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Balancing Act 2012-2017 Doodle Dump by Kirbopher15 Balancing Act 2012-2017 Doodle Dump by Kirbopher15

HEYYY…so here’s some stuff!

Those of you who’ve never seen my 2011 SVA thesis film “Balancing Act”, go check that out. Super-long-story-short, it’s my “magnum opus” IP that I really wanna do something with someday. Alternatively, it’s that “I made this in Elementary School and created a bunch of characters based on me and my friends and wanted to make my own animu idea that usually goes nowhere and has been in development for 20+ years while I work on other/newer/better ideas” IP. Y’know, one of those. You probably see ‘em on DeviantArt and Tumblr all the fucking time; hence why I don’t really post stuff about it online much these days. That said, posting this art here isn’t a confirmation that something’s happening with it. I’d just stocked up SO many doodles and sketches I felt like putting them out there eventually. Some of these date back as far as 2012 and this isn’t even half of them since I have plenty from various sketchbooks I’ve never scanned.

“What the fuck is this shit, Kirb!?” WELL KIDS, it’s the adventures of self-insert-I-wish-I-was-a-superhero-character and his friends as they go through their trials and tribulations of forming a makeshift superhero team and fight bad guys and learn valuable life lessons about being different, self-acceptance, dealing with deep personal issues and eating healthy or some bullshit. It’s gone through countless re-iterations as I’ve grown and learned and expanded my life views. I want it to be a story that’s really deeply impactful and meaningful, but it’s not something I’m ready to do yet. I need to get better at all aspects of film-making and storytelling. There’s a lot of basic things about “what am I saying?” regarding the story that haven’t been fully fleshed out. Might be years before I ever get to that point; or maybe I never will. Who knows. But once in a while, I’ll draw these four kids and experiment around with shit.

“Frost” (the skinny fuck who looks like ani-’me’) has various blue and white hoodies, is generally awkward (I made him way too “””cool””” in the thesis film; I was emulating Yusuke Urameshi’s sarcastic attitude) and a massive fuck-up (JUST LIKE ACTUAL-ME, HEYYY) and I’ve spent the last year on the story side of things researching a lot about various mental illnesses and how to apply them to him in ways that benefit his development as part of a team he fits into (or not).

“Ilaqua” was previously the character based on (and who looked like) Mike Luckas, that I decided…now I think well over 3 years ago, to change to a girl. I debated back and forth which character to switch (because I wanted two guys and two girls on the main cast) and thought about changing the Earth-elemental guy, but decided to gamble on tossing her in with the many, many Water-elemental girls. (a.k.a. I felt it was easier to differentiate Girl!Mike from the likes of Katara and Korra than seeing Girl!Nick get more-easily compared to Toph.) Mike helped me re-design her (which was also tricky to make sure she wasn’t too similar to Grace Liu’s Enna) and “Mikaela” has become one of my favorite characters to draw.

“Nico” (now re-named in tribute to TwistedGrimTV) is mostly the same. Honestly, getting a hat shape with him that I don’t despise has been my biggest difficulty with him. I also wanna try giving him way more exaggerated anatomy (something like Sajad Gharibi); a body he’d be picked on for having even though he’s not violent at all by nature (he’s actually meant to be more paranoiac and anxious), nor is he “the big dumb one”.

“Kathy” is also mostly the same, but there’s been some minor things I keep trying to fix with her design that I can’t quite get right. I wanted to go more gothic with her choice of fashion, which lent itself to her mysterious demeanor. My biggest aggravation is finding a hair-shape that isn’t a pain in my asshole. It’s evolved a lot from the Rumiko Takahashi-style cut, but I’m still not happy with any particular shape yet.

I also had some help from Mike Luckas and Xander Mobus on trying to design some practical, yet “we have no money or resources to get really efficient ones” superhero costumes. Most of their superhero nicknames (invented by Frost, which the new TMNT beat me to the punch on with Michelangelo’s nicknames for the bad guys, whoops.) are still WIP. Currently I like “Cardice” for Frost and “Landlord” for Mantel. Previously Ilaqua was “Firefighter” and Kathy was “Brightside” but those both may change; they might all change. Hell, ALL of this might change in 15-20-30 years from now if this ever gets made.

On that note, I GREATLY appreciate all the interest in it! I’ve had many folks from time to time ask if I ever plan on doing something more with this concept. It is my every intention to someday; in fact I THINK about it every day. Maybe I’ll do it as a movie, maybe it’ll still be a series like I originally thought, or maybe somehow it’ll be a game or something. Maybe it’ll be none of those things. Maybe it’ll be a hologram projected directly into your brain stem. Who the fuck knows. Here’s a bunch of drawings about it. Enjoy. Or not.

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:iconlavaringx:
LavaringX Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2018   General Artist
Alright, real talk - Mikaela is ADORABLE. I'm a bit dissapointed we didn't get more of "Mike Ilaqua" from the Balancing Act 2011 short, but hey, Mikaela is great and we at least did get to see the male version of the character in the thesis film. Hopefully the Water-Bottle Sword reappears!
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:iconsakuranights:
SakuraNights Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh! I don't think I ever got the chance to see this, actually! I'm a big fan of character art/concept art and "how it comes to life" sorts of things. "Balancing Act" was a fun, well-animated thesis film, and great fight choreography that I'd love to see more of! Best of luck to you!
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:iconlavaringx:
LavaringX Featured By Owner May 10, 2018   General Artist
After the TOME RPG is all complete, you should 100% start working on that Balancing Act movie you were talking about at Anime Expo 2015. Do it, man. Just do it. Don't let your dreams  be dreams. Make it happen!
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:iconalphacharlieecho247:
AlphaCharlieEcho247 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Student General Artist
I'm trying to use the link to watch the video, but it's just taking me to some ridiculous Vimeo Pro ad. Can I get some help here!??!
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:iconlonewolfdarcian:
LoneWolfDarcian Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2017
Balacing Act has been the most anticipated project I've been waiting on for years. I do hope that you make this into a series and that it will appear on a major network (feeling CN). With that said, I do have to say that I prefer the thesis versions of these characters. I guess since I first seen them in the thesis film its just how I'd always envision them to look and act. While I do hope you keep them as close to the thesis version as possible, I eagerly await for when you announce that this series becomes a thing.  
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:iconlariolario54321:
LarioLario54321 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017
I Based MY RWBY OC off of Mike Ilaqua/Mikaela Ilaqua(Mainly the ORIGINAL One back when Mikaela was still a Man) who Fights with Water Bottle Swords; I Even Credited you & Your Character as the Inspiration, Kirbopher15 
Here's where you can Find her: Lazuli Juhachi and what she LOOKS like(Note: I Based her Design off of Lapis Lazuli, only with Silver Eyes, and A Caucasian Skintone, But based her water Powers & Weapons on BOTH Her AND off of the Water Bottle Swords that Mike/Mikaela Ilaqua uses/used)  Lazuli Juhachi by LarioLario54321
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:iconkrispina-the-derp:
Krispina-The-Derp Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2017
Think these heroes will be part of OK K.O? As in parody like?
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:iconwolfiesonic15:
Wolfiesonic15 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Kirb might want to update his bio a bit, unless he still uses a Windows XP.
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:iconbubbles46853:
bubbles46853 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2017
Huh...one of them kinda looks like Captain Cold!
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:iconartistgamergal:
artistgamergal Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2017  Professional Filmographer
I remember seeing your thesis film based in this world! It was awesome. Glad to hear you plan to do more with it!
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:icononecallgat:
OneCallGat Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
It's COOL how you keep going back to this.
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:iconfrostthehobidon:
FrostTheHobidon Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017
This looks amazing

I really enjoy the character designs and I can't wait for the story ^^
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:icone-113xi:
E-113Xi Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was a huge fan of Balancing Act, and I love what you've done here. Like many of us, I too have a 'several years in the making I wish this were an animu' IP, and seeing you work so hard on yours (as well as TTA long before it) has always been a major creative inspiration to me. Keep on doing what you love, Kirb, and I hope we get to see more of these crazy characters in the future!
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:iconshadowgolem86:
ShadowGolem86 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017
How did they get their powers?
Would there be villains?
     If there aren't villains yet but there will be, could the main villains second in command "if there is one" be called Marquis? I heard that they're nobility that own land on the edge of a territory. Meaning that Marquises are literal edgelords. And the villain could also be an edgelord.
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:iconomega-knight-x97m:
Omega-Knight-X97M Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Awesome!
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:iconcometstarfall:
CometStarfall Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017
I feel that most of us did something similar to this when we were kids. It looks like a lot of fun and I can't wait for it to finally become realized someday (if that's what you end up doing). Looking at all else you've accomplished, I'd say that the kid version of you would be beside himself!
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:iconlavaringx:
LavaringX Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017   General Artist
Mikaela Ilaqua actually kind of reminds me of Water-elemental Bionicle characters, TBH
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:icontruemyriad:
TrueMyriad Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Dang, these designs are so incredible! :D
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:iconlavaringx:
LavaringX Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017   General Artist
Also, Mikaela is really cute ^^
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:iconlavaringx:
LavaringX Featured By Owner Edited Apr 11, 2017   General Artist
I can't wait to see how this comes to fruition! (I also can't wait to see how Mike Luckas reacts to his female counterpart X'P) I'm a big fan of both TTA AND TOME, so keep making original IPs! Just whatever you do, don't keep pushing the project off until it never gets made, these ideas have got to come into existence somehow ;)
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:iconkirbopher15:
Kirbopher15 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017
Mike helped design his "female counterpart" so the reaction's been long-since made. :P
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:iconlavaringx:
LavaringX Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017   General Artist
Ah, I see. What does he think? XD
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:iconsword-wielding-gamer:
Sword-wielding-gamer Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
These look awesome! I personally love your thesis film and would love to see something like this. If it does end up happening, would you be willing to hold public voice acting auditions, or do you already have people in mind? Can't wait to see what happens next!
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:icondolphin96:
dolphin96 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG CHRIS AAAAAAH CHRIS!!! <3 <3 <3 SO FRIKIN YES!!! Best, Chris Frost Best~ oUo 

*tiny eyes* "Hot." <3 so good~ 

so old yet so gud~ I'd love to see an updated second episode~ ouo <3
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:iconmc-gemstone:
MC-Gemstone Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
oh nice and also the animated short pretty cool as well!
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:iconalphacharlieecho247:
AlphaCharlieEcho247 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Student General Artist
Nice! Whether or not you're making this a series again or whatever, I love the character designs!
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:iconomega-knight-x97m:
Omega-Knight-X97M Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Cool!
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:iconleon-fenrir:
leon-fenrir Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017
Caught it for the first time today. Pretty tight bud :)
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:iconcombatmagi:
CombatMagi Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017
I remember watching and  I enjoying this. Hope to see it sometime in the, near or far, future.
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:iconkanteviler:
KanteViler Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017
Oh hey, I remember that animation. I was always hoping it'd turn into something more. 
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:iconbetakatana:
BetaKatana Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Tonight was my first time watching Balancing Act, and I have to say, I love the flavor and personality you put into your work, it's so zesty and easy to identify as yours, but it also has a familiar appeal that matches with everything I love about cartoons. As a college student that's studying graphic design and moving into illustration, this gave me just the inspiration I needed for the last project in my digital illustration class, so thank you so much Kirb, once again, for being amazing without even knowing it. XD Thank you for being someone we can all look up to. You're a phenomenal storyteller, a talented voice actor, a skilled animator, and overall a witty and quirky fellow. Thank you for answering my questions in streams and continuing to give me something to believe in. You rock, and I hope that your dreams for Balancing Act come true one day. I know I'd certainly love to see it happen.
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:icondracosquire:
Dracosquire Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
I hope this does become an actual series/movie. Because from watching T.O.M.E. this would be epic.
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:iconbkom:
BKom Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017
as a fan of you as an artist, I would really like to see this developed. If it ever does, go for it in a way that feels the most natural, if it's another animated series then go for that. same applies to game, movie, etc. 
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:iconnoratherabbit:
NoraTheRabbit Featured By Owner Edited Apr 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
These characters look really interesting. To me, each of their outfits tell me who they are. Thought I still decided to read the description too. I hope you can develop them further so that we might to see them in action one day.:happy:  
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