7.31.2014

That thing I did in that place that one time ...

So I'm in Lithuania for a few months.

I'm an Army Reserve photojournalist on the side so I got pulled to support Operation Atlantic Resolve. That's the combined training stuff the U.S. is doing with Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Romania --and obviously Lithuania -- to show our support for our partners in the region and to try provide some assistance with stabilizing the troubled waters. As one Lithuanian general said to me "Because of the events, because of some military clashes that are taking place not so far away from Lithuania, we feel it."

Better put than I could come up with on my own, for damn sure.

Anyway, while I'm over here doing the thing in that place, I'm kind of jammed up on MIDNIGHT THEATRE: REVENGE of the OCTAGON. I scored myself a Wacom Hybrid (Thanks, Julie!) to work on, but being assigned to 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade means that we cover all of their training along with any community relations events they undertake. 

Which means I'm busy as all hell. We haven't had a day off in over a month. Goes with the territory, but it doesn't mean I don't miss working on my own stuff. And if I can't work on pages for MT: RotO then I'm damn well gonna fill up a sketchbook with new ideas to work on when I get home in a couple months.

What does that mean for you, dear reader? It means posting crappy iPhone photos of stuff from my sketchbook since I don't have access to a scanner! (I'm not knocking the iPhone -- it just can't do what I need a scanner for).

*** Note to self: price a portable 8 1/2 x 11 scanner in the next few days. ***

Enough with the horse shit. On to ideas!

THE VINDICATORS

These two guys are part of a fun idea I had about a group of young ... I guess they'd classify as heroes, but they're definitely more revolutionary minded. They've got that spirit of youth that makes them want to affect serious change in the world, but they're faced with the dangers that go along with that. They're gonna screw up a lot and face the consequences, good intentions or not. Their methods are going to bring them into a lot of conflict with the good guys.

Anyway, I can't just name him Maverick, so he's actually 'Maverick' Rick Martin. His partner there is 'Radical' Calvin Reynolds. See what I did there? They picked their names based off their actual names! I'm clever! Anyway, they're kind of folk heroes and most folks in that part of the city know who they are. They're not too obsessed with secret IDs, which is also gonna bite them in the ass. Along with Maverick and Radical, I've got Rob 'Rogue' Gordon, Mira 'Minx' Nixon, Leo 'Hellion' Hansen and Ogden 'Outlaw' Lawrence. Together they make up The Vindicators -- meaning someone who is proven right.

Arrogance of youth and all that.

I had fun coming up with these guys.
Next up: NAZIS!

Gottesklage is going to be a member of the Axis Champions. Yes, they are evil nazis, but it always bugs me that people have the nazis name their groups things like "Evil" and "Supervillains." They don't actually think they're villains, they think they're heroes doing grand shit. So I gave them a heroic team name. I am NOT condoning nazi evil in any way, shape or form.

Anyway, Gottesklage means something like a 'death song' or lament in German. She's a nazi super woman.














Blitzmann is an ubermensch with added lightning powers. Basically he's Superman but a total asshole. Cuz he's a Nazi.

A schratt is a 'forest goblin' in German, but my goal is to make Schratt like their Batman. He's the creepy guy in the shadows, the night stalker type. The pervert in the leather trench coat with the heavy breathing. The guy's a Nazi so I don't have to feel bad about anything I say about him.

Tyr is their Thor, except he's not the real thing. He's just a guy they gave super powers to and then modeled after Tyr, the Norse god of justice and stuff and brother of Thor who, frankly, gets dicked over in the mythology. Dude has to basically let Fenrir, the uber-wolf, eat his right hand to protect a bunch of other folks and then Loki still screws with him. 














This spy killer type is just a work in progress. I was developing him as another masked avenger like the Shadow but then I realized that I have about a hundred of those already and this guy also looks creepy enough to be a Nazi. So ... Nazi.

I ran up some other bad guys, including these Agents of SCARE, which currently stands for Secret Communist Altered Reality Enhanciles but is likely to change because it sucks.

















Doctor Dread is the guy who kicked that idea off, which then led to the creation of Mister Fright, Professor Phobos, the Holy Terror (religion-based fear has the added benefit of guilt!) and Captain Horror (military fear!). They are also giant, raving assholes.

Following those jerks, we move onto another guy that deserves slapping: RIVAL. He's dedicated himself to becoming the ultimate nemesis to Reflex and Rebel, who you can see here getting some re-design treatment. I'm not entirely unhappy with the designs I have for Reflex and Rebel now, but I'm not entirely happy, either. I think I'm just forcing the issue as it is, but screw it. It's just chicken scratch on paper for now and it keeps my creative juices engaged. 


Reflex and Rebel both wear black body armor, so I'm having to challenge myself with some of the designs of them as well as finding ways to add color and texture. Same goes for Rival, although his color scheme is split as a red upper body with black pants and boots. At least that much is decided for me. My previous designs on Reflex had him in green glowing tones in the black armor with a red cape, and Rebel with yellow glowing tones and blue ... nodes, I guess. He friggin' circles on his armor.

Screw it. We're moving on ...






Miss Fortune here is a member of the Dead Ringers, the group of baddies assembled by RepliCo to be eeeeevil counterparts of the Victory Knights. So Miss Fortune is the anti-Dani Danger, complete with negative luck manipulation. Also, she is a total bitch.

Scirocco here is the sidekick of Death-Stalker (from my previous post). She just sort of popped into my head so I rolled with it. Looking forward to doing the inks and color work on her. But again, I need a scanner ...

General Schreckengost's Night Terrors finally got a design! Yes, they very obviously look much like him, but they are a paramilitary group so they wear uniforms and uniforms are, well, uniform. That's how they got the name or the name became the word. What, do I look like a freakin' etymologist to you? Piss off. Look it up on your own. 

Anyway, I'm thinking of a really dark blue uniform with silver trim to offset from Schreckengost's black with gold trim look. What color should those goggles be? Yellow? Red? Looking forward to playing around with this one.

I can't believe I skipped this before. The Allied Raiders! These folks are the good guys of WWII, the heroes who went and fought Axis mad science and junk and stuff! 

First up is Citizen Soldier, my version of a Captain
America type. Except mine doesn't have to be softened up, so he is a killer when necessary. He doesn't like it, he doesn't want to do it, but a basic infantryman's job is to engage and destroy the enemy. That's how you win wars. You're not going to change your enemy's mind when they believe in something strongly enough to go to war over it. What you can do is inflict enough damage on them that they realize they won't survive if they continue on that course of action, and that means cutting their fighting force down to nothing as swiftly as possible. Take away someone's soldiers and you'll find they spend a lot more time considering diplomacy. Leave them with an army and they'll just keep fighting.

There endeth that lesson.




Thunder Woman here -- how the hell has no one used that name? -- Thunder Woman is pretty self-explanatory. She doesn't have a whip, but that lightning hammer of hers will rock your world.

Then we've got our robot guy. He's ... well, he's a robot guy. Can't decide if I'm going with the Iron Man-style guy in a suit or the Robocop-style guy's guts in a suit, but it'll be one of those two.

Next up is the Black Hawk family of characters, inspired by Batman and his supporting cast. I think I have a pretty good take on what I want to do with their storyline. It's been a lot of fun finding the different names and developing the unique looks for each character while still maintaining a common theme.

The theme is raptors, if you didn't get that yet. 

First up is Night Hawk, a pretty blatant analogue of Nightwing. He's the former sidekick who's since broken out on his own. I've always loved Nightwing and this was an excuse to make my own version to play with. I'm not even trying to hide that.

Then we've got Kestrel, who would be the Jason Todd-version of Robin, except not dead and brought back to life by having Superboy punch through a reality membrane you know sometimes comics are just stupid. The next time someone suggests a character punch through a reality membrane someone from editorial should come along and punch through their cerebral membrane.


Anyway, Kestrel. The helmet design was originally for a guy named Razor Rex, but then it looked bird-like so I tried it with the jacket design and that was that. Kestrel came out alright, I think.

So there it is. A bunch of stuff from my sketchbook now shared with you. Hope you enjoy this stuff as much as I enjoy making it because otherwise I'm screwed and I'll have to actually work for a living.

S.