Today’ I’m showing y’all some artwork from my deep archives. Today I’m showing you all the very FIRST drawing of Kalwa ever done and an early sketch of Juro, who would go on to become Reko in the current story. These drawings were original drawn in Middle/ High school (hence their more amateurish proportions).
As a little backstory, the original concept for Kalwa was first created in middle school at a time I was making a lot of my own stories, more than I could probably fine tune and perfect. Kalwa was actually the fourth story I came up with, the original concept was instead of a phone, she had a time traveling watch that was damaged and flung her back in time, resulting in her having to find all the pieces in different eras in order to return home. While today, Kalwa is an eccentric adventurer with a positive outlook on life, the original version was an isolated loner whose unique interest caused others to distance from her.
Juro wasn’t initially Kalwa’s friend, but rather a loner himself who wished to befriend her but couldn’t work up the nerve. Juro would work with Kalwa’s brother Risto (later changed to Zack), in order to find out about A-Tech and what was really going on. This concept was completely dropped in the story today, as Kalwa would just discover these secrets herself and therefore the whole concept would just be repeating what Kalwa and the Audience already knew. Also Juro was supposed to be of Japanese decent which would tie in to another arch where a character in Japan would propose to Kalwa. Again this storyline was dropped and thus Juro was a given a proper Finnish name of Reko.
Back now for some more production sketches. Today we got sketches of the tribe from chapter 22, which was quite a task to draw. As this was a group design, the main issue faced here was designing A LOT of looks. I didn’t really have a particular idea of how the Tribe should look as all the characters come from different backgrounds and have different lifestyles. For certain characters like Carol and Mikela I did have a bit of an idea in mind for how they should look, but for other characters it was mainly a free for all with no specific design in mind.
So as such, many of the designs were simply character designs I wanted to draw, and in a situation like this I’m usually drawing in the sketchbook while looking at various anime characters on my iPhone. Characters such as Liz were actually inspired by characters like Samus Aran, a few others were just drawn freely such as the short hair man with the glasses. Also in a situation like this when you have no real concept of design, you can always go playing with the characters and get some really weird looks, a primary example of this being the eyeliner guy you see below.
Most of the characters essentially got off with the first design and only a few minor tweaks before getting into the final pages. The one exception being Carol, who can be seen in both sketches below. When I was initially drawing her, I was basing her design off of Sora from Digimon Adventure, as somehow she came to mind when I needed a headstrong female second in command. My first design for her came out looking too young (as seen in the sketch group on the left), probably because I was looking at Sora’s design from the first season of Digimon as I drew her. The second attempt seen in the second group of sketches came out more along the lines of what I initially wanted. Though I might flex up her hair in the future, it’s a little tricky to work with as of now.
So I know it’s been a while since I uploaded some sketches from the sketchbook, the reason has to do with the scanner, I also wanted to wait a little as we got more story out. So right here from the sketchbook I’m presenting some sketches of the Tribe, who debuted in issue 22. For some backstory, I really had no real model for how each of these characters would look like except for the chief and the simple idea that his “second” would be a female. These faces were were mostly just drawn up and designed and fine tuned to fit the characters. I actually intend there to be about thirteen to fourteen members of the tribe, but just couldn’t design that many characters in the amount of time. So actually in chapter 22, there are a few shadowed characters in the background as blank slates for future designs.
The chief I wanted to have facial hair as a way to establish him as the leader. Since we had earlier done a western story arch, I was actually trying to get some facial features from that era worked into the chief given the the eventual background that will develop from these characters. The chief went through probably about four possible designs before finally settling on the current one. My model was actually John Hammond from the first Jurassic Park film as I felt he was the type of senior citizen who looked like he would be out and active in the world. From his open shirt to his bamboo hat, this was my idea of the type of senior citizen who would fit this story. Many of the chief’s final designs such as his potbelly and few other facial features actually were finalized on the spot of chapter 22, as you can see here the sketch looks a little lankier and thinner, although I did make notes to myself while designing it.
Carol the second in command of the tribe I wanted to be young and female. Those who follow my work should note that I mostly draw female characters as opposed to male and the reason is that I value strong female characters over male as I feel they are rarer to find in entertainment. Carol was supposed to look like a working girl, someone who was higher up and could instantly jump into the role of leader if need be. Her design was actually inspired by Sora from Digimon Adventure, and I even had pictures of Sora without her helmet out while I was drawing her. Unfortunately that ultimately resulted in her first design (girl on second image) looking far too young than what I intended. The second design (2nd female in third image) was much more along the lines of what I initially wanted.
I do think if I had to pick one, Mikeal was probably the character whose design I liked the most, and his final drawings in the actual chapter were breathtaking for me draw. He will defiantly be one of the more vital members of the tribe in future stories.
I’ve been trying to branch out a little bit and do more illustrations of other characters other than just Kalwa herself, I first started with Toshiro and Miki a few weeks ago. So right now I’m bringing you Victor, the “original” Jack the Ripper killer who first encountered Kalwa in chapter 18 before mentally scarring her in the next chapter. I actually really felt like doing this drawing now at a time when the weather was cold, as the original Whitechappel murders happened around winter time. Even though the final one was in early November, Whitechappel was on edge throughout the Christmas season, so I was hoping to replicate a little of that feeling this season with this image right here. I had actually been watching the 1984 version of a Christmas Carol and took a lot of inspiration from the atmosphere created by the Ghost of Christmas Future, it’s how I decided to give a chilling atmosphere to this piece.
This was a character chart of made of Rachel quite some time ago. Even though I like her design, she’s possibly the most difficult to draw of the Desert Vixens. It’s mainly due to her hair, I find it really difficult to draw her hair consistently over the course of several panels. Usually when I draw characters in the sketchbook I tend to draw them once or twice just to have a note of their hair and I can form other angles while working on the comic. However every so often I wind up doing a character that I do need reference for, hence the heavy footnotes in the chart.