Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Princess and the Pirate

Here are the last two of my English teaching puppets: Penny the Princess and Peter the Pirate!
Penny comes from Atlantis, the ancient cultural hub of the world, hence her Greco-Roman-African-Indian influenced robes and jewellery. Pirate Pete met her on one of his voyages and they fell in love. Now they travel the world, searching for adventure and treasure!

Playtest Party Part Deux!

Hello everyone! Last night (after a very long work day not without its fair share of stress and drama) I got to do another playtest for my work-in-progress game at the Gryphon Guild.
I have updated the rules and gameplay, following the feedback I got from last time and, suffice to say, it has definitely improved :) Here's a portrait of the three lovely people who volunteered to play this time, in fantasy character form: a cowardly but surprisingly charming rogue, a truly stupid orc with an obsession with food and a very powerful but terribly inexperienced witch.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Another Lady Knight!

I was re-watching the latest Adventure Time episode while trying another Lady Knight design, when what I was doodling suddenly spiraled out of control and this is the result.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Lady Knights!

I discovered this great character design prompt-based challenge over on tumblr, created by dogbomber, where you design a Lady Knight, based on the prompts you pick at random.
I got shield, Egyptian, petite, cranky and piscine... so here's my cranky Egyptian fish-shaped shield-wielding lady knight!
Definitely going to try this again when I have more time.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Public Domain Redesigns: Agent Rio, Queen of Spies (Featuring The Trio)

Here's another public domain superheroine, modernised and reimagined: Señorita Rio - now Agent Rio - Queen of Spies. PDSH says:

"Ritta Farrar was, at one point, a rising Hollywood actress and a former movie stunt girl. When her fiance, Bill, was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, she decided to become a secret agent, in hopes of saving other American soldiers from a similar fate. She faked her own suicide in Rio de Janeiro, while attending the premire of her new film, Lady Dance No More. Taking the code name, Señorita Rio, she soon became "The Queen of Spies," battling Axis agents athroughout South America. Señorita Rio was a skilled dancer, singer and actor. She could mimic voices very convincingly. She was said to be of "fighting stock" and was extremely athletic, capable of performing amazing feats almost effortlessly (anything from diving off the side of an ocean liner to catching someone while swinging on a trapeeze). She was an expert fighter, skilled in jiu-jitsu and fencing. She was proficient with firearms, including heavy machine guns, and a good enough marksman to shoot a man's gun out of his hand. She usually concealed a handgun on her person, as well as tools for escape. Presumably, she was fluent in both English and Portuguese and possibly Spanish and German as well."

I decided to update Rio into Agent Rio, member of a S.H.I.E.L.D.-like international intelligence organisation. She's wearing her spy uniform, equipped with padding, gadgets and weapons - including a telescopic baton/rapier. I kept those neat-looking ear-rings from the original design, as I like to think of Rita using them like shurikens. 
I also see Agent Rio joining Black Angel and Magna to form a crime-busting team of superheroines. 'The Trio' has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Chapter One...

Is finally complete, after 3 and a half months of work. I apologise for the poor quality of the photo, but I'd rather not divulge too many details about this project yet. Suffice to say, it's a colourful, picture-book style comic, with absolutely no words, where all dialogue is conveyed through pictures and/or ideograms. Here are the eleven pages of Chapter One, artistically displayed on my bed, because my desk isn't big enough :) TF

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Public Domain Redesign: Magna the Magnetic Woman

Here's my redesign / reimagining of the public domain superhero Magno the Magnetic Man, who was described as a 'playboy adventurer with the super powers of magnetism and invulnerability who fights crime and battles the Axis'. 
The thing I liked most about this character was the powerset and the symbol (the two burst patterns representing the north and south poles of a bar magnet). Because his civilian identity was never known, I figured that maybe Magno retired after the war and settled down to raise a family. If we imagine that his powers are a natural trait, then maybe it skips a generation: hence his granddaughter, Mariana Barr, inheriting his magnetic powers, and the (adapted) mantle of Magna, the Magnetic Woman. I simplified and streamlined the costume, enlarging the symbol and giving her an 'M' shaped visor.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Public Domain Redesign: Black Angel

Info on Black Angel, from the PDSH page:
"Sylvia Manners was an English society lady who was sent to live an an ancient castle with her aunt in the wake of the London bombings. She acted demure and sickly in public, but when the Nazi agents threatened her homeland, she slipped into the castle's secret underground hangar and flew her plane against the Nazis as Black Angel. Later on, she met Colonel Prince, the RAF air ace known as "Black Prince." The good colonial was infatuated with Black Angel, and Silvia was happy to return his affections (at least while she was in costume).  Black Angel battled such enemies as Baroness Blood and the Son of Rasputin. While Black Angel did not have super powers, she was a skilled pilot and fighter. She also used poison darts to take out enemies."
I really liked the idea behind this character, but - as much as I love those adorable little wings on her completely useless 'mask' - I felt like she needed an update. Substitute the Nazis with any other evil power and you've got a perfectly good modern heroine. I gave her a helmet with wing-shaped visor and exchanged her blow darts for a dart-gun, and her plane for a telescopic back-pack glider.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: The 12 Doctors

Here's a line-up composite pic of all my reimagined 12 Doctors. Click on the picture to biggify, or here to find out more about each one.

First Doctor - Tom Waits (Space Hobo and Poet)
Second Doctor - Ben Willbond (Gentleman Explorer)
Third Doctor - Hugh Dennis (Amnesiac Storyteller)
Fourth Doctor - Rory Kinnear (Secretly Adventurous Stickler)
Fifth Doctor - Ben Miller (Mid-life Crisis Action Hero)
Sixth Doctor - Chris Addison (Witty Mechanic and Inventor)
Seventh Doctor - Ellie Kendrick (Curious Scientist)
Eighth Doctor - Lyndsey Marshal (Unscrupulous Tinkerer)
Ninth Doctor - Olivia Colman (Soul-searching Wanderer)
Tenth Doctor - Sheridan Smith (Kind-hearted Optimist)
Eleventh Doctor - Kate Ashfield (Determined Seeker of Justice)
Twelfth Doctor - Helen Mirren (Magician and Teacher)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: Doctor #12

And here we are, the 'final' incarnation of my reimagined, rebooted Doctor Who, portrayed by the wonderful Helen Mirren!
The eleventh Doctor would, after many misadventures, finally retrieve her TARDIS, only to find it terribly damaged. Despite its present uselessness, it is the prized possession of a band of cruel and bloodthirsty space bandits. A battle ensues between the 11th Doctor are the bandits... the Doctor finally triumphs, but horribly wounded. She crawls into her equally moribund TARDIS and dies, before regenerating into the 12th Doctor. After reawakening, the new Doctor realises that the only place she can successfully repair her vehicle/home is by returning to Gallifrey and asking the Time Lords for help. She does so begrudgingly, as the very reason she left her home planet was because of her being staunchly opposed to the Time Lords' delusions of superiority and right to rule over the universe. Nevertheless, she loads the TARDIS into her cobbled-together spaceship and makes for Gallifrey. 
Along the way, she settles into her new personality: wise from her many experiences, but also full of wonder and a desire to amaze. 12 is a cross between a wizard and a schoolteacher. She has many companions, young and old, human and alien, throughout her long journey back to Gallifrey. 
 When she finally arrives, she is astonished to discover that the Time Lords she knew are no more. So much time has passed that they have evolved, so drastically that she does not recognise them. They have become etherial beings of pure energy and information, vastly intelligent but devoid of creativity or emotion. They help her repair the TARDIS, before leaving the planet, in search of other universes to study. Alone on Gallifrey, 12 starts to reconnect with her heritage and makes it her goal to reshape the image of Gallifreyan: no longer a Lord of Time, but just another integral part of it. 
Now, why did I put quotation marks around final? Well, a Gallifreyan has 12 regenerations, remember? One more to go...

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Playtest Party

So while I've been working on teaching English, and on my silent film-style graphic novel, I've also been working on developing a RPG that could be used as a language-teaching tool. Last night the kind folks at the Gryphon Guild (Gilda del Grifone) lent me their room to do a playtest of my game prototype. I met three incredibly kind and creative players who volunteered to try the game out. We had a lot of fun and they offered up some really useful and constructive pointers. As thanks, I thought I'd draw their characters from the game: a bullied midget ent, a blowhard dwarf with a wooden hammer and a surprisingly wise but murderous spy.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

12 Doctors Challenge: Doctor #11

After a hiatus of sorts, here's the eleventh doctor in my rebooted/re-imagined mythos: Kate Ashfield!
Doctor 10, the most bright and optimistic of all the Doctor's incarnations, is eventually forced into a no-win situation by the Daleks, having to choose between her own safety and the safety of the galaxy. Naturally, she chooses the latter, leading to her body once again being fatally wounded. Teleporting her companion to safety in the TARDIS, she regenerates on board a crashing space-ship, on an alien world a whole galaxy away from the old blue phonebox. From the burning rubble emerges the 11th Doctor, stern, ruthless and determined. This Doctor would travel from alien world to alien world, cobbling together a rudimentary time-and-spaceship, with which to search for and retrieve the TARDIS. Along her travels, she is joined by a faulty cyber-hound, whom she imaginatively calls 'wolf'. This doctor is more serious than her predecessor, commenting on the ineptitude and ignorance of her enemies, and her allies, with biting sarcasm. Beneath her icy exterior, however, beat the same hearts of the adventurous time lord/lady.

Mankle The Wooden

Here's another fantasy champion: Mankle Spickwick, also known as Mankle the Wooden. A bat-halfling carpenter, he carved and constructed his wooden spear, helmet, shield and peg-leg himself. He turned to adventuring when some bandits didn't pay him for a hope chest he made for them, or something.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Commissioned Poképortrait

Here's a commissioned poképortrait: 

Abtrak is a small, steely machine/fighting pokèmon, famous for the small compartment in his stomach. As it grows and evolves (first into Abkraft, then into Abfrank) the compartment and its workings become more and more complex, offering Abtrak weapons and tools, or functioning as a weapon, by firing projectiles or biting/chewing up attacking foes. It is speculated that Abtrak is powered by an experimental energy source, which has triggered the formation of a pocket universe just behind the compartment's doors. This would explain the apparently limitless applications of this pokèmon's abs of steel.