Right, part two of the influence map for QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS. It's due out on 12/11 and you can still pre-order ahead of the rush here.
I should have kept better notes, but I didn’t, sorry. My impression is that this was a dress I found when researching the Rancho era of California history. Short form: after the rise of the Missions (which were still important, but not the focus of life they once were) and before the Anglo takeover of California (remember, it was a Mexican state and then an independent state well before it became annexed by the US) the families and the Ranchos divided up and ruled California and the dons lived like nobility. Mostly because they were. Ariela fancies herself a Queen along those lines (though that title was never used in the period) so she dresses appropriately. I, unfortunately, didn't learn much about dressmaking and fashion for this, simply because I didn't want to get bogged down in details and wanted to keep things impressionistic. However, should the original plan come together and these books get presented as comics, you can bet that would change.
Ah, one of my favorite bands of the period. Savage Republic started out as a noise outfit beaded up by Bruce Licher while he was a student at UCLA in the early eighties. They put out a handful of records, both self-released and on the Enigma label, up to something like 1988 or 1989 if memory serves. I never heard them until almost ten years after and immediately became obsessed with them. They combined industrial rhythms (using a dual-drummer/percussionist setup), slamming and primitive guitar and shouted vocals, at least on their earlier works. Their later albums became much more atmospheric, creating imagined geographies, regions and customs. As a designer, Bruce Licher placed an indelible stamp on the visual presence of the band and works to this day as a designer and print-maker in Bishop. As a brief aside, they were one of the bands that solidified my own guitar sound and approach in both The Roswell Incident and Identify 9.
Eastern Columbia Building
Probably most famous from the advertising and a brief scene in PREDATOR 2 and one of my favorite downtown LA landmarks, the Eastern Columbia is a beautiful terra-cotta-tiled tower near Eighth Street and Broadway. It's also a relic of another time, not just in terms of the Art Deco design and ornament, but back when architects weren't afraid of color as part of the spectacle. On sunny days, the blue tiles gleam like polished silver as the building reaches up to its apex. You can look at and refuse to believe that such a thing still persists to this day, but it does. Inconceivable in this day and age, yet here it stands.
In Search Of
I could write a book on this and maybe perhaps should. Of course the QUEST 4 program in the world of QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS is based on this, one of my favorite television shows of all time and truly a formative document that hit me at a formative time. Of course I was obsessed with UFOs and Bigfoots and all manner of mysterious goings-ons in the world as a kid. I still am, even if those memories are being tarnished by the conspiracy-theorist-approach of a certain arm of revanchist politics that we're not able to rid ourselves of because they've taken hold and been monetized and politicized in such a way as to be utterly nauseating. Still, the original document is an amazing combination of history and conjecture and wild-eyed speculation, all hosted by Leonard Nimoy who brought a sober worldliness to things, and gave weight to such lofty concepts as galactic panspermia. Not that it was all crazy moonbat subjects. IN SEARCH OF tracked down Nazi war criminals who fled to South America and tracked hurricanes as well as presenting the stories of regular, everyday people who brushed up against the unknown and were changed for the experience. The box set of this show is one of my most prized possessions. You can have it when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.
Ah, Siouxsie. The ideal. Would I recognize her without the war paint? Probably not. But it's about persona. It's about the howl and caterwaul and playfulness, the complexity and stubborn refusal to be relegated to just one corner of the world in persona and sound. I'm certainly more a fan of hers (and the Banshees) now than I was in the eighties. But I was a weird and introverted kid and Siouxsie's projected confidence if not dominance wasn't something I really got until much older. Do yourself a favor and go put on the track "Israel" right now.