Sharing a bit of behind the scenes work today. So while attending Tuscan Comic Con, I got a little note that my characters all wore similar clothing, and it was a bit hard to tell them apart at times. The specific moment was more about the opening training battle between Kalwa and Suzume from chapter 26, however while drawing the last page of that chapter I realized that Zack and Kalwa do wear the same outfit. While they are different colors, this is mostly irrelevant on black and white manga.
So I’m looking at an outfit mixup to make them more distinguishable from a certain distance. I still want to keep the hoodies since those are kinda a signature for my characters, but give them a little more skin so they can engage in combat and do some “better” adventuring. I don’t have it pictured here yet, but I’m planning on giving Zack some kind of utility belt/fanny pack or something. These two will soon be embarking on some more serious adventures and will need supplies, you’ll see why in about three more chapters.
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.