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30 Characters Week 2

2011/01/20

Still with the catch up.

So I completed the 30Character challenge, submitted them all onto their site before the deadline over a month ago, but have been sitting on the drawings, hoping to find the time to clean & color them. Well as much as I’d like to, I think time would be better spent moving on & working on proper comics projects. Sorry. Anyway, I’d like have some sort of record of them here as well, & about 20 of these things to post so I think I’ll just throw them up in chunks by the weeks I did them.

Here’s the Day 8. I called him Ol’ Rupe for lack of anything better at the time of finishing it. From the 30Characters Blog:

I had a character idea for that Entervoid site I go to a while ago, about a big, bandaged bum that’s impossible to kill & just gets into these brutal battles. But I kind of wanted to give him a chatty sidekick & in my head I kept thinking of like an old prospector from a cheesy western. Like back in the day you’d have the hero, the love interest, & the goofy old codger comedy relief guy. I designed the other character but never fleshed out the sidekick, so here he is. I imagine him to be the kind of bum that would talk your ear off, with tons of stories. And perhaps inexplicably have a cockney accent. He lives in a cardboard box with a tarp for a door. Every waking cent he gets doesn’t go into booze or drugs though, as he’s really into Gunpla.

I got really good response on this guy. I don’t know why. I liked how the coloring turned out but otherwise I think he’s a little weak in a generic way. But who am I to argue? Onto Day Nine.

Simon Swinden. Snarky music blogger extraordinaire. He would tear the recording industry apart from his solitary studio Williamsburg apartment (paid for by trust funds). His blog got thousands of hits a day. But that wasn’t enough.

He wanted to go pro. And that’s when Debase magazine came a-knocking. They had an important assignment, but didn’t want to delegate it to one of their regular staffers (unbeknownst to Simon, on account of the sheer danger). Now Simon’s got a nice new computer, an expense account, & a pretty ok-ish per diem. And all he’s got to do is follow a motley combination of very strange, very intense bands on an unofficial world tour. Can he do it? Or will he get eaten alive (literally)?

From a project with Sean Witzke. Another friend thought his particular style of dress was a point of inspiration for this guy. He went on to get mildly offended when I went on to say:

Didn’t want to veer too hipster with his look, but kind of pretentious & pseudointellectual.

He’s the last one I spent time cleaning & coloring on. All the rest were done in the red lead. The next four are all kind of related in the same group. Growing up I always really digged the Impossibles. If you don’t know, it was an old Hanna Barbera cartoon about a three piece Sixties Beat kind of band that were also superheroes on the side. But they had interesting abilities, not the generic archetypal shit you see in superhero groups today. It always stuck with me. So the basic premise going into these next four is a superpowered rock band. With that in mind, I kind of wanted to also steer away from that run-of-the-mill, generic rock band sort of thing too. So I looked at legendary Swedish punk band Refused, & their later incarnation as the (International) Noise Conspiracy. They were a punk band, but instead of studs & going out of their way to look like they didn’t care, they just kind of had this Baader-Meinhoff/RAF thing going on. Retro/Euro/Leftist Chicanery. And as the (I)NC, they were all kind of uniform with it, almost slightly militaristic. So that was the idea here. The Impossibles meet the (I)NC. And you get Mein Deutsch Herbst. With the band in mind, I started combining powers I always thought were interesting with different sections of the band, beginning with the Keyboardist.

Siebzehn is wacked. She believes she is haunted. She innocuously calls them “Dots,” but believes them to be a pack of poltergeists. Tiny orbs of light that streak about her person. They knock things over & make things happen. She can sometime get them to do her bidding. What she doesn’t know is that these “Dots” are in fact, not ghosts or spirits, but the manifestation of her own latent telekinesis abilities.

Basically a loopy girl that’s superpowerful but doesn’t know that she is, care that she is, & quite frankly, would argue that she’s not if confronted. Basically, as much as I hate the term, a shitty MPDG Dark Phoenix. The other superpowerful member was the mysterious drummer.

Always sporting a balaklava, Udarnik is down with the cause, but a complete enigma. He just showed up for band practice one day & filled the role of a drummer. No questions asked. It all just worked. No one knows where he originally came from. Only that he only speaks Russian, & he has a fairly good handle on his own innate ability: time manipulation. Faster. Slower. Pausing. Occasionally even reverse somehow. He often maintains control by maintaining a rhythm. Even when he’s not behind a drumkit, you’ll see fingers tapping or hands slapping. And with his tempo, he sets the beat, & the passage of time.

He calls himself Udarnik. Of course “Udarnik” is the Russian word for Drummer.

I always kind of wanted to toy with the idea of someone whose powers were signified by something mundane. Rather than having some random body part glow in order to tell he’s doing something crazy, this guy will pound a drum or tap his fingers & voila. He started out of wanting to do something like that. Next we’ve got the lead singer.

Emil could always kind of get his way, but things really started to click once he was away at University. He used his “Charisma” to gain a following of impassioned students to march & protest school policies. He was able to work them into a fever pitch. The louder he got, the more entranced & violent his followers became. Even the most docile pacifists among them. It lead to 21 deaths & a lot of injuries. Emil was institutionalized & isolated from the general patients. Now, after two years of what amounted to solitary confinement, he’s free & he’s started a band. He has his own views on the world. And he’s looking to change it. But first, he needs to get out there. He needs his voice to be heard.

Always wanted to make a super team leader basically the least powerful member, but still have some sway. That having been said, the way I see this band, he has his superhuman hooks into the others to some extent (maybe not the drummer so much), but he’s not intentionally trying to fuck with them the way he does with the masses. Does that make sense? Whatever. One more with the band. You kind of need a guitarist, right?

Union’s got talent. He’s a classically trained musician. He’s one of the best at what he does. Too bad that the only band that will take him is Mein Deutsch Herbst. Lead by Emil, an overzealous sociopath who aspires to being a left wing criminal activist, the music industry, law enforcement, world leaders, & superhumans everywhere are starting to take notice. But Union only cares about the music.

Still, he does have another unique talent. Union was able to practice guitar for hours on end, because he can split into multiple copies of himself. Upon reforming, all of the experiences merge & become one. Each one has it’s own sentience but really, all share the same goals & opinions. There’s been no limit reached as to how many duplicates he can make, however, after the first ten, every copy starts to lose density. There’s a point where each copy starts to become almost ghost like. He (each) also has a bit of a problem focusing once he’s past five copies. But that doesn’t mean he won’t try.

Also, he can be his own rhythm section.

He’s the most direct link to the Impossibles, in that he’s pretty much Multi-Man plus. But the thing I always wondered about with multiplication guys is where does the raw matter come from? So that’s where I tried to take it a step further. So that was the band. There was only one other guy rounding out that second week then.

After opening up a dojo on Bushwick Ave, Michael Dawson did his part to help clean up the neighborhood. And he did that, gaining some notoriety in the process. But that was years ago. Now gentrification rolled through. Vegans & playgroups have replaced most of the pushers & the dealers. He’s not totally obsolete, but he’s more likely to meet a pack of roving trust fund kids than danger. So he’s gone back to trying to focus on his first love, Karate.

Originally, the forums for the site Entervoid.com had an art jam to create a superhero using a name & a power generator. I got Karate King on the name generator, & the unstoppability of the Juggernaut with the power generator (though they also called it the Rhinoceros Effect, which I really, really like). Anyway, I’m not an art jam kind of guy, but that was kind of too cool to pass up. So I finally made good on it & drew him up. I added the Bushwick bit because I was kind of thinking of Shonuff the Shogun of Harem, but also had this kind of silly idea about what happens to a street level superhero once the streets are clean & gentrification rolls in.

A lot of people on the 30Characters site did straight up superheroes the whole month. Me? I was trying to switch it up & trying to get out of my comfort zones. Otherwise it would’ve been a different chick with a katana for all 30 days of November. In some ways though, I guess me switching it up results in a lot of things that could be taken as superheroes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just haven’t really considered myself to be that kind of a guy. Action/Adventure shit sure. No doubt. But not straight superheroes you know? And I’m not going to pull some shit & say there’s anything wrong with that, because that was my gateway into most of this. It was something I found interesting though, because those were some tools I thought rusted over.

So there’s characters from like the second week in November for you. I’m looking to have all the rest posted by the end of the month & maybe resume some fairly regular posting schedule with the first of the month. Maybe daily (or as close to daily as I can get them) sketches again. Maybe just some quick short comics or something. We’ll see when we get there. It’s just that at this moment, things are slowing down a bit for me & I’m really hoping to have the time.

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