|Mythos: Ghost Rider, Page 21. 2006. Acrylic and Gouache on|
bristol board, 8.5 x 12". Original Art
Ghost Rider jumps over the fountains of Caesars Palace.
It was during my work on Mythos: Ghost Rider that I discovered Google Earth, a program that I now use extensively for research, composition, and perspective. At the time, I just needed to know where Caesars Palace was. The story begins outside of Las Vegas as our tortured protagonist returns from a night of hell on wheels. Having never been to Vegas myself, I wanted to get an aerial picture of the city in order to get better acquainted with it. As it turned out, the events of the narrative lined up perfectly with reality, so I was able to choreograph the action around roads, bridges, exits, hotels, and a speedway that existed in reality. Now this had next to no effect on the storytelling, but I hoped that someone somewhere would recognize the landmarks. By the way, if you've installed the Google Earth plug-in for Firefox, you can see just how much the 3D buildings feature has improved in the last 4 years.
However, not all of my reference was from Las Vegas. The bar scenes were inspired by the Boothill Saloon in Daytona Beach, FL (my hometown), which happens to be across from a cemetery. Their official slogan: "You're better off here than across the street."