'Phil at the Gate' (flashback sequence, part one)

Sci fi/Fantasy image by

Paul Doyle

This is the first full illustration, done during summer 2004, I've done for my first novel (the one with Phil, Jak'edrac sel'Gury, etc). I may yet do this picture all over again, since my inking and coloring skills have improved. This was my second-ever pen and Prismacolor picture (the first being Cali-Pauly, Part One) and the first picture where I really took some risks. Technical gripings aside (and there are plenty of them!) there is a lot I like about this picture although there is definite room for improvement. So what is this picture about? Early on in the first novel we are introduced to all the principal human characters (this is some time before Jak'edrac arrives on the scene). The main character, Phil, is forced into making a major 'crossroads' decision in his rather young (early 20's) life. Yet this isn't a typical dilemma, because Phil has very special powers which are used at tremendous risk. Phil has the ability to bring his imagination to life, yet does not have conscious control. Some very good things have happened (such as bringing the good-natured though fierce sentient gold dragon Jak'edrac to life), but many very bad things have happened, also, some of them rather creepy. In an extended 'flashback sequence' that takes up a good chunk of the early part of the novel, Phil considers the wisdom of using his powers again, based on previous experience. So what is this particular illustration about? ---CAUTION: BIG WORD ALERT AHEAD!--- This is the disembodied conscience of five-year-old Phil, seperated from his resting body, compelled to visit a portal at the center of an interdimensional prison located inside an artificially engineered time-space continuum---without the benefit of singularities or a gravitational gulf located near a pinched-off Einstein-Rosen bridge. ---END OF BIG WORD ALERT. YOU MAY COME OUT OF THE AIR RAID SHELTER NOW--- The leering, crouching bipedal creature is the leader of an alien, hermaphroditic race, whose people are of generally placid, civil demeanor despite fearsome appearances an a lot of extremely dangerous natural weaponry and special defenses. However, this leader is a cartoonishly evil exception to the rule. When Phil inadverently brings them to our world, its doom is assured at the hands of its disgruntled peers, for the preservation of this extremely capable but woefully undersupplied alien race. Much interesting stuff transpires, along with everything else in the novel . . . Yes, this species does have a name, but I'm getting ready to attempt trademarking it ;-) Originally done for an Elftown contest called 'Waking Nightmares II', run by TheRogue, AKA Marc Guerrero. Go there and bow down before his art, and see what a real SF/F artist is all about! Me? I'm a total duffer by comparison ^_^

Published More than a year ago

Category Science fiction

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More by Paul Doyle

'Classical Dragon's Lament'

This is a poem about a typical, damsel-eating 'classic' dragon who finds himself besmitten with his virgin sacrifice, and therefore in a big dilemma.


I decided to break out of a rut, and try something completely different. So I got into a little challenge with Elfwood writer Leigh Erickson: If she could write about something OTHER than death, I would write a death poem! So here it is, about a fictitious Egyptian pharaoh named Chepankhtep (yes; I chickened out trying to come up with rhymes, so I left his name out of the poem! I hope it's exciting and fun . . . and has a twist. The Mexican mummies mentioned are no longer literally hanging around; they are in museums now. If you've ever seen the original 'Faces of Death', you've seen some of the Mexican mummies mentioned here. This is the very first attempt I've made at something this dark.

Santa Claus: Medieval Secret Undercover Agent---Episode Four, Slimetrail Skulks SantaVille

---This story is for Elfwood writer Che Franz Joseph Monro, who has been an excellent reader/critic, and is a fantastic writer in his own right--- I admit, I like Episode Three even though it's strange and not for the easily offended. However, there seems to be a lot in it saying 'this story sequence is doomed to imminent lameness after this installment.' It took me a long time to get back to this story, because a great number of things happening in my real life, like moving, getting eye muscle surgery for my son, getting into a couple minor auto accidents, and the holidays---and, of course, getting my Elfwood art gallery up. I'm glad I took a while coming back to this story, because this turned out way better (and way longer) than originally planned.Quick recap: Part One introduces the insanity and wins Mod's Choice despite a flawed story. Part Two focuses on adventure and some cheesy music. Part Three points out the strangeness of a certain religion, and winds up being bizarre (and gets the fewest 'hits') because I was willing to take risks. Part Four also takes risks. It doesn't take place on the border of Orcaporka on the planet Terradum, but at Santa's Village at the North Pole of our very own Earth. If you ever wondered what labor relations were like at the North Pole, here ya go. I believe this is the best one yet. I have scaled back the insane wackiness and taken a more mild, relaxed approach. Slimetrail the Imp has his moment of glory in this story. Brian Claus (the real brains behind Santa's Village) is unveiled in all his zitty, nerdy yet strangely cool glory. When you're done reading, please let me know if I should continue this story or not. I'd sooner discontinue it, rather than let it get staler and triter than your average made-for-TV 'Heartwarming Emotional Family Christmas Reunion Mushiness.' Or, as Neil Young sang so many years ago, 'It's better to burn out than it is to rust.'

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