Summer Island

I haven’t paid much attention to the deluge of content that has been generated lately by AI machines, but something about the Summer Island project captured my attention. Summer Island is a comic, with all the artwork generated by  Midjourney AI. To my untrained eye it looks like it was created by professional human illustrators. The fantasy/horror comic is a Free Download and well worth a look. It’s the brainchild of writer Steve Coulson who shared about his process and motivation (below). Even if the genre is outside of your wheelhouse, I encourage you to check out the work.

“I’ve loved comics – and been an avidreader – since I was five. Now I’m 57. So it’s taken me half a century to get around to creating my own comic story. And they say you can’t teach an olddog new tricks! The problem has always been – I can’tdraw, which is a bit of setback in a visual medium. And I had no friendly artistic collaborator who trusted me enough to take on a project like this (wisely).But now there’s MidJourney, one of the new crop of Artificial Intelligence image generators. All the illustrations in this story were created by MidJourney,based on written prompts I supplied, and while I’ve tweaked a few things here and there in Photoshop, what you see here is basically what you get (if you ask it nicely.) The story itself started life as a photographic exploration, using Midjourney to create an essay in the style of the 1973 movie, The WickerMan (which you can also see in the following pages).After I’d finished the essay, I wondered- could I use MidJourney to tell thes ame story in a completely different visual and narrative style? SUMMER ISLAND is the result. Do I think MidJourney will replace the comic artists I grew to love over the years? No, of course not. Those geniuses have an eye for dramatic composition and dynamic narrative that I strongly doubt machine learning will ever be able to match. But as a visualization tool for non-artists like myself, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And when MidJourney spit outsome of these panels, I found myself doing a double-take at the quality it could already produce. And as a goodfriend of mine used to say “And Steve- this is the WORST it will ever be!” I hope you enjoyed your visit to SUMMER ISLAND.It’s just one small corner of a world grappling with a monster problem. So perhaps we’ll return one day. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think. – SC Email:scoulson@campfirenyc.com”

 

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