Secret City.

Does anyone else remember the PBS show Secret City, a learn-to-draw program hosted by Mark “Commander Mark” Kistler? I used to watch it all the time as a kid. It had that amazing title sequence of a first-person camera zooming through some pencil-drawn 3D world, which is just totally cool when you’re 8. I still have sketchbooks at home containing drawings of geometric buildings, twisty slides, tunnels and passageways, and those tufts of grass he used to put everywhere in that enormous quasi-Dr.-Seuss mural of some multilayered futuristic world, half-urban, half Middle-Earth, populated by weird creatures. I remember how, if you looked closely, you could see the pencil outlines of what he inked in on the mural during the last five minutes of every show. I felt really perceptive for noticing.
I suspect that Secret City is where I learned the term ‘crosshatching.’
And don’t you think this would be an awesome name for our apartment? The Secret City?


5 thoughts on “Secret City.

  1. The term ‘crosshatching’ and the immense complexity of that bloody enormous drawing up on the wall to which Commander Mark would add each episode are all I remember from Secret City (I had forgotten the title). I wish I could see some stills from it, but Google is unsatisfying in this regard.
    Actually I remember one other thing – he was drawing the rings of Saturn, and pointed out that they look more realistic if the outer line of the rings shoots out farther at the ends – he was explaining foreshortening, I would realize much later, but I don’t remember that term from back then. In 7th grade or so, in Mike Manfredo’s class, Studio in Art, we spent a portion of the class on perspectives in drawing, and our task was to draw some kind of futuristic cityscape. Of course I thought of (what I now know to be) Secret City, but by then I’d already forgotten the name, everything about it – and there wasn’t much of a World Wide Wang for me to search, yet.
    But no, I think ‘Secret City’ is insufficiently arch for my tastes. Since you asked.

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