inktober 2020 day 20


Another of those Inktober drawings where I had just a single image but didn’t know the story.

This time the idea was from the point of view of Livingston, the fish in the aquarium of Picard’s ready room, looking out at the captain.

I doodled ideas in my sketchbook. Lynda Barry, I think, talks about the magic that happens when you just start moving the pen or pencil. Ideas show up.

First I had Data peeking in at Livingston, then Q.

I tried to shape the story around the two images I now had. Picard drinking tea. Q peering in at Livingston.

A day in Picard’s ready room. You can see the nighttime shot in the last thumbnail.

Then when looking for Livingston reference shots, I saw Hugh, the reluctant Borg, observing Livingston, and I knew that was it. Not only would the Borg be more recognizable as a big headed comix character, but it also felt more…alien.

Rather than an empty ready room, I decided to begin and end the comic with Picard looking out at space sipping from the tea. Though the gesture was the same, maybe Picard was a little different.


In the sketchbook page above you can see I made some notes.

Study: MC Escher, Fisheye, Lionfish.

These were a reminder to research these aspects before I could begin drawing the strip proper.

Escher & fisheye

I knew I wanted Livingston’s aquarium sphere to warp the light and image of the ready room, to give it that ‘Fisheye Lens’ look.

So I looked to MC Escher’s brilliant self-portrait of him holding a reflective sphere as my guide. I doubt the properties of the glass are actually the same as the reflective sphere but the effect is convincing enough.

And once again this image laying out the geography of Picard’s ready room has proved invaluable.

As did an image search of Hugh, the reluctant Borg.


I always get nervous once I’ve got the pencils done and before I put down any ink.

Since day 17 I’ve exclusively been using a brush, which has allowed me to get a much thinner line. But man, I’m wobbly.

Here’s a shot of panel 2, partially inked.

I love the look of this so much. The combination of loose pencils lines with the inked foreground. I’d love to figure out how to do a story with this look.

For all of the thousands of comic books I’ve read, and countless inking books, I still don’t know how to use the black areas to direct the eye where it needs to go. The final comic is just so…busy.


The shots of Livingston that I’ve found over the last month or so from Next Generation, aren’t great, so I needed to research what Lionfish look like.

catch up on my star trek intober here

I created a collection to house all of this year’s Star Trek Inktobers, so you can easily browse your favorites and skip over the clunkers. It’s easy!

read past inktobers

I compiled past inkotbers into easy to read comics collections.

There’s my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month.

In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

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