Behind the Scenes: Rachel

Rachel along with the other cowgirls were part of the original Kalwa story that I wrote in high school, but the characters back then were VERY different from what we have today. Rachel was actually named Astrid, all three of the girls used guns only and she was much nicer than she is today.  She wasn’t a villain back then, and didn’t yell at her comrades.  When I presented the story to my co-writer, Ryan, he noted to me that Astrid was a viking name and there’s no way a cowgirl would have such a name.  I quickly came up with the name Rachel after a blonde girl I knew in elementary school.  We also decided to make the characters villains, but kept the sisterly bond between them (though Bridgette is the only one that holds deeply on it at first).  We plan to have a later story that further explores these girls relationship.  Rachel was also given a superiority complex as a foil to Kalwa’s impulsive attitude, allowing for a rivalry in which these two girls would have a heated and spiteful hatred for each other.

Along with Bridgette, Rachel went through A LOT of design changes.  I remember actually sweating and becoming increasingly nervous as I did not nail down her final design until the chapter before she was introduced.  The hardest part about the process is I was very uncreative with what a cowgirl would look like, and was very insistent on have Rachel where jeans.  But Ryan disagreed and said the outfit looked more like something Kalwa herself would wear.  It wasn’t until I did some research that I discovered some cowgirls wore skirts, which became the central core of the final design. My overall plan was I wanted Rachel to look like a “popular” girl, the kind of girl who dressed and looked like she was better than you.  Her hair had to look nice as well as having some trinkets on her body like earrings and bracelets.

In the end I liked her design, but she’s the hardest of the three girls to draw because her hair is hard to keep consistent.  I do intend to have Kalwa return to the west and meet up with the girls again, so I’ll need more practice with her (:C).

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Behind the Scenes: Zack

Zack was always planned to be part of the story, but he went through a couple of stages before being properly introduced into the story, most notably, his rather timid and shy character came around the time I started to write Chapter 14.  The sketch down below was first drawn during Chapter 1’s start.  I was trying to find some kind of interest that Zack could have that would make him a bit independent.  Though I drew the logo of “Kung Fu King” on his t-shirt, the first chapter actually portrayed him as more of spy/stealth fan (shown when he’s playing the video game before Kalwa wakes him out of his trance).

Originally Reko was supposed to be the hostage in chapter 14, but I changed it to Zack for two reasons 1) to start bringing him into the story sooner and 2) even though Reko is a real wimp when it comes to fighting, I thought it would be real pathetic to have a teenager being held hostage and terrified of a crippled man (you’ll see soon enough in chapter 14).   Zack’s timidness also is the start of a character arch I have planned for him down the road, you’ll be hearing a lot more from this kid in the future.

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