My newest pen and marker drawing. I feel I am making good progress with these markers, especially in the shading department. This one is a little bit smaller, on regular-size paper (technically A4, which has slightly different dimensions than US-letter).

See after the image for a description of what this drawing is about.

click on the image above to see a larger version

For those unfamiliar with Gundam (pronounced gun-dum), it is a long-running Japanese science-fiction franchise, still going since 1979. It has spawned anime, manga, books, movies, mini-series, music, video games… the whole gamut. While there are also “Alternate Universe” (AU) stories, the original (and best) story-line is set in the real world in the “Universal Century” (UC) which is a new calendar started when man first began to build colonies in Earth orbit and on the moon (UC replaces AD). At its most basic, it is a thoughtful story about conflict and mankind’s evolution. The titular “Gundam” is actually the name for a series of experimental mecha (human-piloted machines), so as the story progresses there are many different Gundams.

Still with me? OK, So this drawing is inspired from Gundam Sentinel, a novella serialized in a Japanese scale model magazine over a one year between 1987 and 1988, and the first Gundam story not to derive from an existing anime or comic. One of the interesting points is that a team of experienced scale modelers created new, unique models and designs to be photographed in ultra-realistic dioramas to accompany the text. It is really neat!

The particular gundam in this story, the MSA-0011 Superior Gundam (shortened to “S Gundam”) is unique among the gundams in that is has an artificial intelligence system, A.L.I.C.E., to assist the pilot. As the story progresses, increased armor and systems are attached to the gundam, changing its designation to EX-S Gundam, which is how it is pictured above.

(spoiler alert… as if you’ll ever actually read the story)
In the final, climactic battle, the bad guys are escaping by reentering Earth’s atmosphere. A.L.I.C.E., knowing the extreme danger they pose, ejects her pilot and follows their shuttle into reentry. She manages to destroy the shuttle, but is now caught in Earth’s gravity and burns up, sacrificing herself to save the day.
(end spoiler alert)

So, as you can imagine, with an AI named A.L.I.C.E., there is a lot of imagery from this story connected to Alice from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”. This is a theme I have decided to continue here.