At a certain point in the writing process I wanted to create some illustrations of the characters so that I had something to look at beyond just the character descriptions.
In fact, once I had something visual to look at, the continual character development and writing process kind of happened in parallel. As the story morphed and changed, my designs would change, some characters would get dropped, and some new ones added. And, as I was designing the characters, they would give me ideas for the story. I suppose in some ways when you draw characters you are kind of “writing” too, since the mere appearance of a character implies a lot to a reader/viewer. By making the character look a certain way you can invoke things in the readers mind in addition to stating it in words. Because comics rely both on pictures and words, they both work together to tell the story.
Ok, so on to the characters. There are four main characters in this story, and the images below show the final design along with snapshots from earlier in their development process. Of course when I say “final design”, that’s final as of right now. I’m sure that as I get further into the project things may get tweaked and adjusted. I still haven’t decided if I am going to do this comic in color or just leave it black and white with the possibility of adding grayscale for shading. As a result, I’m leaving everything black and white for now.
I have names for these characters, but I haven’t finalized them just yet. So, for now I’ll refer to them as “The Protagonist”, “The Tormenter”, “The Antagonist”, and “The MacGuffin”.
This is the main character. He’s a simple, quiet, sincere robot.
This is not the main antagonist, but rather a character that helps establish how the protagonist fits into this world. There are actually three of them, and they all are the same model of robot. As I get further into the project I’ll need to create three versions, where each will have something visually unique about it. It could be something about their outer housing, exterior markings of some kind, etc.
This is the “bad guy”. The design of this character started out looking a bit different, and it was actually for a character from an early draft that has since been eliminated. So, I took that initial design and modified it to create this one. He’s a scavenger and marauder, so he looks like he’s cobbled together from various pieces of other robots and machinery.
This is the MacGuffin, or the thing that drives the plot. It’s a cute alien species that happens to also be endangered.
In the next post I’ll show some of the illustrations that I created for the vehicles and environments.