bad reaction to anaesthesia, or maybe I’ve retrained my brain having had to lucid dream so often to combat the nightmares. Big Boss is one of those “tulpas” I call on to intervene.

Metal Gear’s Raiden in the style of H.R. Giger

This started as an experiment with AI, I gave this suggestion to a number of art generators (did you know even DeviantART has one now? It’s terrible). Then I did my own interpretation of the prompt, what I quickly realised was that not only was I able to make sensible observations (this is how Giger draws hair, this is how Giger draws hands, etc) but it came from a personal place. I wasn’t just mimicking an art style, my own experiences and emotions and traumas were bleeding onto the page.
Also happy ten year anniversary Revengeance, hope this is a fitting tribute.

Snake and the Cave

Like tears in the rain, that’s how all of my inner worlds would gone had I died in the car accident earlier this year. It’s made me think more about the importance of ideas, of stories, and dreams. I think I kept them private my whole life believing they were shameful or “cringe”, but self-insert fanfiction never hurt Dante Alighieri. I want to explore and share my fantasy worlds, whether they breach copyright or not. Ideas are bigger than that, and Kojima made powerful characters that have the ability to influence an untold number of people, to guide us out of darkness.

The Dream:

The entrance collapsed from the impact of the rocket, leaving Snake and I in total darkness and choking on the dust. Turning our torches on we realised we had maybe a hundred metres of ground in front of us before the rest of the cave descended into water. Realising there was no other means of escape, Snake didn’t hesitate to enter the lake in search of any tunnels hidden beneath the surface. I sat alone on the bank, waiting for what felt like too long for someone to remain alive on one breath. Defying my anxieties, Snake resurfaced and informed me that there was a passageway leading outside. In the darkness I could see that where he was pointing it was ever so slightly brighter than the rest of the cave.

Entering the water, I had the air knocked out of my lungs, it was cold, colder than anything I had ever experienced, the pain subsiding only slightly, not due to adaptation, but numbness. Snake had shown none of the same discomfort, this either came from his own resolve or his sneaking suit offered greater insulation than my fatigues. 

He talked me through what I needed to do and how best to prepare for this passage. I wasn’t confident but I didn’t let it show. Snake went ahead of me and I was left following only the light of his torch, otherwise there was very little visibility as the silt had been disturbed by our presence. The tunnel wasn’t so narrow as to impede our movements, but enough to feel claustrophobic. I had made it only halfway through when I started to panic, my lungs began to burn, and however long it was going to take to reach the other side felt like an impossible distance at that moment, and Snake seemed to be moving too fast for me to keep up. Frantic, I struggled to turn myself around and resurface back where we had come from. 

Succeeding and able to breathe again, my lungs brought in air voraciously, excessively, I couldn’t stop, my mind ran through unlikely scenarios. What if there was something lurking in the dark waters beneath me? What if there was a finite amount of oxygen in here? What if there was no escape on the other side? I wanted desperately to get back onto dry land but I was too terrified to move, to do anything but tread water. It would be another minute before Snake realised I hadn’t followed him and returned to me. Had this been the real Big Boss, he might have just dragged me through the tunnel kicking and screaming, but Venom Snake took his time to calm me down. ‘There’s nothing through there you can’t handle. But we’ve got to hurry, your lips are turning blue.’

Having no choice, I dove down again, this time Snake was following behind, ensuring that I had no way out but forward. I tried grabbing onto the edges of the tunnel to propel myself faster, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to grab onto anything. My vision was vignetting just as I reached the surface on the other side. It was now I realised we were no closer to freedom than before, although the light of the moon shone down upon us, we were at the bottom of a natural well, almost sheer walls all the way around us. Snake sat me on the small ledge and I watched as he free climbed his way up the wall with ease, possessing a strength I will never know. Fastening a rope somewhere above, he then lowered himself down the steep edge again to help me to freedom as I heard the sound of Pequod approaching. 

Black Devil Car

“Cindy ran after her sister, Allison, who despite wearing her wedding dress moved with great speed and wielded the wrought iron candle holder with every intention of using it.

‘I am so sick of you two arguing about this bloody car!’ Allison cried as she smashed the right headlight of the Monaro, causing Cindy to let out a blood curdling scream.

‘Oh come off it, Cin, it’s just – oh my god!’

Where Allison had smashed the light, blood now came pouring out. Turning to her little sister, she saw that Cindy’s right eye was gone, in its place leaked motor oil.”

This is a scene from Black Devil Car, a 1970’s style Ozsploitation movie I’d love to make one day. But for now I’ll settle for drawing it and writing it. It was inspired by a dream I had.