The Zax Stopped in Their Tracks
June 5, 2010


I've been drawing semi-seriously and now seriously for just five years. It started when I first saw Mike Rhode's sketchtoons. I owe a lot to Mike for his early encouragement.

Recently there's been a very public kerfuffle between Adobe - the leading software in design - and Apple Computers. Adobe wants the Flash software they purchased from Macromedia some time ago to be ubiquitous on the web. Actually, I think they want Flash to be synonymous with the web. I'm no Flash hater myself - it's good in small doses for some things on the web. Whole sites? Uh, no. It's buggy, it's unreliable, it's a resource hog. But I enjoy using it to do animations ... it has its place.

The standoff between Apple insisting on HTML5's ability to do everything Flash can do, only better, and Adobe's insistence that Flash is the supreme gift to the web is a bit ludicrous. There are always shades of grey.

And this battle reminded me of a favourite Dr. Seuss story: The Zax. You see, there were South-Going Zax and North-Going Zax and one day one of each met up. Neither one would move a step to the east or a step to the west to allow them to continue on their way. No, each insisted that the other must move. And so the world just continued on around them, eventually building a bypass over the two stubborn creatures.

Please click through for the full version where you can see other references to the Sneetches and the Lorax as well.

Sneak peek of Adobe and Apple as Zax from Dr Seuss

So glad to finally have this piece done. If it'll stop raining around here, I'll take it in to get matted and possibly framed to go above my desk here at home. The final piece is about 29"x30" and is the first major piece I've ever done and is only my second foray into India inks.

Sketched on copy paper, scanned, cleaned up a little in Photoshop. Then I reprinted a neater copy, traced it onto medium-weight cold-press illustration board and sketched a few more details. Then I went over that with Speedball India ink. Once that was dry, I used Copic sketch markers for the colour details. I chose a palette very similar to the one Dr. Seuss used on his Zax bypass drawing. I was nervous about the india ink bleeding, but since it had dried for about four days before I got time to do the colours, the ink had dried and set well and I had very little issue with bleeds (although I tried not to go over too many of the lines just in case).
Both the Apple logo and the Adobe logo on the Zax' t-shirt have been painted white with a Marvy DecoColor extra-fine paint pen.

Update - 1:40 PM -
I should add, that I'm not really bashing Apple or Adobe at this point. I think the standoff is the ridiculous part. (I also think Flash is buggy as hell, but it's not evil.)

Posted by Red Monkey at June 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Design | Sketches | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Amanda said:

What a treat! This is fantastic! But where's the Apple Zax's t-shirt logo?

Can I give you a tip? Use a paintbrush and India ink to fill in the solid black areas for richer shadows... It's easier on your illustration board and it really gives your negative space a lot of "pop." Oh, and India ink is super permanent once it has dried thoroughly (and four days is more than thoroughly).

Anyhoo... Awesome job! I'd love to see the finished piece up close and personal!

June 5, 2010 5:00 PM
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