All right, so who’s up for more monsters? I know it's been a while, and that I've already posted this one on my other social media... But I wanted to wait until it was properly uploaded on the artist's respective dA page first. And now that it has, we can finally commence with GARGOLDON!
Originally posted on October 5th, 2017.
The finalized artwork for Gargoldon by kaijuverse!
For Fun-Fun Monster Sharing Time, today’s feature monster is an oldie as well. The key difference here? He’s probably one of the only monsters recreated thusfar to keep his original name, if only because I liked the way it sounds.
Sure, he’s got powers like flight, adept swimming, and electrical shock, but he sort of falls under the “Monster of the Week” category (though his sense of personality could easily evolve into something memorable when I get around to writing him). I don’t see him being a heartless killer; I see him being a little closer to the traditional Japanese kaiju. Something that follows more in the veins of Varan or Baragon (from Varan (1958) and Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) respectively), something old-school.
What I do have in mind, though, is that Gargoldon’s notably trait for A Winged Hope is that he’ll be the first monster to fight Yuuengaku. And honestly, with what I hope to achieve purely by visual storytelling, I really want to subvert expectations and throw readers for a bit of a loop. Sure, if you’re reading this now, you’re going to know what the surprise subversion is. But let me put this into the perspective of someone who doesn’t know anything about A Winged Hope, its monsters, or of me in general.
Gargoldon's original design!
From the stratosphere, a colossal body zooms by a space station for an alien planet. Said body crashes into the ocean, with a series of tidal waves flooding coastal cities of this world (though thankfully, as the impact zone hit the equivalent of the Pacific Ocean, the flooding isn’t as bad as it could have been). The respective governments and states do their best to keep the public calm (although this is happening in multiple places, the story will focus on one of these coastal cities). The news catches on to all of this, and the information about the meteor picked up by the space station is revealed. Later that week, an unidentified submerged object is detected off the coast of the city–and it doesn’t take long for Gargoldon to reveal himself.
He climbs onto land, and everyone is in a mass panic. The local governments and the state do everything to take a military course of action to deal with the creature, while the police handle evacuation (even if all of this is sudden; in no way could they get everyone out of the city en masse, even if all goes smoothly). But as Gargoldon continues his rampage, the signature of another giant monster appears–this one is revealed to be Yuuengaku (with her elytra closed, keeping her wings hidden). When she beaches along the coast, she calls out for Gargoldon and they fight.
Now, with all of that in mind, what is it that I’m trying to subvert? I think it’s obvious that what I’m trying to throw off is who is the actual threat here–and who’s the earthbound monster vs. the space monster?
A lot of kaiju stories, more often than not, resort to the idea that the earthbound monster is the main protagonist, while the space monsters are often seen as the bad guys. Had this trope been followed down to a T, most people probably would’ve guessed that Gargoldon was the space monster that crash landed while Yuuengaku was the planet’s natural guardian… Which isn’t true here. In this scenario, it’s the space monster who’s the noble hero and wards off the dangerous, earthbound monster. So in a way, if earth monsters are seen as natural antibodies for a planet, then consider Yuuengaku something of a vaccine.
As I said, all of this sort of information I want to be conveyed through visuals. Yuuengaku keeps her wings hidden until partway into her fight (or even later in the story), while Gargoldon actually has wing-like appendages. See where I’m getting at? If I’m able to fool the reader into thinking that Gargoldon is going to be the main protagonist, only to reveal that it was actually Yuuengaku, then Gargoldon did his job.
Of course, this may sound like a major twist, but this is probably going to be near the beginning of the story. I have a lot more plans and themes for the first major story for A Winged Hope. A great magician doesn’t reveal all of his plans now, does he?
Major kudos to kaijuverse of Dragonfyre Studios for the fabulous redesign of Gargoldon! The new look is totally badass! Definitely hope to leave a long-lasting, good first impression of Yuuengaku’s rogues gallery!
So satisfied to have this posted after so long. Anyway, ya'll take care!