It’s finally time to look back on the Whitechapel saga, which I’ve been holding back on. Of all the story’s done in this story so far, this arch has the most backstory thus far. From the moment the story had begun, Whitechapel was always planned from the start and there was a LOT of research put into it. All the facts presented in the story such as the murder of Martha Tabram are all real life facts, and perhaps the hardest part of all it was taking the real life facts and steering them to work in the fictional story I wanted to tell. There is so much information here that it will all have to be told in spoonfuls which will all be attached to each look back on the Whitechapel chapters.
In addition to the research this chapter also allowed me to pour my passion and love for horror and suspense into the pages of a comic book, most notably chapter 16 has this in the first few pages where Kalwa encounters the Ripper. The dreaded suspense and build up with the creaking was a drawn out moment to get the audience disturbed and on the edge of their seat.
Even the very design of arch (namely the night scenes) were modeled after the IDW mini series the Fly Outbreak, which featured heavy amounts of shadow in the panels to convey it’s frightinging and suspenseful atmosphere. The first time I actually read this series I was filled with dread and the thought of what was lurking around the corner and what would leap out. Despite is only be a still comic book, its art style alone was very dreadful and very creepy. As soon as I finished the story, I knew I wanted to incorporate these elements into this story.
In addition, this story arch would serve as the conclusion of the “free adventuring” storyline set in since chapter 1 as Kalwa encounters something she hadn’t faced before… an opponent that she could not defeat. Kalwa’s self defense abilities had been getting her by on the grounds that she had been a girl in time, and most opponents would not expect a girl to know how to fight. This plot line comes crashing down this chapter as Kalwa actually encounters an opponent who is actually skilled in combat and can even hurt her very badly. This would make the audience fear the ripper as much as Kalwa would in the story.
More information will come out in future chapters, and feel free to click any of the images below read this chapter for yourself.
Happy Monday everyone, lets talk it’s time for some more behind the scenes work once again turning to Whitechapel. Illustrated below are some potential designs for the “Jack the Ripper.” In particular the idea of a mask. The idea of a mask did arise during writing as it would be pretty hard for Kalwa to have multiple encounters with the Ripper and not at least get a glimpse of his face, and of course we couldn’t just rely on shadow the whole time (even though in the actual story the first ripper does hide in shadow). So it was only natural to want to hide the ripper’s face, which actually turned out to be quite the challenge. Part of the idea behind the Whitechapel story was for it to be a mystery, to see if readers could figure out who the Ripper was, and thus I was afraid to have any part of the face visible as I feared it would be too big of a clue as to his identity.
The idea for the finalized mask came from the video game series Assasin’s Creed which featured it’s own version of the ripper wearing a bag mask, the sketch in the lower left corner takes great inspiration from this. To make our version unique and further adding questions (as well as keeping consistent with appearences), the final design was given long flowing hair, ultimately revealed to be a wig. He was also given hollow emotionless eyes and my own personal touch of having blood smeared on the mask. Somehow I’ve always found it more frighting to have physical blood on a mask, as a means of some sick pride to the killer.
Just a quick little sketch I did today of Kalwa, practicing the new hair highlighting pattern. I’ve always felt that the highlights didn’t stand out that well and dynamically and for years I’ve wanted to modify it to look more epic and detailed but could never find a solution. Thanks to some critiques I feel I was finally able to find the answer. Expect more drawings like this in future comic pages.
The first published volume of the Kalwa Graphic Novel is upon us soon. So it’s full speed ahead on the the cover. This little break from chapters has given me the time I need to hone my drawing style, and now I’m now experimenting with angles and adding more motion into my work, so hopefully when I come back to doing actual chapters, I can better enhance the artwork. The first volume will be hitting digital in June and hardcopy in July. More updates on progress will be coming along!
Third entry in the Kalwa in Anime series, this entry is if Kalwa lived in the One Piece world, ironically this started off as an illustration with nothing before exploding in a wild storm of posing and action affects. Only two more left in the anime illustration series.
So it’s been a little bit, but I’m still continuing the series of Kalwa in Anime illustrations. The previous illustrations were Kalwa if she was in the Dr.Stone world and Naruto world, this upcoming one will be the One Piece world. Here’s a little preview of whats to come.
Of all the stories we’ve done in Kalwa, the story with the most backstory is the Whitechapel story arch, which had been a long planned story arch from the day this comic started. Over the course of time, I’ll start sharing all the backstory about this story. Right now, I’ll start of with possibly one of the more vital characters in the arch Gerald Butler, who can be considered the tertiary antagonist of the arch. Racism was actually a major part of the story, as historically there may or may not have been prejudice agains the jewish community at the time of the Whitechapel murders. Gerald Butler was meant to represent that racism, but he also took several other cues from historic Whitechapel locals.
Of course the first thing to note about Gerald is that he is butcher, which is actually a suspicious, yet easy to escape occupation during the murders. Butchers were often time covered in blood, which actually them the perfect cover up for crowds. In fact historically the actual “Jack the Ripper” may escaped into the crowd after killing one of the “canonical five,” yet was able to escape as he wondered through a part of town where many butchers worked, thus blood on his clothes would not be unusual. In fact the scene where Gerald is walking with a bloody knife is actually a reference to this.
Design wise, Gerald came out very different than what I originally envisioned. I had intended Gerald to look much more slick possibly with some characteristics of what I would consider french looking (small mustache, thin neck). However these characteristics made the character look far too young, especially given that he was meant to be the father of full grown woman. So the character went through a couple of revisions, he was given a much more gruff appearance and more wrinkles under his eyes to represent both his malice, his age and at the same time his very unstable mind. Gerald I think is probably in my opinion the definition of continued to design, to keep designing and don’t go right away with the first look. As horrible as his character is (moral wise) he actually is one of my favorite villain designs in the series so far.
Straight from the sketchbook this is the first sketch of Orestes, the first enemy that Kalwa encounters on her travels. Mostly the character went unchanged from the initial design, the only real details being his footwear and his toga being made shorter mainly to accommodate him running. The wrinkles under his eyes were also added later, though they were purposely held back until after his true nature is revealed. As the character was meant to be very minor, his design was meant to be somewhat unique from background characters, though a little less detailed than more important characters. When he was first introduced, there were no plans to have the character return, this was added later to give the character closure. The return actually gave me a chance to redesign the character to look much more villainous than the first arch, which couldn’t initially be done as we were trying to make the character look innocent until his ultimate reveal.