Here is a picture of me and a friend of mine, Amy Eisenmann (who jokingly calls her father a 'slum lord,' an irrelevant but character-building detail). We are spelunking, exploring ancient ruins. I really like seeing dark images of old ruins in ancient black and white movies, but most times the ruins obviously weren't really detailed. Too bad. So I spent a lot of time designing and working on mine. The ruins depict in bas relief the rise, fall and rise of a, well, lizard king, whose life sort of parallels Christ's. The first of the five panels at the top of the piece shows his birth-- from an egg, under a tree, with the Sun casting a benign eye at him -- we are mixing our metaphors here. The second panel shows his growth--- he is eating a Spriggina and a Tribrachidium, which are Edicaran fossils, which gives you some idea of just how long this fellow has been around. In the third panel he ascends his royal sceptre. Then he is killed by the laughing demon, and descends into the fires of hell. Finally, he returns to life, taking a bite out of the demon for good measure.

This is where the title comes from: The phrase "attractive distracter" is the term used for the answer in a multiple choice exam which appears to be right, but isn't. The idea is that there are five panels in the hieroglyphics, but our heroes are looking at the wrong one. Also, buried in the detail are fragments of the letters A, B, C, D, E. Sort of an inside joke for myself. Hope it doesn't seem too self-conscious or pretentious.

This image was first published as a full-pager in the WillyCon III (2001) sci-fi convention program book.

Email to Frank Wu

Image (c) 2001 Frank Wu

COMMENTS. Some of these are from the Elfwood art gallery, where this work is posted.


From Brian Keith Cooke,  11/6/98:

You set a wonderful mood with the tone of this pic..the shading is very good. Looks almost life-like!:)


From Liz (Z 10 - Loth 38), 11/9/98:

I'd certainly have to agree. Very dramatic lighting, realistic, wonderful!


From Toran 1/29/99:

Love the detail.


From Indiana Jones 5/25/99:

"and rapt with excitement at their discovery, the pair failed to notice the scaly reptilian Messiah slithering from his tomb, awaking once more..." heh, i know it sucks. i'm not a writer. very Indiana Jones-ish. i love it.


From John Teall, 6/5/99:

There's a pictoglyph of a lizard priest under a mountain (at least that's how i interpreted it) in one of the caves at lava tubes! there's also blind cave lizzards that are said to inhabit them. little guys though - but very potent magicly...

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