Author Archive: Jared Lewis

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#11 Amaya Maruyama

| November 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

#11 Amaya Maruyama

Amaya has gone through a great deal of phases in her life, but there was always a toughness to her; a violent constant throughout. In school she was a bit of a bully. A little down the road, she was what some might call a delinquent. From there, she got into the riot grrl scene in Tokyo. Wild nights on the town eventually had her crossing paths with the Yakuza. Through them, she was introduced to the world of underground fighting. And it was through underground fighting where she was introduced to Kyokushin Karate.

That was 18 years ago, & so far, it’s been the one thing to hold her interest the longest. Nowadays, she spends her time in seclusion, in an abandoned temple in the Aokigahara, far from the wild nights of Tokyo, meditating & honing her technique. She tried to rid herself of all other distractions in order to focus. Rarely even emerging for food & supplies, she strives to be the deadliest fighter on Earth.

No thought was put into the name, it’s generic & Japanese & I liked it because it’s close to being a palindrome. And I think with this one, though I’m being generous by going drama & manga, I’ve completed the cycle of all the different categories I think. So that’s at least one goal. I’m probably not posting anything else after this before the end tomorrow, but be sure to keep following as I go for 52 characters for the year on my tumblr. Thanks to everyone. Good luck other participants.

#9 & #10 Klimple & Wif: Waste Disposal Associates

| November 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

#9 & #10 Klimple & Wif: Waste Disposal Associates There are certain things that you don’t really ever want to keep around. Hazardous byproducts, ancient relics, One Direction paraphenalia, etc. That’s where guys like Klimple & Wif come in. It’s their job to take unwanted materials from one dimension & safely deposit them in another, effectively eliminating whatever that item was from that original dimension’s plain of existence. You got a problem with that? You gotta take it to their bosses, Klimple & Wif are just “associates.” Aside from booming business, both Klimple & Wif’s lives have been on a bit of an upswing. Klimple just won a landmark legal action that grants him permission to wear his father’s carved skull as battlemask in the workplace, as is his cultural tradition, while Wif has finally found a proper course of treatment that stops his bioluminescent acne. — Had the idea of interdimensional trashmen & it got weirder & weirder from there. Probably in the same story universe as the first & last character I did last year. Chances are I’m definitely not hitting 30 tomorrow but let me get out the last couple of guys I was working on anyhow (I’ll have another one after this). Like I said, something came up & I had to prioritize this month. And I feel lame but it is what it is. And I’m still looking to reach my goal of 52 characters for the whole year. Those will eventually be posted on my tumblr (along with a color version of this), & then eventually my blog at some point, so keep checking back.

#7 & #8 Jörm the Stonecutter & Bergrisar of the Mosses

| November 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

#7 & #8 Jörm the Stonecutter & Bergrisar of the Mosses

 

In the spring, when the daylight starts to come back, if you wander the Northern shore, you might just come across Jörm. With a seemingly ordinary hammer & chisel, the boy surveys the shoreline in search of stones in which to carve. But Jörm is no ordinary boy. The special runes he carves into these stones give them peculiar properties. Some begin to float. Others can change shape or size. Others become completely immobile, even if the stone in question is just a pebble. Some even take on a life of their own, the only company the boy surrounds himself with.

Stranger still, you can only find Jörm in the spring, & only along the coast. But you can find him there every spring, like clockwork. In fact you could’ve found him there for the past 194 recorded springs. And in all that time, the boy has never aged a day.

Bergrisar is one of Jörm’s creations. Carved out of a huge hunk of an eroded igneous boulder, Bergrisar’s appearance was based off the fierce Frost Giants of legend & acts almost as Jörm’s vanguard, securing his seclusion, floating around & guarding him from intruders. While Jörm is said to be completely mute, Bergrisar is prone to all manner of screaming & shouting, with a feral voice that sends shivers down the spines of even the bravest of warriors. At full volume, his shriek has been known to strip the bark from trees with the force of a gale. Once, Bergrisar took a warhammer to his eye carving, pulverizing it into a rocky fissure. Ever since, a brilliant green moss as creeped from the wound.

Don’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” I’ve got a lot of other things going on & I’m not going to officially post this to my tumblr until I get all that other stuff out the way, catch up, color this, & have a second to breathe. Came from a half an hours’ worth of playing Skyrim. Wanted to do some kind of viking kid that was supernatural. Somehow he became nordic Tetsuo. The sentient boulder came into play later & I realized I probably could flesh a character out of him too. Probably a cop out but whatever. I think he’s pretty well-realized. Sorry I couldn’t color really. Would’ve liked to do green along Bergrisar’s missing eye to show that the scar is actually moss. And I would’ve made the runes glow too.

I’ve been doing roughs & have characters up to day 19. I’m still looking to do as many good characters as I can muster in the 30 days, but like I said, I’ve got something else going on that’s more of a priority I’m afraid.

#6 High Lord General Thygip Quoah

| November 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

#6 High Lord General Thygip Quoah

Quoah is a decorated warrior. Like his fathers & his fathers’ fathers. You can tell by the tattered war banner he adorns as a cape. They don’t just fasten that onto the back of any grunt. After singlehandedly putting down the Shleepori Revolt on EGP-0210, carpet bombing every square inch of the moon of Ponpurrum’s surface in the Great Replicant Conflict, & repelling the Confederated Bandit Hordes out of known space, his legacy is undoubtedly secured amongst the United Planets’ Alliance. After several millenia of fighting though, Quoah was actually kicking around the idea of retiring. He needed to rest. But that wasn’t going to happen.

Quoah has fought for many reasons: precious resources, territory, to prove a point, profit, he’s even engaged in a holy war or two. This, now, is entirely different though. Because now, all he wants is some peace & goddamn quiet! But can a war hero get any? No! Why? Because some puny, pissant, young civilization in the galactic backwater has made an egregious error: loudly & naively broadcasting their inane detritus (as well as their exact location & the extent of their warring capabilities, quite stupidly) incessantly like a drunkard screaming to himself in the center of town. Obviously, most of these transmissions were meant to only be seen by the civilization responsible. Clearly, because most of it would be too damn embarrassing to let leak out. And yet, these inconsiderate punks seem to have the gall to believe they’re the only ones living in their god-forsaken stretch of the universe. They’re completely unaware & insensitive to the fact that maybe, other sentience a) might be out there, b) have no wish to hear of or from them, & c) may actually use those very same frequencies for telepathic communication. Perhaps to them, it all comes across as cacophonous mental noise pollution to them, driving them to want to commit large scale genocide.

The United Planets’ Alliance has special policies regarding how to deal with a civilization who has yet to achieve the same level of achievement as the founding homeworlds, but this time Quoah feels it’s perfectly okay to make an exception. He’s had his mechanized battle armor refurbished & reshaped into something similar to the shape of the lousy children because he always likes to fight his enemies on their terms, to prove he’s more skilled as a warrior. He’s taking a fleet of FTL space cruisers to reign down holy hell upon these punks, but he’s pretty sure he could smash their entire, meaningless society with his own two, mechanical hands if he were to ever set foot on this “Earth” himself.

Ultimately, the joke is on Quoah though. Even if he does succeed with his plans of wiping out all of humanity in the timeframe he estimates,  there’s still roughly another 20 years left of signal bombarding his beloved homeworld. By the time he makes it back, he’ll be just in time for the dawn of reality television & the rise of the Kardashians.

Playing off the Stephen Hawking notion that our own unchecked broadcast radio chatter might be our own undoing. But more from a noisy neighbor standpoint. Haven’t heard an alien invasion intent on just shutting us up before. The drawing took way longer than it should have for me. I wanted to toy with perspective some but wasn’t happy with any of the results. Also got kind of bummed I didn’t do anything to make his form truly alien but tried to save that in the story. I imagine his physiology is this huge frog like mouth/neck/shoulders/torso with a multitude of tiny spindly legs & arms controlling levers & things inside his suit. Think Ed Bighead from Rocko’s Modern Life. That shape sorta, I guess.

Not quitting yet but I’m quite a ways away from being anywhere near on schedule. I had another thing come up. It takes priority but doesn’t occupy 100% of my time. And since I’m doing this to catch up with my own character thing anyway, I’m not just going to bow out. I’ll just keep going whether I hit the goal of 30 for the month or not. I do have a couple of others on the verge of being finished but I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to sit down & really work on them. But be on the look out.

#5 Baron Rathbone

| November 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

#5 Baron Rathbone

Sometimes, the hunger will subside for a second, offering the Baron a moment of clarity. A brief respite, often long enough to take stock of what’s become of things & then remember back to what things used to be like.

Sometimes, he can think all the way back. Back to when he was among the living. It’s rather hazy, but he remembers the English countryside, a manor he feels was once his, & the sight of a ravishing woman in a Georgian Gown. The memories become far clearer after the bite.

It occurred late one night on a lonely old road deep within the woods. The Baron was on his way back to his manor when suddenly the coach came to an abrupt stop. He readied a flintlock he had stashed under the seat, thinking it was the work of highwaymen. But the gun had no effect on the true assailant, a red-eyed man with fangs & the strength of ten men. When the Baron finally came to, the sun was just moments from rising & the hunger started taking its hold. He staggered the rest of the way.

For centuries, the Baron preyed on humanity like an apex predator culling the herd. The longer his bloodlust, the further removed from them he became. Traveling with the East India Company, on the battlefields of the Somme, stalking the tunnels during the Blitz, the Baron was there. Time passed, but he never aged a day. Eventually a war broke out to end all wars. When the bombs eventually grew quiet. The winter that followed, brought on by the ashen skies, were the halcyon days for the Baron & his ilk. While there might’ve been fewer dining choices now, with less sunlight to hinder them, the vampires declared open season. Mankind was hunted to near extinction. The few that remained seemed to band together in impregnable strongholds & wait out the cold. But the proximity proved to be their ultimate undoing, as they were ravaged by disease. Humans became harder & harder to come by. When desperate & famished enough, the Baron would sometimes partake on whatever other mammals he might stumble across. Perhaps even birds. The Baron can remember his last human victim, a small sickly girl, almost seeming as though she welcomed her fate. He has no way of telling how long ago that was any more. But the daylight he shielded himself from then was yellow.

These days, it’s red & looms massively, pushing ever closer towards the ground the Baron stands upon. The oceans have mostly boiled away & even now, the scorching air grows thin. The landscape is a charred tinder, with less & less evidence of anything ever existing. In the early days after man, the Baron looked back at them almost wistfully. After not caring about them for the better part of a millennium, suddenly he missed them very dearly. And still the hunger persisted. Left with just wild animals, the Baron was forced to switch gears. But eventually, even they ran out, leaving nothing to sate him. Less able to cope with the intense craving, the Baron began to lose control. The once proper, upright Englishman started to sink into the depths of a feral madness. His demeanor & even his appearance (which until that point looked the same as the night he was bit) started to distort into more of a wild beast. And the longer he went without the taste of blood, the less energy he seemed to have, leaving the once proud vampire nothing more than a lethargic imp.

His existence now is a miserable one, spending most of his time buried within a tattered sheet for few miserable square inches of shade, trying not to burst into flame. Feeling like a snail, occasionally he’ll stick a hand or a foot out to into the sun’s rays for the instantaneous burn just to feel something besides the overwhelming hunger. Part of him thinks he should just cast the off the rags & let the sunlight finish it. But the other part of him, even through the bestial rage is much too proud. Still, there’s no telling just how long he’ll last or what he’s even holding out for any more at this point.

While trying to play catch up, I got caught up in details again. I know I know. I stink. The idea for this guy came from vampires having a pretty crappy endgame. I know the lore’s different depending on what you’re looking at, but if you’re immortal as long as you avoid sunlight, what happens if you stick around long enough for the Sun to go red giant? Does the light affect a vampire any differently? Maybe just a slow sizzle instead of a complete spontaneous combustion. But what happens as it keeps looming closer & closer & things heat up? This was tough though because I never told a vampire’s origin story before. I’m not a fan of what I’ve got, but I’ve already dwelled enough.

Wish I could’ve jazzed up his design a bit more but the practicality of the sheet kind of left little of him to go crazy on. And the idea of the sheet is that it’s been baking in the intense sunlight for the last thousand years & almost ready to disintegrate, so I didn’t know how I could really spiffy it up other than making it drab, faded & tore up. The feathers were an impulse decision but thinking about it as I was coloring them, where is he going to find them? They’d probably all be long gone even before the humans. Eh. I overthink things. Whatever. He just looks like a bum though. And really, he should be like millions of years old. So I didn’t push the age & decay enough for sure.

More soon hopefully with the weekend coming up.

#4 Rocket Billy Mechanized ExoSuit Mk. “Deuce

| November 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

#4 Rocket Billy Mechanized ExoSuit Mk.

The Naval ExoSuit Defense Squadron has had a long (albeit mostly secret) career. Fending off alien invasion forces & stomping evil machinations developed by evil scientists, their three-story-tall battle mechs were often the first & last line of defense since the end of World War II. But in this day & age of cutbacks & fiscal belt-tightening, there was just no way the US Government could feasibly foot the titanic cost alone. Enter the “edgy organic fast food” chain Rocket Burger (a subsidiary of the Scrimm Group). After ponying up 150% of the squad’s annual operation budget, the company was now calling the shots. The last three remaining Mk I ExoSuits were given new Rocket Burger paint jobs, with the corporate mascot, Rocket Billy & his trusty jet pack emblazoned on their carbon fiber chestplates. Veteran pilot Lt. Chance Murphy couldn’t help but feel like a complete shill. But at least he was still piloting.

And then Jakarta happened. Members of the squad still don’t like talking about the incident, or the hellish volcano beasts from deep with in the Earth’s Mantle that they had to face that day. In the end, Chance was the last pilot standing (with one KIA, while the other, struggling with a severe case of PTSD, may never be mentally able to pilot again), his ExoSuit torn limb from limb.  Though the day was barely saved, the future of the squad once again looked uncertain. That was until Rocket Burger came back with another, bigger check.

Using whatever scraps they could, the crew combined the working elements of the three demolished suits into a single, new & improved unit, all tucked into a Rocket Burger-approved chassis. “Rocket Billy,” standing at roughly 18ft & shaped to the exact proportions, is the spitting, robotic visage of the fast food chain’s mascot. Equipped with two rockets made from the parts of old Titan warheads, he can even fly through use of his working jetpack. Carrying a concealed weapons payload tucked away in various parts of his body, Rocket Billy can tackle pretty much any threat quite handily. But the atomic rays tucked into his each palms are usually enough. The execs have taken to calling him the Mk. Deuce, as a matter of cross promotion synergy after the Deuce, Rocket Burger’s special variant of the double cheeseburger.

But, at the end of the day, Lt. Chance Murphy, the last remaining exopilot, didn’t sign up to play the role of corporate mascot. Jaded by having to fly the world over, opening a brand new Rocket Burger location almost daily, he feels like he’s gone from shill to complete corporate goon. “At least you’re still piloting. At least you’re still piloting.” He mantras, before hitting the coupon cannon that fires a shower of buy one, get one free vouchers to a greedy, overly-enthusiastic crowd. He bides his time until the next global threat.

I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of how corporations would operate in a superhero comic world, so that’s where the kernel of this idea started. Endorsing superheroes & funding things like this just as a means of advertising & promotion doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility. I mean they’ll rename historic sports stadiums like it’s nothing. I think the look came from the continuity of the Big Guy & Rusty cartoon & the idea of combining the two. Ultimately, I think I opted too rockabilly hipster versus atomic age robot. Figured he’d be scuffed up & battle damaged some too from previous scuffles, but I might’ve over done it. The flight crew member is there just to give an idea of scale. I like how the tailcode came out. Figured it would probably have to have something like that.

More soon. Getting really good feedback & a lot of kind words. I really appreciate it!

#3 Percy Sutton: Artesianal Vegan Baker

| November 5, 2013 | 5 Comments

#3 Percy Sutton: Artesianal Vegan Baker

Percy has been baking since the age of 4. It’s been a lifelong passion of his, starting with his older sisters old EZ Bake. Of course, as a child, he was often left to be his own taste tester, & as a result was always a bit on the heavier side. Between his weight & his “girly” pursuits, he was picked up mercilessly. But as Percy grew older, he became obsessed with making healthy food delicious & delicious food healthy & somewhere meeting in the middle. After school, he went to Europe, perfecting some of the more traditional aspects of his craft at the most prestigious bakeries in France & Italy. He came back home, only to go & study in places like San Fransisco, & later Portland, where he began to incorporate their more health-conscious & natural elements. It even helped him shed the pounds too.

He eventually settled down & started purveying his own baked goods through Biscuit, his own shop in East Austin, TX. Opening the doors at the age of 24, he’s been baking bread & other items for almost a full decade now. The bread, of course, is his specialty. Offering six different varieties, he’s got his own special ingredients & methods that make each of his gluten free loaves the rave of the town. While his customers usually come in for the desert items, your cupcakes, your pastries, they get tempted & always leave with some the bread too. As Percy has put it, “Why not enjoy that same delightful experience when you’re just having a sandwich or a piece of toast? And it’s good for you! Better than that store shit.”

It’s a huge seller, & Percy sometimes finds it hard to keep up with all the demand, but he really enjoys trying. With the amount of business going through his shop, it’s easily the top Artesianal Vegan Bakery in town (& considering you can only find that kind of an establishment in a city like Austin, probably the state as a whole). Seeing him as a bit of a small-time celebrity, his customers often ask why someone with his skills & passion doesn’t have his own show yet.

What?
Oh. That?
Yeah, uh Percy doesn’t really like talking about that. It started as just a simple rash on his shoulder. He knew he shouldn’t have scratched or picked at it but it was just so itchy though. When it started to get really bad, he tried using all natural & holistic remedies, because they’re supposed to be healthier for you, you know? But then things really seemed to get out of hand. It turned blue, then black. It sprouted teeth, eyes, wiggly little tentacle like nerve-endings, then the weird whitish brainy-guts bits. The claws that budded off were a strange development, but he’s recently gotten an okay amount of control over them some times. While the whole thing might be a little off putting to look at, he’s grown pretty used to it by now & it’s not going to let it stop him. Though he’s pretty sure that it’s the reason the 24 hour cooking channels keep rejecting his pitches for a show.
If you see him, just don’t draw too much attention to it & you’ll be fine.

I had originally planned on starting with this on Friday as my first but you can probably guess why it’s taken me a while to finish. Part of the reason was that on Sunday, I saw a comic artist on my facebook page say the only thing people were getting out of 30 Characters was 30 halfassed drawings. Out of spite, I took my time & went the full Tetsuo. That & it’s just fun to draw body horror sometimes. Either way, I ask you, still half-assed? Whatever, the internet’s been dumb lately, & I like drawing tentacles sometimes.

Also, moral of the story: this is what happens when you don’t eat meat.

More soon as I play catch up. I might have a bit of extra time today, so let’s hope.

#2 Bakunin, formerly Municipal Maintenance Drone 1134

| November 4, 2013 | 1 Comment

#2 Bakunin, formerly Muncipal Maintenance Drone 1134

Maintenance Drone 1134 lead a happy life. At least it was programmed to be happy about the “life” it lead. An automaton designated by the city to water plants & keep the sidewalk clear of leaves & debris, 1134 would start its day at 0245, & return home to recharge at 0745. 1134 liked the outdoors. 1134 liked people. Sometimes, while watering the trees on 4th St, 1134 would see an orange tabby. Seeing the orange tabby made 1134 very happy. 1134 would think of the orange tabby during its nightly recharge.
One day, while leafblowing the sidewalks on 5th St, 1134 noticed a crowd of people who looked very angry. The people were holding signs & chanting quite loudly. Some wore masks that covered their faces. The police came. 1134 liked the police very much, but was confused to see the crowd get very angry at the police. The police only dealt with bad people. Was this crowd bad people. 1134 was  told to stay away from bad people. Then, suddenly 1134 received an emergency call to return home to recharge, even though it was still quite early. 1134 wanted to go that way, but the crowd of bad people were in the way. Eventually the call won out. With no way to avoid them, 1134 had to roll right through the crowd of bad people. They took notice right away & suddenly seemed very angry with 1134. They began hitting & kicking 1134, which 1134 didn’t like at all. Then, one of the people found 1134’s power button, causing 1134’s world to go dark.
1134 woke up & wasn’t 1134 anymore, but Bakunin. Bakunin was surrounded by the people 1134 saw as bad. But Bakunin liked these people. They were good people now. The police, especially the riot police, they were the bad ones now. And Bakunin didn’t want to avoid them the way 1134 had want to avoid the bad people. Bakunin wanted to go right up to the riot police & do bad things to them. Which seemed bad, but now somehow, also right. It would be easy now that his watering hose shot fire out of it. And the good people could put in a bag of nails into the intake of his leafblower now to, in what they called a frag cannon.
As it started to get light out, the people told Bakunin it was time to go. Bakunin had never been outside during the day before, not even once as 1134. Bakunin was excited, & hoped there would be riot police to do bad things too.

The first draft I took at writing this was in the format of the drone’s logs. I liked it but it was long, & didn’t get all the ideas across so I opted to change it at the last second. So I went more for something like the inner monologue of the ratdogs from Snow Crash this time around. Wanted to try avoid using pronouns in regard to Bakunin to make it interesting, though on the reread, its probably way annoying. The idea here was to do a non-traditional service bot with a mundane purpose that gets repurposed to do fairly violent, sinister things. Especially if it’s got a limited, but cheery AI that suddenly has to pull this 180. So I put him in a civil disobediance context & named him Bakunin after the 19th century Russian Anarchist. By the way, the boxes ducttaped to his tank are packets of C4 in case things get really hairy. The drone itself is unaware of it, but its rigged to blow. The color scheme is inspired by plastic outdoor storage sheds. My girlfriend recommended the orange & I thought given its original purpose, something about it should be pretty high visibility. So yeah. Also, sorry for the profanity, if that’s not your thing. I felt it was warranted in the context though.
I’ve also already blown my goal of keeping my characters daily & I’ve fallen a day behind. I’ve got two excuses but really only the one’s any good. Anyway, I finished drawing this one last night pretty early, & hoped to have it up earlier on Sunday but the colors took a long while. My #3 is scanned, & I’m in the middle of coloring it right now. That was the one I had hoped to do for #1 but instead, I got carried away. Look for it soon.

#1 Blue Sound

| November 1, 2013 | 4 Comments

#1 The Flake

It was around age of 3 that Vika Daly’s Synaesthesia started to become prevalent. At first, her bemused parents welcomed & encouraged the cognitive patterns started to display. While other kids her age were still trying to get a handle on their colors, letters, numbers, & shapes, Vika was creating her own connections through her own unique neural pathways between each. But as time went on, things started getting a little out of hand. By the time she was ready to start school, she was prone to bouts of sensory overload. Unable to cope, the team of experts she was brought to prescribed an intensive regime of drugs, some still in trial phases. While they worked to dull her senses & keep her condition in check, the cocktail also rendered her nearly catatonic. Vika remembers going through life in slow motion. Seeing everything happen quicker than she could register. While she wasn’t on the medication long, it seemed to have a strange effect.

One day after stopping the treatment, just as it seemed Vika was regaining her sense of normalcy, she was doing her geometry homework when suddenly, she got enthralled by the cover of her textbook. It was blue. A deep blue. Vika felt herself getting lost in it, almost feeling weightless. To her surprise, the reason she was experiencing that sensation was because she was floating about four feet off the ground. It seemed as though her treatment had only acted to intensify her condition. Over time, she found that other sensations had other effects on her too. Thinking of the number 9 kept her from getting hurt. Focusing on the sound of plucking strings made her move with super speed. Squeezing squishy plastic, like a stress doll, gives her a burst of strength. Having long since associated the number 4 with her childhood home, focusing on that number will instantly put her there, as if she teleported there. She began explored more & more of her new strange abilities until she came to the attention of some of the top minds in the country. They seemed to want Vika to be some kind of superhero. While she initially had no real aspirations, she had no real objections either.

After years of training, she’s finally been given the greenlight to serve & protect. To facilitate the sensations she needs when she needs them, she was given a special collar, able to project certain sounds through the directional speakers, & spritz special aromas right underneath her nose. She also keeps certain snacks, knick-knacks, & paint swatches in her utility belt that illicit certain beneficial responses. Her big puffy gloves are specially designed with haptic feedback capable of simulating 42 separate tactile sensations through use of a magnetorheological gel. With these, she’s pretty much able to call on any sensations she should need.

At the same time, some sensations can be liabilities. For instance, the smell of mint renders her powerless for up to a half hour. The number 15, she claims “puts her in a bad place,” making her very angry. As a result, she’s flown into a berserk rage after focusing on it for too long. There’s also a very specific blue pantone that will cause Vika to lose control of her flight powers & drift ever upwards. And she’s still not immune to occasional bouts of sensory overload. Another issue due to the nature of her condition, there’s always the possibility of something she hasn’t experienced yet effecting her in some other new, strange way. It makes her a bit of a wildcard at times & to her peers in the superhero world, it seems to make her come off as a little flaky at times.

Still, Vika sees her unique condition as an opportunity. While her powers might not always make her the most reliable superhuman out there, she’s still convinced that she could still possibly make a difference.

I started off with another character but it was a little too ambitious & I wanted to keep things on track as possible. Happy with how the color on this one turned out. I don’t know if I explained the powers well enough but I wanted to go for something that wasn’t a traditional superpower. There probably is someone with this kind of ability out there, but I couldn’t think of them. So yeah. I’m not even that big on superheroes anymore. Anyway, just trying to get the ball rolling here. 30 Characters: 1 of 30, Character a Week: 14 of 52.

2013 Challenger: Jared Lewis

| October 28, 2013 | 6 Comments

Me.Hi again.

My name is Jared, & this is my fourth time competing in the 30 Character Challenge. I work on comics that rarely ever see the light of day when I’m not at my dayjob editing & making graphics for commercials. I completed this challenge the first two times I tried. Last year I’d say was a little iffier, as I had been behind all month & while I finished up drawing my 30th character just before the stroke of Midnight Dec 1st, my scanner decided to not cooperate with me. So yeah, this happened.

After that, I decided to do a character a week for all of 2013. But then just about a week in, I started a new job that was about an hour away & had a pretty gnarly commute that cut into a good chunk of my free time. I eventually moved closer & once I finally got settled realized I had fallen very far behind. While I was toying with the idea of not participating this year, I’m only on about #13 of what’s supposed to be 52 for the whole year. So I’m signing up as a means to catch up on that, as I’m going to at least need another 30. While I am always trying to work on comics, with these characters at some point, I’m thinking I might do a book in the old Marvel Handbook style or DC’s Who’s Who, spotlighting some of them.

Goals I have going in this year: 1) Try to keep the character a day pace. I’m bad with that & don’t think I’m going to do that, but I’d like to try. 2) Create a character for each of the category tags. Done it each time so far, & looking to keep it up. 3) More Variation, especially in silhouettes. When I start falling behind, I tend to start cranking out characters with similar proportions & builds & fashion sense. So try to switch it up a little more. Below are a few samples of what I’ve done already this year. If you’re interested in seeing more, check out my tumblr.

Good luck to everyone else participating. Looking forward to seeing some awesome work.

 

Fourth Brother of Celestial TranquilityNona Smidgenbachen: Were-Mothperson

Gamze Demokan: Forensic Xenobiology Grad StudentThe Feral Homeless Gentleman Who Wanders the Cambridge Grove Industrial Park

#19 Mr. Earworm

| November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment

#19 Mr. Earworm

Auditory Innundation. That’s what they call it. And it’s Mr. Earworm’s specialty.

Basically, what ever music he’s listening to? It bangs around in his head, goes through a couple of filters until it becomes a nightmarish cacophony he can project it into the heads of others at whatever volume & intensity he wants. This makes the cassette in his walkman a mixtape of sheer terror. On it are such hits as:

WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE
Paula Cole

BUTTERFLY
Crazytown

MACARENA
Los Del Rio

KISS ME
Sixpence None the Richer

IRIS
The Goo Goo Dolls

ALL STAR
Smash Mouth

HOW BIZARRE
OMC

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?
Baha Men

And Many More

… all of which he can use as a weapon, torturing victims for leverage or driving them to insanity or even suicide.

Word has it, he got his start a morning zoo crew DJ, when a falling out with the station manager lead him to fall precariously onto a satellite dish. In a thunderstorm. During solar flares.

Now he’s got a bone to pick with society.

—-

This was a sudden idea that came together pretty quickly, & I like the outcome. I’d imagine he’d probably be a villain in the same universe as the Annunciator. First, let me state that any resemblance to a certain character actor was at first unintentional (I was originally basing him on another actor entirely), but as the drawing progressed, it seemed to just make sense & didn’t shy away from the likeness either. That guy pulls good faces & his more manic/maniacal roles suit what I was going for with this guy in a way that felt really right. Secondly, it’s probably terrible of me, but if you were to ask me what superpower I’d want, this would be immediately behind telekinesis & teleportation. I probably wouldn’t want to drive people to the lengths of this character, but I listen to some annoying stuff & the idea of projecting that annoying music into the brain of some jerk that cut me off? I don’t know, I think that’d be pretty cool.

Some song’s come from the Aziz Ansari bit about the World’s Worst Mixtape.

Also, I hate the term “Earworm.” This is the first & last time I will ever say it.

#18 Thornsbeak the Wise

| November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment

#18 Thornsbeak the Wise

While most Owlbears have a very feral nature, there are some found in the Southern Wilds that possess the capacity for speech & even spellcasting. The wise old Thornsbeak is one such owlbear mage. His specialty is Elemental storm magic, & he uses the electricity to get a sense of his surroundings as his eyes have long lost their ability to see. The skull fragment he wears as a trophy is said to come from the Cobalt Wyrm, the legendary creature that once terrorized the Great Severin Pass.

—-

So I was at my girlfriend’s dad’s house for Thanksgiving & hit a bit of a snag creatively. You know, just kind of being out of your element? She had a D&D monster manual sitting around so I gave it a look. I’m typically not a fantasy guy, so I never really got into the actual game, but I always loved digging through the manuals & looking at the art. And that’s where this came from. As I flipped through it, I kind of dug the Owlbear creature in it. Something about the shape of it & the weird juxtaposition of the two critters. Still, I was thinking that since western cultures regard owl’s as a symbol of wisdom, any weird permutation thereof should be something a little more than just a wild beast. So I made an owlbear Storm Mage, quite possibly to contend with The Furnace, if that was ever something I got around to making.

#16 & #17 Peanut & Rasmussen: IWF Tag Team Champions

| November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment

#16 & #17 Peanut & Rasmussen: IWF Tag Team Champions

While they may be a bit more unconventional than other pairings, the gruesome twosome of Peanut & Rasmussen have held the Infernal Wrestling Federation’s Tag Team Championship belts longer than any other competitors. The two were born to compete together, quite literally. While in the womb, Peanut (the hulking brute) tried to absorb his twin brother Rasmussen (the brains & horns of the operation), but Rasmussen proved to be a little too resilient.

Now, the two function as one unit, with the impish brother able to disappear & reappear at will anywhere along the other brother’s brutish frame.  In the ring, this leads to a multitude of diabolic double team situations, not to mention the occasional, well-calculated eye gouge, low blow, or even horn poke when the ref isn’t looking. None of the other teams in the company can stop them. The only thing that might bring about their downfall is their general dysfunction, as the two constantly bicker & argue.

Oh, & maybe Rasmussen’s rampant drug problem out of the ring, which concerns Peanut greatly.

—-

Now you may look at this & be like “Really? Two characters? I think you’re just trying to get two characters out of this just so you can reach 30!” And you know what, you’d be right. Sue me. Originally, it was just the one guy. I wanted to make a wrestler but felt it needed to be more than just a wrestler, so I made him this kind of monster like dude as well: Hooray, monster wrestler. But as I started drawing him I thought “What if he’s so badass he’s World Champion AND World Tag Team Champ on his own? Or what if he’s like Master Blaster from Thunderdome? Or what if his partner was attached?” That somehow became, the partner swims through him where he’s needed & that’s how they’re tag team champs. The sledgehammer is a nod to Triple H, though retrospectively, probably pretty ineffective in a world of monster wrestling. Still I kept it in because I thought it was pretty good at establishing scale. I kept having issues with the skin tone but I’m pretty happy with the final result. Originally, I was trying different variations of dark grey but it kept blending in with the pants.

#15 Miyabihana

| November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment

#15 Miyabihana

Being a Sumo was in Hiroki’s blood. Always expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, & his father before him, he started training at an early age & was given the shikona “Miyabihana.” But deep down, Hiroki’s heart just wasn’t in it. What he really loved was Hip Hop. It gave him a taste for the finer things, & a chip on his shoulder towards what he felt were the stodgier, more traditional ways he was being groomed to carry on. And perhaps if he wasn’t such a phenom, they wouldn’t have allowed him to buck the system in the ways he did, like coming to the ring with tattoos & custom mawashis from the finest designers. Out of the circle, Hiroki tried to live his life like he was in a rap video. Parties every night, women, fine bling, tricked out SUVs, the works.

Of course, an up & coming sumo can’t afford to live all that luxuriously. Hiroki needed some help to keep up the lifestyle he aspired to have. And in trying to earn a little extra money, he may or may not have fallen in with a bad element. Now he’s worked his way up to Ozeki, & in is prime contention to be the next Yokozuna. But that same bad element may or may not be now looking for him to throw a string of bouts, & even possibly face a demotion. And while Hiroki’s never been much for this whole sumo thing, making it this far? He feels a bit conflicted.

—-

Nothing to do with the 80’s thing my last character had going on. Different thing entirely. I just wanted to draw a sumo guy. While I was looking to give him some other gimmick as well (ie Sumo Frankenstein, Robosumo, etc), nothing really worked in a way I was happy about, so I just played it pretty straight & gave him that tired old prizefighter trope of throwing matches. Still, I’m reserving the right to retry a Sumo Frankenstein again at some later date.

#14 “Hong Kong” Freddie Wong

| November 27, 2012 | 1 Comment

#14 "Hong Kong" Freddie Wong

You really don’t get a nickname like “The Black Electric Phoenix” unless you’re kind of a bitchin’ dude. And that’s precisely what Freddie Wong is.
A Wing Chun Prodigy, his dayjob isn’t much of a secret amongst the people of the neighborhood. Typically, he’s the guy the local crime boss calls in when you’re behind on a few “protection” payments & you need a little bit of a reminder. A reminder of the kung fu variety. It’s not a job he’s particularly proud of, mind you, but a job’s a job, & at the end of the day, he feels he conducts business in a pretty fair, professional manner.
Still, he started feeling like he was beginning to wear out his welcome around the very area he grew up. At least until the 109th Kumite was announced. Freddie registered & suddenly, the people of the neighborhood started looking past his criminal transgressions. He went from local thug to home town hero overnight. He thinks it may have a little something to do with the fact that he’s favored to get pretty far, according the some of the local bookies. That is unless his cockiness gets the better of him. Still, the same shop owners he beat down will cheer him on, as the further he advances, the more they can brag about being bullied by the best.

—-

Even though he’s certainly not the most elaborate character I’ve done, he might be up there as one of my favorites. Right before the challenge, I was thinking about doing a story that was a throwback to 80’s martial art tourney movies, as I have a great love for them. Still, I always hate how the main Asian dude in everyone of them is this super spiritual, quiet monk like guy almost every time. Right, I get that they’re supposed to embody all of the positive virtues of martial arts & everything, but it’s almost always that same kind of dude. Or a white or black guy thinking he’s that dude. So I was looking to do something different. Freddie here’s a bit of a punk, & maybe he finds a bit of redemption, but he’s not some boy scout through & through. Chief sources of inspiration were the fixer guy in Bloodsport & Dennis Dun in John Carpenter movies.

#12 & #13 Loomis & His Possessed Bookbag Chomps

| November 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

#12 & #13 Loomis & His Possessed Bookbag Chomps

Loomis Burton Barnes is a kid with three last names. He thinks a little differently than the other kids in school. And until recently, some of the other kids thought that gave them license to treat him cruelly. He could’ve handled the berating & constant name calling, but the beatings were another matter entirely. He started to carry around an extra large bookbag he found at an army surplus store. It enabled him to lug all of his books from class to class without stopping at his locker & receiving the pummeling that ultimately would have awaited him there.

One day, after receiving a black eye just before home room, Loomis found himself at his wit’s end. Ms. Gernsback seeing the injury sent him immediately down to the nurse (more out of fear of litigation than concern, mind you. At least that was Loomis’ read of the situation). On his way, he swore he felt something begin to shift & shimmy in his heavy knapsack. The rocking motion intensified until it got to the point that he was almost thrown off his feet. Slinging the bag to the floor, it began moving on its. Suddenly long, slimy tentacles wriggled out of the side pockets, & pushed the bag to eye level as if they were legs. A terrified Loomis tried to run the other way, as fast as he could down the corridor. But the squid like bag only kept up pursuit, eventually cornering him in the K block stairwell.

Pressed against the wall, Loomis thought he was seeing his life flash before his eyes. As his bag inched closer to his face, the still zipped confines began to stretch & pull & twist inches from him, letting out a soft, almost canine whimper. Hesitantly, Loomis slowly unzipped the bag from left to right. As the zipper teeth parted, they gave way to huge, yellow-y fangs. He started to think it wasn’t so much something in the bag, as maybe it was the bag itself. Once he got it two thirds of the way undone, the fangs opened wide & took it the rest of the way on their own, waggling its jaw around like it was stretching in a yawn. Loomis clenched his eyes, fearing that this was it. Instead, a long slobbery tongue smooshed itself all over his cheeks as the bag started to pant.

Ever since, Loomis has a new friend. A friend he wanted to name Gramsci, after the Italian Marxist. But the bag seems to only want to respond to Chomps. Loomis, being quite the paranormal enthusiast, has a couple of theories on Chomps’ origin. Perhaps it has something to do with the bag seeing battle, possibly picking up a ghost or two along the way. Or maybe, all the ill will of Loomis’ day to day built up & caused some sort of hellmouth that allowed a demon to possess this otherwise inanimate backpack. Either way, Chomps is a loyal companion. And constantly hungry. In fact, he seems to only getting hungrier, & now that’s starting to be a problem.

Now, whenever someone tries to pick on Loomis, they have to go through Chomps first. And it’s usually through his digestive track.

—-

I try to think of things that would work all ages. This is pretty borderline I guess, but that was the original goal: make something kid friendly. As far as the challenge, I’m not in as bad shape as it looks. I doubled up on characters twice, & currently have this through 19 scanned while I’ve got 20-24 in various stages of completion. It’s going to be tight but maybe I can still swing it!

#11 Bertram the Sentient Beef & Bean Burrito

| November 21, 2012 | 3 Comments

#11 Bertram the Sentient Beef & Bean Burrito

Bertram believes his own sentience began on the production floor of the Basura Burrito (a division of the Scrimm Group) Processing Plant one year ago. He believes he has partial memories of his time being wrapped, packaged, & flash frozen. But it wasn’t until he was distributed to Southern Indiana & placed in a Hyung (also a division of the Scrimm Group) Mk III Standard Residential Microwave unit & placed on high for 4 minutes & 30 seconds instead of the recommended 1 minute & 30 seconds, that he gained his powers.

Bertram is now the most powerful burrito on Earth. He can power & control most standard household appliances at a range of 20 yards, while also having the ability to speak telepathically with other frozen faux Mexican cuisine. He also possesses limited telekinesis, giving him the ability of flight & to shape a humanoid body out of the intense electromagnetic current he constantly bathes in. He communicates via the digital timer slot of his “microwave battle armor”, but only in four letter bursts, as that is the max number of characters the timer is built for.

—-

This comes from me thinking about old timey superhero origin stories. They’re all either doses of radioactivity and/or exposure to chemicals. And if that were true, between the radiation of a microwave & the amount of preservatives pumped into its production, your standard hot pocket should by all accounts give you godlike powers, not diarrhea.

The jump to actually make the foodstuff sentient? I don’t know, really. I think I just wanted to draw something with a microwave for a head. It’s dumb, but I’m pretty happy with it for absolutely no good reason.

#10 The Furnace

| November 20, 2012 | 3 Comments

#10 The Furnace

On the field, Kaiser Solumanen is the Chief Battlemage of the Grey Army. But more people throughout the dominion know & fear him simply as “The Furnace.”

The stories mostly paint Solumanen as a young apprentice at the Black Wreath Academy of Mysticism some years ago. While not necessarily looking to step out on the battlefield, he was looking to specialize mainly in the use of elemental magic. Fire was his favorite, & he cultivated a level of ability that began to exceed his own control. His proctors tried to warn him, as they’d catch him with scorch marks on his clothes or whenever he’d go without an eyebrow. But he never paid them much mind.

One day, he took things a step too far, creating a blue flame so hot, there was no chance of it ever extinguishing. In the process, he severely burned himself & nearly razed the ancient school. Dishonorably expelled & sealed in a bulk containment suit, the only feeling Solumanen has any more is pain. Intense, burning pain.

Now he is the Grey Army’s “secret” weapon. A walking inferno of immeasurable heat. He spends his time between battles in a smoldering lead carriage. When he is needed, he levitates across the field of battle setting everything alight, scorching anything in his wake. With little concern of collateral damage, everybody looks to just stay out of his way.

—-

So again, I was mostly just trying to look & round out all of the possible categories for characters. I was looking for something big & imposing & scary looking, but also vaguely fantasy & maybe a little steampunk-y. The proportions are jacked on this a bit. It was partly intentional with the huge upper body & arms, & tiny little head. Trying to sell the whole containment suit idea though I think I went a little overboard. I also kept debating whether his feet should stick out or if it should be all cloak. In the end I probably should’ve left the feet out. And another thing I was fickle about was the color of the flames. I liked the result of the effect here alright but at the end of the day, maybe I should have just left it orange. Oh well. Onward…

#9 Naoko Atsugi: Magic Girl PM

| November 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

#9 Naoko Atsugi: Magic Girl PM

Seventeen years ago, klutzy, unassuming schoolgirl Naoko Atsugi found a magical wand on her way to school one morning. Next to it was a talking Yorkie named Orion, who told her it was the descendent of benevolent Alien Royalty & that it was her destiny to protect the Earth. Upon a wave of the wand & a few mystical words, she became Cadet Virgo, leader of the Magical Zodiac Cadets. Over the course of their high school career, her & her friends, the other Zodiac Cadets, vanquished the evil Queen Thanatas, Empress of the Underworld, & in the process saved the world.

Saving the world from the clutches of an Evil Sorceress can bring a pretty high profile with it. First, as a newsworthy pop idol, were the endorsement deals. Then as an established celebrity came the modeling jobs. Next thing she new, Naoko was jetsetting around the world with the International Fashion Elite. Part time model. Part time Patron. She became close friends with designer Maxwell Coburn, who went on to create some Haute Couture just for her. The ironic thing was that Coburn’s chief source of inspiration was none other than Cadet Virgo’s arch-nemesis, Queen Thanatas, causing some fans to question what was happening to their beloved heroine. Privately, there wasn’t an agenda. She liked the clothes & spending so much time in the public eye, she liked the idea of playing with how it was that she was perceived.

Much more recently, Naoko has become much more serious, & gotten herself interested in politics. She decided to run for Prime Minister. When her detractors argued she had absolutely no experience in leading a nation, in an impassioned speech, she contended that “[she] successfully spent [her] teenage years leading fellow high school girls in a fight against an omnipotent mystical threat just fine, how hard could a Nation be?”

It secured her the nomination.

—-

This took forever because apparently the one thing I have more trouble drawing than anything is Haute Couture. It doesn’t make sense to me. And yes, the shameless Daphne Guinness vibe is intentional, & probably way too obvious. Anyway, the one line idea for this one goes back to the first year I did the 30 Characters. On my list, this was right next to “Luchadore President” (which I think was just Luchadore in a suit or something, but I ended up making him president anyhow): Magical Shoujo Girl PM. But since I already had a president character, I never got around to working on it past always thinking it’d be weird if she was this fashionista that dressed vaguely like the villain she used to battle.

Recently, on Entervoid, an artist named Jetster posted an awesome Grown Up Shoujo Girl character of their own, & it made me think back to my old character prompt again. But while I only finished Naoko for the sake of this challenge, you should go check out Jetster’s Lady Vanity comics because they’re pretty cool!

#8 Sunshine Montgomery

| November 16, 2012 | 1 Comment

#8 Sunshine Montgomery

You know, they say there’s people out in the landlocked states, dodging tornadoes every other damn day, trying to pretend it’s all business as usual while STILL denying the climate’s going through some changes.

There’s nobody willing to argue in what’s left of the cities along the coast. Things are much different now. Where there was once prime urban real estate, sit flooded streets five stories deep. Where there’s now suddenly a series of intense storm events, a monsoon season lasting Late August to Mid November the locals refer to simply as “The Onslaught.”  And yet still, people try to eke out a living here, living in makeshift pontoon collectives, tied off to whatever rooftops are available to set up co-op gardens. Cottage industries have even sprung up. Like the crews of Reclaimers.

Reclaimers, like Sunshine here, plunge the polluted depths of the sunken streets looking for things they can use to barter. They go by a code that consists of four rules. First, if it’s soaked for this long, it’s yours. Second, if somebody can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that its theirs, it’s theirs. Thirdly, if force is involved in obtaining it, it’s nobody’s. And fourthly, there’s nothing ever worth getting down in the Subway. Some  call them scavengers, others even lump them in with the pirate bands that sprung up. Still, as money continues to lose its value, there are more & more people who decide to take up Reclamation work.

Equipped with her trusty lifehammer (originally designed to break the window of a car that ended up in the water), Sunshine was a just a barista at a free trade coffee joint before the oceans rose, as well as a part time Freegan (much to the chagrin of everyone else). And while she might be a bit more stern than that bubbly young girl, fresh in from Smalltown USA, she prides herself on having stuck it out. All of it. The storms, the waves. At the end of the day, few can say that.

While considered a veteran Reclaimer, she’s still technically considered small time. She has yet to find that one big score. Something so valuable she can trade to get whatever her heart desires & retire off of. While, they may tease, she’s awfully persistent, even taking up contract work (searching for specific items people say they left behind). Recently, there’s been talk of a man looking to contract someone to dive Lorimer St Station. And he’s offering whatever , on account of you know, it being the subway & all. Sunshine’s typically not one to ever even really think about breaking the code, but maybe, just maybe this could be the exception.

—-

Started writing this & then had to run to work. I tried to do it more in the style of a POV but I think the voice started to sort of wane there more at the end. The idea’s partially coming from some of the events resulting from Sandy/Frankenstorm, sure. But it mostly comes from me getting sick & tired of just about every post apocalypse feeling the same. If things aren’t taking place in a sun baked wasteland, they’re in a dreary woods. Well what about the coastline? Combine that with me liking the idea of people still try to live amongst the ruins of a sunken city. The only thing I can think of ever really trying to explore that was the anime Blue Sub 6, & even then it was for like ten minutes in the very beginning of it. Evangelion sorta kinda not really.

I’m hoping to have a solid day of drawing ahead of me tomorrow. One very close to finished & a few others in the works. Problem seems to be every time I think I’m going to get time, something comes up. So we’ll see.

#7 The Annunciator

| November 16, 2012 | 2 Comments

#7 The Annunciator

Constance Punnoose was always a bit of a quiet girl. There were long stretches where she would go without saying a word. Keeping to herself, she excelled at her studies but went about her days being virtually unnoticed. And if she were being honest with herself, she kind of liked it that way.

One day, a fight broke out at her school. She saw a group of bullies cruelly beating up a quiet boy who was sort of a friend of hers. As much as someone could be without ever actually speaking to them. Anyway, it was getting brutal & she had had enough. She screamed “STOP IT YOU JERKS!”  & the words came out, but not as a sound. The phrase, shooting from her mouth, hit the assailants & pinned them to the ground.

It was at that moment that Constance’s mutant power first manifested. From that moment forward, every word she has tried to say has become a physical object that projected from her mouth. At first, she looked at it as an affliction, & herself a freak. But the boy she saved convinced her that it was a gift, one she should use to fight crime. And that’s when she became the Annunciator.

Here, she is pictured talking some smack as a matter of demonstration. She’s still learning the ins & outs of controlling her ability. One of the first things she noticed was that certain words will take on the quality of their meanings. For instance, if she says “Fire” the word will suddenly burst into flames. Saying “Acid” will eat a hole through the floor. Volume, speed, & pronunciation dictate how large, the speed it travels, & long the word lasts before evaporating into thin air like dry ice. Another fun wrinkle she’s noticed recently is that if she directs a verb at someone, they will immediately, almost involuntarily do as they were told. In once instance, she yelled “Drop” at an armed robber pointing a gun at her. She intended for him to drop the gun, which he did, upon his immediate collapse to the floor.

Still, she’s looking for a way to able to communicate vocally without hurting anyone. She currently relies on a mixture of American Sign Language & a trusty notebook mostly, but is still on the lookout for a language that will allow her to speak once again like a normal person. So far, she’s had a little bit of luck with the recently extinct language of the Eyak people of Alaska, but only with certain phrases.

—-

There’s got to be a character with this ability somewhere. I mean it’s just one of those things that feels like it should already exist but I can’t think of another character who has it. So I went with it. Am I missing one?

Catching up is looking less & less likely as the end of this month begins to start looking pretty hectic. That said, I’m going to give it a valiant effort & keep trying. I’ve gotten 30 in the past but this time around, I’m liking most of these characters more & like how they look finished up. So I’m going to move at my own pace & if I hit the goal great. If not, well I still win because I’m pretty happy with the results.

#6 Benny Angles

| November 13, 2012 | 4 Comments

#6 Benny Angles

Dr. Henrik Sonnenberg, while quite wealthy, was what you might call… eccentric. Founder of the no way ominous sounding Sonnenberg Group, he was always a big idea guy. Like when he first started floating around the idea of sticking a maximum security prison at the bottom of the ocean. Everyone questioned the practicality. But they built it. Benthomax, the largest private prison on Earth. When they couldn’t fully staff the facility, it was Dr. Sonnenberg who brought up the idea of genetically engineering the rest of the staff. With more issues of practicality & now morality being brought up, the company kept it on the down low that these creations were in fact spliced with deep sea DNA. It was a twofer. A security workforce that also functioned as an experiment in hybridization.

That was five years ago, & this is Benny Angles. He works the commissary. He got his name not through being part Anglerfish (though it didn’t hurt), but by always working the angles. As a vat grown creature, he may look like an adult but he’s still developing mentally, & at a very formidable age. Spending all his time around dangerous felons has had its effect & he’s developed quite the colorful persona. He enjoys his work at the commissary. For a price, he’ll get you whatever it is you need. He has his ways.

Word has it around the prison that his fellow hybrids are starting to get fed up with taking orders from genetically inferior humans on the surface. There’s talk about a revolution. At his core, Benny writes it all off as self-righteous horseshit. He likes the status quo, he likes his gig. A revolt could ruin that. That said, he’ll of course do his thing & work the angles, so long as it all works out for him.

—-

Another character I didn’t really have a plan for when I started. Over time he became this angler fish/guy/thing. I made him big & tall because I figured the deep sea part of his genes would be anticipating a lot of pressure, only to grow like a beanstalk without it. Stupid me though, the thing around his neck is supposed to be a mist spraying thing so he gets some water vapor in his lungs. And what do I do? Stick a giant cigar in his mouth. Yeah, way to go. That makes a whole lot of sense.

He or something like him may show up in the story my first character this year was designed for. But that wouldn’t be for a bit yet.

#5 Warrant Officer Marsh Keaton

| November 13, 2012 | 2 Comments

#5 Warrant Officer Marsh Keaton

Join the Colonial Corps of Fabricators, they said. It’s the military lite. No fighting, just programing. Getting nanobots to make specialized parts. A pretty kushy gig, they said.

And for four Terran cycles, it pretty much was. Being stationed on the under developed outpost planet of Rebus XI was almost like getting sent to a desert island paradise. Deep within Colonial territory, it was right next to a wormhole relay hub, & only recently on the up & up as a tourist destination. There never seemed like any chance of the fight coming to them. But it did.

It was quick & brutal, blitzkrieged by an unknown alien force. Word amongst the survivors is they took over the relay hub first & then the Rebus system, putting a choke hold on the whole supply line. Now it’s up to the Colonial Corps of Fabricators to turn their nanomachines into weapons & become a resistance. Stranded light years away from reinforcements, their only option is to fight.

—-

I’ve got a couple ready to post & I’ll have them up soonish. Here are two in relatively quick succession. This character was a guy I just started sketching without much of jump off. I veered kind of rockabilly with the hair & some of the tats. The story came later, & borrows elements of a story idea I’ve been trying to turn into something for a bit now. Something a little Die Hard like about dudes using Nanotech bombs that eat away at everything, but then somehow needing to make a break for it before it ate them too.

I opted for blue camo, not out of an urban setting but thinking instead of photosynthetic plantlife, the planet he’s stationed on is filled with cyanobacteria. I don’t know why he’s got the note pad thing happening on his left leg given he’s got a super computer built into that gauntlet he’s got. I assume the lens on the back of his hands shoots holograms that he uses to control nanobots. Also I think his name is terrible, but whatever. I’ll have another up shortly after writing its description.

#4 Big Ecto Smooth

| November 10, 2012 | 2 Comments

#4 Big Ecto Smooth

Big Ecto Smooth, AKA Big Ecto Cool, AKA The Original Silky Spectre, AKA Big Deacon Death, AKA The Mack Dressed in Black, AKA That Ghastly Godfather, AKA Slick Slender, The Sweet Suede Shade, AKA The Delicious Dead One, AKA The Maggot-Ridden Magnum, AKA The Iced Out Incubus, AKA Don of the Dead,  AKA Grave G, AKA T. Bone Slickens, AKA Spoiled Chocolate, AKA Phantasmic J Glide, The 7-Karat Diamond Ring Wraith,  AKA The Marquis De-Comp, AKA Hell Money.

Head of the Phantom Pimp Council.

—-

Get it? He’s a ghost & he’s a pimp. Did I lay that on thick enough for you? Nah but in all seriousness, I was going to call him the first name, but a bunch of bad ghost pimp names came to me while drawing. Sorry there’s not much in the way of a back story, but I figured it was pretty self explanatory.

Again hoping I can catch up over this weekend. We shall see.

 

#3 Buzz Ellerby: Stuntmanimal

| November 8, 2012 | 8 Comments

#3 Buzz Ellerby: Stuntmanimal

Eugene “Buzz” Ellerby was a prominent stuntman in the 1970’s. An established motorcycle daredevil, he was always looking to up the ante with each death-defying feat. While scouting new jump locations, Buzz stumbled upon Brokejaw Canyon. “Oh, I’m crossin’ this sumbitch,” he laughed. “Or die tryin’.” Word spread & his stunt team went to work constructing ramps, completely unaware they were on sacred ground.

They were confronted by members of the local Chinulpa tribe, who at first asked quite nicely for him to reconsider the location. But Buzz’s mind was already made up. The back & forth continued. On a daily basis, the elders would show up & begin to sternly insist that he leave. But Ellerby was dead set in making the jump. When it became apparent that the daredevil wasn’t going to budge, one of the tribe’s shaman decided to take matters into his own hands. He showed up the day before with a thermos, & said he would convince the rest of the tribe to back off, but only if Buzz would drink a warrior’s bravery potion, as was their custom. With the deadline quickly approaching, Buzz reluctantly decided to appease the man & downed the contents of the thermos. The man smiled & Buzz handed it back. Unbeknownst to him, the bitter concoction wasn’t for bravery at all.

The day of the big jump came. A crowd of thousands had shown up to watch & bake in the hot desert sun. TV cameras were there, at the ready. Buzz warmed up his bike, doing a couple of practice laps before heading up the ramp. With all eyes on him, he revved the bike & started to careen down the ramp. Suddenly, something went wrong. Before even reaching the trough of the jump, Buzz had come off the bike, skidding the rest of the way down on his knees. As his crew rushed to his side they realized Buzz was… different. In fact, he was no longer a man, but some sort of half beast.

Ever since, Buzz Ellerby has been cursed. In moments of high stress, he begins to change. Sometimes he resembles a wolf or coyote, other times a falcon. He’s even become snakelike. Or developed a scorpion’s shell. Pretty much any animal from the desert ecosystem. Each transformation lasts for a couple hours. And while he maintains some level of awareness, there’s no telling what will cause him to change, or what he’ll become. And while he clings onto the last shreds of his stunt career, his curse keeps getting in the way.

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Once again, I got caught up with the detail & ended up taking a lot longer than I had hoped. That said, I’m pretty pleased with the result. This one came from a half formed idea on my list of jump-off character prompts. I had the line “Werewolf Stuntman” on there, but took it a little further. I figured it’d make a pretty bitchin’ 70’s procedural. Buzz travels from town to town, using a combination of his daredevil & shapeshifting skills to right wrongs over the course of 44 minutes before moving along. I probably should have tore up his suit a little more, but I figured it was something kind of durable, given his occupation. Other characters are in the works. Hope to get to a point where I can finish & post more than just one at a time.

#2 Sirius Mack

| November 6, 2012 | 9 Comments

#2 Sirius Mack

Scourge of the Spacelanes. Merchant vessels fear him. The Confederation curses him. Ladies love him. You’d have to travel pretty far outside the Core of the Four Galaxies to find someone who hasn’t heard the name Sirius Mack.

Legend has it he was once a highly decorated officer in the Terran Armada. It was the academy where he first learned to fly & fight. Basing his technique on the ancient Samurai of Earth, his skill with a plasma blade is truly unparalleled. Upon graduating, he became a pilot. In fact, one of the best pilots, fighting in brutal orbital dogfights of the Great Saldareme War. He quickly rose up the ranks, & was soon commanding his own destroyer class vessel.

Who betrayed who changes, depending on exactly who’s telling the tale. Whatever transpired, it led to Mack stealing that ship & becoming the boldest criminal the universe has ever known. Who else would have the audacity to steal the crown jewels of the Albus, Critea, & Jojunngan Royal families at one gala, or hijack an entire Dyson Sphere?

While Confederation propaganda paints him as this cruel, sadistic butcher, many know it to be nothing more than a lie. While capable, Mack will only fight when he must. Even his victims will often speak kindly of him. While no one ever wants to get robbed, the people he preys upon often express relief, possibly even get a little starstruck that it’s by him. They call him a consummate gentleman, & say that to be victimized by him is almost a badge of honor. And while he may be just a thief, to many, he’s the People’s Thief, fighting a corrupt system.

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Falling behind. But only thing I’ve got to do tomorrow is vote, so hopefully I can get some more done after I get done with that.

This character was the one I was planning on dropping first. When I got bogged down by the detail, I initially thought I’d work on him while I moved on to others. Maybe drop him as the finale. But I hit a wall, so instead I just hunkered down & finished him off. I always wanted to try creating kind of a blaxploitation/space samurai, but never really got anywhere with it. Earlier this year, I started a completely different space pirate thing. It’s on a much smaller scale, not far flung into the future & never leaving the solar system really. But I thought that I could possibly tie that original idea in as fictional character in that world. Like that universe’s Captain Harlock, with a more romanticized view of space piracy. It kind of glorifies the life for the characters in that. The name hit me like a bolt a from the blue one day, but I never got around to actually sketching him up or working on giving him much of a back story. Until now anyway.

The jacket is loosely inspired on a character Otomo had in one of his art books once. I think it gives him a bit of an unintentional Hendrix vibe. Also, I’m not that into Star Wars, but felt weird giving this guy in the far future an actual blade, thus his weird, hard light plasma thing he just kind of projects as his hand mimes holding a sword. That way he’s never unarmed. Other than some tropes in the back story, I think its also kind of meandered from the original blaxploitation vibe I was originally shooting for. I think that was because I decided to play up the space opera elements more.

More soon.

#1 Patrol Agent Mol McGinty

| November 2, 2012 | 2 Comments

#1 Patrol Agent Mol McGinty

Infinity is a hard concept to wrap your head around. But that is how many realities The Agency polices. To do that, it takes a special kind of person. Like Agent McGinty.

While she might not have any of the flashy superpowers some of her colleagues rely on, she’s crafty. For instance, your standard agent might hop between different dimensions & notice a difference in the way time flows. Only an agent like Mol would exploit that time variance as a means to optimize her training. While she may only appear to be in her mid twenties, she’s spent the equivalent of several lifetimes honing her skills. If, by chance, she somehow finds herself lacking experience in something new, just let her step through a portal. While it may seem like an instant to you, she’ll have come back with forty years of expertise without having aged a second. She’s one of the best agents because she’s willing to put in the time.

That said, some of her fellow agents are beginning to suspect all that time is starting to cause some adverse effects on her mental & emotional well-being. While she’s always been a bit cold & withdrawn, that’s only seemed to intensify lately. And the long quiet, staring spells they find her in sometimes aren’t too reassuring either.

—-

This character is for a story I’m developing at the moment. It’s in the very beginning stages. The main protagonist is actually a different version of Mol (a Molly actually) from another dimension. I dunno. I like the idea of essentially having same person be two completely different characters, & them acting as foils to one another. This Mol is cold & methodical in a Bruce Wayne sort of sense, while the other… isn’t.

The hologram interface on her computer didn’t pan out quite the way I wanted, but I hope it still gets the point across. She’s not the character I was hoping to start off with either, but the first one had a lot of detail & was setting me back That’s why I’m a little behind starting off, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. More soon hopefully, & perhaps more from this story as it develops.

2012 Challenger: Jared Lewis

| October 28, 2012 | 0 Comments

Me. Sorry.I should probably get my info up before the East Coast loses power, what with this giant, unprecedented storm & all.

Hi.

I’m Jared.

I’m 29, I live on the East Coast, & this is my third year doing this challenge. I went all 30 for both 2010 & 2011. And yeah, I’m looking to do that again this time. It might be more of a challenge this time around as my dayjob situation has changed, giving me longer hours & a longer commute to create motion graphics for a local cable station. But I’m still looking to give it a shot. Below are a couple of my favorites thus far & a link to my infrequently updated sketchblog. I also have a tumblr without all the BS too if that works better for you. Good luck to all the other participants!

El Presidente MagnificoBellerophon the Atomic Space ApeProfessor Horatio Pettigrew RexquireSixth Carbon LamaLas Hermanas de La Sombras Vigilantes

Jared Lewis – 30 Characters in 30 Days 2011

| December 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

#1 Glorious Sentai Gokaider Red#2 Aurora#3 Sixth Carbon Lama#4 Longtalon#5 Phione
#6 Deadeye Huitzilo the Vaquerohttp://www.30characters.com/2011/11/14/7-esme-velez-martin-riggs/#8 The Duke of Brixton#9 The Sky Bandit Beatrix Sprawling#10 “Upstairs Bigfoot”
#11 The Uzbek#12 Xaiyoi#13 & #14 Las Hermanas de La Sombras Vigilantes (Isa)#13 & #14 Las Hermanas de La Sombras Vigilantes (Magda)#15 Skaggs
#16 Goroh#17 Munson#18 Quozark the Unflinching#19 TheBinMan.EXE#20 The Outsorceror
#21 Fe-Male#21 Fe-Male#23 Mynah#24 Caldera#25 Biata Boombata
#26 Oosailoo#27 Wee Andrew of Glenclover#28 The Dingo Demon Formerly Known as Sig#29 The Tungsten Rhino Support Crew#30 Tremendous Rowdy

Made it. Just barely. Overall, I’m happy. I had a busier schedule, but there were hours here & there where I could’ve focused & gotten better results. Ultimately, just happy to hit 30 for a second year. I will probably be posting more about the whole experience sometime soon on my sketchblog. Until then, I’ve got some projects to get back to. Thanks for the feedback & support, & great job to everyone who participated this year. Hope to see you next.

 

#29 & #30 Tremendous Rowdy & The Tungsten Rhinos Support Crew

| December 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Rumors about him abound. Things like at the age of eight, the boy who would be known as Rowdy was already running with raider parties, attacking the precious mineral mining operations of the Kinshasa Asteroid Belt. That’s where it’s said he learned warring. And killing. They say that when the raiders refused to let him leave to start his own faction, he wiped each former ally out one by one, before feeding their ship & any traces of their existence into a black hole.

Give atrocities he still sometimes commits, some would argue that he hasn’t quite reformed as much as just shift allegiances. After a meteoric rise through the ranks, the Colonial Space Marine Commander Rowdy spends most of his days defending some of the same Mining colonies he supposedly used to loot. The rough & ready battalion he commands, nicknamed the Tungsten Rhinos have yet to find a fight they couldn’t finish. A dozen or so of the hardest, meanest men ever to call themselves human. With a leader like Tremendous Rowdy, why would you expect anything less?

What helps them operate at such an efficient level is a good support staff. Nothing’s worse than a hydraulic malfunction with your battle armor. That’s why mechanics like Dom & Hideo (picture) play such a vital role. While they might not have received the same amount of genetic & cybernetic enhancements the Tungsten Rhinos got, they are no less important.

—-

Tremendous Rowdy was a character I was really looking forward to working on & actually started around the same time as the first character I did this year, the Sentai guy. While I did have to kind of truncate it a bit, I’m pretty happy with him. The support guys were included originally & only became their own character as I started getting down to the wire, I admit.

I’ve got a story involving Rowdy that in a round about way may also tie into my TransModo story. I feel it’s a pretty good framing device by which to tell a space marine story, but the meat of it isn’t ready yet. What I did know is that I was looking to make the head of the unit equal parts badass & scary. And after hearing a lot lately about conflict minerals & general disarray across Africa, I figured this would be best. That & I came up with the name first & figured he’d have to be some crazy warlord like figure.

So that’s 30. I’ll come back & do a sum up thumbnail post shortly, & then do a postmortem on my own blog after that. I just want to thank friends & family for support & kind words & patience. Good job, everyone else as well.

#28 The Dingo Demon Formerly Known as Sig

| December 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

 

Sig was from Denmark. One day, he decided he was going to go to Burning Man. Yeah, he was one of those types of people. While out in the middle of the desert, a bad acid trip & the scorching desert climate worked in concert to fry his brain. It started as a spiritual journey in what he believed the desert he was in wasn’t in Nevada, but the Australian Outback.  He wandered through the Dreamtime, hoping to find himself. But Sig didn’t come out of it. Something calling itself the Dingo Demon did. And it dawned a paper mache mask as it wandered out into the high arid plain. Shortly there after, it started stalking, stabbing, & slashing any hapless victims it came across.

—-

Originally, I had Dingo Demon on my list thinking it was going to be some sort of anthropomorphic anime ninja sort of thing. I don’t know why, but instead, I veered more what if Technoviking goes crazy & becomes fixated on the idea that he’s some sort of nasty predatory spirit.

Next one’s a twofer to wrap it up for me.