With My Head in the Clouds
Last Cities of Earth – The Illustrated Books
by Jeff Sturgeon
BuzzyMag highly recommends supporting this Kickstarter project. Rarely have such a collection of creative people got together to produce a work that will entertain and uplift the readers through a unique vision of the future of humanity and planet Earth.
Last Cities on Earth is about bringing the hope and triumph of the spirit in the face of catastrophe and despair. Literally rising above Earth’s dark, apocalyptic future, 60 creative souls have poured into this work a vision of victory against apparently insurmountable odds. As the cities rise above the abandoned ruins below they will face other new challenges and some very old ones. Rising above a ruined Earth does not after all change human nature. Pride, greed, deception, anger, lust, bigotry survive as do love, justice, patience, tolerance. Resourceful creative people who want to help society will always face resistance. How will these radical changes affect the lives of those in these cities? What future will the planet face? These stories will explore new possible new paths.
I started my career in the 80’s creating art for a variety of game companies. When my friend and collaborator Jeff Fennel convinced me to experiment with painting on aluminum it changed my career, opening up the creative possibilities. First, texturing the “canvas”, then using paint to create unique art where both paint and texture work together to give life to these stunning landscapes.
For years, I envisioned cities floating above the ground. At first, a single metropolis emerged. Over time, more and more places rose into the atmosphere. With each one a back story immerged and a world began to take shape.
It wasn’t until 2014, however, at a small convention in Washington when I told some friends about my floating civilizations that six fateful words were uttered:
“Jeff, why aren’t you painting them?”
After decades of bringing other creators’ dreams from ether to reality, I picked up my brush to breathe life into the world swirling about in my imagination. For the next two years as the paintings were exhibited, other creators fell in love with my vision and were inspired to create within the mythology of Last Cities of Earth. There was no end to the creativity sparked by these images. Short stories, novellas, coloring books, illustrations, schematics, novels, digital fusions of the Last Cities paintings… it seemed endless.
The beginning stages of the project consumed me. In creating Last Cities of Earth—the paintings and their stories— I found that there was no clearing my mind after creating a single image. The world was too big and the stories too many.
However, I discovered I didn’t have to do it all alone.
Last Cities of Earth is a universe depicting humanity’s survival in the face of global catastrophe born out of my mind’s eye, but many other creatives have come along to play. Master storytellers and artists are building this world—those whose imaginations helped shape Star WarsStar Trek, and dozens of other fan favorite universes in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, thriller, YA, horror… Last Cities of Earth is a collection of possibilities, answering questions such as “Why are the cities floating?” and “What happened to force humanity into the skies?”
When I started all of this, I never imagined that over sixty authors and artists would join me on this journey. If you would like to learn more about this project, you can visit Last Cities of Earth – The Illustrated Books