Friday, July 26, 2013

Peggy and ED-E

Peggy and ED-E
This was a commission for the editorial director at Dark Horse, Davey Estrada, who has a rather awesome on-going custom of asking artists to do portraits of his favorite musicians. He tells me he's been gathering on and off since the seventies... That is a collection I'd like to see!

Aside from picking a musician we were both interested in, I had permission to art freely on this one. Davey leans towards Jazz, while I have a habit for New Wave... but it was easy for two music lovers to find common ground. When he brought up Peggy Lee I got excited right away. I have a lot of Peggy in my library, partially thanks to video games. That's right. Video games!

Sounds strange, but the first Peggy Lee tracks I ever purchased were those I heard while playing the post apocalyptic RPG Fallout: New Vegas. Nothing like being attacked by monsters in a post-nuclear Nevada while listening to Peggy croon about lost love. I should note that she isn't an actual character in the game... but the sound track is SO good it's practically it's own character. I can totally picture her in this world. Singing in run-down bars. Boozin' with the radiated ghouls. Getting jazz-sassy over a drink of gin. Layin' down hard truths: "If you were prepared twenty years ago, you wouldn't be a-wandering from door to door."

As for the floating robot in corner? Well, that's ED-E. Also known as "Eyebot Duraframe Subject E." The only model of it's kind to survive the "Great War" that brought the Fallout world to ruin. Originally designed as a sort of mobile radio, but latter repurposed into a weapon. You find him broken down in a small town in the wasteland, and bring him back to working order. ED-E was my favorite companion in the New Vegas game. Why, in a time when the human population has been downsized dramatically, would I choose to wander the wastes with a floating piece of scrap metal that can only communicate via beep-boops? I try not to dwell on the whys. Simply put, trust no one. 

I like to think that in the wake of a nuclear exchange Peggy Lee too would go the way of the lone wanderer. She'd ditch the band dynamic (humans being squishy, unpredictable companions at best) in favor of the easily portable, armor plated, one-man bandstand: DJ ED-E MON-E, dropping the beats while PEG-E rocks the mic like a vandal. Besides providing the sick tunes, ED-E would also double as a body guard because he's a mean laser-slinger with a thrilling battle cry:

Anyone else play the Fallout games and have a favorite companion, or tune to adventure too? I'd love to hear about it. I'll leave you with one more song from Miss Lee that wasn't in the game, but would have been suited to the post-apocalyptic landscape. It demonstrates why I think Pegs would be a survivor. She'd be the lady leaning on the bar, sipping a martini and taunting the burgeoning mushroom cloud with a raised eyebrow and a clearly unimpressed, "Is that all there is to an apocalypse?"

Special thanks to DAV-E for the fun commission!