So a simple spoiler for the new bio picture and the fact that… he’s got a new hoodie. So yes, on previous covers that featured Zack, he was sporting a blue hoodie. However while I was coloring this and put down the old color scheme, I felt Zack looked pretty dull and monochrome, didn’t really stand out at all. So he got a hoodie makeover.
Storywise I feel this is kinda fitting for the character. Zack’s overall story arch is that he is a complete wimp, who has always needed his sister to bail him out, so he strives to better himself and become a stronger individual. So the red hoodie can symbolize his ascent to a stronger more independent character, or at the very least, show that’s he’s gone from a minor character in the background to stronger character in the future. Anyway, wanted to give an update on that.
Just a little update on the bio pictures for the site update, all of them now inked and ready for color. I’m trying to juggle a few projects at a time right now especially since I’ve hit a few snags on some other work, including the next cover image. Since I’m working a full time job, I try to take care of the heavy lifting on days off and do bits of the work on regular nights. I’ll be working on color for these and hopefully get moving on serious site updates later this week.
I’m preparing for a bit of a site overhaul, part of which involves updating the biography section of the website. Especially now that Zack has officially joined the main cast, we need a revamp. However, I’m also looking to get some new artwork up of the characters, more of a midshot kinda look. So here’s some sketch previews of whats coming up for our three protagonists.
So yes, chapter 23 has concluded and currently I’m a bit occupied over on the Green Raptor website finishing up the Amber one shot. So it will be just a little longer till I start working on the official script for chapter 24. But in the meantime I’m here to show you all some behind the scenes sketches and some production stories that go on behind the Kalwa scenes.
We’ll start off with Hideyoshi and Karou Sato (yes I’m saying their names in the western tongue right now). Hideyoshi’s design was kinda decided from the beginning as I wanted a simple stoic and strong looking samurai. I wanted him to have a mustache as it would suggest wisdom and nobility in addition to his strength. In fact his selected name Hideyoshi actually translates to “strong one” in Japan. Mostly when drawing him I was actually thinking of Sango’s father from Inuyasha, except with cleaner hair.
The x shaped scare on Hideyoshi’s face was actually an accident. In reality he was meant to have only a single slash scar, however when it came time to draw him in the comic, I mistook the cheek bone as a second mark and didn’t realize my mistake until about five pages of drawing him (as you can see by the sketch below). So hopefully Ruroni Kenshin fans don’t accuse me of stealing.
Karou’s design was a bit more tricky, as I didn’t really have a specific design in mind for her. I wanted her to look like a well mannered woman who would politely greet guests, but also wanted her to appear fun and witty as she has her own methods of survival which will be seen later in this story arch. My first drawings of her I felt looked too plain, and at the same time I felt she looked a little too old for Hideyoshi. I think I had been looking at Hinata from Naruto when designing her bangs in the final design. The real tricky thing about drawing Karou is that her long hair has to wave in and out in a certain way as it can result in her looking notably different and off model (see second sketch).
One little fact I’d like to bring up is that there is an unused kimono design for Karou. Initially she was supposed have flowers on her kimono, sorta like an older version of her daughter’s kimono. However I missed the sketch at the time I drew her and completely forgot about the design. I’ll probably bring this design in chapter 24 as a clothing change, so be sure to look for than in chapter 24. Anyway, that’s what we got for this entry, more to come.
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.
These are some early sketches of Rachel from when we were working on the western arch. Rachel actually went through a few designs initially mainly because I didn’t known exactly how a cowgirl dressed. My initial believe was they all just dressed like cowboys, however at the same time I wanted to make their designs unique and easy to recognize. One particular note I wanted for Rachel was that she would wear earrings and other jewelry (even though they were a bit after her time) as a sign that she was the leader and the jewels showed that she was a winner with trophies. Even if they were before her time, she could have maybe come up with the idea herself and did it just for her. Her final design didn’t take form until I looked up some cowgirl photos and noticed they were wearing skirts, which helped shape her design most notably, as her skirt got a little longer with each design. I did try to keep her skirt maybe mid leg length as she was an athletic fighter who needed room to maneuver. So that’s a little fun fact you can take home about Rachel.
Secrets are reveled and motivations are unveiled. What is it that A-Tech want’s with this group of individuals and what is their secret, the answers are in today’s update, click the thumb below and read what’s happening!
This was sketch practice I did of Zack shortly before the second Greece story arch. This was actually the finalization of his hair style. As I was working through on edits of chapter 1 for the publication, I was really thinking back on the initial design of Zack’s hairstyle. The first design was more straight up spiky, with his points actually going straight up. This initial design was actually based off another character named Bervo who I had made for another comic I had initially made in high school
So now we come to chapter 18, the near conclusion of the Whitechapel story arch. This chapter of course reveals the big twist of the entire story: there’s more than one Jack the Ripper. Although this isn’t the full explanation of the case, see us for the next chapter look back on that.
The idea of there being two killers eventually evolved into a mandatory plot line as we faced several issues when writing this arch. First and foremost is that Kalwa is NOT a historical comic, it is by no mean meant to be educational. Kalwa is an ADVENTURE comic, which uses time travel as a canvas to tell a vast array of stories. Each era is more of a setting which allows us to do different stories and styles for the adventures that Kalwa embarks on, me and my co-writer have no interest in educating people about historical events unless we find them interesting, this Jack the Ripper case actually being a rare incident.
To give a little more of a clear view to this last statement, we didn’t necessarily want to the be bound to the facts of history and have our creativity stifled because of what historians have dug up in recent years. Adding onto this fact, everything I read on the Ripper seemed to be conclusive evidence that he was in fact targeting prostitutes which presented a major problem. Kalwa being a sixteen year old girl who would most certainly not be working in the profession (for more than one reason) thus the Ripper would really have no reason whatsoever to target her in the first place.
Another major obstacle that brought on the plot twist, is that I wanted this to be a murder mystery. Possibly getting the reader to try and deduce who the killer was. Yet at the same time, I wanted an unexpected twist that readers wouldn’t see coming. I was actually inspired by the first Friday the 13th in which the movies killer Pamela Vorhees was introduced into the film so late that viewers didn’t have time to suspect her, and thus I wanted to pull a stunt just like this. However doing so I felt would be a complete betrayal of the mystery as it would simply discard all the readers efforts just to reveal a new face in the last minute.
So with all these factors taken into account, the only logical conclusion was to have two killers. One would abide more by historical facts and the reader could attempt to solve, while the other one would be more free to do what we initially wanted. And speaking of history, this chapter features yet another historical note in it. When Kalwa breaks into Mary Kelly’s house, you can see smoke coming from the fire place with clothes thrown in it. This is actually a real determined fact from the murder scene, it is believed that the killer threw clothing into the fire place in order to provide enough light to carry out his horrible act.
But this is not the end of the historical notes or the development of this arch, you’ll see what we mean in the next call back on chapter 19.
CLICK ON ANY OF THE PAGES BELOW TO READ CHAPTER 18!!!