Author Archive: Ran

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Day 4 – Female Mage

| November 7, 2011 | 3 Comments

All right, having a November birthday, on a weekend, set me back a little bit, but I’m confident I can finish this.

This character has no name or background–she’s one of 8 characters that my friend Evan has commissioned me to design for his website, RPG Write! It is still in its beginning stages, and a lot of features have yet to be added, including classes, which is what I’m currently doing art for. Anyhow, he asked me for a male and female mage–this was my interpretation.

#3 – Bae

| November 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Another character I pretty much can’t say anything about. Will eventually show up in The End. Didn’t get to spend a lot of time on this one because of deadlines, so she’s likely to go through a bunch of changes before she ever shows up.

#2 – Samira ‘Sammy’ Hahn

| November 2, 2011 | 3 Comments

I can’t really say anything about Sam because she’s a main character of an upcoming story arc in The End, except that she’s shaping up to be one of my favourite characters so far. She has a lot of bad habits, but a fantastically cheerful disposition that makes her really fun to write for my writer. I wanted to make her look and dress like she’s pretty serious as a means of exacerbating that contrast.

Anyhow, thanks for all the feedback on yesterday’s! I’ll try and respond to comments left when I’m a bit more done with all these crazy deadlines I have. 😀

#1 – Casia Krol

| November 1, 2011 | 10 Comments

Casia Krol

Last night I attended a character creation session for what will be a once-a-week tabletop RPG night based on The Witcher, which takes place in an 1800s fantasy version of Poland. I created a sorceress named Casia Krol, and this is a design I did for her today.

In the gaming system, sorceresses are generally those who have no other prospects in life. When Casia was younger, she was stricken by a disease that left her physically weak, twisted and ugly.  Her betrothed was instead offered the hand of her younger sister, and for all intents and purposes, her own family sough to lock her away so as to not bring shame to their house. She fled under the cover of darkness and sought sanctuary with the order called Lodge of the Sorceress.  Like many of the unwanted who become sorceresses, she used her magic to fix what medicine could not, and even went so far as to enhance her beauty in ways she’d never have come by naturally, even when she was healthy.

However, like most sorceresses, magic can’t heal some things. The mental scars she endured  when ugly and twisted remain, and as a result, her mind plays host to a multitude of crippling flaws and neuroses.  Paranoid, obsessive, vengeful, humourless, fear of commitment, cruel is the tip of the iceburg. She specializes mostly in magics that affect the psyche, curse the body and burn the souls of others. She largely spends her time mentally destroying the type of men who would have rejected her when she was ugly, and cursing the type of women who are naturally beautiful. Her major pursuit is eternal youth. I listed her concept as ‘terrible person’.

The awesome part is that the rest of the party is letting me design their characters as well. Should be fun!

2011 Challenger – Ran Brown

| October 19, 2011 | 5 Comments

Hello! My name is Ran Brown, and I am a freelance Illustrator/Graphic Designer/Cartoonist working out of my home in Ontario, Canada.

I’m the illustrator and webmaster behind the webcomic The End (currently on hiatus for the next week and a half while I am deeply involved in  making one of my best friends’ weddings awesome), the illustrator/writer for Strike The Earth!, which is a webcomic about Dwarf Fortress, and a member of the fairly new (but still awesome) collective called Open Fire!. You can also find my portfolio here, or follow me on Google+ or Twitter.

Last year I participated in this challenge, but only made it 14 characters in. I think my main issue, aside from time, was that I was focusing on making quality pieces and getting lost in that versus focusing on the actual design aspect of the challenge. I hope to remedy this and actually finish this year by doing most (if not all) of my entries in the style of the self-portrait to the left of this text. Yeah, they’re muppet-tastic, but I’ve used this method to redesign a bunch of characters for later chapters of The End with some pretty great success so far. There’s something about the simplicity and lack of lines that’s let me put together some really neat designs and focus on colours and shapes and asymmetry  that how I traditionally work just can’t do.

Click for a more detailed view!


Anyhow, I’m really excited about the challenge this year. I’ve got a lot of ideas that I’ve done precisely no design work for, as well as characters for The End that I need to design but haven’t even started on as of yet.  I very rarely get to work on things that aren’t The End, and the thought of being able to do some work on some ideas that have really taken the back-burner in my brain sounds so, so awesome.

Good luck, all! Can’t wait to see your entries!


#15 – Something.

| November 22, 2010 | 2 Comments

I designed him last week for two pages of The End. The script called for him, and I think I made him less horrible than I could have. I want to make it clear that I don’t have anything against nerds (I am one!), cosplayers (I am friends with many of them), or even crossplayers (most crossplayers are girls, actually).  But you see people like this at anime conventions, and there’s no getting around that. They exist. For realz.

#14 – White

| November 22, 2010 | 1 Comment

This is a character that will be appearing in the distant future of The End.  Not posting her name for that reason, or anything about her!  It’s very nice to have her out of the way, though. One less thing to do.

#13 – Desperado

| November 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

My second design for my Ten Pages script.  This is The Kid, but all grown up.  Man, I love cowboys.

#12 – The Kid

| November 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

I’m very hapoy to be included in a project called Ten pages. The other day I was handed a ten page script about cowboys, and I’m so excited to be doing this. Here’s my first design for the short comic. None of the characters have names, but I’m hoping to give them plenty of character.

#10-11: Max Overstreet & Dahl ‘Dolly’ Larsen

| November 18, 2010 | 3 Comments

Again, way behind, but catching up.

Dahl Larsen is a ghost. She’s devoted most of her afterlife to following around the last person to see her alive. Problem is, college student Max Overstreet can’t see or hear her, and doesn’t know she’s there. The only way she can communicate with him is through his dreams, and, even more frustrating, he rarely remembers those…

#8-9 – PC Clyde Goodcop & SGT Hank Badcop

| November 18, 2010 | 3 Comments

Wow, really behind after NEWW. I WILL catch up, though.

Anyhow, I designed these two for a page in my comic that called for a made up, classic nintendo game. This was a hell of a lot of fun!

#7 – Lune

| November 7, 2010 | 1 Comment

A character that shows up in a bit in my comic, The End. Not a lot to say about him at this moment in time. At NEWW, so keeping this short.

#6 – Frank

| November 6, 2010 | 4 Comments

Again, wanted to try something different. I rarely do anything this cartooney.

#5 – Ginger

| November 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

I mostly wanted to try some different stuff. Not sure if i’ll ever use her for anything. Anyhow, keeping this short–should be sleeping!

#4 – Cassandra Savage

| November 4, 2010 | 4 Comments

If you’ve ever read my webcomic, The End, you’ll have already seen Cassi Savage, who, in the current story line, is about eleven years old. There’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen during the course of the story, and a great deal of time passes while it’s happening. I realized that I would need to design older versions of the cast, and that hers would be one of the most drastic. I had a lost of fun designing her, and the act of doing so made me think of a lot of fun ideas that I want to implement later on in the story.

Aaaanyhow, I’m heading off to NEWW at 4am, so I’ll be doing my designs while I’m gone, but will have no way to upload them. So, I’ll be uploading a backlog of them when I get home on Monday. See ya then!

#3 – Mackenzie

| November 3, 2010 | 11 Comments

Not sure I’ll ever use this character for anything. I really wanted to draw a normal looking chick not related to anything I’m currently working on. Also, freckles rule.

#2 – Morgan Ashdown

| November 2, 2010 | 3 Comments

This was a fun opportunity to design Morgan Ashdown, a character from our webcomic In Absentia, which launches at the end of January. Here’s some info on the character that my writer gave me:

The Ashdown family has worked with the Academy’s founders for generations. Among the well-informed, Ashdowns are known to be uncannily long-lived, but the family is secretive enough to avoid close scrutiny. A popular tale, whispered among the students at the Academy, holds that the Ashdowns are actually immortal; a less popular, significantly more hyperbolic rumour claims that they sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for eternal life. Whatever the case, they do, indeed, live extremely long lives, and whenever an Ashdown passes away, it is generally understood that the family takes care of his funeral and burial, and no outside observers are permitted.

As the latest addition to the Ashdown line, and the heir to their secretive, jealously-protected medical and chemical research, Morgan’s studies at the Academy serve a specialized purpose: he is being groomed to serve as a professor there. For his part, the young man is content with his role. He enjoys his work, looks forward to utilising the Academy’s facilities for his research, and plans to spend his scientifically-prolonged life delving into the darkest mysteries of the human body. The fact that he will need to set time aside to teach children about drugs and poisons is a secondary concern, to his mind.

#1 – Augustus Gray

| November 1, 2010 | 12 Comments

Augustus Gray is a secretive and enigmatic gentleman that I have designed for our upcoming comic, In Absentia.

An Alumni of Blackburn House, he’s recently started to show a great deal of interest in the newest year of students. Having been away for many, many years, some of his colleagues think that he is behaving oddly, and some even doubt that he is the same Augustus Gray that attended Blackburn House as a child. However, his knowledge of the academy and its machinations is so extensive that he couldn’t possibly be an impostor…could he?

Edit: A clarification – this webcomic doesn’t start until next January, and aside form some initial doodles, before doing this picture, only ONE character had a complete design. I’m sorry if the description made it seem like I was just posting a character that has already existed in a long running comic for some time instead of something that I did today. I didn’t, and it isn’t. O_o

30 Characters Challenger: Ran Brown

| October 25, 2010 | 1 Comment

Hey all! My name is Ran (no, really) Brown, and I’m a Canadian Graphic Designer/Illustrator. Though I’m still relatively unknown, webcomics and I have had a long and colorful history. I got into them in highschool when I decided that just drawing characters for all the stories in my mind wasn’t enough, and launched my very first webcomic, Ransom, on Smack Jeeves in its early days. Unexpectedly, I rocketed to the top of the SJ charts, and managed to sit there for over a year.

Getting to know the community led me to some great opportunities at SJ, and as a result, I was an administrator there for more than a couple years and spoke on a number of webcomics panels at various conventions on their behalf. This led me to meet some interesting people, and made me realize that I’d lost sight of what I’d joined for–making comics, rather than just talking about them. I resigned and took a couple years to sort myself out, and as a result, my husband/writer, Cory Brown, and I launched the webcomic The End last May. We’ve been doing well enough that we’ll be launching a second comic, In Absentia, at the end of January 2011.

When I saw Tyler’s call for participants for the 30 Characters Challenge, I knew that I had to join. With In Absentia launching in January, and the cast of The End about to head off into space, I need to design a colorful cast of characters–human, demon and alien–in a very short amount of time. As opposed to making them up on the spot, when I need them on a page, this challenge poses the perfect opportunity to space it out, and force myself to meet a lot of small deadlines in a row. I’m very, very excited for the challenge to start!