Master of the Moondog - Part 1

January 19, 2013

Latest Post The Hound of the Baskervilles by Owen Soule

Fearing what life would be like without an ongoing ZBrush project, I decided to fire up another multi-part ZBrush series!   Luckily I didn't have to look too far for inspiration, in fact I found it hanging in my basement next to the workbench and the P90X zone.  The inspiration I speak of is the Vintage Sci-Fi 2013 Calendar Laura gave me as a gift.   Leafing through I found the perfect muse for a ZBrush sculpt - the cover art for "Master of the Moondog"!

My God, what is that thing? And... hello, nurse!

"Master of the Moondog" is a short story, or a rollicking lunar novelet if you will, by Stanley Mullen.  It was published in the July 1952 edition of Planet Stories magazine. My goal here is to sculpt both the pulp-sci-fi-pin-up babe along with the moondog for a duo of crazy 50's fun!   In case you were wondering "what the f#@* is a moondog?", allow me to enlighten you with an excerpt from the novelet:

Charley was a full-grown, two yard-long moondog. He looked like an oversized comma of something vague and luminous. At the head end he was a fat yellow balloon, and the rest of him tapered vaguely to a blunt apex of infinity. Whatever odd forces composed his weird physiology, he was undoubtedly electronic or magnetic.

So yeah, that clears up that question.   To aid my ZBrush sculpting I decided to create orthographic drawings, front and side, of each character.   Here is my version of Charley the moondog's vague-and-blunt-apex-of-infinity body:

Yes, it hurts just being Charley

Since Charley is revealed to be free floating, bounding weightless through the use of force fields, magnetic fields, or other yet to be comprehended fields,  I find it easiest to think of him as a dog-like-lunar Slimer, of Ghostbusters fame:

Separated at birth?

As for the blonde, without spoiling too much of the story I'll tell you she is a Martian by the name of Darbor.   She is the property of the local ex-pro-wrestler turned lunar crime kingpin (it's that always the case), though she is willing to run off with anyone who may have money.  Here are my Photoshop sketches of Darbor:

I ain't sayin she's a gold-digger, but she ain't messin with no broke Martians?

That's it for now, just an idea and a few sketches.  As for how Charley and Darbor fit into "Master of the Moondog", well I'll leave that up to you to discover as the entire short story in is available online here.  But be warned, reading moon-based pulp sci-fi may cause the "Whalers on the Moon" song to get stuck in your head - it has already ear-wormed me!

Owen Soule

Published January 19, 2013