11 December 2017
By JoAnna Wendel
Asteroids! As with many of my comics, the most challenging aspect was representing movement. In this comic, the movement I had to depict was air moving through a meteor, and then that meteor exploding. I also had to draw a meteor disintegrating, which was especially challenging.
For the air movement, I used blue arrows—I figured blue is commonly associated with air, and arrows are a good, simple way to show direction. I used two different colors of arrows to make it look a little more interesting and dynamic.
Exploding is a fairly simple action to depict. Everyone has an image of explosion from cartoons, so all I did was mimic that—a lot of reds, yellows, and oranges, with little bits of grey-colored meteor flying away (with black lines trailing behind those pieces to indicate movement). A little bit of super-hero-style onomatopoeia with “POW!” added some fun.
The disintegrating meteor was the hardest, and I’m not sure I captured it right even now. I didn’t want to draw an explosion, and disintegration seems like a less visually active process. I ended up drawing a bright splotch—I figured, that’s what it looks like in the sky, so it might work here.
As usual, I anthropomorphized the meteor itself, the Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere. I find that putting a face on things helps readers connect. And it’s fun.
-JoAnna Wendel is a science writer for Eos. Editor’s note: this comic is based on a poster presented Monday, 11 December at the American Geophysical Union’s annual Fall Meeting in New Orleans, La. Read the press release here.