The Redemption of Professor Nimbus is the third book in the series. In the aftermath of The Heresy of Professor Nimbus, we discover a much-maligned Nimbus released from jail and languishing in exile in Hong Kong. A world that imprisoned him for believing in science over myth now urgently needs him to solve catastrophic global warming. Will Nimbus heed the call and help to avert an environmental crisis?
I began the book in January 2008, when I sketched a sequence of eight panels of Professor Nimbus on vacation at the beach. This sequence would eventually become a central part of the new book. Although the sequence had promise, it wasn't strong enough to stand on its own as a story, and as I was busy working on my Zen of Professor Nimbus comic, I put the beach sequence aside.
The entire story revealed itself to me on a family trip to Hong Kong in July, 2008. I realized that Hong Kong would be a wonderful setting for a new Nimbus book. Suddenly I had a sense of place that the beach sequence was missing.
There was a single moment of revelation which happened on a trip to Lamma island, one of many outlying islands that are a short ferry ride from central Hong Kong, and home to a large expatriate community. On a walk through the village we passed by a man whose resemblance to an unkempt Professor Nimbus was extraordinary. He had shaggy long hair and a beard, wore a short-sleeve button-down shirt and flip-flops, and was padding down the street with back bent, laden with his bags of groceries. He passed us in seconds without knowing that he totally fascinated me.
Later my imagination took over and I created a persona for him: he was a typical English civil servant who had reached a dreary middle age. One day he said to himself: ”To hell with this grey life! I want something with color and sun and warmth, something different!” So he packed up and left absolutely everything behind (especially his suit, stiff shirts and ties), and moved to Lamma island where he had no responsibilities, his hair could grow long, and he could hang out by the beach and drink. It still amazes me how a fleeting, chance encounter like this could be the catalyst for an entire story, but that is what happened.
Here are some sketches. I love drawing these Hong Kong city scenes which I documented with photos and sketches when I was there last summer.
I loved working on Redemption because of my affection for Hong Kong. This book is a souvenir of a wonderful travel experience. Although longer than the previous two books, the process of working on Redemption was comparatively faster and smoother, taking eight months altogether. I think some of my best drawings in the series are in this book, partly a consequence of using looser brushwork, and because of my personal connection to the subject matter. Many of the drawings are dense and packed with detail, particularly those scenes where Nimbus walks through the city. Redemption reveals an emotional side and a humanity to Professor Nimbus that the previous two books don’t expose as deeply.
You can buy all the books from The Chronicles of Professor Nimbushere.