Before I share the exciting project we spent 8 months working with an amazing wimmelbilder artist to complete, if you missed either my overview of what “wimmelbilder” means, or my introduction to the amazing Nigel Sussman, take a minute to catch up.
Ok, now that you’re back, you’re ready to finally hear about the incredible Black Ocean-inspired project we commissioned.
After an introductory phone call last fall (which we were shocked an artist of his caliber had availability to take), it all started with an audiobook. We wanted Nigel to feel at home in the Black Ocean universe before he set out to create art in it, so we got him started with a copy of the full Galaxy Outlaws collection.
Then we needed to decide the first step of what we hoped would be an ongoing creative partnership. Since Nigel was just beginning his Black Ocean journey, and we wanted to start with something small, we suggested bring to life a day-in-the-life of the Mobius crew by showing a partial cut-away cross-section of the ship.
To give him the lay of the land, we shared the 3D concept art of the Mobius that I’m sure almost all of you have seen by now (we use it on a lot of short story covers and website images).
We also shared the Mobius floorplan, which many of you probably haven’t seen.
Each time he came back with a sketch, we talked through feedback, next steps, and ideas of where to expand the visual story and include more details Black Ocean fans could get excited about.
We worked through details like:
- the layout of the ship
- which of the rotating cast of crew members should be present
- how crew members kept their personal spaces (and what secrets they might hide there)
- what might be on the holoprojector in the common room
- how to showcase as much of the behind-the-scenes life of the Mobius crew as possible
Discussion of the last topic resulted in the idea for an exploded view of the ship so we could show more fun details while still keeping the core chamber of the ship intact.
After 8 months of collaboration, and pure awe at both Nigel’s talent and his fundamental grasp of the vibe of the Black Ocean universe, we landed on a finish product that we’re incredibly proud and excited to share with you.
And when it came time to prep the artwork for merch, Nigel went above and beyond with a special infographic-inspired layout just for the poster.
If you’re at all interested in owning a piece of our proudest Black Ocean visual collaboration to date, you can find this artwork as a t-shirt, sweatshirt, poster (even a high-quality metal poster if you’re serious about your wall art) in the J.S. Morin online store.
But even if you’re not looking to buy something, I’m sure Nigel would love to hear shout-outs from the Black Ocean community if you like his work.