Paige Character Design

Illustration of Paige, Satris's childhood friend.Sometimes I obsess over things needlessly. Tiny, minute details that really shouldn’t matter too much and if enough of them pile up, I call the whole thing a scrap and start over, even if the overall image is up to my standards otherwise. Granted, I often post things done in a haphazard way, but Paige wasn’t one of those times.

A good deal of thought went into something that turned out so simple; but simple is key for the designs, as I’m going to be drawing these characters over, and over, and over again eventually. I started out thinking what Paige is — not just Sartris’s childhood friend, but a confident kid who’s used to being outdoors, incredibly curious and generally someone positive, free willed, and brings out the positive in Sartris one way or another. Starting with this base, I wanted a warm outfit, and lined it with fur to make it at least somewhat interesting. I toyed a little with an even more slavic design than this turned out originally, with a more Polish peasant clothing, but as a child I figured this was far more appropriate. Besides, I’ve probably overplayed the Slavic thing with Meridian Knights anyways.

That being said, getting the glasses, hair and especially braids was a huge challenge to get the way I wanted. And this is why I obsessed a lot on this, to get those looking right. Once I drew the braids, too, I knew some slavic influence would undoubtedly come in and you’ll see more of that as I draw her older versions.

As a side note to this, I split the Sartris images off into their own gallery in the menu.

Sartris: Old Version

Sartris’s comic spans the majority of his lifetime. So there’s several designs that go into a single character, particularly Sartris, as it spans the decades. Here’s an older version of him.

Not to give too much away, the white streak is from lightning, though no reason it couldn’t be from aging, too. But serious, it’s from a lightning strike.

On Coloring Characters

I realize that, in practice, I have never actually applied color to two of my characters, Razzle and Jason, despite have a vivid idea of what the colors actually are in my head. Thank the fact that I’ve never had any practical reason to actually do so. Razzle was never fully applied anyway, and Jason has so far gone in black and white. Honestly… I’ve considered doing upcoming installments of Jason in a Strange Land in color, especially as the surrealism of the whole crazy things extends. Considering the way I shade it I don’t think it would be too much of a hassle, as well.

Anyway, without further adieu, Razzle and Jason in glorious color:

One thing that came to clear to me as I was doing this, too – was just how often I make a main character a redhead. Examples throughout the last, oh, 20 or so years:

At least I have enough of a habit of varying the color of red, from Moxie’s coral color to Jason’s wine red. I’ve pondered this, and maybe it’s a penchant for redheads, maybe it’s because there’s a fair amount of red in my hair (depending on the light, har har) itself. It’s possible, there’s certainly a fair amount of me in all my characters — especially the leading ones. Jason’s melancholy, Moxie’s spirit and eagerness, and Sartris especially, as the intent is he’s a very direct reflection of me in many ways, albeit exaggerated in many respects. (more on this in another post).

Despite all this, the red hair has almost always been intentional. Stacy and Jeane are older characters and it’s a bit more difficult to recall correctly, especially since both these characters are more or less retired, anyway, so I don’t feel terribly obligated to dig that deep into my memory as it were. Moxie’s represents eagerness, Sartris’s represents fire. Razzle was meant to contrast the brown on her fur (saturation wise) and Jason’s… well, with Jason, I couldn’t see any other color in my head but that and grey. I think the muted wine color versus a more vibrant red reflects his melancholy as well.

I suppose my next wild project may have a redhead too. Signature of my characters maybe?

Sartris Character Design

As promised, I present a new character: Sartris.

So, as you can see, I did lean heavily on the Meridian Knights style. Minus the eyes, I did go for a bit more traditional cartoon eyes as I did with Ratboy. At least; traditional in my sense if you look back at other comics and illustrations I’ve done in the past.

I intentionally kept the clothing quite simple. Since this is a comic, it’s something I’ll need to draw over and over and over and over, so I didn’t want something with chains and elaborate runes and whatever. This sort of thing when converted to a sprite works far better.

I’ve also noticed with Sartris gingers seem to run in my main characters. While this was a bit of an afterthought in Moxie (it was simply about the color scheme with her), and really I don’t remember why this was so with Jeane, this was quite deliberate with Sartris and I intend it to be part of his personality. On that note, the hood is also relevant and part of his how he will carry himself as well.

The short sword is just a short sword; unlike Moxie the sword in this image is just a sword, but so far, a sword will play a part in the story of this comic. And on the comic, you can expect a serial, along the lines that Ratboy or Scott Pilgrim are, though I am not sure how humorous they will be. I have a short idea of the outline so far, and that’s it. This comic has a lot to work out before I begin!