No More After Me

Chapter-break illustrations from my undergraduate thesis project at Hampshire College.


The spiderwolf (Condulambula lupusimilus) was the focus of the fiction piece about extinction and ecological responsibility. I chose to invent an endangered species rather than use a real one so that the reader -- like most of the characters in the world of the story -- would have the desire to see one but not have the chance.


I envisioned C. lupusimilus as a ground-dwelling relative of modern fruit bats. For the original designs I sculpted a body shape based on a fruit bat's skeleton, and adapted elements like relative size and limb length to more closely resemble those of large, walking mammals.


"The photo was taken in 1909. A gray hill beneath a tropical canopy in shades of charcoal, dishwater sky visible through a gap in the foliage. At the distant, blurred point where the hill slopes into even thicker trees, the animals standing and lounging could be anything. A herd animal, most likely, for there are many here. But as the eye moves down the hill, and its many inhabitants gain size and focus, it becomes impossible to mistake the creatures for anything but what they are. Many have seen them alive, but never like this. In biology textbooks, this dated image has not been updated with a color replacement. Even high-resolution color close-ups of single animals have not been able to take this antique's place. Something about the crowd, something about discovery. The hill is still there. There are goats on it now."

April 2010