For my illustration class we had to do a portrait of our favourite American writer. Who else would I chose other than Ray Douglas Bradbury.
Ray Bradbury is known to most people for his novel Fahrenheit 451 , but my thoughts always go first to his 1950 book, The Martian Chronicles. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fahrenheit, just as much as I adore all of his other work. Ray Bradbury is the king of science fiction and horror in my mind. But out of all his novels, my old, paper back copy of The Martian Chronicles gets just as much love now as it did when I was nine years old, reading it under my desk in class.
The book itself is somewhere on the line between a short story collection and a series of episodes. Everything about it is somewhere on the line. On the line between Earth and Mars. On the line between very real and extremely dreamlike. On the line between whimsical and surprisingly dark and foreboding, with commentary on human nature and “manifest destiny” ideals. It’s one of the attractions of the book. Each story gives you a spoonful of something else, and yet each contribute to the feeling that you’ve been lifted by a rocket ship to this planet of red earth and two moons.
So here’s Bradbury, set against a landscape of my own creation, pulling inspiration from the dry landscapes of the American South West.
Hopefully the dark line and pen and ink style against the dark wash of the beyond give you that vibe of fifties space age dreaminess that Bradbury does with his writing.