Seriously though, much like when I posted the teaser poster for Magical a couple months ago, I had an idea that was distracting me and I just needed to draw it out (oh god, has it really only been a two months?). I do this, so I have some content to refer to later should I decide to go back to it, while simultaneously getting it out of my head. This new idea came at a bad time, on the grounds that I am kinda trying to finish a book as is. I lost three days getting backstory and designs down (but that's actually good; I lost weeks with Magical.
That said, it's been worth it. I'm loving this little group. And if I do say so myself, I'm extremely pleased with the art here. It's much more mature-looking (which is what I was going for), and it's a much darker story than the kind of things you're used to seeing from me (that said, the darker stuff is much more up my alley, storytelling-wise).
I don't have a name for the story itself yet, but the characters, from left to right are:
And the story concept is as follows:
These three people were taken from their homes at a very young age and held in a facility trying to raise young boys as child soldiers. These three managed to escape one night thanks to a security failure from an unxepected blackout (although there were two more in their group that did not make it out with them).
Unfortunately, all they really knew in life was taught by the facility... and most of that, very illegal. They knew little of social custom, and had never encountered women and girls in their lives until being outside. It was strange and scary for them. The three managed to survive only with each other's help over the years (and mostly sustaining by stealing food and clothing from homes, orphanages, and churches).
Garry (right), the oldest of the group, named himself the ring leader. He's surprisingly well adjusted, considering all the years he'd spent in that facility. It's left him rather cold and uncompassionate (and can be hard to get along with as a result), but he makes up for it with a strong survival instinct. He is wise in devising plans and strategies for overcoming and/or getting out of situations. He's also the strongest. The other two don't particularly like his attitude, but he's kept them alive this long, so they just do what he says most of the time.
Raquel (middle) never quite recovered from the night when they escaped, nor the years leading up to it. Following that night, the child rarely spoke; and even then does so in mostly noises and one-word sentences. That aside, Raquel goes through a life changing epiphany upon escape that brings a small amount of joy into the child's life. It occurs when Raquel finally sees society and, moreover, sees females for the first time ever. After the group steals new clothes from an orphanage one day, the child approaches the other two wearing a dress and for the first time, insisting her name is Raquel (which wasn't her birth name).
Lane (left) grows up haunted by that night. Though not as scarred as Raquel as to develop selective mutism, he does suffer nightmares, and constantly blames himself for the ones left behind, believing he could have - and should have - been able to do something. He constantly thinks of going back one day to save the other boys left behind, but he knows he'd never get Garry's approval, and he doubts he could do it without his help. In fact, Lane continues to face a great deal of inner turmoil with the concepts of right and wrong. He knows he has to steal to live, but he longs for a day when he can live his life without having to use the skills taught to him in that facility.
Years pass like this.
The three children have developed into young adults with a steady - if less than ideal - life utilizing their talents for mercenary work to bring in money (all the while learning to adjust to societal structure and coming to terms with the horrors of their past). The story begins here.
Like I said, it's very dark. Much darker than Rain or Magical or most of the rest of what you actually know me for. But I'm digging it. Admittedly, especially because of Raquel; I seem to be enjoying trying to find new perspectives for trans characters lately. One that spent her whole life not knowing there IS another gender and still feeling off about it, will be a neat concept to explore.
But rather than pat myself on the back, I want to hear what you guys think. In the meantime, I REALLY have to get back to drawing the story I'm SUPPOSED to be working on.
All characters and other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.
These are cool designs and an interesting premise (Alexis in particular is an interesting new take on the gender identity theme).
For some reason 'Born Warriors' comes to mind as possible title when I read it, but I'm sure if it really fits.
Impressive. I'd say the Lane is kinda the character I'd think of as the main focus of a story like this. He seems kinda like the "hero" of the group, in so much as he is rather conflicted by his circumstances, and struggles with his memories of failure. Alexis is probably one of the most unique takes on the idea of a transgender character I've ever come across, which may not sound like much due to the lack of trans* characters in media, but still, really facinating concept. Garry is the brains of the outfit, and seems like in most stories he'd be the "guy who's rough around the edges and refuses to do heroic stuff that doesn't help himself and the people he takes care of, but will slowly be changed into a still rough but heroic character who dies because he does one really heroic thing" kinda character. Somehow, I'm not sure that's how it would go with him, though. It's complicated.
In any case, great ideas here, lovely art, and dark stories are quite nice to see, so, looking forward to anything else you make related to this.
Garry's analysis is pretty well spot on, but I'm sure if I want him (or any of them) to die. That said, I only have a vague idea of where the story will go from my prologue synopsis above, and there's a lot of room for pretty much anything. So who knows? ^_^
Inquiring minds want to know!