Take a Breath

Lucas —

From atop the Orrery, you can get a pretty good view of Jea’s home village! Suspended above the Kut by giant cables, it appears to float like a mirage in the sky.

And looking in the other direction further down the page … something else on the desert horizon?

This page is a big one! This week gives us our first good look at Oba’s fortress of solitude — the Orrery — from the outside. It might not seem like much at first glance, but this is a monumental day for me! I spent ages agonizing over the Orrery, working out every little detail: how Jea enters through the crevasse in the mountains, the route she takes through the ruins to reach Oba’s workshop, where Oba and Jea’s ‘lookout’ (on today’s page) is and what the view is like… ya know, fun stuff!

The Orrery was imagined as the ancient ruins of a mountaintop observatory, a sort of ‘Stonehenge in a planetarium’. Oba has made it her own, and spends her days tinkering with the abandoned machinery, but she has no idea of the original intent of the building.

In designing the Orrery, I wanted to give the impression that what we see is the tip of the iceberg, that the structure may be much bigger than what sticks out of the mountainside. I pulled references from European bastion forts of the 17th century, giant mountaintop telescopes in Chile, and even Canada’s own Science World building.

These references gave me a huge sandbox to play in, and honestly I don’t think I could have made a decision on my own. And so I passed the burden of responsibility on to my co-creator Steve, and you can see his favourite option in the bottom left of the image below.

Do you think we made the right choice? Do you even have strong opinions about ancient cyclopean ruins — or is that just me? Would you like to see more behind-the-scenes art from the world of The Constant Star? Let me know in the comments!

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