Early Rachel Designs

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.

Rachel Face Chart

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.

Zack Sketch Practice

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

Character concepts

The script for chapter 22 has been sent to my co writer, I will begin the cover later this week. We’ll be introducing a whole cast of characters in this chapter so these last few nights have been spent sketching in the sketchbook, these are just a few headshots that have been drawn up. Look for the new chapter later this month.

Jack the Ripper Mask Designs

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.

Kalwa Sketch

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.

Gerald Butler Sketch

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.

Orestes Sketch

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.