So, lo!, Tessa Kum and I wrote a kick-ass novella for the Halo: Evolutions–Essential Tales of the Halo Universeanthology from Tor called “The Mona Lisa”. It features some very tough female marines, some evil scientists, lots of loud and obnoxious shooting at people, an alien named Henry, Unspeakable Horror, and much else as well. We were very proud of “The Mona Lisa,” and seeing the reaction to it in the anthology was great.
However, it wasn’t over yet! As it turns out, “The Mona Lisa” is now being turned into a motion comic, probably in about 11 episodes, to be released online over the summer. We got a sneak peek at the first two episodes recently, and as Tessa reports, “The peeps at 343 are clearly awesome. I didn’t think it was possible for them to get any more awesome. Surely they’ve broken some universal awesome limitation. Pyramid have also done a gorgeous job with the voice acting, effects and music. Seriously gorgeous voices happening in there (I luuuuv Mama Lopez’s growl!), and well matched by One’s gorgeous artwork.”
As for me, I decided to go back over my old blog posts about the process of collaborating on the story, and I realized I’d already mocked out some visuals using puppets and a Romanian model spaceship.
How closely did my vision and that of the motion comics peeps match up?
Well, first off, here is my view of the marine’s ship, the Red Horse, and then their view.
As you can see, my ship was floating along a backdrop of interstellar carpet with no visible engine burn, while theirs is in space, where it ought to be. Also, I’ve neglected to put my marines on the inside of the ship, where they’d be able to breathe better.
Now, here’s a crucial moment: the crew is meeting and talking about the horrible, bloody find they’ve made, and what to do about it. Here’s my version, followed by theirs.
Once again, there was a fatal flaw in my reasoning, in that for some reason all of the main crew members have left the Red Horse for their paliver, and they’re standing on the carpet kind of nonchalantly, joined in this instance by a huge green alien baby and some kind of space cat. Whereas in their version not only is everyone inside, but the grunts are rightly separated out from the captain and the ship’s AI.
Finally, the vision of the characters is very different, as evidenced below.
We’ll both keep you posted on future sneak peeks of later episodes. So far, they’ve been very faithful to the structure of our original. Regardless, I’m fairly sure I’ve got this later scene wrong too: