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!!!
New Kalwa as the Raptor Queen artwork, just an FYI, this picture features an older Kalwa, so she’s probably about 20 years old. She lives with the raptors, speaks raptor and leads them in their hunts at night. Maybe one day I’ll do this as a mini comic in an alternate universe of Kalwa, maybe after the story is finished as I don’t want to confuse people.
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!
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.