Jess Massabrook




A Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne

November 8th

I've selected Jules Vernes A Journey to the Center of the Earth as the book I am going to create a drop cap from. The plan is to do the research this weekend and then start sketching.

November 17th

That was not the book I was expecting to read from one of the supposed god fathers of science fiction but I have finished it and have worked on my research / ideation phases.

Themes & Things
mountain with two peaks, snaefells, mineralogy, ancient runes, volcanos, craters, travel, iceland, germany, italy, therometer, manometer, choronometer, compass, night glass, lantern, rope, ladders, 3 craters in volanco, 3 travelers, lava (changes color from reddish brown to bright yellow), fossils, skeletons, dynamite, 12 foot caveman, hurricane, dinosaur, geyser, electric disk, raft, sea storms, north vs south.

Two of the main characters of the book come from Germany in the 1800's. Subsequently, they are the only ones who speak english. The third main character is mostly only there as their guide / builder / saver of food when a storm hits. The narrator of the book has a language barrier with the third so there isn't much interaction with him.

Like one of the commenters below said, the book has a very historical feel to it. In order to get that feel I am going to focus on making my letterform blackletter. Which would have been a popular style of type used in the 1800's in Germany. An example of that is shown below.

Walbaum-Fraktur (1800) via Wikipedia

November 17th (again)

I wanted to start doing things so I started with drawn sketches. I usually do minimal drawn sketches. It's a habit I picked up somewhere along the way and some times it works out, in other projects you need to do it. I usually work on a case-by-case basis. However, for this project I forced myself to stick to paper and pencil first. I have four sketches and I think I know which one I want to continue with, but I want to get opinions before I make any decisions. Please give me feedback on the following!

Idea 01 / Rope
Once the three characters arrive at Snaefells (the volcano) they start to decend it by using rope to get from one place to the next. My hope was to show that type of precarious journey with the letterform.

Idea 02 / Snaefells
Snaefells is the volcano which will give the character entrance to the center of the earth according to the information that they have. It is described as "5,000 feet high. Its double cone is the end of a trachytic stratum that stands out from the mountain system of the island. From our point of departure we could see the two peaks boldly projected against the dark grey sky; I noticed an enormous cap of snow drawn down low on the giant's brow." This is where most of the books events take place.

Idea 03 / Elements of Snaefells
During their journey to the center of the earth they surprisingly deal with quite a few of earth's elements. Axel and the Professor expected to deal with a large amount of heat which is why is was surprising when they found a large ocean and even experienced a great deal of wind. So much so that they see a hurricane on the ocean. With this letterform I represented each of the elements.

Idea 04 / Ocean
Instead of focusing on all of the elements I decided to focus on the most surprising of the three. That being that they found an entire ocean.

November 19th
I started to make revisions for Idea 02. The two revisions I have in mind can be divided into two categories. The one show below is where I try to incorporate caves and the ocean they found during their journey. The second idea (not sketched out yet) is to show the fossils / bones they found. Let me know what you guys think.

November 23rd
My second idea to show skeletons/bones just wasn't working at all. I felt like everything looks too much like a cartoon. Instead of trying to force that issues I did some further refining of my first revision using waves. I'm actually pretty pleased with it. The sketch contains both what they found at the top of the mountain and at the bottom of it.

The other idea I tried was incorporating the rope (like I did in my original sketch one). Someone had commented on it, and I was a little sad to see the rope go. However, I feel the same as I did about the fossils (not shown because it was too hideous). You can see it below but I really think I want to go ahead and vectorize the one I posted above.

As always, feedback is more than welcome. Please let me know what you think.


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